TIBETAN MASTER PATRUL RINPOCHE OUTLINES THREE UNIQUE PATHS TO ENLIGHTENMENT

By: Lama Lhakpa Yeshe, Tricycle.org

The great Tibetan lama Patrul Rinpoche was a widely revered and much-respected teacher, and people gathered around him to receive his wisdom and insight. His teachings were simple, direct, and profound, and in one way or another the essence of his discourse always led to the practice of compassion.

One day he said to a small group of his students: “The purpose of life is to help all sentient beings to be free from suffering. In order to do this, you need to cultivate unconditional, unlimited, and pure compassion toward all, without any exception.”

Patrul Rinpoche always encouraged discussion, debate, and dialogue, so after making this all-encompassing statement, he asked, “Do you understand?”

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“So follow whichever way comes naturally to you. It is not the external form of practice that matters, it is the inner spirit, the pure mind, that we need to pay attention to.”

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BEWARE OF WELL-MEANING SPIRITUAL SELF IMPROVEMENT ADVICE

Well-meaning advice of a seemingly spiritual nature is not available to ordinary humans in practice. It does not succeed because by its nature Reality is caught, not taught. Spirituality is an experience of Reality. Anything else is mere religion or speculation, not spiritual.

The ones who catch Reality are probably born already prepared to experience Reality, to succeed spiritually. They are the ones noted for their “hunger and thirst for righteousness”. This hunger and thirst is a lifelong gift, a passion.

Spiritual awakening, as opposed to the mere human improvement sought by well-meaning “spiritual” advice, is believed to be seminal, an intrinsic part of our evolution.

The experience of Reality comes to everyone eventually though not, apparently, necessarily in one lifetime.

Though spirituality is not for everyone yet, finally there are no failures.

Mysticexperiences.net

MY SPIRITUALITY, EXPERIENCE AND DESTINY

“As for the human race, it is being taken care of better than it can take care of itself. All is well.”

Q: The ancient Vedantic scripts that attempt to explain human existence say there are two approaches, philosophical, and experiential. Which are you?

A: Through no effort on my part, or any qualification I’m aware of, I’ve been given many annual experiences of what I call Reality. I think that puts me in the experiential camp.

Consequently, to me, the word Reality means everything that exists, everything known and unknown, then, now and forever – the utter joy of being, the oneness with all, the dissolving gratitude, humility of being wholly accepted (love), and knowledge – the “veils” removed.

However, though I have experienced this Reality I can’t claim to understand it – rather like someone who can drive a car without having to understand how it works.

Q: So where does philosophy come in?

A. Philosophy is a means by which mankind attempts to use the mind to make known facts meaningful. (Some scientists are saying that without actual experience of Reality Reality cannot be known).

My Experience is that what is known as “enlightenment”, “transcendence”, is spontaneous, is caught not taught. The mind, that the philosophers are using to study Reality in the absence of actual experience of Reality, is an illusion that produces nothing lasting, and is impermanent. Mind shares longevity and death with humans. Mind, with its machinations and ego, is mischief, (but temporary).

Q: So, what is the future of humans? Can we know?

A: Some Sufi schools teach that by the time the Spirit of Reality has brought humans to full maturity, then only Reality, which can be said to be spirit and truth, will still exist. The human race will have dissolved into Reality.
Humans won’t exist. The process is inexorable.

Q: So where do you come in? Do your Experiences give you a mission? Are you a spiritual messenger, a teacher, a guru, or a master?

A: No, I’m none of these things. I do still wonder what I’m supposed to do with my Experiences. I’ve given it serious thought, meditation and experiential study, but have felt not a tremor of personal destiny that I recognise. I’ve wondered if I’m trying hard enough but am somewhat comforted by the spiritual tradition of some Experiencers like me who choose to stay and help the human race understand their destination as spiritual beings. Others, like me, choose to ignore this as a distraction. I am called to go on in the Experience of Reality.

Humans aren’t the be-all and end-all of Reality. There are more important things.

I’m also comforted by the only clear and direct message I got 55 years ago on one of my Experiences on a bridge over the River Thames one evening. The message was: All Is Well. It was clear, strong, persistent and unequivocal. It resonates with me still.

I took that message as a specific reassurance. At the time, the Experiences were ruining my human life. After that, and slowly through the years, I began to think my destiny was to accept the part of me that is human – my responsibilities as a husband and father, earning a living, at the same time as the more important inner work of being what humans call a “mystic” – someone who has Experienced Reality and is caught in an awareness of the process. I can and am to do both.

So to answer your question again, no, I don’t feel any urge to be any more involved with the human race than necessary to my inner work in Reality. I know Reality and am that first and foremost.

As for the human race, it is being taken care of better than it can take care of itself. All is well.

mysticexperiences.net

THE MEANING OF YOUR LIFE.

From the perspective of Reality, you don’t need any human criteria to achieve the purpose of your life.

Those who have experienced Reality are no longer bound by faith, hope, or belief, morality or ethics, or any other second hand human notion of their individual purpose. To those who have experienced Reality these are all automatic “givens”, the personal fruits, attributes you are granted individually by knowing Reality.

Reality is enough, in my experience, though it seems to be a spontaneous event in human lives and comes unbidden and apparently even undeserved by human standards.

“The Cloud of Unknowing” suggests the only thing Seekers can do is to meditate, contemplate, pray and read … Christians are told to “wait and watch”. Others say you can be given the experience by teachers but I think the jury is still definitely out on that.

Maybe the physicists will eventually come up with an understanding of the phenomena from studies currently being made in universities around the world. Of all the scientists, academics and serious students of the phenomena of Reality, the physicists seem to be the nearest to a primary definition of Reality but even then they are only uncovering what Reality -experiencers and others have been reporting for thousands of years BC.

Bernadette Roberts says the unitive, egoless state is as far as one can progress in this life.*

In the meantime, as those who have experienced Reality might agree: All is Well.

“In general, our contemplative maps of the journey come to an end with the discovery of the true self and it’s oneness with the divine.” *Bernadette Roberts, ‘WHAT IS SELF? A Study of the Spiritual Journey in Terms of Consciousness’, pub. Www.sentientpublications.com

*Bernadette Roberts, a former nun of 10 years seclusion, has been called one of the most significant contemplatives of our time.

HOW CAN I FIND MY BEING?

This question came in an email from a Seeker.

One answer from someone who has experienced MER (Mystical Experience of Reality) is :

What you seek, seeks you … You can’t earn it, you can’t demand it, you can’t qualify for it or get it because you want it or think you need it or because you’re ‘good’ or hugely charitable, even well educated, live simply, or are an enthusiastic member of a religion or a political “ism”.

The only way you can get it is through experiencing MER. Anything else  is mind stuff, culture, emotion, ego and need.

But surely, you might ask, morality and ethics are important? To humans perhaps, but not to Reality. It is axiomatic, automatic, however, that you will be legal, decent and honest, moral and ethical when you have experienced MER, without even asking or trying … On top of which, humans have all they need. Their wants deform their being.

It’s unlikely anyone can pass MER on. It comes from who-knows where and smites seemingly at random. Even being human doesn’t qualify you. But if you’re not a Seeker anyway, haven’t got that “hunger and thirst”, don’t worry, no-one’s left behind, there are no failures, Reality’s in charge, humans haven’t been given stewardship of existence. Humans are nowhere near being wired enough to take in the whole of Reality, yet.

But of all humans, the physicists are the nearest, and they are only in process of being born and will only ever be able to reveal what already exists within the common grasp of humans, even at the height of their future powers, whereas Reality will show us everything …

Reality is; then, now and forever and we are that. All is well.

Keith Hancock

“HUMAN SPIRITUAL WHOLENESS” AN OXYMORON?

Can spiritual wholeness be achieved while still wholly human? The enlightenment that is at the heart of Buddhism, Hinduism, Sufism, for instance, would say NO.

Without the transformative experience of Reality there is no wholeness. Reality is the only wholeness. We are that. That is all there is.

Does this NO explain why humans exhibit such neuroticism – why their mere human reach is exceeded by Reality, so leaving them uneasy, unfulfilled, disatisfied, frustrated, prone to the comforts of mythomanias and false ‘spirituality’ that only work on a mental, emotional level and deliver nothing real and lasting?

The spiritual life is not about being a good human. Being a good human is a by-product of the experience of Reality. But being a good human being is not the wholeness of Reality. Reality is not limited.

HAVE YOU A CHOICE?

The spiritual life is a calling. You cannot decide you will have a spiritual life because you think it’s probably a good idea, because you want to be a better human being, or because you’re curious.

Though certainly you will become a better human being – automatically, axiomatically, if you have in fact through no fault or goodness or even qualifications as yet not known to mankind, become a Seeker.

Not to worry if you’ve not got to that stage. There are no failures, no one is left behind. You are as precious as the first even though you may think you are the last. In fact there are no first or lasts. All is well, and in good order.

The true Seeker however will eventually know that what he or she thought they sought, seeks them.

The whole idea was put in your mind. It was not your idea. If you are a Seeker, you are ready whether you know it or like it or not. You are accepted, much loved, much nurtured, and protected on levels of understanding no man, woman can transfer to you, but which will be revealed to you personally. You are being readied. All is well; then, now and for ever.

Note: There are citations for all these assertions. You’re very welcome to present them. But I thought you would prefer to hear my personal experience at this early stage, not just acquired, secondhand, regurgitated references anyone can access.

HAS THE EXPERIENCE HAPPENED TO YOU?

Throughout history some people have experienced a Reality of existence utterly different to that commonly experienced by humans. This experience is documented and is much the same whether it was experienced thousands of years ago or yesterday. It has come to humans who had no written language as well as those who had, the educated and the uneducated, the sophisticated or the unsophisticated, rich or poor, powerful or weak. There seems to be no human qualification to have the experience. It can come entirely new to the person concerned, and be unknown and unexpected.

Basically it asserts that:

All is well, whether this is understood or not;

Everything that exists now has existed and will exist forever, in different forms;

Everything that exists, including individual humans, belongs in its essential elements and cannot be expunged.

This everlasting Experience is pure engulfing joy in an all pervasive sense that cannot be fully described in human terms.

The Experience brings growing, lasting knowledge of all existence, wisdom and discernment.

The incidents are fleeting.

When they leave, they leave those experiencing it with a profound sense of loss.

Reality is constant. You can trust it, it is the one steady, changing, changeless thing in existence, then, now and forever – benign, accepting, reassuring, strengthening, caring, comforting, experiential, teaching understanding (as opposed to learning), joyful. It never lets you down. Is being human a distraction or a learning process, an experiment even? Are we wired to know, yet?

The lives of the humans who experience this are then increasingly divided by an inner spiritual life and an outward human life that now seems to be a dead end. Only the Experience exists for ever.

Having had this Experience several times a year from the age of 15 to 35, the author feels a need to present this phenomenon to a wider audience than the private schools, academics, physicists, theologians, intellectuals and religions that have come across it and either kept it to themselves or have attempted to suppress its examination. There is much bafflement and confusion.

Some Sufis say the Experience is an extension of Darwinism, bringing matter into spirit, our true existence.

University scientists acknowlege the phenomema and suggest the experiences could be psychotic episodes.

Some of the literature can get itself rabidly inconclusive, but deeper digging produces much light and personal understanding if not the actual experience.

The intention here is to go as deeply as possible with you into examining this subject, providing complete references, good or bad, whatever their source. Your participation, challenge and validation or even reasoned rejection is warmly invited, wherever you stand on the learning curve of this seminal phenomenon.