In 1985 26 year old me met then 51 year old Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche at Chicago KTC

I submit the following for your consideration as an example of a woke Vajrayana Buddhism, an extemporaneous speech of Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche at the Dharma Center in Honolulu called Kagyu Thegchen Ling, November 6, 1998, translated by Ari Goldfield.

It’s the secret expanse of all the Victors’ hearts
It’s the path exalted by the noble bodhisattvas
The wellspring of all in existence and beyond
To Dharmadhatu, mind that’s radiant and clear, I bow down.

It’s tough to realize and realizing it’s so great
It’s tough to teach it all and if you tried you’d never end
The most profound of what’s profound’s essence-nectar it contains
That the faithful’s relaxed wisdom will expand, I shall explain.

Divide the eye into its parts and you find no eye
Divide the parts into atoms and you find no parts
Since in the atoms partless things do not exist
All of these are naturally just Dharmadhatu’s great expanse.

Focal condition form transcends definition
Since there’s neither one nor many, there’s nothing to define
Break down the word defined and you can’t find anything
So it’s all completely cool—it’s all just true being!

Since its conditions’ attributes are Dharmadhatu
The eye sense-consciousness doesn’t arise, cease, or remain
And it has always been pure of thoughts—
Its attributes as well are Dharmadhatu’s expanse.

Focal and empowering conditions and consciousness
Never move a single bit from Dharmadhatu’s expanse
But our habitual thoughts prevent us from seeing this
We think faculty and object and mind are different things.

To purify all the thoughts that obscure our wisdom
With view gain certainty in Dharmadhatu’s openness
Meditate and you’ll get good at being open and relaxed
And then the Dharmadhatu, always free, will manifest.

Appearance-emptiness is the ear, like a dream
Resonance-emptiness is sound, like an echo
Free of conditions, consciousness, mere clarity-emptiness
All three are Dharmadhatu, clear light and nothing more.

This nose sense-faculty made up of the four elements
Transcends being one thing or being many things
So it has no self-nature like an image in a mirror
Know that it is never born, know that it’s Dharmadhatu.

Some odors are created and some come naturally
And though they merely appear due to cause and condition
Their basic nature is Dharmadhatu, clear light
And apart from that they don’t exist in any way at all.

The nose sense-consciousness that comes from the two conditions
Is free of thoughts connecting a name to what it perceives
And in essence it never comes into being
So the nose sense-consciousness is nothing but Dharmadhatu.

The tongue sense-faculty that perceives taste—
When profound wisdom searching for ultimacy goes to work
It can’t find anything because there’s nothing really there
So know that the tongue is Dharmadhatu.

Sweet, sour, hot and salty—all the different kinds of taste
Unanalyzed, there is a mere experience of them by tongue
But when we analyze, we can’t find any essence
So we assert that they’re appearance-emptiness, Dharmadhatu.

This nonconceptual, lucid, aware tongue-consciousness—
If its causes and conditions are nothing but Dharmadhatu
Then how could its own nature exist in any way?
Now we know it’s emptiness and clarity—Dharmadhatu.

This body that is pure, that isn’t made of particles
Is just like the body that appears in a dream
Appearing while empty, and while empty it appears—
Appearance-emptiness inseparable—this body’s amazing!

Soft and rough, heavy and light—all the kinds of contact
Exist only in mutual dependence back and forth
Essentially the same, their nature is clear light
How wonderful! Fantastic! An amazing miracle!

Free of arising and ceasing is the body consciousness
Its focal and empowering conditions have no essence
So it’s clarity-emptiness, simplicity, Dharmadhatu
Abiding in clarity-emptiness is meditation at its best.

The ceasing of the prior moment of consciousness
Is the empowering condition, the mental sense-faculty
But it does not come or go, and it does not abide
So it’s merely Dharmadhatu, it’s merely clear light.

Good and bad phenomena that become objects of mind—
Opposites have to depend upon each other to exist
And all dependently existent things are equality
So they’re appearance-emptiness, so they’re all great miracles!

The mental consciousness, mere lucid awareness
Does not arise or cease, isn’t bound or set free
Clarity-emptiness, the inexpressible expanse
Like a wish-fulfilling jewel, this mind’s a miracle!
By all of this virtue may all sentient beings
Manifest the Dharmadhatu, mind’s radiant clarity
And in this Buddha realm of infinite purity
May the teachings of the Great Secret flourish perfectly!

In 1985 26 year old me met then 51 year old Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche when he visited KTC Chicago.

I was married, had two kids in diapers, and so on, but I somehow found the time.

I don’t know how.

At this point KTC Chicago, my friends were still my friends, my sangha, but it wasn’t the same as it was in the beginning for us.

Then 61 year old Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche was still our guru.

That being said we were no longer on the same page as far as what we thought we were doing in terms of our individual dharma practice though.

I had received from Rinpoche the lung and tri for Mahamudra.

I had his pith instructions.

My friends did not.

I was a lama, but I refused to go there.

Between a rock and a hard place I was at a loss as to how to proceed.

And then I met Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche.

And I then knew how to proceed.



Filed under Buddhism

7 responses to “In 1985 26 year old me met then 51 year old Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche at Chicago KTC

  1. James Hitchens

    KTGR is very inspiring. I’ve met some of his students and they’re exemplary!

  2. The question is asked, “If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound?”

    Buddhism answers, “You have to ask the mouse and the fly.”

  3. Drolma

    We get it. You received Mahamudra. I have been taught not to talk about what I practice. Only talk about this to your teacher.

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