Thursday, January 15, 2009

immediate access to cutting through your (MY) bullshit (a note to self)

It might be a somewhat depressing prospect to realize that you are so thoroughly soaked in this greasy, heavy, dark, and unpleasant thing called samsara, or confused existence, but that realization is tremendously helpful. That understanding alone is the source of realizing what we call buddha in the palm of your hand -­ the basic wakefulness already in your possession. Such vajrayana possibilities begin at this point, right here, in realizing your samsaric anxiousness. Understanding that anxiety, which is very frustrating and not so good, is the key to realizing where you are.

The only way to work with this anxiety is the sitting practice of meditation, the taming of your mind, or shamatha practice. That is the basic idea of pratimoksha, or “individual liberation”: taming yourself. The way to tame yourself, or to talk yourself out of this particular anxiety, is through the concentrated practice of shamatha or meditative discipline. The beginning of the beginning of the about how you can actually save yourself from samsaric neurosis. — Chogyam Trungpa

When you take your Refuge Vow the teacher with whom you take your vow gives you a Tibetan name. The same thing happens in Tibet -- when the people there take their refuge vows they get a new name and I believe they actually go by it.

The name represents something about you that the teacher sees. I don't know very much about it, and actually see it as some kind of magic. Names are Tibetan but come with translations. For instance, Pema Chodron, the famous nun/teacher; that name was given to her at some point. And it means something.

My name (english translation) is Powerful Shamatha, which is a very uncommon name (many names run in the pack of peaceful, graceful, all-encompassing, lotus, ocean, warrior, etc). Often these names are double-edge swords -- your obstacle and your liberation. Your stumbling block, your talent.

As one who seems to have an extraordinary gift of anxiety, perhaps the Sakyong gave me my name as constant reminder: sit your butt down, Figueroa, and meditate.

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