by Sol Ta Triane
The importance of religion is today fading from the minds of most people. It’s time to consider entirely new forms of religion.
There are thousands upon thousands of skillful means which have been developed to help people understand who they are and how things truly are. The forms within the tantras themselves indicate the skillful means. For example, the tantras roll with a certain rhythm and repetition. If there is repetition, it’s because Samantabhadra, Vajrasattva and Vajrapani know, in their wisdom, that we need to hear something again and again.
The best secret method for awakening is to receive the guru’s empowerments and instructions on one’s nature; that increases understanding along with expanding energetic awakening. Simultaneously, read specific tantras, repeating realizations over and over and over again! It’s not absolutely necessary to study many of the tantras, but the bodhisattva will do best to learn and master a spectrum of seven or eight tantras. Of course, this might be more or less, but either way it is wonderful to focus in on concise information and end the samsaric career. These will be the bodhisattva’s own personal root tantras! Longchenpa suggested to learn a specific three, but today there is a good reason that we may need different tantras and perhaps more of them to put our postmodern sophistry into perspective. Consider this: we spent more than seven years, some of us up to thirty, in rote indoctrination in quasi-intellectual specialization. A few more root texts will be the most effective.
And a note on these texts: they are short and contain everything you need.
Those who are ready to receive initiation and blessings will be directed to the best tantras for them by the intuitive teacher, and only when they are ready. Those who are able to actualize this situation are extremely gifted yogis. The tantras are the most pure, basic and complete spiritual teaching on Earth and throughout the worlds. For those with the capacity to absorb them, there is nothing better than awakening in the vision of the tantras.
When people aren’t quite ready, the instructor will often require that they train in the bodhisattva sutras and in going up through the bodhisattva subplanes and sublevels of the temporary mental apparatus. Practitioners who need to focus on the the lower Bodhisattvayana should request to be shown all the states of awareness within the bodhisattva levels. Then they will work through those states spanning the mental plane until their minds loosen into the spacious, relaxed, non-grasping bodhisattva perspective.
Some people may be ready to go through the outer tantras and the inner tantras as prerequisites. In the inner tantras and other preparations for Ati, one practices traversing the realms and the temporary practice of separating samsara and nirvana. Samsara and nirvana aren’t really separate, but here one must superficially separate them as a key preliminary practice to prepare so that Dzogchen works for the practitioner. Both ‘traversing the realms’ and clarifying samsara and nirvana (Rushen) are incredibly profound and repair even the most messy post-modern mind for being blown in the Ati revelations. Rushen and Traversing are the Psychology of Awakening.
Someone who has a good connection with Essence Christianity is probably a Bodhisattvayana practitioner, or even more likely a Kriyayoga type. In the end, however, everyone is a Dzogchen type person. That will be the end of trouble for all us human beings. That will be the end of confusion for all birds, reptiles, bugs, animals of any sort, any beings who are in other forms that may seem strange to us or not in incarnation currently.
Ultimately, there is no difference between the various levels. They are all heading toward the same end, the final teaching of Samantabhadra, the All Good One. In the end, absolutely all beings are going to find the All Good One: God, the creator of everything. And every one of us will find God in the most surprising place, in the place we least expect!
It’s true: we find everything we need in the place where we least expect it. Do we expect to find the great bliss in negative emotions? No! Do we expect to find it in our own self, in our own body, in this very life, within our family situation and all the events that are occurring? No, not at all. We expect the liberation experience to be separate from what seems to be a worldly experience of a real self. This rectification is an inner secret, one that is clearly explained in all the aforementioned processes in Atiyoga.
Each consecutive level of Buddhism helps people to move toward the recognition of ‘not two’—non-duality. The tantras define it as ‘equanimity.’ In other words, the nine levels of Buddhism have nine different definitions of equanimity. The final definition of equanimity is advaita. Advaita is the absolute ‘not two,’ the meaning at the final completion. Non-dual awareness means that multiplicity is fantastic, because there never was any separation.