Time for another talk from Vajradarshini. More poetry, more Rumi, more listening joy. Actually, we just liked the title so much we had to go for it this month – but, in fact, it’s another splendid journey around the idea of Enlightenment, using the languages of surrender and discipline from the Sufi context. It’s as heady as a sumptuous wine, but also sobering and down to earth, whether we’re “following a railing in the dark” or walking lost “inside the red world”. Drink up!
Talk given at Taraloka Retreat Centre, 2005
01 Starting with a poem by Rumi – not a ‘sensible’ talk
02 ‘Enlightenment’; following a railing in the dark; wine in Rumi’s poetry; the Dharma as studying the self; surrender and discipline
03 The Tavern – pushing off for Truth; ‘managing’ samsara and settling down
04 Fermentation; being cooked – slowly
05 How we are cups; two ways we limit ourselves – i. literalism; a quote from Aloka – abandoning ideas of what the ‘path’ is
06 Sangharakshita on literalism and craving; effective Going for Refuge and giving up limited ideas; the antidote to beauty
07 ii. Utilitarianism; Sangharakshita’s idea of the Greater Mandala of Uselessness; literal takes on aesthetics; breaking the cups
08 Pushing off into truth; kinds of connection with Buddhas and Bodhisattvas; Reality and form and emptiness; visualistaion practice and life – things arising and disolving
09 ‘Fana’ and ‘baka’ in Rumi’s poetry – two streamings across the doorsill; Shams-e-Tabrizi – Rumi’s teacher
10 The importance of reflecting on form and emptiness; the eight-point mind training – taking all obstacles with you on the path; the Bodhisattva Ideal from the perspective of emptiness; spiritual practice in a world neither real nor illusory
11 Pema Chodron on how to avoid burn-out; shunyata and unrealistic ideals; a quote by Dennis Potter near to death; the trivial and the important; birdsong
12 Hsuan-Tsang’s ‘trusting mind’; introducing the dirt we buy to the dirt we already have
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