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Contents of Milarepa - Heartfelt Advice to Rechungpa

by Sangharakshita

1 The first song
2 Son disciples
3 Milarepa advises the debating disciples to listen to his song
4/5 Studying texts without a teacher
6 Always remembering the guru
7 Always in contact with higher spiritual realisation
8 The realm of action
External understanding
9 Connecting internal and external understanding - intellect and feeling
10 Urizen - the alienated reason - the basis of modern civilisation
11 From simple to self consciousness
12 The alienated intellect and ideals
13 Ideals can he compensatory
14 Nietzsche's view that Socrates was alienated
Clearing misunderstandings
15 The 'infinite view' and the 'limited view'
15/16 Sources of authority in Buddhism - scriptures, reason, experience
17 Syllogisms
18 Nhamdog - ceaseless thought flow
The Dharmakaya
Two types of dissolving of thoughts
19 What meditation is really all about
20 The dhyanas soften the alienated intellect
21 The higher imagination
22 Reflection after dhyana experience
23 Visualisation practices happen outside the dhyanas
24 Purifying the senses
25 The one taste
26 Seeing things 'as they are'
27 Thinking as a sense
28 Neurotic mental activity
29 The mind as a reflector of mental activity
30/31 Where do thoughts come from?
32 The Bliss Void
Reality as subject and object
33 The Mahayana seeing Voidness mentally and the Vajrayana in terms of energy
34 Brightening sunyata - refining sunyata
35 The use of the word 'Nirvana' in the Mahayana
36 Brightening sunyata - the progressive overcoming of alienation
37 Speaking in terms of growth as opposed to negation
38 The four bodies of a Buddha
The Svabhavakakaya
39 'Pith-Instructions'
40 Lineage
41 Nirvana and enlightenment used as verbs
42/43 Producing Pith-Instructions by having the heart, to see peoples' needs
44 Use the Dharma to communicate your experience and not vice-versa
45 Prejudice to 'religion'
46 Compassion and Great Faith - compassion in the Theravada
47 Can you cut yourself off (i.e. in a monastery) and still follow the Bodhisattva ideal?
48 Encouraging disciples to do better than the guru
49A Not to be spiritually dependent on the guru
49B Every Order member should think in terms of being a chairman
View, path and fruit
50 View
51 Is meditation activity?
52 He who knows one knows all
53 Is debating useful?
54/55 Using just one text as the basis for all studies
56 Milarepa's song to Rechungpa on how he should practice
57 The Vidyadhara - Illumination holder
58/59 Merits
Different amounts of merit accrued by giving to different types of people
60 Esoteric and exoteric refuges
61 The Dharmakaya - the authentic body
62 The Dharmakaya within the guru
63/64 Communication between Dharmakaya and Dharmakaya
65 The importance of conviction
66 The Five Poisonous Desires - Maha klesas - distraction, hatred, anger, ignorance,
conceit and their antidotes
67/68 Do one's beliefs affect one's actions?
68 Being misled by appearances
69 Inspiring people before suggesting ways of changing
70 Nirmanakaya
Teaching through actions
71 What is a guru?
72/74 The three kinds of truth/rea1ity - illusory, relative, absolute
75 'Unwavering mindfulness'
76/77 The Theravada concept of the mind
78 'The real ground of the mind is the void itself'
The void as an operational concept
79 A spiral of thoughts
80 The reificatory nature of the subject/predicate structure of the sentence
81 Poetry - Shakespeare's creating of verbs from nouns
82 'Continuity' of the mind
83/84 The arbitrariness of conventional reality
85 Positive attachment
Paradox in Buddhism
86/87 True happiness - seeking it in samsara
88 Seeing the limitations of pleasure
'Divine Bliss'
89 The rarity of leisure
90 Inspiring people with a sense of urgency
91 The wrath of God
Self punishment
92 Ignoring the fact of death
93 Merely paying lip-service to things
94/95 Winning approval of the group
Missionaries in India
96 The next section - the patrons are shocked by Milarepa's nakedness
97 Reasons for nudity being 'taboo'
98 Not recognising one's animal nature
99 Nudity in Ancient Greece
100 Different class/caste attitudes to nudity?
Nudity in ancient Egypt
101 Nude beaches - exhibitionistic and natural nudism
102 Milarepa's reply
103 Giving up national ties/customs/norms
104 Cutting off from blood relations
Staying away from worldly things
105 No need for diversion
Household chores
106/108 Conforming to and flouting accepted manners and customs
108 Not hiding things away
109 'Skeletons in the cupboard'
110 Milarepa seeing things from the viewpoint of wisdom
111 Bodhi doesn't compromise
Milarepa continues to sing
112 Pretending to be decent by covering things up
113/114 'If you're in the nude you've nothing to pin your medals on!'
Being socially recognised
114 Being 'presentable' when nude
115/116 Trying to do things in accordance with your ideals and trying not to compromise
when faced with society's rules
117 Reverence for the robe
Did the Buddha concede to public opinion?
118 Government control over bhikkhus in Thailand
Conclusions from the song
Conviction and not submitting to the group
119 Rechungpa returns to find Milarepa's door shut
120 Rechungpa's song
The Immanence of Dharma
121 Reading the stars
122/123 Monks reading fortunes in the East
124 The Buddha's attitude in the Pali texts to astrology
125 One's state of mind affects how one perceives the world
126 Consulting the stars
127 Resisting what the stars 'predict'
128 What the stars cannot tell you
129 Speculation
The Great Perfection - Mahasampanna
130 Dogmas
131 Not transmitting teachings on a purely doctrinal level
132 The mental state is the crucial factor
133 The Sahajas
Going through the motions
134/136 The second fetter - superficiality
137 Seeing the spiritual community as a group
138 The pressure of God
139 Damnation
'Indulgences' in Catholicism
140 Recognising one's superficiality
Stretching oneself
141 Using FWBO terminology to one's own ends
142 Great Bliss
143 What is the Middle way a Middle way between?
144 Not jumping to conclusions
Not going by externals
145 How long does it take to get to know someone?
Milarepa's reply
146 'The ultimate authority is the authority of your own mind'
147 The transformation of energy
148 Seeing the Three Jewels in terms of power
Grace waves
149 Practice
150 Making a firm resolution - the opposite of doubt
151/152 People agreeing to do things and not following them through
What is a rationalisation?
153 Coming to decisions in meetings
154 Needing insight to really help people
155 Acknowledging the guru as something higher than oneself
156 Misuse of terms i.e. the word 'communication'
157 'Vajra-speech'
158 Using quotations
Going through the motions again
159 Contrasting Milarepa's and Rechungpa's songs
The parable of the wise and foolish elephants
160/161 Being honest about one's experience when teaching or giving talks

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