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Milarepa - The Meeting at Silver Spring - Unchecked

DISCLAIMER - This transcript has not been checked by Sangharakshita, and may contain mistakes and mishearings. Checked and reprinted copies of all seminars will be available as part of the Complete Works Project.

by Sangharakshita

THE MEETING AT SILVER SPRING

CONTENTS
PAGE
TITLE
1 Milarepa's dream
2 What is a dakini?
3 The colour green and its associations.
Heart disciples
4 What is karma exhausted?
The young man sees the sleeping yogi
5 Guru Yoga
5/7 The character of the young man
8 Milarepa and Marpa. Tantric initiations
9/10 'Beyond all playwords'
Prana. Aligning bodily energies with spiritual realisations
11/12 Purification, multiplication, 'voidisatlon' - Om Ah Hum. Doing the 'mindfulness'
prior to a visualisation practice
13 Dwelling in the sky
14/15 The young man offers his horse. An emotional upsurge.
16The young man sees Milarepa's intrinsic Buddha nature and becomes questioning of himself
17/18 Hand crafted goods with individual character
19 Value of the horse in Tibet
20 Milarepa's reply
21 The horse as an embodiment of energy
22 Spiritual energy expressed through the physical body
Why 'religious' people are weak. BIake~energy is positive
24 Putting negativity into chanting. The young man offers his shoes
Offerings to one's Guru
26 The armour of sunyata
27 The young man offers his jacket
28 Comparing material (external) possessions with spiritual (internal) possessions The young man
offers his coat. Milarepa is clothed with the Vital Heat
30Heat in meditation.
The bliss and void experiences conjoined
31The young man offers his turban
32Milarepa has Marpa as his turban.
The Adi Buddha
33The young man offers his neck-jewel
34'Contentment~is the greatest wealth'. Weakening communication by speaking to more than
one person at once.
35/36 Tibetans/Indians wearing their fortunes
35The young man offers his weapons and asks :for ordination
37Grace waves
38Changing from dana to sila
39The five poisons. The 'all important combat' . Pride and keeping one's word
40Over~--exaggerated importance put on some thi~ngs
41The lack of idealism is the West. Changes in acceptable standards
42/43 The two-is-one path
44The Brahma Viharas. Moving the young man from the wdrldly to the spiritual plane
THE MEETING AT SILVER SPRING
CONTENTS PAGE TWO
45-7 The 'warrior ideal'. Spiritual gardeners
48Intellectual knowledge as opposed to practice
49'Proof' of attainment
50Firm faith in Milarepa
51Changing one's guru in the West
52-54 Paying for teachings
55/56 The value of the teachings and their receptacle
57One doesn't give because of the offerings
58What is inspiration? The drive for money can dissipate inspiration
59Demands for things to have a practical use
60/63 Justifying one's support. Supporting people to do nothing
64Taking what one needs. Not using guilt.
65/66 Vows for life. The young man asks Milarepa to visit his country
67Milarepa's reply
68Arrogance
69A centre in Bethnal Green!! Down-to earth people
70/71 The young man says he will commit suicide
72Being carried away by fedlings of elation - 'Hybris'
73Feeling miserable and happy at the same time
74The young man's ego is waning. Self surrender
75/76 Milarepa accepts the young man as a disciple
77Rebirth with the same people. Is it karmically better to be reborn male?
78Recognsing limitations. Class distinctions.
79Milarepa encourages the young man
80The devil in catholicism compared with Mara
81Kinsmen are hindrances
82Nationalism. Changes of name at ordination
83Dharma names and 'christian' names. Milarepa rejoices
84Simple healthy societies. Less sophistication
85/86 The (Kumbars) in Tibet. Division of income. Y3 dharma, Y3 household, Y3 pleasure.
The early days in Hampstead
87The young man goes away and returns four months later
88Milarepa encourages ~~ young man to see other aspects of Tibetan Buddhism -the need for
colour and ritual
89The young man returns and lives with Milarepa for five years
90Saint Auguatine compared with Milarepa
91'Sensualists' Aesthetics and beauty
92Milarepa's next song
93Practical advice
94Fixed views and empty talk
95Being immersed in meditation. Continuous processes as opposed to definite ends
96Benefitting oneself before others. Learning as opposed to actual practice. How much have
we personally experienced?
THE MEETING AT SILVER SPRING
CONTENTS PAGE THREE
97'More and more of less and less'
98Reverencing what you look up to.
The first precept
99/100 Obstructing others. The second precept
101The second precept
102The Brudan land giving plan in India
103What you really need as a Buddhist. The effect of colourful surroundings on emotional states.
104/5 Nature. 'A thing of beauty is a joy forever'
106/8 Milarepa's song. Argument compared with discussion
109The three kingdoms and the seven dangers
110Charging (money) for the Dharma. Ecclesiastical position
111Yogic madness.
'The Dakini's breath' - inspiration
112Inspiration
113A friend visits the young man
114The field of offering. Speaking to large numbers of people
115Where a hermit should dwell. The concluding paragraph
116The importance of faith
117/8 Milarepa breaking down the young man's bargaining attitude.
Giving up is the moment of breakthrough. General impressions of this chapter
119Tibetan texts are abundant in human feelings
120Comparing Milarepa and Gampopa.
'If it doesn't inspire you it isn't the Dharma!!'
"THE MEETING AT SILVER SPRING" SEMINAR HELD AT 'PADMALOKA'
IN JULY/AUGUST 1976
THOSE PRESENT: Ven Sangharakshita, Sagaramati, Ananda, Padmaraja, Dharmarati, Vessantara.
Peter Cowen, Alan Angel, Mike Chivers, Pat Dunlop, Graham Steven.
5angharakshita; This is from the "Hundred thousand songs of Milarepa". You probably know about
Milarepa the famous Tibetan yogi and poet also who lived about the same time as the Norman
Conquest which is quite a long time ago and the meeting at Silver Spring is one chapter of one of the
thousand songs though we get a number of songs in fact within the context of the particular episode.
So let's start reading this paragraph by paragraph and we'll discuss it as we go along.
Sagaramati;
"Obeisance to all Gurus.
One summer, the Great Yogi, Jetsun Milarepa, was meditating at North Shri Ri. When
autumn came and the harvest was ready, he went out for alms, but fell asleep in Upper Gog Tang. He
dreamed that he saw a green girl with golden hair and shining eyebrows, leading a youth about twenty
years old. She said, 'Milarepa, you will have eight petals from ithe lotus of I your heart. This is one
of them. Please bless him and bring him up!' She then disappeared."
S:
Anything a little odd about this paragraph?- about the incident related?
Peter Cowen; He went out for alms and fell asleep.
S:
That's rather odd. Yogis don't usually do that sort of thing especially not yogis like Milarepa.
Why do you think he fell asleep?
______; He was meant to.
S:
By whom? The powers that be? (Laughter) Maybe. The falling asleep has some significance.
He had the dream so presumably the falling asleep was to do with the dream. It's as though he wanted
to dream. Something was ready to come through that couldn't come through perhaps in any other way
so he felt sleepy and he fell asleep and he dreamed. Perhaps being a yogi he was rather sensitive to
these sort of things. He didn't think look this is a terrible thing here am I,a yogi falling off to sleep.
He just let it happen. No doubt by that time after all that meditation he could afford to do that. So 'he
dreamed he saw a green girl with ~olden hair and shining eyebrows leading a youth about twenty
years old. She said 'Milarepa you have eight petals from the lotus of your heart. This is one of them.
Please bless him and bring him up. She then disappeared.' Alright let's see the next parag raph and
then we can talk about what it might mean.
MSSII
Peter Cowen; "Upon awaking from his sleep, Milarepa thought over the meaning of his dream. He
decided the girl must have been a Dakini and that the 'eight petals' must imply that he would have
eight superlative, destined, heart-like disciples. 'Today I shall probably meet a Karma-exhausted
disciple, and I will try my best to help him.' With this in mind he climbed the road leading to Bong.
When he reached a brook which flowed like silver, he paused for another nap. After a while, a young
man riding on a black horse approached and asked, 'Why, dear Yogi, do you sleep here?' Milarepa
parried the question by another one: 'My dear patron where are you going?'
'I am going to cross this brook to Din Ri'.
Milarepa then explained, 'Because of my age, I fizad it very difficult to wade through water.
Could you give me a ride?'
The young man replied, 'As I ...

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