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Precepts of the Gurus - 2nd Seminar Part 2

by Sangharakshita

[Tape Six]

S: ... actual hours, that is another matter. But get whatever you need to keep you in optimum
condition. You owe it to your centre. Don't go to bed late; don't get up too early. Well that
usually amounts to ... (? laughter) ... don't go to bed too late. If you don't go to bed too late
the rest will look after itself. If you need six hours of sleep every night, well you take it with
a clear conscience. If you need eight take it with a clear conscience. It varies from person to
person. A few people may even need ten but whatever it is you need make sure that you get
it. I think this is really the foundation until such time as you are so advanced spiritually that
you can sort of contact a kind of meditative state relatively easily and actually can dispense
with sleep without doing any harm to your energy content, without detriment to the energy
that is available to you. I really stress this, that those in positions of responsibility must look
after themselves, however reluctant you may be to do it, in a wise sensible objective kind of
way if you possibly can. I know sometimes it is difficult and there are lots of things to be
done but make it a very high priority that you get a proper night's rest at least. Otherwise
after a few days you'll just be like a wet rag, not very wet even at that.

Devaraja: Can you say more about that meditative state as which you can get sufficient
physical ...?

S: Well it isn't any special meditative state it's just the Dhyanas themselves. If you are
sufficiently experienced that you can get into a Dhyana state pretty quickly, well you've got
an immediate means of refreshment that's at hand. But short of that even a definite relaxation
will do you good, for instance before a class, even if you can't sort of pop into a Dhyana state,
at least lie down, relax, close your eyes, just forget everything, even for 10, 15 minutes it will
make a difference. Just be thoughtful enough to do something like that. But, of course, if
you are actually able during that time to sink into a Dhyana state or rise into a Dhyana state,
so much the better. But perhaps that isn't even necessary. It's more the capacity to drop
everything. Sometimes if you are able to drop everything for 10 or 15 minutes that is really
good. Or put in a broader context if you can just drop everything for say a weekend or a
week, in other words forget all about it, don't think about it at all, this is quite necessary. Not
that you are not thinking about it in a non caring sense; you just have the ability to put
everything down, when you see quite objectively that that is the best thing for you and
indirectly others, then you should do it.

It doesn't mean that if you go away for a weekend that you lug along a great file of stuff to
look through, it doesn't mean that you're a conscientious chairman - it just means you're
stupid. [Laughter] If you see what I mean, yeh? You really need to drop everything,
especially if you're engaged in a lot of routine stuff. You do need to drop it all from time to
time, just for a few days at least, at least a weekend. Anyway, I'm sure I'm saying what all
chairmen know very well by this time. I'm saying it more for the benefit of those who might
be chairmen themselves one day, just something for them to remember. Anyway, on to two.

(2) Seek a delightful solitude endowed with psychic influences as a hermitage.

S: It does seem incidentally that these ten things to be done are things to be done more by the
person thinking in terms of a life of intensive meditation, which was of course the Kagyupa
tradition. These precepts seem to belong to the Kagyupa tradition more. But anyway, "Seek
a delightful solitude endowed with psychic influences as a hermitage." What do you think is
meant by this "endowed with psychic influences"? Is there anything in this or is it entirely

Devaraja: I think definitely, it's places where a lot of people have done retreats.

S: Is it just the human influence, so to speak?

Nagabodhi: It could be a place that's inspiring and harmonious naturally, mountain scenery,
rolling hills, it could just be a conducive environment.

S: I did read a book some time ago in which it did say that there were certain spots on the
earth's surface, in a quite ordinary sort of way, where the vibes - sorry to use that word -are
better. For instance they'd observed the behaviour of cows and they found a pregnant cow
would tend to have her calf in a field in a certain spot and when they looked into the matter
more closely they found that the vibrations, as it were, were different, were more positive in
that particular spot. Do you see what I mean? So it's as though there are sort of places or
areas, spots, larger or smaller, where the sort of,as it were, geo-physical influences
themselves are more favourable, are more conducive, more harmonious. Quite apart from
whatever may be contributed in that way by human beings. So perhaps it's this sort of thing,
or a combination of these two things, which is being referred to here.

Mangala: You mentioned in the (...?...) better in New Zealand, didn't you, about some part
of New Zealand and it's as if like forces of nature almost brought out a certain aspect of man
to exploit the land in a particular kind of way.

S: I only offered it as my feeling as it were, not as a fully fledged theory that I'm convinced
about but this is certainly what I did feel. That was the impression I got.

__________: Could you include ley lines?

S: Possibly, it all ties up probably with that. On the other hand one doesn't want to attach too
much importance or significance to this. But certainly perhaps it is to be taken into
consideration to some extent that when you select, if you are in a position to select a place for
your hermitage, well choose a place where it feels good, where the influences feel good,
where the atmosphere is good, or whatever it may be; where the scenery is good, the view is
good, inspiring, which is peaceful.

Nagabodhi: I know when Harvey Horrocks first made contact with us at 'Aryatara' he'd just
got back, I think, from India where one of his teachers had given him very very specific
instructions on where to buy their place; exactly what kind of landscape it should have.

S: Well, for instance, when I went to Tyddern Ryddrch first and walked along the trail to
Tyn-y-Ddol I definitely felt that the atmosphere at Tyn-y-Ddol was much better than that at
Tyddern Ryddrch, and I'm not speaking of the actual buildings but the spot. I'm not sure why
it was but the atmosphere was quite different and much better, more peaceful in a positive
sense, not just in the sense that it was quieter but there seemed to be more peaceful vibration
there. I felt this quite strongly and after that I felt that Tyn-y-Ddol would be a good
meditation centre.

Manjuvajra: My caravan in Cornwall which you have been to, I've always had a feeling
that there's a definite kind of spirit around in that place.

S: Devamitra was saying only a little while ago that he really liked your caravan for
meditation. Even though it was near houses he would prefer it even to a place which was
isolated from houses but which did not have that sort of atmosphere or that sort of prospect

Manjuvajra: There's a story about that place. It happened to me a little while ago. I've told
this once before.

S: I've not heard it.

Manjuvajra: No - I was down with a girlfriend at the caravan and we were indulging in a
bit of fun and games (laughter) and there was, at one point there was a really strong feeling
that there was a third being present and it was sufficiently strong to scare both of us.

S: You don't think it could have been a Gandava?

Manjuvajra: I don't know.

S: See what I mean?

__________: Yeh. No.

S: A Gandava. We were talking about this this morning, this is why it springs to my mind, it
is the consciousness to be reborn sort of hovering around as it were.

Manjuvajra: That's really what it felt like. I mean, I've never felt anything as strong as that.
There was definitely a third being there, but I associated it as well, with the spirit of the place
because I feel that there is something like that there.

Devaraja: What's the word, a Gandava?

S: Yes, a Gandava or Gandarva in Sanskrit.

Nagabodhi: Did you go into all that this morning, about Gandavas?

S: No, we were talking more about the point at which life emerges in the evolutionary
process ...

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