Tag Archives: samadhi

Lama Dance

“When a powerful yogi performs the lama dance, he can directly affect the body, speech, and mind of the viewers. All sentient beings have buddha nature, but it is hidden by obscurations. The lama dance is a way to purify these obscurations. Through the samadhi of the three vajras, the expressions of the body, speech, and mind of the deity purify the dancer’s mental continuum.

Just by seeing the Karmapa perform the Lama dance, one can attain the vajra body — Gyaltsap Rinpoche.

If the spectators, imagining and meditating on themselves as the deity, are also able to view it not as ordinary experience but as an expression of the deity, they will receive the blessings of the wisdom deities—it is no different than if the deities themselves actually came. Seeing the dance implants the seed of liberation within the viewer’s being.

According to the Hevajra tantra, the dance eliminates the outer and inner obstacles of the dancers themselves as well as those of the spectators. The dancer gains influence over the world because all that appears and exists is sealed with the stamp of the deity.

It is also said that one will easily accomplish the recitation of the deity’s mantra.”

Summer Retreat:

I posted three different Lama Dances on my Youtube channel.  The one below is the third and final Lama Dance at the Palyul Summer Retreat back in 2015. This one is known as the ‘Deer Dance’.

When we watch these lama dances then SEEDS of enlightenment are planted within one’s mind-stream. Obstacles are also “cut-through” and positive spiritual blessings are spread throughout the environment.

In the beginning of the video, you hear our teacher, Khenchen Tsewang giving a short commentary. He is sitting next to Dragmar Tulku on his left and Mugsang Tulku on the right. Also in the audience are the other “Heart Sons”: His Holiness Karma Khuchen Rinpoche and Gyangkhang Rinpoche.


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Filed under Masters, Tibetan Buddhism

The Shurangama sutra

It has been said that: “In this (the Dharma Ending) age, the Dharma will disappear.  The first Sutra to disappear will be the SShurangama sutrahurangama Sutra.  That is why those who study the Buddhadharma should first investigate the Shurangama Sutra.  As long as someone understands this Sutra, the Buddhadharma will not become extinct.”

You can click the book on the right to order through Amazon.

Furthermore, “As long as there is someone who can recite the Shurangama mantra (which is part of the Sutra), the demon-kings, the heavenly demons and followers of externalist teachings will not dare to come into the world to play their tricks and to make trouble.  The Shurangama Mantra is the most miraculous mantra for helping the world.  The Shurangama Sutra is the primary Sutra which protects and supports the Orthodox Dharma.” — Ronald B. Epstein, Ph.D

An excerpt from this sutra: 

The Buddha told Ananda, “You constantly hear me explain in the Vinaya that there are three unalterable aspects to cultivation. That is, collecting one’s thoughts constitutes the precepts; from the precepts comes samadhi; and out of samadhi arises wisdom. Samadhi arises from precepts, and wisdom is revealed out of samadhi. These are called the Three Non-Outflow Studies.”

“Ananda, why do I call collecting one’s thoughts the precepts? If living beings in the six paths of any mundane world had no thoughts of lust, they would not have to follow a continual succession of births and deaths.

“Your basic purpose in cultivating is to transcend the wearisome defilements. But if you don’t renounce your lustful thoughts, you will not be able to get out of the dust.

“Even though one may have some wisdom and the manifestation of Chan samadhi, one is certain to enter demonic paths if one does not cut off lust. At best, one will be a demon king; on the average, one will be in the retinue of demons; at the lowest level, one will be a female demon.

“These demons have their groups of disciples. Each says of himself that he has accomplished the Unsurpassed Way.

“After my extinction, in the Dharma-ending Age, these hordes of demons will abound, spreading like wildfire as they openly practice greed and lust. Claiming to be good knowing advisors, they will cause living beings to fall into the pit of love and views and lose the way to Bodhi.

“When you teach people in the world to cultivate samadhi, they must first of all sever the mind of lust. This is the first clear and unalterable instruction on purity given by the Thus Come Ones and the Buddhas of the past, World Honored Ones.

“Therefore, Ananda, if cultivators of Chan samadhi do not cut off lust, they will be like someone who cooks sand in the hope of getting rice. After hundreds of thousands of aeons, it will still be just hot sand. Why? It wasn’t rice to begin with; it was only sand.

“If you seek the Buddha’s wonderful fruition and still have physical lust, then even if you attain a wonderful awakening, it will be based in lust. With lust at the source, you will revolve in the three paths and not be able to get out. Which road will you take to cultivate and be certified to the Thus Come One’s Nirvana?

“You must cut off the lust which is intrinsic in both body and mind. Then get rid of even the aspect of cutting it off. At that point you have some hope of attaining the Buddha’s Bodhi.

“What I have said here is the Buddha’s teaching. Any explanation counter to it is the teaching of Papiyan.

The Tripitaka Master Venerable Hsuan Hua says:

“In Buddhism all the sutras are very important, but the Sūrangama Sūtra is most important.  Wherever the Sūrangama Sūtra is, the Proper Dharma abides in the world.  When the Sūrangama Sūtra is gone, that is a sign of the Dharma Ending Age.  In the Extinction of the Dharma Sutra it says that in the Dharma Ending Age, the Sūrangama Sūtra will become extinct first.  Then gradually the other sutras will also become extinct.  The Sūrangama Sūtra is the true body of the Buddha; the sarīra (relics) of the Buddha; the stūpa of the Buddha.”



Filed under Buddhist sutras

The meaning of 108

I always smile when MH, the Barefoot Herbalist, keeps asking others, “What is the meaning of the number 108?”  Mysteriously it keeps being revealed to him in various ways in his daily life.  He believes no one will ever know the answer.  However, with a little help the meaning can be known.

In the mystical world, especially to Buddhists, the number 108 is a metaphor for the number of steps required in order to completely “graduate” from this earth plane.  The mind’s labyrinth is deep and complex.  To accomplish this path, first one must discern the 8 consciousnesses and the 10 bhumis.  Putting them together equals 108.

The aspirant is required to develop the mind by sharpening the practice of concentration (shamatha) and insight (vipashana) meditation.

Along with learning, reflecting and meditating one is able to progress through all of these stages of practice.  This is the real meaning of Ascension.

According to the Hinayana path, the Arhat (hearer) and Pratyekabuddha (solitary realizer) have four stages of enlightenment:

  1. stream-enterer
  2. once-returner
  3. non-returner
  4. fruition (arhant)

However, according to the Mahayana path, the Bodhisattva (enlightening being or hero) ascends through the grounds (bhumis) to achieve the goal of complete enlightenment with the compassionate intention to reduce the suffering of all sentient beings.

The structure of the stupa represents the enlightened mind of the Buddha.  The one above is exactly 108 feet tall.  It is an architectural representation of the entire Buddhist path.  Click the image to learn more about the symbolism of the stupa.  The body, speech, and mind of enlightenment is contained therein.

The Avatamsaka Sutra explains the first part of the number 108 in relation to each of the ten bhūmis:


  1. The first bhumi – the Very Joyous. In which one rejoices at realizing a partial aspect of the truth
  2. The second bhumi – the Stainless. In which one is free from all defilement
  3. The third bhumi – the Luminous. In which one radiates the light of wisdom
  4. The fourth bhumi – the Radiant. In which the radiant flame of wisdom burns away earthly desires
  5. The fifth bhumi – the Difficult to Cultivate. In which one surmounts the illusions of darkness, or ignorance as the Middle Way
  6. The sixth bhumi – the Manifest. In which supreme wisdom begins to manifest
  7. The seventh bhumi – the Gone Afar. In which one rises above the states of the Two vehicles
  8. The eighth bhumi – the Immovable. In which one dwells firmly in the truth of the Middle Way and cannot be perturbed by anything
  9. The ninth bhumi – the Good Intelligence. In which one preaches the Law freely and without restriction
  10. The tenth bhumi – the Cloud of Doctrine. In which one benefits all sentient beings with the Law (Dharma), just as a cloud sends down rain impartially on all things

The second part of the mystical number 108 explains the following eight consciousnesses  in depth:


  1. First consciousness: “Eye-consciousness”; seeing apprehended by the visual sense organs
  2. Second consciousness: “Ear-consciousness”; hearing apprehended by the auditory sense organs
  3. Third consciousness: “Nose-consciousness”; smelling apprehended through the olfactory organs
  4. Fourth consciousness: “Tongue-consciousness”; tasting perceived through the gustatory organs
  5. Fifth consciousness: “Body-consciousness”; tactile feeling apprehended through skin contact, touch
  6. Sixth consciousness: “Ideation-consciousness”; mano vijnana, the aspect of mind known in Sanskrit as the “mind monkey”; the consciousness of ideation
  7. Seventh consciousness: “Obscuration-consciousness”; manas vijnana, “obscuration”, “poison”, “enemy”, “ideation”, “moving mind”, “monkey mind” (volition); a consciousness which through apprehension, gathers the hindrances, the poisons, the karmic formations
  8. Eighth consciousness: “store-house consciousness”; alaya vijnana, also seed consciousness (bija vijnana); “the consciousness which is the basis of the other seven”. The seven prior consciousnesses are based and founded upon the eighth. It is the aggregate which administers and yields rebirth; this idea may in some respects be compared to the usage of the word “citta” in the agamas. In the early texts the sankhara-khandha plays some of the roles ascribed to the store-house consciousness by later Yogacara thinkers.

While practicing serious meditation and then going through all the dhyanas, samapattis, and samadhis one slowly purifies all their negative karmas, afflictive emotions, and cognitive obscurations which enable one to rises through the 10 levels.  At the 11th Bhumi one becomes a super-man, a fully realized being called a Buddha – the fully Awakened One.

Good Luck!


Filed under Buddhist sutras, Spiritual Healing, Tibetan Buddhism