Then if you have that persistent urge to go on retreat to some holy places, well that is a good thing, have it. At the same time, just as I said, keep on practicing and pray, supplicate to Tara and Avalokiteshvara so that your need and want of going on retreat to far away places may be fulfilled. If you have such a strong feeling and leave all those things to enlightened beings like Tara or Chenrezig, this kind of beings will not let you down. With full conviction things will materialize. One day you are going to have a stronger feeling of “this is it, this is the time” and you go on a retreat. That will be the right time. Even when you do your mundane, day to day, activities do whatever you can. Whatever you cannot leave this to the triple gem, pray heart and soul and have complete faith and you will know you will get the signs when there is an opportune time to put your ideas into practice.
The second line of the root text is talking about playing emphasis on the physical body itself, now as for the physical body what you should be doing is just like practicing Mahamudra when you are meditating. Normally, under normal circumstances, telling the bees is an integral part of Dharma practice, turning the wheel is an integral part of Dharma practice. But when you are practicing Mahamudra, when you are meditating you do not tell bees, neither do you turn the wheel, it is just walk when you walk and play when you play and you have in a meditating posture and single pointedly meditate on Mahamudra. This second line is talking about the importance of how your body should be used in practice this particular Chöd method. There should not be physical activities, by not engaging in physical activities meaning don’t engage your feet and don’t engage your hands in any other way as just the meditating posture. This is what is talking about.
The next two sentences deal with speech and mind. The speech-wise, while practicing you could be singing Vajra songs, good sounding melodies you could be reading supplications you could be just going through the Chöd practice itself. You can incorporate your speech, your voice, in making it more inspiring, that is how the speech is incorporated. Now as for the mind when you do this practice, or any kind of practice, first of course you go to the foregoing practices like taking Refuge, Bodhichita mind generation, then Guru devotion and generating compassionate loving kindness towards sentient beings and those are, naturally, incorporated into the practice. But here it talks about a single pointed state of mind which after having done all these foregoing prayers then there should not even be this inclination towards wanting to meditate. Because if the mind is focused on this kind of very strong urge to meditate, that in itself becomes a conceptual thought The mind should be totally free from the lamas, the deities, the sentient beings or the every single thing that you have. Visualize and direct all the efforts in the foregoing practice. Ultimately what should be done is that there should be no be any kind of expectation to accomplished a result towards reaching enlightenment, neither should be any doubt or fear of the consequences of failure
or the consequences that sentient beings face in Samsara. One’s mine should be completely free from this. Let it just take its natural course. When it does so then you are again, as said before, you the practitioner are going to using analogy as a baby is going to kind of feel the same warmth, the same familiarity of your mothers own breast.
The topic, as you remember, was the kind of obligation to fulfil as a result of having received this empowerment. Now you just think and say to yourself that your object of Refuge you are going to take Refuge in Machig Labchi Drolma and that your ultimate practice is going to be Mahamudra practice and in thinking and saying these things to yourself please repeat after me
#4 – Here the essence of these Chöd teachings is, as the word Chöd indicates, to cut through attachment, attachment to one’s self – ego, I, my, mine and that should be cut. Here there is a wonderful root text. It says this sublime Chöd practice teaching is the most potent weapon to cut the Maras or demons, if you like, it is the heart essence of all mother Dakinis. “It” referring to Chöd practice. It is the pith-instruction of all the wonderful lamas; it is the commentaries based on experiential understanding of those who have reached the unshakable stability in understanding of the state of Mahamudra. It is like the wish-fulfilling jewel, which fulfils every need and want. It is like the medicine that has the curative power to cure all kinds of diseases. It is the only weapon to counter all kinds of demonic influences. It is the wisdom that will purify the five poisons. It is the wisdom sword that will cut through all delusions. These are some of the wonderful things that are said about this Chöd practice. Now when we talk in terms of Maras and demons in the Sutrayana tradition there are four of those, the first of all is the demon associated with the Scandas, or the
heaps or pumbo. In layman’s terms from head to toes. How does this become a Mara or a demon? Because we associate everything to the relative level. Everything from head to toes, since we have a sense of belonging, belongs to me. Everything is mine and I am in the center of this. But when you take many, many births, countless number of births, when
your mind is in a deluded way conditioned in thinking that the physical body is so
important and that all this body parts are mine and I am the center of everything. That leaves a kind of imprint, this imprint is reinforced each time one takes another life. Because of this imprint we don’t seem to realize the fact that none of us can take our bodies with us, it is something that has to be left behind, something to be discarded. It something like when you go to a motel. It is just like a motel just for a night shelter, nothing more than that. If you can train your mind in this kind of ideas that is going to help you to lessen attachment. The second of the demons is the demon of afflictions; said differently, the demon of the emotion afflictions would be the five poisons. This flirts with the first of the Maras and kind of mix them making them more potent. The third one is because one can engage in anger, jealousy, pride, and hatred all of these emotions, then the princely demon, the third one, is kind of all allured towards entertainment having good time. Spending your life in a kind of strayed manner strayed from the path of Dharma practice but rather engaging in worldly things. Then you want to be happy, entertained, in the traditional sense. Then
comes the last of the demons which is the lord of death, the demon of death and when that comes everything comes too late.