May 25

Kalu Rinpoche | Niguma’s “Amulet Mahamudra” (Morning session) | The Third Meditation

Third cycle is:

“འོག་འགྱུ་རྒྱ་འབྱམས་སུ་འགྲོ་ན། ནམ་དྲན་དུས་ཕྱིན་ཆད་འདི་འདྲ་གཏན་ནས་མ་བྱུང་བ་བྱེད་སྙམ་ཞེ་དམ་བྱ།”

ok gyu gya jam su dro na nam dren dü chin ché dindra ten né ma jungwa jé nyam zhé dam ja

“འོག་འགྱུ” “ok gyu” means “undercurrent”, undercurrent distraction. So there is an ordinary distraction and then there is undercurrent distraction. Ordinary distraction is little bit like you go to work, and you come back and then you sit on your couch and then you say “Ok what are the news of today?”, switch on the channel and then you listen to music, you listen to the world news and all these things. And that’s the distraction. Because you don’t want to think about what you had gone through today so you kind of switch your mind to something else, so that’s the ordinary distraction.

Or such thing like, or such thing as, you know, “Oh you want to have a more peaceful relaxation, you know, and then you listen to a very expensive headphone and very high sound quality and then all these classical music …” . Or you can go to some sort of a wellness center, not a meditation center, a wellness center, and you go there. “Oh meditation”. You have your own bubbly thoughts and then such a chaotic. Your body looks great but your mind is terrible. You obviously paid for it, so obviously people around you talked all sort of nonsense to you and then you kind of believe it, you say “Ah good meditation”.

But that’s not really, really a solution neither for people, l mean temporarily. So it’s better than nothing obviously. But it’s still a distraction. So therefore, so these are the ordinary distraction.
So the undercurrent distraction is when you’re making a prayer, verbally you’re making a prayer, like the chanting, the reading. But the sense of clarity is not there. So the absence of clarity is due to the influence of undercurrent distraction.

So that’s something important to recognize. Because when you don’t recognize your undercurrent distraction, you kind of give yourself a conclusion that “I did a good practice today” and that goes months, and that goes years, that goes you know, and that’s why we see some religious figures we say “how come he could do something like that? how come she could do something like that?” Not because they’re doing the practice wrong, … they’re practicing everything correctly. But when you don’t notice the undercurrent distraction, your ego kind of inflates you over the time, because you say to yourself, obviously, you’re reading like everybody else, you read the whole volumes every day, you practice every day, you’re looking good, you’re staying in one spot, you’re not really going around meeting people, it looks absolutely great.

And then when that, he or she, whatever the gender may be, when they do such, certain things, and then we start to say “oh my goodness, how come he or she commit certain things?” We start to be overwhelmed by that. But in the reality we should not because that is just the result of not noticing the undercurrent. So if you notice the undercurrent distraction of thoughts, let’s put it like this, then you become more, you will have more stability as a practitioner.

When you don’t recognize the undercurrent projection of thoughts, what happens is that you do good practice, and then you chant everything, you read everything, you recite everything, you do all that, everything that what you’re supposed to do, you’re doing it! But that doesn’t really give you the full quality, that gives you some sort of positive influence but not necessarily a full liberation or some sort of a stability of awareness.

So therefore as a beginner, as a Dharma practitioner, as advanced as a practitioner, the most important is to recognize the undercurrent, undercurrent distraction. In order to recognize the undercurrent distraction the most important key is to do a short-term retreat. Not just a weekend like coming to the center doing Tchenrezi or Green Tara but doing a short-term retreat. It doesn’t mean you have to do months and years. It means like once in a week, or maybe twice a month or three times a month. You just close your apartment door and say that “today I’m going to spend time for myself”. And then doing some practices, spending little bit of time like that. That will help much more.

Because when you come to the center, of course, they’re doing great practice and then again you talk with other people and all sorts of things, so there’s all sorts of engagements. Just nothing wrong with that. But if you really want to make a gradual improvement, you have to do a short-term retreat by yourself, not necessarily with other people, by yourself. You close the door and nobody cares. When you close the door, nobody cares when you watch the television all day. So why they should even bother when you’re doing practice whole day. So you can do like three sessions, two sessions.

My method for that sort of practice is the Niguma Yoga. So the Niguma Yoga, the reason I love the Niguma Yoga very much is because you combine the breath, the air and the body, all combination of the body, speech and mind. Combination of the body, speech and mind all together and it gives some sort of a very solid foundation. So that’s that.

Anyway, so you should do that sort of retreat and you should seek advice from our lamas here, how to do that in the right order. So that’s that.

Going back to the topic of the undercurrent thoughts or the undercurrent distraction. I have described this one before many times. But like an example, I’m doing:

[Taking Refuge]

“བླ་མ་མགོན་པོ་དབྱེར་མེད་ལ། བདག་ནི་གུས་པས་སྐྱབས་སུ་མཆ།
བདག་གིས་སེམས་ཅན་ཐམས་ཅད་ཀྱི། ཉོན་མོངས་མ་ལུས་སེལ་བར་ཤོག་”

la ma gön po yer mé la dak ni gü pé kyap su cha
dak gi sem chen tam ché kyi nyön mong ma lü selwar shok

Verbally I’m reading everything correctly but my mind is visualizing, my mind is clearly visualizing it, there’s nothing wrong with it, I’m visualizing, I’m chanting, my meditation posture is correct. But when there are undercurrent projections of thoughts or the distraction is there. My full hundred percent is not there. The clarity and the strength of the clarity is not there. So when you don’t have the clarity and the strength of the clarity and that is more or less the undercurrent influence.
So if you really have a determination then it goes like this:

“བླ་མ་མགོན་པོ་དབྱེར་མེད་ལ། བདག་ནི་གུས་པས་སྐྱབས་སུ་མཆ།
བདག་གིས་སེམས་ཅན་ཐམས་ཅད་ཀྱི། ཉོན་མོངས་མ་ལུས་སེལ་བར་ཤོག་”

la ma gön po yer mé la dak ni gü pé kyap su cha
dak gi sem chen tam ché kyi nyön mong ma lü selwar shok

So you read only three sentences but each and every single word you meant it from the bottom of your heart. So there is a sense of intense, intense, intensity is there, the clarity is there, awareness is there. So combination of these three is very much important. It’s not so much we do with how long you practice. The most important is intensity, clarity, and awareness, all these three combined together. And then even a short practice becomes profoundly beneficial. So that’s that.

So therefore in this teaching it says that, first of all, we must not be under the influence of the undercurrent distraction. Even we have encountered the undercurrent distraction, then we must promise to ourself never to fall into that again. So making that sort of a promise and prayers and so on. So that’s that

“རྣམ་རྟོག་བྱུང་ཙ་ན་དྲན་ཅིང་ངོ་ཤེས་པ་བྱེད་སྙམ་པ་བྱས་པས་སེལ་ཏེ། དམིགས་སྐོར་གསུམ།”

nam tok jung tsa na dren ching ngo shé pa jé nyam pa jé pé sel té mik kor sum

So that’s the third cycle. So whenever you witness all these sorts of projection of thoughts, the undercurrent and then simply recognizing it and then dissolving it. And that’s the third cycle.

“བརྗེད་ངས་ཀྱང་ཆེར་འགྲོ་ན་བྱིན་བའི་སྐྱོན་ཡིན། རིག་པ་བསྒྲིམ།”

jé ngé kyang cher dro na jin bé kyön yin rik pa drim

And then if the undercurrent distraction kept on happening. Because I think I spent my first year of retreat under the influence of the undercurrent. I can more or less guarantee, I can guarantee that. I think around the mid of the second year, or the third year then my practice became more intensified with the clarity, with the determination and dedication and all combination of all the other qualities.

So just don’t have so much guilt even about that and saying that “Oh, I have so much undercurrent thoughts” none of that. Just let it be, just maintain your practice!


Third Meditation
When your mind loses focus due to sub-conscious gossip, promise yourself that when you recognize it in the future, you will prevent it from arising. If you decide to vigilantly recognize thoughts as they arise, such determination will solve this.

༄༅། །ཕྱག་ཆེན་གའུ་མའམ་རང་བབས་རྣམ་གསུམ་ཞེས་བྱ་བའི་ཁྲིད་ཡིག་བཞུགས་སོ།།

phyag chen ga’u ma’am rang babs rnam gsum zhes bya ba’i khrid
Instructions for Great Seal of the Amulet Box or The Three Facets of Natural Repose
by Taranata

Niguma’s “Amulet Mahamudra” by Kalu Rinpoche (morning session – 1h 05′ 25”)
Kagyu Sukha Chöling – Friday March 11, 2022