May 09

Kalu Rinpoche | Wisdom Dharma Chat – deity practice (Q&A5)

Q: So then Rinpoche, then, maybe if you could talk a little bit about, and what is deity yoga or deity practice? And how does deity practice, does it have a connection to “illusory body” right that?

A: When you do the deity practice there is a creation stage, there is a completion stage and there is a self-visualization, there is a front visualization, there is chanting mantras, dedicated to the front, dedicated to oneself and welcoming the Wisdom deity into the samaya deity.

There is a lot of things going on actually, there is a lot of, it’s like Manhattan [laughter]. A lot of things going on, a lot of things : you go to the subway, you see different realm, you go to the street, in the 8th avenue you see different levels of characters, individuals, and so on.

So basically, when you practice deity, definitely there is a lot of engagement to it, there a sense of visualization, chanting mantras, there’s a lot of effort, there’s a lot of effort. Nothing wrong with it.

But when you do the “Illusory body and mind”, at that stage, you are going beyond the idea of “chanting mantra 100 000 of this and 100 000 of that”. But you are rather experiencing the teachings of Niguma and meditating in a very, very, very slow pace. So you are repeating the 1st cycle of meditation, 2nd cycle of meditation, maybe 10 times, 20 times, then you more to the 3rd cycle, then you meditate, you repeat that 10 times, 20 times. Then you move to the 4th cycle and the 5th cycle and so on. At that stage, you are no longer chanting any mantras or any sort of visualizations that requires a lot of movement, right?

Like an example, if you visualize Chenrezig, the most simplest one, it requires quite a concentration. You visualize the 4 arms, followed by the six syllable and in the middle you have to visualize the main syllable with the eight petals and so on. And if you visualize the Chakrasamvara and then you have to visualize all the deities within the Chakrasamvara. If you visualize Six- armed Mahakala, accordingly, with so many details. There’s a lot of movement.

But by the time you reach the Niguma “Illusory body and mind” practice, the concept of reciting a lot of things is kind of sidelined, purposely, purposely sidelined. Not saying that that is not important, but that is once the individual has reached to that level or fit to practice, once the individual is fit to practice the “Illusory body and mind”, the mentor not just assumes but already knows that individual being is already sidelining the way of chanting mantra but also entering into a more subtle level of practice. It’s more like entering to the སྤྲོས་མེད།Trö mé[free of conceptual elaboration] path, closer to the “non-duality” path, in terms of the method of visualization and so on.

So even the teachings, even the person who’s giving the teaching reads very slowly, in a very slow pace, and then make sure that the student follows and meditates, more like a guiding meditation. Then the teaching goes from 10 pages per day or 20 pages per day to 1 or 2 pages per day. So the pace of the teaching goes slower and the individual, oneself practicing that becomes much more profound, expected to be profound at that stage.


Wisdom Dharma Chat | Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche – April 2024 (13′ 43”)
During this Wisdom Dharma Chat host Daniel Aitken and Rinpoche discuss his Wisdom Academy course Illusory Body and Mind, along with his new and upcoming Wisdom Academy course on Niguma’s dream yoga, and much more.