Friday, March 30, 2018

The Oneness of Sleep and Wake

         Tonight, we did a Green Tara Practice under the guidance of Acho Rinpoche. After which, he told us that the first fifteen days of Chinese New Year is the Month of Spiritual Transformation with great blessing power; he advised us to practise with vigor during this period. He mentioned that a former Taiwanese neighbor of his came by his house during the Chinese New Year for a visit, where she consulted him on spiritual practice too. After that, he continued to do his sadhana. In gist, Acho Rinpoche made use of all his spare times doing his spiritual practice, studying the sutras and doing his walking meditation; he would typically do at least five to seven rounds of spiritual practice daily. He felt that our life is very short, so we should spend most of our spare times doing spiritual practice. In the past, Master Tshongkapa would hold a fifteen-day Grand Tibetan New Year Prayer annually. The Tibetan calendar and Chinese calendar happened to coincide with each other this year, so one would certainly receive a very powerful blessing during this period if he practised with vigor.
          Next, Acho Rinpoche advised us that we should aim to attain a state of spiritual accomplishment where there is no longer a distinction between sleep and wake. If we are too preoccupied by the many mundane activities in life during the day, including the numerous interactions with our friends and relatives etc., it will impact our spiritual practice. So, we should reduce our frivolous conversations on mundane matters but, instead, focus more on our spiritual practice. He also shared with us his recent experience where while he was sleeping, he somehow felt that he was still doing his spiritual practice. This is the state where sleep and wake are merged as one. If a person is distracted by too much mundane activities during the day, he will not be able to enter a true state of spiritual practice, let alone reaching the state where sleep and wake are merged as one when he falls asleep.
          Acho Rinpoche told us that, sometimes, he would do his practice throughout the night, meditating and reciting the sutras; he even found himself expounding the Lotus Sutra in his dream. So, we should practise with vigor during the day, in order to attain the state where sleep and wake are merged as one. We should focus our mind on the Lotus Sutra or reciting the name of Avalokitesvara during the day, in order to be able to attain the state of true emancipation free of cyclic existence. When a person has truly attained the state of enlightenment, he would see a perfect world right at this moment!
          He also told us that in his early stage of practice, there was a period of six months where he completely lost his sense of taste; since then, he has no more desire for good food. Also, his mind became a complete void and that made it very difficult for him to carry on with his job because he had become a person with no opinions, for everything seemed to be perfect to him. At that stage, it was indeed hard for him to continue to live like an ordinary person. He said, under such circumstances, he should have gone into a retreat. Initially, he strived for his own emancipation but now he strived for the emancipation of all sentient beings, for he feels the agony of the sentient beings trapped in the cyclic existence.
Finally, we ended our prayer by reciting the names of the Buddhas under the guidance of Acho Rinpoche and dedicated all merits to the sentient beings - may all sentient beings be happy, free of sufferings and attain enlightenment swiftly. 

Reported by Sun Moon KFS on 17-2-2018 @Singapore