On the final day of teachings, we received such precious, liberating wisdom from Buddha’s heart. With great clarity and delight, Gen-la Thubten explained step-by-step how it is possible to transform ourself from an ordinary, suffering being into an enlightened being – the Great Mother Prajnaparamita.
In order to accomplish this, we need to realize that all the things we normally see do not exist. Gen-la encouraged us to study Venerable Geshe-la’s teachings on emptiness again and again, to contemplate them deeply until we gain this special understanding and experience.
To further encourage us, Gen-la read from Modern Buddhism: “In this experience, everything becomes very peaceful and comfortable, balanced and harmonious, joyful and wonderful. There is no heat, no cold, no lower, no higher, no here, no there, no self, no other, no samsara – everything is equal in the peace of emptiness.”
Then to help us understand how the appearance of the pure body of Prajnaparmita is not other than emptiness, Gen-la illuminated the deep meaning of the analogy of the blue sky from the book, New Heart of Wisdom. He explained that blue is not in the sky in the same way that a cloud is in the sky. Blue is simply the manifestation of an empty sky – that the sky and the blue of the sky are the same nature, but nominally distinct. Therefore, our job during the afternoon break is to relax and stare and the sky to improve our understanding of emptiness!
Finally, in the last teaching, Gen-la Thubten continued to explain how to integrate the four profundities revealed in the Heart Sutra into our practice of self-generation. Our one mind of concentration simultaneously meditates on two things – the appearance of ourself as Prajnaparamita in Akanishta Pure Land while realizing that this appearance is not other than the emptiness of all phenomena.
Gen-la encouraged us to treasure this special instruction of the yoga of non-dual profundity and clarity. It is at the very heart of Kadam Dharma and the special method by which thousands of Je Tsongkhapa’s disciples attained enlightenment very quickly. We have this most precious instruction only through the kindness of our Spiritual Guide and Founder, Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche. How fortunate we are!
The day finished with the first retreat session guided by Gen Devi. Over the next day and a half we have the great opportunity to really deepen our understanding and experience of this extraordinary practice.