About Shang Rinpoche

Rinpoche’s spiritual pursuit began at a very young age and has spanned many years, in which he received lineages of all four major Vajrayana Buddhist schools—Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya, and Gelug—from numerous lineage holders and great yogis of our time in India, Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan. Rinpoche has acquired all the necessary empowerments, transmissions, and teachings to become a fully qualified Vajrayana master. Furthermore, Rinpoche is a recognized tulku (reincarnate lama), authenticated by eminent lineage holders and distinguished masters of our time.
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2015年3月22日 星期日

True Zen Meditation: Sitting or Not, Always in a State of Inherent Awareness

In the practice of meditation, many find their minds swirling with delusive thoughts at the outset; or perhaps they fall into a dazed or drowsy state, wholly unaware. This is proof that, generally speaking, their ability to cultivate meditative stillness is tentative and their conviction weak. This is also an indication that their practice of right mindfulness has been momentarily lost. Especially when the weather is in flux and, for instance, the warmth of the sun suddenly appears, or the temperature suddenly drops, the mind easily loses concentration and drifts off, becoming drowsy and filling up with delusive thoughts as soon as one begins to meditate. At this time the the power of our inherent awareness is very frail.
Whether we are sitting or walking, it is important to constantly practice using external conditions and sensations for inward reflection. This is to say that it doesn’t matter if your body is in a state of movement or stillness; all along, you have a very clear and pure mind helping to deal with all situations triggered by both body and environment. If the inherent awareness of your inner mind can observe and understand very clearly, this is also a form of correct mindfulness. If you are able to be conscious of every single act, whether static or dynamic, then over time, all of your drowsiness and disorderly thoughts will automatically be perceived the moment they arise. This is yet another kind of enlightened wisdom. So we don’t need to go out of our way to intentionally change any of our trains of thought or afflictions, as it will be ineffective to intentionally enforce any method to counteract afflictions of the body, speech or mind.

An increasing number of people are interested in whether it is possible to reduce or alleviate their delusive thoughts and afflictions by doing yoga, qigong, or meditation, only to become disappointed by the result. This is because they have failed to first establish a sound understanding of true samadhi (meditative stillness) and the correct concepts pertaining to the elimination of afflictions. So what kind of meditative stillness is free from the restrictions (imposed by the methods) of “sitting in meditation,” “practicing Chan” or “walking meditation?” How can one enter into such a state?
Actually, one can simply start from the basics. At all times and in all places, you must be unaffected by any external conditions. To accomplish this point is also a form of right concentration, since you can remain undisturbed by the differentiating mind. In the very beginning when you undertake this practice, it may be impossible to remove your differentiating mind altogether. This would be considered a kind of indefinite differentiating thought. Sometimes, a small number of people might derive certain sensory experiences from this kind of intricate differentiating mind, however it is very easy to misinterpret this state as being the experience of emptiness. If you have a firm understanding of the foundation of Mahayana, gradually with practice, you will feel your mind entering into a more tranquil state of meditative stillness. This kind of understanding is yet even more firm and concrete. A more advanced practitioner is constantly able to maintain a tranquil mind, and he will be able to see with utter clarity the appearance of his mind which has always existed within himself.

After you yourself are able to see clearly the original nature of the mind, this means you would have no need, regardless of the time or place, to resort to any method for transforming the nature of your mind, as you are already abiding in your original nature. If you continue to practice in this way, your delusive and afflictive thoughts will disappear the moment they arise. This is what it means to be certain in your practice of right concentration.

From Shang Longrik Gyatso Rinpoche

2015 Shang Rinpoche's books

“If we were simply willing to crack open our hearts like a nut, we would find within each of us an inexhaustible love enough to satisfy everyone in the world.” - Shang Rinpoche
Rinpoche currently has three English-language book titles available (and many more in Chinese). The first one is a complete meditation guide and the second two are a compilation of Rinpoche’s articles that were originally posts on his (bi-lingual) Facebook page.

Free and at Ease

"Free and at Ease" is an instruction guide of methods and oral tips for practicing meditation as taught by Shang Rinpoche over the years. It is based on Rinpoche's rich experience with contemplative practices:
  • The introduction addresses the purpose, benefits and goals of meditation, including such important questions as who meditation is intended for and "what for?"
  • The main body of the book is practical in nature, and is laid out in a progressive manner, starting with advice on an optimal environment and the posture and exercises to enter and exit a session.
  • A series of actual meditative practices are then presented, ranging progressively from entry level to more advanced practices.
Fundamentally, all these practices revolve around bringing more mindfulness into your daily life.
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In the first two English editions of his written Chinese works on Facebook, Rinpoche offers practical and plainspoken advice on how to courageously face and overcome the challenges every day brings.

Soaring the Winds of Adversity

The first title, "Soaring the Winds of Adversity", offers advice on transforming the way one views life and the obstacles that comes one’s way. It shares a wealth of insight on how to live fully in our rapidly changing world, inviting us to make best use of every moment of our precious life. This advice is often practical, rooted in the realities of our world, while nonetheless not losing sight of the traditional heritage it represents, taking its source as it is in the wellspring of spiritual and philosophical traditions of the East.
Drawing from traditional wisdom as well as secular knowledge, it invites us to:
  • open our minds and broaden our horizons
  • march forth unabashed by the blows life delivers us
  • and develop a vast mind capable of achieving all success.
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Braving the Storm of Sorrows

The second volume, "Braving the Storm of Sorrows", much in the same spirit as the first, touches on diverse subjects such as relationships, happiness, and the ever-present human quest for true freedom. Through exploring themes so close to our everyday experience and inviting us to be mindful of every moment that each day offers us,
  • it proposes that we become intimately acquainted with our fears and our sorrows, thereby empowering ourselves to transform them into joy and confidence.
  • It offers tips on training our minds, so that we may achieve such transformation in the midst of the hustle and bustle of our most-often hectic daily routines.
Braving the Storm of Sorrows thus invites us to take a fresh look at our lives, opening our eyes to witness the abounding opportunities for awakening that our lives are teeming with.
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