Meditation is the path to get to know the true nature of our own mind. Shine meditation is about sitting still and letting the mind calm down. When we stop stirring a glass of muddy water, mud sinks down, and the pure nature of water gradually appears. In shine meditation we learn how to stop the continuous stirring of the mind.
Let this exhausted mind
Relax in natural great peace,
Tormented by karma and troubled thoughts,
Like raging swell of the endless ocean of samsara.
Four Thoughts (Lodo namshi)
As long as our life is determined by expectations and fears, we are not free, so suffering will find us. Therefore, do not let to be led by hopes and fears of the eight worldy dharmas, which are as follows:
gain – loss
praise – blame
fame – obscurity
pleasure – pain
Meditation on the four thoughts helps to avoid these, and to find the real values of our life. The four thoughts are as follows:
Precious Human Body
My first thought is this precious,
free, blessed human life;
hard to obtain, easy to lose,
from today I will use it intelligently!
The world and the beings will pass,
our life force is but a bubble in water,
I can not know the hour of my death,
I will be a corpse, when I die;
only the path can help me,
from today I will practice diligently!
Action, Cause and Result
When I die, I will have no choice;
if I want to direct my life,
I practice good things, never bad;
I analyze myself every day.
Shortcomings of Samsara
Places, friends, joy and possession,
like meal given by a hangman,
result in three sufferings of samsara;
cutting through attachement
I practise with enthusiasm to awaken.
Lojong – Mind Training
In our life we continuously meet situations charged with emotions, that we either can handle, or we get swept by them. This is how we end up being victims to our own emotions, this is how we create our own suffering. Our European education is of little help to handle situations in our life. So in facing our problems and suffering – not to mention in trying to find the deep meaning of our life – we are helpless. On the path of Buddhist meditation the most effective method is to open up and develop the compassion available in all of us, the compassion that evolves to be unconditional. Mind Training is one of the most powerful practical Buddhist traditions preserved by Tibetan masters. This is the path to get to know ourselves, whereby we gradually develop our compassion so that it becomes a great power pervading all aspects of our life. We practise sending and receiving (tong-len in Tibetan, the practice of bodhisattvas, thorugh which countless number of beings have reached enlightement.
He who desires shelter quickly
for himself and for all others
should use this sacred mystery,
the exchanging of oneself for others.
After receiving the four thoughts that turn the mind towards the dharma, the practitioner takes refuge, and arouses the mind of awakening. In this tradition taking refuge is always followed by another ceremony, the arousal of the mind of awakening, the centre of which is the bodhisattva vow, that is, a resolution to completely devote oneself to liberate all beings.
Dorje Sempa – Hero of Diamond Mind
After taking refuge and arousing the mind of awakening, the newly committed practitioner purifies himself by practising the meditation of Dorje Sempa, and reciting his mantra. This purification ensures the effectiveness of his future religious efforts.
As a preparation for guru-yoga and other practices, one has to purify his negative qualities, and has to grow positive ones. Purification is accomplished by the Dorje Sempa meditation, while growth is accomplished by the mandala-offering, which completes the two accumulations. These are the accumulation of merit and that of transcending mind.
After successfully completing the phases of commitment, purification, and accumulation, the student is almost ready to start mahamudra-practices. There are two more pre-requisites:
- Empowerement and ability to do the practice. This can be given only by a teacher, who has also received them.
- A closer relationship with this teacher, and a symbolic entry into his tradition line.
Completing these two makes the blessing, which is the result of practising guru-yoga.
The true nature of our mind is the spontaneous, non-artificial, unlimited love, compassion and wisdom. This unlimited love and compassion is for each and every being, and does not differentiate friend from enemy. It is like sun, that shines on all beings without exception. This is the essence of the buddha nature within, and this is what is embodied in Chenrezig, the bodhisattva of compassion. In this meditation we visualize Chenrezig, and recite his mantra:
May all sentient beings have happiness and its causes! May all sentient beings be free of suffering and its causes! May all sentient beings never be separated from bliss without suffering! May all sentient beings enjoy great equanimity of the soul, free of bias, proximity and antipathy, attachment and aversion!
During Nyungne we refrain from negative actions of body, speech and mind, and we arouse the mind of awakening in ourselves. We strive for the benefit of all beings, and meditate on the true nature of our mind. During Nyungne we practise the meditation of Chenrezig, the bodhisattva of unlimited compassion, and we take vows for 24 hour, from dawn to dawn, that we do not kill, do not steal, do not engage in sex, do not lie, do not drink alcohol, do not sit on high seats, eat only at set times, refrain from fun activities, do not use parfume, and do not wear jewelry.
According to buddhist holy texts, practising eight Nyungne’s without fault, that is, keeping the vows, and having the right intention, surely results in rebirth in human form. Right intention means that we practice meditation not only for our own benefit, but for the benefit of all beings without exception. A Nyungne lasts for two days. The first day, when the Lama leading the meditation gives teachings, is a preparation for the second, when we do not drink, eat, or speak. Anybody with any religious background can participate on the ceremony; the only condition is not to feel aversion towards the practice. Those who are new to Nyungne meditation can take vows only for two days. We also welcome those who do not wish to take vows, but would like to participate on the meditation. Our temple is open during Nyungne meditation, anybody can attend for shorter or longer period.
An important part of the Nyungne practice is the accumulation of merits. We accumulate merits by establishing a virtuous mind, and by performing good actions with pure intention. An effective, traditional way to do that is to make offerings. These are helping others to participate on Nyungne; offering candle, incense, food, or contributing to costs. Those supporting Nyungne with their offerings become actual participants of it, and due to their contribution they receive the blessing and the merits of Nyungne. It is part of the practice that participants offer the blessing and the merits for the benefit of the supporters and of all beings.
Arrival to Nyungne meditation is at 6 pm of the evening before the first day, and departure is in the morning after the second day after Tara meditation and clean-up.