This Is it: Revealing The Great Completion
James Low. (Simply Being, 2021) ISBN 978-0956923974
“The texts in This Is It were all translated while I was living with CR Lama in Santiniketan, West Bengal. It has taken over forty years for many of them to see the light of day. During that time they have been revised and refined and now is the time to make them available. The arrangement of the texts is designed to promote a direct encounter with the development of the depth and focus of Buddhist teaching.
Whether we see this development as a range of compassionate responses to the wide range of interest and capacity exhibited by sentient beings or as an evolutionary enrichment based on overcoming embedded limitations and responding to new situations, the range of views and practices is intriguing and inspiring.
The image on the cover points to the heart of this book. A naked girl is dancing: the forever-uncovered illuminating wisdom is always in play. Naked, raw, fresh, unprocessed, virgin, free and carefree, the truth of each sentient being is not other than this ceaseless innocent dancer, the inseparability of primordial purity and immediate presence.”
Each section of the book leads into the next, showing how, by peeling away our habitual assumptions and projections, we can directly encounter the intrinsic purity of our own mind. “This is it”, Dzogchen, the great completion.
The first facet, One Thing Leads to Another, offers sutra texts on dependent origination. The second, Increased Transparency, includes the Heart Sutra and indicates that all phenomena, whether seemingly outer or inner, subject or object, are empty and devoid of inherent existence. This leads onto the third facet of the book, Encountering the Other, the story of how the Buddha Chakrasamvara manifested in order to deal with cruelty and malicious behaviour. The fourth Facet, Getting Lost Invites Trouble, offers two accounts of how pride and self-confidence can lead a person astray so that their provocations lead to a display the Buddhas’ wrathful power, enforcing transformation and the abrupt end to the careers of heartless bullies.
Next, in the fifth facet, we see how transformation can be elective rather than imposed. Cutting Free begins with the story of Machig Labdron, her struggle to free herself from social constraints so that she could pursue a life in dharma. There is a short guru yoga practice and her Chöd practice, The Dakinis’ Laughter. Finally in facet six, Just This is The Cuckoo Cry, the foundational text of the dzogchen mind series. In just three couplets it sets out the view, meditation and activity which are the inseparability of primordial purity and instant presence.
|One Thing Leads to Another
|Dependent origination. Introduction
|The Sutra Teaching Dependent Arising Basis and Progression
|The Mahayana Sutra on Dependent Arising
|The Heart of Dependent Origination, Verse and Commentary
|The Twelve Links of Dependent Origination
|The Wheel of Life
|The Twelve Links and the Cycle of Years
|The Heart Sutra
|Encountering the Other
|The Emanation of Sri Chakra Samvara and the Names of the Twenty-four Sites
|Getting Lost Invites Trouble
|Prayers to Padmasambhava
|The Origin of Heruka’s Fierce Form and Ornaments
|Pride Takes a Fall, eventually
|Pride and Prejudice
|The Ego dissolves
|The Secret Biography of Machig Labdron
|Guru Yoga of Machig Labdron
|Chod Practice. The laughter of the Dakinis
|Becoming Chenrezi. Introduction
|Becoming Chenrezi. Practice
|The Cuckoo’s Cry Heralding the Good Fortune of Glorious Presence