Awake in illusion. Hamburg, 2011

James Low

Hamburg Retreat, February 2011

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Hamburg, Germany
18-20 February 2011
Transcribed by Anne Conn
Edited by Barbara Terris
Extracts 
…In the springtime when you go out in the country you see the small lambs jumping about. This is the mind of a meditator, because the field is open. There is nothing to do except jump about and run around. The mind can go anywhere. If you have an angry thought you can just have the angry thought, because in the field sometimes the lambs bump into each other and knock each other over.

… Each moment that we are here together is vanishing as soon as it arises. “As soon as we’re here, we disappear, like dragonflies”, sang Eddi Reader. We can make a story, which seems to have some continuity but this also is vanishing as soon as you say, ‘everything is always vanishing’. This is the natural self-liberation of all phenomena. Nothing remains

…The time for observing is in meditation. But when we bring the meditation into the world, it is the time for participation, which is to say, being a part of the world. We are already in the world. This is our world, so if we attend to the world, we will flow into activity. There is a space, there is something that needs to be done, and we just do it. Then life can be easier because you don’t have to think and work out what to do.

…Being a buddhist is an illusion because you can’t really ‘be’ a buddhist.  You can ‘do’ a buddhist.  You can do what buddhists do.  You can do filling butter lamps, you can do prostrations, you can do wearing robes, you can do many things—buddhism is a great factory of activity.  But from the point of view of dzogchen, no matter how good a buddhist you are, that won’t make you enlightened.  Just as, no matter how wonderful the reflection in the mirror is, the reflection doesn’t become the mirror.

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