Dzogchen retreat in the Eifel, October 2006

James Low Eifel Autumn Retreat, October 19th —22nd, 2006
Transcribed by Wulf Niepold (Thurs – Sat) and Magda Linca (Sun). Edited by Barbara Terris.
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Excerpts
…If we realize that our own nature is open and empty — infinite like the sky — that it’s not covered in anything — then from this openness we can say, “I like… strawberries.” This is like a flower in the sky, it doesn’t mean anything; it’s just a gesture into the world. “Here are strawberries. I like strawberries. I want strawberries. Gone.” Next thing, next thing…
…Dharmakaya is the awareness of the infinite spaciousness of the mind as the site of hospitality to all forms, as they manifest ceaselessly. The dharmakaya doesn’t change, because it’s not a thing, whereas everything that we are, is a thing….
…Energy is constantly meeting other energy. So it’s not that energy acts on entities; rather, that entities are a conceptualized grasping at the endless flow of energy…
Contents
Stillness and movement. 3
The world of assumptions is a world which is stale. 4
‘Presence’ in dzogchen means ‘not absent’ 4
If you are caught by the sunshine, you can also be caught by the rain. 6
Consciousness always takes an object. 7
One ground and two paths. 9
Is awakening possible?. 11
Mahayana and dzogchen: how long it will take to get enlightened?. 11
Five skandhas: five key building blocks. 14
Objects are a conglomeration of our associations. 15
If we reflect, every aspect of life is improved. 17
The power of the object lies in the subject: example of vodka. 18
Exercise & movement is a chance to feel the free flowing nature of the body. 20
The mind as container. 22
The third place functions to interrupt dyadic fusion. 23
A chaperon might cramp your style but he does stop you getting lost. 24
Refuge is not about retreating, but about becoming more courageous. 26
We are all one in dharmakaya, connected with all sentient beings. 27
All other beings are ourselves. 29
Emptiness. 31
The truth of the object is in the relationship: example of wire and pipes. 33
Value is something that I give to the object, and that I have to let go of 34
Discussion. Is there anything which is self-existing?. 37
Deconstructing—rather than destroying—constructs. 39
Energy insists, through things which only appear to exist. 39
Form and emptiness. 43
Entities are a conceptualized grasping at the endless flow of energy. 44
Making judgements is a quality of stupidity. 45
“In India, people did one practice and got enlightened. In Tibet, we do a hundred practices, and nobody gets enlightened.”. 47
“What is the mind?”: the one and central practice. 47
The openness of the mind is not different from the content of the mind. 50
We don’t have to change content of mind to bring about nature of mind. 51
Phat!. 52
It’s not that the subject is good and the object is bad, nor the other way round. 53
Devotion. 54
Do lamas also make ‘mistakes’?. 55
Recognising all movements to have the same ground, is to move beyond mistakes. 56
Ngo-wo, rang-zhin, thug-je. 59
Ngo-wo. 59
Rang-zhin. 59
Thug-je. 61
Tibetan story of ‘My son Dawa’ 62
Three Aa practice with guru yoga. 64
Energy and the body. 69
Tightness and tension. 70
Solar and lunar energy. 72
Questions. 74
Karmic postman drops something into our life letterbox. 76
Emptiness is the one big key. 77
How the five afflictions undermine us. 79
Stupidity: it’s all a mis-take. 79
Desire and attachment. 80
Dis-ease:  being ill at ease. 81
Anger and aversion. 82
Pride and jealousy. 83
Pluralistic in our confusion in samsara; pluralistic in our manifestation in enlightenment. 84
Advice to James from his mother. 84