I am taking a class at the Shambhala Center in Mar Vista called:
Who Am I? The Basic Goodness of Being Human
with Shastri Pamela Bothwell & Marilyn Moore
I wanted to learn more about Meditation and I had been looking at Shambhala a long time. When I got interested in the 500 hour yoga and meditation teacher training at Spirit Rock and I saw on the application you had to document meditation training I thought, ok, let me take a class. So I signed up for this one.
I don't always feel that comfortable in the Shambhala class. Everyone else in the class our Shambhala Warriors (I think that is what they call themselves) to mean that means they are dedicated to Shambhala and I am just taking a class to learn about meditation because I am interested it for healing. I feel a bit like an outsider not one of their group. But that is ok. I am an insider a lot so I might as well experience being an outsider every once and a while.
This week we had to read a chapter from Chogyam Trungpa's book The Sanity We are Born with: A Buddhist Approach to Psychology. The chapter was on the development of the ego.
Here is what wikipedia has to say about Chogyam Trungpa
Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche (Wylie: Chos rgyam Drung pa; February 28, 1939 – April 4, 1987) was a Buddhist meditation master and holder of both the Kagyu and Nyingma lineages, the eleventh Trungpa tülku, a tertön, supreme abbot of the Surmang monasteries, scholar, teacher, poet, artist, and originator of a radical re-presentation of Shambhala vision.
Recognized both by Tibetan Buddhists and by other spiritual practitioners and scholars as a preeminent teacher of Tibetan Buddhism, he was a major, albeit controversial, figure in the dissemination of Tibetan Buddhism to the West, founding Vajradhatu and Naropa University and establishing the Shambhala Training method.
Among his contributions are the translation of a large number of Tibetan texts, the introduction of the Vajrayana teachings to the West, and a presentation of the Buddhadharma largely devoid of ethnic trappings. Regarded as a mahasiddha by many senior lamas, he is seen as having embodied the crazy wisdom (Tib. yeshe chölwa) tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Some of his teaching methods and actions were the topic of controversy during his lifetime and afterwards.
So here are my notes:
"We have a saying in Tibet that, before the head has beem cooked properly, grabbing the tongue is of no use."
alayavinjnana - original sin
"We do not have to be ashamed of what we are. AS sentient beings we have wonderful backgrounds."
"Fundamentally there is just open space, the basic ground, what we really are. Our most fundamental state of mind, before the creation of ego, is such that there is basic openeness, basic freedom., a soacious quality; and we have now and have always had this openness."
"Confused mind is inluned to view itself as solid, ongoing thing, but it is only a collection of tendencies, events. In Buddhist terminology this collection is referred to as the five skandas or five heaps."
Open Space Belonging to No one
Vidya - Intelligence
At a point we become self-conscious
Avidya - unintelligence "This avidya, ignorance, ignoring the intelligence ...is the culmination of the first skandha, the creation of ignorance form.
Birth of Ignorance
ignorance born within
"It is an attitude that one is a confused and separate individual, and that is all there is to it. One has identified oneself as separate from the basic landscape of space and openness."
2nd Skandha is Feeling
we have solidified the whole space into the other
3rd Skandha is Perception-Impulse
4th Skandha is Concept
"...we label things and events as being good, bad, beautiful, ugly, and so on, according to whuch impulse we find appropriate to them."
5th Skandha is Consciousness
Six Lokas or Six Realms
deva loka - the god realm (a place filled with beautiful and splendid things)
asura realm - realm of the jealous gods
human realm - whole development begins to feel rather heavy and stupid
animal realm - he would rather crawl or moo or bark than enjoy the pleasure of pride or envy. This is the simplicity of animals
hungry ghost realm or preta realm - a desperate feeling of starvation
"...suddenly this mental jigsaw puzzle reupts and his thought patterbs become irregular and unpredictable. This seems to be out state of mind as we come to the teachings and practice of meditation. This is the place from which we must start our practice."
The five skandhas according to Wikipedia
The sutras describe five aggregates:[d]
- "form" or "matter"[e] (Skt., Pāli rūpa; Tib. gzugs): external and internal matter. Externally, rupa is the physical world. Internally, rupa includes the material body and the physical sense organs.[f]
- "sensation" or "feeling" (Skt., Pāli vedanā; Tib. tshor-ba): sensing an object[g] as either pleasant or unpleasant or neutral.[h][i]
- "perception", "conception", "apperception", "cognition", or "discrimination" (Skt. samjñā, Pāli saññā, Tib. 'du-shes): registers whether an object is recognized or not (for instance, the sound of a bell or the shape of a tree).
- "mental formations", "impulses", "volition", or "compositional factors" (Skt. samskāra, Pāli saṅkhāra, Tib. 'du-byed): all types of mental habits, thoughts, ideas, opinions, prejudices, compulsions, and decisions triggered by an object.[j]
- "consciousness" or "discernment"[k] (Skt. vijñāna, Pāli viññāṇa,[l] Tib. rnam-par-shes-pa):
The Buddhist literature describes the aggregates as arising in a linear or progressive fashion, from form to feeling to perception to mental formations to consciousness.[q] In the early texts, the scheme of the five aggregates is not meant to be an exhaustive classification of the sentient being. Rather it describes various aspects of the way an individual manifests.