Cutting through Spiritual Material
by Chogyan Thrumpa


1 Summary

Although the Buddhist way is not theistic, it does not contradict the theistic disciplines. Rather the differences between the ways are a matter of emphasis and method: The Buddhist approach begins with our confusion and suffering and works toward the unravelling of their origin. The theistic approach begins with the richness of God and works toward raising consciousness so as to experience God's presence.

In Buddhist tradition, the spiritual path is the process of cutting through our confusion, of uncovering the awakened state of mind. Not building up the awakened state of mind, but rather burning out the confusions which obstruct it. Enlightenment is permanent because we have not produced it; we have merely discovered it.

The heart of confusion is that man has a sense of self, which seems to him to be continuous and solid. This struggle to maintain the sense of a solid, continuous self is the action of ego.

Tibetan Buddhist metaphor, the Three Lords of Materialism:

1. Lord of Form refers to the neurotic pursuit of physical comfort, security and pleasure. Our preoccupation with manipulating physical surroundings so as to shield ourselves from the irritations of the raw, rugged unpredictable aspects of life. It is ego's ambition to secure and entertain itself, trying to avoid irritation.

2. Lord of Speech refers to the use of intellect in relating to our world. We adopt sets of categories which serve as handles, as ways of managing phenomena. The most fully developed products of this tendency are ideologies; nationalism, communism, Christianity, Buddhism etc. - all provide us with identities, rules of action and interpretations of how and why things happen as they do. The Lord of Speech is the inclination of the ego to interpret anything that is threatening or irritation in such a way as to neutralise the treat or turn it into something positive from ego's point of view.

3. Lord of Mind refers to the effort of consciousness to maintain awareness of itself, holding onto our sense of self eg drugs, yoga, prayer etc. Ego is able to convert everything to its own use, even spirituality. For example beneficial meditation technique. Egos attitude is first to regard it as an object of fascination then to examine it, finally since ego is seeming solid and cannot really absorb anything, it can only mimic. At last it has created a tangible accomplishment , a confirmation of its own individuality. The Lord of Mind is the most powerful in subverting spirituality.

The Buddha discovered that the Three Lords secure us by creating a fundamental myth: that we are solid beings. The Lords defences are created out of the material of our minds. The method that the Buddha used to cut through these layers is meditation. He discovered that struggling to find answers did not work. It was only when there were gaps in his struggle that insights came to him. So the practice of meditation involves 'letting be'.

Our meditation practice must begin with ego's outermost layer, the discursive thoughts which continually run through our minds, our mental gossip. The Lords use discursive thought as their first line of defence, as the pawns in their effort to deceive us. The more we generate thoughts, the busier we re mentally and the more convinced we are of our existence

The next layer is the emotions that the Lords stir up to distract us. Meditation neither encourages nor represses emotions. Not seen as a means of entertaining and distracting us but rather source of inexhaustible energy which fulfils egoless action.

Next layer, the Lords bring up still more powerful weapon, concepts. Labelling phenomena creates a feeling of a solid definite world of 'things'. The world exists therefore, I the perceiver of the world, exist too. In meditation labelling becomes simply the act of discrimination.


Ch 1 Spiritual Materialism

The collectors - Ego's filter. "I should be doing this and should avoid doing that" is a level of complication which takes us a long way from the basic simplicity of what we are. Involves stepping out of ego's constant desire for higher, more spiritual more transcendental version of knowledge. Our vast collections of knowledge and experience are just part of ego's display. Created an antique shop. If you really appreciate an object to beauty, then you completely identify with it and forget yourself. It is like seeing a fascinating movie, and forgetting you are in the audience.

Knowledge is not handed down like an antique. Tibetan saying: "Knowledge must be burned , hammered and beaten like pure gold. Then one can wear it has an ornament".


Ch 2 Surrendering

Give up trying to defend and improve ourselves.

Surrendering to a guru. Search for a guru who will be all things to us. We find he does not match our expectations and are disappointed. In order for us to establish a real teacher-student relationship, we must give up all our preconceptions.

Surrender also means acknowledging the raw, rugged, clumsy shocking qualities of one's ego. Although we may hate ourselves, at the same time we find out self-hatred a kind of occupation; give up self-criticism like loosing a job. Self-evaluation and self-criticism are basically neurotic tendencies which derive from our not hang enough confidence in ourselves.

If we can open, then we suddenly begin to see that our expectations are irrelevant compared with the reality of the situations we are facing. This automatically brings a feeling of disappointment. Disappointment is the best chariot to use on the path of the dharma. (law of existence)

Traditionally, surrendering is symbolised by such practices as prostration, which is the act of falling on the ground in a gesture of surrender (McLeod Ganj)

Basic Buddhist formula: "I take refuge in the Buddha, I take refuge in the dharma, I take refuge in the sangha". Buddha as the example of surrender dharma life as it is sangha - community of people on the spiritual path - companions. I am willing to share my experience of the whole environment of life with my fellow pilgrims.

The wrong way to take refuge involves seeking shelter, worshipping mountains, sun gods deities of any kind simply because they would seem to be greater than we. "I am such a small thing, but I acknowledge your great quality. I would like to worship and join your greatness, so will you please protect me?" Surrendering is not a question of being low and stupid. Instead we surrender because we would like to communicate with the world 'as it is'


Ch 3 The Guru

Name guru acquired meanings associations which are misleading. The very notion that we will 'get' something from a guru - happiness, peace of mind, wisdom - is one of the most difficult preconceptions of all.

Marpa, of Kagyu lineage, most renown Tibetan masters Marpa example of self made man, born into farming family, rose to position of priest in local religious tradition, began studying Tibetan, Sanskrit and other languages. Went on pilgrimage to India to collect texts to translate thus establishing himself as great scholar-translator. Marpa heard of Naropa, a man of enormous fame. Found him living in poverty, gave him his gold and asked for teachings which he gave. Galvanised by a conversation with his travelling companion, that the teachings were common, he went off again to another wise man, Kukruipa. Found an Indian man living in filth in the midst of hundreds of female dogs, and Kulruipa speaking in gibberish. However, once Marpa gave up trying to appease the mauling bitches and make sense of the gibberish, then Kukruipa began talking sense, and Marpa received the teachings. Met up with fellow traveller, who was intrigued with what M had found, and became jealous. As they were crossing on a ferry, his friend shifted his position on the boat and in so doing managed to thrown all of Marpsa manuscripts into the river. Marpa first distraught. However later enlightenment. While he was in India he had only taken written notes on those parts of the teachings he had not understood. He had not written down those teaching which were part of his own experiences. It was only years later that he discovered that they had actually become part of him. With this discovery Marpa lost all desire to profit from the teachings.

Story of Milarepa. He was peasant, committed many crimes including murder, came to Marpa. Marpa had Milarepa pay on a very literal physical level. He had him build a series of houses for him, after each was completed Marpa would tell Milarepa to tear the house down and put the stones back where he had found them so as not to mar the landscape. Each time Marpa ordered Milarepa to dismantle the house, he would give some absurd excuse, such has having been drunk when he ordered the house to be built or never having ordered such a house at all. Finally built towers, and then asked for initiation gifts. Rejected by Marpa. Milarepa gave up, in despair decided to commit suicide, and was just about to kill himself, when Marpa came to him and told him that he was ready to receive the teaching.

It has been said that the first stage of going to ones guru is like going into a supermarket - you dream of all the spiritual things you are going to buy. 'Love affair'. Honeymoon period. Guru central, you are just a useless insignificant person who is continuously fed by this great fascinating central being. Personality becomes prominent. Guru only person in the world who exists. The second stage is like going to court as though you were a criminal. Relationship begins to become creative. You accept the situations of being overwhelmed by him and distant from him. If he decides to play the role of cold icy water, you accept it. Nothing can shake you and you come to a reconciliation with him. The third stage is like seeing a cow happily grazing in a meadow. You must admire its peacefulness and then pass on. Finally fourth stage is like passing a rock on the road. You do not even pay attention to it, you just pass by and walk on.

Marpa just an ordinary person. He never tried to be someone special. When he lost his temper, he just lost it and beat people. He just did it. He never acted or pretended. Religious fanatics, on the other hand, are always trying to live up to some model of ho it all is supposed to be.


Ch 4 Initiation

"Many people come to be do so because then have heard of me personally, inspired that I am a meditation teacher from exotic Tibet, the 11th reincarnation of the Trungpa Tulku. Would they do the same off the street/" People want to receive initiation, would like to join the club. No a matter of finding a wise guru from whom we can buy or steel wisdom. The Sanskrit equivalent for initiation is abhisheda which means sprinkle/pour/anointment. And if there is pouring, there must be a vessel into which the pouring can fall. Abhisheka is born out of surrender. In the Tibetan tradition this way of seeing things is called "ordinary mind", thamal-gyi-shepa. It is the most insignificant thing of all, complete openness, the absence of any kind of collection or evaluation.

Daughters of Mara. Buddhist. Mara represents the neurotic tendency of mind, and he sends his daughters to seduce us.


Ch 5 Self-deception

Continual problem - ego is always trying to achieve spirituality. It is rather like wanting to witness your own funeral. For example, we might approach our spiritual friend hoping to get something wonderful from him. This approach is called 'hunting the guru'

Real initiation is the meeting of the two minds. It is a matter of being what you really are and of relating to the spiritual friend how he or she is.

At first very excited, everything is beautiful. It seems we have achieved the level of Buddhahood. Instantaneous meditation occurs all the time.

However usually the intensity wanes. Experience gone, just the memory of it. "Wow, fantastic, I have to catch that, I have to capture and keep it because it is a very rare and valuable experience". so we try holding on to it. As soon as we try to capture the experience, a whole chain of reactions sets in. If we regard something as valuable and extraordinary, then it becomes quite separate from us. Re-tell the story. When I was with my guru such and such happened. So self-deception in this case, means trying to recreate a past experience again and again. Feel nostalgic. The moment you realise that you are elf-evaluating and are not getting anything from it, then you begin to find your way out.


Ch 7 The Hard Way

Inasmuch as no one is going to save us, to the extent that no one is going to magically enlighten us, the pat we are discussing is called the 'hard way' A Simple meeting of two minds.

This is not to say that the point of the hard way is that we much be heroic. The attitude of heroism is based upon the assumption that we are bad, impure, that we are not worthy, are not ready for spiritual understanding. We must reform, be different to how we are. We give up material things, we become vegetarian - there are so many things to become. This is merely the way of false heroism. Sitting in a Hindu ashram, we have not eaten chocolate for six or seven months, so we dream of chocolate. Perhaps we are nostalgic for Christmas. But we still think we have found the path of discipline. We have struggled, and become masters of discipline. Not saying that disciplinary traditions are not applicable to the spiritual path. Rather it must entail giving up our hope of getting something in return. If you involve yourself with the heroic way, you add layers or skins to your personality because you think you have achieved something.

Hesitation could be another form of self-deception.


Ch 8 The Open Way

Self deception continued. We are always trying to secure ourselves, reassure ourselves we are all right. Constantly looking for something solid to hang on to. Next self deception is desire to see miracles.

Having discovered self deception, we suffer from tremendous paranoia and self criticism, which is helpful. There is a tenancy towards centralisation and there is the notion of the 'big deal' involved with your psychology, your state of mind. That is what is wrong.

Compassion is the key to the basic atmosphere of the open way, clarity containing warmth, trusting yourself. Compassion has nothing to do with achievement at all. When a person develops a real compassion, he is uncertain whether he is being generous to others or to himself, it is without direction, without 'for me' and without 'for them'.

Second yana is called Mahayana, the Great Vehicle. It is the attitude that one has been born fundamentally rich rather than one must become rich.

Our problem is that we re too involved with trying to prove something, which is connected with paranoia and the feeling of poverty. You no longer regard people has a drain on your energy. They recharge your energy.

Bodhisattva Path starts with generosity and openness, surrendering. Dana paramita, the paramita of generosity. No need to secure your ground Shila paramita, the paramita of morality or discipline. Kshanti paramita, the paramita of inspiration virya - the quality of delight Prajna, transcendent knowledge, the ability to see situations as they are. Dharma is defined as 'dispassion' or passionless, and passionless implies an absence of aggression. If you are passionate, you want to get something quickly to satisfy your desire. It is like making d'he (yoghurt. If you leave it at the right temperature and just abandon it, it will be good yoghurt.


Ch 9 Sense of Humour

Sense of humour means seeing both poles of a situation as they are, seeing the ironic aspect of things.


Ch 10 The Development of Ego

Tibetan saying "Before the head has been cooked properly, grabbing the tongue is of no use." Must understand the material we are working with.

All religious traditions deal with this material, speaking variously of alay-vijnana or original sin or the fall of man or the basis of ego. Most religions refer to this material in a somewhat pejorative way, but I do not think it is such a terrible thing. We do not have to be ashamed of what we are.

First is the experience of 'space and I'.

First Shandha, the creation of ignorance-form. This has three different aspects: First birth of ignorance, notice one is separate Second, the ignorance born within, that one has always been separate. Third Self observing ignorance, watching oneself, seeing oneself as an external object, which leads to the first notion of other

Second Shadkha, defence mechanism. Since we have already ignored open space, we would like to feel the qualities of solid space in order to bring a complete fulfilment to the grasping quality we are developing

Third Shadkha Perception-Impulse Fascinated by our own creation, explore creation. Judgements, we react. Forth Sakandha, Concept. In order to really protect and deceive oneself completely, one needs intellect, the ability to name and categorise things. Now ego becomes more sophisticated Fifth Skandha. An amalgamation of the 2nd and 3rd and 4th. Uncontrollable and illogical patterns of discursive thought.

Monkey trapped in a small space.


Ch 11 The Six Realms

So it is we come to the first of the stages of 'redemption'

1. Realm of the Hungry Ghost - Preta Loka, the feeling of impoverishment and hunger for relief.

2. Animal Realms, realm of stupidity

3. Human Realm, the realm of discriminating passion.

4. Realm of Jealous Gods - ambition to gain victory

5. Realm of the Gods - Deva Loka. Monkey become a millionaire,

6. Realm of Formless Gods. Monkey able to maintain his sense of a solid self continuously by expanding the walls of his prison


Ch 12 The Four Nobel Truths

1. The truth of suffering

2. The truth of the origin of suffering

3. The Truth of the goal

4. The Truth of the path.

1, Suffering Dissatisfaction occur because the mind spins around in such a way that there seems to be no beginning and no end to its motion, thoughts of past, thoughts of future. Dukha, the constantly repeated feeling that something is lacking, incomplete in our lives. To understand the truth of duhkra is actually to understand mind's neurosis. If we enjoy pleasure, we are afraid to loose it; we strive for more and more pleasure or try to contain it. If we suffer pain we try to escape it. Continual movement. Never time enough to taste the flavour, continual busyness..

2. Origin of Suffering Realise that struggle is the root of suffering, struggle is merely another expression of ego.

3. Goal - non striving We need only drop the effort to secure and solidify ourselves and the awakened state is present. But we soon realise that just 'letting go' is only possible for short periods. We need some discipline to bring us to 'letting be'.

4. Spiritual path We must walk a spiritual path. Ego must wear itself out like an old shoe, journeying from suffering to liberation. Meditation. One method developed in India and Tibet could be called concentration. Focusing the mind on a particular point so as to be better able to control the mind and concentrate. 'I call this kind of practice 'mental gymnastics' because it does not attempt to deal with the totality of any given situation. It is based entirely on this or that, subject and object, rather than transcending the dualistic view of life.' Practice of 'samadhi' on the other hand does not involve concentration. Concentration practices are largely ego- reinforcing, although not purposely as such. Depending on the mediators will-power, we might become introverted in a way which is too solemn, fixed or rigid. Competitive attitude. If you want to become a millionaire, you first become a millionaire psychologically.

The practice of meditation is based upon the situation of this present moment. We may use various techniques to facilitate this kind of awareness, but these techniques are simply a way of stepping our of ego. Like a toy given to a child, when it grows it will be discarded. In the meantime technique is necessary in order to develop patience and to refrain from dreaming about the 'spiritual experience.' Ones whole practice should be based on the relationship between you and nowness.

Shamatha meditation - practice of seeing the precision of situations at every moment. Associated with the Hinayana Path or Lesser vehicle, the disciplined or narrow path. Means peacefulness.

When we speak about treading the path of dharma, the forth noble truth, it does not mean that we become religious, calm good. Trying to be calm, trying to be good is an aspect of striving, of neuroticism. For instance when you meditate you may experience ordinary domestic thoughts and you hear a watcher say 'You shouldn't do this, you should come back to meditation'. These pious thoughts are still thoughts and should not be cultivated.

Most people are too busy attempting to rid themselves of irritation, too busy seeking distractions from themselves to look into the material they already have.


Ch 13 The Bodhivisattva Path

Done Hinayana meditation, practice of simplicity and precision, allowing space.

We must now begin to view situations in a more panoramic view, which is vipashyana meditation. Micro to macro. Out of this develops panoramic awareness, mahavipashyana meditation. Seeing another way of dealing with our projections brings intense joy. This is the first spiritual level of attainment of the bodhisattva, the first bhumi. We enter Bodhisattva Path, the Mahayana Path, the open way, the path of warmth and openness.

We are aware of a vast expanse of space between us and objects. We are aware of the space between the situation and ourselves and anything can happen in that space. We are not imposing our conceptualised ideas, names and categories on experience, but experience the openness. It involves the open-minded willingness to allow oneself to be awake, to allow one's instinct to spring out.

Tathagata means those who have experienced the tathata, which is 'as it is' . The path of Bodhisattva is for those who are brave and convinced of the powerful reality of the tathagata-natur which exists within themselves. This path consists of 6 transcendental activities which take place spontaneously, called the 6 paramitas because param means the other side and ita means arrived.

1. Generosity In Buddhist scriptures means being kind to someone who is lower than you. Transcends irritation and self-defensiveness

2. Discipline If we are completely open, not watching ourselves at all, but being completely open then action is pure. However, if we attempt to achieve pure conduct through effort, our action will be clumsy.

3. Patience Not trying to control oneself. Never expects anything. Patience feels space, not fearing new situations

4. Energy Joyous energy because we are completely interested in the creative patters of our lives.

5. Meditation or dhyana

6. Knowledge Two-edged sword that cuts through all confusion and conflicting emotions. Cuts through any kind of awareness which has the slightest inclination towards separating a this and that.


Ch 14 Shunyta

Cutting through our coonceptualized versions of the world with the sword of prajna, we discover shunyata - nothingness, emptiness, the absence of duality and coneptualization.

The best known of the Buddha's teachings on this subject are presented in the Prajnaparamita-hridaya, also called the Heart Sutra. Avalokieshvara, the bodhisattva who represents compassion and skilful means and Shariputra, the great arhat who represents prajna, knowledge. A compelled to awaken to shunyata by overwhelming force of prajna. Teachings under microscope, ie not accepted on blind faith but examined, practised and tried and proved.

A said: Oh Shriputra, form is empty and emptiness is form.

Form is that which is before we project our concepts onto it. It could be a maple leaf falling from a tree. Form is empty of our preconceptions, our judgements.

But emptiness is also form. This is an outrageous remark. We thought we had got it all sorted out, so we have to re-examine. The emptiness of the maple leaf is also form. It was too easy, taking away all concept, to conclude that everything is simply what it is. That could be an except. We actually have to feel things how they are, the isness of things. So shunyata is the complete absence of concepts or filters of any kind, the absence of the 'form is empty' and the 'emptiness is form'

Famous Zen master: "When I eat, I eat; when I sleep I sleep".

This interpretation is the Madyamika or Middle Way philosophical school foundered by Nagarjuna. It is a description of an experiential reality which can never by accurately described because words simply are not the experience. Words or concepts only point to the partial aspects of experience.

Several other major philosophical approaches to the problems of truth and reality which preceded and influence the development of the Madhyamika school. Grouped in 3 categories:

1. the externalises

2. the nihilists

3. the atomists

The Madhyamikas viewed the first two of these approaches as being false, and the third as being only partially true.

1. Externalism.

Externalistic doctrines view phenomena as containing some sort of external essence. Things are born and die, yet contain an essence which does not perish. The quality of external existence must adhere to some thing, so the holders of this doctrine usually subscribe to a belief in God, a soul, an effable self.

2. Nihilism

Eventually the believer in externalistic doctrines may become disillusioned with a God he has never met. Nihilism holds that everything is generated out of nothingness, mystery. Appears in both theistic and atheistic assertions. No answers to the mysteries - all an illusion. Possibly the nihilist would say that the human mind cannot comprehend such mystery. Invokes the physiological attitude of fatalism. You see a continuity of cause and effect, a chain reaction over which you have no control.

Whether we are externalists, nihilists or atomists, we constantly assume that there is a mystery, something which we do not know. We struggle after this mystery, trying to become a person who knows or possesses.

Certainly this is not the Madhyamika approach to reality '

Early Hinayana school of Buddhism to some extent fell in this trap. The Hinayana equivalent of shunyta is the understanding of the transitory and insubstantial nature of form.

Yogachara, a Mahayana philosophical school attempted to eliminate this mystery by finding a union of mystery and the phenomenal world. For this school the mystery is intelligence, that which knows. There is no individual knower; rather everything is self known. This was the first Buddhist thought to transcend the division between the knower and the known. Thus its adherents explain confusion and suffering as springing from the mistaken belief in an individual knower.

Madhyamika philosophy is a critical view of the Yogacharin theory that everything is an aspect of mind. The Madhymika argument runs: "In order to say that mind exists or that everything is the play of the one mind, there must be someone watching mind, the knower of mind who vouches for its existence". Thus the whole of Yogachara is necessarily a theory on the part of this watcher. Therefore once we have taken away this preconception of the existence of mind and reality, then situations become clearer, as they are. There is no one to watch. Reality just is, and this is what is meant by shunyata. It is freedom from this and that. This is what is meant by the middle way or Madhyamika.

The experience of shunata cannot be developed without having first worked through the narrow path of discipline and technique. We could perceive the absence of ego at a single glance, but we could not accept such a simple truth. In other words we have to learn in order to unlearn..

The Heart Sutra ends with the great spell or mantra.

Om gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha

Gone gone gone beyond completely gone

Om shunyata mahashunyata

Gone, given up, got ride of, opened.

1st gate = ride the veil of conflicting emotions
form is empty

2nd gate = represents the veil of primitive beliefs about reality
emptiness is form

paragate = form - gone beyond, completely exposed

bodhi = completely awake, given up, completely unmasked, naked, completely open

Svaha = traditional ending for mantras means So-be-it.


Ch15 Pajna and Compassion

Form is emptiness and emptiness is form.

The next stage is for us to give up our ambition to see form as empty. Dwell on non-duality.

Here we enter into a transitional phase between the Mahayana Path and Tantra, in which the prajna is a continuous experience and compassion is no longer deliberate.

Compassion is very powerful but it must be directed by the intelligence of prajna. Compassion contains fundamental fearlessness without hesitation. This fearlessness is marked by tremendous generosity, in contrast to the fearlessness of exerting one's power over others. In meditation experience calm and peace, but also warmth.

Not the game of self-deception. I say I love you hoping to lure them to our territory.

No need to be loving and kind to one's neighbours, no need to speak pleasantly to people and put on a pretty smile. This little game does not apply. In fact is embarrassing.

In Buddhist teachings the symbol of compassion is the moon shining in a sky while its image is reflected in one hundred bowls of water. The moon just shines. There is no audience.


Ch 16 Tantra

Finally we reach the 10th and last stage of the Bodhisattva Path: the death of shunyata and the birth of luminosity. Shunyata as an experience falls away, exposing luminous quality of form. Prajna transforms into ? or wisdom. But wisdom is still experienced as an external discovery. The powerful jolt of the vajra-like samadhi is necessary to bring the bodhisattva into the state of being wisdom, rather than knowing wisdom. This is the moment of bodhi, or awake, the entrance into Tantra.

Tantra is connected with the workings of energy.

The scriptures describe a yogi who is completely intoxicated with his energy as being like a drunken elephant who runs rampant without considering where he is going..

The word Tantra means continuity. It is like the thread which strings beads together. The tread is the path.

Tantric wisdom brings nirvana to samsara. This may sound rather shocking.

It is the perception of spiritual implication in our everyday life. He is able to see not only the absence of the complexity, the absence of duality, but the stoneness of the stone, not merely in the physical sense but awareness of their spiritual significance. Everything he sees is an expression of spiritual discovery. There is a vast understanding of symbolism and a vast understanding of energy.

Practice of meditation is practice of three Yanas

1. begins with the penetration of the neurotic thought - the Hinayana, the vehicle of method

2. at last we create some space between this and that - the Mahayana, the vehicle of shunyata or space

3. having created the space we then go on to the Vajrayana practice of creating a direct link with life experiences - the Vajrayana or Tantra, the vehicle of direct energy.

In the Tantric tradition, energy is categorized in five basic qualities, or Buddha families.

1. Vajra

Associated with anger, which is transmuted into mirror-like wisdom

Water element - cloudy turbulent water, defensive aggressive, clear water sharp clear wisdom.

Colour white - white anger, but has potential of luminosity

East - the dawn


2. Ratna

Associated with pride and earth transmuted into wisdom of equanimity


Autumn, fertility richness continual generosity. "It is luscious and open with the quality of mid morning"

Colour yellow - suns rays

3. Padma

Associated with passion, a grasping quality transmuted to Discriminating Awareness.

One sees the quality of this and that


Colour Red. Provocative, draws you towards it

Fire element

Early Spring. Harshness of winter just about to soften. Padma connected with facade. Arts rather than sciences.

4. Karma

Associated with emotion of jealousy, envy transmuted to Wisdom of All accomplishing Action.

Paranoia that you are not going to achieve gives way to qualities of energy and keenness of action and openness

Wind element



Colour green - of vegetables and grasses, growing energy

5. Buddha

Associated with dullness, ignorance transmuted to All Encompassing Space.

Foundation stone, the oxygen which makes it possible for the other principles to function





Posted December 2003