N&B - Realms, Dakinis, Gods

Excerpt from Mind Training retreat on the six realms, questions about dakinis and understanding deities and gods.

Translation - Prayer

Opening a Path to the Ocean of Awakening Mind

passage from translation:
I and all beings, in their infinities,
Whether demonic, crippling or alien,
Are, in the end, the same in emptiness.
Confused is the person who takes what is empty as real.


Six Ways Not to Approach Meditation

passage from article: This greed for results, for something dramatic, undermines our practice completely. The effects of meditation are subtle and take time to mature. When we are constantly looking for some kind of sign or attainment from our practice, we are essentially looking outside ourselves.

Translation - prayer

Ever-present Good's Prayer of Intention

passage from text:
Through my awakened intention
May all who are quarrelsome and competitive
Stop their hostility and relax where they are.
As knowing finds its own place,
May they attain the pristine awareness of effective action.


Facing Fear

passage from article: Fear is a reactive mechanism that operates when our identity (including the identity of being a physical entity) is threatened. It works to erode or dissipate attention. We move into one of the six realms and react: destroy the threat or seek revenge (hell being), grasp at safety and security (hungry ghost), focus on survival (animal), pursue pleasure as compensation (human), vie for superiority (titan), or protect status and position (god). Because we are less present to what is actually taking place, our actions are correspondingly less appropriate and less effective. We go to sleep in our beliefs and ignore the consequences of maintaining them.

Podcast with transcript

Who Am I? 3

Who am I functionally? Who am I in the family environment? Who am I in the work environment? Who am I acting in each of the six realms?

Podcast with transcript

Then and Now, Class 13

Review of the first two types of suffering; the third type of suffering and the six realms; how a society’s cosmology (medieval or modern) reflect its psychology; how we experience the six realms in daily life (anger as hot hell, hate as cold hell, etc.); how the development of numbering systems impacted mythic descriptions; perception of time and the realms; personal values and social norms; the four major and four minor sufferings of the human realm. The Jewel Ornament of Liberation by Gampopa, commentary on Chapter 5.

Podcast with transcript

Money and Value 2

What generates the problem? Confusion about money points to confusion about what we value in our lives; when you see things in terms of money, you are inevitably in one of the six realms; guided meditations: survival, getting emotional needs met, and self-image; intention versus self-image; valuing what can be taken away places life in other people’s hands.

Podcast with transcript

Monsters Under The Bed 6

Stepping out of the six realms, doing nothing, three aspects of doing nothing, connection with the three marks of existence; no distraction, not holding onto things, differentiating between thoughts and thinking; no control, not trying to control what we experience, connection with suffering; not working at anything, not being somebody, opening to the totality of experience; meditation instruction.

Podcast with transcript

Monsters Under The Bed 5

Retreat experience to date, locking up in the body, what to do about it, guided meditation on how the six realms appear in daily life, venturing into the mystery of not living in any realm.

Podcast with transcript

Monsters Under The Bed 4

Habituation as a form of addiction; the dynamics of addiction from an experiential perspective; the dynamics of addiction from a biochemical perspective; stepping out of addiction to habitual reactions; process through which freedom is found; meditation practice on emptying the six realms; Q&A

Podcast with transcript

Monsters Under The Bed 3

The six realms, projections of emotional reactions; anger and the hell realms, greed and the hungry ghost realms, instinct and the animal realms, fun and busynesss in the human realm, jealousy in the titan realm, pride in the god realm; meditation practice on experiencing the six realms; Q&A


Mahamudra (class) 1

Discussion of the View section from The Lamp of Mahamudra by Tselek Rangdrol and the Shamatha section from Clarifying the Natural State by Dakpo Tashi Namgyal). Sketch of history and relevance of Mahamudra. The view can be seen as a response to life’s basic questions such as ‘What Am I?’ and ‘What is this experience we call “life”?’; the connection between essence and experience; contrast of clarity and openness of natural awareness with the stuff of ordinary experience; how emotional reactions and the six realms arise; examination of the kayas as a way to see things as they are; working with a teacher as one way to transform emotional energy into attention; seeing what you are by seeing what you are not, description of three types of meditations to do while taking this class, questions from class participants.


37 Practices of a Bodhisattva 2

Questions on previous session’s content including importance of sequence in lists, how to approach a mythic cosmology in a rational culture, translation points around “spiritual heir”, comments on leaving your homeland (practice 2) including the three levels of meaning (inner, outer, and secret), the need to take action, two levels of ignorance, three poisons, and the six realms; comments relying on silence (practice 3) including what it means not to engage disturbances or distractions, relationship between clear vivid awareness and confidence. Translated text available on the website.

Podcast with transcript

Awakening From Belief 10b

The eight components of a pattern and their relationship to the five elements and six realms, suggested reading material

Podcast with transcript

Mind Training 6

Always train in the three basic principles: respect your intention, act in ways that support your practice and include all experience; the six realms as a structure for exploring all experience; change your attitude and stay natural; don’t talk about others’ shortcomings; don’t dwell on others’ problems. The audio for this series of podcasts was originally recorded on audio cassette. As such you may find the sound to be of a lower quality.

Podcast with transcript

Chö 4

Recitation of daily Chö ritual with commentary; opening the door to the sky transference; visualization instruction combining syllables, colours, body and six realms; commentary on transference.