56 Routes for the Sharp and the Dull


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Alan referred back to the two routes to enlightenment outlined by Kagyu master Dakpo Tashi Namgyal, who recommended meditation first, then the view for those with dull minds. For those with sharp faculties, studying the views of the various schools, in particular the pinnacle view of the Prasangika school works well. Just by presenting consequences, the Prasangikas allow the opponent’s views to self destruct. Nothing withstands Nagarjuna’s analysis. The only thing left standing is the middle way. On the other hand the Mahamudra tradition targets just the mind. Like Luke Skywalker in Death Star, Alan suggests we search for the weak spot and nuke the ‘all creating sovereign’, implicity nuking everything that mind creates. But first you have to find your own mind, working from where you are. If we follow the route for the dull-minded, by first settling the mind in its natural state and achieving shamatha, then with a naked mind, luminous and cognisant, we can probe and investigate the true nature of consciousness. Meditation is on identifying the mind. After the meditation, Alan returned to the text on p. 91, likening the process of alternately analysing and meditating on the mind to a skater who has to work the legs hard but then can glide. He emphasised that this is a radically empirical method, briefly comparing it to the work of well-known physicists John Wheeler and David Finkelstein, both theoreticians who gained insight into physics by following implications. The meditation starts at 44:14. ___ Course notes, other episodes and resources for this retreat are available here The text for this retreat can be purchased via the SBI Store. Finally, Please contribute to help us afford the audio equipment we rent to make these, and future podcasts freely available.

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