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mind tech: the tech - experiencing emptiness Chod In The Desert: Feeding The Eagles And Sand by Adamas

Here, O Sariputra,
Form is Emptiness and the very Emptiness is Form;
Emptiness does not differ from Form,
Form does not differ from Emptiness,
whatever is Emptiness, that is Form …
Know [this] as the Great Spell …

- The Heart Sutra
Image: theworldeffect.com
 

One of the things you will find me talking about on a regular basis is Chod. For those who have read the book it will come as no surprise, and for those who haven't, you will find a bit about it in one of the Free Chapters called "The Left-Hand Path".

DIY Liberation

For me, Chod is not some obscure ritual that takes place only at certain places and times complete with all the arcane trappings. In fact, it has become such an integral part of my day to day reality that these days most of the time, they simply arise by themselves, spontaneously in the moment, wherever I find myself. This ancient and incredibly effective method of visual self-destruction consistenly hovers at the edges of my Awareness - whether it is visualising myself being scraped over kilometres of tar while racing my bike down the highway or grinding my skull while making a smoothie. That's how we do it, Buddha Brat style and whenever the mood takes me I will be sharing short snippets of some of these experiences with you. The 'monkey see, monkey do' ethos here at the BBHQ means that anything I do can and hopefully should serve as inspiration for your own DIY path to Liberation.

The Desert Dancing Dissolution

I've realized that just as mere knowledge of food doesn't help a hungry man, it's not enough to understand the goal of emptiness [intellectually];
once must cultivate [it's direct experience] repeatedly.

- Milarepa (Dakini's Warm Breath, p89)

Despite the neverending stream of Chod creativity that can be injected into ones mundane reality, it is always a treat when one gets out of the daily grind and into the wilds where the integration of unfamiliar landscapes into ones mind provides the perfect backdrop for new and epic Chodian insights. One such experience was my recent five day trek down the Fish River Canyon, the second biggest canyon in the world.

The Teachings state that we are ultimately in a perpetual state of formation and dissolution but to most people this core Teaching never progresses beyond a vague albeit somewhat poetic idea. The truth of it is that the sooner we realize it through direct experience, the happier and freer we become. You can only really talk about pain with certainty when you have the direct experience of being punched in the face, at which point nobody can deny or question your experience of it. So it is also with Emptiness and Form and the dance between them. This is where Chod really outshines almost any other technique - providing a visceral foundation for true understanding of what might otherwise remain an elusive intellectual concept.

While in the canyon I vividly experienced a vision of the shifting sands and wind dissolving my body as I walked, with fish eagles and jackals picking my bones dry - great stuff. This particular chodian vision was instrumental in allowing me to see anew the dance between Emptiness and Form as it arose and dissolved around me, only to arise once again. Amidst the constant dissolution and reconstruction, as the sand stripped the meat from my bones I vowed to hold myself in this moment of perpetual dancing as the true expression of my Natural State.

Emptiness of inherent existence is not merely a philosophy or doctrine invented by the Buddhas, it is the ultimate nature of ourselves, our body, our mind, and the world we experience ...
Whether we are aware of it or not, the ultimate nature of existence surrounds and permeates our world at all times.
All we have to do is cultivate an awareness of it.

- Padmasambhava (Dalai Lama’s secret temple, p52 )

Experiencing Emptiness

Going to the heart of "Emptiness is Form and Form is Emptiness" like this by experiencing it in real time represents the means for truly embracing and understanding this concept, until it becomes a certain fact. Once this happens you are a lot closer to making it your reality by living it in every moment. Infusing my daily reality with the Desert-Dissolution-function on automatic serves not only as a reminder of the true nature of the Dance of Emptiness and Form but quite literally continues to break down any dualities as they arise.

From the Ashes of the Atomic Fires,
Adamas

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