A challenge only becomes an obstacle when you bow to it.
I would like to talk about Immortality and the Great Perfection, also known as Dzogchen, said to be the highest Buddhist view on the nature of mind.
The central core of Dzogchen is the statement that everything is pure from the start, and hence one has no need to adapt, change or avoid any aspects of it, unless one wants to of course.
They have statements like “abide completely in whatever arises” and “be yourself completely”. They also talk about “giving up the disease of effort”, as the natural state of the mind is perfect and needs not be pushed around like some unruly goat.
Now this exactly what is happening to us when we take Immortality: we are asked by the substance to ‘abide without judgement in whatever arises’. When we feel great hunger we engage it, when we feel thirst we drink, when we feel exhausted we go to sleep and whenever we wake we begin the activities of the day.
Now some people say that this is obvious and yes, it is, yet like most great truths the application of this is somewhat harder to engage than the philosophy itself. We swim a lot of times in the thought stream of what, or how much we should be eating, how much sleep we should have, when we should wake, how productive we should be during the day and even what we should be thinking.
This is considered both the simplest and hardest path as we have to trust the arising in reality, and our response to it completely, as the play of our own minds.
We of course should not become attached to things and outcomes as this is a sure-fire way to ensure suffering which we generally try to stay away from in Buddhism.
They say ‘pluck the lotus from the water without falling in’ and this is exactly what we do when we run the immortality process in ourselves. We engage what arises without prejudice and judgement realising that a lot of what is arising is the playing out of our old cellular memory.
The key word here is our as it will be very personal given that we all have different memories and physical trauma sitting in our cells. This is why old aches and pains come up during the process as people are literally detoxing their entire cellular memory, not only of memories, but of stored physical sensations.
The reason I am writing this article is that the methodology for Dzogchen and the immortality process is really quite similar. In a word this would be abide (abide, abide, abide) just let the body and the mind run its course without prejudice or opinion.
Some old memories of things may arise, mostly good, but some potentially a bit unpleasant and we are just being asked to watch them without reacting or forming a storyline based on our opinion of them.
This sounds obvious and easy. But the truth of it is that we all swim in a lake of opinions about our experiences. We are also conditioned to respond in certain ways to certain memories but this will just hinder the process, as in truth, you are just being asked to view your movie running at high speed in reverse till you get back to an earlier, more vital and vibrant version of yourself.
Most people feel energized from the process but some feel tired initially, and to just lay down during this phase is appropriate, as the body often just needs time to process what has been accumulated. It is not really that interested in any other activities we feel necessary during that process.
What I am proposing as a view to take during the immortality process is a view of trust, even though what may arise might seem a bit unusual or a bit uncomfortable initially. We cannot predict what measures the body requires to facilitate this mental, physical and emotional detox and regeneration that comes in the wake of the immortality process.
We are literally returning to an earlier more vital version of ourselves and this is why joints get better, suppleness increases, skin softens and even hair regrows but this in no way begins to focus on the main point, the boundless energy we get along the way.
Some people say they find the process a bit stimulating. I would argue that this is just our natural childlike energy, and the reason why children run around and bounce off the walls – they are just full of life. Once we cease judging this state in ourselves from an adult perspective of, ‘I am too stimulated’, we come to the view that we have lots of energy, so it’s probably a good idea to go out and do something with it.
Most who take immortality begin to up their exercise regime, not because they think it is a good idea but more as something to do with all the extra energy arising in the body.
To allow ourselves to be ourselves completely is the path. But there is another piece to the non-dual philosophy of Dzogchen, and that is, ‘everything is the play of one’s own mind’ so one instantly becomes more compassionate in dealing with people.
As a yardstick I use the question, “would I be ok with this happening to me or my daughter” and if the answer is yes, then it is fine but if the answer is no, well then, I would refrain from perpetuating any such activity.
Dzogchen is also known as ‘the great relaxation’ as we are instructed by the teachings to give up the disease of effort and literally sink into the experience of life without judgement. To trust the arising and engage it, but also to feel happy to say no to anything if it feels wrong to us.
Immortality and Dzogchen go hand-in-hand together as they both allow us a more seamless experience of existence and represent the fastest and easiest way through the web of human experience.
Dzogchen is not a religion, it is a view on the science of managing our own minds and as such represents a beautiful and seamless perspective for us to hold so we have the most enjoyable, gentle and playful experience on our journey back through time, courtesy of Immortality.
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