The Open Dimension

Commentary on social issues; politics; religion and spirituality

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Location: Laguna Hills, California, United States

I am a semi-retired psychotherapist/psychiatric social worker and certified hypnotherapist. Originally a practicing attorney, I changed careers during the 1980's. My interests include history, constitutional law, Hindustani classical music, yoga, meditation and spirituality.

Monday, July 28, 2014



The Prayer of Kuntuzangpo, The Primordial Buddha Samantabhadra


Ho! Everything - appearance and existence, samsara and nirvana, has a

single ground, yet two paths and two fruitions, and magically displays as

awareness or unawareness.


Through Kuntuzangpo's prayer, may all beings become Buddhas, completely

perfected in the abode of the dharmadhatu. The ground of all is

uncompounded, and the self-arising great expanse, beyond expression, has

neither the name samsara nor nirvana. Realizing just this you are a Buddha;

not realizing this you are a being wandering in samsara.


I pray that all you beings of the three realms may realize the true

meaning of the inexpressible ground.


I, Kuntuzangpo, have realized the truth of this ground, free from cause

and condition, which is just this self-arising awareness. It is unstained by

outer expression and inner thought, affirmation or denial and is not defiled

by the darkness of unmindfulness. Thus this self-manifesting display is free

from defects.


I, Kuntuzangpo, abide as intrinsic awareness. Even though the three

realms were to be destroyed, there is no fear. There is no attachment to the

five desirable qualities of sense objects. In self-arising consciousness,

free of thoughts, there is neither solid form nor the five poisons.

In the unceasing clarity of awareness, singular in essence, there yet

arises the display of the five wisdoms. From the ripening of these five

wisdoms, the five original Buddha families emerge, and through the expanse

of their wisdom, the 42 peaceful Buddhas appear. Through the arising power

of the five wisdoms, the 60 wrathful Herukas manifest. Thus the ground

awareness is never mistaken or wrong.


I, Kuntuzangpo, am the original Buddha of all, and through this prayer

of mine, may all you beings who wander in the three realms of samsara

realize this self-arising awareness, and may your great wisdom spontaneously



My emanations will continuously manifest in billions of unimaginable

ways, appearing in forms to help you beings who can be trained. From the

beginning you beings are deluded because you do not recognize the awareness

of the ground.


Being thus unmindful of what occurs is delusion - the very state of

unawareness and the cause of going astray. From this delusive state comes a

sudden fainting away and then a subtle consciousness of wavering fear.

From that wavering there arises a separation of self and the perception

of others as enemies. Gradually the tendency of separation strengthens, and

from this the circle of samsara begins.


Then the emotions of the five poisons develop - the actions of these

emotions are endless. You beings lack awareness because you are unmindful,

and this is the basis of your going astray.


Through my prayer, may all you beings recognize your intrinsic

awareness! Innate unawareness means unmindfulness and distraction. Imputing

unawareness means dualistic thoughts towards self and others. Both kinds of

unawareness are the basis for the delusion of all beings.

Through Kuntuzangpo's prayer, may all you beings wandering in samsara

clear away the dark fog of unmindfulness, clear away the clinging thoughts

of duality!


May you recognize your own intrinsic awareness! Dualistic thoughts

create doubt, from subtle attachment to this dualistic turn of mind

dualistic tendencies become stronger and thicker. Food, wealth, clothes,

home and friends, the five objects of the senses and your beloved family -

all these things cause torment by creating longing and desire. These are all

worldly delusions; the activities of grasping and clinging are endless. When

the fruition of attachment ripens, you are born as a hungry ghost, tormented

by coveting and desiring, miserable, starving and thirsty.


Through Kuntuzangpo's prayer, may all you desirous and lustful beings

who have attachments, neither reject longing desire, nor accept attachment

to desires. Let your consciousness relax in its own natural state, then your

awareness will be able to hold its own. May you achieve the wisdom of

perfect discernment! When external objects appear, the subtle consciousness

of fear will arise. From this fear, the habit of anger becomes stronger and

stronger. Finally, hostility comes, causing violence and murder. When the

fruition of this anger ripens, you will suffer in hell by boiling and



Through Kuntuzangpo's prayer, you beings of the six realms, when strong

anger arises for you, neither reject nor accept it. Instead relax in the

natural state and achieve the wisdom of clarity!


When your mind becomes full of pride there will arise thoughts of

competition and humiliation. As this pride becomes stronger and stronger,

you will experience the suffering of quarrels and abuse. When the fruition

of this karma ripens, you will be reborn in the god realms and experience

the suffering of change and falling to the lower rebirths.


Through Kuntuzangpo's prayer, may you beings who developed pride let

your consciousness relax in the natural state. Then your awareness will be

able to hold its own. May you achieve the wisdom of equanimity! By

increasing the habit of duality, by praising yourself and denigrating

others, your competitive mind will lead you to jealousy and fighting, and

you will be reborn in the jealous god realm, where there is much killing and

injury. From the result of that killing, you will fall into the hell realm.


Through Kuntuzangpo's prayer, when jealousy and competitive thoughts

arise, do not grasp them as enemies. Just relax in ease, then consciousness

can hold its natural state. May you achieve the wisdom of unobstructed

action! By being distracted, careless and unmindful, you beings will become

dull, foggy and forgetful.


By being unconscious and lazy, you will increase your ignorance and the

fruition of this ignorance will be to wander helplessly in the animal realm.

Through Kuntuzangpo's prayer, may you beings who have fallen into the dark

pit of ignorance shine the light of mindfulness and thereby achieve wisdom

free from thought.


All you beings of the three realms are actually identical to Buddhas,

the ground of all. But your misunderstanding of the ground causes you to go

astray, so you act without aim. The six karmic actions are delusion like a

dream. I am the primordial Buddha here to train the six kinds of beings

through all my manifestations.


Through Kuntuzangpo's prayer may all you beings without exception attain

enlightenment in the state of dharmadhatu.


Ah Ho! Hereafter whenever a very powerful yogin with his or her

awareness radiant and free from delusion recites this very powerful prayer,

then all who hear it will achieve enlightenment within three lifetimes.

During a solar or lunar eclipse, during an earthquake or when the earth

rumbles, at the solstices or the New Year you should visualize Kuntuzangpo.

And if you pray loudly so all can hear, then beings of the three realms will

be gradually liberated from suffering, through the prayer of the yogin and

will finally achieve enlightenment.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Potala Palace, Lhasa, Tibet

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Great Perfection: The Approach to Dzogchen Meditation

Emaho! Leave alone whatever arises in the mind. Let there be vivid perception of the here and now. Intuit the liberating aspect of pure being. Whatever arises seems like the reflection in a mirror, but there is no duality of viewer and vision- they are one in the space of emptiness. Appearance and emptiness are indivisible. There is a holistic existential state, a flawless and seamless reality field, nothing other than undivided pure being. No intellectual concepts are valid. Penetrate to the essence. Thoughts and emotions dissolve upon their inception. Thoughts and their release are simultaneous- like the simultaneous drawing and vanishing of a figure traced in water- uninterrupted arising and reflexive release. Watch the release of thoughts at their inception. Sustain recognition of the primal awareness of pure being. Suffering is released at the moment of its inception naturally and reflexively. No matter what thoughts or emotions appear- anger, desire, joy, sorrow and so forth- if they are perceived just as they are, not inhibiting them or trying to change them, then they are perceived as the free play of pure being, and they are spontaneously released and dissolved into the pure ground of their arising. They dissolve instantaneously, like a figure drawn on water. All is released in the ground of primal purity without stress or strain, neither coming into existence nor ceasing to be. Ultimate perfection is totally indeterminate, neither existing nor not existing. There is nothing other than undivided pure being, utterly beyond definition, utterly beyond conception. Penetrate to the essence- the total presence of singular pure being. Total presence. Sarva Mangalam.

( Adapted from Dzogchen-meditation instructions presented in: Dowman, K. The Flight of the Garuda. Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2003 )

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Wish-Fulfilling Jewel Guru Statue, Lhasa, Tibet

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Flower of Life


Pysanky Ukranian Easter Eggs
Photograph by Luba Petrusha

A pysanka (plural: pysanky) is a Ukrainian Easter egg, decorated with traditional Ukrainian folk designs using a wax-resist (batik) method. The word pysanka comes from the verb pysaty, “to write”, as the designs are not painted on, but written with beeswax.

Many other eastern European ethnic groups decorate eggs using wax resist for Easter. These include the Belarusians, Bulgarians, Croats, Czechs, Hungarians, Lithuanians, Poles (pisanka), Romanians, Russians, Serbs, Slovaks, Slovenes and Serbs.

Pysanky are typically made to be given to family members and respected outsiders. To give a pysanka is to give a symbolic gift of life, which is why the egg must remain whole. Furthermore, each of the designs and colors on the pysanka is likely to have a deep, symbolic meaning. Traditionally, pysanky designs are chosen to match the character of the person to whom the pysanka is to be given. Typically, pysanky are displayed prominently in a public room of the house.

Ukrainian Icon of St. Nicholas

10 Principles About Life to Look at Every Day.


Lanzada | Galicia - España

1. Bad situations in life are only temporary.

“If you are going through hell, keep going.” ~ Winston Churchill
Life is messy—bad things happen to good people. We all face hardships, but what makes us human is the ability to bounce back. We can become more resilient than we did before. Some things happen that we have no control over.
You can find strength in situations that you never thought possible if you just keep moving forward.

2. Be open and compassionate.

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” ~ Albert Einstein
Sometime events occur in your life that cause you to close. You assume every situation is going to occur the same way: if you were hurt once, you will be hurt again. This is not true. It’s better to forgive than to hold a grudge.

 3. Things aren’t going to always workout the way you plan.

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few. ” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
Don’t approach life with expectations of how things should or shouldn’t be. So many conflicts in life occur because someone is attached to a plan on how things should or shouldn’t work.
It’s alright to have goals, aspirations and dreams, but you don’t have to be set on a particular outcome. Sometimes the worst tragedies in people’s life turn out to be the best.

 4. People’s opinions of you are not who you are.

 “If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.” ~ Paulo Coelho
Some people might say terrible things to you—who cares!? They might make a comment on your work, or your blog post. There’s no reason you need internalize it. Some people aren’t conscious of the things they say to people. So just be compassionate towards them.

 5. You’re going to fail at things.

“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Fail, fail and fail some more. Find inspiration in children, how many times does a child fail before they get something right, children are constantly trying new things and failing. Learn from them!
Go out and try new things! No one has ever been good at something without failing.

 6. Find a reason to laugh every day.

“A day without laughter is a day wasted.” ~ Charlie Chaplin
I think there is no greater mood lifter than to find a way to laugh every day. Find people every day to have a good laugh with.

 7. Some days are good; some days are bad.

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them—that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” ~ Lao Tzu
I one time was in line at a bank, and I heard something that changed my life. The clerk said to a customer, “How’s business?” The customer responded, “Some days good, some days bad.” Then the customer smiled.
You’re not your car; you’re not your fear; you’re not your feelings. Some days you will have good feelings, some days you will have bad feelings.

8. Do what you love every day.

“Let yourself be drawn by the stronger pull of that which you truly love.” ~ Rumi
If you’re a writer, do it every day. If you’re a musician, do it every day. If you’re an actor, do it every day. If you’re a bobsledder, do it every day.
Whatever you like to do—just do it. But make sure you do it every day. Because if you do it every day you’ll become good at it, and when you’re good at something you can make a living out of it, if you decide to.
Who do you need permission from—your friends? This is not their life. This is your life. Do what you love to do.

9. Find some time to do some meditation.

“I have so much to accomplish today that I must meditate for two hours instead of one.” ~ Gandhi
I don’t care if you hate spirituality and you think meditation is for people that live on top of a mountain and eat plants. You might just feel better if you take some time throughout the day to close your eyes and check in with your breathing.
If you think meditation is weird—that’s your opinion—it doesn’t mean it’s right. There are over 3,000 studies on the effects of meditation and over 2,500 years of Eastern philosophy behind it. I don’t understand why everyone in the world doesn’t at least try meditation. I think the world would be a better place.

 10. Be a rebel—with a cause.

“I rebel; therefore I exist.” ~ Albert Camus
Break the rules. Who cares?! Don’t get arrested or doing anything illegal, but it’s alright to break the rules. Anyone who ever did anything worth doing was a trouble maker. Steve Jobs—trouble maker. Albert Einstein—trouble maker. Amelia Earhart—trouble maker. It’s alright to be a troublemaker and break free from the status quo.