Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Different emanations.

Most people probably haven't heard of the tulku system in Tibet. A tulku is a recognized reincarnate lama or teacher, the Dalai Lama being the most famous and prominent of this generation. Often times at a very young age, children are recognized as being an emanation of a previous teacher. There are various ways that this recognition occurs, some legitimate, others not. Overall, the tulku tradition is broken and much can be said about just how broken it is

But that is not really my concern, nor is it beneficial for our practice.

What is beneficial to our practice and our life is one particularly unique aspect of the tulku tradition. A single teacher can have five different emanations in their next life. They may take a single rebirth, but they could emanate in up to five ways. Those five emanations are called: body, speech, mind, activity and qualities.

Not many tulkus have done five. Actually, I can only think of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo as an example of all five. 

How is this important for us? Why is it meaningful?

How many different emanations do you embody in this life?

Surely you take certain forms in order to carry out certain activities, but also take on different roles to meet different circumstances. You might take a certain stance at your work, and in your personal life prefer another posture.

The important point is that we are full of contradictions and tension and apparent inconsistencies.  We don't need to embody a singular self, such a self isn't even truly real.  We can take many forms in our life, each carrying out benefit in their own way and on their own time. 

Regardless of the form you are taking, carry it onto the path. Let the path clarify confusion and give rise to wisdom. Dedicate the merit.

Perhaps most importantly, don't get stuck on the notion of you being just one thing. That is not who you are, it is a side of you and maybe a prominent part, but there is much more below the surface.

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