It’s not every day that I spend a few hours with a master, Choeze Kuchen Rinpoche, said to be teaching for 801 years in 11 incarnations, trained 250 Lamas and the manifestation of “Yamantaka” which means “the destroyer of the Lord of Death”.
Here is a painting of Yamantaka. A powerful blue buffalo headed creature apparently creating fire by himself. I got intrigued even before meeting Choeze.
I don’t know much about Buddhism, I have just done a few silent meditation retreats and been practicing meditation. Meeting Choeze was a reminder of how simple everything is “just meditate”.
Choeze doesn’t wear fancy clothes or headpieces, he speaks an absolutely perfect english and in very simple words.
No need for psychedelics
12,000 people gathered a few days ago in Denver at the MAPS conference! Colorado and many US States legalized psychedelic drugs use or are in the process of doing so. The World has followed the U.S. in making them illegal I do hope they will also follow it legalizing them again.
Psychedelics send you straight to the highest floor of the spiritual building but you can only take a few hours peak then fly back down (sometimes it feels like free fall). The “Food of the Gods” only work for a few hours.
Seeing what Buddhist practitioners might see after many years so fast is useful though, my experience is that once you saw what people call the divine once it comes then much faster in meditation. I know, any substance is forbidden for the buddhists.
Our conversation reminded me of Brian Muraresku’s talk at my conference PAUA. His hypothesis is that psychedelics are at the origin of most religions. Who knows… It’s great to work with ancient practices that do now require anything.
Life is a ceremony
Choeze has the “medicine” is in his own words and his behavior. Everything he said made total sense to me. I could feel his calm and healing energy just seated in his presence.
The challenge is to see the perfection of the universe all the time, not just in “ceremonies” and behave as we are in the perfection of nature always.
Life is a continuous “ceremony”, our behavior must be constantly impeccable. There are no moments when it should be perfect and others where it’s okay to misbehave.
I’m personally trying to apply constantly the discipline I learned in the jungle.
Everything is perfect
No need to scale
I was conscious I was so happy and felt so fortunate to have a few hours alone with him. We talked about how the technology world wants to “scale everything” while in the world of consciousness it’s one by one that the works happens. There is no real “scaling”, everyone has to do the work for themselves.
AI? “It’s artificial”
We quickly talked about AI and spent only a few moments on it precisely because it is “artificial” and we felt we had much more important things to talk about, the “natural” ones.
We agreed that AI will very likely cause much more confusion to the world. I believe that human beings are constantly trying to upgrade themselves for more power but often end-up just making things worse. They forget the simplicity of nature.
Let’s get to use the buddhist technology
Choeze invited me to sing the “Om mani padme hum” Mantra with him and I also shared a song with him. I find singing more powerful than words and often share songs with friends.
The Buddha said that Om Mani Padme Hum is the most beneficial mantra, and it is often thought of as the condensed form of all the Buddha’s teachings.
Here is Choeze Kochen singing it for me:
Easier, here is a spoken version
Choeze suggested I sing it every morning as I wake-up and every night before going to sleep.
-Om - generosity, wisdom purifies ego, white color.
-Ma - ethics, compassion, purifies jealousy, lust for entertainment, green
Body, speech, mind
-Ni - patience, purifies passion and desire, yellow
-Pad - diligence, purifies ignorance and prejudice, blue
-Me - renunciation, purifies greed and possessiveness, red
-Hum - wisdom purifies agression and hatred, black
With this Mantra, Choeze suggested I look and focus in my meditation at this “Dorje Sempa Thangka” (left) instead of his reincarnation Yamantaka (right)
In my work in the forest and the Sundance, I worked a lot with fire energy. I did a 3 months Yawanawà dieta called “Iuchi” that involves eating lots of red hot chili pepper every day with other powerful plants. The Sundance is an intense 4 days also “calling” fire from the Sun as we dance all day under the Sun.
Dorje Sampa (left) on the contrary inspires peace, calm and natural energy (green). “Fire burns and destroys everything” told me Choeze, it’s always here and use it only when you need it. You need something else right now.
I have been practicing the mantra and visualizing this drawing using a “Mala” or “prayer beads” it’s been really good for me and I will keep experimenting with it.
There should not be any attachment to anything (especially material), even to our own life. This does not mean we should not own anything or enjoy anything, just not getting attached to it.
Separation and reality are illusions
We think we are separate and act as individuals, this is ego. Everything is connected. Anything we do or even think affects everything, other human beings, animals, nature. When we destroy nature we destroy ourselves. When we hurt someone we hurt ourselves.
Impermance is the truth
Everything changes constantly. There is no past or future, only the present. Choeze explained that even the present doesn’t exist, the minute we try to catch it, it’s gone. It’s called “anitya” in Sanskrit. All existence without exception is “transient, evanescent, inconstant”. All temporal things, whether material or mental are compounded objects in continuous change of condition, subject to decline and destruction.
I have no lineage. “Choeze, you are very fortunate”
I suddenly told him. He asked why. I answered that he was born in an environment and with people that taught him the way and he has a clear “lineage". He knows who he is, the 11th reincarnation of a Buddhist master dedicating his life to teaching. That makes things very easy.
For us westerners “without a clear lineage” and having grown-up in the western world it’s much more difficult. I meant that “he knew who he was” while I have been searching “Who am I” since I started my consciousness work ten years ago.
I’m French, born “Catalan” of a Spanish mother from Barcelona and a French father born in Le Havre, France. My 23andme DNA analysis says I am 53% Catalan, Spanish and Portuguese and only 31% French oh and 9% Northern Europe (Finland, Norway…). I had no spirituality until I started to learn some meditation then some practices in the Amazon forest with the Ashaninka and the Yawanawà. I also learned some Lakota and Mayan ways of Vision Quest and Sundance called the “Red Road”. Sitting with Choeze I feel like learning some more buddhism.
It feels so pure and simple. A tool I can always use without having to become a buddhist, just use the “ancient technologies”.
We, westerners, tend to mix everything because we have lost most of our roots and our ancestral paths. They were destroyed as Brian Muraresku explained in his brilliant talk at PAUA (see above).
You can always reinvent yourself today.
Choeze answered it was okay not to have a lineage, it’s always a good time to start from scratch now. It’s always a good time to be reborn and awaken. We can all be “Buddha” and start all over again now. Buddha was shielded from the outside world, grew up in luxury and then gave up everything.
The lineage of no lineage
I will come back to this as it has been on my mind constantly since we talked about it with Choeze. No lineage can also be seen in a positive way, the lineage of freedom. We can learn from the traditions that resonate the most from us. The challenge is the choice between knowing not much about a lot of techniques or knowing a lot about one “lineage”. I spent my last years learning Yawanawà spirituality and the Lakota “red road” and could spend my life just learning one of them. I could embark on a learning journey of Buddhism with Choeze now I guess… Freedom is good and isn’t as to really master some of the ancient technologies I need to learn one for years. I think I have found the right balance so far, we will see what the future brings.
Our real and worst addiction… us!
People are addicted to food, alcohol, sugar, sex, drugs… but Choeze reminded me our first addiction is to be focusing on ourselves. We need to change the focus from ourselves to others and the whole universe. Separation is an illusion.
This makes me think of a quote by Abuela Ursula who thinks alike:
“When you are balanced in your heart and soul you start to serve. There is no material wealth or money that is worth as much as helping others.” - Abuela Ursula
Recommended book by Choeze “Words of my Perfect Teacher”, reading it now
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Make sure to checkout the beautiful video of one of the songs that UMA SAI did