These excerpts will give you some insight into my writing style. All the items excerpted here are from a larger, finished, but as yet unpublished work.

Crystal Alchemy

Crystal Yoga Workbook

Rune Quest

The Song of Ra

Poetry

Crystal Dharma

Table of Contents:

Foreword
Introduction

Book 1:  Stages of the Path

What is to be Known and
What is to be Done

Turning The Mind

Three Principal Aspects of the Path

Three Forms of Meditation

The Four Immeasurables

The Paramitas

Skilful Means

[from Crystal Dharma]:

What Is To Be Known and What Is To Be Done

It is said that there exists a magic crystal that has the power to purify any liquid in which it is placed. Those who cherish all living beings are like this crystal – by their very presence they remove negativity from the world and give back love and kindness. from Eight Steps To Happiness, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, pg. 52. 

Dharma teachings within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition are organized systematically so that the stages of the path to enlightenment can be studied progressively. In this way, as understanding and capacity for practice ripen, a deeper engagement with reality can take place. Central to this process is the study of a condensed presentation of key instructions, or “lam rim” teachings that show the stages of the path in the order in which they should be practiced. The approach is first to study the dharma teachings, then reflect deeply on them, and finally to meditate until there is realization, at which point the aspect of dharma under consideration becomes a permanent part of the student’s nature, and will not be lost. Insights and realizations slowly accumulate, bringing about transformation of consciousness, until the point where the radical insight that brings about liberation is actually possible. It is a graduated path where one thing leads to another. At each stage, the student needs to single-pointedly grasp the practice, work on it, complete it, and then proceed to the next level. In that way, there is a continuous progression to higher states of awareness. By sampling topics and meditations at random, there will be no sense of progress.

A key piece of advice: take great pains and time to appreciate and understand the significance of impermanence and death at the very outset. Take the teaching on impermanence to heart and keep it in the forefront of awareness at all times. Return to it often in specific reflections or meditations. If at the outset you focus on that basic teaching, internalize it and understand it fully in all its implications and ramifications, then your practice will be effective. Next, take pains to develop a relationship of sincere devotion with a guru or lama who has genuine attainment, and seek his guidance at each step. Bring forward the fullness of your faith, respect and aspiration, and focus them on a lama with genuine spiritual qualities, and an unbroken lineage, whose life models the qualities of an enlightened being. Then let go of all hopes, wishes, doubts and fears. There are very sound reasons why it is indispensable to have a guru, or lama as a guide and teacher on the path.

Although Compassionate emptiness is our innate nature, and recognizing the nature of mind is the real guru yoga, nevertheless, the one who symbolizes this, the symbolic guru, is a living person whom we can meet and talk to outwardly. By opening to that symbol, one can realize the real guru, the compassionate emptiness which is the natural state of one’s own mind. Outwardly, guru yoga is done by prayers and supplication, inwardly by the recitation of the guru mantra. The inmost method is to abide in the state of non-dual oneness with the primordial consciousness. The great master Gampopa remarked that: “Realization of your original mind is not the product of much learning. It is also not the result of diligence, or perseverance. It comes through the blessings and instructions of a qualified master.” The power which activates these blessings and draws them to us is our faith, devotion and pure perception. The Buddha is quoted as stating: “Ultimate truth is realized exclusively through devotion.” It is not recorded that the Buddha recommended Ruby or Angelite crystals as part of the devotional practice, yet we can experience for ourselves that they assist in awakening the active and passive aspects of deep, heartfelt devotion. This can easily be verified by working with them.

It can be helpful to study the stages of the path in terms of a) what is to be known, and b) what is to be accomplished. In the field of dharma, mere intellectual understanding is not sufficient. The program of study, reflection and meditation must go on until there is oneness with the teachings, and the seeker becomes the dharma. This is a book about “Crystal Dharma”, which is to say, the interface between crystals and dharma practice. Therefore, what is to be known is not simply the dharma teaching at hand, but also the applicable crystal, and how it can be used. If this practice is not to become one more variation of self-grasping and self-cherishing, it is important to generate a consciousness of genuine, heartfelt bodhichitta at the beginning of every practice session, and conclude with dedication of the merit.

An overview or brief survey of what is to be known must be the starting point, firstly with regard to the dharma teaching at hand, secondly with regard to the appropriate crystal(s) and thirdly to the form or practice that effectively brings the two together and improves practice.

From the very inception, it should be understand that there are two domains of knowledge, the ultimate and the conventional. The former knowledge is supra-sensory, and amounts to spiritual realization or attainment. This “jnana” is supra-rational, and those who have attained it are understood to have mastered “the view”.  Urgyen Tulku Rinpoche, an enlightened master in the Tibetan tradition, distinguishes between the relative and the absolute as follows:

While conventional truth means the conceptual frame of mind, ultimate truth means the reality of the true meaning. It is also called transcendent knowledge, or prajnaparamita. In Dzogchen it is known as the immaculate dharmakaya of empty awareness. [Vajra Speech, pg. 124]

Our duality-bound language is a tool of the lesser, or conventional plane of existence, and is a very inadequate tool for teaching the higher wisdom. Conventional understandings apply to the world of duality with which we are familiar, or to the other world of samsaric beings in the six realms.

In terms of the initial overview of what is to be known, the incompleteness of conventional knowledge, and the non-dual, transcendent quality of ultimate knowledge, need to be appreciated. Meditation is important because it helps us to cultivate a higher level of mind by means of which we gain insight into higher planes of reality.