From: Chö 1
At the beginning of the first three-year retreat I did, a very distinguished lama of the Kagyu tradition came to visit us. A really extraordinary person: very quiet spoken, very, very quiet presence. And we had just started practicing chö. So, it was very much on our minds. And so we said, “Could you explain chö to us?” And he went, “Oh, oh, it’s so long since I’ve practiced chö.” Because he was in his 80s at this point. He said, “Oh, it’s probably fifty years, oh, I don’t think I can remember anything, ah.”Note: For more background on Chö read the entire transcript and/or listen to the full recording.
And then this is what he said: “The secret practice of chö is mahamudra,” which in our parlance is direct awareness. “The inner practice of chö is taking and sending. The outer practice of chö is offering your body to gods and demons.”
This is one of the reasons that I wanted to include chö in our work here in this retreat, even though it’s a whole other body of teaching. Because of its intimate connection with taking and sending.
Now, tomorrow, in the teaching we’re going to be talking about how to transform adversity into the path of awakening. And there are particular instructions of how to do this. And several of those instructions refer more or less to directly to chö. So, that’s another reason I wanted you to have this background.