Chögyal Namkhai Norbu: What is integration?
What does ‘direct introduction’ mean? It does not mean reading a book or making a commentary on a book by Garab Dorje or a text like a Tantra. It means touching something as if you were being burnt. This must be understood. Especially people who already know and have followed the teaching may feel, “I am an old practitioner”. You really must observe a little what ‘old’ means in this case. Each of you should observe your own practice. How do you feel when you meet someone who may be unpleasant or disturbing? Do you really have the capacity to integrate this feeling? Do you feel the same when you meet a person you love very much, such as friends, and when you meet someone unpleasant? If, through distraction, you hate or get angry, but with presence are immediately able to liberate this feeling, it means that you are practitioners and that practice is something living in yourselves. It is not so difficult to understand that the function of the teaching is something concrete.
Many people have frequently asked me, “How can I discover if I am realized?” I have replied, “You must not worry. If you become realized, you will understand it very well.” Before obtaining realization you must develop clarity and you will understand very well that you are getting there even before you become realized. For example, if we have the capacity to integrate a little or to find ourselves in the state of presence, then it also becomes manifest in our daily life, as an aspect of our body, voice and mind. First of all, all our tensions and attachments diminish. There are many practitioners, who instead of reducing or integrating their tensions do not even discover them. Day after day they accumulate tension and in the end they are ready to explode. It is true that many practitioners do practices and then they end up with a psychoanalyst, because they cannot explode. It means they do not understand the manifestation of tension, and if they do not discover this in the practice, it means they have to work hard, and understand the teaching well.
Many “old” practitioners say, “It is so difficult, I cannot integrate”. Of course it is difficult to integrate if we never do it. Integration is not only an idea, or the creation of an idea. First of all we must find ourselves in a very precise state of awareness.
Many people may lack a basis from the beginning and, believing they can jump very high, think, “I have understood everything. This is contemplation”. And then they jump and arrive at thögal (thod rgal) and practices like Yangthig (yang thig) and other elevated methods without substance. What is there to develop? To grow some flowers in a field we need seeds. First we must sow the field and then water it so that something will grow. If we only believe that we have sown seeds even if we pour water on the field every day, nothing grows.
Nowadays there are many fertilizers that make plants become enormous in two days. Some people get these kinds of fertilizers and use so much of them that nothing grows. A method like the thögal practice is like a fertilizer to develop contemplation, to obtain realization But if there is no knowledge of contemplation, what can we develop?
So, first of all, we need to understand the basis and work with it very well. We must not be confused between an idea and real knowledge. I have explained many times and also given examples, but it seems many people are not able to understand very well. I do not mean everybody, because there are also many people who certainly understand. If everyone could understand, what a marvelous thing it would be. Also you must not always think that everything is so easy.