Buddha Nature - some ways of exploring further that you might find interesting and helpful:
Is a seed a tree?
A seed needs the right conditions, rain , sun, good soil - if there are not right conditions, there is no tree. A tree doesn't just grow by itself. If you said that a potential for a tree *inherently existed in the seed, it would not need right conditions.
Down on the right hand side of this audio link are some teachings on Buddha nature by Yangsi Rinpoche that you might find interesting.http://www.dharmafriendship.org/resources_audio_online.html
In a mind that is enlightened, no causes exist for ignorance. A mind that is free of the causes of suffering, couldn't then just fall into suffering.
As His Holiness the Dalai Lama said:
"There would be no imprints in such a mind for the experience of attachment or ignorance. "
There is no a basis for this kind of being to fall back into ignorance -- Buddha, the one thus gone, transcendental wisdom, who is the compassionate eye, who is the wisdom eye who is valid and sees with omniscient mind, means there are obscurations, no causes and conditions, no seeds of ignorance present and existing in the mindstream of this being ---
To fall into ignorance, you can't be omniscient , to fall into ignorance, you can't be both blindly ignorant, AND see how things actually exist at the same time.
If a Buddha - one thus gone, transcedent destroyer, who is transcendental wisdom, who is the compassionate eye, who is valid and sees with omniscient mind, were to enter this universe, he would never suffer.
Causes and Conditions & the Innate mind of clear light
Is the fundamental innate mind of clear light dependent on causes and conditions? If it is not dependent, how can it be empty of independent existence?
HH Dalai Lama: - (Dzogchen - teachings given in the west by HH , forward by Sogyal Rinpoche published by Snow Lion)
This is a very good question. Often in the texts we find mention of the fundamental innate mind of clear light being not produced by causes and conditions. Now here it is important to understand that in general when we use the term 'produced phenomena', there are different connotations. Something can be called 'produced' because it s a production of delusions and the actions they induce. Again, it may also refer to a production by causes and conditions. And there is also a sense of 'produced' as being caused by conceptual thought processes.
Certain texts speak of the activities of the Buddha as permanent and non-produced in the sense that they are continuous, and that as long as there are sentient beings, the activities of the buddhas will remain without interruption. So, from the point of view of their continuity, these activities are sometimes called permanent. It is in the sense that this is without interuption that it is labelled permanent .
In the same manner, the fundamental innate mind of clear light in terms of its continuity, is beginningless, and also endless. This continuum will always be there , and so from that specific point of view, it is also called 'non produced'. Besides the fundamental innate mind of clear light is not a circumstantial or adventitious state of mind, for it does not come into being as a result of the circumstantial interaction of causes and conditions. Rather , it is an ever -abiding continuum of mind, which is inherent within us. So from that viewpoint, it is called 'non-produced'.
However, although this is the case, we still have to maintain that because it possesses this continuity, the present fundamental innate mind - this present instant of consciousness - comes from its earlier moments. The same holds true of the wisdom of Buddha - the omniscient mind of Buddha - which perceives the two truths directly and simultaneously, and which is also a state of awareness or consciousness. Since it is a state of awareness, the factor which will eventually turn into that kind of wisdom, namely the fundamental innate natue of clear light, will also have to be maintained to be a state of awareness. For it is impossible for anything which is not by nature awareness to turn into a state of awareness. So from the second point of view, the fundamental innate mind of clear light, is causally produced.
It is from ignorant mind that the Twelve Links of Dependent Origination arises.
When the Dalai Lama was asked How Does Illusion Begin? He said: - 2
As the continuum of the mind has no beginning, ignorance does not have one either.
If it did , we would have to discover from within a state of consciousness that predates ignorance, and is different from it in an enlightened mind, a cause resulting in ignorance. That makes no sense. "