Three Statements Striking the Essential Point
1. One is introduced directly to one’s own nature.
2. One definitively decides upon this unique state.
3. One continues directly with confidence in liberation
The special teaching or instructions on Mahamudra or Dzogchen is the means of liberating thoughts and negative emotions. When we put this into practice, whatever adverse conditions may arise is transformed into companions. Whatever negativeemotions may arise they are transformed into primordial awareness. Thus it is said in the37-practices of bodhisattvas’ text, “To bodhisattvas who desire the wealth of virtue, allthose who do harm are like a precious treasure.” So whatever negative emotions mayarise they are simply like fuel that sustain the flame of awareness. With the arising of negative emotions that flame will become stronger When we see our mind which is the union of clarity and emptiness, that is the Buddha.
Basically with this, we recognize that the mind of the Buddhas of the three times and our own mind is of the same basic nature. There is no distinction between goodand bad to be made in the minds of ourselves and the minds of all the Buddhas. On the basis of this, then we must engage in practice and this leads us to the second statement.Absolute conviction in the practice is the second imperative. And so once we have hadthe introduction, get on the basis of that we must engage it and these first two of the threestatements are simple or easy
It is said in the 37 Bodhisattva practices in number 36 “In brief, whatever conduct one engages in, one should ask, “What is the state of my mind?” Accomplishing others’ purpose through constantly maintaining mindfulness and awareness is the bodhisattvas’ practice.” And so this mindful awareness is the awareness that recognizeswhatever thoughts and negative emotions are arising. When we give rise to negativeemotions, this awareness recognizes their fault and on that basis of that recognition wecan abandon the arising
Even if you don’t understand completely everything that is being stated in English, simplyabide in this awareness and through that you will receive the blessing of the transmission
Pure perception is a sign of the accomplishment of the nature of mind. If you engage in the practice of the Buddha dharma you should regard gurus and spiritual guides as objects of refuge and as the object of your faith. And you should regard ordinary sentient beings asthe object of your compassion. When you give rise to faith and loving compassion in thisway you will receive the blessings.
When the mind is abiding in the natural state, this is the view of Dzogchen The special or extraordinary teaching of Dzogchen is about how to transform negative emotions into companions. Right now negative emotions are enemies that do harm so weneed to first become skilled at practicing when negative conditions arise and then at bringing those conditions onto the path. If we always abide within mindful awareness,then however strong a negative emotion may be, it will be immediately destroyed throughthat awareness, just as we have a blazing fire, we can even feed iron to it and it will melt away. Of course we now have some degree of mindful awareness, but that mindfulawareness is like the flame at the tip of a stick of incense, it is very weak and it needs to be cultivated. Yet we must develop believe in the idea that mindful awareness is dharmakaya
The mind of all of the Buddhas of the three times and our own mindful awareness areinseparable so if we are looking at various root and lineage masters of the tradition, weshould understand that their essential minds’ nature and that of the Buddhas of the three times and our own mind are ultimately inseparable. And there is no distinction betweengreater or lesser within that mind. All of the Buddhas of the three times are combined inour own practice of mindful awareness and so in this regard, Lord Jigten Sumgon paidhomage to the mandala of mind’s essence, that is the supreme palace of all the victoriousones of the three times.
When we see nature of mind that is like the sky, well, then we see it. In this regard, Lord Milarepa said when mind and space arerecognized as inseparable, that is as Dharmakaya as it can get. And this mind’s nature iscompletely empty and clear. There is nothing that is obtained in that, nothing that we getwhen we look at the nature of mind. Often time we think when we see nature of mindwill result in some kind of, something that we obtain. But when we actually see the mindwith the mind, there is nothing that we get at all. And so that point should be understood.
what is it that we need to know? All of the outer container and inner contentsare immeasurable and without limit. All of samsara is vast and limitless, but this has all been created by mind. Mind is the creator of karma, both collective and individual. The basis of that accumulation of karma is self-grasping. And it is through collective andindividual karma that all of the phenomena of the universe manifest. When we fail torecognize the natural state of the mind, we give rise to self-grasping and on the basis of that we accumulate the six negative emotions and on the basis of them we engageactivities and we create karma. And on the basis of that all of the six realms of Samsaramanifest. Thus mind is the ultimate creator of all phenomena.
Milarepa taught that we should not sever the root of phenomena but rather sever the rootof mind. If we look at the mindstream of a tiny insect, and the mindstream of a human being, they are essentially the same. They all wish to have happiness; they are the samein their generation of negative emotions and the three poisons of attachment, aversion andignorance. Thus however numerous sentient beings may be, their habit of self-grasping isone, it is the same. On the basis of this self-grasping they engage various activities andaccumulate different sorts of karma which condition the various physical forms that theytake but all of those forms have been created by mind. The entire six realms come intoexistence because of mental phenomena. This is something you should think about,consider well, investigate whether this is the case or not
So really all of the phenomena of samsara and nirvanaare beyond the extremes of coming and going. On the ultimate level they abide, like theexpanse of space, and all appearances manifest within that. Yet they are temporary,dream like and illusory. So in brief, what we are pointing to with this view is that there isno fixation on phenomena as being real at all. When we are free of fixation, thenalthough phenomena still appear to exist, we recognize their empty nature
The natural state of the mind is endowed with the knowing quality, the knowing aspect of the mind. That is the transcendent awareness that recognizes arising thoughts. When weare engaging in Shamatha or calm abiding meditation, the negative emotions of attachment, aversion and so forth are pacified, and within that peaceful abiding theawareness that recognizes arising thoughts is present. When those thoughts arerecognized, they are spontaneously free and that is the practice of special insight or Vispasana. When we look at the mind we will see many thoughts arising. If werecognize those myriad thoughts but do not fixate on them, then we don’t need tomanipulate them in any way. And they naturally just subside; they do no harm to our practice, or to awareness. This is what is meant by the term non-conceptual. The text refers the clarity aspect of the mind as being inseparable from non-conceptual awareness wisdom. In this way the thoughts that manifest are like waves that arise fromthe ocean and dissolve back into the ocean. Although there may be many thoughts, they do not disrupt the continuity of awareness, that is to say the mind does not waver at the arising of thoughts.When we are practicing calm abiding that is endowed with special insight, if we reallywish to train in this then we need to give rise to compassion and great loving kindness. If we lack this then there is no way that the mind will abide in calmness and clarity. So conventional bodhicitta is of greatest importance. When we have conventional bodhicittawe will not give rise to gross conceptual thoughts and the very subtle thoughts that arise will be instantly destroyed through to the power of awareness. So in this way wecultivate conventional bodhicitta, which is love and compassion together with awareness wisdom
When we engage the mind that is the union of emptiness and compassion, a great radiance manifests, what is that radiance? It is the spontaneously arisen light of wisdom and love that pervades all of the pure Buddha realms above and all of the six realms of sentient beings below. All of the sentient beings of the three spheres of existence haveaccumulated karma and are presently experiencing the ripened effect of former actions.When we give rise to the mind that is the union of wisdom and love, it is like the sunlightthat pervades the dark areas of the six realms of sentient beings. So however great our transcendent awareness is, we will give rise to a correspondingly great compassion.However great our compassion is, we will give rise to the capacity to pervade all of thespheres of existence of sentient being
And through awareness, those thoughts and negativities will dissipate. In this way our self-grasping and ignorance are cleared away. And on the basis of this we realizethe meaning of selflessness. That realization is like a brilliant light that is more powerfulthan 100,000 suns. These are the qualities of giving rise to precious bodhicitta.
When we abide in the natural state of the mind, we recognize the awareness that is the sky likeexpanse of mind. We recognize the empty nature of the mind and that recognition is theview. Then having recognized that, we need to abide within that awareness. And that ismeditation, simply remaining the continuity of the non-dual union of bliss and emptiness.Then within that mindful awareness, we recognize all phenomena to be like dreams andillusions; no matter what activity we engage in, we recognize its illusory nature and thatis the conduct. If we abide in a state of Rigpa, or awareness wisdom, all of the view,meditation and conduct are combined within that
Vision is Longchen Rabjam
Unelaborated view means is there is no fixation on phenomena as being real. The moment that fixation exists there is elaboration. When welook at the natural state of the mind, it is like space and all of the phenomena of the outer container and inner contents are arisen from that space like mind. And that mind’sessence is the view, and so the first sentence of the text reads, “vision is LongchenRabjam, the all pervasive vast expanse.” We should understand that the very meaning of his name “all pervading vast expanse” to be metaphor of the sky, which is the metaphor for the view.
When ordinary sentient beings abide in Samsara, they think thatthe phenomena of Samsara are real and true. This is like perceiving a block of ice andthinking this block is really like stone, and its true on a relative level, a block of ice is likea stone. But when you are introduced to the mind’s natural state, together with thatintroduction comes a recognition of the possibility of liberation, its as though we finallyrecognize that the block of ice is not really a stone, because it can melt and become freeflowing water.
Action is ‘Gwalwa Neugu’
There are different types of students of varying capacities, when one has trained well in former live times, and is a disciple of highest capacity, that person is referred to as one who is kind of instantaneously realizes.Or immediately understands. I asked Rinpoche “Understands what?” and he said,“understands the natural state of the mind, what else is there.” And those who have notdone this kind of training or who have trained in only a limited way. Then they are beingswho gradually realize in progressive stages. So even if in this lifetime they do not realizemind’s nature then eventually within seven life times or whatever that realization willdawn So if those fortunate ones realize the natural state and if they engage in practice like Milarepa did, it is possible within a single lifetime to realize the state of Buddhahood
It’s the mind that needsto attain the state of Buddhahood. And when we are free of fixation, then the mind abideslike the expanse of space then the body will attain liberation. But we don’t need to look kind of outwardly what we think the Buddha qualities might appear to be on a physicallevel, rather we need to look inward at the mind to understand the Buddha qualities. Andon the basis of that turning inward, we will understand
Milarepa taught that when negative emotions and transcendent awareness arerecognized as indistinguishable. That is the perfection of the sign of realization. Sowhatever happiness and suffering we may encounter, whatever thoughts, afflictions anddelusion may arise they are recognized as none other than transcendent awareness. Themind does not waver regardless of the arisings, rather the minds abides like the expanseof space. And so of course afflictions will arise, the point is for us to recognize them as awareness Without this mode of practicing view, meditation and conduct, although we may intellectually understand the teachings, whenever we encounter adverse conditions in thislife, negative emotions, suffering and so forth we will fall under their power
What this is about is bringing adverse conditionsonto the path. For example if we give rise to great anger that blazes more strongly than afire, if with awareness we recognize the fault of that anger then the awareness increasesand the anger is overcome. All negative emotion no matter what they may be is to be dealt with in just the same way
Meditation is Khyentse Odser
In this regard the text it says Meditation is Khyentse Odser and then Khyentse Odser is another name for the master Jigme Lingpa. In this particular translation then the actual name Khyentse Odser is translated as the “radianceof wisdom and love”. And so if we really wish to cultivate the meditation, we need tohabituate the view that is the union of love and compassion with wisdom.When we engage the mind that is the union of emptiness and compassion, a greatradiance manifests, what is that radiance? It is the spontaneously arisen light of wisdomand love that pervades all of the pure Buddha realms above and all of the six realms of sentient beings below. All of the sentient beings of the three spheres of existence haveaccumulated karma and are presently experiencing the ripened effect of former actions.When we give rise to the mind that is the union of wisdom and love, it is like the sunlightthat pervades the dark areas of the six realms of sentient beings. So however great our transcendent awareness is, we will give rise to a correspondingly great compassion.
Jigme Lingpa is said to be to be one who attained his realization completely without training although there are countless great masters who throughtraining and scholarly endeavour attained understanding of the teachings. Teachers suchas Je Jongapa and Longchen Rabjam pa and so forth. The Vidyadhara Jigme Lingpa isinconceivably precious in that he attained his understanding of the teachings as well asthe omniscient wisdom of the Buddha through his realization of the view completelywithout training or education.
With regard to these three experiences of bliss, clarity and freedom from thoughts, peopleare different in the kinds of experiences that they give rise to, some will experience greatclarity, and have many different clear experiences but whatever it is that is arising, theimportant thing is to be free of fixation. If we have experience of clarity for example andwe think “This is good” then that is fixation. The bliss experience is the same thing, thenature of the mind is naturally blissful thus we speak of the dharmakaya as the great bliss.Yet if we have that experience and fixate on it, this is where we fall into error.Occasionally when we are practicing looking at the nature of the mind, we willexperience states free from thought, in which the flow of thoughts and emotions justceases for a period of time. And within that we think “This is the view” we have givenrise to fixation. Although these various experiences will arise, if we are free of fixationon them, then there will be of no harm
In the three statements that strike the vital points, the first of which is about the direct introduction into the nature of mind, and with this come the recognitionthat all the phenomena of Samsara and Nirvana are created by the mind. Thus if we onlyunderstand the mind’s nature we will understand all the phenomena of Samsara and Nirvana. That which has been made, that is all the phenomena of Samsara and Nirvana, isthe nature of emptiness and likewise the maker, the creator of those phenomena which isthe mind is empty like the sky
We talked about the non-conceptual state free of the three spheres, inwhich there is no longer, any division among self and others and the object, or activitythat is engaged. And within this non-conceptual awareness there is no distinction to bemade between self and other and phenomena of Samsara and Nirvana and so forth. Wesee experientially that the natural state of our own mind, the mind of the Buddhas of thethree times and the mind of all sentient beings are of one singular essence.
When we study the meaning about the natural state of the mind, we can begin to understand and eventually torecognize it. But with regard the third point about implicit confidence, in release, this is alittle more difficult. When we are introduced to the natural state and then wecontinuously abide in that natural state, we see the arising thoughts and negativeemotions, through their recognition they are liberated, thus no matter how many thoughtsmay arise they do no benefit to our mind they do no harm to our mind. They naturally aredissipated like water bubbles that spontaneously appear on the surface of water and justas quickly disappear. When we practice in this way, thoughts are naturally destroyedthus no karma is accumulated. If no karma is accumulated, no karmic propensities are established and then one does not experience the fully ripening effect of karma
This union of awareness and compassion is like hot water when it is poured over ice, it will immediately melt away that ice. If we lack this union of awareness and compassion, then this frozen block of ice remain just as it is.And this is an example of the delusion of sentient beings. If on the other hand we never part from this union of mindfulness and compassion, thoughts will be liberated on rising but in order to practice in this way, great diligent effort is required.
When we see fish in fish tanks We look at all the fishes that is swimming around in the tank, you can follow after them and find out where they aregoing, and all of these fishes are like the thoughts and emotions that arise in our mind. If on the other hand we shift the focus of attention to the water itself, this is like shiftingone’s awareness away from the thoughts to the natural state of the mind. And within thisshifted focus, one recognizes when thoughts are arising and when they are not, and therewill be junctures in which when thoughts and emotions are not arising, in those junctureswe can see the natural state
We should attend to the natural stat eof the breath. Usually what happens when we are not attending to the breath, and the wind energies, we habitually follow after karmic wind energies. As an antidote to this wecan place the tip of the tongue against the hard palate. And when we breath in, we breathin through the nostrils but then when we breath out we gently breath out though themouth maintaining the tip of the tongue on the hard palate, allowing the out breath toflow over the left and right sides of the tongue. At this time we should be breathing verygently and naturally. This will be of great benefit and has the same effect as the vajrarecitation. The important point is that we are not panting, we don’t have our mouth hanging open, we are not allowing all our breath to escape outwardly. By maintaining this point of contact with the tip of the tongue on the hard palate, this actually serves to separate out the pure essence of the wind energy from the gross wind energies
So whatever it is that arises the mind, it needs to be recognized through awareness. Thisis true of all thoughts, all emotions, all the experiences of bliss, clarity and freedom fromthought. And when we abide in awareness, there is no attachment to so call goodexperiences nor is there aversion towards negative experiences. Even if Guru Rinpocheclearly manifests in front of you still there is no need to focus on this arising as being soextraordinary, unique or precious. It is just the display of the mind’s natural radiance. Itis the pure aspect of the mind manifesting and so at such moments we don’t need to look into the appearance or to investigate it in any way. All that we need to do is maintain awareness in its own seed. Then no matter how many thoughts, emotions or experiencesmay arise there will be no harm in our practice
“In this state of equilibriumand relaxation, abruptly utter a mind shattering PEH forcefully loud and short and there it is”. When we give rise to all of these diversity of meditation experiences, in that veryinstant, we should immediately shout the syllable PEH, to clear away the cloudiness andto clear away the over excited mind. To clear away fixation and various thoughts andemotions that arises. When we shout the syllable PEH it should be like the flash of a boltof lightning. Shouted as the text says, forcefully loud and short.Immediately after shouting this syllable PEH, we can see the natural state of the mind, weare completely free of any fixation at that moment, all the recollections of the past haveceased and all the ideas about the future have not yet arisen, so in between these two, inthe gap between the two, we can look at the natural state of the mind which becomes likespace in the moment that we utter that syllable When we are alone we can verbally shout this syllable in anycase the whole point is to reach a state completely free of any fixation, any concept aboutdoing this practice, and when this is done then the thoughts and emotions are just scattered.
The view manifests very clearly and this is what is meant by the term “Zangtal” It is translated inthe text as all pervading freedom of mind. Its kind of unobstructed freedom of mind. Thisterm really refers to being completely free of any fixation on matter or on objectswhatsoever. By way of example, if we are sitting in this room and we are meditation onthe form of the deity and we visualize that deity as very large and we think now it can’tget any larger because the head has reached the ceiling. This is a fault of fixation If we are completely free of fixation wecan visualize the form of the deity filling all of space without any obstruction at all. Andthis is what is meant by the term unobstructed freedom of mind, it is the all-pervadingmind of awareness without any obstruction posed by fixation
All of the erroneous views can be condensed into two views of eternalism and nihilism. When we think that phenomena are actually existent they arereal and true then we fall into the error of eternalism. All phenomena are composites;they are the nature of impermanence. Understanding this then we should stay clear of theerror of eternalism. When we think that actually there is nothing that is truly existent atall, there is nothing that is real, even karma cause and effect is not ultimately real or true,then we fall into the other extreme of nihilism. If we give rise to negative emotions andon the basis of that we act on that then karma is accumulated and once that happens sooner or later we will eventually experience the ripen effect of that karma.
We can look at the example of anger alone and understand the nature of all of the fiveother negative emotions, anger has a connection to all of them, desire, attachment,ignorance and so forth, so when we first give rise to a negative emotion, if we recognizethat with mindful awareness, the awareness becomes stronger. Eventually the negativeemotion will arise simultaneously with mindful awareness. When we practice in this way then the awareness is like a flame and the negative emotions are like wood or fuel that feeds that flame. If we can maintain awareness, these negativities are transformed into the five wisdoms. It is a method for transforming negativities into awareness and poisons into medicine Milarepa referred to the aspect of the mind that recognizes negative emotions as being awareness. And so if we are cultivating this awareness, it becomes stronger andstronger with each negative emotion that is liberated
The wisdom dakini, Niguma said, “Even the flame of primordial awarenessmay be small, it can be refreshed again and again. And so each time we cultivateawareness it grows stronger and stronger. So we must have confidence that throughmindfulness primordial awareness becomes stronger and more powerful.
“Then whether there is quiescence or flow, rage or lust, happiness or sadness, at all times and in every situation sustain that recognition of dharmakaya’s total presence”. So having been introduced to the view, we need to engage the practice of meditation. In this regard we must cultivate meditative absorbsion in a continuous flow atall times and in all situation as the text says. We must protect and preserve a kind of ceaseless continuity of mindful awareness.
For those who are instantaneous realizers based on the previous training they haveengaged in former lives, it is possible for them to be introduced to the view and toimmediately realize it in a stable and unchanging way. For such beings there is nothingthat really needs to be cultivated nor is there anything that need to be stopped or ended.But such beings are very few, even for those who do recognize the nature of mind whenyou are introduced to it, many will give rise to pride, thinking “Oh, I have got it” so the point is once we have received the introduction, we must inwardly continue to cultivate itand meditate upon it.
Just like the sun and the rays that are spontaneously manifest from the sun, awareness itself manifests arising phenomena in an ongoing display. Whenwe understand this then, there is nothing that particularly needs to be suppressed. Nomatter what arises it spontaneously manifests just like waves arising on the surface of water. And naturally dissipate like waves dissolving back into the water. Thus things arenaturally arisen and naturally liberated. In this way there is no need to suppress arisingsnor is there any need to kind of establish them
With regard to this meditation that is free of meditation, when we see the natural state of the mind and we are totally free of doubt about that, we recognize the inseparability of the mind of the guru and the mind of all the Buddhas And on the basis on one’sdevotion to the guru, which is nothing other than awareness, one can begin to experiencethe inseparability of one’s own mind, the guru’s mind and the minds of all the Buddhas.And so I find that this pith instruction makes the point more accessible
Knowing one liberates all and really all of the methods of liberation are combined within Rigpa or within awareness. The guru is not the body of the guru the actual guru is the guru’s mind. The mind is the Buddha and that is the principle importance, when we are cultivating mindful awareness that is the ultimate guru.
Simply by abiding in the natural state of the mind, thoughts are liberated. Just like the waves that arise on the surface of the water and dissipate back into the water. TheDharmakaya is the very basis, and thoughts are not separate from Dharmakaya just as thewave not separate from water. Thus we really must understand or recognize that thoughtsand mind are inseparable
Looking at the mind itself and abide in the natural state this is like the meeting of the mother and son lights, the text says the son clear light uniting with the familiar mother light. And within this we must understand that these lights are not two; that is the knower and that which is known are of a singular nature. Thus we speak of nondual wisdom, the seer and that which is seen are one and the same. And it is through lookingat the nature of the mind that we must recognize this
We say that the basic nature of mind is like a clear crystal or a mirror, although various images or forms that may be reflected in the mirror these are like thoughts that arise in the mind, they dissipate upon arising. Although formsmay be reflected in the mirror, the mirror itself has no sense of good or bad with regard tothese various appearances. And in a similar way when thoughts arise in the mind, thatwhich recognizes is completely free of fixation on that which has arisen
When we perceive outward phenomena yet we do so while remaining in a state of awareness. All of these outward forms are not seen distinctly, or individually, rather they are just perceivedas a whole. Do you understand the difference between looking at each individual thingand just looking at the broad general picture with awareness? Tank and fish, yes!
When we are abiding inawareness there will be no fixation at all regarding good or bad, pleasant or unpleasantsounds that are heard. And we are thus free from fixation there is no obscuration in themind. This is what is meant by forms being the union of emptiness and appearance. Andeverything that is heard being the union of sound and emptiness. When we abide inawareness in this way we will not give rise to attachment to those things that are pleasantnor aversion to things that are unpleasant. This is one of the qualities of mindfulawareness and within this there is nothing that really needs to be blocked or suppressednor is anything that needs to be cultivated
Whereas Rigpa or awareness, is when whatever thoughts and emotions may arise they are immediately destroyed throughthe power of that awareness. This is like a fire that is so strong that it will immediatelyincinerate whatever is placed inside it. So the difference between what we are callingmind and Rigpa in this context is whether or not all mental arising are liberated. Thus wespeak about the transcendent awareness that goes beyond mind and that’s what we arereferring to in this term Rigpa.
So we need to merge our meditative experience that comes in our meditation sessionswith our everyday activities. If we don’t have the leisure of remaining for a long time inisolated mountain retreats, still we can devote an entire Sunday, for example on a regular basis to doing retreat practices. We can devote half an hour to concentrated meditation. Infact it is taught that we should engage short sessions again and again many times. So inthis way we cultivate an undistracted mind, eventually we will be able to merge thatmindful awareness that is cultivated in meditation sessions with all of our ordinaryactivities. And so if we have the thought “Oh I need to pee”, we don’t just get off thecushion immediately, but rather we look at the mind that’s thinking “I need to pee.” Andwe look at that mind and cultivate awareness and then within that state of awareness weget up slowly go take our pee. This is the way it should be with all our activities. Theyshould be done conjoined with vigilant mindful awareness, and by doing that we merge meditation and post meditation experience
If we want to understand these three precepts, we can again and again refer to theverses in the 37 practices text. If we hold these in our recollection and we can mentallyrecite them, it will cause the mind to become clearer and clearer. So the first among thesethree is verse 22 and this relates directly to the first of the three precepts, which is a directintroduction into the nature of mind. So in relation to this the 37 practices text says“Appearances are one’s own mind. From the beginning, mind’s nature is free from theextremes of elaboration. Knowing this, not to engage the mind in subject-object duality is the bodhisattvas’ practice.” So this verse is parallel to the direct introduction.
With regard to the second of the three precepts, absolute conviction in the practice, this is parallel to verse 30, which reads, “If one lacks wisdom, it is impossible to attain perfectenlightenment through the other five perfections. Thus, cultivating skillful means withthe wisdom that does not discriminate among the three spheres is the bodhisattvas’ practice.” And then with regard to the third precept, implicit confidence in release, that is parallel to verse 36. “In brief, whatever conduct one engages in, one should ask, “What isthe state of my mind?” accomplishing others’ purpose through constantly maintainingmindfulness and awareness is the bodhisattvas’ practice.” And so if you deeplycontemplate these three verses again and again, it will over time give you profoundinsight into the three precepts that strike the vital point.
For whatever period of time that we are sitting in meditation, even if its only five minutes, for that period of time we need to exert ourselves, making effort tomeditate with clarity. Just as a seed planted in the ground must be nurtured with light andwater and so forth in order to yield a flower, and just as that nurturing is ongoing, so tooour cultivation of awareness must be without interruption in order to become strong. Sowhen we are in a place of trying to stabilize awareness, it is said that we should havestrict sessions and during those sessions really exert ourselves in the practice
So how is it that we can avoid falling under the power of conditions, it is throughstabilizing mindful awareness. When we go outside and we engage our daily activities, if we do so with mindfulness then we will become like Milarepa, who sang “Whenever I gofrom one place to another, I am bring all appearances onto the path.” So for example if we are sitting down and suddenly we have the wish to get up and go do something, weshould just for a moment look at the mind that wants to get up and do. When we do this,the wish to get up and go dissipates and then within a state free of needing to get up, we can get up and engage our activities. When we want to eat something, we should first justrecognize that desire to eat, and then the desire itself is liberated. And within a state of desirelessness eat the food. When we suddenly give rise to anger at something someonehas said to us, we can look at that mind of anger and it will dissipate and then we canrespond in a state free of anger. In this way by cultivating mindful awareness we canengage all of our activities in a state free of negative emotions. We can enjoy all of thefive objects of senses pleasure in a state free of fixation. This is what it means to mixawareness with conduct
When we are engaging activities, we should do so in the context of theTregchod practice or the practice of destroying delusion. So what is this Dzogchen view of Tregchod, it is when the mind is abiding in a state free of fixation on negativeemotions as being real. So for example when you are extremely hungry and then you seefood, you immediately want to eat it so that you mouth starts watering, and if in thatmoment you look at the desire to eat, the desire itself dissipates. In this way you directlycut through the fixation. That is what we call Tregchod or the direct cutting through. Wealso use this term “Trushak” in Tibetan, which means destroying delusion.
If we have pure water for example and we pour milk into it, the water becomesclouded, it is obscured and in a similar way, fixation on negative emotions obscures themind. If we give rise to great anger and then we recognize the anger, it is purified throughthe recognition. So we should understand that the fixation is what obscures the mind andwhen we are free of fixation, negative emotions are spontaneously purified. Theawareness that we cultivate is like a flame that burns away the fuel of all arisingafflictions. In this way although anger may arise, it does no harm at all.
“At all times and in every situation, watchthe free play of Dharmakaya alone. Convinced that there is nothing other than that”.Abiding in this awareness is the medicine that cures 100 different illnesses. This is theinseparable union of Shamatha and Vispasana or calm abiding and special insight. Withregards to calm abiding, it is whenever thoughts and delusions arise and the mind iscompletely free of fixation on them. They are naturally purified or pacified, within thatstate of pacification, we see the clear nature of the mind and that seeing is the specialinsight or Vispasana. So within this, what is translated as the free play of Dharmakaya inthe text; within that state all of the teachings are complete, all of the paths are combined,the entire practice of Shamatha and Vispasana, all of the essential points of theBuddhist’s teachings are included within that. Thus the text says, “Watch the free play of the Dharmakaya alone. Convinced that there is nothing other than that”
In the context of Dzogchen practice, it is simply through recognizing the nature or the essenceof mind that that transformation is accomplished. However many negative emotions mayarise, or however gross they may be when they are met with mindful awareness, they arespontaneously liberated. When this is habituated the negative emotions will arisesimultaneous with awareness, and then there is no antidote that is needed. For exampleanger arises and its like we conquer anger with anger. When the anger manifests together with mindfulness, it is immediately dissipated. The same is true of lust and desire. Whenit is co emergent with mindful awareness, it totally dissipates. And so we merge desireand lust with meditation and on the basis of this no karma is accumulated. The desireitself dissipates this is what is meant by bring negativities onto the path
With regard to the subtle onesif we are meditating and we become kind of dull in that meditation, then many subtlethoughts that we don’t feel may arise. And when we fail to recognize them, they becomegrosser and grosser until at some point they become gross enough that we recognizethem. And realize “Oh I’ve gotten distracted.” So it’s important to understand that if wefail to recognize the subtle thoughts, those will also obscure the mind. And so therecognition is what is important. If we sustain clear awareness then we will recognizegross and subtle mental arisings. Primordial awareness is like a flame and all the grossand subtle thoughts and emotions that arise are like fuel. If we continue to meet thethoughts with awareness, it is as though we continue to feed fuel to the flame, thus itincreases in intensity
If we do not recognize the natural state that is the cause for the arising of all of samsara itis because of this non recognition that we continually wander in cyclic existence. So allof samsara can be condensed into the three realms, the form realm, the formless realmand the desire realm. And what is the cause of all these? First we should understand thatthere is like a fundamental alaya consciousness and really this is a mind of un-clarity or unawareness and it is taught about quite clearly in the aspiration prayer of Samanthabadra. In this state of un-clarity, beings follow after whatever thoughts andemotions that arise in the mind. Because of abiding in this really unclear unconsciousstate, one is said to attain or take rebirth in the formless realm. If from within this unclear state a subtle consciousness arises, it is not really recognized for what it is. It is not seen.And on the basis of that we start to fixate on phenomena as real and that becomes thecause of rebirth in the form realm. And then from out of this mind, arise gross thoughts and emotions it condition rebirth in the desire realm.
When we generate the great primordial awareness it is the cause for liberating ourselves from the three realms and also from all of samsara. This is because of the naturalattributes of wisdom mind. For example when we look at a flower, and we see its beautiful form, if we abide in stable mindful awareness, the mind doesn’t waver, itdoesn’t go outside to the object of perception, it is not lost in that flower. And so byholding this kind of stable mindful awareness, the mind is liberated from rebirth in thedesire realm. So then when we experience clarity, the clarity aspect of the mind, if we arefree of fixation on the clarity, this purifies the phenomena of the form realm, thus themind is liberated from rebirth in the form realm. Again we refer to the mind is the unionof clarity and emptiness, and whenever thoughts and emotions arise, if we do notinvestigate them or manipulate them in any way, we give rise to confidence in awareness,and thus the mind becomes very clear, this purifies the kind of the keep unconscious or unawareness state. When we abide in this non-conceptual awareness, we do not need toinvestigate in any way the mental phenomena that arise. The mind is the union of emptiness and clarity but the clarity aspect of mind cannot be lost, when it is sustained it becomes the basis for liberating the mind from the phenomena of the formless realm. Thealaya or base conscious as I mentioned before, is just a state of unawareness, unknowingand when we see the nature of the mind that is just like the sky, it is also endowed withclarity. That clarity is what liberates us from the formless realm.
When we see the natural state of the mind, it gives rise to three principle qualities or attributes. They are known as the sublime intent that fully liberates the three spheres, thethree realms. This is an extraordinary Buddhist teaching. This liberation of the threerealms is connected with the qualities of the Buddhist three kayas and those three kayasare complete within the mind itself. The mind’s empty nature, which is like the expanseof space is parallel to the Dharmakaya, the mind’s clarity aspect, which is endowed withwisdom, is parallel to the Sambonghakaya, and from within this the unobjectified lovingkindness or the compassion without any reference point pervades all of space and this is parallel to Nirmanakaya. Thus the seed of the Buddhist three kayas is present in our mindstream. These three kayas are endowed with the same power as this sublime intent,which fully liberates the three spheres.
When we look at the natural state of the mind, it is said that form is theunion of emptiness and appearance. That is to say we perceive the form with the eye butwe do not investigate them, we do not engage the mind in contemplation on these forms.The mind does not waver outside to the form, or to become wrapped up in the image,rather it is perceived as being like the reflection in a mirror. There is no real substance toit. And so although all of the myriad phenomena of this realm manifest in one’s mind,they are seen with the eye, when there is no fixation in the mind then the forms manifestwhile awareness is held in its own place. So we give rise to a clear perception of the formyet we abide in a state free from fixation. So this state is free from the dualistic notion of the perceiver and that which is perceived. The mind does not need to wander outside and become involved in that which is perceived. Now the quality of this state is notsomething that will necessarily be fully grasped through mere understanding of thewords, it is when you engage in the practice that you will see its attributes.
“By intuiting this liberating aspect of the Dharmakaya, and now to a figure drawn in water there is uninterrupted spontaneousarising and reflexive release.” So in brief we talked of self-arising and self-liberating andthis is when the thoughts manifest and spontaneously dissipate just like writing on thesurface of water, the moment that we recognize the thoughts with awareness, they ceaseto be, just like a wave will arise out of the ocean and dissolve back into it
“Whatever arises is the fruit of naked presence and emptiness, whatever moves is the creativity of the sovereign Dharmakaya”. If we sustain unbroken awarenessthen there is no harm when thoughts and emotions arise. Its like if we have a strong fire burning in the hearth then how much fuel we put inside of it, it will spontaneously be burnt away. And so it is when the flame of awareness is strong, whatever arises whatever thoughts and emotions may manifest simply are burnt away by awareness
“The way thing arises the same as before, the crucial difference is in their release”. And so for a practitioner the way that thoughts and emotions manifest inthe mind, is just the same as the way in which they arise in the mind of an ordinary person. The difference is that for a yogin or yogini whatever arises is spontaneouslyliberated on arising. This is what is referred to as the play of awareness. So for ordinary beings, thoughts and negative emotions arise they fixate on those arisings as real and their mind is bound by that fixation. Thus they accumulate karma. For a true practitioner awareness arises simultaneously with the thought and it is liberated.
“Without this vital function of release, meditation is a delusory path.Imbued with it we abide in Dharmakaya non-meditation.” So even though one may nothave engaged this practice for a long period of time still when one cultivates theawareness that liberates thoughts on arising, that awareness is Dharmakaya. Withouthaving cultivated that even if one has engaged meditation practice for many years, still itis nothing but a delusory path.
With regard to the fruition it is all about abiding in the natural state of themind. When we do that the very basis, which is Buddha nature, is realized. We speak about ground path and fruition and that ground is that innate indwelling Buddha nature.And when we know that natural state of the mind, and we cultivate that, we engage the path. And as a result we experience fruition which is the mind becomes pure. Thus thesethree ground path and fruition are closely related to the view meditation and conduct.When we really can act in accord with the meditation that we are engaging, then withoutdoubt we are practicing the path
In this regard there is a praise of Guru Rinpoche that says: “I pay homage to the one who is unstained by the obscuration of desire. Homageand praise to the Lotus born one.” So this example of the lotus flower is that it rises out of the mud and yet bears a blossom that is unstained by mud is an example of the minds of the Buddhas.So the example of the lotus flower is the example of great primordial wisdom. As I havementioned that the lotus grows out of a muddy swamp yet its blossom is totally untainted.And so when we talk about the term Rigpa, this is kind of a term that we find in the Dzogchen teachings and there are other terms that are common to the mahamudra but really this term Rigpa is something that is easy to understand, it is the self-recognition of the natural state of one’s own mind and this is the mind totally unobscured by negativeemotions. When we speak about transcendent awareness or Rigpa that is nothing other than the Buddha. If we recognize it now in this moment then the mind is unobscured inthis moment. When we give rise to fixation, that fixation obscures the mind. When we arecompletely free of fixation to various thoughts and negative emotions then awareness issustained and there is no taint. Although thoughts and negative emotions will continue toarise they will not obscure the mind.
If we have compassion for sentient beings, this is a sign that we have given rise to pure perception of the outer container, which is this universe, the inner contents which aresentient beings. Although sentient beings temporarily manifest in a deluded way likefrozen blocks of ice, in truth sentient beings are unreal, they are dreamlike and illusory.In truth beings are truly Buddha yet when we see the limitless suffering of sentient beingsthat drive them to madness. It is as though they are made crazy by the limitless sufferingsthat they experience, we naturally give rise to compassion. Yet at the same time there isan understanding that beings are unreal they are not inherently established, thus it is saidthat there is neither compassion nor an actual object of compassion on the ultimate level.So for example if someone is sleeping and dreaming we do not see their dream yet thedream may seem so real to the sleeping person that he cries out in his sleep. Similarly allthe phenomena of samsara and nirvana are unreal and illusory. When we recognize thatsentient beings are unreal and they lack any inherent existence, this is a sign of havinggenerated pure perception
So we should give rise to conventional precious bodhicitta for all sentient beings withoutexception thinking that there is not one who has not been our kind parent. In this way weshould give rise to love for all sentient beings like the love of a mother has for her child.We should have special bond of love with our dharma companions and our vajra siblings.How does this arise? When we engage in practice and we see the natural state of themind, all of our minds become the same and on the basis of this a great love arises and pervades. So if we are free of the dualistic view of self and other, then what we will findis that others negative emotions of anger and pride and so forth will naturally melt awayand dissipate and we will see all beings as our friends
Khenpo Munsel taught that the measure of one’s realization of the view is the compassion that one hasgenerated thus the most precious of attainments is great compassion. Like the rays thatnaturally manifest from the sun, compassion will spontaneously arise out of emptiness.Although there are other signs of accomplishment such as clairvoyance and many diverseexperiences, we should not fixate on any if these but rather should understand that thegreatest of all signs of accomplishment is compassion
These teachings one essential point on awareness are the essence of all the Buddha dharma. The mind of omniscient wisdom of a single Buddha pervades all of the Buddhas of all space and time.Likewise the Buddhas of the three times of past present and future are complete in themind of the root guru. The way that this can be so is the qualities of emptiness
The first line of the text that we are working from is “I pay homage to the root lama of matchlesskindness. Of matchless, peerless compassion.” So really the essence of this line is aboutthe practice of Guru Yoga It is taught that the Guru is all the embodiment of all of the Three Jewels. So, if at theoutset in the text, we make prostration and pay homage to the Guru we should understandthat by doing that we are prostrating and paying homage to all of the Three Jewels
We should understand that the mind of the Guru is the essence of all of the minds of the Buddhas. All the Buddhas are present in the root Guru’s mind. And thatroot Guru is our own vigilant mindful awareness. Within that awareness there is nodistinction to be made between great and small, good and bad and so forth. The basictranscendent awareness of our own mind is the guru. The guru’s speech is the Dharma,and that Dharma, although it is vast, it is said to contain 84,000 aggregates, still it allcomes down to two types of Bodhicitta. Apart from conventional and ultimate Bodhicitta, there is no other Dharma teachings to be found.
So all of the Dharma iscondensed in the speech of the root Guru, and likewise the body of the Guru is the sangha.With regard to the sangha, when we have listened to the teachings of the Buddha and wehave put them into practice by cultivating love and compassion in our minds, we purifythe obscurations of our minds. Having purified our own minds, then we are able to guideothers thus we become members of the sangha. How is it that we can guide others?Through introducing them to the teachings on Karma cause and effects and to the twotruths and so forth. We can show beings the methods for practicing virtue andabandoning non-virtue which is the cause of suffering. So when from our own side we become liberated then we can engage in activities to liberate others. This is what it meansto be a member of the sangha. And it is said then that the Guru’s body is the sangha
When one cultivates bodhicitta in his mindstream, that individual’s body is the Guru, his or her speech is the yidam and his or her mind is the dakini. Thus we can say that theGuru is the embodiment of not only the three Jewels but also the three roots. Throughrelying on the body of the Guru we receive the empowerments we are introduced to thenature of the skandha, dhatu and ayarthanas as pure from the very beginning. Likewise,on the basis of the Guru’s speech, we are given instruction in generation and completionstage practices. We are taught in the context of generation stage how to visualizeourselves as the deity and so forth. On the basis of this to engage in secret mantra practices, thus on the basis of speech we can realize the Sambonghakaya and then on thelevel of mind, this is the prajna paramitra, the perfection of wisdom. It is the nature of emptiness, the nature of ultimate bodhicitta. And that nature is nothing other than themind of the Guru. So the Guru, himself or herself is the embodiment of the three roots, of Guru, Yidam and Dakini.
When in this way one engages the practice of the three jewel and the three roots, thefruition is to attain the three kayas. And those three kayas are complete in the Guru. TheGuru’s body is the nirmanakaya or the tulku and so the Guru has cultivated bodhicitta inhis or her mindstream and through that mind which is bodhicitta, emanations or tulkuspontaneously manifest. On the outward level, the body of the Guru seems like the bodyof just another human being, like an ordinary person but the Guru is extraordinary in thaton the level of mind, he or she has fully cultivated the two types of bodhicitta.So the Guru’s speech is the Sambonghakaya. That is to say on the basis of the words of the Buddha or the speech of the Guru, the Yidams and Mandalas manifest ininconceivably vast numbers. On the basis of the Guru’s mind, which is endowed with loving and kindness, the Dharmakaya is realized. Although the Guru’s mind is the natureof love, on the ultimate level it is empty, this is what is meant by the term the union of clarity and emptiness. So this Dharmakaya, which is vast like space, is the mind of theGuru and then the Sambonghakaya is like the various rainbows that arise in the expanse of the sky
What is this fourth kaya? When we areintroduced to the Guru’s attributes, then we need to know, and deeply contemplate eachof the Guru’s qualities. Then when through practice, we ourselves cultivate the qualitiesof the three kayas, at some juncture we really get insight into the ultimate nature of theGuru, which is none other than our own mind’s essence. When we realize this, werecognize the sameness of our mind and the mind of the Guru, and that there is nodistinction between good and bad to be made between our mind and the Guru’s mind.This is the non-dual union of clarity and emptiness, it is the realization of the natural stateof the mind. When we have this experience, we know definitively the non-dual nature of our mind and the guru’s mind; this is the realization of Svabhavikakaya
It is through this practice that our mindstream transforms into the guru. The guru is endowed with perfect qualities, andright now we see a great distinction between ourselves and the Guru. But really the onlydistinction is in the fact the Guru has given rise to the mind wishing to benefit others.While we on the other hands have great self-grasping and negative emotions. So at thevery outset when we first received the vow of refuge, we are introduced to the outer three jewels, the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. But then after having received the vows and beginning to really engage in the practice we start to recognize our own mindfulawareness as inseparable from those three jewels. So on the outer level, we look at theexample Guru, or the Guru who manifests in human form. But on the inner level, the ultimate Guru is mindful awareness
Having devotion to the Guru, on the outer level, devotion is the faith andthe respect that we have for the teacher. But on the inner level, what devotion is, isholding the words and instructions of the Guru as precious and putting them into practice.So for example, although Marpa had many disciples, the real transmission or thecomplete transmission went to Milarepa and it is said that the one who really held towhatever the Guru taught was Mila Dorje Gyaltsen and that’s the real meaning of devotion to the Guru.
The term that we use inTibetan for Guru Yoga is Lamei Naljor, the first two syllables Lamei means of the guru,the second two syllables Naljor, is yoga. This term Nal is referring to the natural state of the mind. So yoga is the union with the mind’s nature. How is this accomplished? It isaccomplished through mindful awareness and that mindful awareness is the inner guru.The outer body of the Guru is not the ultimate guru; it is just a conglomeration of particles that is subject to impermanence. When we look at the inner guru, we see thatthere is no dualistic distinction of good and bad. That awareness is the nature of mind andin order to maintain that connection, love is what is of principle importance. When wehave this mind of love and awareness then there is no distinction between near and far.We have authentically united with the inner guru, that is the nature of the mind. And thisis the true practice of Guru Yoga.
Sentient beings because they are temporary obscured by negative emotions do not recognize thisand their mind becomes a frozen block of ice. But when they meet with the condition of having faith in the three jewels and compassion for sentient beings. It is like that ice begins to melt away into free flowing water. Particularly in the context of secret mantra practice, we are taught to cultivate a pure view of the outer container that is the universeand the inner contents, which are all sentient beings. All of the ways of accumulatingvirtues are combined in or encompassed by pure view. When we have pure view, what itmeans is that we are free of fixation, whether it is attachment based or aversion based.When we have purified fixation in this way, the ice of our ignorance melts away. And then we recognize the qualities of the inner guru. So if we have pure view, from our own side, whether the guru is a good and authentic master or not, does not matter, we will realize the Buddha qualities from within
Milarepa, when he was passingaway, told his disciples, “Actually, I will never die. If you have love and believe in me”Milarepa pervades in the five elements, and thus is always present.” And so it is on the basis of the disciple’s faith that we again and again connect with the Guru or the deity.On the basis of this we receive the Guru’s blessings. So the fact that Milarepa can pervade the five elements, is really one of the qualities of the Dharmakaya of the Buddhahttp://www.kunzang.org/assets/pdfs/news ... npoche.pdf