Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mind Nature Composition 001

Experience follows intention. Whatever we are, whatever we do, all we need to do is recognize our thoughts, feelings, and perceptions as something natural. Neither rejecting or accepting, we simply acknowledge the experience and let it pass. If we keep this up, we'll eventually find ourselves becoming able to manage situations we once found painful, scary, or sad. We'll discover a sense of confidence that isn't rooted in arrogance or pride. We'll realize that we're always sheltered, always safe, and always home.
Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

The Tibetan word used here for "nature" literally means "simply that." The "that" refers to the fact that the ultimate true nature is not apart from being the nature of the relative state of mind - it is simply its nature. That's why it's called "simply that." Since everyone has this nature, what is important is to be sincerely interested and trust that it is possible to recognize it by looking. After looking, we need to see it; and after seeing it, we need to fully realize exactly how it is. Do not feel satisfied with intellectually having figured it out; or with inferring that it's probably like such-and-such. That is called "clouding the nature of mind with inference," or "obscuring yourself with intellectual thoughts." Instead, nakedly and directly see this nature as it is and realize it.
Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche

One danger in practicing Mahamudra is that we may confuse inferred knowledge with direct experience and fail to see the difference between what we figure out and what we see directly. These two can be mistaken. Naropa uses the word "see," rather than "know" or "understand," to make sure that we don't make that mistake. In this context, the nature of mind is not an object of knowledge. It is not an entity that we inquire about, investigate and finally get an idea about and feel gratified. That would be what is called "having a deduced or inferred idea of an entity held in mind."
Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche

To make sure that we get the point, Naropa uses the word "to see," which means like seeing something with the naked eye. When you see something, you don't have to have any idea about what it is in order to see it - you simply see it, directly and nakedly. What is necessary here is to let our mind simply look into itself and directly see how it is. Our mind is empty of any identity, and is cognizant by nature. These two qualities are indivisible. Knowing this is direct knowledge, attained by seeing in actuality.
Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche

When training in this seeing, everything - all that appears and exists - is experienced as Mahamudra. Both that which is perceived and the perceiving mind have the identical nature of being the basic state of Mahamudra. If we grow accustomed to this through training and attain complete realization, everything is the great and all-encompassing Dharmakaya. The innate nature is seen as encompassing everything.
Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche

Look nakedly at the inexpressible
Mind's basic nature, bliss and emptiness.
Relaxed, at ease, fixation-free
All that binds is free in bliss-emptiness.
Within this clear light, the dharmadhatu,
take a look at the play of the unborn mind
Mind's play manifests as appearance-emptiness.
Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche

The ability to let go of attachment and resolve our mind is the result of practice and understanding. This achievement is somewhat beyond ordinary human experience; it is extraordinary. But we are not walking alone on this path. Countless beings have gone before us, and countless others are yet to come. To think that we're special would defeat the whole purpose of the path.
Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

With presence of mind, we experience a sense of relaxation and inner resolve in the face of life's challenges. The natural grace and elegance of inner resolve are a measure of a practitioner's life.
Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

A mind that is resolved is simply present. We are not struggling with good or bad, right or wrong, life or death. We are not trying to shape our mind through Dharma Practice or anything else. We have the presence of mind to simply enjoy our life - good or bad, right or wrong, "dharmic" or not. We take great pleasure in the world and the people around us, and we walk in the world with elegance and grace.
Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

Anything and everything can arise in the mind. This is either good news or not such good news, depending on how we look at it. On the one hand, it means anything and everything is possible. On the other hand, if we possess no understanding of mind and how it works, we will be - as the traditional example describes - like someone without limbs trying to ride a wild, blind horse. We will not be able to reign in the mind, and so the mind will never serve us - it will never take us where we want to go.
Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

The buddhadharma harnesses the power of natural intelligence in a unique way. As we encounter mind’s raw, unprocessed conceptual activity, the teachings encourage us to utilize our natural intelligence to look dispassionately at mind and emotions and sort through our confusion and ignorance; in this way we uncover our innate wisdom and clarity. The Buddhist teachings affirm this natural gift and also challenges us: “Analyze! See if it’s true.” Everything we need to move forward is right here.
Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

With an open mind, fear can become your greatest ally - because facing fear means facing your life, and facing your life means living your life. You become courageous and victorious over the world of good and bad, right and wrong, comfort and pain. This notion means a great deal to me, as my birth name, Jigme Namgyel, means "Fearless Victory." But I think it is good advice for everyone.
Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

Someone asked me recently if I'm afraid to die. Truthfully, I am more afraid of not living my life fully - of living a life dedicated to cherishing and protecting myself. This fear-driven approach to life is like covering your couch in plastic so it won't get worn. It robs you of the ability to enjoy and appreciate your life.
Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

Fear and worry are understandable at times. It would be stupid not to be concerned for our personal well-being, and selfish not to be concerned for others. Feeling concern is a natural part of human goodness. But when it prevents us from accepting our life, fear is crippling. We find ourselves saying no to the world; no to our karma; no, no, no to everything - which is a very painful way to live. When we spend our life wishing it were different, it's like living someone else's life. Or, we could say, it's like living our life despite ourselves. Meanwhile, the full spectrum of our life experience goes by unnoticed.
Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

Practitioners who train in courage become true warriors. The war we wage is not with enemies outside ourselves but with powerful forces of our own habitual tendencies and negative emotions. The greatest of these is fear. In order to become fearless, we need to experience fear. Facing fear changes our perspective and gives rise to the courage to face our neuroses as well as our enlightened qualities.
Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

The great eleventh-century Indian pandita Atisha taught that the greatest pith instructions are those that rub hard on our sore spots. Exposing these sore spots is the teacher's job. In this sense, the teacher is the greatest mirror. When I was in the presence of my teacher, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, the evenness, clarity, and spaciousness of his mind naturally exposed my self-importance. I knew he could always see through my self-absorption, no matter how significant or complex I thought my story was. This was an unspoken understanding we had as a teacher and student. This kind of communication was one of the ways I learned from him.
Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

In the empty space of sky with no center or edge
On the globe of this world without a bottom or top
In the company of beings empty forms like a dream
Mind knows clarity and emptiness unspeakable

This cannot be realized by knowing alone
But if one knows the natural way to naturally relax
This is meditation and non-meditation's best
In this non-meditation live in and from it do not stray.
Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche

The basic nature of things is not produced by cause or condition
If you can't cut through your subtle ideas
About the way things really are
Your own theories about reality
Will shackle you in chains
So baselessness and rootlessness are
Definitive meaning's profound point.
Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche

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