The Mother Of All Mistakes

Reincarnation

The Mother of all mistakes
is the mistaken notion of the existence of
an ego ‘self’ interacting with phenomena.

When the mind does not exists
as its location cannot be found,
there could never be an existence of ego ‘self’.

Hitherto this mistaken notion has
caused us endless sufferings.
We have been trapped in this predicament
on account of our wrong view.

Pure Land of the Buddha

buddha3

Our innate nature is the uninhibited inseparability of Clarity & Emptiness which is Unconditioned, Unborn, Uncreated and Unformed. If it was not for this, there would be no liberation for that which is Conditioned, Born, Created and Formed.  Hence this is the only Great Samadhi that could break our age-old habits that have hitherto caused us to transmigrate endlessly in samsara.

Being uninhibited, it transcends all sense consciousness responsible for the predicament we find ourselves in. Being the inseparability of Clarity & Emptiness, it remains as the great universal mirror that reflects everything and yet unaffected by anything hence it is called the Pure Land of the Buddha.

 

Overcoming Fear

fear

FEAR is attributable to the illusory ‘self’ arising out of wrong view that sets itself apart from phenomena. Consequently ‘self’ is impacted by phenomena through fixation.

Given that phenomena are expressions of our essential nature they arise out of dependent origination backed by the energy of the three Kayas of our essential nature liken to the mirror reflecting images. Being selfless inseparability of clarity and emptiness as their very nature, there is no question of the existence of a ‘self’ which is found not to exist.

With this realization, we live in the condition of the mirror devoid of any one being impacted by phenomena.

Phenomena being expressions of our essential nature are never apart from it like the reflections in the mirror are never apart from the mirror. In fact the mirror ‘becomes’ the reflections so there are only reflections. By the same token when phenomena manifest out of dependent origination, our essential nature ‘becomes’ phenomena so we are none other than the expressions of our essential nature namely phenomena. When we realize this, we are said to have integrated with phenomena and “entered into action”. So with the arising of the sound of an aircraft flying by, we are none other than the sound. In this condition devoid of ‘self’ the question of fear arising becomes untenable.

Consider this. When fear arises try to identify the location where fear dwell. Also look for the one who is frighten. When these happen all we encounter is a space-like empty cognizance devoid of ‘self’ and fear. With this experience we realize that fear, like any other mental emotions, is created by the grasping mind which does not exist. If we cannot find the location of our mind how could they possibly exist apart from our wrong view arising out of false thinking.

Since our experiences are manifestations of our very own essential nature arising out of our very own conditions, there is no one else to relate these to. While we appear to interact with phenomena, they are nothing but dependent origination at work.

 

The Absolute Truth that liberates us from suffering

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Everything arises and self-liberates out of dependent origination driven by the forces of the three Kayas with the inseparability of clarity and emptiness as their very nature.

Commentaries

Everything arises and self-liberates out of dependent origination. Being dependent origination they depend on factors other than themselves for their manifestations hence they are devoid of self-nature. This is Sunyata or emptiness the very tenet of Buddha’s teaching.

However there could never be any manifestation without the energy or forces of our essential nature comprising the three aspects or ‘bodies’ referred to as ‘kayas’. Its essence is emptiness i.e. devoid of self-nature, its nature clarity without which emptiness could not be discerned and its innate ability to manifest phenomena when conditions are present, Nirmanakaya. This being the base of all manifestations, everything that it manifests is likewise devoid of self-nature like reflections in the mirror. Hence without fixation on phenomena devoid of false thinking they are but a display of the inseparability of clarity and emptiness devoid of material characteristics, their very nature. Consequently we realize that “Form is Emptiness and Emptiness is not other than Form”.

Our essential nature of the inseparability of clarity and emptiness comprising the three kayas is therefore the life force of the Buddha without which nothing manifest. It is therefore paramount that we remain in the presence of our essential nature also referred to as “the instant presence of Rigpa” the practice of Guru Yoga where we constantly remain with the life force of the Buddha, the panacea for all ills.

Hence in totality there is nothing but the inseparability of clarity and emptiness along with the incessant activities of dependent origination manifesting and self-liberating phenomena depending upon conditions devoid of an observer and the observed. With this we live in the condition of the mirror.

When we realize this we traverse the six realms of existence without any impediment.

 

A Contented Mind is a Free Mind

pipe contentment
A contented mind is a mind that has fully settled in its very innate nature of peace and tranquility. When it has experienced this profound condition that nothing else could come close to it, it sees no sense in pursuing anything else to satisfy its senses.

A discontented mind perpetually seeks something to fulfil its desire as it has not found permanent contentment in anything that it seeks hence it transmigrates from one moment to another and from one life to another ed infinitum.

Due to our existing habits and lack of knowledge we cannot help but be trapped in our self-created condition of unsettled mind and therefore discontentment, to suffer the consequences. We should therefore attempt to discover the factors that contribute to our predicament in order that we could change our habits and attitude in order to arrive at the state of contentment that frees us from suffering.

The following are some of the factors.

  • Our erroneous view of considering our body and mind as a ‘self’ that sets us apart from phenomena hence we continue to grasp at phenomena as truly existing.
  • Not realizing that everything manifests out of dependent origination project by the energy of the three kayas the very nature of which is the inseparability of clarity and emptiness. They are therefore devoid of self-nature or Sunyata.
  • Not realizing that everything arising out of dependent origination arises and self-liberates depending upon conditions and are therefore devoid of true existence.

When we are settled in the peace and tranquility of our innate nature we not only realize the above but are grateful for the freedom we find ourselves in devoid of the ravages of our grasping mind.

 

Art: A Contented Mind’s A Continual Feast
By Erskine Nicol

Overcoming Limitations and Attachments

sunyata

All defilements, attachments, limitations, sufferings etc. pertain to the illusory ‘self’ that arises out of wrong view consequently living beings live in a fantasized dualistic world of their own.

On the other hand the unimpeded innate nature or primordial awareness of living beings being devoid of self-nature and therefore non-dualistic is devoid of all the shortcomings pertaining to the dualistic condition of living beings.

Living beings mistaken the primordial awareness of their innate nature as a ‘self’ experiencing phenomena consequently dualistic condition arises setting them apart from phenomena. Through constant habitual fixation at phenomena, they continue to be impacted by phenomena. This includes fixation on thoughts.

We should be mindful of our habits that generate defilements. “A habit is but a mental label, an imputation on a series of similar events which, if you grasp at as being truly existent, gives chronic rise to its perpetuation.”

When defilements such as anger, hatred, desire etc. manifest we should perceive them in the presence of our primordial awareness and look for the location where they dwell. Being phenomena arising out of false thinking, the moment we look for their location they vanish or self-liberate.

Living beings living in a dualistic condition arising out of wrong view is liken to living in darkness that prevents them from realizing the truth. However the moment they discover the presence of their innate nature of primordial awareness, it is like switching on the light where darkness cannot sustain.

With the presence of our primordial awareness of empty cognizance  (inseparability of clarity and emptiness) we come face to face with its three characteristics of empty essence devoid of self-nature, its nature of clarity without which its empty essence could not be discerned and its potentiality of manifesting phenomena when conditions are present (dependent origination) like reflections in the mirror.

Realizing the very nature of how the phenomenal world arises and self-liberate out of dependent origination, we realize their lack of self-nature and no longer succumb to the fantasized demands of the illusory ‘self’ arising out of our age-old habit of fixating at phenomena. This is realizing Sunyata the very tenet of Buddha’s teaching.

Letting go is not about telling or forcing ‘self’ to let go. It is realizing that ‘self’ arises out of wrong view and therefore does not exist in the presence of our primordial awareness. This coupled with our realization of dependent origination at work render the existence of ‘self’ untenable consequently we live in the condition of the mirror. Hence when we perceive phenomena in the condition of the mirror devoid of ‘self’ that itself is ‘letting go’ as there is no one grasping at phenomena

Realizing dependent origination (Sunyata) at work frees us from sufferings and attachments. We should have the courage of our conviction to sustain this realization in order not to succumb to our old habits.

 

The condition of phenomena reflects the condition of our mind

manifestation1

The condition of phenomena reflects the condition of our mind.

When we hold on to the ‘self’ as real and truly existing, everything we experience is as real as our perception of ‘self’.

To eradicate the perception of a truly existing ‘self’ experiencing phenomena, trace its perceived existence to the source from which it arises. With this we invariably end up finding nothing but the presence of an empty cognizance which is the inseparability of clarity and emptiness devoid of ‘self’.

Consequently when we experience phenomena in the condition of the inseparability of clarity and emptiness devoid of ‘self’, phenomena no longer possess the reality of something existing concretely ‘out there’ rather they are experienced as merely insubstantial empty form reflecting the condition of the inseparability of clarity and emptiness of our innate nature. Hence in the Heart of Wisdom Sutra, Kuan Yin (Avalokitesvara) declared “Form is emptiness. Emptiness is none other than form” the inseparability of Form (clarity) and Emptiness (the empty essence devoid of self-nature).

Epilogue

The potentiality of our innate nature is capable of manifesting anything. When we are ignorant, it manifests our ignorance, by the same token when we are wise, it manifests wisdom. We have our freedom to explore reality and decide the condition we choose to remain.

 

The inseparability of Clarity and Emptiness (Void)

view contentment

When we discover the presence of the nature of our mind Rigpa i.e. when our mind is in complete rest, we discover the manifestation of Rigpa as the inseparability of emptiness and clarity. Without its manifestation, it is impossible to fathom its characteristics.

Emptiness denotes the absence of ‘self’ and Clarity denotes primordial awareness, the ‘knowing’ aspect without which its emptiness aspect could not be experienced hence the inseparability of emptiness and clarity. It is like a mirror reflecting everything. Consequently everything that is being experienced is the clarity aspect with the underlying presence of emptiness. This is consistent with the bare essence (emptiness) and nature (clarity) of the nature of our mind that we experience hence all experiences are nothing but nature of our mind.

When an object is placed in front of the mirror, it ‘becomes’ that object. When nothing is placed in front of it, it remains a plain mirror. By the same token when phenomena is present, the nature of our mind ‘becomes’ phenomena without which it remains as a bare inseparability of emptiness and clarity.

Phenomena should therefore not be misconstrued as something that arise, sustain and dissolved back into wherever they arise from as being apart from the nature of our mind.

For example when we dream about going places, the clarity aspect of the nature of our mind ‘becomes’ that dream as we could not possibly be going places when our body remains in bed.

Realizing that everything is nothing but nature of our mind, they incessantly manifest and self-liberate depending upon conditions. Realizing that the same principle applies wherever we are, we are free to ‘come and go’ as we please.

Not realizing the truth, we grasp at phenomena creating a fantasized dualistic world of existence of our own wherein we are trapped to suffer the consequences.

Epilogue

  • When we are totally relaxed, we settle down to the presence of our innate nature of the inseparability of clarity and emptiness.
  • When our mind is not settled, we delve in our age-old habit of fixating at phenomena creating a dualistic condition to suffer the consequences.
  • Our innate nature is devoid of ‘self’ hence we realized that everything is nothing but nature of our mind the inseparability of clarity and emptiness. With this realization we live in the condition of the mirror in the state of Guru Yoga.
  • It is therefore imperative that we remain in this knowledge in order to liberate ourselves from suffering.

Our Innate Nature

mirror bubble

Given that arising from wrong view we are trapped in this dualistic condition with the attendant habits along with it our defilements which we developed since time immemorial, this condition is not our innate nature. If it was, all human beings would experience exactly the same condition, likes and dislikes, ideas, concepts, view point etc. as we do but this is not the case.

However our primordial awareness, i.e. our innate nature out of which everything good or bad manifest depending on conditions, like the potentiality of the mirror reflecting images, remains unimpeded and is therefore not affected by its manifestations just as the mirror is unaffected by the reflections.

Being devoid of ‘self’ our primordial awareness, which is our mind at complete rest a universal condition of all living beings, is devoid of all defilements pertaining to the ‘self’. Hence our primordial awareness is devoid of

Defilements such as
hatred, anger, jealousy, self-cherishing attitudes etc.

The three poisons of
like, dislike and indifference.

The three times of
past, present and future.

The mark of self, others, living beings,
existence, non-existence, birth and death.

Coming or going.
When there is no coming or going, there is no birth, no death.
When there is no birth, no death, there is no present life, after life and life in between.
This is the end of suffering.

The stillness of our primordial awareness amidst the incessant manifestation and self-liberation of phenomena devoid of distraction, like the nature of the mirror reflecting images, is therefore our very innate nature which has been and will always be unlike the mind that succumbs to our habitual tendencies which has hitherto confine us in the dualistic world of suffering.

By virtue of the above, our dualistic condition arising out of our habits accumulated since time immemorial could only be eradicated by entering into the Great Samadhi of  our Primordial Awareness where the truth is unveiled.

Secret of Freedom from Suffering

chains1

When we fixate at phenomena whether physically or mentally, the perception of ‘self’ arises out of discrimination consequently we are duly impacted by phenomena.

On the other hand when we focus our attention on the empty cognizance of our primordial awareness Rigpa, we remain in the presence of the selfless primordial awareness hence there is no one being impacted by phenomena that incessantly arise and self-liberate.

Realizing that it is not only futile to cling to something that do not last but also have an impact on us creating suffering, we free ourselves from the impact of phenomena by remaining in our innate nature of the unimpeded presence of primordial awareness while letting everything self-liberate.

Having realized this, we should eradicate our age-old habit of fixating at phenomena and remain in the presence of our unimpeded primordial awareness, the life force of the Buddha wherein lies the secret to freedom from suffering.