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Buddhadharma : Fall 2016
fall 2 0 1 6 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 41 What does not waiver is our guiding principle: enlightened intent. Acting on enlightened intent is a revelatory practice because it tunes us into what we really are. To abide in the heart of reality is to rec- ognize that we are emptiness, we are lucid presence, and we are great compassion. In that heart is our essence, which is not other than Buddha nor differ- ent from Yeshe Tsogyal’s heart essence. We are that presence, emptiness, and compassion. In this moment, in this circumstance, which choice will strengthen your bodhichitta? Which choice will express your heartfelt wish for the ben- efit of yourself and all others? Which choice will advance the joy of beings and their relief from suf- fering? Maybe right now it sounds a bit grandiose for us to work for the benefit of all beings. But if we aim as high as our sights allow, then the aspiration itself will be fulfilling. We will find contentment in the clarity and energy of our enlightened intention itself. If we idealize buddhahood as some idealized notion of self that is forever beyond our grasp, then what exactly are we advancing toward in this life? What is there in our present situation that we can rely upon with confidence? In Dzogchen, we learn that our true nature is bodhichitta. When we act on bodhichitta, we connect with our true nature—and with all of nature as well. We touch the earth, ego recedes, boundaries dissolve, and buddhanature manifests through our activities. No more dukkha. This is mahasukkha, the great sweetness of life. If we become even partially aware of our bud- dhanature, if we are convinced that buddha mind permeates our very being, then we no longer enjoy the luxury of waiting for our perfect self to arrive before helping others. We must be willing to do our best just as we are, wherever we find ourselves on this path of awakening. Our world needs us now. Other beings need our best efforts. The purpose of our life is to wake up, show up, and heed the call. Can you hear it? Untitled, 1983 Black pigment, linseed oil and charcoal on paper 64.3 cm x 90.2 cm