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Buddhadharma : Fall 2013
30 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY FALL 2 0 1 3 something that can be discovered either within or outside our physical organism. This is why mind has the aspect of being empty. We cannot say mind is flat and square and brown, as we would a table. Mind is not an entity or a thing, which is why it is empty. Mind’s Luminous Aspect Unlike inanimate objects, the mind is luminous. Mind is able to illuminate both itself and other things. The luminosity of mind is not something that is discovered outside our ordinary experi- ence. Our immediate experiences of anger, jeal- ousy, pride, or whatever have a tremendous sense of clarity and luminosity before we put any inter- pretations on them. The tantric literature says that we can dis- cover the luminosity of the mind in two situa- tions: when the mind is calm during meditation, like a lake with no disturbances, and when the mind is mobile or disturbed. Even in the second case, there can be a tremendous sense of clar- ity and brilliance. The tantric approach says that instead of rejecting the disturbed mind, we should continuously try to identify the mind at rest and the mind that is mobile and disturbed. We should try to see the clarity of both situations without making distinctions of any kind. Then we will be able to see just how luminous mind is. Mind’s Blissful Aspect The experience of bliss is associated with ceasing to make any distinctions between our ordinary experiences of mind and our meditative experi- ences of mental tranquility. At the Mahayana level, it is taught that bud- dhanature cannot be embellished or diluted by our neuroses, so it seems as if buddhanature is one thing and neurosis another. On the tantric PHOTO | NICK BENSON LIZAMATTEWS