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Buddhadharma : Winter 2014
38 buddhadharma: the Practitioner’s quarterly winter 2 0 1 4 Fourth, Milarepa sings to Rechungpa: Not seeing the here and hereafter as differing This is their nature as mastered as it can be The appearances experienced as this present life are precisely like dream appearances: they too are appearance inseparable from emptiness. In the same way, the appearances that will be experienced as our next life will also be mere appearance–empti- ness inseparable. For this reason, this life and the next are not dif- ferent. Anyone who knows with utter certainty that this life and the next are not different, that they are both essentially empty appearances, has mastered the nature of life. This mastery is an extension of the view. When you recognize you are dreaming and do so with pra- jna (the precise knowledge that all appearances are empty), you know for certain the appearances of any present dream are empty and the appearances of any future dream will also be empty. There can be no difference. If you find that you don’t want to leave this life and move on to the next, it is because you think they are different. In that case, you have not mas- tered the nature of life. It is only when you see no essential difference between your present and future lives that you are not caught up in attachment to this life and complacency about the next. That is mastery of the nature of life. You are in charge of your life. Just as there is no essential difference between this life and the next, there is no difference between this life and the previous one. Both are appearance– emptiness inseparable. Once you recognize that the flower you are dreaming of is just an empty appear- ance, you realize that it applies to any flower that appeared in a past dream or will appear in a future one. When you see that, you do not get caught up in trying to acquire or rid yourself of any of these dream flowers. It’s the same with the appearances of any life—past, present, or future. There is no dif- ference in the essence of these; each is appearance– emptiness inseparable. There is, of course, a difference in terms of the form these lives take. If you have been an animal in your previous life and you are a human now, there is a big difference in the form. But the essence of each is still appearance–emptiness inseparable— there is no difference there. Not seeing mind and space as differing This is as dharmakaya as it can be Just as space cannot be expressed in terms of conceptual fabrications since it has no top or bot- tom, no center or outer edges, the essence of mind is likewise free from all conceptual fabrications. When one understands that the essence of mind is not different from space, then one has mastered dharmakaya. Space is often used as the example for the dhar- makaya. Space lacks a higher and lower region and is free of center and outer limits; it transcends consciousness and is not an object experienced by the sensory faculties. It is this freedom from fabrica- tions that makes space an excellent example that points to dharmakaya. In the sixth verse, Milarepa sings: When pleasure and pain are not two different things This is instruction as mastered as it can be What would indicate that you have mastered the instructions? When pleasant and unpleasant states are not different, when you do not differentiate (Opposite) Clear Light Tara, 2009 Losang Gyatso