using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Buddhadharma : Spring 2008
buddhadharma| 47 |spring 2008 it is somewhere in between. No matter where you look for it—and you can look for it all over the universe—you will not find it in the sense of find- ing a substantial thing that you can honestly call your mind. If you look to see where it comes from, you will see that it does not come from anywhere. If you look to see where it is, you will see that it does not seem to abide anywhere. If you look to see where it goes, you will see that it does not go anywhere. Since the mind has no substantial characteristic, no substantial existence, no location, and so on, you might think, “Well, the mind is nothing.” The mind is not nothing, because it is your mind, which is extremely vivid or glaring in its cognitive lucidity. Likewise, you cannot say, “That mind, being a cog- nitive lucidity, is one thing,” because this cognitive lucidity is infinite in its variety. It can arise as the experience of anything. Yet at the same time, you cannot say that the mind is different things either, because all of this infinite variety of cognitive expe- rience has the same essential nature. No one knows how to describe its essence. If one describes it by analogy, there will never be an end to describing it. You can use many synonyms and terms for it, Names such as “mind,” “self,” “alaya,” and so on, But in truth, it is just this present knowingness. You cannot say the mind is something; you can- not say the mind is nothing; you cannot say it is substantial; you cannot say it is nonexistent and utterly insubstantial. Its nature cannot be described by anyone. This means that no one, including Bud- dhists, scholars, siddhas, and so forth, can actu- ally say what the mind really is. It is not because they are ignorant of what the mind is; rather, it is because the mind is inconceivable, unthinkable, and indescribable, as we say in the common praise of Prajnaparamita. In and of itself, it is inexpress- ible; therefore when we try to describe it, we use some kind of analogy or we say what it is not. “It is not this” and “It is not that.” If we limit our- selves to analogies saying what it is not, there is no end to what you can say about it. There is so much to be said, but you are never actually saying what the mind itself is; therefore all of the terms and concepts that we have come up with for the ground or basis of experience are all themselves of the mind. We call it “mind itself”; we call it alaya, “all-basis.” We impute all kinds of things to it; we develop innumerable attitudes and theories about it. All these are really just concepts about, and names for, this very cognition or experience of the present moment. This itself is the root of all samsara and nirvana, The attainment of buddhahood and falling into lower existences, Wandering in the bardo, good and bad rebirths, Aversion, anger, craving, attachment, Faith, pure perception, love, compassion, Experiences, realization, qualities, the paths, the bhumis, and so on— It is this very mind that is the creator of them all. This mind is itself the ground of all experience, because it is that which experiences everything. It is therefore the root or source of both samsara and nirvana. If the mind’s nature is recognized, that recognition and the qualities inherent within the nature of the mind are the source of everything we call nirvana: all the qualities of buddhas, of their bodies, realms, and so on. If the mind’s nature is not recognized, that lack of recognition, that ignorance, is the fundamental cause or root of all samsara, all of its suffering and lack of freedom. It is this mind that, when its nature is recognized, attains buddhahood. It is this mind that, when its nature is unrecognized and on the basis of which karma is accumulated, falls into the lower realms. It is this mind that wanders through the bardo, and it is this mind that undergoes various forms of rebirth that are relatively better or worse depending on the particular karma accumulated as a result of the lack of recognition of its own nature. It is this mind that, under the power of the mental afflictions we generate through ignorance of the mind’s nature, gets angry and holds grudges. It is this mind that wants, and it is this mind that falls prey to craving and attachment. In short, it is this mind that retains or engages in the root and branch mental afflictions. Through some degree of recognition, and through the accumulation of merit, it is this mind that experiences faith and develops a pure view. It is this mind that feels compassion and love for oth- ers. It is this mind that generates experience, real- ization, and all the other qualities of the path, so it is this mind that traverses the path and achieves its various stages and levels. It is just this mind itself that does and experiences all of these things. (Facing page) Vajrasattva Central Tibet, 1800 – 1899 (iTemno.503)ColleCTionofRubinmuseumofART(ACC.#f1996.29.1)