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Buddhadharma : Winter 2010
57 winter 2 01 0 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly But you will see the mind-essence and it will be clear and expansive, vivid and naked. When we say “clear,” this is like the clear aspect of the mind. When we talk about it being clear or luminous, sometimes we understand that as meaning some sort of a light—a blazingly bright light. But that is not what this means. It means that it can know and understand. It does not stop. We do not turn into some sort of rock. That is not what happens: there is the clear, knowing aspect of the mind. It is also expansive, which means here that the clarity is vast: we can see and know many things. Then the text says “vivid and naked.” “Vivid” means that it is as if we are actu- ally seeing—it is right there and we are really seeing it. There is no doubt whether or not this is it—it is just right there. It is naked: we are not thinking about it with logic or seeing it from far away; it is right here. There is no veil or anything covering it at all. This is what we rest in; this is the nature of the mind. We do not try to change anything; we rest directly in equi- poise—the kusulu meditates in an uncomplicated way. The reason for resting loosely like this is that our meditation is not something that is mentally constructed and newly made. Instead, it is just the way the mind is, unaltered. Normally we are deluded by many confused appearances, but the medi- tation of the kusulu should be understood as knowing the nature of the mind as it is, clearly and without mistake. This is not just something that Khenpo Gangshar says. It is also said in The Supreme Continuum and The Ornament of Clear Realization by Maitreya, as well as in The Two Books, the tantra of the glorious Hevajra. These works all say: In this there’s nothing to remove Nor anything at all to add. By viewing rightness rightly and By seeing rightly—liberation! There is nothing to remove. We do not need to stop or get rid of anything, thinking, “This is emptiness. This cannot be established as a thing.” The nature of the mind is fine just as it is. Nor is there anything to add to the mind-essence, thinking, “That is missing. This is clarity. This is something I need to gain.” If we just look at the mind-essence rightly and rest in equipoise within this nature of the mind just as it is, not following our thoughts, we will see that it is rightness. We do not need to think, “It is emptiness”—its essence is naturally empty. We do not need to think, “It is clear”—its essence is naturally clear. Resting with this mind, as it is, is “viewing rightness rightly.” When we see that essence as it is, at that moment we will be liberated from our faults and from samsara. This is why we just rest right in the nature of mind as it is. The dharma nature is unchanging. When the great meditators of the past meditated on it, they saw that we do not need to alter it in any way. We just need to come to thoroughly know the dharma nature as it is. When we see that, this is the mind that we call clear and expansive, vivid and awake. When Marpa the Translator met his guru Naropa and developed experience within himself, he said: For instance, when a mute eats sugar cane, It is an inexpressible experience. When mute people eat sugar cane, they put the cane in their mouths, they taste it, and they know what it tastes like, but if you ask them what it is like, they cannot tell you. Similarly, Marpa had an experience of realization, but when he felt it, he could not express it in any way—it was an inexpressible experience. Was it something? It was not. Was it nothing? It was not. It was indescribable. This is what Khenpo Gangshar means by saying that there is no concern about what you might be thinking, what you might remember, what is pleas- ant, or what is painful. Without any thoughts of good or bad or anything like that, the essence of the mind is clear and expansive, vivid and naked. You might wonder if this is a nature that we have to somehow create, but it is not. It is the nature of the mind that has been present within us from the very beginning. But up to this point, we just have not looked for it. We have not seen it because we have not looked for it. If we know how to look for it, we can know what it is like. All we need to do is look for it and see it. That is the essence of the mind. The Knowing Quality of Mind There is a distinction between tranquillity and insight medi- tation. In tranquillity, there is a lot of stability but not much discernment, whereas in insight meditation we do have full knowing. In general, there are three types of intelligence: the intelligence born of listening, that born of contemplation, and that born of meditation. The discernment born of listening and contemplating is directed outward. It is dependent upon infer- ence, so it is a conceptual understanding. It means the clarity of the mind that knows, “That’s right. That’s what it is.” But is this the intelligence present during insight meditation? It is not. The intelligence present in meditation is the intelligence born of meditation. The difference between this and the full knowing born of listening and contemplating is that the latter is conceptual knowing that gets to the point through infer- ence. In the intelligence born of meditation, there are not many thoughts of that kind; it is actually seeing and experiencing. It is a direct experience of the essence of the mind. When we experience our essence, do we experience it as some sort of a thing? That is not the experience we have. Do we experience it as emptiness? We do not experience it as emptiness. It is empty—something that you cannot establish,