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Buddhadharma : Summer 2012
20 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY SUMMER 2 0 1 2 arise outside? Does it arise inside? No, it arises in itself. The power of nonduality is twofold. First, because it is nondual, without the thinking and grasping mind, there is no ego; there is a complete absence of ego when one abides in the nature of mind. With the absence of ego, there is no distorted self to create defenses and projections. There is no addictive effort. Therefore when one is in that deep state of meditation, one’s body completely relaxes and achieves optimal well-being. When I began using a smartphone, my battery would frequently lose its charge in a very short period of time. Then I was shown a way to shut down the unnecessary applications, many of which I had no idea were even running on my phone. Thus, the battery life was greatly extended. Likewise, we also con- stantly run unnecessary applications of hope and fear, many that we are barely aware of, and we are convinced that those we do know about are necessary and important. Nonconceptual medita- tion exposes these constantly running applications. As we no longer feed them or participate in them through engag- ing our thinking, moving mind, they release and dissolve into openness. As we rest in openness, we are no longer being drained. Second, when one becomes increas- ingly familiar with abiding in the nature of mind, aware of openness itself, grad- ually a new energy flow arises. In that dynamic flow, the natural qualities of the five elements and five wisdoms arise. One might experience being grounded and connected, which would correspond to the earth element. One might expe- rience ease and calm, a quality of the water element. With fire, one is vital and vividly present, and with air, unblocked and creative. Connecting with that one. When we first begin to meditate, the observer appears to be real and we create a sense of self out of the observer. At some point, however, we become curious about the observer and turn our attention to the observer itself. In giving attention to the observer, the observer dissolves into ungraspable spaciousness; one might say this is who we actually are, but claiming this spaciousness as me or mine is not quite true. There is a Burmese saying: “Medita- tion is meditating, you are not meditat- ing.” Earnest investigation leads to a nonverbal understanding of the empty nature of all things. The expressions of this realization of emptiness are joy, ease, compassion, and inner free- dom. This question of who or what is meditating is a beautiful question that opens up a sense of wonder and mystery. This question is well worth asking; an authentic answer only comes from con- tinuing to silently contemplate. TENZIN WANGYAL RINPOCHE: According to my Tibetan Bön tradition, of the infinite methods of meditation available, there are two principal categories: generating meditation and abiding meditation. Generating meditation involves using the conceptual mind in ways to improve our spiritual development and deepen our understanding of the truth. The ways in which it does this range from gross to subtle. Abiding meditation is nonconcep- tual or nondual. This is the meditation of Dzogchen, or Great Completion teachings. First one’s conceptual mind is stabilized through practices of calm abiding, known as zhiné or shamatha; then, upon attaining stability, one is introduced to the nature of mind as clear and luminous. Meditation in this category is self- awareness—awareness of one’s true nature. Self-awareness is awareness with no object, for the self is discovered to be no object. Self is aware of itself—just awakened experience. Who knows this? There is not somebody knowing some- thing, only oneself knowing oneself. Where does this knowing arise? Does it Who is meditating? No one. Yet everything happens in single, nondual awareness.