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Buddhadharma : Summer 2015
summer 2 0 1 5 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 21 Do you have a question about Buddhist teachings or practice? we want to hear from you. Send your question to teachers@ thebuddhadharma.com can damage your practice—the space of your nature of mind is beyond time and conditions. It can neither be enhanced nor destroyed by any conditions, by any movement or speech or thought. It is the unconditional nature of your being. And at the moment of death, when the body deteriorates and the elements of earth, water, fire, and air no lon- ger support us, are we lost? Not if we have come to recognize and rely on the space of being and light of awareness, often referred to as the mother space and son awareness. We endeavor in this life, during the process of death, and throughout the transition following death to recognize the inseparability of space and awareness, even as our expe- riences swirl around us. I once knew someone who felt he had a solid understanding of dharma and found much benefit from his medita- tion practice. He later developed a brain tumor, and as it progressed he reached out to me saying, I cannot practice— my cognitive process is no longer reliable. As we sat together, embracing his dis- orientation with spaciousness, aware- ness, and warmth, he came to experi- ence that the awareness that recognizes the space of being was not based on the cognitive power on which he had been relying. Opening directly and nakedly to the experience of loss and disorien- tation, resting more deeply there, loss became the doorway to a direct expe- rience of the treasury of the nature of mind. He discovered the inner refuge. So whatever outer practice we engage in, take care not to fall in love with the messenger—the form of the practice. Do receive the true message. That means abiding in pure awareness not condi- tioned by the transitory experiences of mind. When effort exhausts, unceasing awareness arises. Not able to think, you understand. Not trying to know, you realize.