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Buddhadharma : Spring 2014
SPRING 2 0 1 4 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY 31 much for this opportunity to enhance my prac- tice.” His heart had been so transformed that instead of seeing a negative action, he genuinely felt grateful. With practice and confidence we too can transcend the duality of good and bad, bud- dha and sentient being. This is the ultimate view, the view that the Buddha and we ourselves share the same nature. There are many, many high and profound views, but this one is the pinnacle. There is nothing higher that we might achieve. Actualizing this view is our goal, and until we arrive at that des- tination by transcending duality, we must exert whatever effort we can. The various white and red manifestations and the inexpressible innate mind are inseparable, being one in the intrinsic state. This is the bardo of meditation. An infinite variety of experience will arise when we meditate. Manifestations can come while dreaming, during the meditation session itself, or afterward. There’s really no predicting what, if anything, will manifest. But no mat- ter what appears, it is all a manifestation from the innate mind. The mind cannot be described or limited by any sort of boundary. We cannot say that it exists one way or the other. In fact, we cannot pin down whether it exists at all. Its nature is inexpressible by any conventional means, yet that same mind is the basis of all our experiences, the various white and red manifes- tations. These are the myriad experiences that occur during meditation practice and during our various thought processes. The mind is like an ocean, and all mental activities are like ocean waves. Ocean waves arise from the water and dissolve back into it. When a wave manifests, we can point to it and say, “This is a wave.” But the wave is of the same nature as the water, so we can’t truly separate them. Big waves and small waves may come, but the water itself is unchanged. Water with waves and water without waves is still water. They may temporar- ily appear to be separate, but upon examination they are actually seen to be of a single nature. Similarly, when we are skilled at meditation, we can see that all phenomena are manifestations of the innate nature of mind. Different experiences come and go, but when it comes to the mind itself, nothing has happened. The innate mind is utterly unchanged. We should focus on the mind in our medita- tion, rather than getting involved with the myr- iad manifestations that arise within it. Look at the ocean and the sky, and don’t be distracted by the waves and clouds. Let phenomena such as feeling good or bad manifest from mind and let them dissolve back into mind. Simply sustain awareness of the innate mind. Delusory appearances in their various manifestations and one’s own nonarising mind are one as nondual coemergence. This is the bardo of conduct. We, and all others in samsara, are deluded and confused, blinded by ignorance, and mistake outer appearances in their various manifestations for reality. Not recognizing that they are illusory, we fixate on them and are continually disap- pointed. When we do not recognize the actual nature of these outer projections, they delude our mind even more, and the darkness thickens. The deluded samsaric mind and the innate nature of mind seem to be two different things. But they are one, nondually coemergent. That very deluded mind is coemergent with the unborn mind of wisdom. The confusion is that we do not Bardo means a state in between any two things: happiness and suffering, delusion and enlightenment, this life and the next. Our life constantly plays out in between, in duality.