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Buddhadharma : Spring 2014
SPRING 2 0 1 4 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY 37 To attain buddhahood, you must initially cultivate bodhicitta, which is the desire to ben- efit all sentient beings. Then you train to perfect that mind for a long and difficult period of time. Once you become a buddha with these excellent qualities, you will have the skills and methods to benefit others through the two enlightened form kayas: the sambhogakaya (enjoyment form) and nirmanakaya (emanation form). Sentient beings have to interact with a perceptible form because they cannot perceive the dharmakaya. Therefore, the unceasing form kayas are neces- sary in order to accomplish the benefit of others. By manifesting these forms, a buddha’s activi- ties are effortless and limitless and can adapt to the various dispositions of sentient beings. The sambhogakaya relates to the great bodhisattvas, who are highly accomplished in their spiritual realization. The nirmanakaya is for all. For example, Buddha Shakyamuni manifested as the nirmanakaya from the dharmakaya to demon- strate the path to enlightenment. While they appear separately according to the needs of sentient beings, in reality these three kayas cannot be separated, because buddhas have completely transcended all such duality. Their unproduced, empty nature is dharmakaya, their luminous nature is sambhogakaya, and their infinite manifestations, as limitless as the objects of knowledge, are the nirmanakaya. The impure illusory body born from a mother’s womb and the pure form of the deity are one in the luminosity of the bardo. This is the bardo of result. The meaning here is similar to that of the verse about the impure skandhas discussed earlier. When you are born in this world from a mother’s womb, the body is usually perceived as impure. Later, we see that it is illusory. Look at a reflection in a mirror—it is an illusory form. Or look at a bubble, here one moment and gone the next. Clouds appear and disappear without effort. These analogies help us understand that our own body is illusory. We know that a rain- bow is illusory, but we still enjoy looking at its beauty. However, we would never try to capture one and put it in the closet. When we recognize a mirage as an illusion, we never try to drink its water. Look at your own body and see that it has that same nature. There is no difference at all. But sentient beings in samsara have such dense delusions regarding duality! On the other hand, the pure illusory body is the deity form that we see in our mind when we prac- tice. There, you can clearly see that this illusory form, inseparable appearance and emptiness, does not exist. The pure form is luminosity. This is the bardo of result. When you actualize the insepa- rable nature of the impure and pure illusory bod- ies, this is the ultimate achievement, buddhahood. There is a special practice called luminosity, or clear light yoga, that is similar to the dream yoga mentioned earlier. Here again, the practitioner must be able to devote his or her life to retreat without wavering toward the eight worldly con- cerns. One’s mind must be fully established in meditative equipoise, and the practice instruc- tions must be personally received from a vajra master. The essence of the practice is that one maintains single-pointed concentration through- out sleep, particularly during the deepest portion, when there is an opportunity to experience the luminous nature of the mind. When fully accom- plished and stabilized, this experience transcends and purifies all aspects of duality. When one sees everything clearly and precisely, there is no samsara to give up and no nirvana to achieve. Duality and all bardos are transcended.