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Buddhadharma : Winter 2006
winter 2006| 26 |buddhadharma they are, without trying to alter or improve how they are functioning or what they are perceiving. There is no flaw in the essential nature of the six consciousnesses’ experiences, so you can leave them just as they are. Leave your six consciousnesses to perceive just as they will and rest in the essential nature of that, free from trying to fix or change anything about it. The third point is “free of effort aimed at recol- lection.” Be free of mindfulness that is conceptual, that clings to the idea of needing to be mindful. Be free from mental contrivance and effort. Let your mindfulness be effortless and natural. Thus, when you realize confusion is groundless and you can rest in clarity-emptiness, when your sixfold consciousness is unspoiled by artifice and your mindfulness is free of effort, then you have meditation that is unhindered, like a lance flashing free in the open sky. The Flashing Lance of Conduct Experiences just naturally unhindered Free of fear, depression, and anxiety The triumph over all perceived/perceiver split These are three which render conduct fully free Like a lance that flashes free in the open sky The first quality of this conduct is that the expe- riences you have are natural and effortless. You do not need to put effort into your conduct; it happens naturally and easily. At the same time, you are not afraid of anything. Nor do you get depressed or fall into despair. You never lose your courage and you do not get anxious over anything. You are triumphant over the duality of perceived object and perceiving subject. To triumph over duality means to transcend it by ceasing to cling to dualistic appearances as being truly existent. This does not mean that dual- istic appearances disappear; it just means you do not cling to what appears as real. Then, dualistic appearances of perceived and perceiver are self- arisen and self-liberated, as in a dream when you know you are dreaming. Thus the point of practice is not to try to elimi- nate the appearances of perceived objects and per- ceiving subjects, but rather to realize that these dualistic appearances are the energy and play of the true nature of mind, which is luminous clarity, mahamudra, and therefore, they are self-arisen and self-liberated, like appearances in a dream when you know you are dreaming. That is how you should consider dualistic appearances to be: like appearances in a lucid dream. When you dream and you know you are dreaming, perceived and perceiver appear, but you are free from clinging to them as being truly existent; they are self-arisen and self-liberated. 1 “Self-settle” (Tibetan: rang bab) means to settle within the true nature of mind in a non- dual way, free from there being anywhere to settle or anyone who is settling. As the protector Nagarjuna writes in The Fun- damental Wisdom of the Middle Way, Samsara is not the slightest bit different from nirvana Nirvana is not the slightest bit different from samsara It is important to be decisive in being unbiased toward samsara and nirvana. You can do this when you have gained certainty that samsara and nirvana are equality. The third quality of this view is unchanging certainty about the first two points. You have per- fectly determined what the true nature of reality is and you are free from bias toward samsara or nirvana. You are doubt-free and have unchanging certainty about this. When you have these three qualities, your view is profound. It is like a lance flashing in the open sky, because when you twirl a lance in open space you never hit any impediment. You do not hit any obstacles and nothing stops you. This is what your view is like; it is free from any hindrance. The Flashing Lance of Meditation Cutting through the root, it holds its own ground Sixfold consciousness unspoiled by artifice Free of effort aimed at recollection These are three which make meditation fully free Like a lance that flashes free in the open sky “Cutting through the root” means that in medi- tation that is like a flashing lance, you cut through mental confusion at its root. The way you do that is to realize that confusion is groundless. When you analyze the true nature of your own mind, you find not the tiniest basis for confusion. You do not find the tiniest source where confusion could possibly originate from. So you cut through confusion when you real- ize that you cannot actually find any confusion in the first place. You might have thought, “This or that is the source of my confusion,” but when you analyze it, you cannot find the tiniest bit of confusion or any source of it. “It holds its own ground” refers to mind’s true nature, clarity-emptiness undifferentiable, holding its own ground. This means you are able to self- settle1 within clarity-emptiness and sustain that. Whatever mind’s nature may be, however you find it to be, without negating or affirming it, you are able to settle naturally within it. The next quality of this meditation is that the six consciousnesses – the five sense consciousnesses and the mental consciousness – are “unspoiled by artifice.” You leave the six consciousnesses just as