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Buddhadharma : Fall 2006
buddhadharma| 17 |fall 2006 mind function? How do we slap the mosquito? Look again. This moment of looking and trying to find the mind is very interesting. One might say that mind is our primordial essence, our true nature. These are all things we can label with words, but what is it? It is really all in that moment of looking. You turn and look. When you try to find it, there is an experience that happens just before you come up with a concept. You just look; you try to find it, and you cannot. You might find a concept, but if you actually try to find the mind, you cannot, because it has no substance; it has no limit, no color, no form. This consciousness, or this non-thing, is not limited to our bodies; if it were, when we die, it would no longer exist. It is embodied and dwelling in our body now, but it is not our body. It is easier to say what mind is not. That is why there are so many negatives that are used when describing it, like unborn, unceasing, beyond lim- its, beyond time and space. As soon as you start to say what it is, then you are creating some limit. Negative words are still conceptual, but there is more openness in them, so by using negatives like unborn or unconditioned, you start cutting through conceptualization. In that instant, there is a possible moment of direct perception. Then we see that it is not only empty, it is also radiant and luminous; there is this knowing. This process of looking for the mind is really at the core of all of our practices. We are like beggars who are living in a little hut with a jewel under our pillow without knowing it, so we are always going around begging. We are always thinking that somehow it is out there. When we turn inward to try to see what is already present, and we do not find anything except luminous cognizance, that is the beginning of the end of suffering. We are seeing a corner of that jewel under our pillow. the realneSS of rainbowS Lama Thubten Yeshe on how to become more sen- sitive to the subtler aspects of reality. When we practice tantric yoga method sadhanas and transform our consciousness into the tran- scendent rainbow body of our meditation deity, we should simultaneously recognize the unity of the rainbow body and its nondual nature. The rainbow body of the deity is totally nondual. Nonduality and the transformation – the transcen- dent experience of the clean, clear, crystal rainbow body – are completely one. It’s like it’s there, but it’s not there. If you were to try to touch it, it would be like trying to touch a rainbow. Your hand can’t feel it yet there’s something there. It’s Buddhadharma inviTes yoUr sUbmissions To firsT ThoUghTs. Please send To: ediTor@ThebUddhadharma.Com WardSCHuMakEr real; there’s some energy there. You can’t say that a rainbow isn’t real because you can’t touch it with your hand. Sometimes when I’m watering my garden there’s a rainbow in the spray. If there are any students around, we’ll have a conversation about the reality of a rainbow. Our physical senses are really gross, and because a rainbow is relatively insubstantial, we tend to think it’s nonexistent. But a rainbow is as existent as a concrete wall. We can’t say that a wall is more existent than a rainbow just because it feels solid to the touch. Both are equally real. How does a rainbow exist? Through the coming together of various factors, such as water, light, and so forth. It’s an interdependent phenomenon that simply reflects the combined energies that make it up. That’s the way in which it exists and that’s all there is to what we call a rainbow. We know it’s not solid, that it’s simply a conglomeration of parts to which we give the name “rainbow.” The way in which the transformation – the tran- scendent experience of the divine deity body – exists is exactly the same as the way in which a rainbow exists. In reality, it, too, exists; but in experiencing unification, we recognize it as nondual, non-self- existent, and insubstantial. There’s nothing physical to touch; it’s simply the reflection of a combination of parts in the mirror of wisdom. Although it is a clearly apparent vision, completely transparent, simultaneously it is absolutely nondual in nature. By developing this kind of awareness, we become more sensitive and our dull, animal atti- tude is eliminated. We become more sensitive to the subtler aspects of reality. Then even concrete walls can appear to us as insubstantial and as something we can perhaps pass through. We can have such powerful experiences. from The lama yeshe Wisdom arChive e-leTTer, febrUary 2006