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Buddhadharma : Spri 2013
20 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY SPRING 2 0 1 3 But then we must ask the question, “What is this mind?” Here it is impor- tant to bring clear and open attention to the dissolution of one’s experience. So, rather than commenting on or catego- rizing our experience, saying, “Oh, this is jealousy; I am realizing I am a jeal- ous person,” we experience this jealousy directly and nakedly. When experienced in this way, the jealousy cannot remain; it will release or dissolve because we are not participating in it or perpetuating the story by thinking about it or judg- ing the behavior. As it exhausts, it is important to continue to look directly at the space that opens up as we seek the mind that produced the jealousy. When we look directly, we cannot find this creator of our experience. Thus we have a second line of advice from this same master: “Mind is empty.” When we have realized these two concepts, vision is mind and mind is empty, we have experienced the dissolu- tion of both the object (or “other”) and the subject (or “self”). One is in a very clear and open place! Still, we continue in our examination. When we continue to abide in the dissolution of our experi- ence and of the one who is experiencing, we find emptiness, but that emptiness is not nothing; it is actually an experience of being vividly present and alive in the moment. And so we have the third line of this master’s advice: “Emptiness is clear light.” The teaching continues from here to describe how positive qual- ities naturally arise from this clear light, the union of openness and awareness. So on the journey to discover one’s authentic self, it is important to exam- ine our experiences of self and other using direct naked observation, with- out analysis or judgment of any kind. In this way we are led to discover that there is no other and also no self as we had previously thought. And when we continue to direct our attention to the space that was previously occupied by the thoughts or emotions or variety of experiences, we can discover a freedom and aliveness and warmth that leads to spontaneous actions of great benefit to others. As we become aware of these pat- terns and habits, insight arises, enabling us to see the patterns as they are: imper- manent, not self, and dukkha. Insight encourages nongrasping, and with the absence of grasping, the notions of self and other dissolve. We realize that we are all in this together and that our pat- terns and habits create an unnecessary sense of separation. When you say that discovering more about yourself gets in the way of dropping the sense of self, is it because you identify with what is seen or dis- covered? Identification is separation. If you can see patterns as patterns and not turn these discoveries into new identi- ties about who you are, the patterns will gently and gradually dissolve through awareness. When you see that what you have claimed as self and other is always changing, you can let go of these fixed notions of self and other, and awaken into the wonder of it all. TENZIN WANGYAL RINPOCHE: In the tra- dition of Dzogchen, meditation is the practice of becoming more famil- iar with the nature of mind, which is unbounded and clear. When one recog- nizes this nature—the nondual state of emptiness and clarity—this recognition is referred to as self-realization. As I read your question, I wonder what you may mean by discovering more about yourself as you meditate. Perhaps you mean you are becoming more aware of your discomfort, your habitual thoughts and internal dia- logue, your moving mind and the vari- ous stressful patterns of daily life? Often we are not fully aware of the ways in which we suffer or are confused; recog- nizing our suffering is a necessary step on one’s path. As we bring attention inward, we discover that it is our mind that pro- duces the appearances and experiences in our life. Dawa Gyaltsen, a famous eighth-century Dzogchen master in my lineage, said, “Vision is mind,” mean- ing that our mind produces all manner of experience.