Buddha Nature, Nature of Mind, Rigpa
Our true buddha-nature has
no shape. And the dust of affliction
has no form. How can people use ordinary
water to wash an intangible
body? It won't work... To clean such a body you
have to behold it.
Once impurities and filth arise from desire, they multiply
cover you inside and out. But if you try to wash this body of
you'll have to scrub until it's nearly gone before it's clean.
To find a buddha all you have to do is see
your nature. Your nature
is the buddha. And the buddha is the person who's
free: free of
plans, free of cares. If you don't see your nature and run
day looking somewhere else, you'll never find a buddha. The truth
there's nothing to find. But to reach such an understanding you need
a teacher and you need to struggle to make yourself understand.
as in a dream, you see a light brighter than the sun, your
will suddenly come to an end and the nature of
reality will be revealed.
Such an occurrence serves as the basis for
enlightenment. But this is something
only you know. You can't explain
it to others.
Because we don’t recognize our essential nature—we don’t realize that although appearances arise unceasingly, nothing is really there—we invest with solidity and reality the seeming truth of self, other, and actions between self and others. This intellectual obscuration gives rise to attachment and aversion, followed by actions and reactions that create karma, solidify into habit, and perpetuate the cycles of suffering. This entire process needs to be purified.
Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche
When you’re a Buddha, you have fully developed the two wings of a bird. You’ve got wisdom that literally sees everything that exists. Buddha says everything is knowable and each of us has the potential to see, to cognize everything. The compassion wing is the full development of the enormous empathy for all living beings as if they were oneself.The third quality is this immense power to effortlessly do whatever needs to be done to benefit all living beings, whose minds you see perfectly and for whom you have infinite compassion.
Robina Courtin, Mandala Magazine December 2003
True freedom comes when we follow our Buddha nature, the natural goodness of our heart.
Jack Kornfield, Buddha’s Little instruction book
His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Question: When people hear of luminosity
of clear light that dawns at the moment of death they ask
why it is called clear light. What has this got to do with
light as we know it?
Dalai Lama: "I don't think that in the term clear
light, light should be taken literally. It is sort of metaphoric.
This could have its roots in our terminology of mental will.
According to Buddhism, all consciousness or all cognitive
mental events are said to be in the nature of clarity and
luminosity. So it is from that point of view that the choice
of the term light is used. Clear light is the most subtle
level of mind, which can be seen as the basis or the source
from which eventual experience or realisation of Buddhahood,
Buddha's wisdom might come about, therefore it is called clear
light. Clear light is a state of mind which becomes fully
manifest only as a consequence of certain sequences or stages
of dissolution, where the mind becomes devoid of certain types
of obscurations, which are again metaphorically described
in terms of sun-like, moonlike and darkness. These refer to
the earlier three stages of dissolution which are technically
called, including the clear light stage, the four empties.
At the final stage of dissolution the mind is totally free
of all these factors of obscuration. Therefore it is called
clear light. Sort of a light. It is also possible to understand
the usage of the term clear light in terms of the nature of
mind itself. Mind or consciousness is a phenomena which lacks
any obstructive quality. It is non-obstructed.
From a talk given by HH Dalai Lama. Oct. 11-14, 1991 New York
City. Path of Compassion teaching preliminary to the Kalachakra initiation
The five subtler aggregates will eventually be transformed into the Buddhas
of the five lineages. They are now as if accompanied by mental defilements.
When the defilements are removed, these factors do not become any coarser or
subtler; their nature remains, but [when they] become separated from the faults
of mental pollution, they become the Buddhas of the five lineages. So if you
ask whether the Buddhas of the five lineages are present now in our continuums,
these factors are currently bound by faults, and since there cannot be a Buddha
who has a fault, they are not Buddhas. One is not yet fully enlightened, but
that which is going to become a Buddha is present; therefore, these factors
presently existent in our continuums are Buddha seeds and are called the Buddha
nature, or the essence of the One Gone Thus (Tathagatagarbha).
Kindness, Clarity, and Insight
Since pure awareness of nowness is the real buddha,
In openness and contentment I found the Lama in my heart.
When we realize this unending natural mind is the very nature of the Lama,
Then there is no need for attached, grasping, or weeping prayers or artificial complaints,
By simply relaxing in this uncontrived, open, and natural state,
We obtain the blessing of aimless self-liberation of whatever arises.
No words can describe it
No example can point to it
Samsara does not make it worse
Nirvana does not make it better
It has never been born
It has never ceased
It has never been liberated
It has never been deluded
It has never existed
It has never been nonexistent
It has no limits at all
It does not fall into any kind of category.
For the meditation on the nature of your own mind it is customary to ask your teacher for pointing-out instructions. Some practitioners are lucky enough to realize their true nature of mind straight away, whereas others merely perceive a sensation of it, a certain experience of the true nature of mind. But if they don't know exactly how mind and the consciousnesses function, their experience will dissolve after a few days. The understanding of mind and the eight kinds of consciousness is obtained through the highest understanding (Skt. prajna) of listening and reflecting. When we really meditate on this basis and glimpse the true nature of mind, we will be able to steadily increase our experience of it through all subsequent meditation. That's why it is extremely useful to know about the eight kinds of consciousness.
From Luminous Heart: The Third Karmapa on Consciousness, Wisdom, and Buddha Nature
Once you have the View, although the delusory perceptions of samsara may arise in your mind, you will be like the sky; when a rainbow appears in front of it, it’s not particularly flattered, and when the clouds appear it’s not particularly disappointed either. There is a deep sense of contentment. You chuckle from inside as you see the facade of samsara and nirvana; the View will keep you constantly amused, with a little inner smile bubbling away all the time.
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
For most of us, our natural mind or Buddha-nature is obscured by the limited self-image created by habitual neuronal patterns - which, in themselves, are simply a reflection o fthe unlimited capacity of the mind to create any condition it chooses. Natural mind is capable of producing anything, even ignorance of its own nature. In other words, not recognizing natural mind is simply an example of the mind's unlimited capacity to create whatever it wants. Whenever we feel fear, sadness, jealousy, desire, or any other emotion that contributes to our sense of vulnerability or weakness, we should give ourselves a nice pat on the back. We've just experienced the unlimited nature of the mind.
Although the true nature of the mind can't be described directly, that doesn't mean we shouldn't at least try to develop some theoretical understanding about it. Even a limited understanding is at least a signpost, pointing the way toward direct experience. The Buddha understood that experiences impossible to describe in words could best be explained through stories and metaphors. In one text, he compared Tathagatagarbha (Buddha-nature) to a nugget of gold covered with mud and dirt.
Imagine you are a treasure hunter. One day, you discover a chunk of metal in the ground. You dig a hole, pull out the metal, take it home, and start to clean it. At first, one corner of the nugget reveals itself, bright and shining. Gradually, as you wash away the accumulated dirt and mud, the whole chunk is revealed as gold. So let me ask: Which is more valuable - the chunk of gold buried in mud, or the one you cleaned? Actually, the value is equal. Any difference between the dirty nugget and the clean is superficial.
Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret & Science of the Mind
Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
Profound and tranquil, free from complexity,
Uncompounded luminous clarity,
Beyond the mind of conceptual ideas;
This is the depth of the mind of the Victorious Ones.
In this there is not a thing to be removed,
Nor anything that needs to be added.
It is merely the immaculate
Looking naturally at itself.
An effortless compassion can arise for all beings who have not realized their true nature. So limitless is it that if tears could express it, you would cry without end. Not only compassion, but tremendous skillful means can be born when you realize the nature of mind. Also you are naturally liberated from all suffering and fear, such as the fear of birth, death and the intermediate state. Then if you were to speak of the joy and bliss that arise from this realization, it is said by the buddhas that if you were to gather all the glory, enjoyment, pleasure and happiness of the world and put it all together, it would not approach one tiny fraction of the bliss that you experience upon realizing the nature of mind.
...they say that the initial realization of the nature of the mind is the first
breakthrough. It's a very important point in all Buddhist schools. At that moment,
you cease to be an ordinary person. You become in Buddhist parlance an arya,
a noble one. It doesn't mean you are finished. It doesn't mean you are a high
level bodhisattva. We can fall back from this. But still, this is a big breakthrough.
We now understand what is true and what is not true. We don't have to take it
all on faith any more. It is a direct non-dual experience. The point is that
it is very easy. It's not difficult, and it's not something that can only be
attained after years and years of practice.
Our main obstacle is the fact that we don't know how to relax our minds enough
to be open to this experience. In the back of our minds we keep thinking this
is something so difficult and so advanced. For this reason we don't recognize
what is in front of our face. This is why a teacher can be extraordinarily helpful.
A teacher living within that realization is able - if the mind of the disciple
is completely open - to transmit his or her experience. The problem here is
that we have too many hopes and fears; it creates a barrier. It is very hard
to be open. You can't just will it.
Ani Tenzin Palmo, from 'Reflections on a Mountain Lake: Teachings on Practical Buddhism'
In the Uttaratantra by Maitreya, it is said that our recognizing our buddha potential is like a man living in poverty discovering that buried beneath his home is a priceless treasure. It is like discovering a jewel buried in the mud. If our buddha potential is like a golden statue wrapped in filthy rags, the golden image can never be tarnished by the rags--it is merely obscured by them. When I was younger and my understanding of Buddhism was relatively poor, the images that came from this text had a profound effect on me. They gave me an intuitive sense of my intrinsic value in a way that I had never felt previously. The influence of religion in my early years had left me with the belief that I was essentially a sinner and that at the root of my being was an innate badness that I had to overcome. It left me fundamentally unable to trust myself because to let go would be to open up my innate badness. When I met my Tibetan teachers and they spoke of my buddha nature, I felt a huge sense of relief. Perhaps I was not so bad after all, and perhaps when I allowed myself to relax a little and open up, I would find my true nature as something whole and wonderful rather than something to be feared and suppressed.
Rob Preece, The Courage to Feel: Buddhist Practices for Opening to Others
We have to understand the middle path: that a human has a positive
and a negative side.
We have a false, ignorant side, but we also have a beautiful potential
- Buddha nature.
December 11, 2016