Samsara, the Cycle of Life
Samsara is essentially not any fixed place or realm - for it is any state of
mind filled with attachment, aversion and delusion. As the enlightened have
no attachment, aversion and delusion, they are forever free of the samsaric,
and are never really “in” Samsara, even as they “enter” Samsara to aid beings
truly “in” Samsara to be free of attachment, aversion and delusion. It is thus
an error to imagine that the enlightened suffer in Samsara when they remain
or return to Samsara to help relieve suffering - for, once again, Samsara is
not a place. Being enlightened is also to be free of all suffering - wherever
All beings have lived and died and been reborn countless times. Over and over again they have experienced the indescribable Clear Light. But because they are obscured by the darkness of ignorance, they wander endlessly in a limitless samsara.
Most people feel cozy enough in samsara. They do not really have the genuine aspiration to go beyond samsara; they just want samsara to be a little bit better. ...
The underlying motivation to go beyond samsara is very rare, even for people who go to Dharma centers. There are many people who learn to meditate and so forth, but with the underlying motive that they hope to make themselves feel better. And if it ends up making them feel worse, instead of realizing that this may be a good sign, they think there is something wrong with Dharma. We are always looking to make ourselves comfortable in the prison house. We might think that if we get the cell wall painted a pretty shade of pale green, and put in a few pictures, it won't be a prison any more.
Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, Into the Heart of Life
December 11, 2016