The Buddha, The Dharma, The Sangha

"Spiritual powers and their wondrous functioning--hauling water and carrying firewood." --Layman Pang, upon his realization

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Observing The Mind Itself

     The primary meditative practice of great perfection is remaining in the state of pure awareness.  This is accomplished by calming the mind and then abiding in comprehension of the its basic clear light nature.  The meditative practice involves being cognizant of the arising and passing away of feelings, emotions, sensations, etc., but understanding them within the context of pure awareness.  The more one does this, the more one realizes that all phenomena arise from mind and remerge into it.  They are of the nature of pure awareness and are a projection of luminosity and emptiness.  Through cultivating this understanding, mental phenomena of their own accord begin to subside, allowing the clear light nature of mind to become manifest.  They appear as reflections on the surface of a mirror and are perceived as illusory, ephemeral and nonsubstantial.

Those who succeed in this practice attain a state of radical freedom:  there are no boundaries, no presuppositions, and no habits on which to rely.  One perceives things as they are in their naked reality.  Ordinary beings view phenomena through a lens clouded by concepts and preconceptions, and most of the world is overlooked or ignored.
The mind of the great perfection adept, however, is unbounded, and everything is possible.  For many beginners, this prospect is profoundly disquieting, because since beginningless time we have been constricted by rules, laws, assumptions, and precious actions.  One who is awakened, however, transcends all such limitations;  there is no ground on which to stand, no limits, nothing that must be done, and no prohibitions. This awareness is bottomless, unfathomable, immeasurable, permeated by joy, unboundedness, and exhilaration.  One is utterly free, and one's state of mind is as expansive as space.  Those who attain this level of awareness also transcend physicality and manifest the "rainbow body" ('ja lus), a form comprising pure light that cannot decay, which has no physical aspects, and which is coterminous with the nature of mind.

--from "A Concise Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism", by John Powers
 Snow Lion Publications
illustration, Tibetan letter A, the symbol for the Body of Light

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