Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Introduction to the three conceptual spheres - 005

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Symbol for [U3W]: the inconceivable Union, Coalescence, Inseparability, Indivisibility, Unity, Interdependence, Co-dependence, Co-definition, Co-relativity, Co-emergence, Co-evolution, Co-cessation, Co-transcendence, Harmony ... of the three worlds / spheres --- subject, relation / action, object --. Just one particular important example of the Union / Non-duality of opposites [Uopp], of the Union / Coalescence of the Two Truths [U2T], of the Middle Way, and vice versa.




INTRODUCTION TO THE THREE CONCEPTUAL WORLDS / SPHERES [3W]

-- subject, relation / action, object --

as described in Madhyamaka Buddhism

(The problem is not “conceptualizing / perceiving / using” the three conceptual worlds / spheres, that is relatively normal, but the grasping / attachment / ignorance of their true nature while using them, thinking they are real and in opposition. The problem is reifying them, making them inherent / independent / absolute conceptual dualistic extremes.)


THE 3 CONCEPTUAL WORLDS / SPHERES

THE THREE WORLDS / SPHERES are as important as THE TWO TRUTHS in Madhyamaka Buddhism. It is very important that we become very familiar with them. They are the key to omniscience.

The three conceptual spheres: subject, object and relation / action  (Sanskrit: trimandala; Tibetan: 'khor gsum). They are related to the way our flawed conditioned conceptual dualistic mind works / has evolved into. All languages use them. Maybe even all animals’ thinking is structured around them. It is as primitive as any primitive relation between “me” and “not-me-out-there”; even the most primitive sentient beings have this pre-conceptual structure coded into its own being (hardware and/or software).

There are two types of relations: synchronous, like the oppositions between opposite-1 / good & opposite-2 / bad, left-right, before-after, self-other … and asynchronous relations, like causal relations between subject / cause & object / effect, actions between subject / actors and object / results, perceivers & perceived, knower & known, owner & possession, wholes & parts, characterised & characteristics, definition & defined, the one-who-desire & the object-of-desire …
All of our conceptual dualistic thinking consist of using those three separate spheres -- subject, relation / action, object -- again and again, iteratively.

Those three spheres are inseparable … this is called the Union of the three worlds / spheres [U3W]
The whole karmic cycle is just that: the co-dependence / co-evolution of those three worlds / spheres.

Enlightenment is becoming fully conscious of this and of its artificial / illusory nature; this way we become free from being slave to those illusions. It is called a purification of the three worlds / spheres, a perfection of all six paramitas.

So our whole world / universe seems to be structured into those three at all levels (with real opposites & real three worlds in opposition), but that is just an illusion due to the way our conditioned mental works.

RELATED CONCEPTS:

Ayatanas

  • The two spheres of sense (six sense faculties / six inner sources or spheres of perception / cognition / knowledge) and sense objects (six sense objects / six outer sources or spheres of perception / cognition / knowledge). Combined with the self / consciousness / subject, that makes the three indispensable spheres for any actual perception contact and knowledge.
    The “sense sphere” acts as a middle sphere between the “subject sphere” and the “object sphere”; it is the “relation / action sphere” (action like perception, cognition ...); or where (location) this “relation / action” between an “objective world” and a “subjective world” takes place (within the sense organs). They could be impure when grasped with ignorance of their true nature, or pure when there is full awareness / wisdom of directly realising their true nature.

Trailokya: The three worlds / spheres / planes of existence / realms / destinations for karmic rebirth:

  • Kamaloka (world of desire / mind / mental / subject),

  • Rupaloka (world of form / body / physical / object),

  • Arupaloka (world of formlessness / speech / conceptual / relation / action).

Three Vajras

  • The three inseparable body / physical, speech / voice / conceptual, mind / mental fabrications.
    Also named Three Secrets, Three Mysteries, Three Seats, Three Doors and Three Gateways.
    They may be perceived as impure, but their true nature is purity.
    The Three Vajras correspond to the trikaya and therefore also have correspondences to the Three Roots (guru, yidam, protector) and other refuge formulas of Tibetan Buddhism. The triple continua of inseparable body-voice-mind are intimately related to the Dzogchen doctrine of "sound, light and rays"... see trikaya.

Trikaya:

  • Dharmakaya (pure mind / subject Buddha-nature / Buddha),

  • Sambhogakaya (pure speech / relation / action / body of bliss or clear light manifestation / Dharma),

  • Nirmanakaya (pure body / object / world / Buddha incarnation / the manifestations of enlightenment in the physical world / Sangha);
    In dzogchen teachings, "dharmakaya" means the buddha-nature's absence of self-nature (T1: emptiness), that is, its emptiness of a conceptualizable essence,
    its cognizance or clarity (T2: dependently co-arisen relatively functional appearances) is the sambhogakaya,
    and the fact that its capacity is 'suffused with self-existing awareness' (Inseparability / Union of the Two Truths: Union T1 <==> T2. [U2T]) is the nirmanakaya.

  • Vajrayana sometimes refers to a fourth body called the Svābhāvikakāya "essential body",
    (The Svābhāvikakāya is simply the unity or non-separateness of the three kayas = Union of the three worlds / spheres / kayas [U3W]) and to

  • a fifth body, called the Mahāsūkhakāya.

Three Jewels: The three inseparable Buddha (pure mind), Dharma (pure speech), Sangha (pure body).

Manasa, vaacha, karmana are three Sanskrit words. The word manasa refers to the mind, vaachaa refers to speech, and karmanaa refers to actions.

Gankyil or "wheel of joy": A three branches Yin-Yang symbol (see above) used for …

  • The inseparable three conceptual spheres: subject, object, action;
    their inseparability is called the Union of the three worlds / spheres [U3W];

  • The inseparable Ground, Path, Fruition; also inseparable ...

  • The inseparable Buddha, Dharma, Sangha; also inseparable ...

  • Also for any group of three apparent opposites that are more like inseparable, interdependent, in harmony … we call this the “Union / Coalescence / Inseparability / Interdependence / Unity / Non-duality / Harmony ... of opposites” [Uopp].

Cognitive obscurations & the three spheres : essence, cause & function … see Rigpawiki & bellow: Bötrül — Distinguishing the Views and Philosophies — Illuminating Emptiness in a Twentieth-Century Tibetan Buddhist Classic.

Note: Future posts will elaborate more the true nature of the three worlds / spheres [U3W]; this is just the introduction.

QUOTES ABOUT THE 3 SPHERES -- with minor precisions in (...)  or [...]:

Introduction: The problem is not conceptualizing the three spheres / perceiving them / using them; that is normal, that is the way our mental works, that is the way all sentient beings work. The problem is forgetting that we have naturally conceptualised them, invented them, created them, that they are the fruit of our mind(s), that they are merely labelled / imputed by our mind(s). Then our problem is grasping them, our attachment to them, our dependence / slavery to them. The problem is our ignorance of their true nature as pointed by concepts like the Union of the Two Truths [U2T], the Union of the three worlds [U3W], the Union of opposites [Uopp], the tetralemma, the Middle Way (all of them are / will be explained in the various post of this Blog).

Realising their true nature make us free from any grasping, attachment to these three as being real, slavery to them.

We still can use them, the Buddhas still do, but while being fully free because fully aware of their true nature, not fooled by the dependently co-arisen & empty apparences. That is bliss and emptiness inseparable. That is power.

The three spheres are not to be “demonized”. It is stupid to say that “the goal is to ultimately not-perceive them, to abandon them”. If we love the beauty of nature, of the universe, then we will love them. They are like beautiful flowers. They are already free, pure, perfect, equal, divine … it is just a matter of directly realising their true nature as it is here & now. We already have the Buddha-nature, and this is part of it. Everything is already pure & perfect here & now. Enjoy!





(i.e. Logic: Union of the three spheres [U3S] or Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres [U2T-3S]:
-
Note examples of the three spheres: subject, relation / action, object; cause, causality, effect; actor, action, result; perceiver, perception, perceived; knower, cognition, knowing; acquirer, acquisition, acquired; producer, production, product; owner, ownership, possession; characteristic, characterising, characterised; whole, having, parts; opposite-1, opposing, opposite-2; consciousness, being-conscious-of, object-of-consciousness; awareness, being-aware-of, object-being-aware of; etc.
-
{The three spheres -- subject / mind, relation / action, object / phenomena; or physical, conceptual & mental fabrications -- are not really different / separate / multiple / dual / in opposition or relation, but are more like an inconceivable Union of being empty of inherent existence (2nd truth - not real existence) <==> because of being inseparable (one cannot exists without the other), interdependent (one implies the other), co-defined (the definition of one defines the other), co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent (they arise together), co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended (they cease together), in harmony (not in real opposition), equal / non-dual / one (1st truth - not complete non-existence);
they are like illusions / dreams / reflections / rainbows / like the displays of a magical show or cosmic dance of luminosity; in other words, they are appearing but still empty, empty but still appearing; one aspect / truth implies the other (<==>), one aspect / truth proves the other (<==>). This is the King of reasoning; the Union of the Two Truths. [U2T]}
-
<==> {because of that then they have no real three stages of existence: i. origination / beginning / birth / before / past, ii. duration / middle / life / change / during / present, iii. cessation / ending / death / after / future; they have no real parts, or defining characteristics, or three marks, or functional properties, or qualities;
and so they have no permanence / continuity / eternity, no impermanence / discontinuity / annihilation, or any combination of the two, or neither, between one infinitesimal moment and the next one (valid for any thing, any being, any relation / action), or between two consecutive rebirths for beings, or between samsara and nirvana}
-
<==> {because of these then they are merely labelled / imputed / conceptualised / categorised / classified by the mind / subject (after the fact) in co-dependence with its conditioning / karma (physical, conceptual, mental; individual, collective, cosmic); in other words, as objects they are inseparable, interdependent, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing, non-dual with the subject / mind -- in the non-dual sense of those terms; ex. subject & object are not different / separate / two / dual / independent, not identical / united / one / non-dual / dependent, not both together, not neither [U3S]}
-
<==> {because of these then there is no real difference, separation, opposition, relation, dependence, duality between them…, and no real identity / sameness, unity, equality, non-duality, oneness, independence either; there is no inherent / universal / absolute basis for any discrimination between them (acceptation or rejection) or non-discrimination, action or non-action; ex. it is not about accepting one or few opposite(s) while rejecting the other(s), not about accepting all opposites, not about rejecting all opposites [Uopp]}
-
<==> {because of these then they are not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither (tetralemma) -- and there is no other possibility -- for whatever dualistic concept ‘this’ is --; meaning their true nature is indescribable, inconceivable, beyond all conceptual proliferations, beyond all extremes & middle; examples, they are
- not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither;
- not inherently existent, not completely non-existent, not both together, not neither;
- not permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither;
- not purely objective / physical / body, not purely subjective / mental / mind, not purely relational / process / conceptual / speech, not two or three of them together, not none of them;
- not dependent / caused / produced / functional, not independent / uncaused/spontaneous / unproduced / non-functional, not both together, not neither;
- not empty, not non-empty, not both together, not neither;
- not dependently co-arisen / interdependent (1st truth), not empty of inherent existence (2nd truth), not both truths together, not neither truth;
- not good / pure / perfect / equal / divine, not bad / impure / imperfect / unequal / ordinary, not both together, not neither;
- not conventional / relative / false, not absolute / universal / true, not both together, not neither;
- not this/that, not non-this/non-that, not both together, not neither.}
-
<==> {because of these then we say that they are like transparent, uncompounded, self-arisen, unborn, uncreated, unfabricated, unchanging, unceasing, spontaneous displays of the Ground, unobstructed, infinite, timeless, one in naturelessness, primordially equal, pure, perfect, divine, Buddha-nature, Buddhaverse, Dharmata, Suchness, Trikaya … That is the inconceivable indivisible self-arisen Ground / Dharmata. With direct wisdom, everything is transcended / purified / self-liberated into this self-arisen timeless equal pure perfect Ground / the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is in the three times.}
-
<==> {because of these then the best attitude toward them is the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle;
Extremes like: i) existence / realism, ii) non-existence / nihilism, iii) both together / dualism, iv) neither / monism; or extremes like v) subject-only / mind-only / idealism / subjectivism, vi) object-only / naïve realism / objectivism, vii) relation-only / process-only / action-only / relationism / processism, viii) two or three of them together / pluralism, ix) none to them / monism;
so there is nothing to accept / affirm / seek / do / perceive / know in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / not-do / not-perceive / not-know in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively if it helps someone to get closer to the truth about the true nature of Reality as it is here & now;
so the best attitude is just to let them be, and transcend / purify / self-liberate them by directly perceiving / realising / abiding in their true nature (the Ground); to use them as possible temporary imperfect adapted skillful means while being fully aware of their true essence nature & dynamic, without any fixation / reification, without any illusion about them, without being fooled by them, without any grasping, without any attachment, without any di-vision between subject action & object, without becoming slave to them, while being totally free from them not without them}
-
All dharmas are like that. Everything in all Madhyamaka teachings comes down to these reasonings. Together they are like a self-arisen indestructible vajra; one facet supported by the others. Together they point to the Ground, and generate 'certainty' about the view, path and fruition.)





Quotes

1. From: SHENPEN ÖSEL - Issue 14 - VOLUME 6 NUMBERS 1 & 2 --
(At a certain level, one directly realise that the three spheres are already free / pure / perfect / equal / divine.)

From: Commentary on the Ninth Gyalwang Karmapa's Mahamudra: The Ocean of Definitive Meaning by Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche
Conclusion: Bringing Gradual Improvement To the Practice
[The need to always combine both virtuous method and wisdom together on the path]

*Editor's note: In any action [wholesome, unwholesome, neutral], including actions which generate the accumulation of merit, there are three [apparent] spheres: the doer of the deed (subject), the doing of the deed (relation / action), and the recipient or object of the doing of the deed (object).

For example, in the practice of patience, there is the one being patient (subject), the patience itself or the act of being patient (relation / action), and the sentient being (subject) or event, such as the arising of anger (subject’s mental affliction), with which one is being patient.

In the practice of patience as a paramita one seeks not to fixate on any of these three spheres (not reifying/ grasping them as if they were real / inherent / independent / absolute and in opposition)—not to be acutely aware that it is I who am being patient and how noble I am for being so (subject); not to regard the act of patience as something especially significant or worthy of notice or praise (relation / action); and not to make a big deal of whom or what one is being patient with (object).

-

NOT TO FIXATE ON (GRASP) THESE SPHERES, BUT TO SEE THEIR TRUE NATURE [U2T] INSTEAD,

-

prevents one from reifying them, from giving substantial existence to those things which in their true nature have no substantial existence.

Ultimately, there is no self (subject) that is being patient, there is no act of patience (relation / action), and there is no object of our patience (object).

-

NOT TO FIXATE ON (GRASP) THESE SPHERES, 

BUT INSTEAD TO SEE THEIR EMPTINESS [U2T]

or to see them as THE UNION OF MERE APPEARANCE AND EMPTINESS [U2T]

IS CALLED THREE-FOLD PURITY,

-

and is that which distinguishes the paramitas (the perfection of the paramitas) — of generosity, manners and ethical behavior, patience, exertion, meditation, and prajna — from the ordinary [dualistic] virtues that carry the same name (wordly generosity, ethics, patience, effort, meditation, wisdom).

-

(These three spheres are “empty” in the sense of the Union of the Two Truths [U2T] free from all conceptual dualistic extremes. That is purity / equality in emptiness. That is the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle, nothing to accept / affirm / do / perceive, nothing to reject / negate / no-do / not-perceive in absolute terms, just relatively / conventionally / inter-subjectively.)

=======================

2. From: Chandrakirti -- Madhyamakavatara — Introduction to the Middle Way — With Jamgön Mipham’s commentary [Promienie]

2.1 First Ground -- L4 - c. Different kinds of generosity (16) -- (Perfecting generosity is practicing it more and more spontaneously while being more and more fully aware of the true nature of the three spheres [U2T-3W / U3W].)

1.16 An act of generosity associated with the pure [non-dual] wisdom whereby one sees that neither act of giving (relation / action), nor gift (object) to be given, neither receiver (object) nor giver (subject) has any real existence (empty in the sense of the Union of the Two Truths [U2T] free from all conceptual dualistic extremes) is called a transmundane perfection, or paramita. The Sanskrit word paramita is a combination of the elements para and ita. Para takes the accusative termination –am, while ita assumes the visarga aspiration which is a sign of the nominative case: thus, param + itah. When combined, this gives paramita. The “m” termination and the visarga are not normally audible in a compounded form. However, since the second element begins with a vowel, the preceding nasalization is heard while the visarga remains mute.

Even when an act of generosity is not combined with wisdom, it can still be referred to as a paramita. For it has been said that if generosity is dedicated to complete enlightenment, it is certainly on the way to the far shore—“gone to the far shore” being the sense of the Tibetan words pha rol tu phyin pa and the Sanskrit paramita. The Tibetan term may be interpreted in two ways. In the first case, the “far shore” is understood in the sense of the Tibetan accusative, c indicative of movement toward a destination. In this case the term means “gone to the far shore,” that is, buddhahood. According to this interpretation, perfect transcendent virtue is found only in the state of perfect buddhahood and indeed is that state. In the second case, pha rol tu phyin pa may be interpreted in an instrumental sense, in other words, referring to the means whereby buddhahood is attained. In this sense, transcendental virtues are found even on the path of learning.

In short, para or pha rol refers to the far shore, that is, the far shore of the ocean of samsara. This is buddhahood wherein the two veils are stripped away. By contrast, it is taught that when there is attachment to the three spheres (subject, relation / action, object) (ignorance of the true nature of the three spheres - U2T), the generosity in question is referred to as a worldly paramita because it is still qualified by dualistic reference.

Note First ground, verse 16, “b” : ’khor gsum, the three spheres, namely, the subject, the object, and the act itself.

1.16

Giving, void [U2T] of [attachment to these three as being real] giver (subject), gift (object-1),

receiver (object-2 -- or the relation / action / giving), (with awareness of their true nature - U2T)

Is called a paramita that transcends the world.

(In the sense of the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle: nothing to accept / affirm / seek / do / perceive in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / no-do / not-perceive in absolute terms, just relatively / conventionally / inter-subjectively.)

But when attachment to these three (as being real) occurs (ignorance of the true nature of the three spheres - U2T),

The teachings have defined it as the perfect act of worldly ones.

2.2 Second Ground -- L3 - 3. The different categories of the paramita of discipline (9) -- (Perfecting discipline is practicing it more and more spontaneously while being more and more fully aware of the true nature of the three spheres [U2T-3W / U3W].)

2.9 If one is still caught in [grasping at] the concepts of the three spheres — the real existence of an act (inherent / independent / absolute relation / action), an object of abstention (inherent / independent / absolute object), and an agent (inherent / independent / absolute subject) who abstains (ignorance of the true nature of the three spheres - U2T) — the discipline that one practices is called a worldly paramita.

By contrast, a discipline combined with stainless wisdom, untainted by the belief in the true existence of the three spheres (without any attachment to those three as being real; with awareness of their true nature - U2T), is the transmundane paramita of discipline.

2.9

Restraint (relation / action), the agent (subject), and the object of the same—

All discipline observed with these three thoughts (ignorance of the true nature of the three spheres - U2T)

Is said to be a perfect worldly deed;

But when these three are absent [perceived for what they really are - U2T] (without any attachment to those three as being real; with awareness of their true nature - U2T), it transcends the world.

(In the sense of the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle, nothing to accept / affirm / seek / do / perceive in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / no-do / not-perceive in absolute terms, just relatively / conventionally / inter-subjectively.)

2.3 Third Ground -- L4 - c. The classification of patience (10) -- (Perfecting patience is practicing it more and more spontaneously while being more and more fully aware of the true nature of the three spheres [U2T-3W / U3W].)

3.10 If in the practice of patience and the dedication of it to the attainment of perfect buddhahood, the subject, object, and action are regarded as truly existent (ignorance of the true nature of the three spheres - U2T), the patience in question is considered a worldly paramita.

If, however, the same is practiced in a manner free from [any attachment to] these three considerations, or spheres (as being real) (with awareness of their true nature - U2T), it constitutes, as the Buddha himself said, the transcendental paramita of patience.

3.10

But patience, even pledged to perfect buddhahood,

If practiced with the three concerns (subject, object, relation / action) (ignorance of the true nature of the three spheres - U2T), is bound within the world.

Yet practiced without reference (attachment to the three spheres as being real) (with awareness of their true nature - U2T), this the Buddha said,It leads beyond the world, transcendent, perfect.

(In the sense of the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle, nothing to accept / affirm / seek / do / perceive in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / no-do / not-perceive in absolute terms, just relatively / conventionally / inter-subjectively.)


(i.e. The three spheres are not bad, not good … not to accept / perceive or to reject / not-perceive … One is either aware or ignorant of their true nature - U2T : Union of the Two Truths of the three spheres; that they are like an inconceivable Union of being dependently co-arisen relatively functional appearance <==> and emptiness of inherent / independent / absolute existence. Ignorance or wisdom/awaress is the only difference between samsara & nirvana. Nothing to accept, nothing to reject in absolute terms.)

=======================

3. From: Bötrül — Distinguishing the Views and Philosophies — Illuminating Emptiness in a Twentieth-Century Tibetan Buddhist Classic - [Promienie] -- (It is about going from ignorance to awareness / wisdom of the true nature of the three worlds / spheres [U2T-3W / U3W])

What is abandoned is twofold (two obscurations): the afflictive obscurations (nyon sgrib) and cognitive obscurations (shes sgrib). He delineates these two obscurations in terms of cause, essence, and function:

  • The cause of the afflictive obscurations is the apprehension of a self of persons;
    the cause of the cognitive obscurations is the apprehension of a self of phenomena (thinking it really exist inherently / independently / absolutely). 

  • The essence of afflictive obscurations is the afflictive emotions — such as miserliness, anger, and desire;
    the essence of cognitive obscurations is [ignorance of the true nature - U2T - of] the “concepts of the three SPHERES” (agent, object, action) (name & form). 

  • The function of afflictive obscurations is to obstruct liberation;
    the function of cognitive obscurations is to obstruct omniscience (prevent us from being fully aware of their true nature while using them, like the Buddha do).

All Mahayana sutras and Sastras,

In a single viewpoint with one voice,

Assert that cognitive obscurations are[ignorance of the true nature - U2T - of the] Concepts of the three SPHERES (name & form)

The essences are as follows: attachment, and so forth, are afflictive obscurations;

[Ignorance of the true nature of the] Concepts of the three SPHERES (name & form) are cognitive obscurations.

Their functions are as follows: having the characters of obstructing

Liberation and omniscience.

Meditative stabilizations of post-meditation that are

Without [ignorance of the true nature - U2T - of the] concepts of the three SPHERES (name & form), such as magical acts of generosity,

Are transcendent perfections that transcend the world.They are expressed as “the accumulation of merit with appearance.”

In post-meditation, acts of generosity, etc., with reference—

Constricted by reified signs of the three SPHERES and

Manifest concepts that apprehend duality (ignorance of the true nature of the three spheres - U2T) —

Are “worldly transcendent perfections.”

=======================

4. From: Maitreya -- Madhyantavibhaga — Middle Beyond Extremes — with commentaries by Khenpo Shenga and Ju Mipham  [Promienie]

Furthermore, when the profound basic field of phenomena is realized, the transcendences are embraced by the knowledge of realization beyond the three SPHERES (without any attachment to those three as being real; with awareness of their true nature - U2T). 44  In this way, they manifest as the superior practice of skillful means (Buddhas still use them, but are fully aware of their true nature). This perspective is what is known as the “observation of the practice.” It is referred to as such because the transcendences, once embraced by the knowledge that realizes the absence (emptiness / U2T) of the three SPHERES (without any attachment to those three as being real; with awareness of their true nature - U2T), comprise the undefiling path; they are transcendences beyond [any grasping / reification about] the world. The observations [of the Great Vehicle] are unsurpassable in these four ways.

Note 44: THE THREE SPHERES are those of object, agent, and action.

(i.e. The three spheres are not bad, not good … not to accept / perceive or to reject / not-perceive … One is either aware or ignorant of their true nature - U2T : Union of the Two Truths of the three spheres; that they are like an inconceivable Union of being dependently co-arisen relatively functional appearance <==> and emptiness of inherent / independent / absolute existence. Ignorance or wisdom/awareness is the only difference between samsara & nirvana. Nothing to accept, nothing to reject  in absolute terms.)

=======================

5. From: Santaraksita -- Ornament of the Middle Way — Speech of Delight - with commentary by Jamgön Mipham [Promienie] -- [Transcendence of the three spheres doesn't mean to reject / abandon / not-perceive them.]

Once they have been thoroughly understood, the two kinds of obscurations may be correlated with the various stages of the path of practice. If one suffers from avarice and other afflictions arising from ego-clinging, and which are the factors that, respectively, run counter to the six paramitas, one is unable to engage actively in the paramitas concerned. Such afflictions are the emotional obscurations. 

On the other hand, if one engages in the practice of the paramitas without realizing that phenomena are devoid of self (empty in the sense of the Union of the Two Truths [U2T] free from all conceptual dualistic extremes)—that is, within the conception of the reality of (reifying) the three SPHERES of object, subject, and action (ignorance of the true nature of the three spheres - U2T), which is rooted in the belief in the phenomenal self—all this is cognitive obscuration

As it is said in the Uttaratantra-shastra:

[Ignorance of the true nature - U2T - of the] Conceptions of a subject, object, action

Are said to be the cognitive defilements.

The thoughts of avarice and so forth

Are said to be emotional defilements.

Thus, as it is said, when acts of generosity are performed out of the wish to do good to others or else as an offering, a clear and joyful state of mind is produced to the extent that one perceives the field of one’s giving (subject), the one to whom one gives (object). If, on the other hand, no field (no three spheres) is observed (nihilism), this is not the case. If it is not observed, through being non-existent, it is pointless for Bodhisattvas to endure hardships for the sake of other beings. For there are no beings. But, so the objection continues, it is not the case that objects (the three spheres) are non-existent.

FOR THE TATHAGATA HIMSELF PERCEIVED THE THREE SPHERES

of donor (subject), donation (relation / action), and receiver (or gift / object) (the same for any other type of relatio / action).

(i.e. It is important to realize that “transcending” the three spheres with wisdom doesn’t mean to reject / abandon / not-perceive them completely, or that they are completely non-existent / meaningless / useless / bad / wrong / impure. Using the tetralemma: they are not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither; not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; not permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilates, not both together, not neither; not bad / bounded / impure / imperfect / unequal / ordinary, not good / free / pure / perfect / equal / divine, not both together, not neither; not dependent / caused / composite, not independent / uncaused / non-composite, not both together, not neither; not empty, not non-empty, not both together, not neither; not dependently arisen, not empty, not both together, not neither; not this/that, not non-this/non-that, not both together, not neither. Using the Union of the Two Truths [U2T]: they are an inconceivable Union of being dependently co-arisen relatively functional appearances (merely labelles / imputed by the mind) <==> and emptiness of inherent / independent / absolute existence. And the best attitude toward them is the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle, with nothing to accept / affirm / do, nothing to reject / negate / not-do in absolute terms, just relatively / conventionally / intersubjectively.)

And how could the objects be non-existent when the child offered, the donors, and the receiver were all aware of their own minds and mental factors? 447

But objections of this kind are completely groundless. We do not deny cause and effect dependently produced on the relative level. We do not negate their existence. And it is on the relative level that the Tathagata perceives the giver, gift, and receiver and that one speaks of awareness of minds and mental contents. But on the ultimate level, since there is neither one nor are there many truly existent entities, where ultimately are the giver, gift, and receiver? [U2T]

(Note: It would be wrong to think that those two levels, the relative / conventional / samsara and the absolute / ultimate / nirvana, are real / inherent / independent / absolute realities and in opposition. That on one plane we perceive the three spheres, while on the other we do not perceive them. That is still too conceptual and dualistic.  Reality as it is here & now is more subtle than that. When we talk about the level of “non perception” we mean not perceiving, not non-perceiving, not both together, not neither. Not conceivable, no inconceivable, not both together, not neither. Beyond all extremes and middle. That is the Middle Way.)

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6. From: Mipham -- Gateway to Knowledge - The treatise entitled “The Gate for Entering the Way of a Pandita” - Volume III - [Promienie]

[Chapter 18, Verse 16] Generosity and so forth are mundane when (reifying) holding the focus of the three SPHERES of giver (subject), recipient and gift (object) (and giving / relation / action) (ignorance of the true nature of the three spheres - U2T), and are supramundane paramitas when embraced by the absence of focus on the three SPHERES (without any attachment to those three as being real; with awareness of their true nature - U2T). The entire Mahayana path is contained within these six paramitas.

[Chapter 18, Verse 60] 11) The accumulation of wisdom is the cultivation of that which embraces [the five or six paramitas], the knowledge that does not focus on the three SPHERES (without any attachment to those three as being real; with awareness of their true nature - U2T). 

[20,8] Cognitive obscuration means the obscuration that hinders the unmistaken insight into the nature of things as they are and all that exists. From which cause does it arise? It comes from not realizing that all phenomena are of the nondual nature of dharmadhatu, and from apprehending them instead to be various kinds of perceivers and perceived. For this reason, Lord Maitreya has defined COGNITIVE OBSCURATION AS CONCEPTUALIZING THE THREE SPHERES (more like: grasping; ignorance of the true nature of the three spheres - U2T -- the problem is not living, but living with ignorance).

[20,9] Since the root of conceptualizing the three SPHERES (of grasping at the three spheres) is the belief in an identity in phenomena (is ignorance of the true nature of the three spheres - U2T), all obscurations resulting from apprehending an identity in phenomena (ignoring the true nature of phenomena - U2T) are, in short, cognitive obscurations.

This is eliminated by insight into the emptiness that is the absence of identity in phenomena (without any attachment to those three as being real; with awareness of their true nature - U2T). 

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7. From: "The Four Offerings" in Guru Puja (IV) & the Four Empowerments

We should make offering while recognizing that the three spheres of offering - the person making the offering (subject), the offering itself (relation / action), and the recipient of the offering (object) - are all empty of inherent existence (without any attachment to those three as being real; with awareness of their true nature - U2T). When we make offerings in Highest Yoga Tantra practices, we go one stage further and regard the offerings as manifestations of bliss and emptiness - they are inseparable [U2T]. We should imagine all our offerings to be vast and extensive.

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8. From: Longchenpa - The Great Perfection: The Nature Of Mind, The Easer Of Weariness Called The Great Chariot
Chapter VIII. Bodhicitta, the mind focused on supreme enlightenment
B. The extensive explanation of how actually to arouse bodhicitta
a. The brief teaching of the six perfections

VERSE:

The buddha sons must train themselves in everything,

But chiefly in the practice of the six perfections

(—generosity, discipline, patience, exertion, meditative concentration, and prajna—).

The Spiritual Letter says:

Generosity, discipline, patience, and exertion (and meditation)

And likewise the paramita of imponderable prajna,

By that treasury of powers of the Victorious One

One reaches the other shore of the ocean of samsara.

One trains in what is explained. From the common and individual natures, the common also has six parts. (i.e. Perfecting the practice of those paramitas)

  • - Without conceptualizing (without reifying / grasping at) the three spheres of actor / subject, action / relation, and object (without any attachment to those three as being real; with awareness of their true nature - U2T), the thought of giving one's possessions to another, along with the seed of virtue, is the perfection of generosity. Its action is to pacify the poverty of others.

  • - Without conceptualizing (without reifying / grasping at) the three spheres (without any attachment to those three as being real; with awareness of their true nature - U2T), thoughts of abandoning the faults of samsara and nirvana, along with their seeds, are the perfection of discipline. Its action is to eliminate obstructions.

  • - Without conceptualizing (without reifying / grasping at) the three spheres (without any attachment to those three as being real; with awareness of their true nature - U2T), bearing harm and weariness and not being afraid of their nature is the perfection of patience. Its action is agressionlessness.

  • - Without conceptualizing (without reifying / grasping at) the three spheres (without any attachment to those three as being real; with awareness of their true nature - U2T), joy in virtue is the perfection of exertion. The action is that merit increases.

  • - Without conceptualizing (without reifying / grasping at) the three spheres (without any attachment to those three as being real; with awareness of their true nature - U2T), one-pointed mind is the perfection of meditation. Its action is that the kleshas are pacified.

  • - By not conceptualizing (without reifying / grasping at) the three spheres (without any attachment to those three as being real; with awareness of their true nature - U2T), realization of the nature of dharmas becomes the perfection of prajna. The action is that knowables are realized and, that one is liberated from samsara.

...

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9. From: Chandrakirti - The Entrance Into the Middle Way - Madhyamakavatara - with two commentaries by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, from Shenpen Ösel Magazine-- (Perfecting any paramitas is practicing it more and more spontaneously while being more and more fully aware of the true nature of the three spheres [U2T-3W / U3W].)

9.1 The First Ground: Perfect Joy (17 verses) – Giving
[B.3 The surpassing good quality of the first ground / the perfection of giving]
[B.3.4 The divisions of the perfection of giving]

The sixteenth verse describes the different ways of giving:

16.

Giving empty of gift, giver, and recipient

(without any attachment to those three as being real; with awareness of their true nature - U2T)

Is a transcendent perfection beyond the world.

When attachment to these three (-- subject, relation / action, object -- as being real) arises, (with ignorance of the true nature of the three spheres - U2T)

That is a mundane transcendent perfection. (16)

Generosity that is empty of generosity—in the sense that one realizes that there is no gift (object), there is no one giving (subject), and there is no one receiving (object-2, or relation / action / giving)  (with awareness of their true nature - U2T) —is called the wisdom that has no focus on any of the three spheres. The three spheres are the gift, the giver, and the recipient. Such giving is called, "undefiled generosity," and it is a transcendent perfection, a paramita, which transcends the world, which transcends the mundane and the ordinary.

On the other hand, when there is attachment to these three spheres as being real (as being real / existent, or not-real / non-existent, or both together, or neither -- the four extremes), then that is still a paramita, a transcendent perfection, but it is called a worldly or mundane transcendent perfection, for the very reason there is still a focus on these three spheres as being real (as being real / existent, or not-real / non-existent, or both together, or neither -- the four extremes). (On the other hand, if one is fully aware of their true nature as pointed by concepts like the Union of the Two Truths [U2T], then the three spheres are not a problem anymore -- they are free, pure, perfect, equal, divine ...)

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Question: Yes, though I'm still a little confused. Is it because of their compassionate motivation, even though they are not transcending the three spheres, that it is still called a transcendent perfection?

Rinpoche: That is a good explanation. Because of the giver's motivation, even though they do not transcend focus on the three spheres, their action is still given the name transcendent perfection. It is a transcendent perfection as practiced by ordinary mundane beings.

The worldly paramita of generosity leads to the transcendent paramita of generosity, or the transcendent "transcendent perfection" of generosity, when we come to understand that sunyata, the wisdom realizing emptiness and the true nature (radical emptiness in the sense of the Union of the Two Truths [U2T] free from all conceptual dualistic extremes), is what ultimately liberates one from samsara altogether and is the cause of Buddhahood. When one comes to understand that, one comes to understand that for generosity to lead to Buddhahood, it must be practiced within the context of the view of emptiness [U2T], which means without reference to, attachment to, or fixation on the three spheres—the giver (subject), the gift or act or giving (relation / action), and the recipient (object) (as being real)—WHICH IS OFTEN CALLED THREE-FOLD PURITY (the three worlds / spheres are purified by the awareness of / direct wisdom realising their true nature [U2T]). Three-fold purity can also be one-hundred fold purity, in the sense that the term implies ultimately seeing the emptiness of all things interdependent with any particular act of generosity: the giver, the gift, the giving, the recipient, the attitudes and thoughts and remarks of others with respect to the act, the motivations of giver and recipient, the results of such giving, etc. [U2T] Such generosity—the transcendent paramita of generosity— and the practice of the other transcendent paramitas or perfections—discipline, patience, exertion, meditative concentration, and prajna—are the direct cause of Buddhahood. One can begin to practice the transcendent paramitas effectively after one has had decisive insight into emptiness.

Thus we can see that the ordinary virtue of generosity with a little luck leads to the practice of the worldly or mundane paramita of generosity, which in turn leads to the practice of the transcendent paramita of generosity, which in turn is one of the causes of Buddhahood.

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9.2 The Second Ground: The Stainless (10 verses) - Moral discipline
[A.4 Another cause of completely pure moral discipline]

20.

But if they thought their pure discipline had an inherent nature,

Their discipline would not be pure at all.

Therefore, they are at all times completely freeOf dualistic mind's movement (grasping, attachment) towards the three spheres (as being real).

(with awareness of their true nature - U2T) (3)

(According to the Madhyamika-Prasangika school, moral discipline is completely pure only when it is conjoined with the realization of lack of inherent existence [U2T]. There are many cause of the complete purification of moral discipline, but realizing the emptiness [U2T] of the three spheres is the main cause. The complete purification of moral discipline is given as a quality of the second ground. -- i.e. Seeing emptiness [U2T] does not make moral discipline meaningless. Seeing dependent origination, understanding samsara, makes us feel equality with others, compassion, brings the desire not to hurt them, but instead to help them all.)

The commentary reads: "If it were the case that the bodhisattvas had incredibly pure conduct of their pratimoksha vows, the vows of individual liberation, and yet were arrogant in the sense that they conceptualized themselves as having pure discipline—if they thought, 'Wow, I keep my discipline very well'—then they would be taking their discipline (relation / action) to be truly existent, to have an inherent nature. If that were the case, then their discipline would not be pure at all. Therefore, bodhisattvas on this ground do not conceptualize either the flawed conduct which they are abandoning (object), the antidote they use to give it up (relation / action), or the person who is giving it up (subject). They do not conceptualize any of these three to be real (to be real / existent, or not-real / non-existent, or both together, or neither -- freedom from the four extremes). They are free of the movements of dualistic mind, which perceives some things to be existent and other things to be non-existent (free from all extremes). They are completely free of the movements (grasping, attachment) of dualistic mind towards these three spheres (subject, relation / action, object)." (with awareness of their true nature - U2T)

To put this in the form of a logical reasoning, we would say, "Given the individual who has pure conduct of their pratimoksha vows, the vows of individual liberation, but takes their conduct (relation / action) to be real (to be real / existent, or not-real / non-existent, or both together, or neither -- the four extremes), their discipline is not pure at all, because they believe that their conduct has an inherently existent nature." The discipline of the bodhisattva on the second ground is completely pure because they do not conceive any of the three spheres to be real (to be real / existent, or not-real / non-existent, or both together, or neither -- freedom from the four extremes). In short, so long as a person believes that the three spheres related to discipline are real, their discipline will never be pure. But when the individual is free of attachment to these three spheres as being real (as being real / existent, or not-real / non-existent, or both together, or neither -- freedom from the four extremes), then their discipline is pure. When one has attachment to the three spheres of discipline as being real (as being real / existent, or not-real / non-existent, or both together, or neither -- the four extremes), then that is like discipline conducted in a dream when we do not know that we are dreaming. But when one is free from attachment to these three spheres as being real (as being real / existent, or not-real / non-existent, or both together, or neither -- freedom from the four extremes), that is like the conduct of discipline in a dream when one knows that it is just a dream. Thus, if one wants to have a pure practice of the transcendent perfection of discipline, one must also realize emptiness (radical emptiness in the sense of the Union of the Two Truths [U2T] free from all conceptual dualistic extremes).

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Question: In the third verse (verse #20) it mentions the three spheres. What are they?

Rinpoche: The three spheres, with regard to the practice of discipline, are, first, the person, the self (subject) who is practicing the discipline. The second sphere is the way in which you conduct yourself, the discipline or conduct itself (relation / action), and the third is the one with regard to whom you are practicing such conduct or discipline (object). If there is attachment to these three as being real (as being real / existent, or not-real / non-existent, or both together, or neither -- the four extremes), then it is still a worldly practice. If there is no attachment to these three as being real (as being real / existent, or not-real / non-existent, or both together, or neither -- freedom from the four extremes), then you have transcended the world. Connected with generosity  the three spheres would be the one who is giving (subject), the one to whom you give (or the gift, object), and the act of generosity itself (relation / action).

Question: I would appreciate a further explanation of the ninth verse, particularly the part, "the one who abandons (subject), the act of abandoning (relation / action), and the one with regard to whom it is abandoned (object)."

Rinpoche: If we look at the discipline of not killing, the one who abandons (subject) would be the one who abandons the activity of killing. The abandoned act (relation / action) is the killing, and the one with regard to whom it is abandoned (object) is the one you do not kill. So, if there is realization that these three do not really exist, that they are just mere dependently arisen appearances (with awareness of their true nature - U2T), then that is called a paramita, a transcendent perfection which has gone beyond the mundane. If, however, there is still fixation on these three as being real (as being real / existent, or not-real / non-existent, or both together, or neither -- the four extremes), when the same activity is practiced, it is a worldly transcendent perfection. (without awareness of their true nature - U2T) Other questions?

Question (from Shenpen Osel - Issue 3 - The Aspiration Prayer of Mahamudra): As regards the three impurities, Rinpoche, is the third "that which is given (object-2)," or "the act of giving (relation / action)," or is there a difference between them?

Rinpoche: Take, for example, jinpa or generosity. Jincha means what is to be given (object). Lenpo means the one who is to receive (subject). And dongpo means the one who is to give (subject). These three: the one who receives it (object), the one who gives it (subject), and that which is given (object). What is to be given, and all of that together involves giving and taking and all of this, but then of course, if somebody really wanted to go into detail, it might end up becoming 10,000 [things to see as empty or not to be fixated on], instead of three. Because, with respect to every moment you have to talk about every single thought. Before I wanted to give, the other one is hoping that something will be given. So, if one were to consider all the moments of thought involved before, during and after one act of generosity, it would become too complicated. Because all of it is involved. Threefold purity and these three main spheres of activity are just a general outline of three particular things.

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9.3 The Third Ground: The Luminous (13 verses) – Patience
[B.3 The divisions of the perfection of patience]

Next there is a discussion of the different types of patience. Verse ten reads:

37

Even though dedicated to the enlightenment of perfect Buddhahood,

If it focuses on the three spheres (ignorance of the true nature of the three spheres - U2T),

it is worldly.When there is no focus (on the three spheres) (without any attachment to those three as being real; with awareness of their true nature - U2T),

the Buddha taught, This is a transcendent perfection beyond the world. (10)

When one practices patience, meaning that one refrains from being angry at the person who does one harm, even if one practices this patience as a means to attain the enlightenment of perfect Buddhahood and dedicates the merit arising out of one's practice of patience to that attainment, still, if while practicing patience one focuses on the three spheres as being real (as being real / existent, or not-real / non-existent, or both together, or neither -- the four extremes), then one's practice is still worldly. However, if there is no such focus on these three spheres as being real (as being real / existent, or not-real / non-existent, or both together, or neither -- the four extremes), then the Buddha taught that one's practice of the paramita is a transcendent perfection which goes beyond the world. Therefore, it would be better if we did not take these three spheres to be real (to be real / existent, or not-real / non-existent, or both together, or neither -- the four extremes).

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Question: Could you talk a little more about patience when you are listening to the dharma, patience with your own mind in practice, and patience and fearlessness with regard to emptiness?

Rinpoche: It is possible to be afraid of the profundity of emptiness, so we need to develop the patience that is not afraid of that profundity. If we do, then we will be able to realize the emptiness that is the nature of reality, and then meditating on and practicing patience will be even easier.

If you have this patience which is not afraid of emptiness, then you can also see that the person who is doing us harm is just a mere dependently arisen appearance, that the harm they are doing is just a mere dependently arisen appearance, and that we who are experiencing the harm are just a mere dependently arisen appearance, too. None of these three spheres is real (not real / existent, not non-real / non-existent, not both together, not neither -- freedom from athe four extremes), and realizing this enables us more easily to meditate on and practice patience. If we dream but do not know we are dreaming, we will not be able to practice patience because we will think that the one who is doing us harm, the harm we are experiencing, and we ourselves who are the one experiencing harm are all real. On the other hand, if we dream and we know we are dreaming, then when somebody comes along and treats us badly, we know it is just a dream and, therefore, no big deal. The harm we are experiencing and we ourselves are also just dream appearances. It is very easy to meditate on and to practice patience when you know that it is all just a dream. That is the difference.

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9.4 The Fourth Ground: The Radiant (2 verses) – Effort
[A. The surpassing effort on this ground]

The second quality of diligence is that, when it is a transcendent perfection, it possesses non-conceptual primordial wisdom.

How do we develop non-conceptual primordial wisdom? By continuing to develop a deeper and deeper understanding of the two types of selflessness, the selflessness of individuals and the selflessness of phenomena.

How do we come to understand the selflessness of individuals? First we look, one by one, at our five aggregates, the five skandhas. Individually these five aggregates are not the self. If you isolate and examine each one at them, you cannot find the self anywhere. If you consider the aggregates all together as a group, you cannot find the self anywhere.

So there is no self in the aggregates taken either individually or together. Furthermore, the mind which believes in a self is not a self. The thought which thinks there is an I, is not the I. So if we can understand these two things, then we can understand that there is no self in the individual. This is an inferential beginning of an understanding of selflessness, an understanding inferred on the basis of valid reasoning with logical conclusions.

Then how do we understand the selflessness of phenomena? First we look at all of the forms or objects that appear to the eyes, at all of the great variety of sounds that appear to our ears, at all of the odors that appear to our noses, at all of the tastes that appear to our tongues, at all of the physical sensations which appear to our bodies, and at all of the things we think about. Looking at every single thing we experience— forms, sounds, smells, tastes, things to touch, and the phenomena we think about—we can see that they are all just mere appearances. They are mere dependently arisen appearances, dependent upon causes and conditions just like things in dreams, just like illusions. Understanding this, we understand that they are all of the nature of emptiness, which is the understanding of the selflessness of phenomena.

Understanding conceptually that there is no self in the individual and no self entity or inherent existence in phenomena is the beginning approach to gaining non-conceptual primordial awareness, which is the second quality of the transcendent perfection of diligence. But how can we begin to bring this wisdom into our practice of diligence? We begin by thinking at the time that we are being diligent that it is just like being diligent in a dream. The person who appears to be diligent is not real; the activity in which we are diligent is not real; and the object upon which this activity is focused is not real. In this way, developmentally we cut through clinging to the belief in the reality of the three spheres (subject, relation / action, object). When we are diligent in a dream and do not know we are dreaming, then we believe in the reality (or non-reality, or both, or neither) of the three spheres and focus on the three spheres. But if we know we are dreaming and are diligent in our dream, then there is no focus on things as being real (as being real / existent, or not-real / non-existent, or both together, or neither -- the four extremes). Because we know that everything is just a dream appearance, it is impossible to have any type of focus on things as being real (as being real / existent, or not-real / non-existent, or both together, or neither -- the four extremes), as being truly existent. That is the model of the practice of diligence.

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9.5 The Fifth Mind Generation: The Difficult to Overcome (1 verse) – Concentration

Question: In our tradition we have a lot of concern for the benefit of sentient beings. Does that imply that there are non-sentient beings? If so, what would be an example of such a being, and who is looking out for the non-sentient beings?

Translator: I don't know if I have any way to ask that question, because there is no separation in Tibetan between sentient and being. It is all one word. Translated into English it sounds as though there were two words, sentient and being, but in Tibetan the word being translated just means "having mind." That is the whole term. Does that make it clear? There is no such thing as a non-sentient being.

Question: I have a question from last night as well. If the bodhisattva has no focus or fixation on the three spheres, but instead understands their emptiness, how can it be said that they experience harm as something good because it eliminates their bad karma? Does that not imply some fixation on the karmic act?

Rinpoche: Actually, the ones who have no focus on the three spheres are noble bodhisattvas,* not ordinary beings. The meditation or contemplation of something harmful being seen as something good, is intended to be done by ordinary beings. For example, in the teachings on the Seven Points of Mind Training, we are taught to think that when we experience harm, we should think of it as something good and pray that all other sentient beings be freed from the harm they experience and that it instead come down on us individually. May all the harm and all the suffering that everyone else experiences come down on us and be all contained within this one harm we are now experiencing. Thinking and meditating in this way, we use adverse situations as a chance to develop compassion.

*Editor's note: i.e. enlightened bodhisattvas.

In the Seven Points of Mind Training, there are also instructions on how to use suffering as a chance to fight ego-clinging. When you experience suffering of any kind, you address your ego, saying, "You, ego-clinging! This is what you deserve. You need this suffering, because we have been meditating on the dharma and on selflessness for a long time and it hasn't done you any good at all. You are still there and you are still spoiled, so you need this suffering. It is the best thing that could ever have happened to you. Look at you, you miserable ego-clinging! If things go well for you, you just get bigger and bigger; you do not go away, you just get prouder and more arrogant. You need suffering. This is the best thing that can ever happen to you, so I am glad this is happening to you. You deserve it." This is a teaching on how to use all dharma [and all adverse circumstances] to smack ego-clinging on the head. You smack it, and just keep smacking it. If you do that, it is very beneficial.

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9.6 The Sixth Ground: The Approach (226 verses) – Wisdom
[2.1 The etymology of this ground and the surpassing perfection of wisdom]

**Editor's note: From the standpoint of wisdom, the bodhisattva path to Buddhahood is entirely concerned with realizing the wisdom of emptiness, suchness, dharmata, the true nature—all of which are synonyms, more or less, of the same experience, discussed from different perspectives of relative truth. As beginners, we start out practicing ordinary virtues, abandoning the ten non virtuous actions and adopting the ten virtuous actions, while practicing meditation and mindfulness, and listening to and studying the Buddha's teachings. This is all very path-oriented, consisting of practices understandable and practicable by beginners whose minds are still locked in dualistic perception. However, if the student practices sincerely, diligently, and energetically, then gradually, based on the blessings of the lama, they will begin to have momentary experiences of suchness or emptiness or dharmata, what the Vidyadhara Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche called "glimpses." At this point, these experiences come unexpectedly, are momentary, and cannot be reproduced at will by the student. If the student becomes attached to such experiences, grows proud of them, afraid of them, or becomes fixated on them in any way whatsoever, then these experiences can even become an obstacle to the student's further development. But if the practitioner continues to practice sincerely with one-pointed diligence and exertion, sooner or later, whether in this lifetime or in a future lifetime, they will definitely experience a decisive understanding of emptiness, which is called the "Path of Seeing," and is the experience that establishes one in and marks the beginning of the first bodhisattva ground as described in this text. At this point the bodhisattva can enter into the meditation on emptiness at will; in fact, according to Khenpo Rinpoche, the bodhisattva's realization of emptiness during meditation is the same as the Buddhas', though not as vast or extensive. Apart from the inconceivable vastness and extensiveness of a Buddha's realization, the principal difference between a Buddha and a bodhisattva lies in the fact that the Buddha's realization or awareness remains the same during post-meditation as it is during samadhi, while the bodhisattva experiences the world like a dream or like an illusion or like one of the other analogies of emptiness. The bodhisattva then continues to practice the same path of abandoning unvirtuous actions and adopting virtuous ones as described in the noble eight-fold path, the ten unvirtuous actions, the ten virtuous actions, and the six or ten paramitas, that we as ordinary practitioners practice, except with increasing freedom from fixation on the three spheres of the one performing the virtue or act (subject), the virtue or act itself (relation / action), and the one in reference to whom the virtue or act is being performed (object). By the time the bodhisattva reaches the sixth ground, based on following the path of the first five grounds, the maintenance of this awareness of emptiness in all activities, this awareness of suchness or dharmata, has become the bodhisattva's main practice. Although the wisdom mind realizing emptiness is the profoundest understanding of the path leading to the cessation of suffering and to Buddhahood, it can be seen to be much more cessation-oriented than the path as it has been practiced at earlier stages of development. It is also out of this wisdom mind realizing emptiness or the true nature that all the qualities of the subsequent four bodhisattva grounds—skillful means, aspiration, power, and jnana—and all the qualities of Buddhahood grow. Thus prajna paramita is called the mother of all the Buddhas.

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10. From: Chandrakirti’s position (rangtong) to “Nagarjuna’s In Praise of the Dharmadhatu” (Shentong) (Any action should be done while being aware of the true nature of the three worlds / spheres [U2T])

And we can offer mandalas and then we can realize in fact there is no one making any offerings, there is nothing to offer, and there is no one to whom to offer anything. This recognition is the recognition of the emptiness [U2T] of the three spheres (subject, relation / action, object), and again a way of realizing the nature of genuine reality.

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11. From: Jam-yang-shay-ba -- Great Exposition of Tenet & other teachings (purification of the three spheres)

Also, [Nagarjuna’s Compendium of Sutra quotes] the Questions of King Dharamshvara Sutra :560

The Buddhas, the Supramundane Victors, do not appear for the sake of a variety of discourses [diverse vehicles]. They appear in order to cause sentient beings to be fully enlightened and realize the element of qualities, which is of one taste, without obstruction, the boon of all sentient beings. Thus, they turn the irreversible wheel [of doctrine causing continual progression toward Buddhahood].

O child of good lineage, a jeweler, for instance, takes an unpolished jewel from a jewel-mine. He washes it with a strong solution of soda and wipes it with a black haircloth. However, he does not cease his efforts with just this; he washes it with a strong solution of quicksilver and rubs it with wood and wool. However, he does not cease his efforts with just this; he washes it with the juice of a great herb and wipes it with a fine cloth. Having polished it, the jewel is free of the types of fetters and is called vaidurya (cat's-eye gem).

Just so, a Tathagata ascertains the impure [Buddha] nature of all sentient beings. He causes sentient beings who greatly enjoy cyclic existence to be disquieted through disquieting discourse on impermanence, suffering, selflessness, and unpleasantness. He introduces them to the disciplinary practice of Superiors.

A Tathagata does not cease his efforts with just this; he causes them to understand the Tathagata's own mode of discourse through discourse on emptiness, signlessness, and wishlessness. However, a Tathagata does not cease his efforts with just this; he leads those sentient beings to the Tathagata's land through discourse on the irreversible wheel [cultivation of the union of method and wisdom] and discourse on the complete purification of the three spheres [of agent, action, and object] (with awareness of their true nature - U2T).

Those sentient beings of various lineages and natures —having become equal—realize the nature of Tathagatahood, whereby they are called the highest [field of merit] worthy of giving.

This passage explains through the example of the three stages of cleansing a gem that [a Buddha] cleans away the stains of even Foe Destroyers' obstructions and establishes them in Buddhahood. Therefore, the teachings that Foe Destroyers do not have the capacity for Buddhahood are explained as requiring interpretation.

=======================

12. From: Rigpawiki about “Confession & Purification”

Chökyi Drakpa says:

"The third branch (of the seven branches) is confession, which must involve all four powers. As the power of support, trust in the field of merit as a method for purifying your harmful actions. As the power of regret, develop remorse for all the negativity you have accumulated including the ten non-virtuous actions (the three of the body, the four of the speech and the three of the mind). Feel as much regret as if you had just swallowed poison. As the power of resolve, vow not to repeat them in future. ()

For the power of action as an antidote, consider that all your harmful actions and obscurations, and all those of other sentient beings, are gathered together in the form of a black pile on the tip of your tongue. Then rays of light emanate from the field of merit, strike the pile, and purify it just like a stain being completely washed away.

Ultimately, the way to confess and purify is by resting in the luminosity of the dharmakaya nature of mind (awareness of the true nature of the mind … the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about it [U2T]) without grasping at the three spheres of subject, object and activity (/ relation / action) as being true or real.” (Like seeing a beautiful flower without grasping it. Aware that it appears but it is empty; it is empty but it appears.)

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OTHER QUOTES:

Mind ~ Mingyur Rinpoche

There's no difference (or identity ...) between what is seen (object / luminosity) 

and the mind that sees it (subject / mind).


– Mingyur Rinpoche

https://quotes.justdharma.com/mind/ 


(i.e. Luminous mind -- inseparable mind (empty-cognizance) and its miraculous display (empty-appearances):

The three spheres -- SUBJECT / perceiver / knower, OBJECT / perceived / known world , ACTION / perception / cognition), mind and its clarity / luminosity, are not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither. They are on equal footing. One is not more important than the other ones. They are all the inseparable three kayas / trikaya.


The three spheres are empty of inherent existence (not really existent) <==> because inseparable / interdependent / co-defined / co-relative / co-dependent with each others / co-emergent / co-evolving / co-ceasing (not completely non-existent, meaningless, useless)...; and vice versa


Like transparent / like rainbow: Appearing / relatively functional <==> but empty; empty of inherent existence <==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances / fabrications. One aspect implies the other (<==>). Empty-dependent-relatively-functional-subjects/causes empty-dependent-relatively-functional-action/causality empty-dependent-relatively-functional-objects/effects. Like a cosmic dance / cosmic song.

This is the Union of the Two truths about the three spheres. The true nature & dynamic of the karmic cycle when ignoring it; and nirvana when fully conscious of it.


This is the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle: nothing to accept / affirm / seek / do / perceive in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / not-do / not-perceive in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively if it helps someone get closer to the truth.


Free from extremes like: realism, idealism / nihilism, dualism, monism, subjectivism, objectivism, relationism / processism, any reductionism or absolutism ...)

=======================

Afflictive and cognitive obscuration ~ Maitreya

Any thought such as miserliness and so on

Is held to be an afflictive obscuration.

Any thought of [reification / grasping / attachment / ignorance about the three spheres:] ‘subject’, ‘object’ and ‘action’

Is held to be a cognitive obscuration.


– Maitreya

Uttaratantra Shastra - V, 14

https://quotes.justdharma.com/afflictive-and-cognitive-obscuration-maitreya/ 


(i.e. Enlightenment is directly realising the inconceivable Inseparability / Interdependence / Harmony /

Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres -- subject / self, relation / action / process, object / phenomena --. Not just the no-self, not just mere-emptiness. A Union beyond all extremes & middle, also called Genuine Emptiness, Buddha-nature, Dharmata, Suchness, Trikaya ...) 

=======================

The Nature of Mind -- Mipham Rinpoche

"Mind’s nature is INDIVISIBLE EMPTINESS AND CLARITY 

(Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres),

Inexpressible and indestructible, like space.

In seeing (relation / action) it (object), there is no separate one (subject) who sees (action);

There is but a single, all-encompassing sphere (Union of the three spheres).

Even looker (subject) and looking (relation / action) are one and the same.

(Using the tetralemma, the three spheres are not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither ...)


This view of seeing all at once is unsurpassed,

A centreless, limitless, exceptional experience.

In this fruition in which what has to be done has been done,

There's no seeing at all (relation / action), and any wish to see,

Any deep longing to discover the view,

Is naturally destroyed from its very depths.

To arrive at such contentment and evenness

Is to be touched by brave Mañjuśrī's beneficent light."

=======================

Full knowledge dissolves the 'distance'

between knower (subject) and known (object)

that characterizes conventional not-knowing.

With no distance, an intimacy (Union) of knowing emerges,

and knowledge becomes inseparable from love.


~ Tarthang Tulku

In the Introduction of the book: Now that I Come to Die, Lonchenpa

=======================

The Innate Beyond Subject And Object ~ Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

Phenomena (objects) are the radiance of the innate absolute;

Mind (subject)’s nature is the wisdom of the innate absolute.

The ultimate teacher – phenomena (object) and mind (subject) merged in one taste (Union)

Dwells naturally within myself. Ah ho! What a joy!


~ Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

quoted in the book The Tibetan Buddhism Reader

https://quotes.justdharma.com/the-innate-beyond-subject-and-object-dilgo-khyentse-rinpoche/ 

=======================

Three essential points ~ Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

Mindfulness should guide all your actions and your spiritual endeavors. 

Whatever you do, always apply three essential points: 

  1. undertake the action with the intention of doing so for the good of all beings; 

  2. execute it with perfect concentration, free of [reification / grasping / attachment / ignorance about the three spheres:] attachment to  concepts of subject, object, and action; and, 

  3. finally, dedicate the merit you have created to the enlightenment of all beings.

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

from the book The Hundred Verses of Advice: Tibetan Buddhist Teachings on What Matters Most

https://quotes.justdharma.com/three-essential-points-dilgo-khyentse-rinpoche/ 


(i.e. Free of any attachment / grasping / reification / ignorance about the three spheres; 

not absence of any concept about the three spheres.)

=======================

The unity of emptiness ~ Sengcan

Things are objects because there is a subject or mind;

and the mind is a subject because there are objects.

Understand the relativity of these two

and the basic reality: the unity of emptiness.

(i.e. Union of the Two Truths.)


In this Emptiness the two are indistinguishable 

(i.e. Union of the three spheres: Union subject <==> relation / action <==> object.)

and each contains in itself the whole world.

If you do not discriminate between coarse and fine

(i.e. Union of opposites.)

you will not be tempted to prejudice and opinion.


Sengcan

https://quotes.justdharma.com/the-unity-of-emptiness-sengcan/ 

=======================

Doer and doing ~ Nagarjuna

A doer (subject) arises dependent on a doing (action), 

and a doing (action) exists dependent on a doer (subject). 

Except for that, we do not see another cause for their establishment.

(i.e. Union of the three spheres: Union subject <==> relation / action <==> object.)


Nagarjuna

quoted in the book Meditation on Emptiness

https://quotes.justdharma.com/doer-and-doing/ 

=======================

Perceiver and Perceived ~ Khenpo Tsultrim Rinpoche

In absolute terms, each moment of experience is empty of a difference (or identity) in nature of perceiver (subject) and perceived (object). Rather than regarding consciousness (subject) merely as the seeing (relation / action) or observing aspect of a moment of experience, it is also the content (object) of that experience.


(i.e. Union of the three spheres: Union subject / actor / perceiver / knower / mind <==> relation / action / perception / cognition <==> object / result / perceived / known / world. The three spheres are more like inseparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, equal / non-dual / one -- in the non-dual sense of those terms: ex. not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither ...)

(i.e. Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres: Union of being conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances (1st truth - not complete non-existence) <==> and being empty of inherent existence (2nd truth - no really existing); one aspect implies the other (<==>). Appearing but empty, empty but still appearing.)

(i.e. Union luminosity / clear light / clarity / functionality / capacity of knowing ... displays / appearances <==> and emptiness of inherent existence.)


Khenpo Tsultrim Rinpoche

from the book Progressive Stages of Meditation on Emptiness

https://quotes.justdharma.com/perceiver-and-perceived-khenpo-tsultrim-rinpoche/ 

=======================

Dualistic notions of perceiver and perceived ~ Gyelse Tokme Zangpo

The practice of all the bodhisattvas is never to entertain concepts,

Which revolve around dualistic notions of perceiver (subject) and perceived (object),

In the knowledge that all these appearances are but the mind itself,

(i.e. Union of the three spheres: Union subject <==> relation / action <==> object.)

Whilst mind’s own nature is forever beyond the limitations of ideas.


Gyelse Tokme Zangpo

The Thirty-Seven Practices of All the Bodhisattvas

https://quotes.justdharma.com/dualistic-notions-of-perceiver-and-perceived-gyelse-tokme-zangpo/ 

=======================

In the voidness of reality ~ Milarepa

This fundamental consciousness

In itself is nothing at all. (i.e. emptiness of the subject / mind)

In the voidness of reality

Lack of [reification / grasping / attachment / ignorance about the three spheres:] realizer (subject) and realized (object) (and relation / action / ...) is realized,

Lack of [reification / grasping / attachment / ignorance about the three spheres:] seer (subject) and seen (object) (and relation / action / ...) is seen,

Lack of [reification / grasping / attachment / ignorance about the three spheres:] knower (subject) and known (object) (and relation / action / ...) is known,

Lack of [reification / grasping / attachment / ignorance about the three spheres:] perceiver (subject) and perceived (object) (and relation / action / ...) is perceived.


(i.e. Union of the three spheres: Union subject / actor / perceiver / knower / mind <==> relation / action / perception / cognition <==> object / result / perceived / known / world. The three spheres are more like inseparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, equal / non-dual / one -- in the non-dual sense of those terms: ex. not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither ...)

(i.e. Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres: Union of being conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances (1st truth - not complete non-existence) <==> and being empty of inherent existence (2nd truth - no really existing); one aspect implies the other (<==>). Appearing but empty, empty but still appearing.)

(i.e. Union luminosity / clear light / clarity / functionality / capacity of knowing ... displays / appearances <==> and emptiness of inherent existence.)


Milarepa

from the book Drinking the Mountain Stream: Songs of Tibet's Beloved Saint, Milarepa

https://quotes.justdharma.com/in-the-voidness-of-reality-milarepa/ 

=======================

The essence of mind ~ Chetsang Rinpoche

The essence of mind is somewhat difficult to explain, so we look at it from the negative point of view, that is, what mind is not. First of all, we see that it is not something which arises or ceases or abides. It is free of these three things. From beginningless time, there is no arising (origination), no cessation and no abiding (duration) in terms of staying in one place, not moving, or not changing. It is completely free of all three of these.


It is also free of being a thing or a substance composed of particles. The essential entity, or substance, of mind is not something that can be defiled or stained by grasping at subject and object (and relation / action). It is completely free of the stains from those activities.


Further, when we look at the essential substance of mind, we find that no matter how much we search for it, no matter how much we analyze it, there is no thing there to be found. There is no entity that we can come up with by searching, evaluating, and analyzing. No matter how much we seek for its essential substance, we cannot find it. The searcher, the one who does the search for essential substance of mind, cannot find it. Therefore it is said that the essential substance of mind itself is emptiness.


(i.e. Union of the three spheres: Union subject / actor / perceiver / knower / mind <==> relation / action / perception / cognition <==> object / result / perceived / known / world. The three spheres are more like inseparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, equal / non-dual / one -- in the non-dual sense of those terms: ex. not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither ...)

(i.e. Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres: Union of being conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances (1st truth - not complete non-existence) <==> and being empty of inherent existence (2nd truth - no really existing); one aspect implies the other (<==>). Appearing but empty, empty but still appearing.)

(i.e. Union luminosity / clear light / clarity / functionality / capacity of knowing ... displays / appearances <==> and emptiness of inherent existence.)


Chetsang Rinpoche

from the book The Practice Of Mahamudra

https://quotes.justdharma.com/the-essence-of-mind-chetsang-rinpoche/ 

=======================

A mere indescribable luminosity ~ Maitreya

If what appears to be apprehended (object) does not exist by its very own essence apart from that which apprehends it (subject), then what appears to be the apprehender (subject) does not exist either. The reason, here, is that the apprehender (subject) exists in relation to the apprehended (object), not in isolation.


(i.e. Union of the three spheres: Union subject / actor / perceiver / knower / mind <==> relation / action / perception / cognition <==> object / result / perceived / known / world. The three spheres are more like inseparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, equal / non-dual / one -- in the non-dual sense of those terms: ex. not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither ...)

(i.e. Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres: Union of being conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances (1st truth - not complete non-existence) <==> and being empty of inherent existence (2nd truth - no really existing); one aspect implies the other (<==>). Appearing but empty, empty but still appearing.)

(i.e. Union luminosity / clear light / clarity / functionality / capacity of knowing ... displays / appearances <==> and emptiness of inherent existence.)


Therefore, awareness is devoid of both apprehender (subject) and apprehended (object) (, and relation / action / apprehension), in all their various forms. Free from subject and object (and relation / action), by its very own nature awareness is a mere indescribable luminosity.


(i.e. Union luminosity / clear light / clarity / functionality / capacity of knowing ... displays / appearances <==> and emptiness of inherent existence.)


(Note: "Free from" but not without. Free means not being slave to, not fooled by.)


Maitreya

from the book Distinguishing Phenomena from Their Intrinsic Nature: Maitreya's Dharmadharmatavibhanga with Commentaries by Khenpo Shenga and Ju Mipham

https://quotes.justdharma.com/mere-indescribable-luminosity-maitreya/ 

=======================

No hope no fear ~ Tilopa

If you are beyond all grasping at an object and at a subject (and relation / action),

that is the monarch of all views.

If there is no distraction,

it is the monarch of all meditations.

If there is no effort,

it is the monarch among all conducts.

When there is no hope (acceptation) and no fear (rejection),

that is the final result,

and the fruition has been attained or revealed.


Tilopa

from the book The Life of Tilopa and the Ganges Mahamudra

https://quotes.justdharma.com/no-hope-no-fear-tilopa/ 

=======================

Awareness of Feelings ~ 14th Dalai Lama

“That which is seen (object) and that which is touched (object) are of a dream-like and illusion-like nature.

Because feeling arises together with the mind (subject), it is not [ultimately] perceived.”

~Shantideva


There is nothing whatever that has a true mode of existence. Nevertheless, this does not suggest that a person (subject) who experiences (action) feelings (object) and the feelings themselves — pleasant and unpleasant — are utterly non-existent. They do exist, but in an untrue fashion. Thus, the things that we see and touch have a dream-like and illusion-like quality.


In the second line the author refutes the true existence of the mind (subject) that experiences feelings. Since feelings arise in conjunction with the mind, feelings are not perceived by the mind that is simultaneous with them. There must be a causal relationship (relation / action) between the experienced object and the experiencing subject. If two entities are substantially distinct and exist simultaneously, there could be neither a causal relationship nor an identity relationship between them.


For this reason the author denies that either [intrinsic] relationship could hold for the feelings and the awareness that is simultaneous with them. Two mental events that arise in conjunction with each other are not able to apprehend one another. This holds true for all states of awareness. Thus, feelings are not observed by the awareness that arises in conjunction with them and that exists simultaneously with them.


14th Dalai Lama

from the book Transcendent Wisdom

https://quotes.justdharma.com/awareness-of-feelings-14th-dalai-lama/ 

=======================

An Adamantine Song on the Ever-Present ~ Longchenpa

To experience the ocean of essence,

resembling the sphere of unchanging space:

free of center and perimeter,

pervading the expanse.

Enlightened mind transcends cognitions!


Rootless and baseless are appearance

and void, in the self-arisen rikpa

of every perception.

Vivid is the sense of noncessation:

luminous, the absence of object perception.


Within the voidness free of class distinction

all appearances dissolve, for their ground is lost;

The rikpa of liberation is spread evenly.

Subject and object are both void,

for their roots are lost.


The essence of self-arisen wisdom

and all duality are cleansed like the sky;

subjects and objects arise as free from bounds,

as naked dharmakaya!

This is the Great Perfection, free of cognition!


The self-arisen ground primordially pure,

the ultraversed path supremely swift,

the unsought fruit spontaneously savored,

such is the Great Perfection,

in the radiant dharmakaya.


This primordial sphere of pervasive essence

is the Great Perfection of samsara

and nirvana; this song of transcending –

beyond cause and effect, beyond all endeaver,


Longchenpa

from the book Songs of Spiritual Experience: Tibetan Buddhist Poems of Insight and Awakening

https://quotes.justdharma.com/an-adamantine-song-on-the-ever-present-longchenpa/ 

=======================

Mind’s true nature ~ 3rd Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche

Our present state of mistaken apprehension does not accord with the mind’s true nature, which is ever and already perfect and pure. Mistaken experiences depend upon mind’s fundamental pattern that identifies the apprehending subject as “the self.” The self is not inherently existent, although we erroneously cling to the belief that it is. Since we think that the self exists of its own accord and as a unique entity, we assume apprehended experiences are other and distinct from the self and automatically cling to a dualistic outlook as a result. It is just this dualistic notion that gives rise to feelings of sympathy and antipathy, attachment and aversion, i.e., sympathy for those persons and things that live up to our expectations and aversion against those persons and things that obstruct our expectations. Our expectations evolve from our hopes and fears related to misleading assumptions of happiness and suffering. When feelings of sympathy and antipathy arise, other disturbing emotions naturally spring forth – desire, anger, pride, jealousy, just to name a few. These afflictive emotions drive us to act the way we do with body, speech, and mind. Our activities create karma, the “infallible law of cause and effect.” Living beings experience the result of their personal and collective karma in the active process of being and becoming.


It is necessary to become free of the initial delusions that are the source of suffering, i.e., the mistaken beliefs in an apprehending self (subject) and apprehended objects different (independent / separate) than the self. They bring about feelings that necessarily give rise to frustrating karmic results. When free of the mental patterns that are the cause of attachment and aversion, then freedom from suffering will have been attained. No outer means can eliminate suffering and guarantee lasting happiness other than the practice of hearing, contemplating, and meditating the precious Dharma instructions.


3rd Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche

https://quotes.justdharma.com/minds-true-nature-3rd-jamgon-kongtrul-rinpoche/ 

=======================

The forth reliance ~ Mipham Rinpoche

When taking the definitive meaning into experience,

Do not rely upon the ordinary dualistic mind

That chases after words and concepts,

But rely upon non-dual wisdom itself.


That which operates with conceptual ideas

Is the ordinary mind, whose nature involves [reification / grasping / attachment / ignorance about the three spheres:] perceiver (subject) and perceived (object) (and relation / actions / perception).

All that is conceived in this way is false

And will never touch upon the actual nature of reality.


Any idea of real or unreal, both or neither —

Any such concept, however it’s conceived — is still only a concept,

And whatever ideas we hold in mind,

They are still within the domain of Mara.


This has been stated in the sutras.

It is not by any assertion or denial

That we will put an end to concepts.

But once we see without rejecting or affirming, there is freedom.


Although it is without any subject-[action-]object grasping,

There is naturally occurring wisdom that illuminates itself,

And all ideas of existence, non-existence, both and neither have ceased completely (are transcended)

This is said to be supreme primordial wisdom.


[Forth reliance: Do not rely on the ordinary mind, but rely on wisdom.]


Mipham Rinpoche

https://quotes.justdharma.com/forth-reliance-mipham-rinpoche/ 

=======================

Absolute bodhicitta ~ Mingyur Rinpoche

Absolute bodhicitta is the direct insight into the nature of mind. Within absolute bodhicitta, or the absolutely awakened mind, there is no [reification / grasping / attachment / ignorance about the three spheres:][reification / grasping / attachment / ignorance about the three spheres:] distinction between subject and object (and relation / action), self and other (or between any conceptual opposites); all sentient beings are spontaneously recognized as perfect manifestation of buddha nature.


(i.e. Union of the three spheres: Union subject / actor / perceiver / knower / mind <==> relation / action / perception / cognition <==> object / result / perceived / known / world. The three spheres are more like inseparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, equal / non-dual / one -- in the non-dual sense of those terms: ex. not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither ...)

(i.e. Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres: Union of being conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances (1st truth - not complete non-existence) <==> and being empty of inherent existence (2nd truth - no really existing); one aspect implies the other (<==>). Appearing but empty, empty but still appearing.)

(i.e. Union luminosity / clear light / clarity / functionality / capacity of knowing ... displays / appearances <==> and emptiness of inherent existence.)


Mingyur Rinpoche

from the book The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness

https://quotes.justdharma.com/absolute-bodhicitta/ 

=======================

Non-conceptuality ~ Mingyur Rinpoche

Non-conceptuality is an experience of the total openness of your mind. Your awareness is direct and unclouded by [reification / grasping / attachment / ignorance about the three spheres:] conceptual distinction such as “I” or “other,” subjects and objects (and relation / action), or any other form of limitation


It’s an experience of pure consciousness as infinite as space, without beginning, middle, or end. It’s like becoming awake within a dream and recognizing that everything experienced in the dream isn’t separate from the mind of the dreamer.


(i.e. Union of the three spheres: Union subject / actor / perceiver / knower / mind <==> relation / action / perception / cognition <==> object / result / perceived / known / world. The three spheres are more like inseparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, equal / non-dual / one -- in the non-dual sense of those terms: ex. not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither ...)

(i.e. Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres: Union of being conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances (1st truth - not complete non-existence) <==> and being empty of inherent existence (2nd truth - no really existing); one aspect implies the other (<==>). Appearing but empty, empty but still appearing.)

(i.e. Union luminosity / clear light / clarity / functionality / capacity of knowing ... displays / appearances <==> and emptiness of inherent existence.)


Mingyur Rinpoche

from the book The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness

https://quotes.justdharma.com/nonconceptuality-mingyur-rinpoche/ 

=======================

Mahakaruna ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

People like us have dualistic compassion, whereas the Buddha’s compassion does not involve [reification / grasping / attachment / ignorance about the three spheres:] subject and object (and relation / action). From a buddha’s point of view, compassion could never involve subject and object. This is what is called mahakaruna — great compassion.


Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

https://quotes.justdharma.com/mahakaruna-dzongsar-khyentse-rinpoche/ 

=======================

The need for dualistic practice ~ Tulku Thondup Rinpoche

Why do we need dualistic practices, such as generating merit, to reach a state that transcends duality? Because we have to start from where we are. Our mind’s true nature is covered by karmic turbulence caused by our grasping at self and our negative mental habits. “Grasping at a self” refers to the way we grasp at mental objects as truly existing, perceiving them dualistically as subject and object. The aspect of our mind that perceives this way is conceptual mind. Conceptual mind and the true nature of mind are like the surface and depths of the ocean: The surface is choppy with wind-tossed waves; beneath it is still and peaceful.


Most of us can’t glimpse into the depths, our true nature, because our conceptual mind is constantly churning out turbulence. Grasping at self tricks us, like a nightmare, into believing that we are separate from the world and each other. This triggers negative emotions, from craving and anxiety to jealousy and aggression, which spill out into unhealthy words and actions.


Every dualistic perception, every negative thought, feeling, word, and deed, leaves a negative karmic imprint in our conceptual mind that walls us off from our true nature. On the other hand, positive mentalities leave positive karmic imprints that open our mind, loosen grasping at self, and thin out the barriers to our true nature.


As long as we have dualistic concepts and emotions, the world is solid to us. Our suffering is all too real. Circumstances matter. If our surroundings are chaotic, it will be hard to find tranquillity. If we experience peace and joy, however, we will be inspired to generate even more peace and joy. Then whatever we say and do will be the words and deeds of joy and peace. We progressively loosen our grasping at self, and eventually we glimpse the luminous nature of our mind. If we perfect this realization, we uproot grasping at self and become fully awakened.



Tulku Thondup Rinpoche

https://quotes.justdharma.com/the-need-for-dualistic-practice-tulku-thondup-rinpoche/ 

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Empty, luminous, beyond clinging ~ Shabkar

The root of all that exists (objects),

Samsara and nirvana, is one’s own mind (subject).

Primordially, mind (subject) is emptiness.


Merge into the sky-like absolute expanse,

Empty, luminous, beyond clinging.


Outside, inside; (subject, object;) eyes open or closed,

Day, night; asleep or awake:

No difference (no identity ...).


During practice, after practice,

Mind (subject), appearances (object):

Blend them (Union).


Continuously, without wavering,

Merge completely (Union) with this vibrant, sky-like state.


(i.e. Union of the three spheres: Union subject / actor / perceiver / knower / mind <==> relation / action / perception / cognition <==> object / result / perceived / known / world. The three spheres are more like inseparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, equal / non-dual / one -- in the non-dual sense of those terms: ex. not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither ...)

(i.e. Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres: Union of being conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances (1st truth - not complete non-existence) <==> and being empty of inherent existence (2nd truth - no really existing); one aspect implies the other (<==>). Appearing but empty, empty but still appearing.)

(i.e. Union luminosity / clear light / clarity / functionality / capacity of knowing ... displays / appearances <==> and emptiness of inherent existence.)


Shabkar

https://quotes.justdharma.com/empty-luminous-beyond-clinging-shabkar/ 

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Unborn and unceasing ~ Khenpo Tsultrim Rinpoche

The unborn true nature of all phenomena (objects / appearances)

And the unceasing true nature of luminous clarity (subject / mind)

Are encompassed by mind itself, luminous clarity, unborn and unceasing.


Khenpo Tsultrim Rinpoche

quoted in the book The Karmapa's Middle Way: Feast for the Fortunate, A Commentary on Chandrakirti's Madhyamakavatara

https://quotes.justdharma.com/unborn-and-unceasing-khenpo-tsultrim-rinpoche/ 

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All phenomena ~ Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye

All phenomena (the three spheres) of cyclic existence (samsara) or transcendence (nirvana),

Included within both appearance (objects) and mind (subject) (and relation / action),

Have no reality whatsoever (emptiness) and (therefore)

Arise in any way whatsoever (unimpeded appearance).


(i.e. Union of the three spheres: Union subject / actor / perceiver / knower / mind <==> relation / action / perception / cognition <==> object / result / perceived / known / world. The three spheres are more like inseparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, equal / non-dual / one -- in the non-dual sense of those terms: ex. not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither ...)

(i.e. Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres: Union of being conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances (1st truth - not complete non-existence) <==> and being empty of inherent existence (2nd truth - no really existing); one aspect implies the other (<==>). Appearing but empty, empty but still appearing.)

(i.e. Union luminosity / clear light / clarity / functionality / capacity of knowing ... displays / appearances <==> and emptiness of inherent existence.)


Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye

from the book Creation and Completion: Essential Points of Tantric Meditation

https://quotes.justdharma.com/all-phenomena/ 

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The Confusion of Dualism ~ Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche

But if, through fundamental misperception of reality, the individual enters into the confusion of dualism, primordial consciousness, which is in fact the source of all manifestation (even of dualistic consciousness (subject) and, in fact, of all phenomena (object)), itself becomes obscured. The individual’s deluded mind then mistakes the manifestations of its own pure, innate primordial awareness for an external reality (objects) existing separately from itself (subject), which it endlessly, and ultimately unsuccessfully, attempts to manipulate, trying in vain to bring an end to the continual underlying sense of dissatisfaction and unease which is the inevitable experience of the obscuration of pure awareness. The experience of underlying dissatisfaction (or ‘dukha’ in Sanskrit) that unavoidably arises with a deluded mind, continues, no matter how ‘successful’ the individual becomes in dealing with his or her world in materialistic terms, until the individual regains the experience of the primordial state.


Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche

from the book The Crystal And The Way Of Light: Sutra, Tantra And Dzogchen

https://quotes.justdharma.com/the-confusion-of-dualism/ 

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In the universal womb ~ Longchenpa

In the universal womb (ground) that is boundless space

All forms of matter and energy occur

As flux of the four elements,

But all are empty forms, absent in reality:

All phenomena (object), arising in pure mind (subject), are like that.


Just as dream is a part of sleep,

Unreal in its arising (relation / action),

So all and everything (objects) is pure mind (subject),

Never separated from it,

And without substance or attribute.


Experience (relation / action) is neither mind (subject) nor anything but mind (object);

It is a vivid display of emptiness, like magical illusion,

In the very moment inconceivable and unutterable.

All experience arising in the mind,

At its inception, know it as emptiness!


Longchenpa

from the book Natural Perfection: Longchenpa's Radical Dzogchen

https://quotes.justdharma.com/in-the-universal-womb/ 

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Equal nature ~ 17th Karmapa

From the space of the utterly pure extent of phenomena, deep and clear wisdom expands.

Mind’s primordial nature is forever free of elaboration (extremes & middle).

Not deluded by habitual mind or samsara and nirvana as they naturally arise.

To this expanse, the equal nature of all things, I bow.


17th Karmapa

from the book Music In The Sky: The Life, Art, And Teachings Of The 17Th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje

https://quotes.justdharma.com/equal-nature/ 

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Being aware of the activities of the mind ~ Krishnamurti

Meditation is to be aware of the activities of the mind - the mind as the mediator, how the mind divides itself as the mediator (subject) and the meditation (relation / action), how the mind divides itself as the thinker (subject) and the thought (object), the thinker dominating thought, controlling thought, shaping thought.


– Krishnamurti

from the book "The Collected Works of J Krishnamurti 1953-1955: What Are You Seeking?"

https://quotes.justdharma.com/being-aware-of-the-activities-of-the-mind/ 


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