['Beauty is in the eye of the beholder' -- Plato]
Résumé: Reasoning: everything is dependently co-arisen (1st truth) ==> thus everything is empty of inherent existence (2nd truth) ==> thus there is no real origination, duration, cessation of anything ==> thus everything is merely labelled / imputed by the mind ==> thus everything is beyond all opposition / duality ==> thus everything is not this, not non-this, not both together, not neither (tetralemma) ==> thus there is nothing to accept nothing to reject in absolute terms (Middle Way free from all extremes & middle).
That is why we say that samsara and nirvana are in the eye of the beholder. There is no universal / absolute / independent good or bad, pure or impure, beauty or ugliness … They are all relative to the observer. The true nature of Reality is beyond all opposites / dualities.
That is why we say that everything is already equal, pure, perfect, divine here & now; we just have to directly realise it. Our body, speech & mind are already the pure inseparable body speech & mind of a Buddha (or Trikaya); that is why we say that we all have the Buddha-nature; we just have to directly realise this. All phenomena are already spontaneous pure manifestations of the Buddhaverse; we just have to directly realise this.
All activity, perception & cognition are conditioned conditioning processes; they all depend on the conditioning / karma of the subject, and in turn create or solidify the subject’s conditioning / karma.
Everything depends on the mind ~ Tenzin Palmo
Samsara is not the planet, the planet is perfectly in sync, it’s the minds of the beings that inhabit the planet that makes it samsara or nirvana. When you enter nirvana you don’t suddenly disappear you’re still living on the same planet but the planet itself has transformed because the mind has transformed. It all depends on the mind, everything depends on the mind.
– Tenzin Palmo
Beyond good and evil ~ Milarepa
Comprehending beyond good and evil
opens the way to perfect skill.
Experiencing the dissolution of duality,
you embrace the highest view.
quoted in the book Songs of Spiritual Experience: Tibetan Buddhist Poems of Insight and Awakening
Perfect like vast space ~ Sengcan
The Way is perfect like vast space
where nothing is lacking and nothing is in excess.
Indeed, it is due to our choosing to accept or reject
that we do not see the true nature of things.
Be serene in the oneness (equality) of things
and such erroneous views will disappear by themselves.
The way of perfect bliss ~ Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
Banishing all hope and all fear, rest in the diamond-like certainty that the primordial simplicity of awareness is itself buddhahood. That is the way of perfect bliss, in which all the qualities of enlightenment will flourish without effort.
-- Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
from the book The Hundred Verses of Advice: Tibetan Buddhist Teachings on What Matters Most
Ultimately perfect ~ Tai Situ Rinpoche
There is no sentient being who cannot improve and become enlightened eventually. This is so because every sentient being has buddha nature, regardless of the realm that sentient being belongs to. Every sentient being is ultimately perfect.
-- Tai Situ Rinpoche
from the book Awakening the Sleeping Buddha
Nothing to remove, nothing to add ~ Maitreya
Therein is nothing to remove
And thereto not the slightest thing to add.
The perfect truth viewed perfectly
And perfectly beheld is liberation.
quoted in the book Finding Rest in Illusion: The Trilogy of Rest, Volume 1
Confusion is the only difference ~ Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
Effortlessly, the inconceivable qualities are naturally perfect. The only difference between buddhas and sentient beings is whether these qualities are realized or not. In terms of how things are, there is no difference between buddhas and sentient beings. However, in terms of how things appear, sentient beings are confused and buddhas are not. So confusion is the only difference.
-- Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
quoted in the book The Collected Works of Dilgo Khyentse, Volume Three
The king of nakedly seen awareness ~ Yukhok Chatralwa
Homage to great, unchanging rigpa!
In the view, king-like pure awareness,
Let meditation settle, beyond position or bias,
And, as action, let duality and delusion be destroyed.
The fruition is the already perfect three kāyas,
Beyond samaya commitments involving acceptance and rejection.
Thus, the king of nakedly seen awareness
Is sealed with the samayas of view, meditation, action and fruition.
-- Yukhok Chatralwa
The Final Testament of Yukhok Chatralwa
Not fabricated, never stained ~ Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
The self-arisen wisdom, which is also called bodhichitta, is not something that has been fabricated, a new product created by the conjunction of causes and conditions. It never has changed, never changes, and never will change. The absolute nature remains what it is, perfectly pure, at all times. Even if it appears obscured for impure beings at the start of the path, it has never actually been obscured. If it seems to be a mixture of pure and impure during the course of the path, it in fact always remains pure. And at the time of the result, perfect enlightenment, it is simply the same ground nature made evident and not something new that was not there before. So even though all the hallucinations that make up existence fall like rain from the sky, it cannot affect one’s confidence: the kinglike bodhichitta that is the doer-of-everything will never be stained or dampened.
-- Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
from the book Zurchungpa's Testament
In my isolated mountain retreat ~ Sera Khandro
In my isolated mountain retreat of limitless appearances,
remaining in the practice where the world and beyond arise as ornaments,
I sustained the fundamental nature, free from fixating on hope and fear.
Gazing upon my own true face – innate luminosity –
I possess the instructions on self-liberation of appearances.
In my isolated mountain retreat of self-luminous detachment,
resting in the practice of luminosity without clinging,
I sustained the fundamental nature of self-emergent simplicity.
Gazing upon my own true face – carefree openness –
I have the teachings on self-liberation of destructive emotions.
In my isolated mountain retreat of self-emergent non-conceptuality,
remaining in the practice of self-liberation of conditioned appearances,
I sustained the fundamental nature of non-dual hope and fear.
Encountering the wisdom of natural self-liberation,
I hold the instructions for the self-release of whatever arises.
In my isolated mountain retreat devoid of fixation on hope and fear,
resting in the practice of self-liberating destructive emotions
I sustained the fundamental nature of the perfect on-going state of the three kāyas.
Gazing upon my own true nature – effortless dharmakāya –
I possess the instructions on the primordial liberation of cyclic existence and quiescence.
I have attained the fourfold assurance of freedom from abandonment and attainment,
and am liberated inseparably with ever-excellent great bliss.
This is the proper way a practitioner pursues isolated mountain retreat!
-- Sera Khandro
A Song of Amazement
The road to nonduality ~ Sengcan
One thing, all things;
move among and intermingle,
To live in this realization
is to be without anxiety about nonperfection.
To live in this faith is the road to nonduality,
because the nondual is one with the trusting mind.
Gazing at the uncontrived sameness of every experience ~ Longchenpa
We should cast aside all childish games that fetter and exhaust body, speech and mind; and stretching out in inconceivable nonaction, in the unstructured matrix, the actuality of emptiness, where the natural perfection of reality lies, we should gaze at the uncontrived sameness of every experience, all conditioning and ambition resolved with finality.
from the book Natural Perfection: Longchenpa's Radical Dzogchen
Right there ~ Shunryu Suzuki
Nothing we see or hear is perfect. But right there in the imperfection is perfect reality.
-- Shunryu Suzuki
Why all beings possess buddha nature ~ Maitreya
Because the perfect buddhas’s kaya is all-pervading,
Because reality is undifferentiated,
And because they possess the potential,
Beings always have the buddha nature.
Uttaratantra Shastra, I, 27
Ever-present Buddha-Nature ~ Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye
Getting butter from milk is only possible because milk already contains cream. No one ever made butter by churning water. The prospector looks for gold in rocks and not in wood chips. Likewise, the quest for perfect enlightenment only makes sense because buddha-nature is already present in every being. Without that nature, all efforts would be futile.
-- Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye
quoted in the book On the Path to Enlightenment: Heart Advice from the Great Tibetan Masters
The essence of the guru ~ Lama Yeshe
The essence of the guru is wisdom: the perfectly clear and radiant state of mind in which bliss and the realization of emptiness are inseparably unified.
-- Lama Yeshe
from the book Introduction to Tantra: The Transformation of Desire
You are Buddha in the making ~ Tai Situ Rinpoche
I remind you that each one of you, all sentient beings, ultimately, right now, are in essence perfect, they are Buddha. The only thing is that they don’t realize this. They are not pretending to not realize, they sincerely and truly do not realize this, including me…. This way I thought to remind you about the same thing that helps me very much, by reminding myself. And I remind myself all the time, “You are not just Tai Situ, you are Buddha in the making. You are an unenlightened Buddha, a primordial Buddha. You are not as bad as you might think, but also you are not as good as you should be, very far from being as good as you should be.” So this helps me very much. This does not give me much chance to have any so-called depression, so-called stress, so-called pride or, so-called disappointment. When somebody does something terrible, I don’t like it, but then deep inside I think, why not? Because the person does not know he or she is a Buddha, then why not? When somebody does something wonderful I’m very happy. I’m very delighted. But deep inside I think, why not? He is a Buddha, she is a Buddha, so why not? This way it really benefits me personally, tremendously, and all the credit goes to my great masters because everything is because of them. So I am very happy to share this with you.
-- Tai Situ Rinpoche
source: “Nectar of Dharma: The Sacred Advice”. Vol. Two, pp. 41-42
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 and apprehended objects different 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
Suffering is of the Nature of Bliss ~ Khenpo Tsultrim Rinpoche
The Buddha taught many times in the Mahayana sutras that the five aggregates, and the suffering that goes along with them, are of the nature of original and perfect purity. There is not the tiniest bit of impurity anywhere within them that needs to be abandoned.
Therefore, Mahayana practitioners do not want to be rid of their samsaric existence, but rather they aspire to take birth in samsara in as many bodies, in as many lifetimes as possible to be of benefit to sentient beings.
In Vajrayana practice, one cultivates the understanding that the five aggregates are of the nature of the five buddha families and that suffering is of the nature of bliss. Since that is the case, why would one ever want to abandon them? They are of the very essence of enlightenment.
-- Khenpo Tsultrim Rinpoche
from the book The Sun of Wisdom: Teachings on the Noble Nagarjuna's Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way
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 distinction between subject and object, self and other; all sentient beings are spontaneously recognized as perfect manifestations of buddha nature.
-- Mingyur Rinpoche
from the book The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness
Everything is but an apparition ~ Longchenpa
Since everything is but an apparition,
Perfect in being what it is,
Having nothing to do with good and bad,
Acceptance or rejection,
You might as well burst out laughing!
quoted in the book Glimpse After Glimpse: Daily Reflections on Living and Dying
Look into the mirror of your mind ~ Naropa
Naropa, you should strive
For Samsara and Nirvana's unity.
Look into the mirror of your mind, which is delight eternal,
The mysterious home of the Dakini.
from the book "The Life and Teaching of Naropa"
Wikipedia: In traditional Japanese aesthetics, wabi-sabi (侘寂) is a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of appreciating beauty that is "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete" in nature. It is a concept derived from the Buddhist teaching of the three marks of existence (三法印, sanbōin), specifically impermanence (無常, mujō), suffering (苦, ku) and emptiness or absence of self-nature (空, kū).
Characteristics of wabi-sabi aesthetics and principles include asymmetry, roughness, simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy, and the appreciation of both natural objects and the forces of nature.
Perceiving everything in its natural purity ~ Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
Someone who has been captured with a hook has no option but to go wherever he is led. In the same way, if we catch hold of our mind - which risks being distracted by the objects of the six senses - with the hook of mindfulness, and with vigilance and carefulness, this will be of enormous benefit. We should use this watchman to constantly check how many positive or negative thoughts and actions we produce during the day. When we are able to control our minds through mindfulness, everything that appears in samsara and nirvana becomes an aid in our practice and serves to confirm the meaning of the teachings. All appearances are understood as being dharmakaya. We perceive everything in its natural purity, and there is nothing we can call impure.
– Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
from the book "Zurchungpa's Testament"