Wednesday, November 4, 2020

The Two Truths Indivisible - The true nature of Mind / Reality - 026


Enlightenment is becoming fully aware of the true nature & dynamism of Reality as it is here & now:
of our own mind & of all phenomena & of their relationship.
As pointed by the concept of the Inseparability / Harmony / Union of the Two Truths.


[Inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about anything & everything, ex. about the three spheres -- subject, relation / action, object of any type of relations / actions -- : Union of being conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances or functionality (not completely non-existent) <==> and being empty of inherent existence (not really existent).]

  1. “When we enter the path, we are working at the level of relative truth [APPEARANCES],

  2. and with practice we may gain insight into the absolute [truth] [EMPTINESS].

  3. But we don’t enter the final stage of practice until we realize these truths were never separate [UNION OF THE TWO TRUTHS].

(i.e. These two aspect / truths are like inseparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, equal / non-dual / one; but in the non-dual sense of those terms: ex. not different / separate / many / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; they are themselves like a Union of being conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances / tools / adapted skillful means <==> empty of inherent existence; merely labelled / imputed / conceptualised by the mind.)

“The art and beauty of practicing dharma becomes more and more subtle and profound as we learn THE DANCE OF THE RELATIVE AND ABSOLUTE TRUTHS. Since the natural state is timelessly present in both, their INDIVISIBILITY OR INSEPARABILITY is like a single thread interwoven throughout all the teachings, functioning at every level and stage of practice.  It is important to recognize that practice solely at the relative level, or even at the level of the absolute, is not so difficult when we keep it separate. The real art comes in UNITING THE RELATIVE AND ABSOLUTE in practice.

  1. “When we first start practicing, we are typically at the conventional or relative level [APPEARANCES],

  2. which when practiced well can eventually lead to a realization of the absolute [EMPTINESS]. 

However, the final stage, which we are speaking about here, is the realization of the INSEPARABILITY OF THE TWO [TRUTHS].  When we talk about this UNITY OR INDIVISIBILITY (or Union of the Two Truths), it’s not that we have to somehow figure out how to fit two separate, distinct things together, like gluing two blocks of wood into one piece. That would be forcing a conceptual notion of emptiness to connect to clarity. 

  1. [Inseparability / interdependence / harmony / Union of luminosity / clarity / relative <==> emptiness / absolute. One aspect implies the other (<==>).]

“In Dzogchen, rigpa, or recognizing mind’s essence (the true nature of the mind / subject),
has three qualities or aspects

  1. empty essence (2nd truth: emptiness of the self / mind and of all phenomena / fabrications),

  2. the lucid or cognizant nature (1st truth: the relative functionality of the mind and its fabrications),

  3. and their indivisibile unity (Union) [compassionate energy / dynamism].

When our meditation practice strays from rigpa, two things can happen:

  1. we can overemphasize the empty aspect (grasping at the second truth -- emptiness / essence), causing a kind of blockage, because although it is thought-free, it still involves subtle clinging; there is a kind of stuckness—a lack of naturalness, fluidity, and awareness of the unconfined capacity or totally open nature of genuine rigpa.

  2. If, on the other hand, we overemphasize the clarity or lucid aspect (grasping at the first truth -- appearances, dependent origination, relativity / nature), we can become fixated on that and lose the awareness of inner space.

  3. Therefore, this subtle art involves UNIFYING THE EXPERIENCE OF EMPTY NATURE AND LUCIDITY (becoming fully aware of the Union of the Two Truths about the mind / subject, the relation / action and the object) such that the ‘third’ quality of inseparability [compassionate energy / dynamism] may naturally and spontaneously manifest.

[Genuine Emptiness free from all extremes & middle:] “The inner space, or empty aspect, is completely free from any of the four or eight philosophical extremes taught with great precision by Nagarjuna and others. It is also free from birth / origination, abiding / duration, and cessation and from the three divisions of time: past, present, and future. It has neither center nor circumference and is completely devoid of all reference points. When the conceptual mind is dropped (transcended), there is still a non-conceptual cognizance, which is without reliance or dependence upon conceptual signs and symbols and is aware of its own nature as emptiness, or inner space.

“Mind then has two aspects: 

  1. its own basic nature, which is primordial wisdom (the absolute / pure mind with wisdom),

  2. and dualistic consciousness (the relative / conventional / conditioned / impure mind with ignorance).

  3. (Note:  "conceptual mind and naked awareness arise as a co-emergent unity (Union)" ~ Ŧoƞpa Ɉoƞ)

One way of putting this is that it can either be confused lucidity (impure mind with ignorance) or the lucidity of wisdom (pure mind with wisdom).

In either case, the empty aspect (2nd truth) is always completely open and free. In the Tibetan language, this naturally lucid or clear aspect (1st truth) of mind is called salwa, and it is emphasized mostly in the Vajrayana tradition. In the sutra system, the emphasis is more on the empty nature (2nd truth -- emptiness), and of course when we speak about the INDIVISIBILITY OF LUCIDITY AND THE EMPTY NATURE (or Union of the Two Truths about the mind / subject), then it is the same for both sutra and tantra. The differences in emphasis are related to where we are on the various stages of the path.

“In the Vajrayana system, when we talk about the fundamental luminosity (1st truth) of mind, it is described as the vajra heart, and in Dzogchen, it refers to clear light or luminosity. In these teachings there’s more emphasis on the clarity or lucid aspect (1st truth). Terminology can be a bit confusing, so keep in mind that the Tibetan word salwa is translated variously as luminosity, lucidity, cognizance, consciousness, knowing, or clarity (1st truth -- dependently co-arisen & relatively functional), depending on the translation and the specific teaching context. 

-- But the basic point here is that salwa can either be confused (1st truth: conditioned impure slave mind, functional with ignorance) 

  1. -- or not (1st truth: liberated pure enlightened mind, functional with wisdom),

  2. and the empty aspect (2nd truth) is always free and open.

Normally our day-to-day experience is at a gross level of consciousness (impure mind) in which there’s no awareness of the inseparability of the empty nature and lucidity (Union of the Two Truths).

The natural state of mind appears divided (apparent dualities of pure & impure, ignorance & wisdom, samsara & nirvana, relative & absolute, cause & effect, subject & object & action / relation, etc.), and the NATURAL UNITY OF THE TWO TRUTHS is mistakenly separated into seemingly distinct entities of subject and object. (i.e. At the relative level, the essence / emptiness aspect is associated with 'subject'; while the nature / dependent origination / relative functionality aspect is associated with 'object', and the dynamisme / energy aspect is associated with 'action / causality' ...)

  • However, within that split mind there is a seed of primordial wisdom (non-conceptual non-dual reality) through which we can realize the INDIVISIBILITY OF THE EMPTY AND LUCID NATURES (or Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres).

* * *

[PATH:] “Through the timely methods and direct instructions of a genuine teacher, confused mind is cut through, allowing us to experience a taste of what I call “baby rigpa,” which with continued practice goes through various stages of growth and development. When we practice rigpa, we become naturally aware of the non-conceptual lucidity and its open nature. It is not something complex; in fact, it is actually quite simple. It involves a subtle shift in our view, because rigpa is there and not there (i.e. not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither). It’s like rediscovering our true home, which has always been present.  It has a kind of naked beauty that is potentially very rich, yet at the same time utterly ordinary — nothing has to change or be modified. Of course, clear and precise language is tough here and much too coarse to describe this essentially indescribable experience (i.e. it is inconceivable for our flawed conditioned conceptual dualistic mental).

“In the Bhadrakalpa Sutra, the Buddha said,
My dreamlike form (object)
Appeared (action) to dreamlike beings (subject)
To show them the dreamlike path (path)
That leads to dreamlike enlightenment (fruit).

(i.e. Everything becomes like transparent: empty-relatively-functional-subject/cause empty-relatively-functional-relation/action/causality empty-relatively-functional-result/object.)

  • “Experience is dreamlike because appearances are a product of many kinds of causes and conditions temporarily coming together (1st truth: conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances -- physical, conceptual, mental --: dependent on parts, on cause & conditions, on conceptual opposite(s), and on the mind merely labelling / imputing it in dependence of its conditioning / karma), such that nothing ever remains the same; everything is dependent on other things for its existence and is compounded, made up of many parts

  • In this sense, appearances are absolutely empty (2nd truth) and relatively mere (1st truth), which in Vajrayana is called ‘appearances devoid of inherent existence.’ (i.e. Union of the Two Truths: appearing but empty; empty but dependently co-arisen and relatively functional.)

It is not easy to know how things actually exist (the ultimate truth; the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths) because our normal everyday (impure) experiences seem so vivid and compelling, and everything around us feels real — as if it truly existed independently (inherently, separately, independently, absolutely). We get confused because our limited conceptual mind cannot grasp the view of the absolute (the Ultimate Truth, the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths free from all extremes & middle), and yet we can use this mind to a certain point in our practices (i.e. using adapted skillful means -- views, methods, goals -- more and more subtle, more and more in accord with the true nature of Reality).  But eventually we have to shift our practice and include other methods, such as samadhi meditation and contemplation (meditation: Union of samatha <==> vipashyana). Through these practices, the conceptual grasping mind recedes, revealing the natural and luminous mind, which has the capacity to KNOW THE INDIVISIBILITY OF THE TWO TRUTHS (or Union of the Two Truths beyond all extremes & middle), a state of simplicity free from all kinds of conceptual limitations. (i.e. It is like our true face / Buddha-nature finally directly recognising itself here & now.)

* * *

“It is important to understand what egolessness means at both the relative and absolute levels.

Relatively, our mere I exists and functions (1st truth: the self is dependently co-arisen & relatively functional) in the same way as other things merely exist, such as forms, smells, and sounds. We do have a mere I that acts, has relationships, takes refuge, and makes decisions, in the same way that the earth, sky, and water function and have a relative existence. The mereness of things actually allows us to intelligently, compassionately, and creatively engage in the drama of life without a lot of attachment and grasping. It is the light touch: open, fully present, flexible, and gutsy. This I is neither something truly existent (permanent,  independent, singular) nor non-existent—it is simply mere (more precisely it is not inherently existent, not completely non-existent, not both together, not neither). 

What is refuted (emptiness) in the dharma is the solid or reified I (or an inherently existing self), not the mere I. 

  1. (not the dependently co-arisen & relatively functional I / self. Emptiness doesn’t deny conventional relative truths.)

  2. “When we try to find the essence, or true nature, of the mere I (SUBJECT), we run into problems. No matter how hard we try, we cannot find (EMPTINESS) it upon investigation; this also applies to all phenomena (OBJECT)—whether subjective (SUBJECT), such as our feelings of self, or objective, such as OBJECTS of perception (or RELATION / ACTION).

Even if we look at one of the billions of cells that make up our bodies (BASIC FORMS) with a sophisticated microscope, we see that no ultimate or true cell can be located (no inherently existing basis or elementary components: form / material, mind / mental, or relations / laws / actions), nor can the LABEL / NAME “cell” be found. Any label we apply to the next level of complexity also falls away. (i.e. emptiness of name & form)

We can’t find an OBJECT (or SUBJECT) (or RELATION / ACTION / LAW) that is permanent, singular, or independent (or inherently existing, or absolute) (i.e. emptiness of the three spheres). It just keeps changing into smaller and smaller parts swirling into smaller and smaller parts (until the notion of parts loses its meaning). In this sense, the deeper we look into what we perceive as reality, the less we find. It is not easy to know how things actually exist because our normal experiences seem so vivid and compelling, and everything around us feels real.

“The opposite is also true: the less we investigate and feel the nature of things, the more solid the mere I (subject) and phenomena (objects, relation / actions) can feel. A mantra that’s helpful to repeat in situations where we feel hooked by our clinging to phenomena is:  It feels real, but it is not true. The label of mere I is simply an imputation, or conceptual designation, that we make on the basis of the temporary aggregation of parts called the five skandhas. The crux of the problem is that we have a very basic root misconception about all this. Why? Because when we assign an intrinsic or true reality, we reify the mere I (and phenomena -- the three spheres: subjects, relations / actions, objects) due to our fixating tendencies and habits (karma) accumulated over countless lives.

“Why does our sense of self feel so real, permanent,and solid? It’s because we have frozen the naturally light, fluid, and open experience of the mere I, creating endless arrays of conceptual boxes. Even when we investigate and see that all phenomena, including the mere I, lack real existence, we typically do not feel it — it remains in the head and can have a cold, arid, lifeless quality that is not fundamentally transformative. The reified I changes with new information but does not transform. We try repeatedly to change our lives and do this and that practice, but we continue to get stuck and frustrated; then we end up going the wrong direction and losing our way. This is because the cognitive mind, so strongly developed and employed in the speedy modern world, can know feelings but does not feel the feelings fully. So like a bird with one wing trying to fly, we don’t get very far.We need to train and educate the clarity aspect of mind in harmony with the subtle body, the underlying nature of which is essence love.

“The Tibetan term for essence love is nying-je, which is translated as ‘noble heart’ or ‘lord of the heart.’ It refers to a quality of heart that is completely unconditional and free from all attachment. This kind of love — a spark of buddha nature that resides within all of us — is contrasted with conditional love, which is based on various levels of giving and receiving love. Essence love is the pure feeling within and behind all conditional feelings. Once we connect again and again with this essence love (we need to connect to our true nature, to act more and more in accord with the true nature of reality as it is here & now, as pointed by concepts like the Union of the Two Truths, the Union of the three spheres, the Union of opposites, the purity / perfection / divinity of everything here & now), having cultivated a non-judgmental mind, our dharma practice can be authentic and life changing. Otherwise there is the danger of using dharma as a kind of pretense, a game of self-deception. Over time, all of us can learn to dance and feel the rhythms and movements of the heart and the head, wisdom and compassion (i.e. Union compassion <==> wisdom), thinking and feeling, and ultimately that of the absolute in the relative and relative in the absolute (Union relative <==> absolute).”

From: Tsoknyi Rinpoche, 2014

* * *

Note : Synonymous pointers to the inconceivable Reality: Genuine Emptiness free from all extremes & middle, Buddha-nature free from all extremes & middle, Primordial Awareness free from all extremes & middle, Naked Mind free from all extremes & middle, Reality as it is here & now,  Indivisible Universe / Whole, Cosmic Consciousness, Universal Intelligence, Primordial Buddha (Adi-Buddha), the Absolute, Dharmata, Dharmadhatu, Suchness, Thatness, ... Union of the Two Truths free from all extremes & middle, the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle, the inseparable Trikaya, …


Realizing the nature of mind ~ Buddha

If you realize the nature of mind, you have already become a buddha. 

There is no need to seek buddha elsewhere.

– Buddha

quoted in the book "The Ninth Karmapa, Wangchuk Dorje's Ocean of Certainty" 


"Dharma is the truth that surpasses relative truth and ultimate truth;

yet enjoys the abundance of relative truth and ultimate truth."



(i.e. This TRUTH / REALITY is:

not relative truth / dependent origination only,

not absolute truth / mere emptiness only,

not both together,

not neither.

It is called the inconceivable 𝗨𝗻𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗧𝘄𝗼 𝗧𝗿𝘂𝘁𝗵𝘀:

their inseparability, interdependence, co-dependence, harmony ...

That is the Ground, the infinite energy source of everything in both samsara & nirvana.)


The birth of certainty ~ Lama Tsongkhapa

The knowledge that appearances arise unfailingly in dependence (1st truth -- nature),

And the knowledge that they are empty (2nd truth -- essence) 

and beyond all assertions (free from all extremes & middle)

As long as these two appear to you as separate,

There can be no realization of the Buddha’s wisdom.

Yet when they arise at once, not each in turn but both together,

[i.e. Inseparability / interdependence / co-definition / co-relativity / co-dependence / co-emergence / co-evolution / co-transcendence / harmony / equality / unity / non-duality / Union of the Two Truths -- 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 ...]

Then through merely seeing unfailing dependent origination

Certainty is born, and all modes of misapprehension fall apart —

That is when discernment of the view has reached perfection.

(i.e. Note: This is true for all dharmas: self / I & phenomena -- all (body / physical, speech / conceptual, mind / mental fabrications) x (individual, collective, cosmic) x (here, there) x (past, present, future) x (pure / nirvana, impure / samsara) -- all (subjects, relations / actions / functions / laws, objects) --.)

– Lama Tsongkhapa

Three Principal Aspects of the Path 


With two widely opened white wings ~ Chandrakirti 

With two widely opened white wings

Of relative truth (dependent origination) [skillful means] and absolute truth (emptiness) [wisdom]

The kings of swans [bodhisattvas] and their flock of swans [disciples]

Soar through the ocean of supreme Buddha qualities.

-- Chandrakirti 


Functionality and emptiness ~ 14th Dalai Lama

Nagarjuna said that for a system where emptiness is possible, it is also possible to have functionality, and since functionality is possible, emptiness is also possible. So when we talk about nature, the ultimate nature is emptiness. What is meant by emptiness, or shunyata? It is not the emptiness of existence but rather the emptiness of true or independent existence, which means that things exist by dependence upon other factors.

– 14th Dalai Lama 


Emptiness and non-existence ~ 14th Dalai Lama

The doctrines of emptiness and selflessness do not imply the non-existence of things. Things do exist. When we say that all phenomena are void of self-existence, it does not mean that we are advocating non-existence, that we are repudiating that things exist. Then what is it we are negating? We are negating, or denying, that anything exists from its own side without depending on other things. Hence, it is because things depend for their existence upon other causes and conditions that they are said to lack independent self-existence.

-- 14th Dalai Lama

from the book Answers: Discussions With Western Buddhists 


Everything is dependently arising ~ 17th Karmapa

When we talk about emptiness, it has to be based on an understanding of the relativity of all things. Looking at ‘the reflection of the moon on water’, we can see that there is nothing there. Even that is dependently arisen, dependent on the existence of the moon and the water, on the ability of water to reflect. All of these things must come together to enable us to see the reflection of the moon on the water. That is emptiness. Emptiness and interdependence are inseparable. Everything is dependently arising; nothing exists on its own. Therefore, the nature of everything is emptiness. And because everything is emptiness and everything is interdependent, then everything is possible.

-- 17th Karmapa 


The union of appearances and emptiness ~ Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche

Ultimate reality cannot be apprehended by concepts. We can, however, in an experiential way that transcends the ordinary conceptual mind, achieve a genuine understanding of reality as being the union of appearances and emptiness.

-- Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche 


The dance between emptiness and appearance ~ Tsoknyi Rinpoche

When you have achieved a state of calmness and readiness, then you are ready to know, ready to understand in a deep way the dance between emptiness and appearance. Once you catch a glimpse of that dance, don’t hang on to it. Just let it go, like your first glimpse of essence love.

-- Tsoknyi Rinpoche 


The union of appearance and emptiness ~ Thrangu Rinpoche

When you dream of an elephant, does an elephant appear to your mind? Indeed it appears very clearly. Is there an elephant there? No. This appearance of an elephant in your dream is a union of appearance and emptiness. It appears, yet it does not exist – yet it appears. It is the same with all external phenomena. If we understand the example of the appearance of something in a dream, it is easier to understand how the mind appears yet does not exist, and does not exist yet appears.

-- Thrangu Rinpoche 


Fooled by appearance ~ Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche

If we recognize the unchanging, absolute nature of phenomena, we will also recognize their intangibility. Things appear yet are empty; they are empty yet appear. Emptiness is not the absence of phenomena, and phenomena are not the absence of emptiness. Rather, there is a union of appearance and emptiness. Just having a glimpse of understanding that things are not as they appear is already a big step toward seeing the true nature of things. We are like a naïve child who is easily fooled by appearances until we gain this understanding. In our confusion, we treat the phenomenal world as solid and real. We do not see that it is merely an expression of wisdom and the display of emptiness. We reify phenomena and this sets in motion an unending succession of attractions and aversions that lead to craving and desire. This one mistake, solidifying phenomena, gives rise to the endless cycle of samsara.

-- Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche 


Mind ~ Mingyur Rinpoche

There's no difference between what is seen (OBJECT) and the mind (SUBJECT) that sees (RELATION / ACTION) it.

– Mingyur Rinpoche

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




Sangye Yeshe, mendicant from Nub!

Awakened mind is empty while perceiving

And likewise perceives while being empty.

An inconceivable unity

of perceiving and aware emptiness --

Remain in naturalness, undistracted from this sphere.

To remain unmoved from this

is itself the Awakened One.


Living an Appearance-Emptiness Life ~ Khenpo Tsultrim Rinpoche

You know the supreme path that is free from coming and going,

And you teach the true nature of all phenomena,

While never leaving a single being out of your compassion’s embrace,

Great mother, noble Tara, I bow at your feet.

Since all phenomena, outer (OBJECT) and inner (SUBJECT) (and between / RELATION / ACTION),

are dependently existent mere appearances,

They have no inherent nature, they are just appearance-emptiness.

If you know how they resemble dreams and illusions,

All comings and goings will be open and relaxed.

Since appearances of friends and enemies are dependently existent,

Both are appearance-emptiness, like rainbows, and if you know this,

That is called, “meditation on illusion.”

Within openness you will achieve inner peace.

A planet and a particle are equal,

An aeon and an instant are equal, the Buddha taught.

If you gain uncontrived certainty in this,

Within spaciousness, any work you do will come out alright.

When you are expert at studying your own mind

All that appears becomes your guru,

And even your enemies become friends of your Dharma practice –

E ma! What a wonderful miracle!

-- Khenpo Tsultrim Rinpoche 


Manifestations of the body of the Buddha ~ Dogen Zenji

Handle even a single leaf of green in such a way that it manifests the body of the Buddha. 

This in turn allows the Buddha to manifest through the leaf.

– Dogen Zenji

quoted in the book "Instructions to the Cook: A Zen Master's Lessons in Living a Life That Matters" 


Sandōkai : Harmony of Relative and Absolute


Five Stanzas on Love ~ Maitripa 

If it weren’t for the adored bridegroom

Of appearance as mere dependent origination,

The loving bride of emptiness

Would be no better than dead.

Emptiness is the most lovely bride,

A ravishing beauty beyond compare.

If he ever became separated from her,

That handsome bridegroom would be fettered in shackles.

Therefore, trembling with anxiety,

Bride and bridegroom turn to the guru,

Whose inborn kindness for them

Places their love right back to its original, innate state.

Ah, the genuine guru’s sagacity

And great skill are so wonderful

That those two become originally indivisible,

Nonreferential, and unsurpassable.

This couple is endowed with the abundance of all characteristics

And is free from the two extremes.

It is the nature of all that is, yet lacks a nature of its own —

Thus it always flourishes.

-- Maitripa 


A Vajra Song of Khenpo Rinpoche

I bow at the feet of Marpa the Translator

When you realize all sights to be

Inseparable appearance-emptiness

All the sights you see

Are oh so beautiful!

When you know all sounds to be

Inseparable sound and emptiness

All the sounds you hear

Are oh so beautiful!

When you realize your mind to be

Inseparable emptiness-clarity

The nature of your thoughts, you see

Is open, spacious, and relaxed!

When you know that this is how it is

Confusion and freedom

Are free just as they shine

Oh, how wonderful!

Composed by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche in the Garden of Translation, Boudhanath, Nepal, January 26, 2000. 


Relative and Ultimate Bodhicitta ~ Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche

Unless we connect with the two types of precious bodhicitta, we will not approach enlightenment even in the slightest; this is certain. The two types of bodhicitta are relative bodhicitta, compassion, and ultimate bodhicitta, the insight into emptiness. Without these two, there is absolutely no way to take even one step closer towards buddhahood. Any Dharma practice devoid of these two kinds of bodhicitta will not bring the practitioner even one step toward enlightenment – I will swear to that.



The Ground -- Rigpawiki 


Essence of mind ~ Mipham Rinpoche 

What we call “essence of mind (subject)” is the actual face of unconditioned pure awareness (true nature of the mind), which is [directly] recognised through receiving the guru’s blessings and instructions.

If you wonder what this is like,

1. it is empty (2nd truth -- emptiness -- dharmakaya) in essence, beyond conceptual reference;

2. it is cognisant (1st truth -- dependently co-arisen relatively functional appearances or functionality / cognizance / clarity -- nirmanakaya) by nature, spontaneously present;

3. and it is all-pervasive and unobstructed in its compassionate energy [dynamism] (Union of the Two Truths -- sambhogakaya).

This is the rigpa in which THE THREE KAYAS ARE INSEPARABLE 

(Inseparability / Interdependence / Harmony / Union of the three pure kayas -- Svabhavikakaya / Vajrakaya).

– Mipham Rinpoche 

from the book "Beyond the Ordinary Mind: Dzogchen, Rimé, and the Path of Perfect Wisdom" 


The most important attitude and practice ~ Kalu Rinpoche 

The essence of the Lama or Buddha is EMPTINESS;

their nature, CLARITY;

their appearance, the play of UNIMPEDED awareness. (Union of the Two Truths)

Apart from that they have no real material form, shape or colour, whatsoever – like the EMPTY LUMINOSITY of space. 

When we know them to be like that we can develop faith, merge our minds with theirs, and let our minds rest peacefully. This attitude and practice are most important.

-- Kalu Rinpoche 


“One does not think of the deity’s body as solid or material, made of flesh and blood like one’s ordinary body, or made of metal or stone like an idol. One thinks of it as appearance that is inseparable from emptiness, like a rainbow or like a reflection in a mirror.”

-- Kalu Rinpoche


Emptiness and dependent origination ~ 3rd Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche

Mind is by its very nature EMPTY (essence),

yet APPEARANCES ARISE (nature) from it without obstruction.

Out of the unobstructed emptiness of mind the whole range of appearances can manifest without limit (compassionate energy / dynamism).

On a RELATIVE level, phenomena manifest through dependent origination;

this is INSEPARABLE from the emptiness of mind, which is the ULTIMATE level.

Freedom from extremes is realizing that emptiness and dependent origination are ONE (UNION) and do not contradict each other.

Confusion lies neither in the appearance of things, nor in the fact that they are manifested by mind, but in one’s own misunderstanding of the emptiness and luminosity of mind.

-- 3rd Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche

from the book “Cloudless Sky” 


Free from the extreme of existence and that of nonexistence ~ Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche 

This EMPTY (essence) nature, the lack of intrinsic existence in phenomena, does not imply a blank naught in which there is nothing at all, as we find in the view of the nihilists. According to relative truth, all phenomena arise as a result of the INTERDEPENDENT (nature) conjunction of causes and conditions. This enables us to explain not only how samsara is formed but also it is possible to progress toward nirvana. There is no contradiction between the absolute nature and its INFINITE DISPLAY (dynamism / power / compassionate energy) (Union of the Two Truths) and, because of this, one is free from the extreme of existence and that of nonexistence.

-- Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche 


The Nature of Mind - Mipham Rinpoche


(i.e. Union of the Two Truths about the subject / mind; and thus of everything),

Inexpressible and indestructible, like space.

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

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

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

(i.e. 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."


Mind, which is like lightning, a breeze, or passing clouds,

is coloured by its various thoughts of everything under the sun, 

but when examined thoroughly is found to lack a basis or origin. 

Just like a mirage on the horizon, it is devoid of essential nature. 

While being empty, it appears; and while appearing, it is empty. 

(i.e. Union of clarity / luminosity / radiance / clear light / cognizance / functionality / dependent co-origination / relativity <==> and emptiness / absolute.)

~ Mipham Rinpoche


Clarity and emptiness ~ Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche 

In essence, the mind is what is aware of everything — it is a CLARITY that perceives all external objects and events. But try to find it, and it turns out to be as impossible to grasp and as elusive as a rainbow — the more you run after it, the farther away it appears to recede; the more you look at it, the less you can find. This is the EMPTY aspect of the mind. 

Clarity and emptiness are INSEPARABLY UNITED in the true nature of mind, which is beyond all concepts of existence and nonexistence.

– Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

from the book "On the Path to Enlightenment: Heart Advice from the Great Tibetan Masters" 


When we say that the PRIMORDIAL AWARENESS (ABSOLUTE) IS INHERENT OR CO-EMERGENT WITH [ORDINARY] MIND (CONVENTIONAL / RELATIVE), it means it has always been there from the very beginning. There was never any separation from that buddha nature. Without trying to alter this nature in any way, let it arise by itself. This is why it is said that there are no other practices to be done besides practicing on the mind, and why the eighty-four thousand sections of the Buddha’s teaching are all aimed at the recognition of the nature of mind.”

Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche - Commentaries on Jamgön Mipham Rinpoche's 'The Lamp that dispels darkness' Collected Works Vol III pg 689, Shambhala


"conceptual mind and naked awareness arise as a co-emergent unity"

~ Ŧoƞpa Ɉoƞ


It’s how we relate to emotions ~ Mingyur Rinpoche

Empty minds, empty bodies, empty emotions, but not nothingness. The WAVES that surface in the form of emotions, desires, and aversions are also empty, and their force is also empty. Yet the empty force of the empty WAVE has the empty power to knock over a mind that is also essentially empty but does not know it, and is stuffed with ideas. But if we do not create a story around the WAVE, then we have empty water dissolving into the empty ocean, like water being poured into water. No problem. Emotions themselves are not the problem. It’s how we relate to them.

~ Mingyur Rinpoche 


Look deeper ~ Ryokan

You stop to point at the moon in the sky,

but the finger's blind unless the moon is shining.

One moon (ABSOLUTE), one careless finger pointing (RELATIVE / CONVENTIONAL) -

are these two things or one? (INSEPARABLE)

The question is a pointer guiding

a novice from ignorance thick as fog. 

Look deeper. The mystery calls and calls:

No moon, no finger - nothing there at all. 


not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither)

– Ryokan

from the book "The Poetry of Zen" 


The union of clarity and emptiness ~ Padampa Sangye 

CLARITY and EMPTINESS UNITED are like the moon reflecting in water;

People of Tingri, there is nothing to be attached to and NOTHING TO IMPEDE.

(i.e. Nothing to accept / affirm / seek /d in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / not do in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively ...)

– Padampa Sangye

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


Self-knowing wakefulness ~ Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche 

Recognize that your mind is THE UNITY / UNION OF BEING EMPTY AND COGNIZANT, suffused with knowing. When your attention is extroverted, you fall under the sway of thoughts. Let your attention recognize itself. Recognize that it is empty. That which recognizes is the cognizance. You can trust at that moment that these two - emptiness and cognizance - are an original unity / UNION. Seeing this is called self-knowing wakefulness.

– Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche

from the book "As It Is, Vol. 2" 


The nature of mind - Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche

The nature of mind, our Enlightened essence, is THE UNITY / UNION OF EMPTINESS AND COGNIZANCE. In this context, 'cognizant' means knowing without fixating on what is perceived. While the essence of this perception is empty, there remains a clarity totally devoid of conceptualization, a cognizance free from holding (grasping) on to anything. This is the Mahamudra of cognizant emptiness. Simply rest in a natural state that is empty but at the same time [Union] vividly awake, cognizant, and free from fixation.


The Life and Liberation of the Mind -- Patrul Rinpoche


Mind itself has always been without substance.

It is not seen by looking, but is EMPTINESS.

It is not a void, but is COGNIZANT and clear.

This INSEPARABLE AWARENESS and EMPTINESS is pervasive like space.

You can steady it, but it moves aimlessly and unimpededly.

You can set it in motion, but it returns to its own natural state.

Even without arms and legs, it runs about everywhere.

In motion, it does not disappear but returns to its own place.

Even without eyes, it sees everything.

But the experience of seeing turns into emptiness.

You cannot pinpoint any essence of mind,

And yet thoughts and impressions still arise.

It is NOT EXISTENT because it turns into emptiness.

It is NOT NON-EXISTENT because it thinks, sees and experiences.

The radiance of the UNION OF APPEARANCE AND EMPTINESS blazes.

The self-radiance of EMPTY YET COGNIZANT dharmakāya is clear.

Complete with the five wisdoms, it radiates fully.

The primordially pure natural state is spontaneously present,

The kāyas and pure realms appear without obstruction,

And the mother and child luminosities merge as one.

The natural state of mind, which is like this,

Have you realized it, all you realized ones?

Have you understood it, all you great meditators?

Put this into practice, all you yogis! ​

- Patrul Rinpoche


The Mind Is Like Space ~ 17th Karmapa 

The essential nature of the mind is like space. There is no such thing as a mind that truly exists or a mind that is inherently established even though we might find reasonings, scriptures, or experience to the contrary. Mind is empty. Our ordinary mind, however, becomes confused in thinking that things really exist. The nature of our mind is EMPTINESS, but not a blankness, not the result of mere negation: emptiness is also RADIAN CLARITY, the basis for the appearances of both samsara and nirvana. The mind is like space and it also has a clear and knowing aspect, which allows us to say, “This is space.” Resting in mind’s EMPTY, CLEAR nature, we will be at ease as we move along the path of practice.

– 17th Karmapa

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


The Nature of Mind Is the Non-Duality [Union] of Luminosity and Emptiness -- Khenpo Sodargye 

"Ultimately, the nature of mind is not just emptiness. Rather it is the non-duality [Union] of luminosity and emptiness. The rainbow in the sky or the moon’s reflection in the water may look real, but their illusory nature is actually empty—while in the emptiness they absolutely appear. This is the ultimate reality realized through practicing on the master’s pith instructions. And once realized, one can be called an enlightened being—one who has attained liberation and is free from all suffering. ...

The nature of the mind cannot be understood as mere emptiness or nothingness. It’s the non-duality [Union] of luminosity and emptiness. Luminosity was the main subject of the Buddha Shakyamuni’s third turning of the wheel of Dharma. It means that although the mind has no intrinsic existence, its nature is clarity, so we can see whatever we see and hear whatever we hear.

As said in a sutrayana scripture:

The mind is devoid of mind (emptiness)

For the nature of mind is clear light.

Also from the King of Samadhi Sutra, it can be known that the mind is just like an empty shell:

The reflection of the moon appears

On the surface of a still clear lake,

Yet the reflection has no intrinsic existence—

Such is the nature of all things.

Just as the reflection of the moon has no intrinsic nature, but it undoubtedly appears on the water. Like the rainbow, in the moment of appearing, it is empty; while in the emptiness it absolutely appears. Our mind is the same — although it’s appearing, its nature is empty. So the mind’s nature is to be the non-duality [Union] of emptiness and luminosity, which is the utmost reality.

In order to realize these words, one should practice according to the pith instructions from the master. Throughout history, there’re many great masters—monastics and lay practitioners—in India and Tibet, who have achieved such a realization. Thus, they can be called mahasiddhas, the ones who have attained liberation from all suffering of samsara."


"In brief, from the beginning, awareness has never existed as a substantial entity with elaborated characteristics (EMPTINESS), its nature is primarily pure, void, vast, and all-pervasive.

As the RADIANCE (CLARITY / FUNCTIONALITY) of voidness is unobstructed, the ocean of phenomena of samsara and nirvana appears spontaneously, like the sun and its rays; thus awareness is not a blank nothingness, totally void, for its NATURAL EXPRESSION is the great spontaneous presence of the qualifies of primordial wisdom."

- Kabjye Dudjom Rinpoche - On The Path to Enlightenment by Matthieu Ricard


A mere indescribable luminosity ~ Maitreya

If what appears to be apprehended (object) does not exist by its very own essence apart from that (subject) which apprehends (relation / action) it, then what appears to be the apprehender (subject) does not exist either (empty). The reason, here, is that the apprehender (subject) exists in relation to the apprehended (object) (and apprehending / relation / action), not in isolation. Therefore, awareness is devoid of both apprehender (subject) and apprehended (object), 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 of the three spheres: The three spheres -- ex. subject / cause / actor / perceiver / knower, relation / causality / action / perception / cognition, object / effect / result / perceived / known -- are empty of inherent existence <==> exactly because they are inseparable (one cannot exists without the others), interdependent (one implies the others, <==>), co-defined (one defines the others), co-relative, co-dependent, co-contingent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, in Union / coalescence, 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 inherently existing, not completely non-existing, not both together, not neither ... and vice versa. One aspect implies the other (<==>). They are all merely labelled / imputed / conceptualised by the mind in dependence of its past / conditioning / karma. All natural manifestations of the true nature. Nothing to accept ... nothing to reject ... The Middle Way free from all extremes & middle.)

– Maitreya

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


Unconstructed self-knowing ~ Naropa

Mind is NOT EXISTENT [or functional], NOT NON-EXISTENT [or non-functional],

Since each of these [constructs] is negated.

It is also NOT BOTH, (& NOT NEITHER)

Since existing and not existing are a contradiction.

It is not a living being

Nor other than living beings.

Therefore, it is FREE FROM ALL CONSTRUCTS (free from all extremes & middle).

This is how I have established the ultimate:

“Mind is based on space,” as it is said.

(i.e. free from all extremes like: naïve realism / materialism, idealism / nihilism, dualism, monism, subjectivism, objectivism, relationism, relativism / processism, eternalism, annihilationism, ...)

This unconstructed self-knowing

Perceives (FUNCTIONAL) while EMPTY, and while empty it perceives.

Experience and emptiness are therefore indivisible (UNION OF THE TWO TRUTHS),

Like the analogy of the moon in water.

This is how I have established nonduality (Union):

“Space is not based on anything,” as it is said.

This unconstructed self-knowing

Is itself the very basis of samsara.

Nirvana as well is also just this.

The Great MIDDLE WAY is also just this.

[GROUND:] That to be seen is also just this.

[PATH:] That to train in is also just this.

[FRUITION:] That to attain is also just this.

The valid truth is also just this.

The renowned threefold tantras

Of basic CAUSE [GROUND], method [PATH], and result [FRUITION],

And what is known as ground, path, and fruition,

Are just different situations of this.

The basic consciousness, the all-ground,

And all possible aggregates in samsara,

Are known as the ‘dependent,’ and so forth.

-- Naropa 


Two Truths Indivisible 


Clarifying the Two Truths 


Union of Absolute Truth and Relative Truth -- Pema Dragpa 


What is Emptiness Really? 


The Truth Beyond Emptiness and Dependent Origination

Madhyamika Teachings

By Nargarjuna And Gyalwa Götsangpa

Everything in it is merely inseparable appearance and emptiness -- the union of the two truths.

Analysis of verses from Shenpen Ösel — the clear light of the Buddha's teachings which benefits all beings

Those whose intelligence has gone beyond existence and nonexistence and who do not abide in any extremes have realized the meaning of dependent arising, the profound and unobservable truth of emptiness.


Transcending existence and non-existence / the inseparability of appearance and emptiness / the union of the two truths: when one really understands dependent origination, then one transcends all extremes, like existence and non-existence. Because, the true nature of everything, including the mind, is beyond the four extremes of existence / realism, non-existence / nihilism / idealism, dualism and monism.

It is inconceivable, beyond all description / conceptualization, beyond causality space and time, beyond all dualities, beyond all karma formation. It is even beyond the conventional truths of dependent origination and of emptiness, beyond this duality. It is called the union of the two truths, the inseparability of appearances and emptiness. It transcends all. -- the two truths, like dependent origination and emptiness, are not different, not the same. 


The Innate Beyond Subject And Object ~ Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche 

Phenomena (objects) are the radiance of the innate absolute (Union radiance & emptiness);

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

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

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

-- Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche 



Within Dharmakāya,

1) which is Appearance-Emptiness nondual (UNION),

2a) one experiences Samsara and Nirvana as one (UNION).

2b) When sentient beings and Buddhas merge (UNION),

One has perfected ONE-TASTE (UNION).



Inseparability ~ Maitreya 

The disposition is empty of the adventitious stains,

Which are characterized by their total separateness.

But it is not empty of the unsurpassed qualities,

Which have the character of total inseparability (Union).

-- Maitreya

Uttaratantra Shastra, I, 155 


Naked radiant awareness itself ~ Jigme Lingpa 

The location of the truth of the Great Perfection is the UNFABRICATED mind of the present moment, this NAKED RADIANT AWARENESS itself, not a hair of which has been forced into relaxation (nothing to accept ... nothing to reject ...). Maintaining this at all times, just through not forgetting it even in the states of eating, sleeping, walking, and sitting, is called meditation. However, until you are free from the obscurations of cognition, it is impossible for this not to be mixed with the experiences of bliss, clarity, and non-conceptualization (non-grasping). Nevertheless, just by not forgetting the nature of one’s own awareness — the kind that is not a tangled mindfulness that gets more tangled in order to be mindful — at some point the UNELABORATED ultimate truth, transcending terms and examples, will appear.

-- Jigme Lingpa 


Naked mind ~ Thrangu Rinpoche 

It is said that we must recognize the mind as it is, in other words as completely naked. NAKED” here means that the mind is not covered or obscured by anything. (i.e. Free from all conditioning / karma / defilements.)

If we can really immerse our self within this original, BARE state of mind (primordial awareness of its true nature: Union of the Two Truths, not fooled by any manifestations, free from them but not without them -- not rejecting / abandoning them, just not grasping at them), we will automatically understand the right view, and everything that is not part of the mind will automatically disappear.

-- Thrangu Rinpoche 



View, meditation, conduct and result ~ Dudjom Rinpoche 

The realization that all phenomena of samsara and enlightenment are EMPTINESS INSEPARABLE FROM NAKED AWARENESS is the view. 

To release present awareness within the spacious natural state and then to sustain the self-liberation of thoughts without grasping is meditation.

All post-meditative activity done harmoniously with the Dharma is the conduct.

The complete manifestation of that abiding nature is the result.

-- Dudjom Rinpoche 



Without Going Anywhere, You’ll Arrive ~ Milarepa

When resting evenly in meditation with the points of body,

If appearances cease and you are without thoughts,

These are the doings of a lethargic shamatha.

But when you rouse yourself with mindfulness,

It’s like a candle, self-luminous and shining bright,

Or like a flower that’s naturally vivid and clear.

Like looking with your eyes at the glow of the sky,


That non-conceptuality that’s luminous and clear

Is the arising of the shamatha experience.

On the basis of that meditative experience,

While supplicating the precious jewels,

Gain certainty by studying and contemplating the dharma.

Take the vipashyana that brings the understanding of no self

And tie the sturdy rope of shamatha to that.

Then that strong noble being with love and compassion

Through the mighty strength of rousing bodhicitta to benefit others,

Having been lifted up with a pure aspiration

To the completely pure path of seeing,

There, vipashyana directly realizes the purity that cannot be seen

And then the faults of mind’s hopes and fears will be known.

Without going anywhere, you’ll arrive at the Buddha’s ground.

Without looking at anything, you’ll see dharmakaya.

Without achieving anything, your aim will be spontaneously accomplished.

-- Milarepa 



Heart Advice ~ Longchenpa

So stay right here, you lucky people,

let go and be happy in the natural state.

Let your complicated life and everyday confusion alone

and out of quietude, doing nothing, watch the nature of mind.

This piece of advice is from the bottom of my heart:

fully engage in contemplation and understanding is born;

cherish nonattachment and delusion dissolves;

and forming no agenda at all reality dawns.

Whatever occurs, whatever it may be, that itself is the key,

and WITHOUT STOPPING (rejecting) IT OR NOURISHING (accepting) IT, in an even flow,

freely resting, surrendering to ultimate contemplation,

in NAKED PRISTINE PURITY we reach consummation.

-- Longchenpa 


A Song of No Attachment to This and That ~ Khenpo Tsultrim Rinpoche 

Though shifting appearances ceaselessly rise

Just be unattached as a child at play

Though seeming joys, troubles, friends, enemies rise

All thoughts free themselves like the waves of the sea

What a wealth of thoughts – passion, aggression, praise, blame

Just look at their essence, the naked clear void (Union of the Two Truths)

To walk, sit, eat, lie down and all you can do

Just empty forms shining in clear light’s expanse

-- Khenpo Tsultrim Rinpoche 



The essence of thoughts ~ Yang Gonpa 

The essence of thoughts that suddenly arise is without any nature. Do not inhibit their appearance in any way, and without thinking of any essence, let them arise clearly, nakedly, and vividly. Likewise, if one thought arises, observe its nature, and if two arise, observe their nature (Union of the Two Truths). Thus, whatever thoughts arise, let them go without holding onto them. Let them remain as fragments. Release them unimpededly. Be naked without an object. 

Release them without grasping. This is close to becoming a Buddha. This is the self-extinction of samsara, samsara is overwhelmed, samsara is disempowered, and samsara is exhausted. 

Knowledge of the path of method and wisdom, appearances and emptiness, the gradual stages, the common and special paths, and the 84.000 entrances to the Dharma is made perfectly complete and fulfilled in an instant. This is self-arisen, for it is present like that in the very nature [of awareness]. Natural liberation is the essence of all the stainless paths, and it bears the essence of emptiness and compassion.

-- Yang Gonpa 


Experiencing without getting involved ~ Ringu Tulku

A great meditator can experience everything and view all the impressions of the senses without getting involved and entangled, without making anything up (not accepting ... not rejecting ...). The point is how we deal with and react to appearances. ...

And Tilopa said to Naropa,

'My son, appearance (or thought, or concept, or duality ...) does not bind you, 

it's your grasping that binds you.'

– Ringu Tulku

from the book "Daring Steps: Traversing The Path Of The Buddha" 



Mind's ultimate nature, emptiness endowed with vividness (U2T),

I was told is the real Buddha.

Recognizing this should help me

Not to be stuck with thoughts of hierarchy.

Mind's ultimate nature, its emptiness aspect (T2),

I was told is the real Dharma.

Recognizing this should help me

Not to be stuck with thoughts of political correctness.

Mind's ultimate nature, its vivid aspect (T1),

I was told is the real Sangha

Recognizing this should help me

Not to be stuck with thoughts of equal rights.

One cannot disassociate emptiness (T2) from vividness (T1).

This inseparability (U2T) I was told is the Guru.

Recognizing this should help me

Not to be stuck with depending on chauvinist lamas.

This nature of mind has never been stained by duality,

This stainlessness I was told is the deity.

Recognizing this should help me

Not to be stuck with the categories of "gender" or "culture."

This nature of mind is spontaneously present.

That spontaneity I was told is the dakini aspect.

Recognizing this should help me

Not to be stuck with fear of being sued.


Emptiness and the law of cause and effect ~ Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

If you merely talk about the view of emptiness (grasping at it) but at the same time behave inconsiderately, it is said that your conduct has become lost in the view. If you believe that, since everything is empty by nature, it is all right to do whatever you want and it makes no difference whether your actions are virtuous or non-virtuous, then your conduct has become “lost in the view.”

All the great teachers say just the opposite — [inseparable] that the more you understand the view of emptiness, the more aware and careful you are regarding the law of cause and effect. 


Three kayas:

1) dharmakaya,

2) sambhogakaya and

3) nirmanakaya.

The three 'bodies' of a buddha. They relate not only to the truth in us (subjects), as three aspects of the true nature of mind, but to the truth in everything (objects & relations / actions).

Everything we perceive around us is nirmanakaya; (1st truth / nature / dependent origination / relative functionality)

its nature, light or energy is sambhogakaya; (inseparability of the two / compassionate energy / dynamism)

and its inherent truth, the dharmakaya. (2nd truth / essence / emptiness) 


Robert Beer (2003: p. 186) states:

The trinity of body, speech, and mind are known as the THREE GATES, three receptacles or THREE VAJRAS, and correspond to the western religious concept of righteous thought (mind), word (speech), and deed (body).

The three vajras also correspond to the THREE KAYAS, with the aspect of body located at the crown (nirmanakaya), the aspect of speech at the throat (sambhogakaya), and the aspect of mind at the heart (dharmakaya)."

From Wikipedia: 


Kayas refer to bodies. In the Mahayana we talk about two bodies or kayas: the dharmakaya and the rupakaya. The dharmakaya is the truth body, which is non-duality beyond all extremes. The rupakaya is the form body, which is all form and manifestation. These two correspond to 'emptiness' and 'form' in the Heart Sutra. When we speak of the 'Three Kayas' in the Vajrayana, the rupakaya is subdivided into the sambhogakaya and the nirmanakaya. The sambhogakaya is the body of mutual enjoyment, the body of bliss or clear light manifestation. The nirmanakaya is the created body, which manifests in time and in space. 


[Vajrakaya: Union of the three kayas = Union of the three Vajras = Union of the three spheres = Union of the three doors ...]

"We do not examine the kayas individually in order to develop a belief in their separate identity or expect the kayas to arise as separate, independent states. We look at each of the three kayas whilst remembering that this is a means to understand their unification, to understand the fourth all-encompassing sphere of the indivisibility of the kayas. ...

The fourth kaya is the unification of the three kayas and the reality of our existence. The three kayas are unified as the fourth kaya: Svabhavikakaya or Vajrakaya." 


Control over appearances ~ Khenpo Tsultrim Rinpoche

Having control over appearances does not mean jumping off buildings and flying. Rather, it means that 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙙𝙤 𝙣𝙤𝙩 𝙘𝙡𝙞𝙣𝙜 to appearances as they seem to be in the usual worldly way of relating to them. Such appearances will not cause you suffering or tie you up once you have gained mastery over them through not clinging.

It is prajna realizing selflessness that frees you from samsara. Through knowing 𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝗯𝗲 𝗶𝗻𝘀𝗲𝗽𝗮𝗿𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗲𝗺𝗽𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀, you have mastery over them. It is not necessary to engage in behavior that is contrary to a mundane way of seeing things.

– Khenpo Tsultrim Rinpoche 


Never Give Up, But Always Let Go

I asked, “How to be in the world, but not of this world? What does it mean to be in the Middle where nothing exists inherently, but Lama you also said, “that doesn’t mean to live like nothing exists at all?”

Khenpo Nagi then paradoxically encouraged, “To never give up, but always let go.”

The contemplative life is like a funeral procession for the conceptual mind from the known to the unfabricated unknown. The charnel ground of realization is an unspeakable silence and that awakened cognizance - is the supreme knowing.

We are said to be ancient unconscious journeymen that keep coming and going in-between unfindable worlds. Khenpo-la whispered, “that the traveler’s path is already complete, but nevertheless walk to the end - that the road is narrower than a needle's eye, and as sharp as a razor's edge. The Seer said, “to be cautious, that to be spiritual is to be aware of this projective dreamlike reality, while resting in the mirage of the timeless.”

The entire essence of inquisitive knowledge is said to begin and end with the realization of the nature of mind, which can only be expressed in limitless love and perfectly adorned with kindness and compassion.

The Awakened heart-mind resides in 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙢𝙖𝙣𝙙𝙖𝙡𝙖 𝙗𝙚𝙩𝙬𝙚𝙚𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙖𝙥𝙥𝙚𝙖𝙧𝙖𝙣𝙘𝙚𝙨 𝙤𝙛 𝙚𝙭𝙞𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙣𝙘𝙚 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙣𝙤𝙣-𝙚𝙭𝙞𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙣𝙘𝙚 and to reside here is is said to be an incredibly sweet bliss-full emptiness, however, if you fall off the cliff of inherent existence this is suffering, but if you fall off the edge into the nihilistic view that nothing exists and nothing matters - then you will suffer in equal measure.

Son, “Relate to the world of appearances, remain vibrantly present, be compassionate with all that is seen, but do not attach.”

Master Nagi spoke these words to me in the valley of the Great Perfection, and he said that this is the Union of Wisdom and Compassion - the Awakened outcome of realizing the Great Middle Way.

Vajra Samaya 

(i.e. We need to follow the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle. Extremes like existence / naïve realism and non-existence / nihilism. Thus being more and more in accord with the View: Inseparability / Harmony / Union of the Two Truths.)


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The View, Practice, Action and Fruit.

“First of all sit down in the seven-point posture. Then the master calls to the student and says, ‘Oh good child, is there any watcher or thing that is watched? And to where? Or not? You cannot find any object to be watched or a watcher who watches it. At that moment everything goes as the  sky. Do not change or do anything. That nature is inexpressible. At that moment there are no names or concepts of clarity, emptiness or unification.

You cannot show this by example; you cannot check it or recognize it by thoughts. You are unable to remove it, yet it never goes away. There is no root – it is empty. While you are in this state clarity is there without ceasing, nonstop and purified. The clarity is the self-created clarity and there is no antidote. It will always be in bliss. Always naked, it cannot be deluded. You can’t say what you have seen, but it is always bright. Its nature is without ceasing. It is the inexpressible nature and unremovable wisdom. There is no subject, for the visions are just there; without thoughts clarity is there.

Without distinguishing subject and object, wisdom is there. This is the wisdom without object or subject, without substance. It is the Great Secret Path of the Great Perfection – the heart blood of the dakinis – and is the gift of Drenpa Namkha. It is also the essential teaching of Rigpa Rangshar. Have you understood? You realized it? Wonderful!”

Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen – Heart Drops of Dharmakaya – on ‘The Practice of Trekchö – pp 59-60, Snow Lion





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