Finding Comfort and Ease in the Nature of Mind
by Longchen Rabjam -- Part 2 --
Section from: The Great Chariot by Longchenpa
-- Chapter X --
The view of Prajna that realizes the Ground
without dwelling in dualistic extremes
Table of content
There are nine main topics.
Entering into the nature of all dharmas, the unborn (see Part 1)
The view that realizes suchness
The natural state
The refutation of maintaining that appearance is mind
The phenomenal world is like illusion
Mind is essenceless
The examples of naturelessness
What is to be abandoned
How to train in the middle way free from extremes
Cutting the root of mind
The mind arising as the six collection of sense is unreal
Mind is uncreated or unfabricated
Mind as instantaneous
Because it is primordially pure, it is without birth and cessation
Being without any accepting and rejecting
There is no realization by the words of doctrine
It will not be realized by those who manifest pride
There is no realization by the divisions of doctrine
An example of how by analyzing the unestablished ground it is not realized
The instruction about defilement by mind-made meditation
Passing the pass (see Part 2)
Passing the pass into the nature as limitless as space
1. The teaching of the emptiness of apparent objects
2. The projecting mind is emptiness
3. Body and mind are non-dual emptiness
4. External objects are uncertain and mind has no reference points
5. The reason for these
6. The changeless nature of mind
Passing the pass into the unity of the sky at the very moment of realization
1. The teaching of the emptiness of apparent objects
2. The projecting mind is emptiness
3. Body and mind are non-dual emptiness
4. External objects are uncertain and mind has no reference points
5. The reason for these
6. The changeless nature of mind
Passing the pass into freedom from viewed and viewer
1. Inseparable appearance and emptiness are primordially the same
2. All mentally imputed labelings are empty of essence
3. Since mind does not emit anything, objects do not arise.
4. Since object and mind are natureless, they are self-liberated
5. If one realizes that what arises is self-liberated, that is sagacious
Passing the pass into there being nothing to look at when encountering the ground
1. The final summary, introductory
2. The nature of the great perfection is without fixation
The conviction of realization
The explanation of the primordial liberation of appearance and mind
Passing the pass into the great perfection
Being encompassed in and perfected as the great miracle
The final summary
I. The dedication of merit
F. Passing the pass
a. Passing the pass into the nature as limitless as space // Part 1 - Passing the pass into the nature as limitless as space
As for passing the path into the single nature, as limitless as space:
Within the primordially enlightened nature of mind, there is now nothing to purify, so attachments of accepting and rejecting are unnecessary. … Since outer and inner grasping and fixation do not exist at all, do not cling. … Since within unity there is nothing to call “this,” destroy the coils of attachment. … Also it says that there are neither success nor failure.
(i.e. In emptiness (U2T), everything, all dharmas, the three spheres -- subject / mind, relation / action, object / phenomena --, is like transparent, primordially unborn / uncreated / unfabricated / unchanging / unceasing / spontaneous / unobstructed / equal / pure / perfect / divine / Buddha-nature / Buddhaverse. There is nothing to accept / grasp nothing to reject / abandon in absolute terms ... outside (objects / phenomena), inside (subject), or between (relation / action) … So, whatever arises, just Let it be; be mindful here & now and directly perceive / realise their true nature & dynamic.)
b. Passing the pass into the unity of the sky at the very moment of realization // Part 2 - Passing the pass into the unity of the sky at the very moment of realization
Within the changelessness of our own minds, whatever instantaneous phenomena of joy and sorrow, happiness and suffering and so forth may arise are ungraspable. They liberate themselves with no need of other antidotes. As for instantaneous self-liberation without before or after …
(i.e. Abiding in the Inseparability / Interdependence / Harmony / Union of the Two Truths = Union waves & ocean = Union sky & clouds = Union relative & absolute = Union impure & pure. It is not about accepting one and rejecting the other. Realising the true nature & dynamic of something purifies / liberates it.)
c. The conceptual mind of assertion and denial disappears // Part 3 - Passing the pass into freedom from viewed (object) and viewer (subject)
Moreover, the experience arises like this. When the conceptual mind of assertion and denial arises:
Viewing this arising, when we try to reject the watcher (subject) and leave things (objects) as they are, while we are looking for something to reject, not only are there no directions, places, and objects; but the borderless, all-encompassing seeker (subject) is not perceivable either. There is no trace of anything we could affirm or deny, no reference points at all. … That is what encountering it is like.
(i.e. Meditation is realising the Union the three spheres -- subject / actor / perceiver / knower / acquirer, relation / action / perception / cognition / acquisition, object / result / perceived / known / acquired --. The three are like a Union of being empty of inherent existence (2nd truth -- emptiness of inherent existence, not real existence) <==> and being inseparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving (karmic cycle), co ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, equal / non-dual / one -- in the non-dual sense of those terms: not this, not non-this, not both together, not neither -- (1st truth -- conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances, not complete non-existence). Appearing but empty, empty but appearing. On aspect / truth implies the other (<==>). This is the Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres. This is the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle. Extremes like subjectivism, objectivism, relationism / p-rocessism ...)
d. In encountering the ground, there is nothing to be viewed // Part 4 - Passing the pass into there being nothing to look at when encountering the ground
At that time, the indivisible space of the nature of mind is spontaneously present realization. As to what it is like, when the self-existing throne of dharmakaya is attained, taking as an example the autumn sky:
That is a vajra song revealing realization without center or limit. Whatever arises is liberated into space like a dispersing cloud. This is the realization arising at that time. By mixing the primordial space of the nature of mind and self-arising, self-liberated wisdom of that, the nature of mind is irreversible from the natural state. We reach the level of the exhaustion of dharmas. This is liberation from the perilous defile of knowledge of assertion and denial, that grasps at things and characteristics. Now we have reached the stream of dharmata where we are supposed to go. This is called “having no place to go.” Yogins who reach such a state transcend the objects of confusion. They do not enter the city of samsara. They reach the ground like the sky. The nature of their minds encounters space. The three gates are effortlessly liberated. They are like clouds disappearing into space. They are purified into the primordial ground of fixated conceptualization. These yogins see what they are. This is the time when they are certain of the meaning which those of lesser fortune cannot see, even if it is explained to them. … The time of encountering it is like that.
(i.e. This Ground is not a something, not a nothingness, not both together, not neither. It is not One, not many, not both together, not neither. It is not a subject, not an object, not a relation / process / action, not two or three of those, not none of them. In it, nothing comes, stays and goes. In it there is inherent subject, object or relation / action. It is indescribable / inconceivable. It is beyond all conceptual elaborations, all extremes & middle. But, still, we can point to it using concepts like: the Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas, Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres, Union of the Two Truths about the opposites in any duality / triad / quad / etc., the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle, the equality / purity / perfection / divinity of everything here & now.)
G. The conviction of realization
All doubts about the natural state are resolved. This is the time of no further aspirations. Other liberated yogins have the same realization we do. So now, beyond this absence of doubts and questions, no one has anything to teach us. …
That is what it is like.
The former well-ordered sequence of view, meditation, and action, depends on higher and lower stages like a flight of stairs. Its customary attitude regards yogins as higher and lower. Now the mind that asks questions about this is scattered, seeming to lose its ground and root. It finds no reference point at all. Whatever arises is ungraspable, as if one were drunk. Appearances are unrecognizable, as if one were a little child. With no orderly plan of action, all at once everything is on the same level, and we are naturally, alertly at ease. Without any reference point to lose, there is fundamental oneness beyond grasping. The phenomena of excellence arise within us. …
This is when that happens. What arises arises as dharmata. When we reach the ground of confusion, it turns out to be pure, objectless wakefulness, like the space of the sky. All karma and conditionality are liberated. …
This is when it happens. Whatever is done is liberated into no reference point. By the arising of the power of non-fixation, there is neither bondage (samsara) or liberation (nirvana). …
Becoming god-like, we sing a song of the manifestation of the nature of mind, self-arising wisdom. This is the natural state beyond existence or non-existence of the natural state. We realize the pith, the great limitless impartiality. With the rising of the thousand-rayed spotless disk of the sun, the world of good fortune is made to appear. Luminous mind is revealed as the lotus pond called liberation. We should know, “I have gone to mahasukha, the level of Samantabhadra.”
(i.e. Realising this is the liberating factor.)
H. The primordial liberation of appearance and mind // The explanation of the primordial liberation of appearance (object) and mind (subject) (and relation / action)
a. The first (The nature of appearances and of the mind) // Part 1 - Passing the pass into the great perfection
1. The teaching of the emptiness [U2T] of apparent objects // a. The emptiness of apparent objects
Told now is the instruction of appearance and mind as primordial liberation that passes the pass into the nature of the great perfection:
When reflections arise in a mirror, there is really nothing there but the radiance of one bright mirror- surface, but still these [multiple] forms appear. So all the dharmas of samsara are nothing other than the nature, emptiness [U2T]. ...
(i.e. This verse is about the object; the next verse is about the subject. But those two/three should be treated exactly the same way because the three spheres are inseparable -- a Union of being co-dependent / co-evolving <==> and empty of inherent existence.)
2. The projecting mind [/ subject] is [also] emptiness [U2T] // b. The projecting mind is emptiness
At the time of experiencing the naturelessness of all dharmas, as for appearances:
Awareness, producing the view, is liberated from projecting objects. The phenomena of object- appearance are purified in non-fixation. When clouds fade away after arising in the sky, they go nowhere but into space. Self-dissolving, they become invisible. As awareness is liberated from projecting objects, the three times, too, go into the space of realization. … All dharmas first arose from or in the space of the unborn. Now they remain there. In the end, they will be liberated back into it. Awareness of what arises also first arose from the empty nature of mind. In the present it remains there. Finally it will cease there. That is how it should be known. The nature like that is the nature of primordial buddhahood.
(i.e. This verse is about the object; the previous verse is about the object. But those two/three should be treated exactly the same way because the three spheres are inseparable -- a Union of being co-dependent / co-evolving <==> and empty of inherent existence. Same conclusion as above.)
3. Body (objects) and mind (subject) are non-dual emptiness // c. Body and mind are non-dual emptiness
Apparent objects and fixation-producing awareness appear while neither of them exists, as they do within a dream. They are known without accepting and rejecting or affirmation and denial. … Whatever appears is empty of true existence, like the water in a mirage. When this is known, the essence of the reflection-like equal appearance of all dharmas should be trained in as mind without reference point.
4. External objects are uncertain and mind (subject) has no reference points // d. External objects are uncertain, and mind has no reference points:
Appearances are not ascertained as any one particular thing, but seem to be a variety. The awareness that fixates them also has no reference points. Everything is liberated as the partless singularity of the great perfection ...
(i.e. In the previous verse, subject & object are treated separately. But those three spheres should be treated together because the three spheres, or three vajras, are inseparable -- a Union of being co-dependent / co-evolving <==> and empty of inherent existence. Same conclusion as above.)
5. The reason for these // e. The reason for these
As for establishing the reason:
As for this five-fold equality:
Since all dharmas are equal, they should be known to be without accepting and rejecting, and good and bad.
These dharmas of the phenomenal world are equal in that once they are gone, they will not return. Since future dharmas have not arisen, they are equal in not existing anywhere.
In the present they are equal because, if the apprehension that identifies inner and outer essences is examined, none are found.
Yet equally, when unexamined, they appear.
The three times are related by none of them being established in time. Since they are groundless, they are equally empty.
Because all things are unborn, they are also equal as the perfection of prajña. Their duration and cessation, from the time they appear, are similarly equal in not being established as anything whatsoever.
6. The changeless nature of mind // f. The changeless nature of mind
Then regarding this,
(i.e. The Great Perfection: the three spheres are the inseparable three kayas / Trikaya / Buddha-nature / Buddhaverse / Nirvana here & now.)
b. Second section // Part 2 - Being encompassed in and perfected as the great miracle
1. Inseparable [Union] appearance (1st truth) and emptiness (2nd truth) are primordially the same (the Two truths are not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither) // a. Inseparable appearance and emptiness are primordially the same
Therefore, all dharmas are primordially and universally included in and perfected as the wondrously- arisen nature of the great perfection:
All dharmas are non-dual appearance/ emptiness beyond complexities of one and many, like space. There is nothing solid and definite to them at all.
Really equality like space, appearances are all equally like reflections in a mirror. They are equally emptiness, in having no intrinsic identity of their own. From the viewpoint of confused mind, they are equal in truly existing only in the sense of having causal power. For example, either a form or a reflection can produce form-grasping awareness within the eye-consciousness. They are equally false, in that their natureless state is confused appearance, like the hallucinations created by eating dhatura plants.
They are equally existent, as emanations exhausted in their mere appearance. They are equally non- existent, since their nature is not established, like water in a mirage. They are equally beyond extremes, like pure space. They are primordially equal, as the space of dharmata beyond division or clearing away, which is without example.
2. All mentally imputed labelings (1st truth) are empty of essence (2nd truth) (and vice versa. Union of the Two Truths: Union co-dependence with the mind <==> and emptiness of inherent existence.) // b. All mentally imputed labelings are empty of essence
The doctrines of the skandhas, dhatus, and so forth are explained to be mere mental imputations (like objects co-dependent / co-emergent / co-evolving with the subject / mind). Mentally imputed dharmas do not exist, and so they are empty of essence. All imputations of names have no reality, internal or external. They are incidental and unestablished. The imputation, “This is a real object that is a specifically characterized phenomenon” exhausts itself as mere name and conceptual picture. Though imputed objects have been maintained to be like a fire arising from kindling, like fire in a dream, the natures of these apparent forms of confused habitual patterns are not established. All appearances of the confused viewpoint of samsara are mere superimposed projections. In that sense, from the time such objects appear, they are equal in being only false.
However, if we analyze apparent objects and the awareness that fixates them, there are neither truth or falsity. Object and perceiver (subject) are like space. There are neither related object nor relationship (relation / action), and so relationship is not real. There is nothing that has anything to do with anything else. Not only does relationship not exist, but though general and particular, are set forth by the mind, there are no universally characterized or specifically identifiable phenomena. Therefore, general and particular characteristics are equally either not imputable, or by being imputed, they neither add or subtract anything, because these characteristics are equal.
So what if relationship and the fixated objects of grasping and fixation are shown by analysis not to exist? Then all the fixations of fools are confused. A small child has no such superimposed doctrines and distinctions, but later becomes accustomed to projecting obscurations drawn from doctrines of bad learning. ...
3. Since mind (subject) does not emit (relation / action / causality / production) anything (object), objects do not arise (no real origination / arising / production, duration / change, cessation) // c. Since mind emanates nothing, no objects arise.
As for the example of the instruction of not fixating this non-relationship:
If a short passage about the well-known example is added to make this easier to understand, when the reflection of a face appears in a mirror, do one’s face and the reflection become two? Or is the reflection an object that appears to be like the face, while not going out of the face? Like that, as for appearance of various things in the individual faculties of the six senses, mind does not project itself outward as an external object. Nor do such objects appear within the phenomenal apprehension of sense awareness. The face does not project itself outward and become the appearance in the mirror; but the reflected face or phenomenon there is known to be like it.
When phenomena arise, the way they are grasped by mind is samsaric confusion. If these objects are analyzed, mind is not externally projected, and the external phenomena allegedly apprehended do not “arise internally” and exist in that way.
The mind of phenomenal arising is not established externally, internally, or in between. Then the fixator of these phenomena does not exist either. If those phenomena are analyzed, they are essenceless, because what arises is unestablished. Phenomena, object and perceiver are all things that could not possibly be established.
(i.e. In emptiness (U2T), everything, all dharmas, the three spheres / vajras / kayas / gems -- subject / mind / dharmakaya / Buddha, relation / action / speech / sambhogakaya / Dharma, object / phenomena / body / nirmanakaya / Sangha --, or the Two Truths themselves, of the apparent opposites in any duality, are not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither. One is not the basis of the others. One doesn’t cause / produce the others. One does not arise from another. We cannot reduce everything to either of them alone or in combination. The same for the body, speech & mind. The same for the three kayas. The same for the three Gems. The same for the Two Truths. This is the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle.)
4. Since object and mind (subject) are natureless (unborn / uncreated / unfabricated / unchanging / unceasing / spontaneous / unobstructed / infinite / timeless / one in naturelessness / equal / pure / perfect / divine / Buddha-nature / Buddhaverse / inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres), they are self-liberated (beyond all discriminations / opposition / relation / dualities, beyond all conceptual elaborations, beyond all extremes & middle; nothing to accept nothing to reject in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively) // d. Since object and mind are natureless, they are self-liberated.
Appearing like this:
As the various things in a dream occur within a single state of sleep, all apparent variety is one in naturelessness. As appearances seem to arise continually, thoughts are one in their state of having no identifiable essence, just as waves are one in being states of water. Just as obscured vision is one with the eye-awareness that grasps it, appearance and mind are one within non-dual dharmata. Requiring no examination or analysis at all, transcending examination and analysis, the nature of this pleasure garden in the sky is taught to be that of the sky itself.
(i.e. Liberation is gained from a conceptual conviction / certainty, then a direct realisation, of the true nature of Reality as it is here & now: as pointed by the Union of the Two Truths for all dharmas, no exception at all. Everything is then purified / self-liberated (beyond all discriminations / opposition / relation / dualities, beyond all conceptual elaborations, beyond all extremes & middle; nothing to accept nothing to reject in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively) on the Ground. Everything is perceived as the perfect Ground -- unborn / uncreated / unfabricated / unchanging / unceasing / spontaneous / unobstructed / infinite / timeless / one in naturelessness / equal / pure / perfect / divine / Buddha-nature / Buddhaverse / inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres.)
(i.e. Logic: apparent conceptual opposites like difference & identity / sameness, separation & union, manyness & oneness, duality & non-duality, continuity & discontinuity, permanence & impermanence, dependence & independence, etc.,
5. If one realizes that what arises (1st truth) [is empty (2nd truth), and] is self-liberated (beyond all discriminations / opposition / relation / dualities, beyond all conceptual elaborations, beyond all extremes & middle; nothing to accept nothing to reject in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively), that is sagacious // e. If we realize that what arises is self-liberated, that is sagacious
Also like that,
As rivers flowing from the four directions are one within the ocean, samsara and nirvana are one within the mind. …
Whatever changes there may be in the four elements, they never depart from space. So, whatever phenomenal experiences of the view, meditation, action, and fruition may arise, they are one within the co-emergent natural state. …
Assertions and negations that arise within the mind are one in being empty, because they have moved from the suchness of co-emergent wisdom. As waves are one with water, what arises is one with the unborn. The complexities of mind are one with the nature of mind. That nature is primordially without emanation and gathering. …
Discursive thoughts dissolve in the ground like water mixing with water. …
Minds having faults and virtues. The Lord Buddha is the nature of mind without complexity, beyond objects of seeing. Those who know that are sagacious. …
It is taught like that.
(i.e. Saying that everything is One in the Ground means beyond all conceptual elaborations, beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all description / conceptualisation & non-description / non-conceptualisation, discrimination / duality & non-discrimination / non-duality, causality / production & acausality / non-production, forms & non-form / matter-energy, space & omnipresence, and time & timelessness. So everything is not many, not one, not both together, not neither; not this, not non-this, not both together, not neither. That is why we say that everything is like transparent, primordially unborn / uncreated / unfabricated / unchanging / unceasing / spontaneous / unobstructed / infinite / timeless / one in naturelessness / equal / pure / perfect / divine / Buddha-nature / Buddhaverse / Trikaya / inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres … That is the inconceivable indivisible self-arisen Ground / Dharmata. With wisdom, everything self-liberates into this Ground; as a temporary imperfect adapted skillful means / antidote to our usual tendency. ‘One’ means ‘not different …’.)
c. The instruction that the meaning of being without accepting and rejecting is being without grasping and fixation // Part 3 - The final summary
1. The final summary, introductory // a. The instruction that the meaning of being without accepting and rejecting is being without grasping and fixation
Now, as for the final summary:
Essentially pure suchness arising as play is beyond action, seeking, memory, and thought.
(i.e. Let us rest in equality / non-duality / oneness of the Ground -- in the non-dual sense of those terms: not different / separate / many / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither -- inconceivable, beyond all conceptual elaborations, beyond all extremes & middle.)
2. The nature of the great perfection is without fixation // b. The nature of the great perfection is without fixation
When one rests there:
At this time non-fixating insight arises in natural freedom from all assertions and denials. The great perfection is spontaneously present.
(i.e. Realising this is the liberating factor. The self-liberation of all dharmas into the Ground.)
I. The dedication of merit
Now there is the dedication of merit:
By the merit of presenting this garland of the wondrously-arisen Dharma of instantaneous liberation into the essential meaning, may whatever beings there may be, enter into being the space of the great freedom from partiality. Fenced in with their personal doctrines, view and meditation, they do not encounter the nature without bondage and liberation. They are bound in assertion, denial, and so forth, wearied by attachment to true existence. May these come to rest in spontaneous adherence to the conceptionless nature of the great perfection. (The Middle Way free from all extremes & middle, free from all conceptual elaborations.) This is the vast space of the doer of all, bodhicitta.