Thursday, January 21, 2021

Quintessential Instructions of Mind - Mipham - 063

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The Quintessential Instructions of Mind:
The Buddha No Farther Than One's Palm

Note: The following is a previously untranslated text on the Dzogchen path. 

The author, the great Nyingma meditation master Mipham Rinpoche (1846-1914), 

has attempted to point out the “true nature of mind.”
https://www.shambhala.com/jamgon-mipham-rinpoche/
https://www.shambhala.com/dream-yoga-and-the-practice-of-natural-light-2208.html
Chapter 5 of https://thebikramyogaposes.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Dream_Yoga_and_the_Practice_of_Natural_Light-1.pdf 

(Résumé: It is like simulating the result until this self-arisen primordial naked unalterable awareness beyond all karma spontaneously recognises itself here & now. This is called bringing the fruit into the path. In meditation, it may feel like an individual primordial naked awareness basis of all, but it is the inconceivable self-arisen unalterable permanent pristine Ground / Reality / Indivisible Universe directly recognizing itself, its true nature & dynamic, the Ground with its three inseparable qualities. It is the Ground directly recognizing the Ground and its inseparable spontaneous natural displays / manifestations / appearances. Union Ground <==> displays. Union of the Two Truths. A pure non-conceptual non-dualistic Oneness / Union in the sense of: not many, not one, not both together, not neither; a Union beyond all conceptual proliferations, beyond all extremes & middle.)

I.

I bow to Padmasambhava, and to the glorious Lama who is the emanation of the wisdom being Manjushri 1 and like all the Buddhas and their sons.

To those desiring to learn the meditation of recognizing the profound meaning of the mind,

I will explain in brief, the beginning path of the pith instructions. 2

It is initially necessary to rely on the quintessential instructions of a Lama who has the experience of realization.

If one does not enter into the experience of the Lama’s instructions,

Then all persevering and effort in meditation is like shooting an arrow in the dark.

For this reason, renounce all corrupt and artificial views of meditation.

The pith point is placing one’s awareness in the unfabricated, self-settled state; the face of naked wisdom 

which is separate from the shell of the mind i.e., that which identifies.

By recognizing this wisdom, one reaches the essential point.

The meaning of ‘abiding from the beginning’ is the natural, unfabricated state. 3

(i.e. Meditation: Placing the mind (as much as possible) in its original pristine state free from all conditioning / karma, free from all grasping, attachment, fear, hope, discrimination, conceptualisation, focus on the past or future. It is like abiding in pure equanimous presence to Reality as it is here & now. This is called bringing the fruit into the path: simulating the result until the result recognise itself -- a primordial awareness free of all conditioning / karma, empty but still functional.

The goal is the same as directly abiding in the true nature of the primordial Ground / Reality / Mind: Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres: Union of dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances / ex. primordial functionality luminosity cognizance of the mind (1st truth) <==> and emptiness of inherent existence (2nd truth). An inconceivable state or Union free of all conceptual proliferations, free of all extremes & middle, free of all conditioning / karma.)

Having developed an inner conviction that all appearances are the essence of the Dharmakaya 4, do not reject this knowledge.

(i.e. Gradually developing an inner certainty that all appearances -- physical, conceptual, mental; positive, neutral, negative -- as inseparable from the Ground, are the Ground / Reality. And thus that all displays share all the characteristics of the Ground. Union appearances / displays <==> Ground. )

Indulging in discursive explanations about the path (about Ground, Path & Fruition) is similar to chasing after a rainbow.

(i.e. View / Ground / Mind, Path & Fruition are inconceivable, beyond all conditioning / karma, beyond all conceptualisation & non-conceptualisation, discrimination & non-discrimination, causality & acausality / spontaneity, form & non-form, matter-energy, space & omnipresence, time & timelessness. We cannot describe them in absolute terms, but, still, we use concepts to point to their true nature.)

When meditative experiences arise as the product of awareness of the great unfabricated state, (i.e. Union displays / experiences <==> Ground)
it is not through external focus, but rather through maintaining non-activity.

(i.e. All meditative experiences / results are not ‘caused / produced’ by our own efforts -- ex. focusing on this or that --, because the goal is beyond all causality / production in the non-dual sense of these terms: ex. not caused / produced, not non-caused / non-produced / simultaneous, not both together, not neither. So we say they are the ‘product of maintaining non-activity’. That is the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle: nothing to accept / affirm / seek / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / not-do in absolute terms. Ex. Not accepting not rejecting thoughts, dualities, concepts, feelings, appearances …; just merely observing them with equanimity, directly learning their true nature & dynamic as they are here & now. This direct knowledge, wisdom, is the liberating factor from all illusions / conditioning / karma. So ‘non-activity’ should be understood in the non-dual sense of the term: not action, not non-action, not both together, not neither (for any activity of the body, speech & mind). Grasping at ‘non-activity / non-thinking / non-conceptualising / non-discriminating / non-feeling ...’ would be missing the point; and it would be worse than ‘activity / living’. It would be falling into nihilism.)

Amazing, how one reaches this knowledge.

II.

At the fortunate time of reaching the intermediate state,

One maintains the unwavering state continuously by recollection of the self-settled state of ‘mind-itself.’

Just placing in that state is enough.

The unfabricated mind is no other than this. 

(i.e. The true nature of the Mind, the Ground, is exactly this original pristine state of meditation free from all conditioning / karma, free from all grasping, attachment, fear, hope, discrimination, conceptualisation, focus on the past or future. It is like abiding in pure equanimous presence to Reality as it is here & now. It is like directly abiding in the Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres -- subject, relation / action, object --: Union naked pristine unalterable functionality / cognizance / awareness (1st truth) <==> and emptiness of inherent existence (2nd truth). Functional awareness but empty of inherent existence, empty of inherent existence but still functionally relatively aware. One aspect / truth implies the other (<==>). Aware of its own (subject) true nature & dynamic while functioning naturally, simultaneously aware of the true nature & dynamic of its inseparable spontaneous manifestations / displays / appearances (objects), and aware of the relation between the two (relation / action). Aware of the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now, of the Ground as an inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres.)

If obstructed by the arising clouds of mental analysis which create a distinction between the subject and object of meditation,

at that time recall the nature of mind which from the beginning is unfabricated— ‘mind-itself,’ vast as the sky.

By relaxing, free tightness and dispel grasping to these conceptions.

Self-settled knowledge is not thoughts which flow in various directions.

It is clear, radiant emptiness that is separate from all mental grasping. 

(i.e. In meditation, continually maintain this original pristine state of meditation free from all conditioning / karma, free from all grasping, attachment, fear, hope, discrimination, conceptualisation, focus on the past or future. Maintain focus on this inconceivable Ground.

This Ground, the primordial mind, is not the conditioned body, speech, and/or mind. It is free from all conditioning / karma, free from all conditioned fabrications (physical, conceptual, mental; individual, collective, cosmic). It is like our true nature before any karma was added to it. But that is just an imperfect picture, because samsara is limitless. Ex. There is no mind without any activity / thoughts. So the goal is not to produce a pure mind without any activity / thoughts … nor to try to perceive such a thing. The Ground has three inseparable qualities: essence / emptiness / purity, nature / appearances / cognizance / spontaneous presence, and it's dynamism / compassionate energy. So the Ground, the innate mind, is not just like an empty sky, it is inseparable stillness & movement, inseparable emptiness & appearance / functionality.

The inconceivable self-arisen unalterable pristine permanent Ground, the true nature of the primordial mind, is more like the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths free of all conceptual elaborations, free of all extremes & middle; or the Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres, or the Union of opposites, or the Middle Way. That is the only thing that is self-arisen, unconditioned, unchanging, uncontrived, permanent … U2T: Union of conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances (1st truth) <==> and emptiness of inherent existence (2nd truth). In the case of the mind, it is the Union of clarity / luminosity / radiance / functionality / cognizance (1st truth) <==> and emptiness of inherent existence (2nd truth).)

This state cannot be described by example, symbol, or words.

One directly perceives ultimate awareness through discriminating wisdom.

The state of great impartial empty awareness has not moved, is not moving, and will not move.

It is one’s own face which is obscured by the stains of sudden conceptions; various delusory meanderings.

How sad!

(i.e. This meditative state -- directly abiding on the Ground, on the true nature of the mind -- is indescribable / inconceivable. It is beyond causality / production / action and their respective conceptual opposite. It is directly perceiving / realising / abiding in the Ground without using any of our conditioning / karma. It is as if this Ground, or our true nature, or the indivisible Universe, has to directly recognise itself here & now. Then it becomes totally free from all illusions.)

What will be obtained by grasping after a mirage?

What is the purpose of following after these varied dreams?

To what benefit is grasping onto space?

(i.e. This Ground, our true nature, is not objects / phenomena-only / appearances / displays, not a pure-subject / pure-mind-only / pure-ground-only, not both together, not neither. It is the Union of the Two Truths, the Union of Ground <==> and its inseparable displays / appearances. It is like the Union of the ocean <==> and its waves, the Union of the sky <==> and its clouds, the Union of the Sun <==> and its rays. These apparent opposites -- ex. waves & ocean -- are not inherent / separate / independent / in opposition, but are more like inseparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, equal / non-dual / one -- in the non-dual sense of those terms -- <==> thus empty of inherent existence. 

The important point is that the displays / appearances / waves / clouds / rays cannot be separated from (abandoned for uniquely) the Ground / Emptiness / Ocean / Sky / Sun only. The problem is not appearances / displays but the ‘grasping’ based on ignorance of their true nature & dynamic. So, the solution is not about rejecting / abandoning appearances, actions, thoughts, conceptualisation, discrimination / duality, feelings, etc. but about transmuting them by becoming fully aware of their true nature & dynamic as directly perceived in meditation: the Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres.)

By various concepts one turns one’s own head around.

Put aside this exhausting meaninglessness and relax into the primordial sphere.

The real sky is knowing that samsara and nirvana are merely an illusory display.

Although there are multifarious displays, view them with one taste.

(i.e. All appearances / displays of the self-arisen Ground, positive neutral or negative, are One with the Ground / Reality / Mind / Indivisible Universe. In that sense, they are all One in the non-dual sense of the terms: ex. not different / separate / multiple / dual / unequal, not identical / united / one / non-dual / equal, not both together, not neither; not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither; etc.)

By being intimate with meditation one can immediately recollect (i.e. gradually gaining expertise in this type of meditation)

sky-like awareness which is naked, self-settled, vivid awareness, free from conception.

The natural mind is without knowing or not-knowing; happiness or anguish.

Bliss arises from this totally relaxed state.

At this time whether going or staying, eating or sleeping, one is continuously familiar with the state, and all is the path.

Thus the meaning of mindfulness is awareness similar to the sky.

(ie. The true nature of the mind / reality / Ground, is self-arisen, unchanging, unperturbable, unalterable, permanent like the sky -- empty of inherent existence, but not separate from its natural functions / displays / manifestations / appearances. It is Great Bliss beyond all dualities; like desires & fears, acceptation & rejection, ignorance & wisdom, samsara & nirvana.)

And even in the period after formal meditation one’s conceptions are greatly reduced.

III.

At the fortunate time of the final state, with regards to the four occasions of going, staying, eating, and sleeping, 6 the habitual imprints, from which all conceptions arise, and the karmic winds of the mind are transformed

(i.e. This direct wisdom, direct knowledge of the Ground, is what self-liberates / purifies / transmutes all appearances, the whole samsara, into Nirvana here & now. We are then free from all illusions / conditioning / karma, from our 5 aggregates, from our body speech & mind -- including our actions, thoughts, concepts, dualities … --, by seeing through them, by directly realising their true nature & dynamic. We are 'free from them', but not necessarily 'free of them', not necessarily without them. We can still use them as simple tools, but we are not fooled by them anymore. We can use them without any grasping, without any attachment, without becoming slaves to them, because we are always fully aware of their true nature & dynamic. So, we never had to reject / negate / abandon our actions, thoughts, concepts, dualities, conditioning / karma; they have been self-liberated / transmuted into gold. Ex. the five poisons are transmuted into the five wisdoms.)

One possesses the capacity of resting back into the city of unmoving, innate wisdom. 

That which is called samsara 7 is mere conceptualization.
The great wisdom is free from all conceptualization. (free from concepts, not free of, not necessarily without them; free of grasping)

At this time whatever arises manifests as completely perfect. 

(i.e. The goal is to become always (continuously) aware of the true nature & dynamic of the Ground and its inseparable displays / manifestations / appearances (U2T) as they arise, abide for a while, change, and then cease.

Then, all objects / appearances are perceived as like illusions / reflections / mirages / dreams, because they are objects / phenomena merely labelled / imputed / conceptualised by the subject / mind in dependence of its past / conditioning / karma (1st truth) <==> thus empty of inherent existence (2nd truth). And the subject / mind is also perceived the same: co-dependent with the objects / phenomena <==> thus also empty of inherent existence. 

Being empty of inherent existence, everything is beyond all discrimination in absolute terms: not this, not non-this, not both together, not neither.

So, everything is can be perceived as already equal / pure / perfect / divine here & now -- in the non-dual sense of those terms: not unequal / impure / imperfect / ordinary, not equal / pure / perfect / divine, not both together, not neither; but we insist in the first point as an antidote to our usual position.)

The state of great clear light is continuous — day and night.

It is separate from the delineation of recollection and non-recollection, 

and from deviating from its own place through recollection of the all-pervading basic Ground. 

(i.e. The goal is to become always fully aware of the true nature & dynamic of the Ground / Reality / Mind. Beyond all dualities, even dualities like recollection & non-recollection, action & non-action, thinking & non-thinking, conceptualisation & non-conceptualisation, discrimination & non-discrimination, duality & non-duality, etc. Thus 'free from them', not necessarily 'free of them', not necessarily without them.)

At this time one does not make accomplishment through effort. (i.e because beyond all causality / production; not caused / produced, not non-caused / non-produced, not both together, not neither.)

Without exception, the qualities of the paths and grounds: clairvoyance, compassion, etc., 

are self-arising; 8 increasing like the ripening grass in summer.

(i.e. Ground: Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas, pure or impure, samsara or nirvana. Although everything is empty of inherent existence (2nd truth -- not real inherent independent separate absolute existence) -- subject / mind, relation / action, object / phenomena -- <==> everything is still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional appearances (1st truth -- not completely non-existent, meaningless, useless). Appearing but empty, empty but still appearing and relatively functional. One aspect implies the other (<==>). With ignorance appearances / actions are said to be impure; with wisdom / awareness they are said to be pure / perfect / divine. Ex. pure qualities / perfected virtues, five wisdoms, enlightened activities, etc. In that sense, those qualities have always been there with our true nature, our Buddha-nature.)

Free from apprehension and conceit; liberated from hope and fear,

It is unborn, unending great happiness, expansive as the sky.
This great yoga is like the playful Garuda in the sky of the impartial Great Perfection.

Wonderful!

(i.e. Fruition: Union compassion & bliss <==> wisdom / emptiness)

Having relied on the quintessential instructions of a teacher, the way to manifest this heartessence wisdom,

Is to accomplish the two accumulations of merit and wisdom 9 in a vast way like the ocean.

And then, without difficulty realization will be placed in one’s hand.

Amazing!

(i.e. Path = Union method / merit <==> wisdom / emptiness.)

Accordingly, may all sentient beings by the virtue of this explanation come to see the youthful Manjushri, who is the compassionate activity of one’s own awareness; the supreme teacher, and diamond-essence the clear-light Dzogpa Chenpo. 

Having seen this, in this very life, may we attain perfect enlightenment.

Composed by Mipham Jamyang Dorje Rinpoche.

Translation by Khempo Palden Sherab, Khempo Tsewong Dongyal, Deborah Lockwood, Michael Katz

(Question: To directly perceive / realise / abide in the true nature of Reality as it is here & now, the Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres, the Union of opposites, the Union of the Ground and its inseparable displays / manifestations / appearances, why do we keep thinking that we necessarily have to shut down all thinking, conceptualisation, discrimination, activity, etc? They are inseparable from the Ground, so why pretending to be able to push them away? It must be possible with/without thinking, conceptualisation, discrimination, activity, etc. It must be possible by focusing on the subject / mind, or on the objects / phenomena, or on relations / actions / processes.)

Notes:

  1. Manjushri: the Bodhisattva of Wisdom. According to Buddhist mythology Manjushri was in a previous incarnation King Amba, who vowed to become a bodhisattva for the benefit of all sentient beings.

  2. Pith instruction: The lama’s heart instruction. Condensed essential instruction for meditation presented by the lama to his heart disciples.

  3. Unfabricated state: The awareness arising at the instant of perception; pure presence arising without correction, and uncreated by causes.

  4. Dharmakaya: Dharma means the whole of existence; kaya means the dimension of that. The essential ground of being whose essence is clarity and luminosity and within which all phenomena are seen to be empty of inherent existence.

  5. Meditative experience arising through non-activity: The meditation of Dzogchen is nonconceptual and only accomplished by the effortless recognition of one’s true unconditional nature. Activity or efforts to accomplish meditation are contrary to the relaxed presence of Dzogchen practice.

  6. Going, staying, eating, or sleeping: The all-inclusive four activities within which a Dzogchen practitioner strives to maintain awareness.

  7. Samsara: Cyclic existence marked by birth, old age, sickness, death, and rebirth. Governed by desire, hatred, and ignorance, sentient beings continue to migrate throughout the six realms of samsara the realms of the gods, demi-gods, humans, animals, hungry ghosts, and hell beings according to their karma.

  8. Self-arising qualities: As a natural consequence of Dzogchen meditation advanced practitioners may develop transcendent qualities such as great wisdom, compassion, clairvoyance, etc.

  9. The two accumulations: The accumulation of merit through good deeds and the accumulation of wisdom through contemplation. Though both are important on the path of the Dharma, the Buddha said that if one could maintain the state of contemplation the accumulation of wisdom for the time it takes an ant to walk from the tip of one’s nose to one’s forehead, this would be more beneficial than a lifetime of accumulation of good merit through virtuous action and generosity. 10. Mipham Rinpoche: the famous nineteenth-century Tibetan Buddhist master and scholar, originally a student of Patrul Rinpoche Mipham, who wrote original commentaries on Dzogchen and other important Buddhist scriptures. 


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Quotes

Soaring in a Sky of Great Perfection -- Jon Norris

The key point is to place one’s focus in the core unfabricated state of naked awareness rather than in the shell of the mind that reifies phenomena. Indulging in discursive explanations about the path is as useless as chasing after rainbows. Meditative experiences don’t arise through busy minds or external attachments, but through maintaining awareness of the unfabricated state. If you find yourself obstructed by mental analysis about the subjects and objects of meditation, simply focus again on the pristine substrate of mind.

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No liberation is obtained by grasping after rainbows. No liberation will be obtained by clinging to empty space. Put aside such exhausting effort and relax into the primordial. Samsara and nirvana are illusory displays; view them as such with one taste. Self-settled, vivid awareness is free from such attachments, and yet bliss arises from it unsought. Whether going, staying, eating, sleeping, or dreaming, nurture this innate state and all things will become the path. In this way, mindfulness and awareness abide like the sky, and even in post-meditation one’s thoughts will lose their power to distract.

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As you perfect this state, the habitual imprints from which concepts arise will subside, and the karmic winds of the mind will be tamed. You will increasingly possess the capacity to rest in the city of unmoving, innate wisdom. Whatever arises will manifest as completely perfect within a state of clear light that persists through the cycle of day and night. 

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At that time, the qualities of the paths and grounds: clairvoyance, compassion, etc, are self-arising; increasing like ripening grass in the summer. Free from apprehension and conceit, liberated from hope and fear, there is an unborn, unending great happiness as vast as the sky. This yoga is like a playful Garuda soaring in a sky of Great Perfection. Emaho!


~ Adapted from ‘Quintessential Instructions of Mind; Buddha No Further Than One’s Palm’ by Ju Mipham Rinpoche (1846-1914), translated in ‘Dream Yoga’ by Namkhai Norbu.
https://www.facebook.com/jon.norris.756/posts/4198570240171798 

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Essence of mind ~ Mipham Rinpoche

Namo Guru Mañjuśrīye!

The actual nature of things is inconceivable and inexpressible. Yet, for those fortunate individuals who seek to penetrate the profound meaning of dharmatā, I shall here offer a few words by way of illustration.

What we call “essence of mind” is the actual face of unconditioned pure awareness,
which is recognised through receiving the guru’s blessings and instructions.
If you wonder what this is like, (i.e the Ground and its three inseparable qualities:)

  • it is empty in essence, beyond conceptual reference; 

  • it is cognisant by nature, spontaneously present; 

  • and it is all-pervasive and unobstructed in its compassionate energy

This is the rigpa in which the three kayas are inseparable (Union).

-- Mipham Rinpoche

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

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

It is therefore as the vidyādhara Garab Dorje said in his Final Testament:

  • This rigpa, which has no concrete existence as anything at all (2nd truth -- emptiness of inherent existence / purity),

  • Is completely unobstructed in the arising of its self-appearances (1st truth -- conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances / spontaneous presence).

  • (i.e. the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about the mind / compassionate energy / dynamism) 

To summarize: the actual nature of mind — the way it has always been, in and of itself — is this innate pure awareness that is unfabricated and unrestricted.

When this is explained in negative terms: (i.e. Tetralemma: not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither.)

  • It is not something to be apprehended (2nd truth - not really existent - emptiness of inherent existence);

  • Nor is it a non-existent void (1st truth - not completely non-existent - still appearing & relatively functional);

  • It is not some combination of these two (not both together),

  • Nor is it a third option that is neither (not neither).

This is the view of the absence of any identifiable existence, the fact that it cannot be conceptualised in any way by thinking, “It is like this.” (inconceivable)

When explained in more positive, experiential terms, it is said to be glaringly empty, lucidly clear, vividly pure, perfectly even, expansively open, and so on.

To illustrate this using examples: 

  • without limit or centre, it is like space; 

  • in its unlimited clarity, it is like sunlight flooding the sky; 

  • without clear inside and outside, it is like a crystal ball; 

  • in its freedom from clinging and attachment, it is like the traces of a bird in flight; 

  • and neither arising nor ceasing, it is like the sky.

To dispel any doubts or misunderstandings that might arise from this instruction, it is described as 

  • the great clarity that is beyond partiality, (1st truth)

  • the great emptiness of freedom from conceptual reference, (2nd truth)

  • the great union that cannot be separated, and so on. (the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about the mind)

In terms of its meaning, as it cannot be pointed out by words, it is inexpressible; as it cannot be known with ordinary modes of consciousness, it is inconceivable; and as it is does not fall into any extreme, it is the great freedom from elaboration. In the end, it is beyond all expressions, such as: it is all and everything, it is not all, everything lies within it, or does not, and so on. It remains an individual experience of self-knowing awareness.

The names used to illustrate it are 'primordial purity' (ka dag) and 'spontaneous presence' (lhun grub), and, when summarizing: 'the single, all-encompassing sphere of naturally arising wisdom' (rang byung ye shes thig le nyag gcig).

As it is the pinnacle of all in terms of the qualities it possesses, it is also the transcendent perfection of wisdom (prajñāpāramitā) and so on.

Symbolically, it can be revealed by means of the sun, or a magnifying glass, a crystal ball, or a finger pointing into space, and so forth.

When you have a precious jewel in your own hand,

Even if others should discard them, why be angry?

Without losing your connection to these instructions,

The pinnacle of Dharma, and your own good fortune,

Even if others should criticize them, why be angry?


-- Mipham Rinpoche

https://www.lotsawahouse.org/tibetan-masters/mipham/essence-of-mind 

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How liberation is to be gained -- Mipham Rinpoche

If one trains for a long time in the Union of the two truths, the stage of acceptance (on the path of joining), which is attuned to primordial wisdom, will arise. By thus acquiring a certain conviction in that which surpasses intellectual knowledge, and by training in it, one will eventually actualize it. This is precisely how the Buddhas and the Bodhisattvas have said that liberation is to be gained.

-- Mipham Rinpoche

from the book The Adornment of the Middle Way: Shantarakshita's Madhyamakalankara with Commentary by Jamgon Mipham

https://quotes.justdharma.com/how-liberation-is-to-be-gained-mipham-rinpoche/ 

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Know that mind is the unity of clarity and emptiness -- Mipham Rinpoche

The manifold mind, like a dream and an illusion,

Has no nature when analyzed;

All perceptions have the nature of the moon reflected in water.

Know that mind is the unity [Union] of clarity and emptiness.


When this is not merely conceptually determined, but

Comes to be understood within self-awareness, then

The wisdom body of all the buddhas –

The essential nature of the Dharma, the innate mind, and

The definitive meaning of the youthful Manjushri –

Is directly seen by non-conceptual awareness.

-- Mipham Rinpoche

quoted in the book Jamgon Mipam: His Life and Teachings
https://quotes.justdharma.com/know-that-mind-is-the-unity-of-clarity-and-emptiness-mipham-rinpoche/ 

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The Self-Radiance of Indestructible Awareness and Emptiness - An Aspiration towards the Meaning of the Indivisible Ground, Path and Fruition of the Great Perfection Mañjuśrī -- Mipham Rinpoche

(Note: Written using the language of the Great Perfection, this prayer, which Mipham wrote in 1886, is an aspiration to realize the nature of mind — indestructible awareness and emptiness — and the true meaning of Mañjuśrī.)


You embody the wisdom of all the bliss -- gone buddhas and their heirs

Throughout the ten directions and four times, and keep to the way of non-duality –

Ever-youthful Mañjuśrī, ‘Gentle Splendour,’ the state of perfect equality:

May we spontaneously perfect the real meaning of non-action!

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With the devotion of viewing the primordial protector and glorious guru

As the enlightened body of truth, the dharmakāya of perfect equality,

May the inspiration of the ultimate lineage be transferred into our hearts,

And may we gain the great empowerment of the expression of awareness!

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Primordially present and thus not forged through exertion,

It does not depend on capacity or constitution;

As it is so simple, we doubt this mystery of the mind:

Let the guru’s instructions give us the strength to see!

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Elaboration and analysis are superfluities of thought,

While seeking and cultivating serve only to exhaust.

Focusing and meditating are traps that merely bind –

Let such painful complexity cease within the mind!

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Beyond thought and expression, there’s nothing that is seen.

Nor is there more to it, something additional, unseen.

This is the profound point for the mind to ascertain.

May we realize this nature, so hard to point to and make plain!

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Always pure (2nd truth - emptiness of inherent existence / purity), without complexity, it avoids the eternalist extreme.

Rigpa’s radiance (1st truth - dependent origination / spontaneous presence)  is spontaneously present, not a nihilistic void.

Although spoken of as two, that’s for ease of comprehension:

May we see the meaning of equality (the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about the mind),
beyond division and description!

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Like a finger pointing to the moon,

Reasoning and words show the way at first.

But the natural state is no object of thought (inconceivable),

So let us turn within and thereby truly see (direct perception / realisation!

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In this, you won't find anything to be removed (reject),

Nor conceive of what could be added or produced (accept). (Middle Way: nothing to accept nothing to reject)

Dharmatā is unstained by efforts to block or cultivate:

May we arrive at the state that's spontaneously present!

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Although we might label a Ground to be known,

Path to be followed, or Fruition to be attained,

In the natural state, these are like levels of space:

Effortlessly, then, may we keep to true non-action!

.

Impure saṃsāric phenomena, conceived in delusion,

And their opposites too, labelled ‘pure appearance’,

Are dependent designations, elaborate projections: (Union of the Two Truths about opposites)

May we see their absence in the un-elaborate condition!

.

The actual nature as it is, beyond the ordinary mind,

Is obscured by tainted notions of view and meditation.

In true ordinariness there is neither theory nor practice:

May we naturally remain in the genuine condition!

.

To focus on anything only poisons the view,

Deliberate fixation is but a meditative flaw,

Adopting (accepting) and avoiding (rejecting) are perilous to action: (Middle Way: nothing to accept nothing to reject)

May we see the nature beyond such affliction!

.

Directly seeing what transcends the ordinary mind:

Rigpa’s radiance (1st truth) that’s not conceptually confined (not grasping it),

Without binding the sky (2nd truth) in the rope of conjecture (not grasping it),

Let us master the genuine state of natural rest! (the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about the mind)

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The Gentle Voiced — Mañjughoṣa — of natural luminosity

Is the cognizance (1st truth) of self-awareness, the youthful vase body:

May the brilliant lamp of naturally arisen insight

Banish the dense darkness of mind’s obscurations!

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In the nature, which is uncompounded and uncontrived,

Nothing can be generated anew through fabricated paths,

Which is why the ultimate fruit does not arise from a cause. (self-arisen)

May we come to see what is, and always has been, within!

.

Husk-like words of speculative ideas lead only to delusion:

However they’re expressed, they entangle us in thought.

Let us practise instead the heart’s profound instructions,

Which arise not from scripture, but are intuitively known!

.

The [dualistic] mind of perceiver (subject) and perceived (object) is essentially deluded.

No matter what its focus, it never accords with how things are.

May we attain the buddhahood of definitive reality

The natural wisdom-kāya that does not derive from mind!

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Within the all-pervading space of rigpa, empty and aware, (the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about the mind)

All things are equal, and, in this single, perfect sphere,

There are no longings or fears for saṃsāra or nirvāṇa:

May we capture this stronghold of unlocated dharmakāya!

.

Whatever we perceive, as the body or as objects of the senses,

Is like defective vision, apparent through the force of thought alone —

By means of the natural radiance of great, non-conceptual wisdom,

May all be purified into the original space of phenomenal exhaustion! (self-purification through wisdom)

.

At that time, may we gain the ultimate, unobstructed fruition,

And, with a wisdom buddha-form as vast and limitless as the sky,

Become wish-granting jewels, providing benefit and happiness

To beings everywhere, throughout the whole infinity of space and time! (Union compassion <==> wisdom / emptiness)

.

This was composed at the behest of the reverend lady Dekyong Yeshe Wangmo, who is universally renowned as an emanation of the wisdom ḍākinī, Vajravārāhī, and who, on the favourable date of the fourth day of the third month of the Fire-Dog year (1886), offered an auspicious silken scarf and preciously ornamented crystal rosary. With this as the condition, I, the one known as Mipham Jampel Gyepa, or Ösel Dorje, wrote this prayer, completing it on the very same day. Through the virtue of expressing whatever naturally arose in my mind, independently and in the unique terminology of the Great Perfection system, may all beings attain the level of the primordial protector, Mañjuśrī, the ever-youthful.

.

‘Merely hearing this is sure to bring liberation’ —

Thus, Vajradhara praised the supreme of paths.

What need is there to mention holding it in mind?

May the truth of dharmatā swiftly bring liberation!

.

‘When it’s difficult for students to follow effort-based vehicles,

The teachings of Samantabhadra’s wisdom-mind will arise’—

May these essential teachings, praised in such statements,

Pervade the whole universe, spreading everywhere, far and wide!

.

Sarva maṅgalam.

https://www.lotsawahouse.org/tibetan-masters/mipham/great-perfection-manjushri
https://www.lotsawahouse.org/tibetan-masters/jamyang-khyentse-chokyi-lodro/jampal-dzogpachenpo-synopsis 

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The Ground - Rigpawiki

Rigpawiki: The ground of Dzogchen is the fundamental, primordial state, our absolute nature, which is already perfect and always present. It is described as being endowed with three qualities: its essence, its nature and its compassionate energy. Although conceptually we make distinctions between them, these three qualities of the ground of being are united.

  1. The first quality is that its essence is empty, being primordial purity or kadak.
    (A. Realising the 2nd truth [T2]: essence / primordial purity / emptiness of inherent existence / not real inherent independent separate existence / kadag)

  2. The second quality is that its nature is cognizant, being spontaneous presence or lhundrup.
    (B. Realising the 1st truth [T1]: nature / spontaneous presence / conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances / clarity or luminosity or cognizance or awareness / not complete non-arising & non-existence & non-functionality & non-ceasing / lhundrub)
    -- Note: the term ‘spontaneously present’ indicates that this is the nature out of which all the phenomena of samsara and nirvana arise, and into which they are all absorbed.

  3. The third quality of the Ground is its compassionate energy.
    (C. Realising the Ground, the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas [U2T]; a Ground / Union beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all conceptual elaborations:
    [U2T] Compassionate energy: Union essence <==> nature: Union of conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances (T1: 1st truth — not complete non-arising & non-existence & non-functionality & non-ceasing) <==> and emptiness of inherent existence (T2: 2nd truth — not real inherent independent separate existence). One aspect / truth implies the other (<==>).)

Just as the sky and sunlight are indivisible, so the empty essence and cognizant nature are always a unity [Union]. This inseparability or unity [Union] is called ‘compassionate energy’, the manifestation of the compassionate energy of the enlightened mind.

This unceasing compassionate energy is described as:

  • unconfined,

  • unobstructed, and

  • all-pervasive.

It too possesses three wonderful qualities:

  • the wisdom that knows,

  • the compassion that is loving and caring, and

  • the power that is able to liberate, protect, and benefit beings and fulfil the enlightened activity of the buddhas.

Tulku Tsullo, a student of Tertön Sogyal Lerab Lingpa, describes it in the following way:

“The manifest power of that wisdom is capable of arising as anything whatsoever, and therefore this compassionate energy pervades all phenomena. All the pure phenomena of nirvana and impure phenomena of samsara―whatever there might be―are merely appearances arising to one’s own mind. All the phenomena of samsara and nirvana are like this; there is not a single phenomenon in samsara or nirvana that is not like this, and which exists from its own side. The nature of conceptual ideas evaluating phenomena and also non-conceptual states of mind is the wisdom of rigpa’s pure awareness. Therefore, in short, all the phenomena of samsara and nirvana are but a display arising through the creative power of the wisdom of rigpa within our own minds.”

https://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Ground
https://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Essence
https://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Primordial_purity
https://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Nature
https://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Spontaneous_presence
https://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Compassionate_energy
https://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Rigpa 

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

Rigpa Symbol

Rigpa Symbol: Tibetan letter "A" inside a thigle. The A, which corresponds to the sound ‘ahh’, represents kadag while the thigle represents lhun grub. Rigpa is the knowledge of the ground. Marigpa is ignorance of the true nature & dynamic of the Ground.
Rigpa has two aspects, namely kadag and lhun grub

  1. Kadag means "purity" or specifically "primordial purity (2nd truth)".
    (A. Realising the 2nd truth [T2]: essence / primordial purity / emptiness of inherent existence / not real inherent independent separate existence / kadag)

  2. Lhun grub in Tibetan normally implies automatic, self-caused or spontaneous actions or processes; as quality of rigpa it means "spontaneous presence (1st truth)" It may also mean "having a self-contained origin", being primordially Existent, without an origin, self-existent; this division is the Dzogchen-equivalent of the more common Mahayana wisdom and compassion division.
    (B. Realising the 1st truth [T1]: nature / spontaneous presence / conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances / clarity or luminosity or cognizance or awareness / not complete non-arising & non-existence & non-functionality & non-ceasing / lhundrub)

  3. The third wisdom, thugs rje (compassion), is the inseparability of the previous two wisdoms (or Union of the Two Truths).
    (C. Realising the Ground, the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas [U2T]; a Ground / Union beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all conceptual elaborations:
    [U2T] Compassionate energy: Union essence <==> nature: Union of conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances (T1: 1st truth — not complete non-arising & non-existence & non-functionality & non-ceasing) <==> and emptiness of inherent existence (T2: 2nd truth — not real inherent independent separate existence). One aspect / truth implies the other (<==>).)


Rigpawiki: The ground of Dzogchen is the fundamental, primordial state, our absolute nature, which is already perfect and always present. It is described as being endowed with three qualities: its essence, its nature and its compassionate energy. Although conceptually we make distinctions between them, these three qualities of the ground of being are united.

  1. The first quality of the Ground is that its essence is empty (2nd truth — emptiness of inherent existence), being primordial purity or kadak.
    The first quality, the empty essence is called primordial purity (Tib. ཀ་དག་, kadak, Wyl. ka dag) because it is free from adventitious defilements, and because it is empty of inherent existence.
    (A. Realising the 2nd truth [T2]: essence / primordial purity / emptiness of inherent existence / not real inherent independent separate existence / kadag)

  2. The second quality of the Ground is that its nature is cognizant (1st truth — dependently co-arisen relatively functional appearances), being spontaneous presence or lhundrup.
    The second quality, its nature, is spontaneous presence (Tib. ལྷུན་གྲུབ་, lhündrup; Wyl. lhun grub). This is not like the empty aspect, primordial purity, but the term ‘spontaneously present’ indicates that this is the nature out of which all the phenomena of samsara and nirvana arise, and into which they are all absorbed.
    (B. Realising the 1st truth [T1]: nature / spontaneous presence / conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances / clarity or luminosity or cognizance or awareness / not complete non-arising & non-existence & non-functionality & non-ceasing / lhundrub)

  3. The third quality of the Ground is its compassionate energy (inseparability of the two truths; one implies the other). Just as the sky and sunlight are indivisible, so the empty essence (2nd truth) and cognizant nature (1st truth) are always a unity [Union]. This inseparability or unity is called ‘compassionate energy’, the manifestation of the compassionate energy of the enlightened mind. It is the Union of the Two Truths: the fact that everything is appearing but empty, empty but still conventionally dependently arising and relatively functional. One aspect / truth implies the other (<==>). So from ‘nothingness’ ‘everything’, the whole universe, spontaneously appears and ultimately returns. And vice versa: From ‘everything’ ‘nothing’. In that sense it — the Union of the Two Truths — is a primordial infinite cosmic energy. It is compassionate because it is continually trying to teach us the true nature of Reality and the possible liberations from all of our illusion / conditioning / karma.
    (C. Realising the Ground, the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas [U2T]; a Ground / Union beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all conceptual elaborations:
    [U2T] Compassionate energy: Union essence <==> nature: Union of conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances (T1: 1st truth — not complete non-arising & non-existence & non-functionality & non-ceasing) <==> and emptiness of inherent existence (T2: 2nd truth — not real inherent independent separate existence). One aspect / truth implies the other (<==>).)
    .
    — This unceasing compassionate energy is described as: unconfined, unobstructed, and all-pervasive. It too possesses three wonderful qualities: the wisdom that knows, the compassion that is loving and caring, and the power that is able to liberate, protect, and benefit beings and fulfil the enlightened activity of the buddhas.)

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

Don’t confuse any culture or tradition with the teachings themselves ~ Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche

Every kind of teaching is transmitted through the culture and knowledge of human beings. But it is important not to confuse any culture or tradition with the teachings themselves, because the essence of the teachings is knowledge of the nature of the individual. Any given culture can be of great value because it is the means which enables people to receive the message of a teaching, but it is not the teaching itself. 

– Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche

from the book "Dzogchen: The Self-Perfected State"

https://quotes.justdharma.com/dont-confuse-any-culture-or-tradition-with-the-teachings-themselves-namkhai-norbu-rinpoche/ 

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Advice for Beginners - Mipham Rinpoche

Kyeho! All activities within saṃsāra are pointless and hollow—

Unreliable and fleeting, like lightning's streaking dance,

And there is no certainty as to when death will strike.


Still, since death is certain, limit idle plans and speculations,

Allow the teacher's instructions to hit home and strike a chord,

And, single-pointedly, in solitude, seek perfect certainty of mind.


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. (Union of the Two Truths about the subject / mind.)


Left to settle, naturally, by itself, mind arrives at a genuine state of ease,

And, when familiarity grows stable, mind's natural condition is seen.


If devotion to the teacher grows vast, blessings will enter and inspire the mind,

And when accumulations are gathered and obscurations purified, realization will dawn —

So take this practice to heart, carefully and with constant effort!


When some beginners asked me for advice on practice,
I, the one called Mipham, wrote this for their instruction. 


May virtue abound!

https://www.lotsawahouse.org/tibetan-masters/mipham/advice-for-beginners 

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Dzogchen Instruction -- Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö

Oṃ Svasti


Lordly Guru, most supreme refuge, may your feet ever adorn my crown.


Sublime holder of the teachings, you have requested me to summarize the path into pith instructions for you to practice. As I myself lack any deep experience, I feel it would be inappropriate for me to do so. Nevertheless, to avoid disappointing you, I’ll write a synopsis of what the masters of the past have said.


Begin by destroying the house of the analytical mind, and decide upon the groundless and rootless nature of all. This dharmakāya awareness that transcends ordinary mind is without essence and identity – lucidity without a reference point, completely free. It is awareness without dwelling, unobservable and free of notions such as existence, non-existence, permanence and nothingness.


It isn’t a mere vacuity; it is the Great Perfection, the spontaneous three kāyas, quintessential luminosity itself abiding as the ground, the great dharmakāya.


To experience it there is no need for a contrived path; simply rest in your own nature. ... This is it, there is no need for anything else!


To avoid distraction and vagueness, which may occur at the beginning of the practice, remain mindful and sustain awareness. Eventually mindfulness itself will dissolve into the dhātu, that which is all-pervasive and enduring like the sky, and within which there is nothing to hold onto or release, neither purity nor impurity. Everything arises naturally – without suppression or encouragement, complexity or simplicity – it is simply the dynamic display of compassionate awareness: settle into this.


This view should be as stable as a mountain.

Meditation should be as unmoving as an ocean.

Conduct should be relaxed and loose, regardless of what appears.

As for the result, simply settle into awareness.


Don’t dwell in the past or anticipate the future. Regardless of whatever appears to the six consciousnesses, do not be attached, allow things to pass. This is the meaning of self-liberation.


...


Via: Mindfulness Meditation Centers

https://www.facebook.com/mindfulnessmeditationcenters/posts/3606532142787213

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