Sunday, December 12, 2021

Finding rest in illusion - Longchenpa - Part II - 174

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[Finding freedom from the normality / conventionalities / conditioning / karma]

Finding Rest in Illusion by Longchenpa - Part II - 174

In Three Parts (164 verses)
(Work in progress)

[Conclusion - Everything is like an illusion: there but not there;
Conventionally dependently co-arisen & relatively functional appearances [T1] but still empty of inherent existence [T2] [U2T].
From section C1: It all comes down to understanding and then directly perceiving / realising / experiencing / abiding in the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about apparent opposites like the three spheres -- subject, relation / action, object -- of any type of relation / action [U2T-3S] beyond all extremes & middle.
The primordial spontaneity, equality, purity, perfection, divinity, completeness of all dharmas.]

https://www.pdfdrive.com/finding-rest-in-illusion-the-trilogy-of-rest-volume-3-e196892893.html


See Part I for the previous sections:
Finding Rest in Illusion by Longchenpa - Part II - 174
https://www.gilehtblog.com/2021/12/finding-rest-in-illusion-part-ii.html


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B.3 The Chapter that is Like a Trick of Sight  / Visual aberration /  Optical illusion [Appearing, yet coming from nowhere]
(i.e. )

[B3. The Chapter that is Like a Trick of Sight]

[Jump to TOC]

There are four sections:

  1. A Trick-of-Sight-Like View / Ground

  1. A Trick-of-Sight-Like Path (Meditation & Conduct)

  2. A Trick-of-Sight-Like Result / Fruition

  3. A Trick-of-Sight-Like Conclusion for this Chapter

(i.e. All things are like tricks of sight, appearing [T1], yet they arise from nowhere.
Phenomena appear [T1] <==> and yet they have no intrinsic being [T2] [U2T - The Trick-of-sight-like inconceivable unique unborn unchanging unconditioned unceasing limitless centerless pristine non-dual Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths];
they arise from nowhere just like [something seen in] an optical illusion.)

NOW THAT IT has been demonstrated that phenomena, which are by nature like magical illusions [T2], are an unceasing display [T1] [U2T], we must now show how these same phenomena come from nowhere—just like optical illusions or tricks of sight.

  1. Listen! I shall now explain The words of the Victorious One That all things are like tricks of sight.

(i.e. The false appearance [T1] of something non-existent [T2] [U2T]. However it appears [T1], it is like a trick of sight [T2] [U2T]. )

Phenomena appear [T1] and yet they have no intrinsic being [T2] [U2T]; they arise from nowhere just like [something seen in] an optical illusion. It is said in the MiddleLength Prajñāpāramitā-sūtra, “Subhūti, phenomena are like tricks of sight; by their nature, they come from nowhere.

This teaching, condensed into an essential instruction, is divided into three parts corresponding to ground, path, and result.

B.3a A Trick-of-Sight-Like Ground which comes from nowhere
(i.e. VIEW / GROUND: Everything is appearing like a Trick of Sight [T1], there but not really there [T2] [U2T]. Phenomena appear [T1] and yet they have no intrinsic being [T2] [U2T]; they arise from nowhere just like something seen in an optical illusion or a trick of sight. Their nature is beyond all extremes & middle. They have no real dependent origination / birth, duration / evolution / change, cessation / death.
The inconceivable unique unborn unchanging unconditioned unceasing limitless centerless pristine Ground / Basis / Source / True nature of Reality as it is / Suchness is the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas, [U2T] [U3S / U2T-3S] [Uopp / U2T-opp] [UGM / U2T-GM] – free from all extremes & middle, free from all dualistic conceptual proliferations, free from all limits, free from all conditioning / karma. It is the primordial spontaneity / equality / purity / perfection / divinity / completeness of all dharmas. The inseparable three pure kayas. Being aware of this is nirvana, being ignorant of this is samsara.)

[B3a - A Trick-of-Sight-Like Ground which comes from nowhere]

[Jump to TOC]

(i.e. A Trick-of-Sight-Like View / Ground: There is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Primordial-awareness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T] to grasp / idealise / adore. Union of the Two Truths (dependent co-origination relative functionality [T1] and emptiness of inherent existence [T2] [U2T]) about the Ground / Basis / Source / True nature of Reality as it is / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T] itself <==> and its inseparable spontaneous natural manifestations [U2T-2T / U2T-GM / UGM]. – This Ground / True nature / Suchness is inconceivable, unique, unborn, unchanging, unconditioned, unceasing, limitless, centerless, pristine. Beyond all extremes & middle. Not inherently existent, not completely non-existent, not both together, not neither. Not many, not one, not both together, not neither. It is spontaneously present, equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete. So are its inseparable manifestations / appearances then. – No real coming.)

(i.e. )

First, by means of the view, we establish the ground, which, like a trick of sight [T1], comes from nowhere [T2] [U2T]:

  1. Just as through a certain form A trick of sight appears,
    Likewise in the nature of the mind And through the power of deluded habit,
    The optical illusion of saṃsāra is contrived:
    The false appearance [T1] of something non-existent [T2] [U2T].
    However it appears [T1], it is like a trick of sight [T2] [U2T].

Shadows are cast by material forms. They arise in the shape of these forms but are different in kind. In similar fashion, there is the radiance of awareness of the primordial ultimate expanse—empty, luminous, spontaneously present. This corresponds to the material form. Not recognizing this radiance, beings stray into the duality of apprehended and apprehender, and there appear, concomitant with the radiance of awareness, the five aggregates, the five elements, the five defilements, the five sense objects, the five material sense organs, and so on. They are different in kind from the radiance of awareness, for they manifest as a host of hallucinatory appearances that afflict, obstruct, and are impure, and as karma and the five defilements. So it is that there are the three worlds and six migrations wherein beings circle through the coming together of causes and conditions. As it is said in the All-Creating King Tantra, “Just like shadows cast by material forms, even so are manifold hallucinatory experiences.” And as the Abridged Prajñāpāramitā says, “When the conditions are assembled, the deceptive mechanism of karma manifests.”

(i.e. Childish beings cling to self and possessions though there is nothing there.)

On the basis of false appearance, beings turn [and wander] in a further level of hallucinatory experience.

  1. Childish beings are deceived thereby; Unskilled, they cling to it as real. Caught in the trap, the trick of sight— The objects of the five sense powers— They cling to self though there is nothing there. Just look how they’re deceived!

Childish beings, who do not understand that saṃsāra is like an optical illusion, constantly take it as something real. Their mental consciousness strongly clings to apparent but hallucinatory sense objects: form, sound, smell, taste, textures—all of which are perceived but are without real existence. Beings are engrossed in sense objects; they hold to “I” and “mine” and thus turn constantly in saṃsāra. They are like children who lose themselves in their games. If one does not understand that the apparent world is devoid of intrinsic reality, one is deceived by it. And even among those engaged upon the path, there are many who are just like childish people!

(i.e. Things appear [T1] while being non-existent [T2] [U2T]. Their nature is beyond all extremes & middle. Like space they are unborn, coming from nowhere (no real dependent origination / birth, duration / evolution / change, cessation / death), like a trick of sight.)

It is thus that childish beings are attached to appearances that are in fact just tricks of sight. Therefore, the root text continues with an exhortation—addressed to practitioners—to understand the nature of phenomena and realize their lack of intrinsic being:

  1. Phenomenal existence, universe and beings, Happiness and sorrow, high and low,
    Appear while non-existent [U2T].
    They’re like shadows in the lamplight, Or the moon seen double When one’s eyes are pressed, Or like deep darkness When there’s much affliction.
    When left unanalyzed, these things appear [T1 - dependent origination];
    When analyzed, there is no grasping them [T2 - emptiness of inherent existence];
    When closely analyzed, their nature is beyond extremes. [Beyond all extremes like existence & non-existence]
    Like space, they are unborn. [Nor real origination, duration, cessation]
    Understand this very day, With sure conviction, their primordial nature.

Phenomenal existence, the universe and beings, happiness and suffering, the high and the low, are all like tricks of sight. Such optical illusions, which appear even though they do not exist, are produced in relation to certain forms and are not different from them in respect of their arising, duration, and subsiding. They are like a shadow that is cast, like a second moon, like darkness, and so on. In brief, this means respectively that, on the basis of an actual form, another form appears as a copy, a second form manifests, and another form arises in the manner of a reflection. In contrast with the actual form, these secondary forms are categorized as optical illusions because they are not causally effective. Likewise, if all phenomena are examined, they are like tricks of sight, for although they appear, they have no intrinsic being. If they are left unexamined, they seem to be perfectly fine. If on the other hand they are minutely investigated, even the partless particles and the subtle moments of consciousness that support [the experience of] coarse, extended phenomena are found to be without any identifiable nature. They are like space; they do not have any existence at all. It is said in the Middle-Length Prajñāpāramitā, “Since like tricks of sight, all phenomena are devoid of intrinsic being, they are by nature primordially empty.”

(i.e. The true meaning of Genuine-emptiness free from all extremes & middle is the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths [U2T]. They have no real dependent origination / birth, duration / evolution / change, cessation / death.)

But in what way are they empty [T2]? The root text continues,

  1. False appearances are groundless Just like optical illusions. They are rootless and without true features of their own. When examined, they are empty [T2]; They have no being [T2] and yet seem to be [T1] [U2T]. It should be understood: Their primordial nature is to be unborn. (No real dependent origination, duration, cessation)

Samsaric phenomena appear like tricks of sight; they do not have any true characteristics of their own. When they are examined, they are empty; they are none other than the mere subjective experience of one’s mind. And this condition of theirs is their primordial state. This primordial state is the emptiness of phenomena—the fact that, while they appear within the self-cognizing mind, they have no existence from their own side. It does not mean that phenomena are investigated as to their past. Therefore, everything that appears is just the subjective experience of one’s own mind. It is like a trick of sight. Everything should be understood as the mind’s radiant display, which has no existence within awareness, the fundamental nature. As it is said in the Ornament of the Light of Wisdom, “Manjuśrī, an optical illusion is perceived even though it has no intrinsic being. Likewise, all phenomena are perceived and yet have no intrinsic being.”

(i.e. The vast hallucination of saṃsāra manifests because of ignorance.)

Within the nature [of the mind], which is rootless, and because of subtle ignorance, which is difficult to discern, hallucinatory appearances arise [T1] ever more vividly and extensively.

  1. Just as in the middle of a desert plain A small thing seen from far away May yet seem vast in size, From just a slight attachment To a self in that which has no self, The vast hallucination of saṃsāra manifests.

When a small thing appears to be great in size, this is a hallucination. For example, in an immense desert and at a distance, a crow may appear to be as big as a yak, and a yak may look as large as a mountain. This impression occurs because the desert is dry and one is in a distressed state, overcome by the heat, and furthermore the object is very far away. It is the same in the case of the appearances of saṃsāra. Because of the subtle ignorance of self-grasping, which is the root, one becomes habituated to conceptual ignorance and to the dualism of apprehending subject and apprehended object. By this means, one provides the cause, and through various actions, one provides the conditions, for the various hallucinatory appearances—of the outer universe and the beings it contains—which pervade the whole infinity of space. All this derives from a subtle root hard to discern. Yet if this same root is examined, it is found to be the utterly pure nature of the mind, which is itself rootless.

(i.e. The true nature of Reality as it is / the Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T] is indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed conditioned dualistic conceptual mind(s), beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all limits, beyond all conditioning / karma. It has to be personally spontaneously non-dualistically non-conceptually directly perceived / realised / experienced in the here & now. Because everything is Union of the Two Truth [U2T], then there is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis for any discrimination in absolute terms. So there is nothing to accept / affirm / seek / add / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / subtract / not-do in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively if it helps someone to get closer to the inconceivable liberating Truths: the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths. So, just let everything be! Just be fully present here & now, and directly observe with equalimity the dance of Reality as it is, and directly learn the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is.)

Because the ground and root are subtle, they are hard to discern and cannot be indicated with words [inconceivable]. However, if one leaves the mind alone [without contrivance], it will clarify in the same way that muddy water does when it is left to stand.

  1. When these hallucinations are investigated, They are found to be unreal. When you understand that, just like space, They cannot be removed, Just let them be. And do not cling so foolishly To this world’s real existence— This world that, like a trick of sight, Appears without existing.

No one is able simply to annul an optical illusion. But if the form that triggered the trick of sight in the first place is removed, the optical illusion will no longer occur. In the same way, it is not possible simply to remove the hallucinatory appearances of saṃsāra for the simple reason that they are not actually existent things. On the other hand, it is through halting one’s apprehension and clinging to such appearances that the latter will disappear. When all apprehension or clinging is left to settle in its own nature, all this will be brought to an end. As it is said in one of the sūtras, “How can the duality of apprehender and apprehended remain when all conceptuality collapses?”

(i.e. Since everything is like an inconceivable Union of the Two Truths beyond all dualities, give up partiality and clinging. Everything is like primordially equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete (in the non-dual sense of those terms).)

The root text goes on to show that whatever appears cannot be conceived of, expressed, or found:

  1. The fundamental state of all phenomena Is their primordial condition, pure from the beginning. Do not cling to them; do not conceptualize. Regarding those appearances that have no self-identity That could be recognized, What point is there in getting trapped Within the cage of partiality and clinging? Give up all concern for such phenomena. Understand that what appears Is void of true existence.

Everything within phenomenal existence is like an optical illusion. It appears and yet is devoid of intrinsic being. With regard to the phenomena that appear in the world, one should overcome the partiality of accepting or rejecting them, the assumption of their true existence, and all attachment and aversion and so on. And with regard to the ideas that appear in the tenet systems, one should discard all partisan attitudes in distinguishing between cause and effect, appearance and emptiness, the two truths, and the aggregates, elements, and sense fields. They appear to perception, but if one does not indulge in clinging to them, one will come to the understanding that they are all simply a “vivid, naked, free state of openness.” This is what is meant when one speaks of “the fundamental way of being” of phenomena.

B.3b A Trick-of-Sight-Like Path – Meditation / Conduct –
(i.e. A PATH IN ACCORD WITH THE VIEW / GROUND & RESULT / FRUITION: The Middle Way in everything, including in meditation and conduct. Method: Place your mind in its own nature as it is. And practice to see that all things are like optical illusions, tricks of sight, there but not there, Union of the Two Truths [U2T], beyond all extremes & middle, with no real dependent origination / birth, duration / evolution / change, cessation / death.)

[B3b - A Trick-of-Sight-Like Path – Meditation / Conduct –]

[Jump to TOC]

(i.e. Trick-of-Sight-Like Path / Methods / Adapted skillful means: There is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing Path / Method / Solution to grasp / idealise / adore. Union of the Two Truths (dependent co-origination relative functionality [T1] and emptiness of inherent existence [T2] [U2T]) about all adapted skillful means / virtuous methods used on the Path, which must be more and more in accord with the View / Ground and the Result / Fruition. Those three – View, Path, Fruition – are inseparable, interdependent, in harmony. There is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing solution for all. The skillful means must be adapted to the intended patients; they are conventional / relative / inter-subjective. The solution presented here is from the Dzogchen tradition, and definitively doesn’t fit all.)

(i.e. Place your mind in its own nature as it is. And pray that you will clearly see that all things are like optical illusions, there but not there, Union of the Two Truths [U2T], beyond all extremes & middle, with no real dependent origination / birth, duration / evolution / change, cessation / death.)

This concludes the section on the establishment of the ground. We now turn to the practice of the path.

  1. When you have an understanding That all things are just like tricks of sight, Place your mind in its own nature as it is. Practice the preliminaries previously described, And pray that you will clearly see That all things are like optical illusions.

Understanding that all phenomena are like optical illusions, one should remain in a state of meditative evenness. As a preliminary to this, one should practice guru yoga, as explained above, and one should pray to one’s teacher for help in seeing that everything is like a trick of sight.

(i.e. Train yourself in seeing all things as optical illusions, tricks of sight, there but not there, Union of the Two Truths [U2T].)

The root text continues:

  1. As the main part of the practice,
    Train yourself in seeing all things As optical illusions, tricks of sight.
    Of true existence form is empty; It is like a trick of sight.
    Sound is void of sound; It’s like a trick of sight.
    Smell and taste and touch Are all of them like tricks of sight.
    The mind and mental objects All resemble tricks of sight.
    Everything is void of true existence [T2] [U2T].
    In this understanding leave your mind relaxed And free from grasping, free from false assumption.

The six objects, form and so on; the six organs, the eyes and so on; and the six consciousnesses such as the consciousness of sight—all things, whether they are appearing phenomena or mental designations, are devoid of true existence, just like optical illusions. When one reaches such an understanding, one should settle in a state of meditative evenness free of thoughts and recollections. As it is said in the sūtra, “All thinking is nonvirtuous. It is a virtue to refrain from thinking. When there is no recollection, when there is no cogitation, then it is that one recalls the Buddha.”

(i.e. NIGHT-TIME PRACTICE: Sleep then in the knowledge that all things are tricks of sight. And it is certain, as before, that you will recognize your dreams as dreams.)

The teaching for the night practice is as follows:

  1. Just as in the daytime, Likewise when you go to sleep, Concentrate your mind upon your heart. Sleep then in the knowledge that All things are tricks of sight. And it is certain, as before, That you will recognize your dreams as dreams.

One should first visualize within one’s heart a ball of five-colored light, and finally one should fall asleep in a state that is free of all reference. One will understand that all the things that appear in one’s dreams are nothing but optical illusions. One can then assume different forms in one’s dreams and transform them just as previously described.

B.3c A Trick-of-Sight-Like Result / Fruition
(i.e. RESULT / FRUITION: Transcending (not accepting, not rejecting) all illusions / appearances / conditioning / karma / samsara by directly perceiving / realising / experiencing their true nature & dynamic as pointed by concepts like: the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas [U2T], the Union of the three spheres [U3S], the Union of apparent opposites in any duality / triad / quad / etc. [Uopp], the Middle Way in everything, the Union of the Ground and its manifestations [UGM], and the primordial spontaneity / equality / purity / perfection / divinity / completeness of all dharmas. Obtaining superpowers. Obtaining superpowers. Spontaneous manifestations of enlightened qualities, the five wisdoms, the inseparable three pure kayas. – Awakening without awakening from the Trick of Sight of apparent reality to the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is / Ground / Suchness / U2T. – Delusions of accepting and rejecting all collapse.)

[B3c - A Trick-of-Sight-Like Result / Fruition]

[Jump to TOC]

(i.e. Trick-of-Sight-Like Result / Fruition: There is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing Result / Fruition / Buddhahood to grasp / idealise / adore. Union of the Two Truths (dependent co-origination relative functionality [T1] and emptiness of inherent existence [T2] [U2T]) about the milestones & final results. There is no real person really reaching a real enlightenment. Those are mere pointers to the inconceivable beyond the three spheres, beyond causality / production. Just like fingers pointing at the moon, not the moon itself. With enlightenment that is not a real enlightenment, all subtle concepts / views / grounds, adapted skillful means /  virtuous methods and goals used on the path are all transcended by becoming fully aware of their true nature & dynamic as it is.)

(i.e. )

The results of practice on the path are as follows:

  1. Even the occurrence of experiences and realization Is like a trick of sight. Spontaneously the realization comes That things lack true existence. And in the state of openness Devoid of clinging and fixation, Delusions of accepting and rejecting all collapse. Powers of vision, preternatural clairvoyance, All the qualities of concentration Will be gained. Possessing thus The treasure of the teaching of the Conqueror, You will become the guide of every being. Meditate therefore that everything Is like an optical illusion.

The immediate result of this practice is the realization that all things are like optical illusions, and on the basis of such an understanding, one will have the meditative experience of the collapse of hallucinatory appearance. And this will certainly propel one out of saṃsāra. Meditative concentration will be accomplished and likewise various powers of vision, preternatural clairvoyant knowledge, and various miraculous abilities.

Meditative experience is like smoke, whereas realization is like fire. Realization consists in the assimilation of the fact that the nature of awareness is a state of groundless openness. If one remains without distraction in this realization, the meditative experiences of bliss, luminosity, and no-thought will manifest. Realization is the perfect assimilation of the ultimate status of phenomena. As one grows accustomed to this state, one experiences in one’s body and mind the signs of “warmth,” 95 and this is referred to as meditative experience.

As for the ultimate result of this practice, it is through the full understanding of phenomena as tricks of sight that one comes to the realization of their fundamental nature, which is groundless and empty. One is consequently released from saṃsāra and one attains to the state beyond sorrow.

B.3d A Trick-of-Sight-Like Conclusion for Chapter 3
(i.e. CONCLUSION FOR THIS CHAPTER: May all sentient beings awaken from this Trick of Sight. May all sentient beings realise the Trick-of-Sight-like nature of everything, the Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas [U2T]: there but not there.  And thus be liberated from all their illusions / conditioning / karma / grasping / fixation / fear / indifference. – May beings come to perfect peace within the vast and unoriginate expanse devoid of mind’s elaborations. May others see, as I have done, The way things truly are: Union of the Two Truths free from all extremes & middle.)

[B3d - A Trick-of-Sight-Like Conclusion for Chapter 3]

[Jump to TOC]

In conclusion, Certain that phenomena are empty [T2] forms [T1], Appearing [T1] yet unreal [T2], Non-existent [T2] yet perceptible [T1], May beings come to perfect peace Within the vast and unoriginate expanse Devoid of mind’s elaborations. The dualistic play Of apprehender-apprehended, Like an optical illusion, Teeters on the brink of dissolution. And when hallucinatory appearance— The dark of ignorance—dissolves, The sun of self-arisen luminosity Rises from within. May others see, as I have done, The way things truly are.

Because phenomena in their variety Appear to be, they may seem also not to be. May the deluded clinging To these two alternatives collapse all by itself! Within the state of non-dual evenness, Of utter freedom and transparent openness, May beings all together gain their freedom—all without exception.

This concludes the chapter that is like a trick of sight, a commentary on the third vajra point of Finding Rest in Illusion, a Teaching of the Great Perfection.


B.4 The Chapter that is Like a Mirage [Not coming from anywhere, not going anywhere]
(i.e. )

[B4. The Chapter that is Like a Mirage]

There are four sections:

  1. A Mirage-Like View / Ground

  1. A Mirage-Like Path (Meditation & Conduct)

  2. A Mirage-Like Result / Fruition

  3. A Mirage-Like Conclusion for this Chapter

[Jump to TOC]

(i.e. All things resemble mirages. There but not there.
All things, in both samsara & nirvana, appear [T1] <==> and yet lack intrinsic existence [T2] [U2T - The Mirage-like inconceivable unique unborn unchanging unconditioned unceasing limitless centerless pristine non-dual Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths].
They have no real three stages of becoming: dependent origination / birth / coming, duration / like / lasting, and cessation / death / going.)

NOW IT WILL be shown that just as phenomena are said not to come from anywhere, neither do they depart. They are like mirages.

  1. Here too the Conqueror declared That things resemble mirages. [i.e. Union of the Two Truths [U2T]]
    Listen! I will tell you how this is.

All things in phenomenal existence, both saṃsāra and nirvāṇa, appear [T1] and yet lack intrinsic existence [T2] [U2T]. They are like mirages. As we find in the Middle-Length Prajñāpāramitā, “O Subhūti, since phenomena are primordially free from ‘departing,’ they are like mirages.”

The meaning of this statement will be explained in three sections according to the ground, path, and result.

B.4a A Mirage-Like Ground
(i.e. VIEW / GROUND: Everything is appearing like a mirage [T1], there but not really there [T2] [U2T].
The inconceivable unique unborn unchanging unconditioned unceasing limitless centerless pristine Ground / Basis / Source / True nature of Reality as it is / Suchness is the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas, [U2T] [U3S / U2T-3S] [Uopp / U2T-opp] [UGM / U2T-GM] – free from all extremes & middle, free from all dualistic conceptual proliferations, free from all limits, free from all conditioning / karma. It is the primordial spontaneity / equality / purity / perfection / divinity / completeness of all dharmas. The inseparable three pure kayas. Being aware of this is nirvana, being ignorant of this is samsara.)

[B4a - A Mirage-Like Ground]

[Jump to TOC]

(i.e. A Mirage-Like View / Ground: There is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Primordial-awareness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T] to grasp / idealise / adore. Union of the Two Truths (dependent co-origination relative functionality [T1] and emptiness of inherent existence [T2] [U2T]) about the Ground / Basis / Source / True nature of Reality as it is / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T] itself <==> and its inseparable spontaneous natural manifestations [U2T-2T / U2T-GM / UGM]. – This Ground / True nature / Suchness is inconceivable, unique, unborn, unchanging, unconditioned, unceasing, limitless, centerless, pristine. Beyond all extremes & middle. Not inherently existent, not completely non-existent, not both together, not neither. Not many, not one, not both together, not neither. It is spontaneously present, equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete. So are its inseparable manifestations / appearances then. – No real going.)

(i.e. )

First of all, by means of the view, one will arrive at a clear conviction that the ground is itself like a mirage [T1], devoid of all “departing” [T2] [U2T]

  1. Just as during summer In the middle of the day, Mirages of water appear upon a plain— Through the power of the mind’s ingrained proclivity To apprehend and grasp at self, Saṃsāra’s false appearances Arise just like a mirage.

During the summer, when one is on a wide plain, and the sun is shining and one’s eyes are affected by the heat—when, in other words, there is a connection between the floating vapors and one’s phlegmatic humor—the appearance of a stretch of water appears, even though there is no water there. In the same way, although the nature of awareness is primordially pure, it happens that through a subtle thought of self and the radiance of awareness appearing as sense objects, there occurs upon the “even plain of emptiness” hallucinatory appearances similar to the water seen in a mirage. And consequently one wanders in the six migrations of the three worlds. Nevertheless, it is important to understand that they are like mere reflections without any existence of their own. They do not exist even though they clearly appear.

(i.e. )

The root text then goes on to show that in the very moment that phenomena are perceived, they are devoid of intrinsic being.

  1. There is no way to grasp at their identity. They are beyond dichotomies. They are empty [T2]; All descriptive terms subside. Unborn, they are like space; They have no being of their own. Understand that they are unoriginate, That they transcend all thought.

If one examines the infinitesimal particles, directional location, color, shape, and so on, of whatever appears, one will conclude that outer and inner phenomena are like space. The noble sūtra Lamp of the Three Jewels declares that “Phenomena are like the Sugata.”

(i.e. )

Since phenomena are empty [T2] in the very moment that they appear, the root text goes on to declare that they are devoid of intrinsic being.

  1. In the very moment they appear, Things seem to have beginnings, And yet, like mirages, they have no origin. It seems that they remain, Yet like a mirage, they have no abiding. They also seem to cease, And yet, like mirages, they do not cease. Understand therefore That, though they do appear, They are without intrinsic being. They are without intrinsic being

In the very moment that phenomena appear in all their variety, they have no real existence of their own. The outer universe is formed; plants and so forth grow therein; beings—the living content of the universe—are born and give rise to thought. But in the very moment that all these things seem to arise, they are devoid of origin, because the objects that come into being and the experience of arising itself do not exist in the nature of awareness. Likewise, in the very moment that phenomena seem to remain in existence as solid entities, there is neither the act of remaining nor indeed anything that remains. Finally, in the very moment that the universe seems to be evacuated and destroyed, and the minds of beings seem to vanish, the universe does not cease, and neither do the minds of beings. It should be understood therefore that, like the water seen in a mirage, phenomena appear and yet are devoid of intrinsic being.

B.4b A Mirage-Like Path – Meditation / Conduct –
(i.e. A PATH IN ACCORD WITH THE VIEW / GROUND & RESULT / FRUITION: The Middle Way in everything, including in meditation and conduct. Method: )

[B4b - A Mirage-Like Path – Meditation / Conduct –]

[Jump to TOC]

(i.e. Mirage-Like Path / Methods / Adapted skillful means: There is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing Path / Method / Solution to grasp / idealise / adore. Union of the Two Truths (dependent co-origination relative functionality [T1] and emptiness of inherent existence [T2] [U2T]) about all adapted skillful means / virtuous methods used on the Path, which must be more and more in accord with the View / Ground and the Result / Fruition. Those three – View, Path, Fruition – are inseparable, interdependent, in harmony. There is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing solution for all. The skillful means must be adapted to the intended patients; they are conventional / relative / inter-subjective. The solution presented here is from the Dzogchen tradition, and definitively doesn’t fit all.)

(i.e. )

When this view has been understood, it should be reflected in one’s personal behavior.

  1. All joy and sorrow, pleasure, pain, all good and ill Are just like mirages—all empty [T2], without self. All things within phenomenal existence— Outer, inner—all resemble mirages. Non-existent, they appear and are perceived. Understand that from the outset They are by their nature pure. No center do they have, no limit; They are primordially empty [T2].

All outer and inner phenomena are devoid of intrinsic being. This being so, all friends and enemies, all that one accepts or else rejects, should be brought onto the path as being similar to mirages that naturally subside. It should be understood that from the very first, they are nothing but the manifestation of the radiance of emptiness.

(i.e. )

Consequently,

  1. To apprehend duality where there is no duality Is like looking at a mirage [Uopp]. Do not let yourself be caught by clinging, By taking or rejecting what has no reality. Watch your mind, Itself not different from a mirage. This is the wisdom of the Conquerors Past, present, and to come.

To cling in the ordinary way to oneself and others, accepting or rejecting accordingly, is quite simply absurd. For phenomena are like mirages: they have no intrinsic reality even though they appear. As it is said in the sūtra the Ornament of the Light of Wisdom, “A mirage, O Mañjuśrī, appears but is unreal. Likewise phenomena appear but are unreal.”

(i.e. )

Concerning the practice on the path, the root text goes on to say

  1. Then, according to the stages of meditative practice, Begin with the preliminaries as previously explained, And pray that you may see all things as mirages.

One should practice guru yoga as before, invoking the teacher and praying especially for success in seeing that all things are mirage-like.

(i.e. )

Then,

  1. As for the main practice, tell yourself That all things are like mirages. And then stay free from hopes and fears, From all engagement with the thoughts Occurring in your mind. At night, approach your dreams as previously described, And they will all arise [T1] as mirages.

Bearing in mind that whatever occurs in the course of the day is just a mirage and does not really exist, one should be relaxed without being carried away by the mind’s proliferation outward, and without the mind’s becoming engaged with inner preoccupations or withdrawing one-pointedly within. One should continually maintain the recognition that everything is but the radiance of awareness. At night, one should lie down as previously described and fall asleep visualizing just the central channel. By this means, mirage-like dreams will be recognized for what they are, and one will be able to assume many forms in the course of them, transforming them at will. And even when sleeping, one will be aware of all the sights and sounds occurring in one’s vicinity. Innumerable visions will occur—smoke, mirages, fireflies, and so on.

B4c A Mirage-Like Result / Fruition
(i.e. RESULT / FRUITION: Transcending (not accepting, not rejecting) all illusions / appearances / conditioning / karma / samsara by directly perceiving / realising / experiencing their true nature & dynamic as pointed by concepts like: the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas [U2T], the Union of the three spheres [U3S], the Union of apparent opposites in any duality / triad / quad / etc. [Uopp], the Middle Way in everything, the Union of the Ground and its manifestations [UGM], and the primordial spontaneity / equality / purity / perfection / divinity / completeness of all dharmas. Obtaining superpowers. Obtaining superpowers. Spontaneous manifestations of enlightened qualities, the five wisdoms, the inseparable three pure kayas. – Awakening without awakening from the Mirage of apparent reality to the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is / Ground / Suchness / U2T. – …)

[B4c - A Mirage-Like Result / Fruition]

[Jump to TOC]

(i.e. Mirage-Like Result / Fruition: There is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing Result / Fruition / Buddhahood to grasp / idealise / adore. Union of the Two Truths (dependent co-origination relative functionality [T1] and emptiness of inherent existence [T2] [U2T]) about the milestones & final results. There is no real person really reaching a real enlightenment. Those are mere pointers to the inconceivable beyond the three spheres, beyond causality / production. Just like fingers pointing at the moon, not the moon itself. With enlightenment that is not a real enlightenment, all subtle concepts / views / grounds, adapted skillful means /  virtuous methods and goals used on the path are all transcended by becoming fully aware of their true nature & dynamic as it is.)

(i.e. )

As for the result of the practice, the root text says,

  1. Belief in real existence, clinging to a self Will naturally subside. Dhāraṇī clouds, clairvoyance, concentration— All will burgeon from within. The enlightened state will swiftly be attained. Therefore meditate that everything Is by its nature like a mirage.

The immediate result of this practice is that, through understanding that all phenomena are like mirages, one will experience neither desire nor aversion for them, and one will acquire the power of dhāraṇī, concentration, powers of vision, and all kinds of preternatural knowledge.

The dhāraṇī or power of memory is so called because it consists in an unforgetting recollection whereby one retains all the words and meanings of the teaching.

Concentration is a one-pointed state of awareness, limpid and clear. It is also a state of meditative evenness that may be focused on any object.

Powers of vision consist, for example, in the ability to perceive whatever is impeded from sight. Clairvoyance or preternatural knowledge is the knowledge of one’s previous existences and so on; it is the preternatural perception of anything at all.

B.4d A Mirage-Like Conclusion for Chapter 3
(i.e. CONCLUSION FOR THIS CHAPTER: May all sentient beings awaken from this Mirage. May all sentient beings realise the Mirage-like nature of everything, the Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas [U2T]: there but not there. And thus be liberated from all their illusions / conditioning / karma / grasping / fixation / fear / indifference.)

[B4d - A Mirage-Like Conclusion for Chapter 4]

[Jump to TOC]

In conclusion, Born from the great ocean Of the qualities of perfect freedom, Chief of holy beings residing in the fields Of fathomless immensity, O mighty Lord who go in bliss, The source and wellspring of all happiness, May we become like you And quaff the draft of immortality. Upon the precious ground of a pure field, Within a palace measureless, of ravishing delight, The Dharma’s drum resounds. May those of pure and limpid mind Behold this place of Amitābha, Boundless Light. Things that appear in their variety Are by their very nature pure. May we discern their unborn empty [T2] nature And, annulling in a single stroke The false hallucinations of saṃsāra, May we come to spotless peace, The state beyond all sorrow!

This concludes the chapter that is like a mirage, a commentary on the fourth vajra point of Finding Rest in Illusion, a Teaching of the Great Perfection.


B.5 The Chapter that is Like the Moon’s Reflection on the Water [they do appear even though they have no intrinsic existence]
(i.e. )

[B5. The Chapter that is Like the Moon’s Reflection on the Water]

There are four sections:

  1. A Reflection-Like View / Ground

  1. A Reflection-Like Path (Meditation & Conduct)

  2. A Reflection-Like Result / Fruition

  3. A Reflection-Like Conclusion for this Chapter

[Jump to TOC]

(i.e. Everything is like the moon’s reflection on the water. There but not there.
They do appear [T1] <==> even though they have no intrinsic existence [T2] [U2T - The Reflection-like inconceivable unique unborn unchanging unconditioned unceasing limitless centerless pristine non-dual Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths].
They have no real three stages of becoming: dependent origination / beginning / birth / coming, duration / middle / life / lasting, and cessation / ending / death / going.
They have no three times: before / past, during / present, after / future.)

HAVING SHOWN IN this way that phenomena do not come and do not go, it is now time to discuss the aspect of their appearance, showing how, like the moon reflected in water, they do appear [T1] even though they have no intrinsic existence [T2] [U2T].

  1. Furthermore, the Victor has declared that
    everything Is like the moon’s reflection on the water. [i.e. Union of the Two Truths [U2T]]
    This now I shall explain That you may put this teaching into practice

All the phenomena of saṃsāra and nirvāṇa may be perceived. They are not nothing 98 but are like the moon reflected in water. The Middle-Length Prajñāpāramitā-sūtra says, “O Subhūti, phenomena appear; they are not nothing. They are like the moon reflected on the water.”

The implementation of this teaching will be described under the three headings of ground, path, and result.

B.5a A Reflection-Like Ground
(i.e. VIEW / GROUND: Everything is appearing like a reflection [T1], there but not really there [T2] [U2T].
The inconceivable unique unborn unchanging unconditioned unceasing limitless centerless pristine Ground / Basis / Source / True nature of Reality as it is / Suchness is the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas, [U2T] [U3S / U2T-3S] [Uopp / U2T-opp] [UGM / U2T-GM] – free from all extremes & middle, free from all dualistic conceptual proliferations, free from all limits, free from all conditioning / karma. It is the primordial spontaneity / equality / purity / perfection / divinity / completeness of all dharmas. The inseparable three pure kayas. Being aware of this is nirvana, being ignorant of this is samsara.)

[B5a - A Reflection-Like Ground]

[Jump to TOC]

(i.e. A Reflection-Like View / Ground: There is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Primordial-awareness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T] to grasp / idealise / adore. Union of the Two Truths (dependent co-origination relative functionality [T1] and emptiness of inherent existence [T2] [U2T]) about the Ground / Basis / Source / True nature of Reality as it is / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T] itself <==> and its inseparable spontaneous natural manifestations [U2T-2T / U2T-GM / UGM]. – This Ground / True nature / Suchness is inconceivable, unique, unborn, unchanging, unconditioned, unceasing, limitless, centerless, pristine. Beyond all extremes & middle. Not inherently existent, not completely non-existent, not both together, not neither. Not many, not one, not both together, not neither. It is spontaneously present, equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete. So are its inseparable manifestations / appearances then. –)

(i.e. )

First, we will consider the ground, which appears [T1] while lacking intrinsic being [T2] [U2T].

  1. In the heart of the profound and limpid sea, The nature of the mind, The image of spontaneous presence, Primordially arisen [T1] , does indeed abide. And yet through the turbidity Stirred up by waves of dualistic clinging, This presence is not clear, Disturbed by winds of thought. Worldly beings manifest Through ignorance and ego-grasping. Ignorant, defiled, they do not see primordial wisdom; They sink in endless and beginningless saṃsāra.

The nature of the mind is like a pure ocean. Within this support for the kāyas, which are inseparable from the wisdoms, are found the attributes of enlightenment as numerous as the grains of sand in the Ganges. They are present of themselves primordially. Nevertheless, with coemergent ignorance as the cause, and with conceptual ignorance stirring up the waves of dualistic clinging, the perfect qualities of the ultimate expanse, the luminous reflections of the stars and planets, do not appear. Instead, because of karma and defilement, there manifest all sorts of hallucinatory appearances, and as a result beings go turning in saṃsāra.

(i.e. )

To show that this manifold, hallucinatory display is like the moon reflected in water, the root text continues:

  1. Just as in unsullied water Bright unmoving forms of stars and planets, Though not really there, are nonetheless perceived, Within the water of the mind The forms that have arisen [T1] , Images of false appearances, Though non-existent, are perceived. And beings are tormented.

Just as in a pool of clear water the reflections of the stars and planets appear, likewise, within the clear water of the mind, and through the doors of the limpid sense powers, outer and inner phenomena (form and the other five sense objects) appear in the manner of reflections. But the mind is deluded and takes such objects to be really existing. In the terms of the comparison, the mind and the sense powers are like the pure water, whereas the appearance of the sense objects—which are the awakening of the habitual tendencies stored in the mind from time without beginning—are represented by the stars and planets. These sense objects are neither the mind nor something other than the mind. Manifesting in the manner of reflected images, appearing objects come before the dualistically oriented mind. And reacting to them with craving and aversion, as things to be accepted or rejected, beings are caught thereby.

This teaches us that the [seemingly extramental] appearing objects of perception, the solidification of habitual tendencies, appear as secondary images to the sense faculties lodged within the five sense doors. If they are not grasped by the mental consciousness, one is not defiled.

(i.e. )

Since the universe and beings are surely understood to be like the reflection of the moon in the water, their lack of intrinsic being is proclaimed.

  1. What are they, these appearances? They are not actual entities— There is no grasping them. They do not have, nor do they lack, Specific character. Not existent nor yet non-existent, They transcend extremes of truth and falsity. This then is the meaning When it’s said that they are like reflections.

When all phenomenal appearances are understood in terms of the example of the moon reflected in the water, one will see that all such things do not exist even at the level of infinitesimal particles. They are empty forms. It will be understood that they cannot be established as either entities or nonentities, as either existent or nonexistent, as either true or false. One will laugh to think how amazing phenomena are—and how different they are from the way they seemed to be in the past. And realizing now that though such things are perceived, they are devoid of intrinsic being, one will have the highest respect for the Lord Buddha. As it is said in the Supreme Essence, “Because phenomena are empty by their nature, they are like the reflection of the moon in water.”

(i.e. )

The root text goes on to make the same point:

  1. The six sense objects, form and all the rest, Are like the moon’s reflection in the water, For they appear although they are not there. They do not have intrinsic being And yet appear unceasingly to those who are deluded. The eye itself, the visual sense, and visual consciousness— And equally for all the six sensorial gatherings— Are just like this same water moon: Empty, hollow, false, deceptive. Devoid of an essential core, They’re like the plantain tree. In every aspect, you should understand, They are devoid of true existence.

The six sense objects (form and so on), the six sense doors (the eyes and so on), the six sense faculties (the visual receptor and so on), and the six sense consciousnesses (of sight and so on) are all said to be as unreal as the moon reflected in the water. Why is this? It is because they are mere appearances; they are without any being of their own; they appear unceasingly; and although they are nonexistent, they arise like hallucinatory visions. Since they are perceived while being nonexistent, they are deceptive; since there are mere reflections, they are hollow; since they appear while being untrue, they are false; and since they are without essential core, they are like the plantain tree. It should be understood that phenomena are a mere display of empty form.

(i.e. )

It is not only phenomena that are like a “water moon.” Even the dharmadhātu, utterly pure awareness, the enlightened mind, defined as self-cognizing primordial wisdom, is without intrinsic being even though it is experienced.

  1. The mind unstained, Unmarred by ontological extremes, Is also like the water moon. Experienced yet empty [T2], It is free of all conceptual constructs. Primal wisdom, non-conceptual, Peaceful and profound, Is utterly ineffable. Know that from the state of luminosity It never stirs.

The moon that is reflected in the water is not a concrete object endowed with specific (efficacious) characteristics. It is neither present nor absent, and yet it is perceived unhindered. In the same way, the pure nature of the mind is not a concrete entity endowed with specific character. It transcends all conceptual extremes of existence and nonexistence. And yet, thanks to the blessings of a teacher, it may be experienced by self-cognizing awareness as the great and unceasing state of emptiness and luminosity.

(i.e. )

The root text then encourages us to remain in the state of suchness beyond ontological extremes:

  1. When the moon appears in water, It is not the actual moon. Just so, when different things appear, They are neither there nor are they absent. Refrain from pondering conventional things Past, present, and to come, And rest in the unaltered state just as it is, Devoid of thoughts.

In the same way that the moon reflected in the water is not the real moon, when phenomena appear in a certain way, it is not in that way that they exist. Therefore, with regard to whatever appears, one should remain in a state uncluttered by any thoughts or ideas concerning it.

(i.e. )

The root text then has this to say about leaving the mind in the unaltered, natural state:

  1. The enlightened mind Is without coming or departing. It is neither outside nor within. Transcending thought, it has no partiality. It is ultimate reality, unlimited and unconfined, Wherein there is no wide or narrow And no high or low. So set aside all anxious search for it.

The indwelling, self-arisen primordial wisdom neither comes nor goes. It is neither outside nor within and is thus inconceivable. One should not try to identify it. Unlimited and unconfined, it is neither vast nor restricted, neither high nor low, and this is why one should avoid getting caught in the cage of intellectual meditation.

(i.e. )

Since all appearances are without intrinsic being, there is no point in examining them.

  1. The primordial state does not exclusively abide Within the state of no-thought. For it is everything, And everything is like a water moon. Saṃsāra and nirvāṇa are equally the same: They are not truly real, nor are they false. Settle your mind unaltered in its ultimate condition.

Since whatever appears transcends all ontological extremes, saṃsāra and nirvāṇa are equal. One should not purposefully meditate on their emptiness. Instead, one should understand this point in accordance with the sūtras. As the Ornament of the Light of Wisdom stipulates, “O Manjuśrī, the moon reflected in the water appears and yet it lacks intrinsic being. Phenomena also appear and yet are lacking in intrinsic being.”

(i.e. )

The root text goes on to advise us to refrain from mental assumptions and from clinging to ontological extremes:

  1. Phenomenal existence, saṃsāra and nirvāṇa— All is but an empty [T2] form. It is just like the moon reflected in a pool— Primordially empty [T2], spontaneously empty [T2], Empty by its nature from the very outset. It is an error to believe That it’s existent or is non-existent. Do not subscribe therefore To any of the different, biased views of tenet systems.

Since they are groundless, phenomena are primordially empty. Since they are devoid of intrinsic being, they are spontaneously, naturally empty. Since they are without real characteristics, they are by nature empty from the very outset. And in their emptiness they are all equal. It serves no purpose to evaluate them according to different one-sided and partial tenet systems, in terms of their existence, authenticity, level, or any other criterion. One should be able to affirm that they are all like space, free from ontological extremes.

(i.e. )

What is the difference between the presence and the absence of realization?

  1. As long as there is strong attachment to the self, There’s no escaping from saṃsāra. The natural mind is uncontrived, A spontaneous flow in which there is no clinging— A bare, primordial flow, Spontaneous openness and freedom, An immensity unbounded— What need is there to alter such a nature?

If there is even the slightest apprehension of, and clinging to, anything as being “this” or “that,” one continues to be trapped in the samsaric state.

The natural flow of awareness, free of clinging, manifests as a vast and open immensity. It is the spontaneous flow of the nature of the mind.

(i.e. )

Let us then be clearly decided, the root text says, that this is the state of the Great Perfection:

  1. When objects of the senses, Empty from their side, Appear like moons reflected in the water; When the mind is likewise empty [T2] Of assumptions and of clinging, The duality of apprehender-apprehended Ceases, is no more. No further link is there between Sense objects and the mind. This is the authentic state, The Great Perfection free from all exertion.

When a state of mind arises that is free of all clinging toward anything, it may be called the spontaneous accomplishment of the Natural Great Perfection.

(i.e. )

Yogis who realize the state of simultaneous purity and equality accomplish in a single stroke all the grounds and paths, and all their activities become the play of the dharmakāya.

  1. All that happens then becomes your helping friend, And great bliss unconfined is present of itself. Knowing this, you have no need to travel on the grounds. For you have gained enlightenment in the primordial ground.

Within awareness, all the grounds and paths are understood to be one and the same. And when awareness is realized as a vast, untrammeled openness, every activity undertaken perfectly embodies the two accumulations. And therefore, the phenomena of saṃsāra and nirvāṇa manifest as the display of a single maṇḍala.

B.5b A Reflection-Like Path – Meditation / Conduct –
(i.e. A PATH IN ACCORD WITH THE VIEW / GROUND & RESULT / FRUITION: The Middle Way in everything, including in meditation and conduct. Method: )

[B5b - A Reflection-Like Path – Meditation / Conduct –]

[Jump to TOC]

(i.e. Reflection-Like Path / Methods / Adapted skillful means: There is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing Path / Method / Solution to grasp / idealise / adore. Union of the Two Truths (dependent co-origination relative functionality [T1] and emptiness of inherent existence [T2] [U2T]) about all adapted skillful means / virtuous methods used on the Path, which must be more and more in accord with the View / Ground and the Result / Fruition. Those three – View, Path, Fruition – are inseparable, interdependent, in harmony. There is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing solution for all. The skillful means must be adapted to the intended patients; they are conventional / relative / inter-subjective. The solution presented here is from the Dzogchen tradition, and definitively doesn’t fit all.)

(i.e. )

The stages of the path are now explained:

  1. To stay within that state when this is understood Is meditation that resembles an unmoving water moon. Therefore, you who are so fortunate, Habituate yourselves to seeing All that manifests As untrue, as elusive and intangible.

All sense objects, which are perceived even though they have no intrinsic being, are like the moon reflected in the water. When one reaches an understanding that this is so, one should leave one’s mind in a state of meditative evenness, in a state of no-thought, free from any conceptual constructions of one and many.

(i.e. )

As for the way to meditate, the root text goes on to say,

  1. As before, first practice the preliminaries And pray to see all things Like moons reflected in the water. And then the main part is to think That everything you actually perceive Is exactly like the moon’s reflection And to place your mind in even meditation.

As previously, one should practice guru yoga, and with strong devotion pray to one’s teacher that one might be able to realize that all things are as insubstantial as the moon’s reflection—appearing without really existing. And as one ponders that everything is like this, one should, without thinking of anything else, settle in a state of meditative evenness. All things will thus manifest as mere appearances, empty and nonexistent. And in due course, even this will fade away and one will taste of a condition that is free of all mental focus.

When one is one-pointedly and without distraction focused on a support for concentration (such as the reflection of the moon in water), if thoughts carry one away to some other thing, one should, with mindfulness, immediately steady one’s attention and return to one’s meditation on the water moon.

At that time, when the mind remains inwardly still and the body-mind is blissful and well tuned, defilements do not arise and thoughts do not spread out to the objects of the senses—even though sensorial appearances are not stopped. Thus one attains a kind of concentration endowed with a wisdom that perfectly discerns objects.

The perfect discernment of objects is not incompatible with the nonproliferation of thought. Thought is the mind that moves [outward] toward an object, whereas thought-free wisdom understands an object inwardly and instantly. This state is associated with a self-illuminating concentration. The difference between these two states lies in an outward or an inward orientation and whether or not they are associated with nonconceptual concentration. This is a point of the highest importance.

(i.e. )

Then, as the root text goes on to say,

  1. In the nighttime, practice as before. The only difference lies in your regarding Dreams as water moons. Stay within a state where there’s no clinging, Where everything is equal.

One should fall asleep while meditating that the central channel is filled with five-colored light. In this way, one will recognize one’s dreams as being as insubstantial as the reflection of the moon in water, and one will be able to assume within the dream state various forms, transforming them at will. A meditative experience will occur in which all appearances will seem completely transparent, insubstantial, offering not the slightest resistance

B5c A Reflection-Like Result / Fruition
(i.e. RESULT / FRUITION: Transcending (not accepting, not rejecting) all illusions / appearances / conditioning / karma / samsara by directly perceiving / realising / experiencing their true nature & dynamic as pointed by concepts like: the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas [U2T], the Union of the three spheres [U3S], the Union of apparent opposites in any duality / triad / quad / etc. [Uopp], the Middle Way in everything, the Union of the Ground and its manifestations [UGM], and the primordial spontaneity / equality / purity / perfection / divinity / completeness of all dharmas. Obtaining superpowers. Obtaining superpowers. Spontaneous manifestations of enlightened qualities, the five wisdoms, the inseparable three pure kayas. Awakening without awakening from the Relection of apparent reality to the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is / Ground / Suchness / U2T. – …)

[B5c - A Reflection-Like Result / Fruition]

[Jump to TOC]

(i.e. Reflection-Like Result / Fruition: There is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing Result / Fruition / Buddhahood to grasp / idealise / adore. Union of the Two Truths (dependent co-origination relative functionality [T1] and emptiness of inherent existence [T2] [U2T]) about the milestones & final results. There is no real person really reaching a real enlightenment. Those are mere pointers to the inconceivable beyond the three spheres, beyond causality / production. Just like fingers pointing at the moon, not the moon itself. With enlightenment that is not a real enlightenment, all subtle concepts / views / grounds, adapted skillful means /  virtuous methods and goals used on the path are all transcended by becoming fully aware of their true nature & dynamic as it is.)

(i.e. )

As for the result of this meditation, the root text says,

  1. Swiftly you will gain the everlasting realm, The nature of the mind. Whatever you perceive, You will not grasp at it as real, as this or that. And luminosity will manifest As clear and limpid as the moon reflected on the water. O you who are endowed with perfect fortune, Meditate upon this well.

In the immediate term, since clinging to the real existence of what appears has been undermined, all acceptance and rejection with regard to it fades naturally away. The appearances themselves are regarded as being [no more real than] a moon reflected in the water, and a limpid concentration free from conceptual activity manifests accordingly in all one’s daily behavior. It is thus that the states of meditation and postmeditation blend together in the experience of luminosity. Seeing the infinitesimal particles of one’s body, one gains the powers of vision and preternatural knowledge, and finally one accomplishes the dharmakāya.

B.5d A Reflection-Like Conclusion for Chapter 3
(i.e. CONCLUSION FOR THIS CHAPTER: May all sentient beings awaken from this Moon’s Reflection on the Water. May all sentient beings realise the Reflection-like nature of everything, the Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas [U2T]: there but not there. And thus be liberated from all their illusions / conditioning / karma / grasping / fixation / fear / indifference.)

[B5d - A Reflection-Like Conclusion for Chapter 5]

[Jump to TOC]

In conclusion, All things are by their nature pure primordially, Unreal and yet apparent like the moon reflected in the water. Understanding this, and crossing thus The sea of dualistic clinging, May we reach the precious shore of perfect freedom. Developing our strength through realization Of the emptiness [T2] endowed with supreme qualities, And shooting then the dart of wisdom With the strong bow of our concentration, May we utterly destroy Our ignorance and our defilements And bring to naught the onslaught of saṃsāra. May the hare-marked moon, the qualities of perfect virtue, Bathe with light the mind streams of all wandering beings. May it dispel the gloom of ignorance, The night of their existence, And open the white jasmine flowers— The dharmatā, the nature of phenomena.

This concludes the chapter that is like the moon reflected in the water, a commentary on the fifth vajra point of Finding Rest in Illusion, a Teaching of the Great Perfection.


Continuation in Part III:
Finding Rest in Illusion by Longchenpa - Part III - 175
https://www.gilehtblog.com/2021/12/finding-rest-in-illusion-part-iii.html


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