Saturday, December 11, 2021

Finding rest in illusion - Longchenpa - Part I - 173

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

Finding Rest in Illusion by Longchenpa - Part I - 173

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


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Brief Table of Content

  • A. Prologue

  • B. The Body of the Treatise - Eight Vajra Points

    • B1. The Chapter that is Like a Dream [27]

      • B1a - A Dream-Like View / Ground

      • B1b - A Dream-Like Path (Meditation & Conduct)

      • B1b - A Dream-Like Result / Fruition

      • B1d - A Dream-Like Conclusion for this Chapter

    • B2. The Chapter that is Like a Magical Illusion [29]

      • B2a - A Magical-Like View / Ground

        • B2a-i - Everything is like Magical Illusions

        • B.2a-ii Magical-like four stages of illusion: Ground, Emergence of illusions / samsara, Path, Fruition / nirvana

        • B2a-iii - Magical-Like Dependent Origination / Causality / Karmic cycle

        • B2a-iv - Three Kinds of Illusions

      • B2b - A Magical-Like Path (Meditation & Conduct)

      • B2b - A Magical-Like Result / Fruition

      • B2d - A Magical-Like Conclusion for this Chapter

    • B3. The Chapter that is Like a Trick of Sight   / Visual aberration /  Optical illusion [12] ⇐ In Part II

      • B3a - A Trick-of-Sight-Like View / Ground

      • B3b - A Trick-of-Sight-Like Path (Meditation & Conduct)

      • B3b - A Trick-of-Sight-Like Result / Fruition

      • B3d - A Trick-of-Sight-Like Conclusion for this Chapter

    • B4. The Chapter that is Like a Mirage [9]

      • B4a - A Mirage-Like View / Ground

      • B4b - A Mirage-Like Path (Meditation & Conduct)

      • B4b - A Mirage-Like Result / Fruition

      • B4d - A Mirage-Like Conclusion for this Chapter

    • B5. The Chapter that is Like the Moon’s Reflection in Water [17]

      • B5a - A Reflection-Like View / Ground

      • B5b - A Reflection-Like Path (Meditation & Conduct)

      • B5b - A Reflection-Like Result / Fruition

      • B5d - A Reflection-Like Conclusion for this Chapter

    • B6. The Chapter that is Like an Echo [13] ⇐ In Part II

      • B6a - An Echo-Like View / Ground

      • B6b - An Echo-Like Path (Meditation & Conduct)

      • B6b - An Echo-Like Result / Fruition

      • B6d - An Echo-Like Conclusion for this Chapter

    • B7. The Chapter that is Like a City of Gandharvas [14]

      • B7a - A Castle-in-the-Clouds-Like View / Ground

      • B7b - A Castle-in-the-Clouds-Like Path (Meditation & Conduct)

      • B7b - A Castle-in-the-Clouds-Like Result / Fruition

      • B7d - A Castle-in-the-Clouds-Like Conclusion for this Chapter

    • B8. The Chapter that is Like an Emanated Apparition [32]

      • B8a - An Apparition-Like View / Ground

      • B8b - An Apparition-Like Path (Meditation & Conduct)

      • B8b - An Apparition-Like Result / Fruition

      • B8d - An Apparition-Like Conclusion for this Chapter

  • C. Conclusion [11]


Résumé

(i.e. Everything is like dreams / magical illusions / tricks of the sight / mirages / reflections / echos / Cities of Gandharvas / emanated apparitions. ‘Like those’ but not exactly the same. Ex. When seeing a ‘mirage’, an oasis in the distance, we cannot do anything about it, and we don't have to do anything about it. But when we see ‘a bus coming down the road’ we can do something about it, we must do something about it. So it is ‘like a mirage’, but not really a mirage, and not really something inherently existing, independent of our mind. And it is not completely from our mind, it is like an emanated illusion, but not exactly like one.)

  1. Prologue (i.e. All things appear [T1] and yet they do not really exist [T2] [Union of the Two Truths / U2T]. Like dreams, magical illusions, tricks of the sight, mirages, reflections, echos, Cities of Gandharvas, emanated apparitions. Everything is like that. That is the only thing that is unfabricated, unconditioned, unchanging, unceasing / permanent in the whole Universe and beyond. That is the Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness of everything / all dharmas. It is the true nature of Reality as it is, the true nature of our own body, speech & mind. The inconceivable Union of the Two Truths [U2T]. That is what we need to understand and then get total conviction by directly perceiving / realising / experiencing it. It is also called empty-awareness, primordial-awareness, enlightened-mind. That is one way to directly experience it.)

  2. The Body of the Treatise - Eight Vajra Points (i.e. RÉSUMÉ OF ALL SECTIONS ABOUT THE GROUND, WHAT WE HAVE TO DIRECTLY PERCEIVE / REALISE / EXPERIENCE: The true nature of all dharmas – including the three spheres of any relation / action (ex. i. subject / mind / cause / perceiver / knower / apprehender, ii. relation / action / causality / perception / cognition / apprehension, iii. object / phenomena / effect / perceived / known / apprehended), including apparent opposites of any duality / triad / quad / etc. (ex. movement and rest), including the two truths themselves, including the Ground and its inseparable manifestations, including samsara & nirvana, including the three stages of becoming, including the three times, including the three kayas – is like an inconceivable Union of being conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T2], merely labelled / imputed by the mind in dependence of its conditioning / karma, not completely non-existent <==> and being empty of inherent existence [T2], not really existent – like dreams / magical illusions / tricks of the sight / mirages / reflections / echos / Cities of Gandharvas / emanated apparitions. One aspect / truth implies / proves the other (<==>) [U2T - The illusory-like inconceivable unique unborn unchanging unconditioned unceasing limitless centerless pristine non-dual Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths].
    All dharmas are inseparable spontaneous natural manifestations of this Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T]. This is the Union of the Ground and its manifestations [UGM].
    Apparent opposites – like good vs. bad, the three spheres, the two truths, the Ground and its manifestation – are not really in opposition, but are more like insparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, non-dual, in harmony. This is the Union of apparent opposites [Uopp].
    [Using the tetralemma:] All dharmas are not inherently existent, not completely non-existent, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not different / separate / many / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not equal / pure / perfect / divine / complete, not unequal / impure / imperfect / incomplete, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not dependent / interdependent / caused / produced, not independent / uncaused / unproduced, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not empty, not non-empty, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not dependently arisen & relatively functional [T1], not empty of inherent existence [T2], not both together [2T], not neither [1T], and there is no fifth; not purely objective, not purely subjective, not purely relational / action / process, not a combination of them, not none of them, and there is no other possibility; not with origination/beginning /birth/coming & duration/middle /life/lasting & cessation/ending /death/going, not without origination/beginning /birth/coming & duration/middle /life/lasting & cessation/ending /death/going, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not with past/before & present/during & future/after, not without past/before & present/during & future/after, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not changing / evolving, not non-changing / non-evolving, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not real, not illusory, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not describable / conceivable, not indescribable / inconceivable, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not this, not non-this, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; etc.
    Meaning their true nature (Ground / Suchness / U2T) is indescribable / inconceivable (in absolute terms) for our flawed conditioned dualistic conceptual mind(s), beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all limits, beyond all conditioning / karma; beyond all description / conceptualisation, discrimination / differentiation, causality / production, matter-energy, space & time.
    So there is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis for any discrimination / differentiation in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively.
    And 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 get closer to the inconceivable liberation Truth: the Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas [U2T], the Union of the three spheres [U3S / U2T-3S], the Union of apparent opposites [Uopp / U2T-opp], the Middle Way in everything, the tetralemma, the primordial spontaneity / equality / purity / perfection / divinity / completeness of all dharmas.
    It may look complicated but all of this can be resumed into one thing: The Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas. Everything else, all these words, is just to help us to stay away from all possible extremes & middle, and create enough room for a possible inconceivable spontaneous individual non-dualistic non-conceptual direct perception / realisation / experience of the true nature of Reality as it is here & now: U2T.)

  1. The Chapter that is Like a Dream (i.e. All phenomena are dreamlike in the sense that they appear [T1] <==> even though they have no intrinsic being [T2] [U2T - The Dream-like inconceivable unique unborn unchanging unconditioned unceasing limitless centerless pristine non-dual Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths].)

    1. A Dream-Like View / Ground (i.e. VIEW / GROUND: Everything is appearing like a dream [T1], 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.)

    2. A Dream-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: Presence / Direct impartial observation of the true nature & dynamic of the three spheres here & now. Gradually realising the true nature & dynamic of the three spheres – subject / mind, relation / action, object / phenomena – in all activities. That they are all like a dream. They are all like an inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres [U2T-3S]. Gradually merging subject, object & action into a unique Ground / Suchness / U2T. Complementary method: Lucid dreams, recognizing that everything is like a dream while dreaming, and then day & night in all activities. Eventually Awakening without awakening from the dream-like nature of all appearances, of samsara.)

    3. A Dream-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. Spontaneous manifestations of enlightened qualities, the five wisdoms, the inseparable three pure kayas. – Awakening without awakening from the Dream of apparent reality to the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is / Ground / Suchness / U2T.)

    4. A Dream-Like Conclusion for this Chapter (i.e. CONCLUSION FOR THIS CHAPTER: May all sentient beings awaken from this Dream. May all sentient beings realise the Dream-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.)

  2. The Chapter that is Like a Magical Illusion (i.e. Everything is appearing like magical illusions, appearing [T1] <==> but still empty of inherent existence [T2] [U2T - The Magical-like inconceivable unique unborn unchanging unconditioned unceasing limitless centerless pristine non-dual Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths]. They are all empty of inherent existence <==> because dependently co-arisen, and vice versa. Thus not really arising / originated, not really existing / lasting / changing, not really ceasing / terminated. Just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively.)

    1. A Magical-Like View / Ground (i.e. VIEW / GROUND: Everything is appearing like magical illusions [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.)

      1. Everything Is Like Magical Illusions: (i.e. Devoid of real dependent origination / birth, duration / change / evolution, cessation / death. Appearing [T1] <==> but still empty of inherent existence [T2] [U2T]. Empty causes, empty effects, empty causality / dependent origination – but still relatively functional. Union of the Two Truths [U2T] about all dharmas. Spontaneous natural manifestations inseparable from the Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths [UGM].)

      2. Magical-Like Four Stages of Illusion: Ground, Emergence Of Illusions / Samsara, Path, Fruition / Nirvana (i.e. They apparently arise from the Ground, they apparently last for a while & evolve, and then they apparently cease, or are liberated. But, in reality there are no real three stages of becoming: origination / beginning / birth / coming, duration / middle / life / change / lasting, cessation / ending / death / going / liberation. Union of the three stages of becoming [U3S]. So, there are no real four stages of illusion: Ground, Emergence of illusions / Samsara, Path and Fruition / Nirvana. Union of Ground <==> Emergence of illusions <==> Path <==> Fruition. They are all empty of inherent existence <==> because interdependent, merely labelled / imputed by the mind.)

      3. Magical-Like Dependent Origination / Causality / Karmic Cycle (i.e. Nothing really originates in dependence (either self-caused, other-caused, both together, or neither), lasts for a while & evolves / changes, and then finally ceases, or is liberated. Everything in both samsara & nirvana is equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete in being spontaneous natural manifestations of the Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas [U2T]. Everything is interdependent [T1] <==> and empty of inherent existence [T2] [U2T]. Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas [U2T].)

      4. Three Kinds of Illusions (i.e. Illusion of samsara, nirvana, and of the Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / U2T itself)

    2. A Magical-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: ex. Developing the Four Immeasurables: loving-kindness, compassion, joy, equanimity. Mindfulness of the Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas [U2T]; Union of the three spheres in all activity [U3S]; Union of apparent opposites [Uopp]; Union of the three stages of becoming [U3S]; Union of the three times [U3T]. Middle Way in all activities.)

    3. A Magical-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. Spontaneous manifestations of enlightened qualities, the five wisdoms, the inseparable three pure kayas. – Awakening without awakening from the Magical show of apparent reality to the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is / Ground / Suchness / U2T. – All reference points, discrimination in absolute terms, grasping, fears, fixations, will dissipate by themselves.)

    4. A Magical-Like Conclusion for this Chapter (i.e. CONCLUSION FOR THIS CHAPTER: May all sentient beings awaken from this Magical Illusion. May all sentient beings realise the Magical-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.)

  3. The Chapter that is Like a Trick of Sight / Visual aberration / Optical illusion (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.)

    1. A Trick-of-Sight-Like View / Ground (i.e. VIEW / GROUND: 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.)

    2. 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.)

    3. 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. 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.)

    4. A Trick-of-Sight-Like Conclusion for this Chapter (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.)

  4. The Chapter that is Like a Mirage (i.e. All things resemble mirages. 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.)

    1. A Mirage-Like View / Ground (i.e. VIEW / GROUND:
      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.)

    2. 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: …)

    3. 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. 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. – …)

    4. A Mirage-Like Conclusion for this Chapter (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. – …)

  5. The Chapter that is Like the Moon’ Reflection on the Water (i.e. Everything is like the moon’s reflection on the water. 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.)

    1. A Reflection-Like View / Ground (i.e. VIEW / GROUND:
      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.)

    2. 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: …)

    3. 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. Spontaneous manifestations of enlightened qualities, the five wisdoms, the inseparable three pure kayas.  – Awakening without awakening from the Reflection of apparent reality to the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is / Ground / Suchness / U2T. –  …)

    4. A Reflection-Like Conclusion for this Chapter (i.e. CONCLUSION FOR THIS CHAPTER: May all sentient beings awaken from this Moon’ 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. – …)

  6. The Chapter that is Like an Echo (i.e. All things are like an echo. All things are not nothing for they nevertheless appear [T1] <==> but they are not permanent because they are not truly existent entities [T2] [U2T - The Echo-like inconceivable unique unborn unchanging unconditioned unceasing limitless centerless pristine non-dual Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths]. They are not permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth.)

    1. An Echo-Like View / Ground (i.e. VIEW / GROUND:
      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. – Like an echo, phenomena / appearances arise each dependent on its particular causes & conditions (ex. dependent on the co-emergent Ground and ignorance) [T1] <==> and are thus empty of inherent existence [T2] [U2T]. Even the two truths themselves. So there is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis for any discrimination / differentiation in absolute terms. So there is nothing to accept and nothing to reject in absolute terms. In that sense everything is primordially spontaneous, equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete. Everything is like the display of the Ground / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T].)

    2. An Echo-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: Preliminaries, then the main practice: Know with a complete conviction: all things – ex. the three spheres, apparent opposites, even the two truths, even the Ground and its inseparable manifestations – are like echos, Union the the Two Truths [U2T]. At all times, day and night, reflect just as before that all appearing things are echos [U2T]: there but not there.)

    3. An Echo-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. Spontaneous manifestations of enlightened qualities, the five wisdoms, the inseparable three pure kayas.  – Awakening without awakening from the Echo of apparent reality to the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is / Ground / Suchness / U2T. – ACCEPTANCE: The fires of hate and wrath and all the habits of beginningless saṃsāra are quenched, and acceptance will manifest from deep within. Even in your dreams you will see everything as echoes.)

    4. An Echo-Like Conclusion for this Chapter (i.e. CONCLUSION FOR THIS CHAPTER: May all sentient beings awaken from this Echo. May all sentient beings realise the Echo-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 all beings …)

  7. The Chapter that is Like a City of Gandharvas [Great Equality] (i.e. All things are like a City of Gandharvas. All things appear [T1] <==> even though they are without intrinsic being [T2] [U2T - The Castle-in-the-Clouds-Like inconceivable unique unborn unchanging unconditioned unceasing limitless centerless pristine non-dual Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths]. They are not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. So there is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis for any discrimination / differentiation in absolute terms. So there is nothing to accept and nothing to reject in absolute terms. Everything is primordially spontaneous, equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete.)

    1. A Castle-in-the-Clouds-Like View / Ground (i.e. VIEW / GROUND:
      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. – Nirvana is directly perceiving / realizing / experiencing the true nature & dynamic of the karmic cycle / samsara as it is here & now, the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about apparent opposites [U2T-opp] like the three spheres [U2T-3S]. Other ex. Union of samsara & nirvana. Union of ordinary mind & pure-awareness, Union of the Ground and its manifestations. Union of the Two Truths about the two truths themselves [U2T-2T]. – The Great Spontaneity / Equality / Purity / Perfection / Completeness.)

    2. A Castle-in-the-Clouds-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: Know with a complete conviction: all things – ex. the three spheres, apparent opposites, even the two truths, even the Ground and its inseparable manifestations – are like castles in the clouds, Union the the Two Truths [U2T]. At all times, day and night, reflect just as before that all appearing things are castles in the clouds [U2T]: there but not there.)

    3. A Castle-in-the-Clouds-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. Spontaneous manifestations of enlightened qualities, the five wisdoms, the inseparable three pure kayas.  – Awakening without awakening from the City of Gandharvas of apparent reality to the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is / Ground / Suchness / U2T. – CLEAR EMPTY LUMINOSITY: Your mind’s proliferations will cease, and self-arisen , clear, and empty [T2] luminosity [T1] [U2T] will manifest from deep within. Even in your dreams you will see everything as cities of Gandharvas in the clouds.)

    4. A Castle-in-the-Clouds-Like Conclusion for this Chapter (i.e. CONCLUSION FOR THIS CHAPTER: May all sentient beings awaken from this City of Gandharvas. May all sentient beings realise the Castle-in-the-Clouds-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 all beings gain spontaneous accomplishment. Realising that everything is not different / separate / many / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither.)

  8. The Chapter that is Like an Emanated Apparition (i.e. All things are the emanations of the mind, just deluded mind’s experience. There but not there. They are perceived [T1] though they do not exist [T2] [U2T - The Apparition-Like inconceivable unique unborn unchanging unconditioned unceasing limitless centerless pristine non-dual Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths].
    All that seems to be an object of the senses is just habitual tendency—appearing [T1] yet not real [T2] [U2T - Union of the Two Truths].
    All that thought imputed is mind [T1]; it has no factual existence [T2] [U2T - Union of the Two Truths].
    Just as an emanated apparition is an illusion that arises from causes and conditions [T1] when nothing’s there [T2] [U2T].
    All things (physical / body, conceptual / speech, mental fabrications / mind) x (individual collective, cosmic) x (subject, relation / action, object) x (good / positive / pure, neutral, bad / negative / impure) x (past, present, future) are dependently co-arisen / interdependent / co-dependent with the mind and its conditioning / karma <==> thus empty of inherent existence [T2] [U2T - Union of the Two Truths].
    Ex. Appearances, defilements, all joys and sorrows of the six migrations, the three / 5 poisons, phenomenal existence, the world and all the beings it contains, their bodies and possessions, their going, staying, joys, and sorrows, all deluded thoughts, all sorrows of the mind, the universe composed of the five elements, the beings that reside in the three worlds, whatever one affirms or else denies, etc.
    So there is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis for any discrimination / differentiation in absolute terms. So there is nothing to accept and nothing to reject in absolute terms.
    All things are primordially equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete.
    Saṃsāra in itself is just deluded thought. And when the nature of the mind is seen, It is nirvāṇa—there from the beginning.)

    1. An Apparition-Like View / Ground i.e. VIEW / GROUND: Everything is appearing like an emanated apparition [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.)

    2. An Apparition-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: Ex. Devotion. Pointing out the true nature of one's mind. Preliminaries, guru yoga, main practice – seeing the three spheres as emanated apparitions [U2T]. With this understanding leave the mind at rest, devoid of mental agitation. Signs of progression: Non-duality, bliss, like space, openness, freedom; stability in meditation free from all extremes; resting within the timeless wheel of ultimate reality, in meditation or post-meditation, freedom from hope & fear.)

    3. An Apparition-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. Spontaneous manifestations of enlightened qualities, the five wisdoms, the inseparable three pure kayas.  – Awakening without awakening from the Emanated Apparition of apparent reality to the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is / Ground / Suchness / U2T. – THE SINGLE TASTE OF ALL: Ex. Purification of the three inseparable spheres. The fruit of cleansing — the single taste of all — is thus made manifest. Delusions of accepting and rejecting all collapse. Your realization and experience Will be unbounded, and thus you will achieve Your own good and the good of other beings.)

    4. An Apparition-Like Conclusion for this Chapter (i.e. CONCLUSION FOR THIS CHAPTER: May all sentient beings awaken from this Emanated Apparition. May all sentient beings realise the Apparition-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. – Therefore, you who are endowed with fortune, meditate unceasingly that all things have the nature of an emanated apparition.)

  1. Conclusion

  1. The Intent (i.e. THE INTENT: It all comes down to understanding and then directly realising the Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres [U2T-3S] – ex. subject / actor / mind / perceiver / knower, relation / action / perception / cognition, object / result / phenomena / perceived / known; or cause, causality, effect; or past, present, future; the same for any type of relations or actions of the body speech & mind –.)

  2. Dedication of merit

  3. Advices

  4. Conclusion for the whole text


Introduction – Showing the Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas - using eight metaphors

The Eight Vajra Points – Longchenpa – from the current text:

  1. Like a Dream 

  2. Like a Magical Illusion 

  3. Like a Trick of Sight  / Hallucination / Visual aberration /  Optical illusion

  4. Like a Mirage 

  5. Like the Moon’s Reflection in Water 

  6. Like an Echo 

  7. Like a City of Gandharvas 

  8. Like an Emanated Apparition 

—-------------

The eight similes of illusion are:

  1. Dream: like a dream, objects perceived [T1] with the five senses are not there [T2] [U2T], but they appear through delusion.

  2. Magical illusion: like a magic illusion, things are made to appear due to the temporary coming together of causes and conditions [T1].

  3. Hallucination or trompe-l'oeil: like a hallucination, things appear [T1], yet there is nothing there [T2] [U2T].

  4. Mirage: like a mirage, things appear [T1], but they are not real [T2] [U2T].

  5. Reflection: like a reflection, things appear [T1], but have no reality of their own [T2] [U2T].

  6. Echo: like an echo, things can be perceived [T1], but there is nothing there [T2] [U2T], either inside or outside.

  7. City of gandharvas: like a city of gandharvas, there is neither a dwelling nor anyone to dwell.

  8. Apparition: like an apparition, there are different types of appearances [T1], but they are not really there [T2] [U2T].

Rigpawiki: http://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Eight_similes_of_illusion 

—-------------

The eight similes of illusion:

  1. As in a dream, all the external objects perceived [T1] with the five senses are not there [T2] [U2T], but appear through delusion.

  2. As in a magic show, things are made to appear by a temporary conjunction of causes, circumstances and connections [T1].

  3. As in a visual aberration, things appear to be there [T1], yet there is nothing [T2] [U2T].

  4. As in a mirage, things appear [T1] but are not real [T2] [U2T].

  5. As in a reflection, things appear [T1] but have no reality of their own [T2] [U2T].

  6. As in an echo, things can be perceived [T1] but there is nothing there [T2] [U2T], either outside or inside.

  7. As in a city of gandharvas, there is neither a dwelling nor anyone to dwell.

  8. As in a city created by magic (emanated apparition), there are all sorts of appearances [T1] but they are not really there [T2] [U2T].

Patrul Rinpoche, from the book Words of My Perfect Teacher, translated by Padmakara Translation Group
Via: Just Dharma Quotes
https://quotes.justdharma.com/the-eight-similes-of-illusion/ 

—-------------

The eight similes of illusion are similes or metaphors that are used
to show how phenomena are empty of inherent existence [T2] and yet still appear [T1] [U2T - Union of the Two Truths].
The eight similes are:

  1. A dream: like a dream, objects perceived [T1] with the five senses are not there [T2] [U2T], but they appear through delusion.

  2. A magical illusion: like a magic illusion, things are made to appear due to the temporary coming together of causes and conditions [T1].

  3. An optical illusion: like a hallucination, things appear [T1], yet there is nothing there [T2] [U2T].

  4. A mirage: like a mirage, things appear [T1], but they are not real [T2] [U2T].

  5. A reflection of the moon in water: like a reflection, things appear [T1], but have no reality of their own [T2] [U2T].

  6. An echo: like an echo, things can be perceived [T1], but there is nothing there [T2] [U2T], either inside or outside

  7. A city of gandharvas: like a city of gandharvas, there is neither a dwelling nor anyone to dwell.

  8. An apparition: like an apparition, there are different types of appearances [T1], but they are not really there [T2] [U2T].

https://encyclopediaofbuddhism.org/wiki/Eight_similes_of_illusion 

—-------------

The ten similes - From Nagarjuna Bodhisattva's Treatise on the Great Perfection of Wisdom:

  1. Like a Dream 

  2. Like a Magically- conjured Illusion 

  3. [Not there: Like Trick of Sight  / Visual aberration /  Optical illusion]

  4. Like a Mirage 

  5. Like the Moon {reflected} in the Water  // Like Images in a Mirror 

  6. Like an Echo 

  7. Like the City of the Gandharvas 

  8. Like {Supernatural} Transformations [Emanated apparition]

  9. Like Space 

  10. Like a Shadow 

http://www.abuddhistlibrary.com/Buddhism/A%20-%20Tibetan%20Buddhism/Authors/Nagarjuna/The%20Ten%20Similies/The%20Ten%20Similes.htm 


Finding Rest in Illusion

There are three main topics.

  1. Prologue

  2. The Body of the Treatise - Eight Vajra Points

  1. The Chapter that is Like a Dream

  2. The Chapter that is Like a Magical Illusion

  3. The Chapter that is Like a Trick of Sight  / Visual aberration /  Optical illusion

  4. The Chapter that is Like a Mirage

  5. The Chapter that is Like the Moon’s Reflection on the Water

  6. The Chapter that is Like an Echo

  7. The Chapter that is Like a a City of Gandharvas

  8. The Chapter that is Like an Emanated Apparition

  1. Conclusion

A. Prologue
(i.e. )

[A. Prologue]

[Jump to TOC]

(i.e. All things appear [T1] and yet they do not really exist [T2] [Union of the Two Truths / U2T]. Like dreams, magical illusions, tricks of the sight, mirages, reflections, echos, Cities of Gandharvas, emanated apparitions. Everything is like that. That is the only thing that is unfabricated, unconditioned, unchanging, unceasing / permanent in the whole Universe and beyond. That is the Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness of everything / all dharmas. It is the true nature of Reality as it is, the true nature of our own body, speech & mind. The inconceivable Union of the Two Truths [U2T]. That is what we need to understand and then get total conviction by directly perceiving / realising / experiencing it. It is also called empty-awareness, primordial-awareness, enlightened-mind. That is one way to directly experience it.)

[From the auto-commentary: The Chariot of Excellence]

Homage to glorious Vajrasattva! Teacher, Lord of Dharma, Victorious Ones together with your heirs— All you who are the sovereigns of the triple world, From the pure dharmakāya, primordial enlightenment, You arise in bodies of illusion to display enlightened deeds. I venerate you with my head bowed down. Various is the character of beings to be guided, And various are the means wherewith to guide them. The vehicles of teaching therefore are past counting, Yet the essence of them all Is the illusion of clear luminosity, Elucidated in this commentary: The Chariot of Excellence.

Through compassion’s wondrous rays of light, there appear bright lamps that scatter the gloom of nescience in an infinite array of worlds. So it is that in this field, our present world, the thousand bhagavan buddhas and so forth, teachers of doctrines both worldly and religious, set forth the countless sections of the Dharma. Of these, the proclamation of the great vehicle, an ocean of unsurpassed methods, is supreme. Now if these methods be gathered into a single, deep, essential point suitable for practice, they are said to be the yoga of the two aspects of illusion defined in terms of eight examples. The definitive key points of the pith instructions of this yoga are established in the treatise Finding Rest in Illusion, a teaching belonging to the corpus of the Great Perfection. Here I shall comment on the meaning of its various chapters.

The first point is the expression of homage.

[First translation: Finding Rest in Illusions - Longchenpa, Translated by the Padmakara Translation Group]
0. Homage to glorious Vajrasattva!
All things emerging from the state of evenness unborn [Ground]
Are but the great display of primal wisdom
Non-dual and illusory.
Through never being parted from this unborn state,
I bow down to the nature of my mind [U2T],
The King who from the first is self-arisen [T1] .

It is with this verse that the adamantine body of this treatise is laid out. Self-cognizing awareness, the enlightened mind, the buddha-element, the sugatagarbha, is the expanse, or supreme source, of all phenomena of both saṃsāra and nirvāṇa.

Since it is intrinsically unborn, since it is the state of equality, since it is not an inherently existing thing [T2], and since it transcends the notions of permanence and annihilation, non-dual primordial wisdom is unspeakable, unthinkable, and inexpressible [inconceivable]. It is self-cognizing awareness, the ultimate truth.

Although it is without intrinsic existence [T2], it is the ground for the arising [T1] of both saṃsāra and nirvāṇa.

The expression of homage is followed by the promise to compose the treatise.

That you may understand
The perfect teaching of the Conqueror
That all things are by nature the two aspects of illusion [U2T],
Here I have distilled the sappy essence
Of the sūtras, tantras, pith instructions.
Listen! I shall set it forth as I myself experience it.

The Buddha has taught that phenomenal existence, all things in saṃsāra and nirvāṇa, are like magical illusions.
They appear [T1] and yet they do not exist [T2] [U2T]

As it is said in the Middle-Length Prajñāpāramitā, O Subhūti, phenomena are like dreams, like magical illusions. Even nirvāṇa is like a dream, like a magical illusion. And if there were anything greater than nirvāṇa, that too would be like a dream, like a magical illusion.

And in the Questions of Bhadra the Magician, the Buddha said, Understand, O Bhadra, all things each and every one Resemble magical illusions.

  • Since the phenomena of saṃsāra appear to the [ordinary] mind, in being the full development of the strong habitual tendencies lodged therein, they are referred to as illusions of mistaken perception.

  • By contrast, the phenomena of nirvāṇa appear to primordial wisdom, being the spontaneous radiance of awareness. They are the display of kāyas and wisdoms. They are spontaneously present and are beyond [the condition] of entities and substances endowed with properties. They are, for this reason, referred to as illusions that are perfectly pure.

As it is said in the tantra entitled Māyājāla, In the second aspect of illusion, that of perfect purity, There is no self nor something other that belongs to self, For it is, by its nature, the expanse of utter purity.

This shows the reason for embarking on the composition of the present treatise.
And the body of this treatise will be explained in terms of eight vajra points.


B. The Body of the Treatise - Eight Vajra Points
(i.e.)

[B. The Body of the Treatise - Eight Vajra Points]

[Jump to TOC]

There are eight Chapters:

  1. The Chapter that is Like a Dream (i.e.)

  2. The Chapter that is Like a Magical Illusion (i.e.)

  3. The Chapter that is Like a Trick of Sight (i.e.)

  4. The Chapter that is Like a Mirage (i.e.)

  5. The Chapter that is Like the Moon’s Reflection on the Water (i.e.)

  6. The Chapter that is Like an Echo (i.e.)

  7. The Chapter that is Like a City of Gandharvas (i.e.)

  8. The Chapter that is Like an Emanated Apparition (i.e.)

(i.e. RÉSUMÉ OF ALL SECTIONS ABOUT THE GROUND, WHAT WE HAVE TO DIRECTLY PERCEIVE / REALISE / EXPERIENCE: The true nature of all dharmas – including the three spheres of any relation / action (ex. i. subject / mind / cause / perceiver / knower / apprehender, ii. relation / action / causality / perception / cognition / apprehension, iii. object / phenomena / effect / perceived / known / apprehended), including apparent opposites of any duality / triad / quad / etc. (ex. movement and rest), including the two truths themselves, including the Ground and its inseparable manifestations, including samsara & nirvana, including the three stages of becoming, including the three times, including the three kayas – is like an inconceivable Union of being conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T2], merely labelled / imputed by the mind in dependence of its conditioning / karma, not completely non-existent <==> and being empty of inherent existence [T2], not really existent – like dreams / magical illusions / tricks of the sight / mirages / reflections / echos / Cities of Gandharvas / emanated apparitions. One aspect / truth implies / proves the other (<==>) [U2T - The illusory-like inconceivable unique unborn unchanging unconditioned unceasing limitless centerless pristine non-dual Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths].
All dharmas are inseparable spontaneous natural manifestations of this Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T]. This is the Union of the Ground and its manifestations [UGM].
Apparent opposites – like good vs. bad, the three spheres, the two truths, the Ground and its manifestation – are not really in opposition, but are more like insparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, non-dual, in harmony. This is the Union of apparent opposites [Uopp].
[Using the tetralemma:] All dharmas are not inherently existent, not completely non-existent, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not different / separate / many / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not equal / pure / perfect / divine / complete, not unequal / impure / imperfect / incomplete, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not dependent / interdependent / caused / produced, not independent / uncaused / unproduced, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not empty, not non-empty, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not dependently arisen & relatively functional [T1], not empty of inherent existence [T2], not both together [2T], not neither [1T], and there is no fifth; not purely objective, not purely subjective, not purely relational / action / process, not a combination of them, not none of them, and there is no other possibility; not with origination/beginning /birth/coming & duration/middle /life/lasting & cessation/ending /death/going, not without origination/beginning /birth/coming & duration/middle /life/lasting & cessation/ending /death/going, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not with past/before & present/during & future/after, not without past/before & present/during & future/after, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not changing / evolving, not non-changing / non-evolving, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not real, not illusory, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not describable / conceivable, not indescribable / inconceivable, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not this, not non-this, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; etc.
Meaning their true nature (Ground / Suchness / U2T) is indescribable / inconceivable (in absolute terms) for our flawed conditioned dualistic conceptual mind(s), beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all limits, beyond all conditioning / karma; beyond all description / conceptualisation, discrimination / differentiation, causality / production, matter-energy, space & time.
So there is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis for any discrimination / differentiation in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively.
And 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 get closer to the inconceivable liberation Truth: the Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas [U2T], the Union of the three spheres [U3S / U2T-3S], the Union of apparent opposites [Uopp / U2T-opp], the Middle Way in everything, the tetralemma, the primordial spontaneity / equality / purity / perfection / divinity / completeness of all dharmas.
It may look complicated but all of this can be resumed into one thing: The Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas. Everything else, all these words, is just to help us to stay away from all possible extremes & middle, and create enough room for a possible inconceivable spontaneous individual non-dualistic non-conceptual direct perception / realisation / experience of the true nature of Reality as it is here & now: U2T.)


B.1 The Chapter that is Like a Dream [Appearing, yet devoid of intrinsic being]
(i.e. Everything is like a dream: there but not there; appearing but empty of inherent existence.)

[B1. The Chapter that is Like a Dream]

There are four sections:

  1. A Dream-Like View / Ground

  2. A Dream-Like Path (Meditation & Conduct)

  3. A Dream-Like Result / Fruition

  4. A Dream-Like Conclusion for this Chapter

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(i.e. All phenomena are dreamlike in the sense that they appear [T1] <==> even though they have no intrinsic being [T2] [U2T - The Dream-like inconceivable unique unborn unchanging unconditioned unceasing limitless centerless pristine non-dual Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths]. )

WITH THE HELP of the first point one should come to a definite understanding that all phenomena are dreamlike in the sense that they appear [T1] even though they have no intrinsic being [T2] [U2T]. To begin with, and by means of the view, one must come to a clear conviction with regard to the ground nature, which appears but lacks inherent existence, the supreme dharmadhātu beyond the extremes of one and many [beyond all extremes & middle].

[The meaning of this text is explained according to ground, path, and result.]

(i.e. LIKE A DREAM – UNION OF THE TWO TRUTHS ABOUT ALL DHARMAS:
The inconceivable unique unborn unchanging unconditioned unceasing limitless centerless pristine Ground / Basis / Source / Buddha-nature / Genuine-emptiness / Primordial-wisdom / Dharmata / Dharmadhatu / Dzogchen / Mahamudra / True nature of Reality as it is / True nature of the mind / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T] :
All dharmas – like the three spheres (ex. subject / actor / cause / mind, relation / action / causality / process, object / result / effect / phenomena), like all apparent opposites of all dualities / triad / quads / etc., like the two truths themselves, like the Ground and its inseparable manifestations –
are appearing [T1 / appearance] <==> but still empty [T2 / emptiness of inherent existence]; and vice versa [U2T]:
empty of inherent existence [T2], not really existent
<==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1], merely labelled / imputed by the mind in dependence of its conditioning / karma, not completely non-existent [U3S]. Like dreams / magical illusions / tricks of the sight / mirages / reflections / echos / Cities of Gandharvas / emanated apparitions.
One aspect / truth implies the other (<==>) [U2T].
They are not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
not permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
not equal / pure / perfect / divine, not unequal / impure / imperfect / ordinary, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; etc.
Meaning their true nature & dynamic is indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed conditioned dualistic conceptual mind(s),
free from all extremes & middle, free from all dualistic conceptual proliferations, free from all defining limitations, free from all conditioning / karma; free from all description / conceptualisation, discrimination / dualities, causality / production, space & time.
So there is NO independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis for any discrimination in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively.
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 about all dharmas [U2T], the inconceivable Union of the three spheres [U3S], the inconceivable Union of apparent opposites [Uopp], the Middle Way in everything.
All dharmas are pure equal spontaneous natural manifestations of this inconceivable Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas [U2T]. This is the inconceivable Union of the Ground and its manifestations [UGM]: they are both empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> because interdependent [T1] [U2T-GM].
So we might as well perceive everything as primordially equal / pure / perfect / divine / complete / the-trikaya, as an antidote to our usual positions.)

B.1a A Dream-Like View / Ground
(i.e. VIEW / GROUND: Everything is appearing like a dream [T1], 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.)

[B1a - A Dream-Like View / Ground:]

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(i.e. A Dream-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. A DREAMLIKE GROUND: THE THREE INSEPARABLE QUALITIES OF THE INCONCEIVABLE GROUND: Its essence / purity / emptiness [T2], nature / appearances / functionalities / manifestations [T1], and dynamism / compassionate energy [U2T / inseparability of essence & nature] – beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all limits, beyond all conditioning / karma. Or the three inseparable kayas.)

  1. The ground’s expanse beyond all change,
    The vast sky of the nature of the mind,
    Is empty [T2], luminous [T1] [U2T], and free from mind’s elaboration. [Inconceivable, free from all extremes & middle, free from all dualistic conceptual proliferations]
    Therein like the sun, the moon, and all the stars,
    The pure, unstained phenomena of buddhahood
    Are present of themselves:
    The threefold kāya never sundered
    From the five primordial wisdoms,
    And all the qualities of luminosity naturally complete.
    This primal, fundamental, natural state
    Is said to be the entirely pure illusion of the ground.

The illusory ground [U2T], the source of both saṃsāra and nirvāṇa, is awareness, the enlightened mind, primordial luminosity, the sugatagarbha.

  1. Since its nature is empty [T2], it is like the sky.

  2. Since its character is luminous [T1], it is like the sun and moon.

  3. And since its cognitive potency is the basis of manifestation, it is like the limpid surface of a mirror [U2T].

Therein are spontaneously present all the qualities of the kāyas and wisdoms. They are the great and primordial manifestation. They are the attributes of the ultimate expanse from time without beginning, like the sun, the moon, the planets, and the stars within the sky’s expanse.

This is the ground for the unfolding of saṃsāra and nirvāṇa; it is the essence of primordial luminosity. It is what is referred to as the “perfectly pure illusion of the ultimate expanse.”

As the Tantra of the Self-Arisen Awareness says, The nature of this space is like the sky itself. Its character is spontaneously luminous, and its knowing power is present as the essence of awareness. As such, it is the ground for the arising of every perfect attribute.

This is the ground for the unfolding of saṃsāra and nirvāṇa; it is the essence of primordial luminosity. It is what is referred to as the “perfectly pure illusion of the ultimate expanse.”


(Note from Rigpawiki:

Primordial Purity: The ground of Dzogchen is described as being endowed with three qualities: its essence, its nature and its compassionate energy. The first quality, the empty essence is called primordial purity (Wyl. ka dag) because it is free from adventitious defilements, and because it is empty of inherent existence.

  • The first quality is that its essence is empty, being primordial purity or kadak.

  • The second quality is that its nature is cognizant, being spontaneous presence or lhundrup (Wyl. lhun sgrub).

  • The third quality of the Ground is its compassionate energy (Wyl. thugs rje).

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.

Seven Assertions

The Dzogchen texts, including Longchen Rabjam's Treasury of the Supreme Vehicle and Treasury of Word and Meaning, sometimes mention seven assertions with regard to the Ground.

  1. The ground is spontaneously present

  2. The ground is indeterminate or uncertain

  3. The ground is fixed or determined in a particular way

  4. The ground is capable of transforming into anything at all

  5. The ground can be defined in any possible way

  6. The ground is manifold

  7. The ground is primordial purity

In Treasury of Words and Meaning, Longchenpa says that each of the first six views entails logical flaws, while the seventh is correct. Yet in the Treasury of Supreme Vehicle, he explains that the seventh view is also incomplete, and that the correct interpretation of the Ground is that it combines both primordial purity and spontaneous presence, or, put in another way, it is the union of the essence, nature and compassion. Jamgön Kongtrul, in his Treasury of Knowledge, follows the former approach, stating that the seventh interpretation is correct.)

(Note from Rigpa Wiki:

Primordial wisdom (Skt. jñāna; Wyl. ye shes) — one of the two accumulations.
The primordial and non-dual knowing [T1] aspect of the nature of mind [U2T]. See also the five wisdoms.
Synonyms: deep awareness (Dr. Alexander Berzin), gnosis, inborn knowing, pristine cognition, timeless awareness (Lama Chökyi Nyima), wisdom

Five wisdoms (Wyl. ye shes lnga) — five aspects of primordial wisdom [T1] (yeshe). They are as follows:

  1. wisdom of dharmadhatu

  2. mirror-like wisdom

  3. wisdom of equality

  4. wisdom of discernment

  5. all-accomplishing wisdom

Sogyal Rinpoche writes: “You can also think of the nature of mind like a mirror, with five different powers or 'wisdoms.'

  1. Its openness and vastness is the wisdom of all-encompassing space [or dharmadhatu], the womb of compassion.

  2. Its capacity to reflect in precise detail whatever comes before it is the mirror-like wisdom.

  3. Its fundamental lack of any bias toward any impression is the equalizing wisdom [or wisdom of equality].

  4. Its ability to distinguish clearly, without confusing in any way the various different phenomena that arise, is the wisdom of discernment.

  5. And its potential of having everything already accomplished, perfected, and spontaneously present is the all-accomplishing wisdom.”
    (The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, p. 157)

These five wisdoms may be condensed into two:

  1. the wisdom that knows the nature of all phenomena [Unique Ground / U2T]’ which comprises the wisdom of the dharmadhatu, mirror-like wisdom and the wisdom of equality; and

  2. the wisdom that knows the multiplicity of phenomena [Diversity of Manifestations]’ which comprises discriminating and all-accomplishing wisdom.

They can all be condensed into a single wisdom: the wisdom of omniscience.

Nature of mind (Wyl. sems nyid) — defined in the tantras as the inseparable unity of awareness and emptiness [Union of the Two Truths / U2T], or clarity and emptiness [U2T], which is the basis for all the ordinary perceptions, thoughts and emotions of the ordinary mind (སེམས་, sem).)

(i.e. THE THREE IGNORANCES – THE ROOT CAUSE FOR THE KARMIC CYCLE IS IGNORANCE: Through co-emergent ignorance & conceptual ignorance the three spheres co-emerge, co-evolve, and create the appearance of the self-conditioning cycle with its cyclic rebirths in the six realms.)

Now the way in which the delusory appearance of ordinary beings occurs in this ground is as follows:

  1. Within this ground, Through co-emergent ignorance,
    (Like sleep that brings forth dreams, Which are like clouds of momentary illusion),
    And through conceptual ignorance (The mind impaired by apprehension Of duality where there is no duality)
    There appear the various false appearances of The six migrations similar to dreams.

When people sleep, they have good or bad dreams. Now the ground expanse of all appearance is awareness, which—conditioned by the sleeping state— deviates into the experience of dreams that are the outcome of habitual tendencies. These visions appear clearly even though they are without existence and the dreamer takes them as true. This is similar to what happens when in the state of luminosity of the primordial expanse, the appearances of the ground 37 manifest as objects. Because [their true status] is veiled by coemergent ignorance, 38 they are not recognized as the self-experience of awareness. And since, because of conceptual ignorance, they are apprehended in a dualistic manner, the cognition that discerns them evolves into an apprehending subject and an apprehended object, and the various hallucinatory appearances of the six classes of beings arise in the manner of dreams. Beings of the lowest kind wander in the three lower realms. Those of the middle order wander in the human and celestial worlds of the desire realm, while those of the highest kind wander in the form and formless realms.

Because the ground awareness is confused by sleeplike ignorance and discursive thought, the hallucinatory appearances of the three worlds now manifest in the manner of dreams.

(Note from Rigpawiki:

Three kinds of ignorance are mentioned in the Dzogchen teachings: (there are three forms of ignorance and they are the opposites of the three qualities of the Ground)

  • 1. Causal ignorance of single identity or: Ignorance that is virtually the same as the ground itself, (the delusion of single identity acts as the root) (The first of these forms of ignorance (the ignorance of single identity) is the opposite of the empty essence, in the sense that it is a mere confusion about the meaning of freedom from conceptual elaboration. It has none of the qualities of fundamental awareness and so on, which come from actualizing freedom from conceptual elaboration. It is a dull, foggy state of mind in which there is no clear awareness of objects and is called “the causal ignorance of single identity”, because it is the cause of both co-emergent and imputational ignorance, and all the various deluded perceptions brought about by karma and destructive emotions.)

  • 2. Co-emergent ignorance (through the co-emergent, there is dualistic thought)

  • 3. Imputational / conceptual ignorance (and there develop objects of imputation)

(i.e. EXISTENCE IS LIKE A DREAM - DEVELOPED THROUGH HABITUAL PATTERNS: Even though their true nature is the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths, through repeated habitual patterns, reification and opposition develop like a dream.)

Yet how, it may be asked, do they appear?

  1. Though non-existent [T2], yet appearing still [T1] [U2T],
    Beings feel different pains and pleasures— Habits gained through long protracted time. Places, bodies, property, and more Are but their mind’s experience. Joys and pains, the wages of both good and evil deeds, Resemble drawings traced in varying forms. And from one delusion many more are spawned. Apprehended thus in multiplicity, These false appearances arise in seamless continuity. Éma! Existence is, by nature, like a dream.

All the phenomena of saṃsāra and nirvāṇa appear clearly and yet have no existence. Because the habitual tendency to take them as truly existent things is very strong, the result is that, for each of the six classes of beings, there appear a whole variety of objects: dwelling places, bodies, possessions, joys, and sorrows. It is through the various wholesome and unwholesome actions performed through the agency of the individual mind that the multiplicity of hallucinatory appearances arises. And through the apprehension of such appearances as inherently existing there arises a continuous transmigration within saṃsāra from one existential state to another. When, on the other hand, one understands that the different kinds of action are dreamlike, one understands that phenomena too cannot be other than dream visions.

(i.e. THE ARISING OF ILLUSORY OPPOSITION / DUALITIES / TRIAD … LIKE SUBJECT VS. OBJECT VS. ACTION: Subject / mind and object / phenomena appear to be different / separate / multiple / dual, but they are more like inseparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended. Union of the three spheres [U3S], or Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres [U2T-3S].)

And other than hallucinatory appearance, there is absolutely nothing else, as now the root text tells us:

  1. Within the single nature of the self-arisen mind, Through ignorance’s sleep, A dualistic, subject-object apprehension Of false appearances occurs. These dream visions manifold and various Are nothing other than the mind itself— Illusions that arise through false perception. This the Conqueror himself has said.

When awareness sinks momentarily into the sleep of the duality of apprehender and something apprehended, the dreamlike states of the six classes of beings occur. In all such hallucinatory samsaric appearances, there is not even an atom of a truly existent phenomenon, whether inside or outside the mind.

Some misunderstand this text and think that the universe and the beings it contains are simply one’s own mind. This is not the meaning, however. Instead, this scripture teaches that the things that appear extramentally are but the subjective experiences of one’s mind; they do not exist otherwise. It also teaches that the three worlds are but the distinct groupings of the subjective experiences of beings for whom they are the common consensus. Other than that, they have no existence. The intended purpose of this statement was to refute the belief of certain śrāvakas in the real existence of sense objects outside the mind, such as material things endowed with specific characteristics. On the other hand, if all things were simply one’s own mind, it would follow that when one person fell into delusion, all would be deluded, and when one person achieved liberation, all would be liberated. It would follow that all beings would be a single person. It would be impossible to have more than a single man or woman. And it would mean too that just as one’s mind could know and assess an object, that same object could know and assess the mind. All such consequences would follow, as was shown in The Great Chariot. 39 Here, therefore, all outer appearances of any kind are considered to be simply the mind’s subjective experience. They exist neither as the mind itself nor as inert matter separate from the mind. It is consequently shown that they are like dream visions that appear while being nonexistent.

In brief, all the mind’s hallucinatory experiences may be referred to as “illusions of mistaken perception.”

(i.e. LIKE HALLUCINATIONS: Because of ignorance, appearances – like the three spheres, like apparent opposites – dependently co-arise [T1] <==> but are always empty of inherent existence [T2] [U2T]. They are not truly there, nor are they completely not there.)

There is an example that illustrates the fact that in the very moment that
hallucinatory appearances are perceived [T1], these same appearances are devoid of intrinsic being [T2].

  1. To those intoxicated by datura Various things appear— Hallucinations one and all. Through the intoxication likewise Of the sleep of ignorance, The six migrations manifest To the deluded mind. Now therefore you should understand: They are not truly there.

The things seen by those who have consumed datura are regarded as false even by ordinary worldly people. In the same way, the wise should understand that the hallucinatory appearances of saṃsāra are just the products of the sleep of ignorance—which, though unreal, appear unceasingly.

(i.e. LIKE SPACE: Beyond all extremes / oppositions / dualities.)

Thus a clear conclusion is reached that, on the level of the primordial ground, dreamlike phenomena have the character of space.

  1. From deluded thought Derives perception equally deluded, And thence delusory appearances. Not true, not false, not both, Beyond the ordinary mind, They should in truth be named “Awareness, self-arisen, self-cognizing.” They are without identity, without existence, A vast expanse where all extremes subside. Know them to be similar to space, The wisdom mind of the Victorious Ones.

All the hallucinatory appearances of samsaric existence occur through the ingrained habit of mistaken perception. This derives from the continuum of interconnected moments of thought. The root of the appearance of the five aggregates, the eighteen constituents, and the twelve sense fields 40 is the ordinary mind’s mistaken discursive activity expressed in terms of karma and defilement. The nature of the mind, on the other hand, is like space, which does not exist in any way.

(i.e. PRIMORDIAL EQUALITY / PURITY / PERFECTION / DIVINITY / COMPLETENESS: Because everything in both samsara & nirvana is spontaneous natural manifestation of the unborn unchanging unconditioned unceasing limitless centerless pristine Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths, then everything is primordially equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete. They are beyond all opposition / dualities like: existent & non-existence, true & false. They are indescribable / inconceivable, beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma. There is nothing to accept, nothing to reject in absolute terms. So we say they are primordially equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete.)

Now it will be shown that saṃsāra, which appears [T1] even though it lacks intrinsic being [T2] [U2T], is primordially a state of purity and equality similar to space.

  1. Things are dreamlike.
    In the very moment they appear [T1], No intrinsic being do they have at all [T2] [U2T].
    And yet their features are not lost; To their appearance there’s no hindrance. Carefully investigate these false and momentary forms [T1], In every aspect empty [T2]: They are neither false nor true, Not existent yet not non-existent, Beyond all ontological extremes. They are like space beyond both thought and word. Know that they are pure primordially.

Like the visions of a dream, all things belonging to phenomenal existence simply appear on the conventional level; they are just empty forms, clearly appearing and yet without existence. And on the ultimate level, they transcend both truth and falsity, both existence and nonexistence. They are like space. In their failure to understand this, all beings cling to these clearly appearing and yet nonexistent forms as if they were truly real and are thus victims of false perception. Yet in the moment of being perceived, these forms do not in the slightest way move from the dharmatā, their ultimate nature. This is referred to as the “various display arising from the space-like dharmakāya, the wisdom of the sugatas.”

The view of the intrinsically pure ground, which is dreamlike and objectless, has thus been established.

B.1b A Dream-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: Presence / Direct impartial observation of the true nature & dynamic of the three spheres here & now. Gradually realising the true nature & dynamic of the three spheres – subject / mind, relation / action, object / phenomena – in all activities. That they are all like a dream. They are all like an inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres [U2T-3S]. Gradually merging subject, object & action into a unique Ground / Suchness / U2T. Complementary method: Lucid dreams, recognizing that everything is like a dream while dreaming, and then day & night in all activities. Eventually Awakening without awakening from the dream-like nature of all appearances, of samsara.)

[B1b - A Dream-Like Path – Meditation / Conduct –]

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(i.e. Dream-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. A DREAMLIKE PATH (MEDITATION & CONDUCT) IN ACCORD WITH THE VIEW / GROUND – THE MIDDLE WAY IN EVERYTHING: Meditation without meditation. In a state of total presence & equanimity toward everything. Everything appears like magical illusions.)

Now we will discuss the path, which is also dreamlike, appearing but without intrinsic being.

  1. Thus, by means of such a view, You gain clear understanding that all things In saṃsāra and nirvāṇa are like dreams. I shall now explain how, through your meditation, You will bring this into your experience. Adopt a cross-legged posture on a pleasant seat. Take refuge and engender bodhichitta. Now think, intensely meditate, That in the state of emptiness, Of perfect evenness, all things Appear like magical illusions.

Having thus understood that phenomena are without intrinsic being, just like the things one sees in a dream, one should rest in this understanding in a state of meditative evenness. In order to do this, one should adopt a cross-legged position on a comfortable seat and in a pleasant place. One should take refuge in the Three Jewels and engender the attitude of wishing to gain enlightenment for the sake of beings. One should then reflect as follows: All phenomena, appearing in their different ways, are primordially unborn and yet in the present situation they appear. They are all the same in that from the very moment they appear, they are without real existence. According to the common vehicle, they are equal in being included in the two truths. According to the uncommon vehicle (that of Secret Mantra), they are equal in that everything that appears as the universe, the support, is the immeasurable palace of the deity, while the supported, the beings that the universe contains, are deities. By reflecting on these four ways of being equal, one should meditate that phenomena are the maṇḍala of Samantabhadra. They appear and yet are without intrinsic being, just like the visions of a dream.

(i.e. PRELIMINARY – VISUALISATION OF THE ROOT GURU: Then seeing everything like a dream. Dissolving everything into the root Guru – which represents the Ground.)

Subsequently, one should implement the profound path of guru yoga.

  1. Then visualize above your head, Upon the center of a lotus and on disks of sun and moon, Amid a host of deities and dākinīs Your own root teacher never separate From the teachers of the lineage. Make offerings and praise, and pray That you may train successfully In seeing all things as a dream. Then yourself and all phenomenal existence Dissolve in light that melts into your teacher. Rest then for a moment in a space-like state of meditation. Blessings, realization thus will naturally occur.

One should visualize oneself as the noble Avalokita in his four-armed form. The palms of his first two hands are joined. In his second right hand, he holds a mālā of pearls and in his second left hand he holds a white lotus. Smiling and arrayed in precious ornaments and silken robes, he is seated in cross-legged posture. In his heart, in the center of a lotus and a moon disk, the syllable HRĪ is encircled by the six-syllable mantra. The universe and beings are the body of the Great Compassionate One. All sounds are the resonance of his speech: the mantra OṂ MAṆI PADME HŪṂ HRĪ. This should be recited one hundred times, and one should then imagine that all the buddhas, bodhisattvas, and teachers of the lineage dissolve into one’s own root teacher seated upon the lotus, sun, and moon disks above the crown of one’s head, who then emanates and reabsorbs dense clouds of countless retinues of dākas and dākinīs. As one visualizes this, one should recite the following text three times:

In the guru, yidam, dākinī, In the Buddha, Dharma, Saṅgha, With respect and homage, I take refuge. I make outer, inner, secret offerings. My sins and obscurations I confess of body, speech, and mind, And I rejoice in every wholesome deed. Requesting them to turn the wheel of teaching, I implore the buddhas not to pass beyond all sorrow.

Reciting this melodiously, one should take refuge as many times as one can in one’s teacher and the Three Jewels. Then one should pray as follows:

Bless me with success in seeing everything as dreams. Bless me that I understand that all is but illusion. Bless me that I see the hollowness of false appearance. Bless me that my clinging to a self disintegrates.

One then imagines that the whole of phenomenal existence dissolves into oneself and that, melting into light, one dissolves into the heart of one’s teacher, who, also melting into light, mingles with space itself. Recognizing then that the empty luminosity that pervades the whole of space is the dharmakāya teacher, one should relax in this spacious experience and rest in meditation for as long as it lasts. This is a supreme source of merit.

(i.e. MAINTAINING THAT STATE AS LONG AS POSSIBLE: perceiving everything like a dream.)

With the completion of these preliminaries, one should remain in the meditative concentration in which all phenomena are like a dream.

  1. Then meditate according to The main part of the practice. Tell yourself repeatedly—grow used to it—that Outwardly, all mountains, valleys, regions, towns, The earth, fire, water, wind, and space, Sentient beings and the rest, The five sense objects: form, sound, texture, smell, and taste, And inwardly, the body, faculties of sense, and consciousness— Are nothing more than dreams.

One should develop the skill of seeing that all phenomenal appearances are unreal. From a high position one’s view is very vast, and all that one sees—all the mountains, valleys, towns, and regions, everything included in the sphere of the five outer objects of the senses, together with living beings, with their bodies, sense powers, and consciousness, and all their mental states—all these are like the visions of a dream. And just like dream visions, all such things, apart from simply appearing, have no intrinsic being. They are unreal. One should think this deeply and sincerely and grow used to it, without a single moment of distraction.

(i.e. DREAM, DREAM, DREAM: All appearances in the three times are like a dream, there but not there, Union of the Two Truths [U2].)

Similarly,

  1. All past things occurring till today Are mental objects, just like last night’s dreams.
    Today’s appearances, perceived [T1] yet non-existent [T2], Are but the mind’s delusion.
    They’re just like what you dreamt about last night And what you’ll dream about tonight. The things that will appear tomorrow And the night that follows after Are but dreams in store. Remember this, that all things that appear— The joy you want, the pain that you prevent— Are simply dreams. Not even for an instant Should you think them true.

Past phenomena, yesterday’s perceptions, are like last night’s dreams. Present phenomena, today’s perceptions, are just like the dreams that will occur tonight. Future phenomena, the perceptions that are in store, are like tomorrow night’s dreams. They are destitute of intrinsic being and yet they appear unceasingly. They appear and yet they are unreal. In the very moment of their perception they are simply not there. Remembering that all acceptance and rejection, all happiness and sorrow, are in no way different from the things one dreams about, one should understand that they are unreal.

(i.e. MAINTAINING THIS REALISATION IN ALL ACTIVITIES: The three spheres of any action of the body, speech and mind – subject, relation / action, object – are all like a dream. Nothing to grasp, nothing to fear.)

Again,

  1. When moving, sitting, eating, walking, speaking, Tell yourself with undistracted mindfulness, “It’s all a dream.” Whatever may appear, whatever you may do or think, Never lose the thought that it is but a dream. All is without true existence, Intangible, uncertain, evanescent, Insubstantial, indefinable. Train yourself in this great state In which there’s nothing to be grasped.

Wherever one may go, in whichever place one finds oneself and in no matter whose company, whatever food one may consume, whatever one may say or think, whatever one does, whatever perceptions may arise—in that very instant it is actually a dream and the dream is itself unreal. Now there is no grasping at what is unreal. Something that cannot be grasped is intangible, and what is intangible is uncertain. Something that is uncertain is evanescent, and what is evanescent is insubstantial. And whatever is insubstantial is indefinable. Reflecting that all things are without existence even though they appear clearly, one should habituate oneself to this thought without distraction and with onepointed determination.

(i.e. SUBJECT & OBJECTS ARE LIKE A DREAM – DEPENDENTLY CO-APPEARING [T1] <==> BUT STILL EMPTY OF INHERENT EXISTENCE [T2], AND VICE VERSA [U2T]. If all objects / phenomena are like a dream – dependently co-arisen appearances <==> but still empty of inherent existence – then the subject / mind has also the same nature: Union of the Two Truths [U2T], Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres [U2T-3S] / [U3S]. Subject & object & action are more like inseparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, collaborating, dialoguing, dancing together, co-conditioned & co-conditioning. That is the nature of the Karmic cycle.)

When one understands that an appearing sense object is only a dream image, one will naturally conclude that this very object as apprehended is without intrinsic existence [T2]. Consequently, the root text goes on to say,

  1. Through thinking that the object to be apprehended Is a dream, a false appearance, The cognition of the apprehended (object) is removed, And the apprehender too, by implication. For if the object is negated, so too is the subject.

It should be understood that the things that appear as the various objects of the senses are simply dreams. One should know that the first moment of cognition, which arises as the apprehended object, is a dream and that the aspect of apprehending cognition (the apprehender), which subsequently experiences that object, also manifests as a dream. Consequently, when it is understood that the apparent object [out there] is devoid of real existence, the dualistic, subject- object structure whereby the object is assessed also manifests as something unreal. 43 For if the object is negated, the subject is by implication also negated.

(i.e. SUBJECT & OBJECT & ACTION COME AND GO TOGETHER – DISSOLVING INTO THE GROUND / U2T: When we transcend the illusion of separation between the three spheres, what is left is this inconceivable unique unborn unchanging unconditioned unceasing limitless centerless pristine Ground / Basis / Source / Primordial-awareness / Primordial-wisdom / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T] free from all extremes & middle. A state of openness like Space, awareness luminous and empty.)

The root text goes on to explain that by arresting the apprehender (subject), the apprehended (object) is also arrested:

  1. This mind that estimates appearances as dreams, If now and then you really search for it— Out or in or somewhere in between— There’s no way to identify it, No point on which to set your bearings. There is a state of openness like boundless space. Devoid of the wild frenzy of your memories and plans,
    Awareness luminous [T1] and empty [T2], Free of all conceptual construction,
    Arises of its own accord. When the apprehender (subject) ceases, The apprehended (object) also is no more. When the subject has withdrawn, All holding of an object vanishes. Then there is no link with an appearing object. The framework of discernment falls away. Then there’s simply primal wisdom, Non-dual, self-arisen.

When the mind that perceives the appearing object to be a dream is itself subjected to an inquiry as to its arising, its dwelling place, its cessation, and indeed its very identity, it is found to be a cognition that does not exist as anything at all, that is empty and free of all points of reference. Then, as the inner apprehender subsides, even though the outer appearing object continues to be perceived, it manifests as the self-experience of awareness, empty and ungraspable. This state is referred to as “primordial wisdom devoid of the duality of an apprehender and something apprehended: awareness, the enlightened mind.”

(i.e. THE CULMINATION OF MEDITATING WITHOUT MEDITATION IS THE MERGING OF THE SUBJECT / MIND & OBJECT / PHENOMENA & RELATION / ACTION INTO THE UNIQUE TRUE REALITY AS IT IS / GROUND / U2T-3S: )

When this experience occurs, one’s view and meditation transcend the ordinary mind. For they are free of the duality of apprehended and apprehender.

  1. When indeed you realize And grow used to this, Because the apprehended (object) and the apprehender (subject) Are averted, the assumption That the object and the mind (subject) are real Subsides and an experience then arises where There is no apprehension of appearing things As being this or that.
    All that appears arises [T1] rootless And primordially empty [T2].
    This is the pristine fundamental nature.

The terms “apprehended” and “apprehender” here refer to the discerning cognition that apprehends the appearing object. Therefore, when these two poles of experience are no more, this is referred to as “the subsiding of the assumption that the appearing object is real.” At that time, there arises an experience in which there is no apprehension of what appears as being this or that. And by one’s watching the nature of this experience, there arises a state that is primordially empty, rootless, and bare: the primordial fundamental nature. This is referred to as the “vision of the exhaustion of phenomena in the ultimate nature.”

As one grows used to this, the hallucinatory appearance of objects and the cognitions of apprehender and apprehended related to them—the impure dependent nature, in other words—subside. There then arises the pure dependent nature and thence a freedom in the primordial expanse.

(i.e. Awakening without awakening from THE DREAM: With practice we gain conviction in the Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas in general. The ideas of inherently existing entities with inherently existing characteristics / properties / qualities, the ideas of their inherently existing opposition / duality, gradually evaporates; all gaspings / fears; attachments / obsessions / fixations dissolvent into the primordial Ground / U2T. Samsara is gradually transmuted into nirvana here & now. One awakes from the dream.)

As one grows used to this, the hallucinatory appearance of objects and the cognitions of apprehender and apprehended related to them—the impure dependent nature, in other words—subside. There then arises the pure dependent nature and thence a freedom in the primordial expanse.

  1. By degrees, the apprehension Of appearing objects as being truly this or that— That is, impure dependent nature—is arrested And pure dependent nature is then actualized. It is like the vanishing of deluded dreams At the moment when one wakes from sleep. Then, in the primordial ground, Manifest enlightenment occurs.

When sick people are cured of jaundice, they no longer see white conches as yellow. In the same way, when the apprehension of an appearing object as being this or that is halted, hallucinatory appearances are also halted. When one awakens from the sleep of assuming the reality of the apprehended and the apprehender, the dream of the impure dependent nature subsides. It is then that pure buddha fields appear in one’s perceptions. This is the pure self-experience of one’s own mind. It is like seeing a white conch shell as white. Although this outer appearance is not an experience of something other—other than one’s own mind’s self-experience—it is nevertheless referred to as “other,” and one says accordingly that the pure dependent nature 45 is actualized. This resembles the four kinds of mastery occurring on the three pure grounds.

Subsequently, when manifest enlightenment occurs, from the ultimate expanse that transcends both appearance and nonappearance (for these are of a single taste within the dharmakāya) the two form bodies appear spontaneously and work for the benefit of beings.

(i.e. PRIMORDIAL PURITY: All appearances are always Union of the Two Truths [U2T], primordially pure, like a dream. We do not make them empty, or purify them. We are just aware of this or not. That is the difference between samsara and nirvana.)

The root text goes on to show that in the very moment that hallucinatory appearance and perception manifest, they are without existence.

  1. Hallucinations are not present in the past; They are not present in the future; It is only now that they appear.
    They are perceived [T1], yet from the moment of appearing, They are without existence [T2].
    Non-existent [T2], they appear to the deluded mind According to its habits [T1].
    And yet by nature they’re primordially pure. They resemble dreams.

The hallucinatory appearances of saṃsāra have no existence in the primordial expanse. Neither do they exist at the end when freedom is gained. In the present moment, when self-experience of awareness within the ultimate expanse is misperceived, such appearances seem truly to exist, and yet in the very moment of being perceived, they have no existence either as things singular or plural. They are simply clear appearances of what does not exist. It is because they appear to the mind as existing things—even though they are destitute of such existence—that they are referred to as hallucinatory appearances or perceptions. They are like things seen in a dream.

(i.e. WHAT SEEMS REAL IN A DREAM DISAPPEAR WHEN AWAKE: They appear [T2] but are not really there [T2] [U2T].)

But how, one may ask, are they similar to dreams?

  1. When you are not sleeping, when you are awake, The things appearing in your dreams do not exist. Only in your sleep do they occur. And in the moment they appear, they have no real existence. In just the same way, you should understand,
    The non-existent things [T2] that yet appear [T1] Have neither ground nor root [U2T].

An object of desire that one dreams of is present neither at the moment when one goes to bed nor at the moment when one wakes. It appears to one only while one is asleep. In the same way, although the hallucinatory appearances and perceptions [of samsaric existence] have no existence either at the time of the ground or at the moment of the result, they nevertheless appear now at the time of the path. But even now, while they are being perceived, all such hallucinatory experiences are completely without any real ground or root. One should understand that they are mere em pty reflections.

(i.e. NIGHT PRACTICE: …)

We now come to an explanation of the night practice for those who have grown used to seeing everything as dreamlike.

  1. Meditating strongly in this way by day, At night as you are sinking into sleep, Upon a comfortable bed, stretch out on your right side As the Lord lay down before he passed beyond all sorrow. Breathing very slowly and with steady gaze, Visualize within your heart a crystal sphere In which there is a letter A. White in color and ablaze with light, It is the size of your own thumb, Becoming ever smaller as you concentrate on it. Without distraction, bear in mind that it is like a dream. In this way, dreamlike luminosity will manifest

When one has, during the day, trained assiduously and with success in regarding everything as a dream, one should lie down relaxed in the posture of a sleeping lion. One should breathe very slowly so that the movement of the breath is no longer felt. With eyes open and with a steady gaze, one should visualize in one’s heart a white letter A brightly shining with rays of light that emanate and then are gathered back. One should concentrate on this letter, which at first is the size of your thumb and becomes smaller and smaller until it is the size of a single horsehair. Remembering that this is itself a dream, one falls asleep. For those whose concentration is stable, a limpid and clear state of luminosity devoid of center and circumference will arise [T1] . Those whose concentration is not yet stable will find that their dreams will become clearer than before and that it will be easy for them to recognize their dreams for what they are.

(i.e. BECOMING AWARE THAT WE ARE DREAMING WHILE DREAMING: )

By means of such a practice,

  1. At first, when you have frightening nightmares, Recall that they are dreams. Your fear will dissipate at once. To recognize one’s dreams as dreams Is to be concentrated, it is said, While in the state of dreaming. This practitioners should understand.

When in the course of dreaming one finds oneself in dangerous situations, such as walking along a precipice, being caught in avalanches, confronted by mastiffs or enemies, and one knows them to be dreams, this is defined as the achievement of a concentration based on keen aspiration, whereby dreams are for the first time recognized as dreams. Such an accomplishmenRésumét is the supreme antidote whereby every kind of fear is overcome.

(i.e. RECOGNIZING THAT EVERYTHING IS LIKE A DREAM / UNREAL / MIND’S DELUSION / UNGRASPABLE / INCONCEIVABLE: )

When one is able to recognize one’s dreams as dreams,

  1. Train then to recognize that all dreams are unreal. Appearances of things without existence Are no more than the mind’s delusion, Dreamlike and ungraspable. Since they are neither true nor false, Know then that they transcend the reach of ordinary mind.

The dissipation of one’s fear that comes through the recognition that one is dreaming is not, of course, enough. One must understand that all dreams are unreal. One should reflect that just as dreams are unreal, so too are all phenomena, for they appear while being nonexistent. As it is said in the sūtra entitled Ornament of the Light of Wisdom, “Dream visions, O Mañjuśrī, are perceived and yet have no existence. Likewise all phenomena are perceived and yet do not exist.”

(i.e. LEARNING TO MANIPULATE / CONTROL / TRANSFORM OUR DREAMS: )

It is of the highest importance to understand the unreality of dreams [while one is dreaming]. Therefore, to begin with, the following training is prescribed:

  1. Concerning the assumption and the transformation Of a form while dreaming, Assume the form of Brahmā, of the Buddha, Of a bodhisattva, or of something else According to your wish. Thus train yourself and place yourself Within their unreality.

By assuming thus the form of a buddha, a bodhisattva, a śrāvaka, a pratyekabuddha, a world-protecting ruler, or a peaceful or wrathful deity, one should come to the understanding that it is [precisely] because such forms are unreal that they can appear.

(i.e. MEDITATING ON THE UNREALITY OF THE FORMS CREATED IN OUR DREAMS: )

Then comes the transformation of these forms

  1. Then in successive moments change your form, According to your wish, from Brahmā into Indra, Or else from a divine into a human being. Meditate upon the unreality of all such forms.

Telling oneself that since all such manifestations are able to transform into each other, they are themselves without true existence, one should transform them according to one’s wish.

(i.e. GAINING BETTER & BETTER CONTROL OF OUR DREAMS:)

Finally, there comes the increase of such forms

  1. Then multiply all such appearances A hundred-or a thousand-or a millionfold. Train yourself in mastery of antidotes That subdue all that is to be subdued.

One should then multiply these assumed and subsequently transformed appearances a hundredfold or a thousandfold. One should change them all into a single form or change a single form into many—training oneself thoroughly in their lack of real existence. One should transform oneself into a garuḍa (an enemy of the nāgas) or into Hayagrīva (the bane of the gyalpo and senmo spirits), subduing them by soaring or devouring. This is an extraordinary ancillary cause for the acquisition of various powers and for the ability to display miracles

Now if in the course of this, one’s body becomes twisted, contracted, or swollen, this occurs through the dislocation of the channels and winds, through a failure to gain mastery of the processes of the assumption and transformation of one’s form. When this happens, one should lie down comfortably, breathe slowly, and allow one’s awareness to clarify. This is a crucial point for gaining experience [in the mastery of one’s dreams].

(i.e. MAINTAINING THIS AWARENESS DAY & NIGHT: )

When the training in the unreality of one’s dreams is complete, the root text goes on to say,

  1. Then you may journey in your dreams To pure fields, various lands and realms, To Akaniṣṭha and wherever you may wish. And there you will behold the sugatas, Listen to their stainless words, and train yourself In wisdom, concentration, clouds of dhāraṇīs. Through your training thus with mindfulness Continually both day and night, All this will come to pass, For this is the unfailing quality of your awareness, Which thus will be made manifest. All this is the essential pith Of teachings most profound.

Having successfully trained in the assumption and transformation of one’s form while in the dream state, one may wish to see other countries, the dwellings of the nāgas and the devas, the other cosmic continents, and Sukhāvatī and the other buddha fields, places where one has never been before. During the daytime one should nourish a keen aspiration and wish to visit them, and at night one should adopt the posture for falling asleep as was mentioned above. And reflecting that all regions and all worlds are present within the cakra of enjoyment in one’s own throat, and that the entire three thousandfold universe is as it were inserted into a tiny grain, one should fall asleep without being distracted from such a thought. So it is that one will behold whatever one wishes. Such visions depend upon a single key point: from the very beginning, awareness is endowed with every perceivable quality.

At this time too, it is important to habituate oneself to the unreality of all such things. This unreality is the same thing as the absence of intrinsic existence, which itself is synonymous with the transcendent perfection of wisdom. Through one’s training in it, all excellent qualities will be accomplished.

As it is said in the Abridged Prajñāpāramitā, The perfect realization of the lack of real existence in all things Is transcendent wisdom, so the Conqueror has said.

And in the Middle-Length Prajñāpāramitā it is said, If you wish to look upon the pure buddha fields that in every respect exceed the dwellings of the gods and humankind, you should train in the perfection of wisdom. If you wish to place the great thousandfold universe inside a tiny grain without thinking that this tiny grain grows bigger or that the universe contracts, simply train in the perfection of wisdom.

This is the very essence of the path and should be regarded as the highest yoga of the Mahāyāna.

B.1c A Dream-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. Spontaneous manifestations of enlightened qualities, the five wisdoms, the inseparable three pure kayas. – Awakening without awakening from the dream of apparent reality to the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is / Ground / Suchness / U2T.)

[B1c - A Dream-Like Result / Fruition]

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(i.e. Dream-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. A DREAMLIKE RESULT / FRUITION: TRANSCENDING ALL APPEARANCES, GAINING SUPERPOWERS … SUBLIME PRIMORDIAL-WISDOM WILL ARISE)

Now follows a description of the result achieved through the meditation in which everything is seen to be a dream:

  1. Meditating thus by day and night Upon your dreams,
    You will escape the snare Of thinking that phenomena are truly real.
    Through fences, walls, and mountains You will pass unhindered. You will gain unnumbered wondrous powers, Clairvoyance, concentrations. Innumerable experiences you’ll have and realizations, And sublime primordial wisdom will arise .

The result of primordial wisdom gained at such a point is that, truly established on the path to liberation, one will gain all that one desires, and one will be cared for by dākas and dākinīs endowed with accomplishment. Maintaining good health, one will not be troubled by many illnesses. Completing the path of accumulation, one will easily realize that phenomena are without intrinsic being and with concentration one will meditate on it. When one completes the path of joining, one will have a mastery of miraculous powers and the experience of many kinds of preternatural knowledge. 48 Signs will appear indicating that one has fully understood the dreamlike quality of phenomena, and one will accomplish the qualities of a stable virtue.

(i.e. A DREAMLIKE FINAL RESULT / FRUITION: THE INSEPARABLE THRE PURE KAYAS: The perfection of all the qualities of elimination and realization of buddhahood.)

As one trains progressively, the sublime non-conceptual primordial wisdoms of the paths of seeing and meditation—not achieved hitherto—are gained, and the path of no more learning is subsequently actualized.

  1. You will come at last To the primordial expanse, the nature of the mind, And gain the dreamlike twofold goal: The dharmakāya for your own sake And the rūpakāya for the sake of others. Meditate therefore that all is like a dream.

Through training on the dreamlike path to enlightenment, the dreamlike final result will appear although it lacks intrinsic being: the perfection of all the qualities of elimination and realization of buddhahood.

When one’s own aim has been accomplished, namely, the sky-like expanse of the dharmakāya, it is through its spontaneous cognitive power that the two rūpakāyas or form bodies will manifest for others like the sun and moon and benefit them for as long as saṃsāra lasts.

B.1d A Dream-Like Conclusion for Chapter 1
(i.e. CONCLUSION FOR THIS CHAPTER: May all sentient beings awaken from this Dream. May all sentient beings realise the Dream-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.)

[B1d - A Dream-Like Conclusion for Chapter 1]

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(i.e. A DREAM-LIKE CONCLUSION FOR THIS CHAPTER: May all sentient beings awaken from this dream.)

In conclusion, May all the dreamlike beings in saṃsāra Who strayed from their primordially pure nature Gain freedom from the four great streams of sorrow. May they reach the state endowed With all the qualities of great bliss.

May I be a guide for all without exception And lead them from saṃsāra, This great empty [T2], dreamlike form [T1], This mighty ocean difficult to cross, This mass of suffering’s fire that reaches Even to the summit of existence.

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


B.2 The Chapter that is Like a Magical Illusion [Nothing Really Dependently Originate]
(i.e. Everything is like magical illusions: there but not there; dependently appearing & relatively functional [T1] <==> but empty of inherent existence [T2] [U2T.)

[B2. The Chapter that is Like a Magical Illusion]

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There are four sections:

  1. A Magical-Like View / Ground

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

  2. A Magical-Like Result / Fruition

  3. A Magical-Like Conclusion for this Chapter

(i.e. Everything is appearing like magical illusions, appearing [T1] <==> but still empty of inherent existence [T2] [U2T - The Magical-like inconceivable unique unborn unchanging unconditioned unceasing limitless centerless pristine non-dual Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths]. They are all empty of inherent existence <==> because dependently co-arisen, and vice versa.
Thus not really arising / originated, not really existing / lasting / changing, not really ceasing / terminated.
Just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively.)

PHENOMENA ARE THUS revealed as being,
in their dreamlike nature, devoid of origin [dependent origination].
The root text then explains that they should be understood as a mere, unceasing, illusory display.

  1. And thereto also did the Conqueror declare
    That all things are like magical illusions [T1],
    Explaining that they lack intrinsic being [T2[ [U2T].
    Listen! I shall tell you how I have experienced
    This quintessential teaching
    Of the sūtras, tantras, and the pith instructions.

We find in the Middle-Length Prajñāpāramitā, “Phenomena are like magical illusions. 53 They are not born; they do not cease. They do not come; they do not go.”

This is taught in many of the sūtras and the tantras. On the basis of three kinds of evidence that occurred in my own experience, which itself unfolded in the light of my teacher’s pith instructions,
I shall speak of magical illusion classified according to ground, path, and result.

B.2.a A Magical-Like Ground
(i.e. VIEW / GROUND: Everything is appearing like a magical illusion [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.)

[B2a - A Magical-Like View / Ground:]

(i.e. A Magical-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. – Similar to space.)

This section has four sub-sections

  • B2a-i - Everything is like Magical Illusions

  • B.2a-ii Magical-like four stages of illusion: Ground, Emergence of illusions / samsara, Path, Fruition / nirvana

  • B2a-iii - Magical-Like Dependent Origination / Causality / Karmic cycle

  • B2a-iv - Three Kinds of Illusions

B.2.a-i EVERYTHING IS LIKE MAGICAL ILLUSIONS
(i.e. VIEW / GROUND: Devoid of real dependent origination / birth, duration / change / evolution, cessation / death. Appearing [T1] <==> but still empty of inherent existence [T2] [U2T]. Empty causes, empty effects, empty causality / dependent origination – but still relatively functional. Union of the Two Truths [U2T] about all dharmas. Spontaneous natural manifestations inseparable from the Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths [UGM].)

[B2a-i - Everything is like Magical Illusions]

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(i.e. LIKE HALLUCINATIONS [T1], LIKE SPACE [T2] [U2T]: Everything is like spontaneous natural manifestations inseparable from the unborn unchanging unconditioned unceasing limitless centerless pristine Ground / Suchness / U2T, which is unperturbed like Space. Union of the Ground and its manifestations [UGM]. Both are empty of inherent existence <==> because interdependent. The three spheres, apparent opposites, the six realms, all appear like magical illusions: there but not there.)

First, the root text explains how hallucinatory appearances occur within the illusion of the ground, a state similar to space [U2T]:

  1. The primordial nature of the mind Is a spacious, sky-like state Where primal wisdom is like sun and moon and stars. And yet when there occurs within this womb of space— The wondrous sphere of emptiness— A state of ignorance, conceptualization, dualistic clinging, The hallucinations of the three worlds And the six migrations manifest In the manner of a magical illusion.

The nature of the mind, the self-arisen primordial wisdom, is primordially pure and space-like. Within this state, which does not exist as anything at all, there move the five winds, of which the life-supporting wind is the root. 54 This leads to the manifestation of the self-experience of awareness in the state of luminosity. When this is not recognized, it is misapprehended as an outer universe together with its inner contents, including one’s own body. All this appears variously as a mere magical illusion. As it is said in the tantra entitled the Mirror of Vajrasattva’s Heart, “In various ways, the beings of the three worlds stray from the ground, which in itself is nothing at all.”

(i.e. LIKE EMPTY MAGICAL APPARITIONS: They appear in dependence of their respective causes & conditions [T1] <==> but are still empty of inherent existence [T2] [U2T] – Empty causes, empty effects, empty causality / dependent origination – but still relatively functional. Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres of causality – subject / cause, relation / action / causality, object / effect –. They are all empty of inherent existence <==> because interdependent, meraly labelled / imputed by the mind.)

But how do these hallucinatory appearances, which are like magical illusions, occur? The root text goes on to say,

  1. They appear spontaneously, through the power Of interdependent causes and conditions [T1]
    — Just as when a piece of wood or little stone Is conjured through an incantation
    And there appears a magical display, A horse, an ox, a man or woman, A mountain or a palace, and the rest.

When a magical illusion is created of horses, oxen, and so on, there is a material cause, namely, a piece of wood or a pebble, and also a condition for the illusion, that is to say, the visual consciousness manipulated through the magic spell. On this basis, a hallucinatory experience of horses and oxen is produced. This manifests as the subjective experience of the mind, arising through the interdependent conjunction of causes and conditions

(i.e. ALL APPEARING, FIXATED AND OPPOSED BECAUSE OF OUR IGNORANCE OF THEIR TRUE NATURE & DYNAMIC: Devoid of real existence [T2], they all appear unceasingly [T1] [U2T]; like conjured apparitions.)

The hallucinatory appearances of saṃsāra are similar to this.

  1. Deluded mind and its habitual tendencies, Phenomenal existence, the objects of the senses And the three poisons that fixate on them— All these occur because of ignorance.
    Devoid of real existence [T2], they all appear unceasingly [T1] [U2T].
    They are like conjured apparitions.
    From now on be convinced
    That they are empty [T2], false reflections [T1] [U2T].

The underlying cause for all this is awareness itself. The condition, on the other hand, is ignorance, owing to which, awareness is distorted by the duality of the [subjective] apprehender and the apprehended (which thus becomes the object). It is thus that hallucinatory appearances, the universe and its animate contents, appear differently for different kinds of beings. Because of the three poisons, the various realms of saṃsāra, high and low, are experienced and seem real. But it should be understood that in fact they are nothing but false appearances—empty reflections—and that within awareness, the enlightened mind, there is no movement or change.

(i.e. PRIMORDIAL EQUALITY / PURITY / PERFECTION / COMPLETENESS: OF ALL DHARMAS Since the true nature of all dharmas is like an inconceivable Union of the Two Truths [U2T, we can say that they are all primordially equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete – as an antidote to our usual positions.)

And as the root text goes on to say, the illusions that appear [T1] while lacking all intrinsic being [T2] are like space.

  1. Sure it is that all things in phenomenal existence, In saṃsāra and nirvāṇa, Are in their nature equal and they all resemble space. Understand that all are unborn, Pure from the beginning.

All phenomena are by their nature devoid of existence. In themselves, they are like space. The Middle-Length Prajñāpāramitā says, “In themselves, phenomena are like space. One can find in them no center and no boundary.”

And likewise we find in the Samādhirāja-sūtra, All things disintegrate, O Son of the Victorious One, All existents are primordially empty. Extremists hold a lesser emptiness. But there is no debate between the learned and the childish.

In this regard, some say that phenomena are empty by virtue of a preclusion of something that they do not possess 55 but that they are not empty of themselves. 56 This is like saying that the sun is empty of darkness but is not empty of rays of light. This is a lesser kind of emptiness, however, through which no freedom would ever be possible from the belief in the true existence of things. Examined according to the argument of “neither one nor many,” the sun is empty of inherent existence; being thus, it is also empty of rays of light. It is empty and yet it appears. This is the very principle and essence of Madhyamaka, the Middle Way.

The Prajñāpāramitā-sūtra says, “Form is empty of form itself.”

But the fact of being empty does not imply that phenomena are nothing at all. For emptiness is inseparable from appearance. Therefore in emptiness, all phenomena are tenable.

It is as Nāgārjuna has said, Where emptiness is granted Everything is likewise granted.

Emptiness has many divisions. For example, there is the emptiness of mutual exclusion (as a pillar is empty of being a pot); there is the emptiness of what is not possessed (as in the case of “thing” being empty of “nonthing”); there is the emptiness of specific characteristics (as in the case of rabbit’s horns); and there is emptiness of an intrinsic nature (as in the case of a reflection). All these, however, are no more than the asseverations of philosophers. But here we say that all things in phenomenal existence, in saṃsāra and nirvāṇa, even though they appear to the mind, are, in their own nature, nonexistent. They should be understood as being primordially empty—empty in transcending all ontological extremes.

When one has ascertained that phenomena are empty, one may well go on to ask how saṃsāra manifests within the expanse of emptiness, and how one is to train upon the path, and what is freedom like when one reaches the end of the path.

B.2.a-ii MAGICAL-LIKE FOUR STAGES OF ILLUSION: GROUND, EMERGENCE OF ILLUSIONS / SAMSARA, PATH, FRUITION / NIRVANA
(i.e. They apparently arise from the Ground, they apparently last for a while & evolve, and then they apparently cease, or are liberated. But, in reality there are no real three stages of becoming: origination / beginning / birth / coming, duration / middle / life / change / lasting, cessation / ending / death / going / liberation. Union of the three stages of becoming [U3S]. So, there are no real four stages of illusion: Ground, Emergence of illusions / Samsara, Path and Fruition / Nirvana. Union of Ground <==> Emergence of illusions <==> Path <==> Fruition. They are all empty of inherent existence <==> because interdependent, merely labelled / imputed by the mind.)

[B2a-ii - Magical-Like Four Stages of Illusion]

[Jump to TOC]

(i.e. THE APPARENT FOUR STAGES OF ILLUSION: The Ground, the Emergence of illusions / samsara, the Path leading to the cessation of illusions, the Result / Fruition / nirvana. Just a model.)

1. When one has ascertained that phenomena are empty [Ground],
2. one may well go on to ask how saṃsāra manifests within the expanse of emptiness [Emergence of illusions / Samsara],
3. and how one is to train upon the Path,
4. and what is freedom like when one reaches the end of the path [Result / Fruition / Nirvana].

First the root text gives an answer to this in summary form:

  1. Within the nature unoriginate, Wherein origination manifests,
    1. The illusion of the character [of luminosity] Is the ground of purification;
    2. The illusion of impurity Is the stain that should be purified; [Emergence of illusions / Samsara]
    3. The illusion of the skillful method Is the purifying remedy [Path];
    4. The illusion of primordial wisdom Is the perfected fruit [Nirvana].
    Through the illusion of an example, The other four are proved with certainty.

Thus it is briefly explained. Now those who are learned bring others to a state of understanding by means of examples. There are four kinds of illusion (that of luminous character and so on), and these occur in four situations: the ultimate pure expanse, the state of straying from this, the purification of delusion, and the perfected result. And so that these four kinds of illusion may be understood, I will first explain their meaning through the illusion of an example [mentioned at the end of the stanza] and will then ascertain the definition of each of them.

(i.e. A METAPHOR FOR THE FOUR STAGES OF ILLUSION: A metaphor for the four stages of illusion, demonstrating the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas: All things, marked by lack of true existence [T2], are in themselves but magical displays [T1] [U2T]. They apparently arise from the Ground, they apparently last for a while & evolve, and then they apparently cease, or are liberated. But, in reality there are no real three stages of becoming: origination / beginning / birth / coming, duration / middle / life / change / lasting, cessation / ending / death / going / liberation. Union of the three stages of becoming [U3S]. So, there are no real four stages of illusion: Ground, Emergence of illusions / Samsara, Path and Fruition / Nirvana. Union of Ground <==> Emergence of illusions <==> Path <==> Fruition. They are all empty of inherent existence <==> because interdependent, merely labelled / imputed by the mind.)

This example is as follows:

  1. By means of an enchantment, A magical display arises [T1] : A stick and stone appear in form of horse and ox. Yet at that time the stick and stone themselves Are neither horse nor ox [T2] [U2T].
    -
    By this example, you should see That all things, marked by lack of true existence [T2], Are in themselves but magical displays [T1] [U2T].
    -
    1. The basis [Ground] of delusion,
    2. The conditions for delusion and the mode thereof [Emergence of illusions / Samsara],
    3. The occurrence of delusion as well as its subsiding [Path],
    4. And freedom from delusion in the primal ground [Fruition / Nirvana]—
    -
    1. These correspond respectively to stick and stone,
    2. To the chanting and the working of the spell,
    3. To production of the horse and ox, Their vanishing,
    4. and then the reemergence Of the stick and stone as previously they were.
    -
    By this example thus are step by step explained Four stages of illusion.

The awareness of the ground of delusion 58 is the illusion of [luminous] character. 59 Delusion is not intrinsically present in the ground, but since coemergent ignorance may occur in relation to the ground of delusion, it is possible for delusion to arise, in the same way that although the horse or ox is not perceived [in a stick or stone], it is nevertheless always possible for it to be so—to use the terms of the example given earlier. When awareness rises up from the ultimate expanse as the appearance of the ground, conceptual ignorance manifests as the root of the dualistic structure of apprehended and apprehender. This produces the illusion of impurity (illusory impurity), the stain that is to be purified. Awareness is now obscured by deluded thoughts; this being so, it is in the form of these thoughts that hallucinatory appearances occur, even though they are not actually present. Then, when these hallucinatory appearances are actually perceived, awareness is altered by the duality of apprehended and apprehender, and consequently various forms manifest as the mind’s subjective experience. It is just as when, through the operation of the spell, the actual magical illusion is produced and the stick and stone appear as a horse and an ox.

Subsequently, as one trains in awareness while on the path, the assumption of the true existence of phenomena is curtailed, and this happens through the illusion of skillful means. This corresponds to the ending of the illusory magical charm. Finally, deluded thoughts come to an end, as a result of which hallucinatory appearances and perceptions cease. This is freedom in the primordial state, which occurs when awareness returns to the primordial ground. And this is the illusion of primordial wisdom. The spell, which is the ignorance producing the duality of apprehended and apprehender, is arrested. And the hallucinatory samsaric appearances of horses and oxen consequently cease. And just as the stick and stone reappear when the illusion is dissipated, in the selfexperience of awareness there manifest the kāyas and wisdoms, which are the “genuine form” of the ground. This constitutes the immovable, immutable realization, from which there can be no further change. It corresponds to the stick and stone that reappear when the magical illusion is destroyed. This passage reveals the difficult points of the tantras’ immensely powerful vajra words.

(i.e. [1] A MAGICAL-LIKE VIEW / GROUND / U2T: The GROUND of the emergence of illusions (Samsara), of the skillful methods (PATH), and of the result (FRUITION) (Nirvana). The Basis / Source / Buddha-nature / Genuine-emptiness / Dharmata / Dharmadhatu / True nature of Reality as it is / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T].)

[1] Now that the correspondence between the example and the four kinds of illusion has been demonstrated, a definition of each of the latter is given.

First,

  1. [1 - The illusion of the Ground / Buddha-nature / Self-cognizing awareness / Suchness / U2T:]
    The illusion of the “character [of luminosity],”
    The mind’s luminous nature,
    Is the ultimate expanse,
    The sugatagarbha, ground of cleansing.

Awareness, the enlightened mind, is present from the very beginning, spontaneous and unconditioned. It pervades the whole of saṃsāra and nirvāṇa without diminution or increase, without becoming smaller or greater. As it is said in the Candrapradīpasūtra, “The sugatagarbha pervades all beings.”

The sugatagarbha is sheer luminosity, primordial and immaculate. As the Prajñāpāramitā in Eight Thousand Lines declares, “As for the mind, the mind does not exist. The nature of the mind is luminosity.”

In the condition of sentient beings, the buddha-element, or sugatagarbha, is the defiled buddha-element. This same element, in the condition of the bodhisattvas, is both pure and impure. At the time of buddhahood, it is completely pure. And yet, although it is qualified in these three different ways, in itself it remains unchanging either for better or for worse.

(i.e. CHARACTERISTICS OF THIS MAGICAL-LIKE GROUND: This Ground / Basis / Source / Buddha-nature / True nature of Reality as it is / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T] is indescribable / inconceivable, beyond all dualities (ex. good vs. bad, equal vs. unequal, pure vs. impure, perfect vs. imperfect, divine vs. ordinary, samsara vs. nirvana), beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma. It is also empty of inherent existence <==> because dependently co-arisen, merely labelled / imputed by the mind. It has to be directly perceived / experienced.)

The root text describes the buddha-element, the sugatagarbha, the nature of self-cognizing awareness as follows:

  1. Since it is not divided Into pure and impure, It’s beyond saṃsāra and the state beyond all pain. It is the space wherein these different states arise , The basis whence they manifest According as one knows or fails to know it as it is. The sugatagarbha is the primal ground, The fundamental nature.

Awareness is, in its own nature, neither saṃsāra nor nirvāṇa, for in it there is nothing to be either accomplished or eliminated. As we find in the Ratnakūṭa, “O Kāśyapa, the ultimate expanse, completely pure by nature, is neither saṃsāra nor nirvāṇa. For it is not a truly existing thing.” Within this nature, which does not exist as anything at all, there is a radiance that supplies the ground for unceasing manifestation. If this radiance is recognized for what it is, nirvāṇa ensues; if it is not recognized, the hallucinatory appearances of saṃsāra, which are like magical illusions, arise.

(i.e. A MAGICAL-LIKE GROUND LIKE A MIRROR: A metaphor for this Ground / Basis / Suchness / U2T as the Source of all manifestations / appearances in both samsara & nirvana. It is empty but still functional, functional but still empty of inherent existence.)

The root text then gives an example of how—because it does not exist as anything at all—awareness provides the basis for the arising [T1] of anything at all:

  1. It is like a limpid looking glass, The base for the arising of reflected forms [T1], Which, in the moment when such forms appear, Does not exist as any one of them [T2] [U2T]. The surface of the glass Is neither white nor black, Yet it provides the base In which both white and black appear. Awareness is like this. And knowing this, you will be skilled in everything.

The pure surface of a mirror does not exist as any of the reflections that appear in it. Yet it is the ground upon which all such reflections appear. And although what appears in it may be white or black, the surface of the mirror is not so. Thanks to such an example, one should understand that awareness, which is similar to a reflecting surface, does not exist as anything at all and yet it provides the basis for the appearance of every kind of manifestation. In the very moment that appearances arise, whether of saṃsāra or of nirvāṇa, awareness itself is not stained or colored by them. It is therefore said of hallucinatory appearances that even though they do arise, awareness is not stained by them, provided it is not impaired by one’s clinging to such appearances. Practitioners who are beyond the acceptance and rejection of sense objects are said to be “great yogis skilled in the natural flow of awareness.”

(i.e. [2] MAGICAL-LIKE ILLUSIONS IN ACCORD WITH THE MAGICAL-LIKE VIEW / GROUND / U2T: All illusions / appearances / manifestations are empty of inherent existence [T2], like illusions / dreams / mirages / reflections <==> because conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional eve-changing impermanent appearances ]T1], merely labelled / imputed by the mind. One aspect / truth implies the other (<==>) [U2T]. They are said to be ‘impure’ when we are ignorant of their true nature & dynamic; they are said to be ‘pure’ when we are fully aware of their true nature & dynamic, as pointed by the concept of the Union of the Two Truths [U2T]. But in Reality everything is beyond dualities like pure vs. impure. That is why we might as well perceive everything as primordially equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete – as an antidote to our usual position, until we directly realise their true nature & dynamic. The origination, duration and cessation of illusions are all equally pure, empty of inherent existence.)

The second [of the four kinds of] illusion is the illusion to be purified.

  1. [2 - The illusion of impurity / Emergence of illusion / Samsara:] Impure illusions [T1] are the false appearance [T2] And perception of saṃsāra— Occurring through our taking Dualistically what is non-dual [Uopp].

The hallucinatory appearances of the universe and beings, together with deluded thought patterns, are the stains that obscure the sphere of luminosity, which has the nature of awareness. These deluded thought patterns are the cause, true origins, whence there arises the result, true sufferings [the hallucinatory appearances].

(i.e. [3] A MAGICAL-LIKE PATH IN ACCORD WITH THE MAGICAL-LIKE VIEW / GROUND / U2T: To magical-like purify all the magical-like illusions.)

[3] The third kind of illusion is the illusion of the purification of these stains

  1. [3 - The illusion of skillful methods to purify:] The illusion then of skillful means Thus constitutes the path of remedies. On the four paths of accumulation, Joining, seeing, meditation, The two accumulations And the practice of two stages Constitute the means of cleansing. The stains that should be cleansed Are thereby swept away like clouds.

The practice of the basic level on the path of accumulation is the implementation of the four close mindfulnesses. The practice of the middle level is the implementation of the four genuine restraints, while training in the four bases of miraculous power is the practice of the greater level. On the path of joining, the five powers are applied through the stages of warmth and peak, while the five irresistible forces are applied on the stages of acceptance and the supreme mundane level. On the path of seeing, one implements the seven elements leading to enlightenment, and on the path of meditation, one follows the eightfold noble path. 65 Therefore, all together, one implements the thirtyseven elements leading to enlightenment, the two accumulations of merit and of wisdom, and the two stages of generation and perfection. It is thus that one journeys along the path to suchness. Since this system of paths and grounds of realization is so important, I shall supply a rough explanation of it taken from the sūtras.

So it is that all the elements of the path arise without their having any intrinsic being. They are like magical illusions.

Moreover, in itself, the path consists in the skillful means that is the union of śamatha and vipaśyanā and in extraordinary realizations. Therefore it is the supreme remedy for the obscuring veils.

On the paths of accumulation and joining, beings are engaged in aspirational practice. It is through aspiration that one appraises the ultimate truth, that is, emptiness endowed with supreme qualities. It is likewise through aspiration that one places restraints upon the sense doors, that one principally engages in the accumulations of merit and wisdom, that—by curtailing one’s sleep during the first and last periods of the night—one practices śamatha and vipaśyanā. As one trains in the extraordinary union of skillful means and wisdom, completing and perfecting the three levels of the path of accumulation, a concentration in harmony with this wisdom will arise in one’s mind as a presage of the appearance of nonconceptual primordial wisdom. This is referred to as warmth [the first stage of the path of joining]. And as one goes on to perfect the stages of peak, acceptance, and the supreme mundane level, gross defilements will be suppressed and one will approach the first moment of the arising of primordial wisdom on the noble path [of seeing].

Subsequently, on the path of seeing, one will behold in direct reality nonconceptual primordial wisdom, the nature of the four truths. It is at this time that one aspect of the buddha-element, 71 namely, the adventitious obscurations arising through conceptual imputation (which is one of the items to be abandoned), is purified or removed.

In this regard, it may be said that each of the four truths (of suffering, origin, path, and cessation) exhibits four instants (understanding, acceptance, subsequent understanding, and subsequent acceptance), so that in the four truths there are, all together, sixteen instants. In the instant of understanding, one sees the specific characteristics of each of the truths. In the instant of acceptance, the seeing of these characteristics provokes a state of fearlessness. In the instant of subsequent understanding, one realizes that the characteristics specific to each of the four truths are a state of emptiness. In the instant of subsequent acceptance, one experiences no fear when seeing these characteristics as space. Partaking of the same mental substance, these aspects manifest—four for each truth, in the instants needed for the accomplishment of a given action—as the vision of the nature of the four truths: an illusion-like empty appearance. Thus for the four truths there arise, in successive order, four understandings, four acceptances, four subsequent understandings, and four subsequent acceptances.

It is then that one hundred twelve obscurations are eliminated by seeing. 72 These are, first, the six defilements of imputed character: ignorance, desire, anger, pride, doubt, and views. Concerning these views, there are five of them: the view of the transitory composite, the view of extremes, wrong views, the view of doctrinal superiority, and the view of ethical and yogic superiority. When these views are added to ignorance and the remaining four defilements that are not views [that is, desire, anger, pride, and doubt], we come to a total of ten root defilements. In the realm of desire, these ten defilements are present for each of the four truths, which makes forty all together. In the form and formless realms there is no anger, with the result that in those realms there are nine defilements for each of the four truths, and this makes thirty-six for each of these realms. If we add to these the forty factors just mentioned, we arrive at a grand total of one hundred twelve obscurations to be eliminated by seeing.

They are eliminated in the following way. By the path that gives rise to the wisdom of the path of seeing, 73 gross obscurations are indirectly eliminated. And when this wisdom arises, the subtle obscurations are directly eliminated. Finally, when wisdom is fully arisen, all the seeds of the obscurations that are eliminated through seeing are neutralized.

There are, in addition, the four hundred fourteen stains on the nine grounds of the path of meditation, and these are eliminated in the course of preparation, main practice, and conclusion of the successive grounds. The defilements that are eliminated on the path of meditation are latent; they are innate or coemergent. These defilements may be classified sixfold as ignorance, desire, anger, pride, the view of the transitory composite, and the view of extremes. In the desire realm, each of these six defilements has three degrees of intensity (great, middle, and small), each of which can be further divided into three levels (great of the great, middle of the great, small of the great, and so on). When they are divided thus into nine degrees of intensity, these six defilements, by virtue of this ninefold division, result in fifty-four defilements.

In the four samādhis of the realm of form, there is no anger. Consequently, when each of the remaining five defilements is subdivided according to these nine degrees of intensity, there are forty-five defilements for each level of samādhi. Therefore for the four levels of samādhi, there are, all together, one hundred eighty defilements.

Likewise in the formless realm, according to its four levels of infinite space, infinite consciousness, utter nothingness, and the peak of existence, there are also one hundred eighty defilements. Consequently in the two higher realms, each with its one hundred eighty defilements, there are, all together, three hundred sixty defilements. If we add to this the fifty-four defilements of the desire realm, we come to a grand total of four hundred fourteen obscurations that are eliminated by [the path of] meditation.

As for the manner in which the elimination occurs, the “path of preparation” 74 and the “path that is free of obstacles” both—as a first stage—eliminate the immediate cause [of the six root defilements]. The “special path,” on the other hand, is what actually eliminates them [and in so doing, is the real and active antidote], while the “path of total freedom” eliminates them by banishing [their propensities] far away and by arresting subtle defilements.

Each of the ten grounds of realization is associated principally with the practice of one of the ten transcendent perfections 75—with the other nine in attendance on it. For example, on the ground of Perfect Joy, one chiefly practices the perfection of generosity with the remaining nine perfections as accompaniments. …

But this is untenable. For in this sūtra, an extraordinary dream is discussed which involves traversing the grounds and paths. And this example demonstrates the attainment of all such grounds of realization. It does not teach that the qualities of the grounds cease to exist during the day. On the contrary, these qualities are ever present, day and night. The detailed description of these qualities should be understood according to the teaching of the great charioteers. This concludes the exposition of the magical illusion of the path of skillful means.


(i.e. [4] A MAGICAL-LIKE RESULT / FRUITION IN ACCORD WITH THE MAGICAL-LIKE VIEW / GROUND / U2T – TRIKAYA: The illusion of primordial wisdom = the inseparable three kayas.)

[4 - the illusion of the Result / Fruit / Primordial wisdom:] Now the root text goes on to describe the accomplishment produced by these skillful means. [This is the fourth of the four kinds of illusion.]

  1. The illusion of primordial wisdom, The final path of no more learning, Consists in the three kāyas, As well as the activity, spontaneously accomplished, Of the Victorious Ones. It is the twofold purity made manifest.

In the final moment of the tenth ground, the vajra-like concentration overwhelms all the propensities that lead to evil states. Manifest enlightenment then occurs: all the qualities of elimination and realization are perfected. From within the state of the twofold purity of the dharmakāya, wherein the ultimate expanse and primordial wisdom are inseparable, the two form bodies spontaneously appear and work for the benefit of beings for as long as saṃsāra lasts.

All this may be applied to the supreme Sage. In the Śrāvakayāna, it is believed that the Buddha began as an ordinary being and in his very lifetime actualized the five paths, thereby attaining enlightenment on the vajra seat of Bodhgaya. … …

B.2.a-iii MAGICAL-LIKE DEPENDENT ORIGINATION / CAUSALITY / KARMIC CYCLE
(i.e. Nothing really originates in dependence (either self-caused, other-caused, both together, or neither), lasts for a while & evolves / changes, and then finally ceases, or is liberated. Everything in both samsara & nirvana is equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete in being spontaneous natural manifestations of the Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas [U2T]. Everything is interdependent [T1] <==> and empty of inherent existence [T2] [U2T]. Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas [U2T].)

[B2a-iii - Magical-Like Dependent Origination]

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(i.e. THE ILLUSION OF DEPENDENT ORIGINATION: Everything – including the three spheres of any type of relation / action, the apparent opposites of any type of duality / triad / quad / etc, even the two truths themselves, even the Ground and its inseparable manifestations – seems to be arising dependent on its particular causes & condition [T1] <==> but in fact, causes, causality and effects are all empty of inherent existence [T2] [U2T]. So nothing really originates in dependence (either self-caused, other-caused, both together, or neither), lasts for a while & evolves / changes, and then finally ceases, or is liberated. Reality is beyond dualities like: existence & non-existence, dependence & independence, causality & acausality / spontaneity, emptiness and non-emptiness, identity & difference, separation & union, oneness & manyness, the two truths themselves. That is why we talk about an ‘inconceivable’ Union of the Two Truths beyond all extremes & middle.)

[5 - The illusion of Dependent Origination / Causality:] Now that the four kinds of illusion have been explained, we now turn to the illusion of the example, the illusion of dependent arising [T1].

  1. The illusion of the example Is the illusion of dependence.
    Just like magic forms arising Through the substances and chanting of a charm [T1],
    All things are understood to be unreal [T2] [U2T].
    This is the instruction of the Māyājāla.

Things appear and yet they lack intrinsic being. It is just as when, through the chanting of a word of power, a stick and a stone appear as a horse and an ox. It is thus that one should understand that phenomena arise in dependence on appropriate causes and conditions. As it is said in the sūtra entitled the Ornament of the Light of Wisdom, “Magical illusions, O Mañjuśrī, appear and yet do not exist. Likewise all phenomena appear and yet do not exist.”

(i.e. MAGICAL-LIKE DEPENDENTLY ARISEN ILLUSIONS / APPEARANCES ARE BEYOND ALL EXTREMES & MIDDLE: Beyond all extremes & middle like existence & non-existence, dependence & independence, purity & impurity, acceptation & rejection, the two truths, samsara & nirvana, etc.)

The root text now declares that these phenomena are magical illusions beyond the ontological extremes:

  1. Just as when a substance is conjoined With words of wizardry, The thing that then appears Is taken as a phantom form, In just the same way you should understand That things appearing [T1] falsely to migrating beings Are indeed without existence [T2] [U2T]. The objects that arise dependently [T1] Because of beings’ ingrained deluded habits Are empty in themselves [T2], ungraspable [inconceivable], In the very moment they appear.
    Understand that they transcend the two extremes Of non-existence and existence.

By the recitation of a magic spell, sticks and little stones may be made to appear in the form of horses and oxen. If the onlookers do not perceive the sticks and stones and see horses and oxen instead, it follows that their perceptions are mistaken or hallucinatory. And this is what samsaric appearances are like. All the things that one perceives do indeed seem to be truly existent entities composed of partless particles. But the fact is that they are the clear appearances of what has no existence. In themselves, partless particles cannot be perceived. And since apart from such particles there is nothing of which gross objects can be composed, the latter are pure hallucinations. In themselves, planks of wood, stones, earth, and water do not constitute a house. It is rather the gathering together of all such items that appears in such a form. On the other hand, no house can appear in dependence on [imperceptible] partless particles. Therefore, since the house appears and is perceived, it is a pure hallucination. Similarly, if one examines one’s friends and the joy one takes in them; if one examines one’s enemies and the displeasure they provoke; and if one examines all the ways one talks and thinks and all the actions one undertakes, not one of them actually exists [as a real entity]. But for as long as one does not examine such things, they do indeed seem real. They are, in other words, hallucinations, clear appearances of what does not exist. If one investigates these hallucinations, they have no true existence; they are just like space. One should recognize that they are magical illusions beyond the ontological extremes—just empty reflections.

(i.e. EVERYTHING IS JUST AN ILLUSORY DISPLAY OF THE GROUND / SUCHNESS / UNION OF THE TWO TRUTHS [U2T]: Even the origination / birth, duration / life, cessation / death of anything (physical, conceptual, mental) x (individual, collective, cosmic) x (living, nn-living) x (pure, impure). Even the 12 links of dependent origination, the cycle of rebirths in the six realms, karmic cycle, wheel of life, samsara & nirvana.)

The root text goes on to say that everything is just an illusory display:

  1. Illusory lands and towns that are illusory, Illusory people and their wealth that is illusory, Illusory delight and pain, illusory arising and destruction, Illusory veracity and lies that are illusory— Just as all these magical illusions Are perceived and do appear, In just the same way you should understand The appearance of the six migrations.

Like the things that a magician causes to appear, it is thus that one should understand beings and their happiness and suffering, arising and cessation, coming and going, the various regions of the six classes of beings, all one’s possessions and experiences, one’s enemies and friends.

(i.e. ALL EQUAL IN BEING ALL LIKE MAGICAL ILLUSIONS: Appearing [T1] yet without existence [T2] [U2T]. Union of the Two Truths [U2T])

All phenomena are thus on a level in being by nature magical illusions.

  1. Empty from the very first [T2], All things resemble magical illusions [T1] [U2T].
    Appearing yet without existence, They are just the same as magical illusions.
    Arising from conditions, They are indeed like magical illusions.
    Deceptive and destructible, They do indeed resemble magical illusions.
    In just such terms saṃsāra’s false appearances Are understood as magical illusions.

The elements of earth, air, fire, and water, which appear as the universe and beings contained therein, together with all the experiences of the mind, are all primordially pure; they resemble magical illusions. Magic horses and oxen are nothing but sticks and stones; they are empty of being horses and oxen. In the same way, the hallucinatory experiences [of saṃsāra] are groundless, no more than the mind’s subjective experience. They do not exist in fact. In the very moment that the magical illusion is perceived, no actual horse or ox is present, even though it seems to be. Likewise, in the very moment that all the various phenomena are perceived, they are not really there; they are like magical illusions. And as the coincidence of the condition (the magic spell) and of the material cause (the stick and the stone) gives rise to the appearance of the horse and ox, in just the same way, thanks to the coincidence of the condition (the various karmic actions) and of the cause (the ignorance and so on consisting in the duality of apprehending subject and apprehended object), beings circle in the six existential states and must suffer manifold experiences, even though they are nothing but magical illusions. When one’s eyes are tricked by a charm, a stick and a stone may appear as a horse and an ox, and the mind is thus deceived. In the same way, the appearances of form, touch, taste, and smell deceive the mind. One should therefore understand that such hallucinatory appearances are just like magical illusions.

(i.e. CULTIVATING COMPASSION FOR THOSE STUCK IN SAMSARA BECAUSE OF THEIR IGNORANCE OF THE TRUE NATURE & DYNAMIC OF REALITY AS IT IS / UNION OF THE TWO TRUTHS / U2T: )

The root text continues with advice to cultivate compassion toward those who fail to understand that phenomena are like magical illusions:

  1. And so it is. Although the six migrations [T1] Have in fact the nature of illusions [T2] [U2T], Beings fail to understand And without respite wander In the city of saṃsāra without end. How pitiful! They suffer through their actions, Source of pain and [temporary] pleasure. Consider this, O beings: The things that you mistakenly perceive Are magical illusions!

Although saṃsāra in all its variety is from the very beginning an illusion, through ignorance and clinging to self, beings are unaware that phenomena are false—appearing so clearly and yet devoid of real existence. And they doggedly believe in their real existence. So it is that they wander constantly in the city of saṃsāra, which is without beginning or end. And all these beings, who owing to their individual karmic destiny experience different hallucinatory appearances, are regarded by the noble ones as objects of compassion. This is why one should train on the relative level in compassion, the cause of one’s concern for beings in saṃsāra that is like a magical illusion.

Beings who are burning with defilement, who are beset and hindered by demonic forces and who are fettered by afflictions and false views, those who are outside the Dharma, as well as those who are beguiled by the taste of samādhi—and also the śrāvakas, the pratyekabuddhas, and beginners on the bodhisattva path—all such beings are the object of the compassion of the noble ones.

(i.e. TRAINING IN THE MINDFULNESS THAT EVERYTHING IS UNION OF THE TWO TRUTHS [U2T], DISPLAY OF THE GROUND [UGM] – with no real dependent origination, duration, cessation; no real there times: before / past, during / present, after / future. Union of the three stages of becoming [U3S]. Union of the three times.)

The root text now addresses those who have understood that all is like a magical illusion, instructing them to train in it:

  1. They arise from nowhere; nowhere do they go; They are present nowhere— Such is the true state of things. From the outset, by their nature, they are pure illusions. Be sure of this, O you of perfect destiny!

From the very beginning, phenomena are devoid of intrinsic being. Those who are intelligent should understand that while phenomena appear [T1], they do not exist in any inherent sense [T2] [U2T]. Things are the display of emptiness [display of the Ground].

(i.e. SUBJECT / MIND AND OBJECT / PHENOMENA ARE CO-EMERGENT / CO-EVOLVING / U2T: Everything is like magical illusions: ex. the three spheres – subject / mind, relation / action, object / phenomena –, samsara & nirvana, bounding and liberation, ignorance & wisdom / enlightenment. Union of the three spheres [U3S], Union of opposites [Uopp].)

Everything, the root text goes on to say, is the illusory and subjective experience of the mind:

  1. Beings are by their nature like illusions; The nature of enlightenment, it too is an illusion. The play of an illusion, saṃsāra and nirvāṇa are not two. Perceive them thus, O you who have good fortune!

The appearance of beings is an illusion; the appearance of buddhas is an illusion. All the phenomena of both saṃsāra and nirvāṇa simply appear in awareness, but they have no existence in awareness. It should be understood that their illusory display is simply the self-experience of awareness. As it is said in the Prajñāpāramitā in Eighteen Thousand Lines, “Devaputra, saṃsāra is like a dream; it is like a magical illusion. Nirvāṇa too is like a dream; it is like a magical illusion.”

B.2.a.iv THREE KINDS OF ILLUSIONS
(i.e. Illusion of samsara, nirvana, and of the Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / U2T itself)

[B2a-iv - Three Kinds of Illusions]

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(i.e. THE THREE KINDS OF ILLUSIONS: All things in both samsara & nirvana are like illusions. Union of the Two Truths about everything in both samsara & nirvana – including the three spheres of any type of relation / action, including all apparent opposites of any duality / triad / quad / etc., including the two truths themselves, including the Ground and its inseparable manifestations –.)

One must come to the conclusion that phenomena are none other than magical illusions.

  1. The Conqueror has said that things are but illusions [T1]. Aside from that, one cannot find  [T2] [U2T] A single atom of reality. Understand therefore, all you who wish for freedom, That nothing has true being; All is of the essence of illusion.

Phenomena are simply magical illusions. They do not exist in any other way.

(i.e. [1] THE ILLUSION OF PERFECT FREEDOM / NIRVANA: The inconceivable true nature & qualities of Enlightenment / nirvana: Union of the Two Truths about everything in nirvana.)

[1] The various kinds of illusion may be condensed into three, which are as follows. Regarding the illusion of perfect freedom, the root text says,

  1. The manner of illusion should be understood as follows. The illusion of enlightenment Is beyond all change and movement. It is spontaneously arisen. It is unfailing, ever space-like, all-pervading; It is like a wishing jewel, fulfilling all desires. all desires. It utterly displays unbounded excellence and actions. It is pure and luminous, and free from thought elaboration.

If the adventitious stains that mask the ultimate expanse (which is pure by its very nature) are removed, the dharmakāya buddha manifests endowed with twofold purity. And from within this state, the rūpakāya spontaneously appears. This is referred to as the illusion of enlightenment.

(i.e. [2] THE ILLUSION OF THE VARIOUS [MULTIPLICITY OF] THINGS / SAMSARA: The inconceivable nature & dynamic of the karmic cycle / samsara: Union of the Two Truths about everything in samsara, the karmic cycle, the 12 links of dependent origination.)

[2] The illusion of the various [multiplicity of] things is next described:

  1. The illusion of saṃsāra is untrue, deceptive. The phenomena thereof have no real features. Appearing and yet non-existent, They resemble magical illusions. But when deluded thought is cleansed away, Hallucinations likewise sink into the ultimate expanse. Just as when the magic ends, The horse and ox no more appear, Impure hallucinatory perceptions— Apprehender, apprehended— All subside in the primordial ground, Which, empty [T2] in its purity, Has no intrinsic being.

When the magic spell is broken, the illusory horse and ox no longer appear. It is just the same with illusory, hallucinatory appearances. When ignorance and the cognitions involving the duality of apprehender and apprehended are purified, the appearing objects, hallucinatory as they are, occur no more. They are said to “sink into the ultimate expanse,” disappearing like the magical horse and ox. This is why hallucinatory appearances are devoid of true characteristics; like magical illusions, they are devoid of intrinsic being.

(i.e. [3] THE ILLUSION OF THE ULTIMATE EXPANSE OF SAṂSĀRA AND NIRVĀṆA / GROUND / BASIS / SOURCE / SUCHNESS / U2T: The inconceivable nature & dynamic of the inconceivable unborn unchanging unconditioned unceasing limitless centerless pristine Ground / Basis / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths: Union of the Two Truths about the Ground and its inseparable manifestations. Union of the Two Truths about the two truths themselves [U2T-2T].)

[3] The text goes on to describe the illusion of the ultimate expanse of saṃsāra and nirvāṇa:

  1. The illusion of the fundamental nature Refers to ultimate reality devoid of change and movement. The final nature of all pure and impure things Is like the space enclosed within a vase. The vessel may be made of gold or clay, It may be broken or unbroken, But its space is neither increased Nor reduced thereby. Just so, in the condition of delusion, The ultimate reality is not diminished, Nor is it greater in the state of freedom. It neither worsens nor improves. This is the fundamental way of being, The final state of wisdom. The wise are those who thus have understood.

The illusion of the fundamental nature, the ultimate reality of all things, is awareness, the enlightened mind. The pure appearances that occur in the state of enlightenment and the impure hallucinatory appearances, together with the deluded thoughts occurring in the state of saṃsāra, are all contained within awareness [the Ground / Suchness / U2T]. Positive thoughts appear in awareness; evil thoughts also appear in awareness. Variegated appearances appear in awareness. There is no alternative to this. As ultimate reality, awareness pervades all things. For example, a golden vessel and an earthenware vessel both contain space. The vessels may appear to be precious or tawdry, but the space contained in them is neither good nor bad. In the same way, whereas nirvāṇa and saṃsāra seem to be good and bad respectively, it is important to understand that within awareness, they are neither good nor bad.

If one has this understanding, one sees that awareness, namely, the spontaneously present enlightened mind, is indeed the actual foundation of everything. And without accepting or rejecting, without affirming or negating, one becomes quite naturally adept in the ultimate reality of things. And thus one comes to be known as a great sage.

Moreover, the space contained within a vessel [remains constant]. It is not greater when the vessel remains whole, nor is it lessened when the vessel breaks. In the same way, in the state of delusion or freedom, awareness neither worsens nor improves; it neither decreases nor increases. It is simply the ultimate reality of things.

B.2b A Magical-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: ex. Developing the Four Immeasurables: loving-kindness, compassion, joy, equanimity. Mindfulness of the Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas [U2T]; Union of the three spheres in all activity [U3S]; Union of apparent opposites [Uopp]; Union of the three stages of becoming [U3S]; Union of the three times [U3T]. Middle Way in all activities.)

[B2b - A Magical-Like Path – Meditation / Conduct –]

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(i.e. Magical-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. MEDITATION UPON ILLUSIONS: That everything is appearing but not there, like magical illusions. Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas.)

Thus far, then, we have established the view of the magical illusion-like ground.
The root text now goes on to explain the practice of the path.

  1. Once you have grasped the view that all is an illusion, Proceed to meditate upon illusion, The great state of the absence of intrinsic being. The great state of the absence of intrinsic being. Perform, as previously, the preliminaries, And pray that you may realize That all things are illusions.

Yogis who have understood that phenomena are illusory go on to train in it. They take refuge and generate the attitude of bodhichitta and reflect upon the illusory character of all things. They visualize themselves as deities with their teachers above their heads and recite the seven-branch prayer just as before. They then pray to their teachers that they might be able to train with success in the illusory nature of everything. During that time, it is imperative to have unbounded devotion. The reason for this is that meditation on a deity together with other practices related to the view and meditation do not, in themselves, confer freedom. For this depends on other factors such as the application of the various activities, as well as progress in one’s general practice. By contrast, simply through devotion to one’s teacher, one easily progresses on the grounds and paths.

When one’s devotion to one’s teacher is at its best, it is there and then that accomplishment is gained. … …

(i.e. MEDITATE AT ALL TIMES, DAY AND NIGHT …)

The root text continues,

  1. Regarding the main practice, You should meditate at all times, day and night, Considering that all things in their variety, Both outside and within, Appear to you like magical illusions Through their causes and conditions. They are in truth unreal, intangible, An unobstructed openness.

Sitting in a high and open place, one should meditate on the understanding that whatever one sees, hears, and thinks is the illusory, subjective experience of one’s own mind. And one should rest in the thought-free state.

(i.e. POST-MEDITATION PRACTICE: )

Then, as one arises from this state, one’s practice in the postmeditation period should be as follows:

  1. No matter what defilements may arise [T1] , Attachment or dislike, indulging or rejection, Look on all of them as magical illusions. Train yourself to see them all as empty [T2] and unreal. Outwardly, all things are just illusions; Inwardly, all thoughts are like illusions. They come from causes and conditions, And thus they are deceptive and unreal. They are mere appearances, so meditate on them Employing the example of a magical illusion.

Attachment and aversion, friends and enemies, happiness and suffering—all the outer appearances of sense objects and all the inner experiences of the mind take their origin in extraneous conditions and are therefore illusory. They are false and deceptive and are therefore illusory. They appear without really existing and are therefore illusory. By reflecting in this way, one should come to the understanding that these illusions are but the radiance of emptiness.

(i.e. NIGHT-TIME PRACTICE: )

With regard to one’s practice at nighttime, the root text goes on to say,

  1. As before, when lying down to sleep, Relax completely in the state Of knowing all to be illusory, Unreal, beyond conceptual construction. Because you understand deluded dreams— Whatever may occur—to be illusory, All fear that might arise [T1] From taking them as true subsides. Training in them as illusions, Increase them and transfigure them. Travel to the buddha fields, Themselves like magical illusions. Perform this practice as described before.

Assuming the recumbent posture of a lion, one should relax in the state of the illusoriness of all things. Phenomena are empty and beyond the reach of conceptual elaboration. Then one should visualize the central channel with its upper extremity in the Brahmā aperture and the lower end in the secret center. Within this channel that is white and fine, like an inflated membrane, one should concentrate on a bright flame that then becomes increasingly fine until it disappears. And in this state, one should fall asleep. At first, one should recognize one’s dreams as simply magical illusions, getting used to their lack of real existence. Then one should multiply the things that one is dreaming about and transform them, and travel to the buddha fields as previously described.

B.2c A Magical-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. Spontaneous manifestations of enlightened qualities, the five wisdoms, the inseparable three pure kayas. – Awakening without awakening from the Magical Show of apparent reality to the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is / Ground / Suchness / U2T. – All reference points, discrimination in absolute terms, grasping, fears, fixations, will dissipate by themselves.)

[B2c - A Magical-Like Result / Fruition]

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(i.e. Magical-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. BEING SEEN AS MAGICAL ILLUSION, YOUR CLINGING TO THE REAL EXISTENCE OF SAṂSĀRA WILL DISSIPATE ALL BY ITSELF: )

And as one meditates on this path, the result will be as the root text describes:

  1. And by this means, your clinging To the real existence of saṃsāra Will dissipate all by itself. When it subsides through being seen as magical illusion, The state of non-abiding nirvāṇa is attained. The twofold aim, illusion-like, is gained all by itself. So train in the illusory condition of all things.

With regard to results in the immediate term, when one meditates day and night on the fact that all things are the illusory body of the deity (which is neither permanent, nor discontinuous, nor both), 91 one will acquire all the qualities of the path of learning. And in the ultimate term, one will gain the saṃbhogakāya while in the bardo state and pass beyond all sorrow.

B.2d A Magical-Like Conclusion for Chapter 2
(i.e. CONCLUSION FOR THIS CHAPTER: May all sentient beings awaken from this Magical Show. May all sentient beings realise the Magical-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.)

[B2d - A Magical-Like Conclusion for Chapter 2]

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(i.e. A MAGICAL-LIKE CONCLUSION FOR THIS CHAPTER: May all sentient beings awaken from this magical show. May all sentient beings realise the magical-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.)

In conclusion, The illusory display of all phenomena Is deep in nature, vast in character. May beings understand it perfectly As the adamantine state of non-duality And thus accomplish the illusion of enlightenment. The state of the enlightened attitude Is like the sky, immense and pure, Endowed with light of sun and moon, The luminosity illusion-like. Through the myriad lights of wisdom and of love, Arising through that concentration Where space and light are blended, May the ignorance of wandering beings be dispelled. And like the disk of the full autumn moon Reflected in the water cleansed of all impurity, May all the qualities of excellence be perfect In the firmament of vajra essence, Pure and ultimate reality.

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


Continuation in Part II & III:
Finding Rest in Illusion by Longchenpa - Part II - 174
https://www.gilehtblog.com/2021/12/finding-rest-in-illusion-part-ii.html
-
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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