Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Buddha Nature . . . As It Is

"The real problem," states renowned Dzogchen master, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, "is the state of mind of the ordinary person, which is always changing from one thing to another. Sentient beings are totally unstable, but someone who has truly recognized mind essence . . . is completely free from suffering. Even in this lifetime one can be totally free of pain, and progress further and further on the path of happiness."

". . . It is never pleasant to maintain the state of mind of an ordinary person, which is always changing," he observes. "When unhappy, one is totally overcome by that feeling. Better to recognize the wide-awake empty cognizance and remain like that."

In describing Dzogchen's "pointing-out" instruction - i.e., that our inherent Buddha nature is an "unconfined empty cognizance" - and the accompanying spiritual discipline to effectively stabilize one's being in that state, the Rinpoche observes:
"Basically there is nothing to do in all this practice. Simply allowing our mind to be, without having to do anything, is entirely against our usual habits. Our normal tendency is to think, 'I want to do this. I want to do that.' Then we actually go do it. Finally, we feel happy and satisfied when it's all neat, all accomplished, accomplished by ourselves. But that type of attitude is totally wrong in this type of practice. There is nothing whatsoever to do. Anything we try to do becomes an imitation, something made up by our thoughts and concepts."
"As a matter of fact," he notes, "it may feel utterly dissatisfying, extremely disappointing, to allow our original nature to be as it naturally is. We might much rather do something, imagine something, create something, and really put ourselves through a lot of hardship. Maybe that is why the Buddha did not teach Dzogchen and Mahamudra openly - because this not-doing is in some ways contrary to human nature."
"Buddha nature is free of the three times of past, present, and future, while our mind is under the power of the three times. Wakeful knowing is free of the three times. The three times involve fixating, thinking. Wakeful knowing is free of fixation and thought."
"The Buddha," he says, "realized that different beings had various capacities, so out of great compassion and skillful means he gave teachings that were right for different individuals. Although the essence of all teachings of all enlightened ones is to simply let be in recognition of one's own nature, the Buddha taught a lot of complex instructions in order to satisfy people on all the different levels. . . . It seems to be human nature to love complications, to want to build up a lot of stuff. Later on, of course, they must allow it all to fall away."

Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche
As It Is, vol. 1, pp. 63-64

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