RE: Rigpa Glimpse of the Day
- Our teacher, Sakyamuni Buddha, is one among the thousand Buddhas of this
aeon. These Buddhas were not Buddhas from the beginning, but were once
sentient beings like ourselves. How they came to be Buddhas is this.
Of body and mind, mind is predominant, for body and speech are under the
influence of the mind. Afflictions such as desire do not contaminate the
nature of the mind, for the nature of the mind is pure, uncontaminated by
any taint. Afflictions are peripheral factors of a mind, and through
gradually transforming all types of defects, such as these afflictions, the
adventitious taints can be completely removed. This state of complete
purification is Buddhahood; therefore, Buddhists do not assert that there is
any Buddha who has been enlightened from the beginning.
-- from "The Buddhism of Tibet: The Dalai Lama" translated and edited by
Jeffrey Hopkins, published by Snow Lion Publications
Even Buddha died. His death was a teaching to shock the naive, the indolent,
and the complacent, to wake us up to the truth that everything is
impermanent and death an inescapable fact of life. As he was approaching
death, Buddha said:
Of all footprints
That of the elephant is supreme.
Of all mindfulness meditations
That on death is supreme.
Because life is nothing but a perpetual fluctuation of birth, death, and
transition, so bardo experiences are happening to us all the time, and are a
basic part of our psychological makeup. Normally, however, we are oblivious
to the bardos and their gaps, as our mind passes from one so-called solid
situation to the next, habitually ignoring the transitions that are always
In fact, as the teachings can help us to understand, every moment of our
experience is a bardo, as each thought and each emotion arises out of, and
dies back into, the essence of mind. It is in moments of strong change and
transition especially, the teachings make us aware, that the true skylike,
primordial nature of mind will have a chance to manifest.
We have been taught to spend our lives chasing our thoughts and projections.
Even when the �mind� is talked about, it is only thoughts and emotions that
are referred to; and when our researchers study what they imagine to be the
mind, they look only at its projections. No one ever really looks into the
mind itself, the ground from which all these expressions arise; and this has
There are rough as well as gentle waves in the ocean; strong emotions come,
like anger, desire, jealousy. The real practitioner recognizes them not as a
disturbance or an obstacle but as a great opportunity. The fact that you
react to arisings such as these with habitual tendencies of attachment and
aversion is a sign not only that you are distracted but that you do not have
the recognition and have lost the ground of Rigpa. To react to emotions in
this way empowers them and binds you even tighter in the chains of delusion.
The great secret of Dzogchen is to see right through them, as soon as they
arise, to what they really are: the vivid and electric manifestation of the
energy of Rigpa itself. As you gradually learn to do this, even the most
turbulent emotions fail to seize hold of you and instead dissolve, as wild
waves rise and rear and sink back into the calm of the ocean.
If this elephant of mind is bound on all sides by the cord of mindfulness,
All fear disappears and complete happiness comes.
All enemies: all the tigers, lions, elephants, bears, serpents (of our emotions);
And all the keepers of hell; the demons and the horrors,
All of these are bound by the mastery of your mind,
And by the taming of that one mind, all are subdued,
Because from the mind are derived all fears and immeasurable sorrows.