' Realizing the Mind of Clear Light '...


Mipham Rinpoche wrote:

"In the sutras and the tantras it is called "sphere and emptiness." Itis called "sphere" (like a crystal ball) from the viewpoint of being without observation of any marks, being devoid of all aspects of proliferation, such as production, cessation, coming, going, and so forth, as mentioned at the beginning of Nagarjuna's Treatise on the Middle Way, and for the same reason it is called "emptiness."

It is devoid of all marks and signs, which are like smoke being the sign indicating the presence of fire. From its factor of luminous self effulgence, it is called "self-arisen pristine wisdom." And due to its not changing in any aspect, it is called "fundamental mind." In other texts it is called "fundamental cognition" and "natural mind of clear light."

"From the viewpoint of its immutability, it is called "mind-vajra" (mind-diamond) since it does not undergo any change. The mind-vajra (rigpa) pervades wherever space is present and thus this basal Mind of Clear Light is called "that endowed with the space-vajra pervading space."

This "Mind Vajra", like a crystal clear, diamond sphere; our transparent awareness (rigpa), experienced as directly behind the eyes and forehead as the place from where you are looking out from; however has no actual location in space or time.

You are that absolutely empty, yet aware, crystal clear space. Close your eyes and experience the clear emptiness that you are. Allthoughts, sounds and perceptions are arising in that aware emptiness without changing what you actually are as a knowing, clear transparency; like reflections appearing in a crystal clear mirror or crystal ball.

The individual "self" is an energetic reflection that appears in the empty mirror of pure awareness; like the character you seem to be in adream at night. When highly energized, the "reflection-self" takes cognitive center stage and the clear and empty transparency of the mirror remains unnoticed yet remains the empty, hosting context of its own reflections.

It's the reflected self-image that is confused and that suffers, not our clear and changeless hosting awareness (rigpa). We are the empty, aware context in which the energetic self-projection appears. The solution is just a subtle shift in focus of identity. Longchenpa explains how:

"The method is directing attention upon attention or awareness. When any arising is experienced, especially thoughts, moods, emotions, or feelings of personal self-identity, one simply notices one’s present naked awareness." (your aware knowingness, rigpa)

"By directing the attention back to awareness, the arising dissolves back into its origin and its essential nature, awareness." (the reflection dissolves back into the mirror)

This is like how we wake up from a dream in the morning. The dream images dissolve back into our awake awareness, from which they arose.

Longchenpa continues:

"In doing this, the arising releases its formative energy in itsdissolution as a surge of further clarity of Clear Light (rigpa), the power (tsal) and potency of awareness that energized the arising in the first place. Hence one’s Awareness presence is enhanced in the collapseof the formative arising. Hence the Dzogchen comment that “the stronger the afflictive emotion upon dissolution, the stronger the enhancement to the clarity of presence."

Another method that exposes this transparent Mind of Clear Light is Dzogchen thögal as taught in our "Dzogchen Thogal" group. Thögal brings the Mind of Clear Light (rigpa) vividly to center stage and the mind's reflections dissolve; which is the reverse of how self-identity takes center stage.

(Longchenpa quotes from: 'A Treasure Trove of Scriptural Transmission', Padma Publication)

(Mipham quote from: "The Meaning of Fundamental Mind, Clear Light, Expressed in Accordance with the Transmission of Conqueror Knowledge-Bearers: Vajra Matrix")

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