Thrangu Rinpoche:
In the Vajrayana there is the direct path to examining mind. In everyday life we are habituated to thinking, "I have a mind and I perceive these things." Ordinarily, we do not directly look at the mind and therefore do not see the mind. This is very strange because we see things and we know that we are seeing visual phenomena. But who is seeing? We can look directly at the mind and find that there is no one seeing; there is no seer, and yet we are seeing phenomena. The same is true for the mental consciousness. We think various thoughts, but where is that thinking taking place? Who or what is thinking? However, when we look directly at the mind, we discover that there is nobody there; there is no thinker and yet thinking is going on. This approach of directly looking in a state of meditation isn't one of reasoning, but of directly looking at the mind to see what is there.
Source: Shentong and Rangtong
See: All Thrangu Rinpoche 58 Books at $35 (only 60 cents per book!)
If we look for a perceiver, we won’t find one. We do think, but if we look into the thinker, trying to find that which thinks, we do not find it. Yet, at the same time, we do see and we do think. The reality is that seeing occurs without a seer and thinking without a thinker. This is just how it is; this is the nature of the mind. The Heart Sutra sums this up by saying that “form is emptiness,” because whatever we look at is, by nature, devoid of true existence. At the same time, emptiness is also form, because the form only occurs as emptiness. Emptiness is no other than form and form is no other than emptiness. This may appear to apply only to other things, but when applied to the mind, the perceiver, one can also see that the perceiver is emptiness and emptiness is also the perceiver. Mind is no other than emptiness; emptiness is no other than mind. This is not just a concept; it is our basic state.
The reality of our mind may seem very deep and difficult to understand, but it may also be something very simple and easy because this mind is not somewhere else. It is not somebody else’s mind. It is your own mind. It is right here; therefore, it is something that you can know. When you look into it, you can see that not only is mind empty, it also knows; it is cognizant. All the Buddhist scriptures, their commentaries and the songs of realization by the great siddhas express this as the “indivisible unity of emptiness and cognizance,” or “undivided empty perceiving,” or “unity of empty cognizance.” No matter how it is described, this is how our basic nature really is. It is not our making. It is not the result of practice. It is simply the way it has always been.
Source: Crystal Clear (See: All Thrangu Rinpoche 58 Books at $35 (only 60 cents per book!)
Although one recognizes the cognitive lucidity or the lucidity of awareness within emptiness, there are different ways that this might be recognized. For example, someone might find that when they look at the nature of a thought, initially the thought arises, and then as the thought dissolves, what it leaves in its wake or what it leaves behind it is an experience or recognition of the unity of cognitive lucidity and emptiness. Because this person has recognized this cognitive lucidity and emptiness, there is some degree of recognition, but because this can only occur for them or has only occurred for them after the thought has subsided or vanished, then they are still not really seeing the nature of thought itself. For someone else, they might experience that from the moment of the thought's arising, and for the entire presence of that thought, it remains a unity of cognitive lucidity and emptiness. This is a correct identification, because whenever there is a thought present in the mind or when there is no thought present in the mind, and whether or not that thought is being viewed in this way or not, the nature of the mind and the nature of every thought is always a unity of cognitive lucidity and emptiness. It is not the case that thoughts only become that as they vanish.
The word naked is used a great deal at this point in the text. And the word naked here has a very specific and important meaning because it is used to distinguish between understanding and experience, that is to say, understanding and recognition. it is very easy to confuse one's understanding for an experience or a recognition. One might understand something about the mind and therefore think that one had recognized it directly. Here, the use of the term "naked" means "direct;" that is to say, something that is experienced nakedly or directly in the sense that the experience is free from the overlay of concepts.
Whereas normally we have the attitude that thought is something we must get rid of, in this case it is made clear that it is important not to get rid of thought, but to recognize its nature, and indeed, not only the nature of thought but the nature of stillness must be recognized. In particular, with regard to thought, as long as we do not recognize its nature, of course thought poses a threat to meditation and becomes an impediment. But once the nature of thought has been correctly recognized, thought itself becomes the meditative state and therefore it is often said that "the root of meditation is recognizing the nature of thought."
There lived in the eighteenth century a great Gelugpa teacher named Changkya Rolpe Dorje, who from his early youth displayed the signs of being an extraordinary person. He became particularly learned and also very realized, and at one point he composed a song called 'Recognizing Mother.' 'Mother' in his song is the word he uses to refer to dharmata or the nature of one's mind. This song was so extraordinary that a commentary was written about it by Khenchen Mipam Rinpoche. In this song, Changkya Rolpe Dorje makes a very clear distinction between recognizing and not recognizing the nature of one's mind. In one part of the song he says, "Nowadays we scholars of the Gelugpa tradition, in discarding these appearances of the mind as the basis for the realization of emptiness and of the basis for the negation of true existence, and in searching for something beyond this to refute, something beyond this to negate in order to realize emptiness, have left our old mother behind; in other words, we have missed the point of emptiness."
Changkya Rolpe Dorje gives another image for this mistake that we tend to make. he says that we are like a small child who is sitting in his mother's lap but forgetting where he is, looks for his mother everywhere; looks above, below, left and right and is unable to see his mother and becomes quite agitated. Along comes the child's older brother, and the image the older brother represents is both the understanding of interdependence and the recognition of the nature of thought. The older brother reminds the child by saying, "Your mother is right here, you are in her lap." In the same way, the nature of our mind or emptiness is with us all the time, we tend to look for it indirectly; we look for it somewhere outside ourselves, somewhere far away. And yet we do not need to look far away if we simply view the nature of thought as it is."...
Source: Pointing out the Dharmakaya ( )
Next is pointing out the mind within appearances, which is the twenty-fourth topic, and this is a presentation of what is an authentic experience of the relationship between mind and appearances.
When you are meditating and looking at the mind within appearances, then you may have the experience that, while the perceived objects and the perceiving mind do not seem in any way to disappear or cease to exist and are, in a sense, still present, when you actively look at them, you do not find anything in either that exists separate from the other. And in that way, when looking at the mind that experiences appearances, you find that there is nothing in that mind to fix upon as a truly existent subject or apprehender, yet the mind still appears to experience. And when you look at the perceived objects, while they do not disappear and while you are looking at them, they remain vivid appearances that are without anything in them anywhere that you can fix upon as existing separate from the experience of the nonduality of appearances and mind. This nonduality of appearance and mind is held to be the authentic experience or recognition of the mind within appearances.
Source: Pointing out the Dharmakaya ( )
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