In case you thought you understood “Examine the nature of unborn awareness,” let go even of that understanding, that poise, that security, that sense of ground. Let go even of the idea of emptiness, of openness, of space…so whenever you come up with a solid conclusion, let the rug be pulled out. You can pull out your own rug, and you can also let life pull it out for you.
So if you think that everything is solid, that’s one trap, and if you change that for a different belief system, that’s another trap. We have to pull out the rug from under our belief systems altogether. We can do that by letting go of our beliefs, and also our sense of what is right and wrong, by just going back to the simplicity and the immediacy of our present experience, resting in the nature of alaya.
There’s no real happiness among any of the six classes,
But if we consider the sufferings of the three lower realms,
Then, when you feel upset just by hearing about them,
How will you possibly cope when you experience them directly?
Even the happiness and pleasures of the three upper realms
Are just like fine food that’s been laced with poison—
Enjoyable at first, but in the long run a cause of ruin.
What’s more, all these experiences of pleasure and pain,
Are not brought about by anyone besides yourself.
They are produced by your very own actions, good and bad.
Once you know this, it’s crucial that you act accordingly,
Without confusing what should be adopted and abandoned.
3rd Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche
Are the many yidams we see in pictures and visualize real? No, they are symbols of the ultimate yidam. The various forms and attributes of the deities point to manifold habits of clinging, grasping, and holding impure appearances in one’s mind. There are so many impure ideas and things one thinks are real. Each yidam symbolizes one of the many aspects of clinging and clutching. One needs to know this. […] The deity’s body represents the indivisibility of emptiness and appearance; the mantra of each deity is the indivisibility of emptiness and sound; the deity’s mind is the indivisibility of emptiness and awareness.
You know the relative to be a lie, yet still you practise the two accumulations.
You realize that in the absolute there is nothing to be meditated on, yet still you practise meditation.
You see the relative and absolute as one, yet still you diligently practise.
Peerless teacher, at your feet I bow.
What is the difference between the real state of rigpa and the imitation? Check whether or not there is any clinging, any sense of keeping hold of something. With conceptual rigpa you notice a sense of trying to keep a state, trying to maintain a state, trying to nurture a state. There is a sense of hope or fear and also a sense of being occupied. Understand? The keeping means there’s a sense of protecting, of not wanting to lose it, in the back of the mind. This is not bad, it’s good, and for some people there’s no way around training like that in the beginning. Through training in this way, that conceptual aspect becomes increasingly refined and clarified.
So you practice more, more, more. Now you have more of a sense of openness, but still you’re holding this openness. All right, then, let the openness go. Let’s say that after two months you let it go. But still you’re staying within the openness — so then you practice letting go of the staying. And somehow there is still a remnant of wanting to achieve it again. So you let that go as well, and slowly again let it go, let it go, until you become very much “just there,” and finally very free and easy.
There’s nothing wrong with negativity.
The clothing and alms needed to keep you alive are all you need.
You might dine on the finest meal of delicious meat and alcohol,
But it all turns into something impure the very next morning,
And there is nothing more to it all than that.
So be content with life-sustaining provisions and simple clothes,
And be a loser when it comes to food, clothing and conversation.