Scrutinize appearances ~ 14th Dalai Lama

No matter what our mind makes appear as an object of one of our six collections of consciousness — sights, sounds, smells, tastes, tactile or bodily sensations, or mental objects or events — we thoroughly scrutinize its mode of appearance. Our mind is making it appear as though its existence were established by virtue of itself, empowered by some truly and inherently existent self-nature — and not by virtue simply of mental labeling establishing its existence as what can be labeled “this” or “that” from this side. We thoroughly scrutinize this mode of appearance and the mode of existence it implies. There does appear to be something solidly there, not existing as what it is by virtue simply of mental labeling, but by virtue of itself, independently of anything else. But, by reminding ourselves that it does not exist as it appears to exist — by being mindful that its existence and identity are not established through its own power — we automatically reconfirm and become even stronger in our conviction in its bare mode of existence. In other words, as the text [the First Panchen Lama’s A Root Text for the Precious Gelug/Kagyu Tradition of Mahamudra] says, “[You experience] their bare mode of existence dawning in an exposed, resplendent manner.”

14th Dalai Lama

from the book The Gelug/Kagyu Tradition Of Mahamudra

translated by Alexander Berzin


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