Our true nature is like a wineglass, and our defilements and obscurations are like dirt and fingerprints. When we buy the glass, it has no inherently existing fingerprints. When it becomes soiled, the habitual mind thinks the glass is dirty, not that the glass has dirt. Its nature is not dirty, it’s a glass with some dirt and fingerprints on it. These impurities can be removed.
But no matter what method we use, the intent is to remove the dirt, not the glass. There is a big distinction between washing the glass and washing the dirt. If we think that the glass is somehow different than it was before, there is a misconception. Because the glass has no inherent fingerprints, when you remove the dirt, the glass isn’t transformed — it’s the same glass you bought at the store.
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
from the book What Makes You Not a Buddhist
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