By Tsoknyi Rinpoche
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Extra resources for Carefree Dignity
Is this something that we can accomplish? No, it isn’t. Does it belong to samsara? No. Does it belong to nirvana? No. Yet it’s present throughout all states. That basic nature is what we should fully realize. It’s difficult to find an accurate example of how this innate nature really is. One comparison that is often used is space. Space is not limited to being only between the walls and the pillars, not just between the floor and the ceiling — space is throughout everything. ’ The Tibetan word is sem.
You can move your hand around in mid-air because the space is open, right? ’ Here’s another example: this stick I’m holding in my hand can disintegrate. It has a perishable nature, right? The fact that its existence is impermanent proves that it is empty in nature. These examples provide a rough idea of what empty quality means in this context. Our nature — and now we’re back talking about mind — this mind right here — is something which is basically both empty and cognizant, indivisibly. What happens in a normal moment of perception, when we are looking at a flower, for example, is that our basic identity, this unconfined, empty cognizance, becomes confined in the moment of perceiving.
It is possible that the method I am giving might seem very simple, or maybe a little too simplistic. But on the other hand, the outcome of using it can be very deep, in the sense of bringing about profound insight. If we immediately reject that simple method the moment we hear about it, thinking “This is too superficial,” we will never achieve the results that come through using it. As I said before, it’s too early to make a judgment based merely on listening. One should listen to the teachings on Dzogchen, the Great Perfection, with a very open mind, without any prejudice or preconceived ideas.