Dear friends near and far,
As always, I hope this message finds you well, healthy and happy. On today’s Guru Rinpoche day, I would like to share with you some words from the first chapter of the Sutra of the Perfection of Wisdom in Eight-Thousand Lines, the chapter on the “Practice of the Knowledge of All Aspects.” Here, with the blessing of Buddha Shakyamuni, Subhuti is teaching Shariputra and other assembled bodhisattvas about the perfection of wisdom, and explains as follows:
Furthermore, Blessed One, how do bodhisattva mahasattvas who engage in the perfection of wisdom, and who cultivate the perfection of wisdom, train? Due to their bodhicitta, their minds are never conceited. That is how they train. “Why is that, you ask? Because there is no such mind, since the nature of mind is clarity.”
In answer to this, the Venerable Shariputra further inquires whether the mind exists or does not exist. As Subhuti explains that the mind is non-existent, Shariputra asks him what that may mean, and Subhuti answers as follows:
“Venerable Shariputra, the non-existence of mind means that it is unchanging and non-conceptual.”
This in fact encompasses the essence of all of the Buddha’s teachings: the nature of mind, which is also called buddha nature, perfection of wisdom, clarity, ordinary consciousness, awareness, wakefulness, emptiness, dharmakaya, or buddha… In order to see it, realize it, and manifest it, we need to follow the buddha’s teachings. In fact, the ultimate, unsurpassable teachings of the Buddha are unique in offering the methods to realize the nature of mind.
So, in order to realize its nature, we first need to understand that the mind is not truly existent, but that its nature is clarity, in that it is unchanging and non-conceptual. This is the main goal of all practices of the ground of the Great Middle Way (Mahamadhyamaka), the path of the Great Seal (Mahamudra), and the fruition of the Great Perfection (Mahasandhi). The main practice of the Great Vehicle (Mahayana), or the transcendent perfections (paramitas), is the ground of the Great Middle Way. The main practice of all the New Schools of Tibetan Buddhism (Sarma) is the path of the Great Seal. The main practice of the Ancient School of Tibetan Buddhism (Nyingma) is the fruition of the Great Perfection. However, all of these equally aim to introduce and arrive at the realization of the nature of mind, which is clarity.
Therefore, the essence of all of the teachings of all the Buddhas of the three times—past, present, and future—and of the three kayas—dharmakaya, sambhogakaya, and nirmanakaya—is just this. In order to realize it, you need to study, contemplate, and meditate. You need to gather the accumulations. You need bodhicitta, and you need to make dedications and aspirations.
So, the main thing I would like to share with you today is that it is extremely important to meet with an authentic teacher, to receive clear and profound teachings, and to practice them deeply and correctly—the meeting of the genuine teacher, the genuine instructions, the genuine student, and the genuine Dharma, is essential to realizing the essence of all teachings.
With all my love and prayers,