This is Chapter 19, “Rest,” from The Truth about Enlightenment: How to Find Egolessness, Nonduality, and Wisdom on the Buddhist Path. (You can also download this chapter as a PDF.) After reading about self-existing awareness, vajra being, and crazy wisdom, a simple topic like rest might seem out of place. But the fact is, rest…

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This is Chapter 9, “Compassion,” from The Truth about Enlightenment: How to Find Egolessness, Nonduality, and Wisdom on the Buddhist Path. (You can also download this chapter as a PDF.) Like all insights in Buddhism, compassion (Sanskrit karuna) is felt. The feeling of compassion brings a natural sense of richness that expands limitlessly. Accompanying that…

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This is Chapter 6, “Emptiness,” from The Truth about Enlightenment: How to Find Egolessness, Nonduality, and Wisdom on the Buddhist Path. (You can also download this chapter as a PDF.) Emptiness (or voidness, Sanskrit shunyata) is nothingness with a difference. Along with its inseparable companion, awareness, it is one of the two major aspects of…

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This is Chapter 3, “Egolessness of Self,” from The Truth about Enlightenment: How to Find Egolessness, Nonduality, and Wisdom on the Buddhist Path. (You can also download this chapter as a PDF.) At this point, we turn to discussing the actual insights that arise on the path to enlightenment. The first of these is egolessness…

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Fear on cat’s feet creeps into the heart And I become a mouse frozen before its bright golden eyes. The look is not malicious, though much too intent. Where will all this end up? Well, in death of course, the dustbin of all existence. The trick is not to exist, and it can be done,…

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Only a Buddhist truly understands nothing. Only a Buddhist truly understands that nothing helps. Only a Buddhist truly understands that nothing matters. Only a Buddhist truly understands that nothing is perfect. There’s nothing to do, so do it. None of this means anything.

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How about the stop Where the heart pounds and the breath alternates In a place that is always still: A pond that the wind never ruffles Where the fish move through the motionless And the dragonflies flit in precise increments Over a reflection without distortion. Space is always stopped; After all, where does it have…

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What if you looked inside and there was nothing there, No one looking back when you stared, And when you scanned around your room it was mostly nothing too With some furniture to enhance the absence, And out the windows you saw trees, plants and grass Decorating a garden that now wavered a bit in…

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From loving kindness and compassion, the nature of mind stripped of all obstacles, I tap with this finger without an owner, words to all those suffering in this Dark Age. No matter what your occupation or preoccupation, listen to these words from nothing that knows. This world you live in has never, doesn’t now, and…

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We should rest in mind, not search for it; why search for what we already are?  When Self-liberation appears within, Engage not in logic and speculation Lest meaningless activities involve you. Son, rest yourself without wandering thoughts. Do you understand, Venerable Monk from Weu? (The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa, 242)   This is a…

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Tögal, the last of the last nonexistence Beyond the space of non self, past the space of an unreal world And beyond the endlessness of endless emptiness. When light leaves and the eyes flash in what is left The anchor of sight is pulled and the vessel of awareness drifts Into the fog of no…

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Blindly trying to help without understanding a given situation causes more harm than good.  Compassion is sensitivity to the suffering of others, and the desire to relieve that suffering. It is one of the two wings of enlightenment, the other being wisdom. Enlightened wisdom keeps us from psychological confusion and pain, and enlightened compassion keeps…

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We see how important it is to recognize and cherish authentic teachers—especially in Tibetan Buddhism, where allowing devotion to lapse is not only harmful to one’s enlightenment, but to one’s health. Today is the twenty-fifth parinirvana of my teacher, the Vidyadhara, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. A great teacher’s death is called a parinirvana (“highest nirvana”), because…

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Enlightenment Came With the Rain What I have always been, but never realized, came with the rain. The true nature streamed from the sky, From above, as blessings do. No cares now, only the rain pattering. What pleasure to be free of mind’s choices, To perceive without attachment. Without hoping for perfection or fearing its…

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Samadhi is a Sanskrit term usually translated as concentration. I have some problem with that definition, though, because it implies fixing mind on something else, like an object or the breath. In my experience, Samadhi is more about collecting or holding mind than focusing it on something. Practicing it correctly we don’t attach mind to…

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In this series of articles I have described various aspects of enlightenment, but I have not addressed why one might wish to become enlightened. Attaining it is a rigorous process that for most takes thousands of hours of learning, meditation and at least in Vajrayana Buddhism, turning one’s heart and mind over to another human…

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Compassion is a human characteristic; some may say the most human of all. It is also the premier activity of enlightened people, as well as the major reason Buddhists commit to becoming enlightened. Those with Buddhist insight are particularly suited for experiencing compassion, compassion being defined as awareness of the suffering of others and the…

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We have talked about emptiness, so it makes sense to talk about form. Logically, we could say that there is form because of emptiness and vice versa. In other words, if everything were form we would never have made a distinction about it and called it form. It’s like a fish would never make a…

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The true nature of mind has two major components: emptiness and awareness. We have discussed emptiness earlier, and in this blog we will turn to awareness, the second aspect of mind. We can think of awareness from either an everyday or enlightened perspective. For most people, what experiences the world feels like something they possess…

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All Buddhist traditions practice meditation, because the Buddha did so as a means to attain enlightenment. Meditation varies in different disciplines, but the rationale for doing it, in every one, is enlightenment. Enlightenment involves experiencing the true nature of mind, so it makes sense to look at mind with meditation until its nature reveals itself.…

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