Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Reflections on Saraha, originator of Mahamudra

Space is designated as empty,
Yet its exact nature cannot be verbalized.
Similarly the mind is designated as luminously clear,
Yet its exact nature is empty, with no ground for definition.
Thus the self-nature of mind is and has been
From the very beginning like that of space.


... and how blessed I am to have the Mahamudra to practice!

It struck me yesterday how beautifully balanced my two practices are .... that of Chod and of Mahamudra. One involves complex visualisations, the presence of various deities, and the generation of all manner of thoughts and appearances, arranged to induce realisation.

The other involves nothing other than looking at the nature of my mind, directly and simply, with nothing fabricated, nothing altered.

It seems to be an extraordinary balance, to have times practicing Chod where I'm enveloped in sacred presence, invoking and supplicating, where my mind is deliberately directed towards utilising appearances in the most skillful of ways. And then at other times, when practicing Mahamudra, I simply let go of creating or striving in any way, and allow awareness to turn in on itself, and shine its light upon its source. So simple, so pure, so little to get caught up in .... simply allowing the mind to settle into its own nature, and revealing a little of it eternal secret.

What a supreme comfort it is to so readily be surrounded by the blessed ones, to have my guru in mind, and to be filled with radiant qualities, seeming without end. And yet how blessed it is to rest simply in nothing, to let go of doing, and to allow the still waters to settle and show their extraordinary nature, nothing and yet everything.

Either way though, the practice is the same - pointing to minds nature, via direct or indirect means. Either way I'm filled with gratitude, that such treasures should have fallen into my lap, so incomperably precious, yet seemingly so undeserved!

Either way the nature is revealed, that of some (no) thing so intangible, yet seemingly radiant and clear.

Strive as I can, there's nothing I can grasp, no nature to hold as an object or thing, and nothing to say 'I've found it'. It just melts away before my minds eye, insubstantial, groundless, spacious, indeterminate. Nothing to capture, nothing to hold, nothing that is 'it', nothing to be found. Wherever my mind turns, however it tries to sneakily angle itself, it cannot catch anything, cannot find anything, cannot finally encounter this hidden nature as a thing. For all my guile and striving, there's nothing to be found, and in moments of ease, mind lets go of the struggle, and senses the boundless and groundless, finding a strangely profound security in the seemingly insecure.

And yet at one and the same time, this nothing, this no-thing isn't exactly nothing, isn't a void without ... what?, I cannot say. There's seemingly a clarity, a luminosity, a magical display which is unceasing and unimpeded. Mind displays appearances, yet those appearances are empty of substance. And they seem one and the same, well ... not one, yet not two either ..... so intimately connected ... yet not connected, as they are not two things to be brought together in some way.

Inseparable ... Luminous Emptiness ..... where there is one, the other is to be found. Nowhere other than in the one is the other .... nowhere else can they be found. Not separate qualities, not separate and related.

Magical appearances, utterly void of any substance.

Saraha, Master of Mahamudra, who discovered the Golden Key, the direct method .... unquantifiable thanks ....


Anonymous said...

This is really very inspiring, and I think it is so very important to be inspired. Thank you for sharing with us the joy that your practice brings to your life.

Meredith said...

Dear Chodpa,
I, too, enjoyed reading about your two practices, and how they combine for you into such 'rightness'. I know little about the Chod practice, nor the Mahamudra in its formal description either, yet find true resonance with the this meditation of open source. Uncontrived, open and allowing, this involves big trust in the nature of things, including our mind/self, to open, to drop striving and pretense, to drop the notion of self, and rest instead on the ease of the present moment.

I love how you write of being enveloped in sacred presence, and then let go of striving in any way, and of simply allowing awareness to turn in on itself...

When we are able to draw our attention to our own nature, without pushing away or pulling towards, it is so delightful to recognize the radiant qualities of consciousness. And once resting here, one's most sincere response is naturally one of gratitude, the gratitude you describe.

Your beautiful phrase, LUminous Emptiness, describes the field of our gratitude, yes?