great equilibrium, where all good and bad, peace and distress, are

devoid of true identity.

Realizing the View subtly but completely transforms your

vision of everything. More and more, I have come to realize

how thoughts and concepts are all that block us from always

being, quite simply, in the absolute. Now I see clearly why the

masters so often say: "Try hard not to create too much hope

and fear," for they only engender more mental gossip. When

the View is there, thoughts are seen for what they truly are:

fleeting and transparent, and only relative. You see through

everything directly, as if you had X-ray eyes. You do not cling

to thoughts and emotions or reject them, but welcome them

all within the vast embrace of Rigpa. What you took so seriously

before—ambitions, plans, expectations, doubts, and passions—no

longer have any deep and anxious hold on you, for

the View has helped you to see the futility and pointlessness

of them all, and born in you a spirit of true renunciation.

Remaining in the clarity and confidence of Rigpa allows all

your thoughts and emotions to liberate naturally and effortlessly

within its vast expanse, like writing in water or painting

in the sky. If you truly perfect this practice, karma has no

chance at all to be accumulated; and in this state of aimless,

carefree abandon, what Dudjom Rinpoche calls "uninhibited,

naked ease," the karmic law of cause and effect can no longer

bind you in any way.

Don't assume, whatever you do, that this is, or could possibly

be, easy. It is extremely hard to rest undistracted in the

nature of mind, even for a moment, let alone to self-liberate a

single thought or emotion as it rises. We often assume that

simply because we understand something intellectually, or

think we do, we have actually realized it. This is a great delusion.

It requires the maturity that only years of listening, contemplation,

reflection, meditation, and sustained practice can

ripen. And it cannot be said too often that the practice of

Dzogchen always requires the guidance and instruction of a

qualified master.

Otherwise there is a great danger, called in the tradition

"losing the Action in the View." A teaching as high and powerful

as Dzogchen entails an extreme risk. Deluding yourself

that you are liberating thoughts and emotions, when in fact

you are nowhere near being able to do so, and thinking that

you are acting with the spontaneity of a true Dzogchen yogin,

all you are doing is simply accumulating vast amounts of neg-

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