The Ground


moment of truth," or "Death is the point when we finally

come face to face with ourselves." And we have seen how

those who go through a near-death experience sometimes

report that as they witness their lives replayed before them,

they are asked questions such as, "What have you done with

your life? What have you done for others?" All of this points

to one fact: that in death we cannot escape from who or what

we really are. Whether we like it or not, our true nature is

revealed. But it is important to know that there are two

aspects of our being that are revealed at the moment of death:

our absolute nature, and our relative nature—how we are, and

have been, in this life.

As I have explained, in death all the components of our

body and mind are stripped away and disintegrate. As the

body dies, the senses and subtle elements dissolve, and this is

followed by the death of the ordinary aspect of our mind,

with all its negative emotions of anger, desire, and ignorance.

Finally nothing remains to obscure our true nature, as everything

that in life has clouded the enlightened mind has fallen

away. And what is revealed is the primordial ground of our

absolute nature, which is like a pure and cloudless sky.

This is called the dawning of the Ground Luminosity, or

"Clear Light," where consciousness itself dissolves into the allencompassing

space of truth. The Tibetan Book of the Dead says

of this moment:

The nature of everything is open, empty and naked like the sky

Luminous emptiness, without center or circumference: the pure,

naked Rigpa dawns.


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