The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

realjannaweiss

The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

266 THE TIBETAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYING

seems as though there is nothing between you and the sky,

because you cannot see the surface of the glass. You could

even bang your nose if you got up and tried to walk through,

thinking it wasn't there. But if you touch it you will see at

once there is something there that holds your fingerprints,

something that comes between you and the space outside.

In the same manner, the ground of the ordinary mind prevents

us from breaking through to the sky-like nature of our

mind, even if we can still have glimpses of it. As I have said,

the masters explain how there is a danger that meditation

practitioners can mistake the experience of the ground of the

ordinary mind for the real nature of mind itself. When they

rest in a state of great calm and stillness, all they could be

doing in fact might be merely resting in the ground of the

ordinary mind. It is the difference between looking up at the

sky from within a glass dome, and standing outside in the

open air. We have to break out of the ground of the ordinary

mind altogether, to discover and let in the fresh air of Rigpa.

So the aim of all our spiritual practice, and the real preparation

for the moment of death, is to purify this subtle barrier,

and gradually weaken it and break it down. When you have

broken it down completely, nothing comes between you and

the state of omniscience.

The introduction by the master to the nature of mind

breaks through the ground of the ordinary mind altogether, as

it is through this dissolution of the conceptual mind that the

enlightened mind is explicitly revealed. Then, each time we

rest in the nature of mind, the ground of the ordinary mind

gets weaker. But we will notice that how long we can stay in

the state of the nature of mind depends entirely on the stability

of our practice. Unfortunately, "Old habits die hard," and

the ground of the ordinary mind returns; our mind is like an

alcoholic who can kick the habit for a while, but relapses

whenever tempted or depressed.

Just as the glass door picks up all the traces of dirt from our

hands and fingers, the ground of the ordinary mind gathers

and stores all our karma and habits. And just as we have to

keep wiping the glass, so we have to keep purifying the

ground of the ordinary mind. It is as if the glass slowly wears

away as it gets thinner and thinner, little holes appear, and it

begins to dissolve.

Through our practice we gradually stabilize the nature of

mind more and more, so that it does not simply remain as our

absolute nature but becomes our everyday reality. As it does

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