display of your own Rigpa, just as the sun and its million rays

are one and indivisible. As Tsele Natsok Rangdrol says in his

verse for the bardo of dharmata: "Whatever grasps at appearance

or disappearance, as being good or bad, is your mind. And

this mind itself is the self-radiance of the Dharmakaya ..."

So when you are in the state of Rigpa, and when thoughts

and emotions arise, you recognize exactly what they are and

where they are springing from: then whatever arises becomes

the self-radiance of that wisdom. If you lose the presence of

that pristine, pure awareness of Rigpa, however, and you fail

to recognize whatever arises, then it will become separate

from you. It goes on to form what we call "thought," or an

emotion, and this is the creation of duality. To avoid this and

its consequences is why Tsele Natsok Rangdrol says: "Not to

cling to the risings, make concepts out of them, accept or

reject them: this is the heart of the practice for the bardo of


That separateness, between you and the risings in your

mind, and the duality it engenders, become spectacularly magnified

after death. This explains how, without that essence of

recognition of the true nature of the arisings within the mind,

in the bardo of dharmata the sounds, lights, and rays that

manifest can take on the objective reality of shocking, external

phenomena that are happening to you. So what could you

possibly do in such a situation but flee from the brilliant radiance

of the peaceful and wrathful deities, and run to the dim,

seductive, habitual lights of the six realms? The crucial recognition,

then, in the bardo of dharmata is that it is the wisdom

energy of your mind that is dawning: The buddhas and the

lights of wisdom are in no sense separate from you, but your

own wisdom energy. To realize that is an experience of nonduality,

and to enter into it is liberation.

What is occurring in the bardo of dharmata at death, and

whenever an emotion begins to arise in our minds in life, is

the same natural process. What is at question is whether or

not we recognize the true nature of the arising. If we can recognize

the arising of an emotion for what it really is, the

spontaneous energy of the nature of our own mind, then we

are empowered to free ourselves from the negative effects or

possible dangers of that emotion, and let it dissolve back into

the primordial purity of the vast expanse of Rigpa.

This recognition, and the freedom it brings, can only be the

fruit of many, many years of the most disciplined practice of

meditation, for it requires a long familiarity with and stabiliza-

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