44 THE TIBETAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYING The introduction by my master had sown a seed deep inside me. Later, I came to realize that this was the method of introduction employed in our lineage. Not knowing this then, however, made what happened completely unexpected, and so more astonishing and powerful. In our tradition we say that "three authentics" must be present for the nature of mind to be introduced: the blessing of an authentic master, the devotion of an authentic student, and the authentic lineage of the method of introduction. The President of the United States cannot introduce you to the nature of your mind, nor can your father or your mother. It doesn't matter how powerful someone may be, or how much they love you. It can only be introduced by someone who has fully realized it, and who carries the blessing and experience of the lineage. And you, the student, must find and constantly nourish that openness, breadth of vision, willingness, enthusiasm, and reverence that will change the whole atmosphere of your mind, and make you receptive to the introduction. That is what we mean by devotion. Without it, the master may introduce but the student will not recognize. The introduction to the nature of mind is only possible when both the master and student enter into that experience together; only in that meeting of minds and hearts will the student realize. The method is also of crucial importance. It is the very same method that has been tried and tested for thousands of years and enabled the masters of the past themselves to attain realization. When my master gave me the introduction so spontaneously, and at such an early age, he was doing something quite out of the ordinary. Normally it is done much later, when a disciple has gone through the preliminary training of meditation practice and purification. That is what ripens and opens the student's heart and mind to the direct understanding of the truth. Then, in that powerful moment of introduction, the master can direct his or her realization of the nature of mind—what we call the master's "wisdom mind"—into the mind of the now authentically receptive student. The master is doing nothing less than introducing the student to what the Buddha actually is, awakening the student, in other words, to the living presence of enlightenment within. In that experience, the Buddha, the nature of mind, and the master's wisdom mind are all fused into, and revealed as, one. The student then recognizes, in a blaze of gratitude, beyond any shadow
THE NATURE OF MIND 45 of doubt, that there is not, has never been, and could not ever be, any separation: between student and master, between the master's wisdom mind and the nature of the student's mind. Dudjom Rinpoche, in his famous declaration of realization, wrote: Since pure awareness of nowness is the real buddha, In openness and contentment I found the Lama in my heart. When we realize this unending natural mind is the very nature of the Lama, Then there is no need for attached, grasping, or weeping prayers or artificial complaints, By simply relaxing in this uncontrived, open, and natural state, We obtain the blessing of aimless self-liberation of whatever arises. 1 When you have fully recognized that the nature of your mind is the same as that of the master, from then on you and the master can never be separate because the master is one with the nature of your mind, always present, as it is. Remember Lama Tseten, whom I had watched dying as a child? When given the chance to have his master physically present at his deathbed, he said: "With the master, there's no such thing as distance." When, like Lama Tseten, you have recognized that the master and you are inseparable, an enormous gratitude and sense of awe and homage is bom in you. Dudjom Rinpoche calls this "the homage of the View." It is a devotion that springs spontaneously from seeing the View of the nature of mind. For me there were many other moments of introduction: in the teachings and initiations, and later I received the introduction from my other masters. After Jamyang Khyentse passed away, Dudjom Rinpoche held me in his love and took care of me, and I served as his translator for a number of years. This opened another phase of my life. Dudjom Rinpoche was one of Tibet's most famous masters and mystics, and a renowned scholar and author. My master Jamyang Khyentse always used to talk about how wonderful a master Dudjom Rinpoche was, and how he was the living representative of Padmasambhava in this age. Therefore I had a profound respect for him, although I had no personal connection with him or experience of his teaching. One day, after my master had died, when I was in my early twenties, I paid a courtesy call on Dudjom Rinpoche at his home in Kalimpong, a hill-station in the Himalayas.