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

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

158 THE TIBETAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYINGwith you, but you cannot see it without help. Now imaginethat you have never seen a mirror before. The introduction bythe master is like suddenly holding up a mirror in which youcan, for the first time, see your own face reflected. Just likeyour face, this pure awareness of Rigpa is not something"new" that the master is giving you that you did not havebefore, nor is it something you could possibly find outside ofyourself. It has always been yours, and has always been withyou, but up until that startling moment you have never actuallyseen it directly.Patrul Rinpoche explains that, "According to the special traditionof the great masters of the practice lineage, the natureof mind, the face of Rigpa, is introduced upon the very dissolutionof conceptual mind." In the moment of introduction, themaster cuts through the conceptual mind altogether, layingbare the naked Rigpa and revealing explicitly its true nature.In that powerful moment, a merging of minds and heartstakes place, and the student has an undeniable experience, orglimpse, of the nature of Rigpa. In one and the same momentthe master introduces and the student recognizes. As the masterdirects his blessing from the wisdom of his Rigpa into theheart of the Rigpa of his student, the master shows the studentdirectly the original face of the nature of mind.For the master's introduction to be fully effective, however,the right conditions or environment have to be created. Only afew special individuals in history, because of their purifiedkarma, have been able to recognize and become enlightenedin an instant; and so the introduction must almost always bepreceded by the following preliminaries. It is these preliminariesthat purify and peel away the ordinary mind and bring youto the state wherein your Rigpa can be revealed to you.First, meditation, the supreme antidote to distraction, bringsthe mind home and enables it to settle into its natural state.Second, deep practices of purification, and the strengtheningof positive karma through the accumulation of merit and wisdom,start to wear away and dissolve the emotional and intellectualveils that obscure the nature of mind. As my masterJamyang Khyentse wrote: "If the obscurations are removed,the wisdom of one's own Rigpa will naturally shine." Thesepurification practices, called Ngöndro in Tibetan, have beenskillfully designed to effect a comprehensive inner transformation.They involve the entire being—body, speech, and mind—and begin with a series of deep contemplations on

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