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

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

THE INNERMOST ESSENCE 169ative karma. As Padmasambhava says, and this is the attitudewe all should have:Though my View is as spacious as the sky,My actions and respect for cause and effect are as fine as grains offlour:Masters of the Dzogchen tradition have stressed again andagain that without being thoroughly and deeply acquaintedwith the "essence and method of self-liberation" through longpractice, meditation "only furthers the path of delusion." Thismay seem harsh, but it is the case, because only constant selfliberationof thoughts can really end the reign of delusion andreally protect you from being plunged again into suffering andneurosis. Without the method of self-liberation, you will notbe able to withstand misfortunes and evil circumstances whenthey arise, and even if you meditate you will find that stillemotions like anger and desire run as rampant as ever. Thedanger of other kinds of meditation that do not have thismethod is that they become like "the meditation of the gods,"straying all too easily into sumptuous self-absorption or passivetrance or vacancy of one kind or another, none of whichattack and dissolve delusion at its root.The great Dzogchen master Vimalamitra spoke in the mostprecise way of the degrees of increasing naturalness in this liberation:When you first master this practice, liberation happenssimultaneously with the rising, like recognizing an old friendin a crowd. Perfecting and deepening the practice, liberationhappens simultaneously with the arising of thought and emotion,like a snake uncoiling and unwinding its own knots. Andin the final state of mastery, liberation is like a thief enteringan empty house; whatever arises neither harms nor benefits atrue Dzogchen yogin.Even in the greatest yogin, sorrow and joy still arise just asbefore. The difference between an ordinary person and theyogin is how they view their emotions and react to them. Anordinary person will instinctively accept or reject them, and soarouse the attachment or aversion that will result in the accumulationof negative karma. A yogin, however, perceiveseverything that rises in its natural, pristine state, withoutallowing grasping to enter his or her perception.Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche describes a yogin wanderingthrough a garden. He is completely awake to the splendor andbeauty of the flowers, and relishes their colors, shapes, and

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