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

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

THE GROUND 265explain its sacred meaning, they have oversimplified it andjumped to quick conclusions. One assumption they then makeis that the dawning of the Ground Luminosity is enlightenment.We might all like to identify death with heaven orenlightenment; but more important than mere wishful thinkingis to know that only if we have really been introduced tothe nature of our mind, our Rigpa, and only if we have establishedand stabilized it through meditation and integrated itinto our life, does the moment of death offer a real opportunityfor liberation.Even though the Ground Luminosity presents itself naturallyto us all, most of us are totally unprepared for its sheerimmensity, the vast and subtle depth of its naked simplicity.The majority of us will simply have no means of recognizingit, because we have not made ourselves familiar with waysof recognizing it in life. What happens, then, is that we tendto react instinctively with all our past fears, habits, and conditioning,all our old reflexes. Though the negative emotionsmay have died for the luminosity to appear, the habits oflifetimes still remain, hidden in the background of our ordinarymind. Though all our confusion dies in death, instead ofsurrendering and opening to the luminosity, in our fear andignorance we withdraw and instinctively hold onto ourgrasping.This is what obstructs us from truly using this powerfulmoment as an opportunity for liberation. Padmasambhavasays: "All beings have lived and died and been reborn countlesstimes. Over and over again they have experienced theindescribable Clear Light. But because they are obscured bythe darkness of ignorance, they wander endlessly in a limitlesssamsara."THE GROUND OF THE ORDINARY MINDAll these habitual tendencies, the results of our negativekarma, which have sprung from the darkness of ignorance, arestored in the ground of the ordinary mind. I have often wonderedwhat would be a good example to help describe theground of the ordinary mind. You could compare it to a transparentglass bubble, a very thin elastic film, an almost invisiblebarrier or veil that obscures the whole of our mind; but perhapsthe most useful image I can think of is of a glass door.Imagine you are sitting in front of a glass door that leads outinto your garden, looking through it, gazing out into space. It

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