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

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

THE NATURE OF MIND 55Our true nature and the nature of all beings is not somethingextraordinary. The irony is that it is our so-called ordinaryworld that is extraordinary, a fantastic, elaborate hallucinationof the deluded vision of samsara. It is this "extraordinary"vision that blinds us to the "ordinary," natural, inherent natureof mind. Imagine if the buddhas were looking down at usnow: How they would marvel sadly at the lethal ingenuityand intricacy of our confusion!Sometimes, because we are so unnecessarily complicated,when the nature of mind is introduced by a master, it is justtoo simple for us to believe. Our ordinary mind tells us thiscannot be, there must be something more to it than this. Itmust surely be more "glorious," with lights blazing in spacearound us, angels with flowing golden hair swooping down tomeet us, and a deep Wizard of Oz voice announcing, "Nowyou have been introduced to the nature of your mind." Thereis no such drama.Because in our culture we overvalue the intellect, we imaginethat to become enlightened demands extraordinary intelligence.In fact many kinds of cleverness are just furtherobscurations. There is a Tibetan saying that goes, "If you aretoo clever, you could miss the point entirely." Patrul Rinpochesaid: "The logical mind seems interesting, but it is the seed ofdelusion." People can become obsessed with their own theoriesand miss the point of everything. In Tibet we say: "Theoriesare like patches on a coat, one day they just wear off." Letme tell you an encouraging story:One great master in the last century had a disciple whowas very thick-headed. The master had taught him again andagain, trying to introduce him to the nature of his mind. Stillhe did not get it. Finally, the master became furious and toldhim, "Look, I want you to carry this bag full of barley up tothe top of that mountain over there. But you mustn't stop andrest. Just keep on going until you reach the top." The disciplewas a simple man, but he had unshakable devotion and trustin his master, and he did exactly what he had been told. Thebag was heavy. He picked it up and started up the slope ofthe mountain, not daring to stop. He just walked and walked.And the bag got heavier and heavier. It took him a long time.At last, when he reached the top, he dropped the bag. Heslumped to the ground, overcome with exhaustion but deeplyrelaxed. He felt the fresh mountain air on his face. All hisresistance had dissolved and, with it, his ordinary mind. Everythingjust seemed to stop. At that instant, he suddenly realized

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