When we sip our tea or coffee, start our car, enter a shop, or exchange greetings with someone while out for a stroll, we are enjoying those experiences as a direct result of interdependence. All these moments bear direct witness to the workings of interdependence. Such daily occurrences are a continuous procession of opportunities to recognize that others are indispensable to our well-being.
For a bodhisattva who has realized emptiness, the number of beings to be liberated and the time it might take to liberate them arouse feelings neither of discouragement nor of pride. Dawning freely in your enlightened mind is an all-inclusive compassion, devoid of all concepts of subject and object. Having realized the sameness of self and others, you remain as unchanging as primordial space.
Elevate your experience and remain wide open like the sky.
Expand your mindfulness and remain pervasive like the earth.
Steady your attention and remain unshakable like a mountain.
Brighten your awareness and remain shining like a flame.
Clear your thoughtfree wakefulness and remain lucid like a crystal.
As you begin your practice, think something like “breath, the door of my heart is open to you no matter how you feel, no matter what you do.” You will soon be looking at your breathing with compassion, embracing it as it is instead of finding fault.
Even though you experience transcendence,
and cultivate the spirit of enlightenment,
without wisdom from realizing emptiness,
you cannot cut off the root of the cyclic life —
so you should strive to understand relativity.
Before, you didn’t know how to practice, and then you did. Many things changed as a result. Maybe you had no confidence in Dharma, and then you came to have confidence. You had no devotion, and then you came to have devotion. You came to have more compassion than you did before. Your meditation improved. Now, none of these things were precisely given to you by your root guru, but nevertheless something happens surrounding your relationship with the root guru, and this is what we call the blessing of the guru.
Outwardly, relax clinging to objects! Inwardly, give up clinging to the body! Secretly, loosen clinging to mind! Tighten with intensity, and then gently relax! The tightening is the method, and the loosening is the wisdom! Introduction to the nature of mind by the Lama is like that, as well!
What, then, is emptiness? All phenomena from form through omniscience are, from the outset, not established whatsoever as any extreme elaboration such as existent, nonexistent, arisen, ceased, permanent, impermanent, empty, not empty, true, or false. To that lack of establishment, mere conventional terms such as “emptiness” and “suchness” are given. It is nothing more than that. This emptiness — that conventionally all phenomena are empty of their own entities — is the natural being (rang bab/rang babs), the abiding mode, of all knowable objects. Resting in equipoise within it is the antidote to all obscurations. It is the sun that conquers the darkness of wrong views, the supreme medicine that clears away the snake poison of reification, the essential nectar of the Buddha’s teachings. Everyone who sincerely desires liberation and omniscience should engage it through applying great effort in hearing, contemplating, and meditating.
On the whole, we naturally tend to trust our everyday perceptions; we assume their validity without it even occurring to us to question them. We naïvely believe that the way we perceive things is identical with the way things are. And so, because events and things, including the self, appear to have objective reality, we conclude, tacitly and often without any reflection at all, that they do in fact have an objective reality. Only through the process of careful analysis can we see that this is not so, that our perceptions do not accurately reflect objective reality.