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A Light in the Dark

Pointing out mind nature in the tradition of old sages
by Ju Mipam Jampal Dorjé

I bow to my teacher and to Manjushri, being of timeless awareness.

Not needing a lot of training in study and reflection,
Just keeping to mind nature as in the Instruction Tradition,
With little difficulty, a city practitioner becomes a knowledge holder.
Such is the power of this profound path.

Instructions for Cracking the Shell of Ignorance

Place your mind in the natural flow of experience, don’t think about anything at all, and keep attention constant. When you do this, you may experience a dull vague knowing that is ineffective and indifferent.

When no insight at all arises, no knowing of any kind, teachers call this not knowing “ignorance.” They regard it as ineffective because you don’t know how to identify or describe your experience. They also call it “routine indifference” because you have nothing to say about what you are resting in or what you are thinking about.

What’s happening here is that you are resting in the ground of experience [1] with ordinary casual attention. Although such methods for placing attention should give rise to non-conceptual timeless awareness, when the timeless awareness of knowing itself does not arise, you aren’t doing the actual practice.

In Ever-present Good’s [2] Prayer of Intention, it says:
That vagueness, in which you do not attend to anything,
Is the genesis of confusion and ignorance.

Now, as you experience this vague knowing in which there is no thought or movement, look at what knows that this is happening, look at what is mentally or emotionally inert, and rest there. Then you experience an awareness that is free from thought and movement, has no sense of inside or outside, and is utterly clear and transparent, like space. Experience and experiencing are not separate. Yet you are unshakeable about what you are, thinking, “This is all there is!”

When this experience arises, there are no words or concepts to describe it. You could call it “beyond ideas,” “beyond words,” “original sheer clarity” or “awareness.” A timeless awareness arises in which you recognize what you are and it clears away the blind vague dullness. You know with certainty the pure being [3] of your own mind, just as when dawn breaks you see the inside of your own home.

continued on next page, see link below footnotes

  1. Tib. kun gzhi, here it refers to kun gzhi rnam shes or ground of experience consciousness. []
  2. Skt. Samantabhadra, the buddha principle in the Nyingma tradition []
  3. Skt. dharmata. Here, it is wise to remember that all this is a description of a way of experiencing what arises. Timeless awareness is not being posited as something that exists, but as a way of experiencing how you are. Similarly, the pure being of your own mind is a way of experiencing how you are and does not imply that there is a pure being, a nature, or anything else. []

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