Buddha Essence in a Nutshell
and we’re the nuts…

Our true nature is awareness, pure awareness. That’s what we are! However, most of the time, we are something else: occupied, vacant or asleep. And so we are not aware of awareness. We are only aware of something outside ourselves. We are mainly distracted by clinging to images in the mind, and thereby clinging to an image of ourself which we have acquired: a generated “I”.

 The recognition of pure awareness is called Rigpa: it is the Dzogchen practice of the Tibetan Nyingma tradition. It is not really something that one practises: it is merely recognition of awareness, and in looking at that awareness ‘no thing’ is found. That non-finding is emptiness – your essence – pure awareness.

 It’s that simple.

So what’s the problem? Well, we have spent eons either occupied, vacant or asleep, and it has become bit of a habit. So we need methods to cut through these evil habits 😉 That’s all! Evil is only our consciousness (that’s mind activity) clinging to likes and dislikes, because it is ignorant of its true nature. That’s all!

We start by being relaxed about……..everything…….as every thing has no permanent, true existence of its own. Things are created by causes and conditions. They dwell for a while, and then dissolve. Every thing only seems to be real.

The first step is recognising awareness: then we start to wake up. This happens when we recognise that we are suffering, dissatisfied with the illusory dream of being either occupied, vacant or asleep.

The only reality is our pure awareness, which is never born and never dies.

Dharma is cutting through the illusion we currently live in. Whether this illusion is nice or horrid, it is still an impermanent state. If a thing is real, it can never not be real. The only reality is that which is constant – our pure awareness.

Oh, and there is a bonus! When pure awareness is recognised…you can’t help loving. Compassion naturally arises.

This is so simple. In fact, it is our origin. It is being ordinary. So if this is ordinary, what on earth are we doing all the time?! Playing with whistles and bells and buttons and bows… 😉

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  1. tony says:

    The idea of evil has been clouded in horrendous unbelievable evil doings. This is just to scare and control people. “If you don’t do this or that the bogey-man will get you!” All the evil that has been done on earth, is done by people who like and dislike, just like the rest of us. They just have the wherewithal to carry it out on a larger scale.

    There is evil in all of us. This merely our own likes and dislikes lying in ambush, to defend ourselves and attack others.

    We also have wisdom in all of us. This is only the age old battle between the dark and the light- selfishness v selflessness.

    The ancient teaching do describe out of body entities (Mara) that are attracted to our self-centredness. And, there enlightened being who are attracted to out selflessness. They both bless us in their own ways.

    We have a constant choice, of continuing to be bad tempered or….love! Of course ‘love’ can take many forms, it’s not just a soft marshmallow.


  2. Bob OHearn says:

    Hiya Tony! Here’s a pretty good direct introduction to Rigpa I came across:

    Rigpa is your unchanging state of Being. It has always been perfect and requires no liberation. This is who you are and have always been. This doesn’t change. You don’t suddenly wake up to this truth. You are always this truth. You haven’t become lost in suffering and samsara. Since that is the case, there is then nothing the matter. But it doesn’t feel perfect and blissful in this moment, how could that be? Let me try to explain: Your current awareness is Rigpa already. Thoughts, feelings and perceptions arise in Rigpa continuously. As such, we can say the mind arises in Rigpa. Rigpa is the context or space that everything arises within. The cognizant quality is always uniquely 100% belonging to Rigpa. Rigpa is the only “knower” of experience. Everything else is what is known.

    Imagine a large crystal ball in which bubbles appear and disappear within. Your Awareness as Rigpa is the crystal ball. The thoughts, feelings and sensations are the bubbles arising and disappearing within the sphere spontaneously. Your sense of Being is you being the crystal sphere. The crystal ball is unchanging at all times but these various appearances just arise as experiences. This is your energy appearing as those variously appearing bubbles within. There is a particular bubble that arises known as the sense of self or me. It has a complete story of identity made up of many thoughts and feelings all associated with it, like a cluster of bubbles. This “me” complex can become quite strong and dominant as the central experience. It is the energy of mind manifesting as the sense of being a defined person. This is the experience of limited ego existence in the world of samsara. This who we think we are. This dream-like self entity occupies our entire field of consciousness. But at no time is this a “real” person or being. It is just a strong experience of subjectivity or self, a projection of mind, a dreamed self.

    If we approach practice from the view of improving this self (as me), to become more aware… we are just becoming more enmeshed in the story of me. Any effort, mental or physical only reinforces the illusion that this self can become enlightened, but it can’t. It is a thought-complex floating in this sphere or crystal ball of Clear Light Awareness. You, your true and only Self-Being is the unchanging Clear Light Sphere of Awareness not its contents. So, you are still you whether all of those internal arisings are powerfully present or not.

    The ego-self does not come to realize something or have an insight through practice or study that leads to Rigpa. Nothing leads to Rigpa. Since you are already Rigpa, you cannot become more of Rigpa. Nothing needs to be changed or improved in your current state of unchanging Rigpa, you are already perfect. What does occur is a sudden flash of Self-Recognition that has nothing to with thinking mind or me-conscioiusness. The sphere of Awareness, the space of Being in which all these thoughts, ego and feelings arise, suddenly notices Itself. This is what is called Yeshe or Wisdom/Gnosis. The “me” does not have a realization. This flash of true identity is completely beyond the mind and ego-consciousness. That which becomes a follower of Dzogchen or Buddhism is this ego-self. That which reads, studies and practices a path is the ego-self in an effort to find liberation and enlightenment. But in Self-Recognition, all of the practices and study are completely meaningless as that entity never attains its goal… but is actually annihiliated in that flash of Self-Recognition. A person who has no training and has been extremely evil has the same chance of this flash or Self-Recognition occuring as one who has studied and practiced with great accumulation of virtue for many years! The evil and ignorant qualities only pertain to the ego-self. Just as the virtuous qualities and Dharma experienced practitioner is also just the ego-self. Self Recognition is beyond the condition of the ego-self and has nothing to do with the spirtual development story of “me”. To Rigpa virtue and vice are identical…just equal reflections in the mirror. The self you think you are is also just a reflection in the mirror of Rigpa.

    Perhaps you now have gained a glimpse why Dzogchen is not dependent on study or practice. That is because the one who does the studying and practice is not the one who Self-Recognizes! Only Rigpa flashes on Rigpa! The Realization does not occur to the subjective self… the identity who you think you are! You don’t realize Rigpa. You never become enlightened! Only Rigpa is in the Enlightened state and you can never become Rigpa! That’s because you are already Rigpa, experiencing the sensation of being the ego-self looking for Rigpa! That is completely the reverse of your current viewpoint within the dream of being this “me”. That’s the shift that occurs suddenly in perception. Instead of being the me looking for Rigpa, you suddenly are in the perspective of Rigpa noticing the sense of me as just an experience…not an identity. That’s transmission.

    The “Direct Introduction” to Rigpa is this transmission. Rigpa is recognizing Itself. In this case the master is like a mirror and the student’s Rigpa notices Itself in the mirror of the Rigpa of the Guru. This is real meaning of Guru yoga. A shift occurs from there being an identity of relative self, our ordinary me with its history and story, to a Recognition of true Identity as Rigpa. But the recognition is Rigpa’s alone! It does not occur to or in the mind. So even such a nice practice as “resting in Awareness”, when done as a “practice” is just more ego maneuvering… because there is the ego who is trying to rest in Awareness…just more dualism. Now Rigpa just being Rigpa… is more to the point. But at no time can there be someone who rests in Rigpa! Who could this one resting in Rigpa be, if the Being is already Rigpa?

    For those who are following this closely you may have been led down an inescapable path of Direct Introduction. This discussion was not intended to be “about” a Direct Introduction” but to actually be a “Direct Introduction”.
    If you intellectualize this … the opportunity for the flash to occur fades. Just recognize your current awareness to be the cognizant Space of your experience, unchanged by all arisings, yet not separate from them: Rigpa.

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