You don’t have to be academic to know
Realising the nature of mind is merely recognising that which recognises the reflections. The mind comes in all shapes, sizes and has its own special needs, and so there is a need for information and knowledge to suit different minds.
We may know the Dharma makes sense, but are not totally convinced. Or, the mind may be sluggish, over-excited, lazy or too keen. Or, you might be in the wrong place at the wrong time, through karma…which means that you are probably in the right place at the right time!
My wife and I entered a Shedra at Ka Nying Shedrup Ling monastery in Bodhanatha, Nepal. It was a four year course, and we lasted two weeks…it was extremely academic. The abbot, Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche told me, “You don’t have to be a scholar to realise the nature of mind.” I didn’t quite believe him (I had special needs :-))…I do now!
There is a story about a monk called Shabkar, who waited on the lamas attending a teaching. He overheard these teachings and instantly recognised the nature of mind: he just looked and saw.
He became known as ‘Big Nose’, and went on to write “The Flight of the Garuda” with such clarity: this is an incredible account of realisation (we received a month long intensive teaching on this very text, and it was mind blowing!).
The Dharma teachings are extensive – very extensive – and cater for all shapes, sizes and special needs. The teachings have to be kept alive through both through word of mouth and practise (experienced).
The realising of the nature of mind, or rather the nature of essence, is very simple. It is awareness, pure awareness. But the mind may not be convinced so easily, as it has everything to lose! That’s all the things it has ever held onto.
To function as a human, we need certain information and knowledge, but when we get too involved in the art and science of being human, we can mistake our spiritual connection with ‘something’ else. At the death of the body, art and science are of no use, whereas recognising one’s true nature is.
When we look, we see, and then drop any concept of what is seen…there is nothing, just see-ing, recognis-ing, realis-ing, know-ing, be-ing*.
No mental images.
Just clear intelligence compassionate wisdom.
Why change a good thing?
* ing denotes something taking place.