The Next Step Up
(getting smarter)

We all have the potential of the omniscient understanding of a Buddha.
The less the cloudiness in the mind, the more the clarity, and the smarter we get.
Ultimate clarity is Buddhahood.

It is fixated ideas that keep us cloudy, confused and ignorant, limiting our intelligence and firing up our emotions.

Taking the next step
‘Clarity of mind’ and ‘clarity of essence’ is a very subtle arrangement; it is the distinction between stillness of mind and emptiness of essence.

To comprehend this, we need to understand the eight consciousnesses + our essential nature.

The first five are the sense consciousnesses, and the sixth, seventh and eighth are of the mind; the sixth is perception, seventh is judgement and the eighth is the reference library of karmic experiences. The eighth is also called the all-ground of experiences, and is like a library and the contents of that library, or a computer (the hardware) and the programmes loaded onto it (the software). In Sanskrit, these are called the Alaya and Alaya-vijnana, and there is more detail about this topic elsewhere on this blog.

When our memories of karmic experiences are quietened down – as recognised in meditation – the mind is still: there is an experience of stillness. However, this experience of stillness is an experience of “essential nature” experiencing “stillness”. We are therefore still at a conventional level, which is a duality.

This is a fine state in itself, but we must move beyond this to essential nature…pure awareness resting within itself. In the Dzogchen tradition, this is known as rigpa, and is a very subtle mode of being: there is experience but no experiencing, as the feeling of experiencing arises when we are out of pure being and looking at the experience (duality). Merely being is non duality: having an experience is duality. One is instantaneous and timeless, and the other has an element of past, present and future within in a milli-moment. The distinction between these is beyond words and is only understood in practice. This could be termed the ninth consciousness: pure awareness is clarity itself without an observer observing. There is merely immobile observation – pure awareness. Words make this all sound rather complicated, but it is absolute simplicity itself.

At a Dharmakaya level, when pure awareness happens, the eighth consciousness (the Alaya) totally collapses, and enlightenment occurs. So I’ve been told 😉

Recognising awareness stills and clears the mind. All obstructions vanish, allowing naturally clear essence to shine; clear light.

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