Mind-Full of Emptiness
This is the path to enlightenment: the complete picture.
There are two aspects to complete enlightenment: one is consciousness-awareness and the other is its purity of emptiness.
There are also two ways of coming to this realisation. We can start either with mindfulness (which is our conduct) that leads to the clarity of emptiness, or we can start with the clarity of emptiness, and use mindfulness as our conduct. It may not sound like it, but these are two different approaches.
If we start with mindfulness, we are creating the right circumstances for realising the wisdom of the clarity of emptiness.
If we start with the clarity of emptiness, we are mindful of that realisation which is expressed through our conduct, in everything we do.
So what is mindfulness? Mindfulness is … the five paramitas, the five perfections: generosity, patience, conscience, perseverance, meditation/concentration.
There is a sixth perfection which is transcendent wisdom = the empty clarity of consciousness.
This is how we address (deal with) our karma, our programming.
It is also how we undress (eliminate) our karma, our programming.
Once we realise – through experience – that we can only be pure consciousness, we may be left with a feeling of, “Shouldn’t life be better now?” and “Am I enlightened?” When we realise that we are not enlightened on the ultimate level, we may feel incredibly disappointed – but this is only part of our journey.
The actual path to enlightenment is the application of the six perfections (paramitas). “Oh, I’ve heard of them; they’re in the ordinary refuge prayer, but I want the secretteachings!” If we think like this (and it’s perfectly understandable), we have missed a vital – and very helpful – instruction.
The ordinary refuge prayer:
“I go for refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha.
By the merit of practising the paramitas,
May I attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all beings.”
Really and truly, that is the path. These six perfections – generosity, patience, conscience, perseverance, meditation and transcendent wisdom – are what we apply to all situation. All situations that arise are due to our karma; karma is the result of previous action that controls our reactions. It’s our personal programming, and it’s pre-written by us. The six perfections are a method to clean up karma. Karma cleaning = formatting our programming.
Much depends on the way in which we work:
We can start with the first five perfections (paramitas) to make us decent human beings, thus preparing us for the sixth perfection of wisdom, which is the realisation of pure consciousness/pure awareness. However,everyonewho wants to be a good and decent person applies generosity, discipline, patience, perseverance, concentration.
It is only when wisdom is present that the perfections become powerful, automatic and transcendent.
The pointing-out instruction is the golden roof, but we also need mindfulness as an expression of right conduct to support that golden roof.
If we build the foundations first,
we won’t know how high we have to go before we can construct our roof:
that could take a long time.
If, however, we start with the roof – the fruition –
we will find that the foundations to support that roof
are no different from the roof itself.
Our path is our confusion about how high that roof has to go.
In reality, there is no separation between roof and ground.
Even though we receive teachings, we are still left with our heap of karmic programming. We may not like it. We may not like ourselves. We may think life is pointless. It is here that we advocate or rely on the six perfections, to first be kind to ourselves and then to others. Incidentally, the six perfections are encapsulated in the mantra of compassion, OM MANI PEME HUM. We either chant the mantra for years and hope we will be compassionate, or we understand the meaning of those words and apply them, giving up the wishful thinking.
Compassion is the combination of practising the six perfections of generosity, conscience, patience, perseverance, meditation and transcendent wisdom for the benefit of all beings who are suffering in the six psychological realms (hell, hungry ghosts, animal, human, jealous god and god realms).
The result of mind-full of emptiness is love.
Genuine compassion for all.