Forgetting and Remembering
Methods and Liberation
The techniques and the destination
There are two views of a spiritual path; one is how we travel along to get somewhere, and the other is, on having arrived, realising that there is nowhere to go and that we are already here.
In the first view, we use mindful methods to remind us of what we are doing.
The other view is actually remembering and realising that we are already here. When we remember that we have arrived, then we do not need the methods to remind us, as now they would become a hinderance or a cause of confusion.
Whichever method works, do it, but that isn’t the destination. It is too easy to become attached to the method and, in fact, become lazy and smug as a result.
This is the difference between mindfulness and awareness. Mindfulness is the method, which is the stepping stone to awareness, while awareness is the stepping stone to realising the emptiness of awareness. In empty awareness we are liberated from thoughts and ‘doing’: we are free of techniques, rituals and practices. In Vajrayana (which employs visualisation practices known as the development stage), everything is dissolved into emptiness at the end of the practice: this is called the completion stage.
This is why, in Dzogchen, there are no visualisations, but merely the completion stage of emptiness.
The pure practice is simply being aware, being conscious.
To sit and do nothing for a moment costs nothing.
We are merely remembering what we are.
We are pure awareness, pure consciousness,
first and foremost.