Monday, May 22, 2006

Looking for My True Face

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If we look at our habitual mind without deception or judgment, we will see beyond it to who we truly are. Beyond the "self" and what it does or doesn't want, beyond the self that is constantly fighting or tugging at the world lies our true nature and true face.

This is the face of our natural state, free from the struggle to become what we are not. It's the face of a potentially realized being whose wisdom, qualities, and courage are beyond measure. Seeing both our deeper potential and our hindrances, we begin to understand the cause of our suffering--and we can begin to do something about it.

When we practice self-reflection, we take liberation into our own hands. This uncompromising path demands true courage and fearlessness. Going beyond the ordinary notion of self leads directly to the truth of our buddha essence, our true face, and to freedom from suffering.

~ Dzigar Kongtrul, "Looking in the Mirror," It's Up to You

The more of this book I read, the more I see why Pema Chodron is studying with Rinpoche now. He is very precise in how he gets to the heart of the issue.

This teaching is of interest to me, especially since Dzogchen isn't my chosen school of study. I am working a lot with mindfulness, with seeing my attachment, aversion, fear, pride, and so on come up in the moment of conflict. When I can see myself clearly and see those negative emotions come up, I can stop them in their tracks.

Just yesterday, Kira and I walked right up to the edge of one of our conflict patterns, and I saw it happening from my side and chose not to participate. Sometimes I am the one who is mindful enough to stop the pattern, sometimes she is. Yesterday it was me, and what I felt when I was able to step back from it was expansiveness.

As I disengaged from a voice in my head that was about to get all defensive and stake its claim to being right, it seemed that, for one brief instant, I could sense the freedom of nonattachment. I could see my original face that does not cling to being right, does not need to stake its claim, does not feel defensive, but just is.

It was a fleeting feeling, and not very deep, but I got for the first time what it might feel like to be free from clinging to this little ego -- in real time, not just in meditation. I want that freedom. I want to see my true face when I look in the mirror, not the selfish, grandiose, ghost-driven child that I have been most of my life.

It feels so far away. So I practice more. I read more. I sit more. Eventually I will cling less.

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1 comment:

Maliha Sanyal said...

Really digging your blog.