Thursday, June 29, 2006

Visions of "The View"


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From The Glimpse of the Day:

All the Buddhist teachings are explained in terms of Ground, Path, and Fruition. The ground of Dzogchen is the fundamental, primordial state, our absolute nature, which is already perfect and always present.

Patrul Rinpoche says: "It is neither to be sought externally, nor is it something you did not have before and that now has to be newly born in your mind." So from the point of view of the Ground—the absolute—our nature is the same as the buddhas', and there is no question at this level, "not a hair’s breadth," the masters say, of teaching or practice to do.
Here is some text from the The Six Vajra Verses, said to be a perfect résumé of Dzogchen Teachings:

'Although apparent phenomena manifest as diversity ---
yet this diversity is non-dual.
And of all the multiplicity
of individual things that exist,
none can be confined in a limited concept.
Staying free from the trap of any attempt
to say 'it's like this', or 'like that',
it becomes clear that all manifested forms are
aspects of the infinite formless,
and, indivisible from it,
are self-perfected.
Seeing that everything is self-perfected
from the very beginning,
the disease of striving for any achievement
is surrendered,
and just remaining in the natural state
as it is,
the presence of non-dual contemplation
continuously spontaneously arises."

~ The Six Vajra Verses (Quoted in Namkhai Norbu's The Crystal and the Way of Light)
And here are some poems from Fakhruddin 'Iraqi - Divine Flashes, translated by W. Chittick and P. Wilson, as printed in BuddhaNet's article, "One View."

Before this there was one heart
but a thousand thoughts
Now all is reduced to
There is no love but Love."

The poetry that follows is like an exquisite wine, which benefits from being consciously tasted and savoured, with a natural pause between sips.

DIVINE FLASHES (Lama'at) - Fakhruddin 'Araqi

The Morning of Manifestation sighed,
the breeze of Grace breathed gently,
ripples stirred
upon the sea of Generosity.
The clouds of Abundance poured down the rain
upon the soil of preparedness;
so much rain that the earth shone with Light.
The lover, then, nourished with the water of life, awoke from the slumber
of non-existence, put on the cloak of being and tied around his brow the
turban of contemplation; he clinched the belt of desire about his waist
and set forth with the foot of sincerity upon the path of the Search.

The lover desires to see the Beloved with Certainty's Eye, and wanders a bewildered lifetime in this aspiration. Then suddenly with his heart's ear he hears a voice;
"The magic spring
that gives eternal Life,
is in your own heart
but you have blocked the flow."

Then the Eye of Certainty opens, and staring inwardly at himself, the lover finds himself lost, vanished. But ... he finds the Beloved; and when he looks still deeper, realises the Beloved is himself. He exclaims,

"Beloved, I sought you
here and there,
asked for news of you
from all I met;
then saw you through myself
and found we were identical.
Now I blush to think I ever
searched for signs of you."

Everyone with eyes sees just such a vision ... but remains ignorant of what he perceives. Every ant which leaves its nest and goes to the desert will see the sun, but not know what it sees. What irony! Everyone perceives Divine Beauty with Certainty's Eye, for in reality nothing exists but Transcendent Unity;

They look, they see, but do not comprehend.
They take no pleasure in the View,
For to enjoy it one must know
through the Truth of Certainty
What he is seeing,
through Whom, and why.

And so, the lover seeks the Vision in order that he might pass away from existence; he knocks on the door of non-existence, for there he was once at peace. There he was both seer and seen, Both viewer and viewed ... Because nothing in himself. When awakening from that peace and coming to be, he became the veil of his own sight and was deprived of Vision.

Know yourself: a cloud
drifting before your sun.
Cut yourself off from your senses
and behold your sun of intimacy.

If this screen ... which is you ... is struck from before your eyes, the Beloved will find the Beloved, and you will be entirely lost. Then you will say:

"By day I praised You
but never knew it;
by night slept with You
without realising;
fancying myself
to be myself;
but no, I was You
and never knew it."

With the Eye of the Heart the lover now sees ---
The Beloved's Loveliness owns
a hundred thousand faces;
gaze upon a different fair one
in every atom;
for She needs must show
to every separate thing
a different aspect
of Her beauty.
Gazing from every angle
on that precious countenance
in Thy face we see our own ---
hence the infinitude of descriptions.

Thus it is that every lover gives a different sign of the Beloved and every Gnostic a different explanation; every realised one seems to point to something different, yet each of them declares,

"Expressions are many
but Thy loveliness is one;
Each of us refers
to that single Beauty."

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