Friday, April 01, 2011

Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche - Letting mind rest in the direct experience of the present moment

by Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche
foreword by the Dalai Lama
introduction by Lama Tashi Namgyal


Dharma Quote of the Week

With regard to awareness of the present moment, our mind is utterly insubstantial and yet has this characteristic of luminosity (Tib. salwa). "Luminosity" here simply means the cognitive capacity, the fact that our mind can know, experience, feel, and so on. This awareness always occurs in the present. When we are not thinking of the past or thinking of the future, when we're letting our mind simply rest in the direct experience of the present moment, then this awareness or lucidity emerges as an unfabricated intelligence.

Initially we do this very briefly, for one moment, two moments, and so on, but as we work with this, it starts to take on a momentum. However, it's important not to interfere with the naturalness of this awareness by appraising what is occurring, which means that we shouldn't think, "Well, this is happening, that is happening, I'm aware of this, I'm aware of that." Nor should we judge what's happening by thinking, "Well, this is good, this is what's supposed to be happening," or, "This is bad, this isn't what's supposed to be happening."

On the other hand, we do need to "plant the watchman of mindfulness and alertness," which means that we maintain some intentional awareness of what is occurring. Here, mindfulness means a simple, direct recollection of what we're trying to do. In other words, mindfulness is recollecting that we are trying to rest in a direct experience of the present moment. Alertness then is that faculty of mind that becomes aware when we become distracted from this present experience. However, this watchfulness or, this watchman, has to be very relaxed and gentle. It can't be too heavy-handed, otherwise the whole thing becomes a conceptual judgement. The technique of mind is to rest in this awareness of the present moment with a gentle watchman of mindfulness and alertness. (p.36)

--from Pointing Out the Dharmakaya by Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, foreword by the Dalai Lama, introduction by Lama Tashi Namgyal, published by Snow Lion Publications

Pointing Out the Dharmakaya • Now at 5O% off
(Good until April 8th).

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