Posted by: Soh
Something I wrote in March 2012:
Mind, awareness, experience, sensations are synonymous. It is not “mind is aware of experience”. For what is mind? Seeing sight, hearing sound, all is mind. So, experience is mind is awareness. This is the truth of non-duality. The non-conceptual sense of beingness or am-ness is mind, the non-conceptual presence of seeing, hearing, etc too is mind, thoughts too is mind. To apply effort to sustain a particular state of mind as being “nature of mind” is thus irrelevant, since every state and manifestation is in fact not other than the nature of mind. There is no nature of mind apart from mind, and no mind apart from experience. But until this is experientially realized, there is no benefit.
There is nothing concrete, substantial or unchanging about mind, thus allowing for infinite potential of appearances. Emptiness, luminosity and energy co-emerge. Inseparable from the interconnectedness of causes and conditions, vividly present but empty, being a ceaseless flow, appearing as various shapes and forms and bubbles like an endless river flowing according to various conditions. Mind is not some pure potential behind manifestation, rather lacking an independent self-substance, mind points to this very manifestation itself, whatever it is for “you” at this moment (probably the sight of these words).
What about analogies that the nature of mind is like space? It does not mean there is a space behind phenomenon, but rather the mind is empty of a concrete identity, and being so is free from limitations, center or boundaries just like space, manifest as this very appearance. There is no noumenon behind phenomenon. At this point, “who is aware?” no longer applies. Nothing hiding, totally manifest! This is what Padmasambhava meant by “Since there is only this pure observing, there will be found a lucid clarity without anyone being there who is the observer; Only a naked manifest awareness is present.”, and what a cook told Zen Master Dogen, “Nothing in the entire universe is hidden.” This is what Thusness calls, “total transparency”.
Another point to “Nothing in the entire universe is hidden.” is that this manifestation is the activity of the entire universe, so this very manifestation is in fact not different from and not the same as the entire universe. The apple is the sun-apple, the farmer-apple, the air-apple, the universe-apple, the biting is the apple-biting-apple and the mouth-biting-apple, the universe biting apple. Nothing in the universe is hidden for the universe is totally manifest As this very activity. This activity is the manifestation of the whole universe of interdependency in a perfect and complete expression, just like this. The ever evolving process of an interdependent universe universing universe. All causes and conditions are incorporated in seamless interdependence in a single activity. (E.g. Hand, shaking, cup, water, ripples) What we call “universe” is simply this evolving process of interactivity made manifest in each unfolding moment, an interconnected process rolling on and on without an agent, nothing hidden whatsoever.
So in summary: when we talk about “intrinsic awareness” or “intrinsic mind”, we may also call it “intrinsic luminosity of experience”, for what is mind? Nothing whatsoever and yet nothing is not (totally manifest, nothing hidden), the words experience/mind/awareness all point to this very luminous-experience-mind. It points to the dynamic flow of mind-activities. Thus luminosity is not an attribute of a fixed unchanging entity hidden somewhere, but the essence of the manifesting mind/experience itself, unfabricated and unconditioned (not created by something, by effort or by contrivance). And yet manifesting as whatsoever due to an interconnected flow of activities, nothing independent and nothing lasting more than moment.
Experience can really be summed up this way:
Vividly present dependent on conditions
Utterly gone upon the cessation of conditions.
Thus come, thus gone!
One who sees the suchness of dependent origination sees the Dharma, one who sees the Dharma sees the Tathagata (Thus Come One).
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