1. Heart to Heart Essence Connection

What is dharma correspondence? Or, healing at the heart level in our life?

What’s love, (unconditional, universal kind) got to do with it?

Well everything actually? “It’s love actually” – which acts as healing in our life at the inner, innermost levels, so that no longer attaching, (which is mistaken consciousness, based on belief in self), to dualistic thinking, which then ripens as, cause of – negativity, obscuration, blocks, suffering (aggravation/ dissatisfaction) in our lives.

Instead, inner repattern, which is living in dharma practice.
Access awareness, realisation of the nature of rigpa states, (otherwise known as, waking up to the nature of true reality), clear the seeds and imprints of previous mistakeness, (attachment to dualistic conception). Emaho!

2. Recognising our Ignorance

Coming to the proper understanding is critical, because even without intentionally doing so, (merely following in subconscious programming) – cause of harm to oneself/others. The problem is, this is not seen (because of the low levels of awareness realisation).

This is why ignorance (not knowing) is described as a dreadful master. Work to transform this. Or, put another way, the tamed mind is your bestfriend, the untamed mind, your worst enemy, (will cause problems for you, far worse than any outside enemy could do). Mind continues beyond this life, until it comes to the Dharma, and through habituating to the practices, (purification of the dualistic attachment), realises the true nature of reality.

Therefore, learning the process of how to think (not what to think) is crucial. Corresponding and living in vehicle of dharma, on the non-physical plane (spiritual). Making these inner shifts (in our inner reality), leads to living in a healthy mind, body, and energy.

In answer to the question: Why aren’t I awake yet?
Better to ask, what is it that you have been doing?

Are you operating from a dualistic or a nondual view of reality?
Have you internalised the correct conduct of body, speech and mind?
Do you connect to the essence of your wisdom awareness nature?
Are you using a method of practice, (installed and being utilised) as moment to moment awareness recognition, to guide the mind out of its darkness?

Nothing but our own ignorance keeps us enslaved.
Nothing can keep us from liberation, when the mind is turned that way, and we practice until awakening. This is what is meant in the texts, when it says: “Buddha in the palm of the hand”.

To what extent are we still bound by our own delusion? This continues in one form or the other, ceaselessly until we are liberated. Pure intention is key, to what extent are we training our mind? We reap what we sow. It is sown, as we do. A cause and effect universe. To what degree is this understood?

So, we make the determination to wake up, right this moment without delay (time is a human concept/ fabrication) and turn the mind towards liberation. Habituating to that.

Welcome to study and practice of unification of method (compassion) and emptiness (wisdom), through the arising of bodhicitta (awakening mind). Unique and foundational to the Buddha’s teaching is realising the emptiness (shunyata) of dependent origination (arising).

3. Overcoming our Ignorance

In the traditional texts a common analogy is used, regarding the necessity of first softening the mind (dharma practice), so that it can become serviceable (recognise and realise the nature of true reality beyond clinging to the merely imputed conventional appearances). Like that of rubbing butter into an animal hide, or extracting the oil from sesame seeds by pounding them, (in the monastic tradition, they have the practice of clear, skilful, rigorous, energetic debate).

The practical point to take away here, is that consistent, rigour, determination and application is required in the practices of training of the mind on the relative level, so the mind is ‘holding its own’ in recognition/ realisation of its own awareness. Continuing on, working our way through the bodhisattva levels of practice.

Practice for a direct perception (experience) of emptiness, (- mind is introduced to its true nature, the nature of true reality), realisation, and to the fully awakened state of an omniscient buddha, (no longer any imprints, and their seeds of delusion remaining).

The mind requires training in the dharma on the relative level. To begin with, the untrained mind is likened to a wild horse, on to which you place the saddle of practice, so you do not get thrown off in the winds of karma, (the arising, and attachment, to deluded action).

Causes and effects continue, and are experienced according to the level of realisation/ ignorance. Once the root of delusion is severed and the true nature of the mind/ reality, realised – the tree of karma is cut and its branches wither.

Mind recognition is that of its own nature, and that of all phenomena, to be one and the same. It no longer attaches to the mere appearances of things (phenomena), as somehow having some real, inherent, substantially existing entity/ reality from their own side, as if apart – (the way it appears to the unrealised mind on the relative reality level). Instead, it is recognised as a play of the mind. The true nature of rigpa, is the realisation of the unborn, indivisible emptiness, primordial essence. Emaho!

Understanding the “meaning” in practice

Understand the meaning in practice, (this is a tool which opens the mind/ instructs in recognition).

Make effort to understand meaning, not appearances is the teachings of the Buddha Dharma – as appearances are deceptive. Living by appearances, (merely imputed concepts), is like you are hungry and thirsty, you keep creating that, looking at, and attaching to food and drinks. Rather than tasting/eating or drinking the practice of living dharma, (bodhicitta, cultivating non-dual awareness, to awakening). The former, merely continues the current state, it does not nourish you beyond that. The latter, the dharma, will continue to benefit you and others, in this life, (and beyond life and death), until awakening, (realisation of the nature of rigpa, the unborn, indivisible nature of true reality).

The Four Reliances ~ Mipham Rinpoche

What to Rely Upon

There Are Four Reliances:

(1) Don’t rely on the person, rely on the teaching.
(2) Don’t rely on the words, rely on the meaning.
(3) Don’t rely on the provisional meaning, rely on the definitive, ultimate meaning.
(4) Don’t rely on the conceptual mind, but rely on wisdom.

The Commentary

1. Therefore do not rely on individuals,

But rely upon the Dharma.
Freedom comes from the genuine path that is taught,
Not the one who teaches it.

When the teachings are well presented,
It does not matter what the speaker is like.

Even the bliss-gone buddhas themselves
can appear as prostitutes and butchers to train disciples.

If he [she] contradicts the meaning of the Dharma and so on,
Then however eloquent a speaker may seem,
He [she] will bring you no benefit,
Like a demon appearing in a Buddha’s form.

2. Do not rely on the words, but on the meaning

Whenever you study or contemplate the Dharma,
Rely not on the words, but on the meaning.
If the meaning is understood, then regardless of the speaker’s style,
There will be no conflict.

When you have understood what it was
The speaker intended to communicate,
If you then continue to think about each word and expression,
It is as if you’ve found your elephant but now go in search of its footprints.

If you misinterpret what is said and then think of more words,
You’ll never stop till you run out of thoughts,

But all the while you’re only straying further and further from the meaning.
Like children playing, you’ll only end up exhausted.

Even for a single word like “and” or “but”,
When taken out of context, there’s no end to what it might mean.

Yet if you understand what is meant,
Then with that the need for the word is finished.

When the finger points to the moon,
The childish will look at the finger itself.

And fools attached to mere language,
May think they’ve understood, but they will find it difficult.

3. Do not rely on the provisional meaning, but on the definitive meaning

When it comes to the meaning,
You should know what is provisional and what is definitive,
And rely not on any provisional meaning,
But only on the meaning that is true definitively.

The Buddha himself in all his wisdom,
Taught according to students’ capacities and intentions,

Presenting vehicles of various levels
Just like the rungs of a ladder.

Wisely, he spoke with certain intentions in mind,
As with the eight kinds of implied and indirect teachings.

If these were to be taken literally they might be invalidated,
But they were taught in context for a particular time, place and the aptitude of the person listening…

4. Do not rely on the ordinary mind, but rely on wisdom

When taking the definitive meaning into experience,
Do not rely upon the ordinary dualistic mind
That chases after words and concepts,
But rely upon non-dual wisdom itself.

That which operates with conceptual ideas
Is the ordinary mind, whose nature involves perceiver and perceived.
All that is conceived in this way is false
And will never touch upon the actual nature of reality.

Any idea of real or unreal, both or neither—
Any such concept, however it’s conceived—is still only a concept,
And whatever ideas we hold in mind,
They are still within the domain of Mara.

This has been stated in the teachings
It is not by any assertion or denial
That we will put an end to concepts.
But once we see without rejecting or affirming, there is freedom.

Although it is without any subject-object grasping,
There is naturally occurring wisdom that illuminates itself,
And all ideas of existence, non-existence, both and neither have ceased completely—
This is said to be supreme primordial wisdom.

The definitive meaning can either be understood conceptually, by means of ideas, or it can be experienced directly as the object of non-conceptual awareness wisdom. As long as you are caught up in the conceptual extremes of negation and affirmation, existence and non-existence.

~ Mipham Rinpoche

(Posted by mindmichael, Instagram, 19 July 2023)