“When you are able to silence all views and words, when you get free from views and words, reality reveals itself to you.” – Thich Nhat Hahn
In Tibetan, “sem” refers to our ordinary, discursive mind, while “rigpa” means our innermost awareness, which can never be defined, since it is bigger than all of our thoughts, definitions and views, the way the sky is bigger than any cloud or storm that may pass through it.The non-dual union of the clear space of being, and awareness is known as “the nature of mind,” and is imagined as the union of mother and child, to give a sense of the warmth and sense of presence that can accompany the experience.
Rigpa or “innermost awareness” lies so close to us it’s hard to see, the way that we can’t really see our own eyes without a mirror. The teachings and masters of the Tibetan traditions of Dzogchen (“the great perfection”), Mahamudra (“the great seal”), and the Zen practice of Shikantaza (“just sitting”) act as mirrors to allow us recognize and learn to rest in the natural state.
“Abiding in the nature of mind is sufficient for spiritual enlightenment,” says Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, one of my own root lamas.
After more than three decades of exploration of Hindu, Christian, and Buddhist spirituality, my core practice is Dzogchen, as taught by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche and Anam Thubten Rinpoche. This is what I try to pass on to the meditation group.
Both of these masters teach in cities and towns all over the country and the world. Both have written clear and accessible books. Both have an extensive online presence, and Wangyal, especially, has developed a vibrant “cyber sangha,” which include classes that are very effective in communicating his core teachings.
In particular, it is very helpful to receive “pointing out instructions” from a lama, so that we know the state of awareness we are looking for. In my experience, Wangyal’s online classes and recordings can accomplish this.
Our meditation sessions involve brief practice session, and then portions of recordings from our teachers or discussions on other dharma related topics. We meet from 9:30-10:30 am Sundays, http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Inspiration%20Island/206/211/702.
I’m thinking of trying to find another hour of the week that works for our “regulars” to stream additional teachings, perhaps once or twice a month, but that is still on hold for now.