- in the words of Dzogchen Ranyak Patrul Rinpoche
Authentic dharma. What is 'authentic dharma'? It is the remedy for the
afflictions in our mindstream. Why is it that we need a remedy for them? Because
they are the cause of our suffering and they are the suffering itself.
example, when strong afflictions arise in the mind, the body as well as the mind
will experience pain and discomfort. The only relief we can find is in the authentic
dharma. If we place our hopes in other things, like alcohol or tobacco, entertainment
or routine, or even in our friends and associates, they will never really be able
to help us. They can only give us slight relief that lasts but for a short time,
and then our suffering will surely come back. They can never get to the root of
the problem for us.
If, on the other hand, we rely on the authentic dharma,
it means that we are really applying the very best remedy to the afflictions.
And if we do this, we will find that the pain and discomfort we experience in
body and mind will decrease. This is because of the very skilful means of the
What does 'authentic dharma' mean? It is the union of wisdom
and loving kindness, compassion. Wisdom understands the cause of the suffering
and loving kindness, compassion, eliminates it. The result is the true nature
of mind. What does 'true nature' mean? It is peaceful and blissful, without any
suffering, completely pure, self-existing and primordially spontaneously present.
It is the essence of mind and the essence of each and every phenomenon.
example, if we take two glasses of water, one dirty and one clean, the true nature
of each glass of water is the same, and because it is the same, the dirty water
can be purified and drunk. If the essence of both the clean and the dirty water
were not the same, then the dirty water could never become clean. It is only because
the essence of the water itself is the same that it can be made dirty or clean.
true nature of the ground, which is the true nature of mind, and the realisation
of the true nature of the ground, are not one and the same. Why not? It is because
one is realised and the other is not. This is like the difference between gold
that has not yet been refined and gold that has been fashioned into a piece of
jewellery. The basic gold of each is the same, but their qualities are different.
Once mind has realised the true nature of mind, then delusion and impurity are
banished forever. This is the state beyond suffering, and in particular, it is
the appearance of primordial wisdom.
All mind appearances, the sufferings
of the ocean of cyclic existence, are transformed into true nature, the vast space
of wisdom appearances. This is a state of perfect ease, of complete relaxation
and of great spaciousness. We must all realise appearances like these, as well
as the bliss that accompanies them, the bliss that is beyond all pain and discomfort.
It is attained through our own mind and not given to us by anyone else. Neither
is it realised anywhere else but in our own mind.
Guru Rinpoche said: 'Look
at your mind. Look at your mind. Again and again, look at your mind.'. If we continually
look at our mind, we will find true nature, the mind of enlightenment. Apart from
the mind of enlightenment, there is no truth; there is no bliss; there is no buddha.
If we realise the mind of enlightenment, we have found truth, bliss and buddhahood.
It is in the palm of our hand.
Whatever physical, verbal or mental virtue
we accomplish brings us closer to the realisation of the mind of enlightenment;
so, whatever physical, verbal or mental activity we do accomplish must be enhanced
with the mind of enlightenment. If there is one supreme practice, then it is the
mind of enlightenment. For me, a miserable pauper, who accomplishes neither the
dharma nor worldly activity, it is the one and only practice.