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in these anecdotal,
sometimes inspiring, sometimes personal meanderings of the Heart's opening in the every-day-ness of life...

Monday, September 28, 2020

The Natural Mind - Robert Wolfe

You want to know what is meant when you see the phrase

If you [question] whether you are thought-free or
not thought-free, would it be possible to be "thought-free",
in that circumstance?

As the Dzogchen Rinpoche Tulku Orgyen has commented:

When you ask: "Is there a thought; or (am I) free of thought? -
 isn't that just another thought?

The following teachers speak of a "natural" mind.  During your day,
all sorts of thoughts come and go, spontaneously arising and
dissolving, like surf washing upon a beach.  Isn't this what is
natural to all of us?

Tulku Rinpoche has said: "It is not beneficial to continuously
pursue a special, thought-free mental state.
 Rather, simply
allow yourself to be in naturalness, free of any fabrication";
that is, conceiving of, and attempting to engineer, some
special state of mind or condition of thought.  "Thought-free
means free of conceptual thinking."

Tulku's eldest son, Chokyi Nyima also says:

"When leaving this fresh ordinary mind as it is, without
correcting or modifying it, without altering it in any way,
without accepting and rejecting, there is no fixating on

In the present moment, do not correct,
Do not modify,
Do not accept or reject.
Don't try to rearrange your present wakefulness.
Instead, leave it as it naturally is
Without any attempt to alter it in any way.
That is called sustaining your natural face."

Another son of Tulku Rinpoche, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche,
speaks in detail about the innate naturalness of the mind free
of such dualistic concepts as thought versus no thought:

"Like many of the people I now meet on teaching tours, I
thought that natural mind had to be something else, 
something different from, or better than, what I was already
experiencing.  Like most people, I brought so much
judgment to my experience.  I believed that thoughts of anger,
fear and so on (that came and went throughout the day) were
bad or counter productive - or at the very least inconsistent
with natural peace!  The teachings of the Buddha is that if
we allow ourselves to relax and take a mental step back, we
can begin to recognize that all these different thoughts are
simply coming and going within the context of an
unlimited mind, which, like space, remains fundamentally
unperturbed by whatever occurs within it.

"All you have to do is rest your mind in its natural openness.
No special focus, no special effort, is required.  And if for
some reason you cannot rest your mind, you can simply
observe whatever thoughts, feelings, or sensations come
up and acknowledge, 'Oh, that's what's going on in my
mind right now.'  Wherever you are, whatever you do,
it's essential to acknowledge your experience as something
ordinary, the natural expression of your true mind.  If you
don't try to stop whatever is going on in your mind, but
merely observe it, eventually you'll begin to feel a 
tremendous sense of relaxation, a vast sense of openness
within you mind - which is in fact your natural mind,
the natural unperturbed background against which 
various thoughts come and go."

With thanks to No Mind's Land


Photo - From a CD cover

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