An exegesis into an essential text from Tibetan Buddhist Tantra. The original Tibetan title is Rig-pa ngo-sprod gcer-mthong rang-grol, which is generally translated into English as The Introduction to Awareness: Natural Liberation through Naked Perception, and is part of the complete original editions of The Great Liberation by Hearing in the Intermediate States, popularly known in English as The Tibetan Book of the Dead. Attributed to the great Buddha known as Padmasambhava, this critically important scripture explains in beautiful phrases the basic foundation of all spiritual practice: consicous awareness, also called mindfulness, watchfulness, or self-observation.
This lecture was recorded at the 2007 International Gnostic Retreat. Lecture quote:
"Our root awareness, our profound, pristine nature of mind it just that: simple, uncontrived love. Pure.
You can access that nature state of being in any moment. You do not have to come to a place like this to access your true nature of mind. Neither do you have to have a big library or live in a particular place, or have a particular body shape or hair color or be male or be female.
Every existing thing can access and utilize this root awareness, because it is the natural state of our inner self.
Most existing creatures-such as these birds, the trees, the grass, even the water-exist in and of themselves, as they are. They are not contrived; they do not presume anything: they are not pretentious. They simply are what they are. The goal and purpose of our studies is to become that, to stop lying to ourselves: to be what we truly are. But, to be what we truly are, we first have to not be what we have become.
It is vital to let go all of the false notions that we have, but to do it now. The work on the ego does not begin in the future. It does not begin when we meditate. It does not begin when we read a certain book. It begins the instant we remember we are not that. The work on the ego begins the moment we are not the ego."
I was participating at the retreat where this lecture was given: the scenery was picturesquely beautiful, almost a perfect reflection of the clarity and nature of the teachings provided through this Tibetan work. The nature of the consciousness is something impossible for the mind to grasp, yet it is only knowable through conscious efforts. This text and its exegesis are a great way for understanding the nature of the mind, how it deludes us, and how we can escape the many subtle mechanisms that the ego ploys in order to cover its mistakes.
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