By Dawai Gocha
Every religion gives us an end goal, many times culture does too, whether it’s heaven, enlightenment, or getting rich.
It starts as a belief or idea and many times ends up as a haunting ideal lingering in the background of our mind. Many times it’s unobtainium. Then we form even more beliefs and conceptual proliferation around the core. It can truly throw people into a world of concepts and beliefs that our conditioned self will grasp to empower itself.
Not only that, spiritual practice itself can be more conditioning, more fuel for the fire of samsara, on top of immense materialistic conditioning which starts as kids with commercials, billboards and constant psychological advertising, which can manipulate thoughts and emotions. This goes along with why we can’t sit with our own emotions and thoughts, we feel like we’re not supposed to have them and we need to get rid of them—but that’s just more fuel to the fire.
Sitting with our present state of consciousness whether happiness or anger can be a major empowerment.
We have awareness of beliefs; we have awareness of two hours ago, of our dreams, and how much awareness depends on how much we’re blocking, and how much we’re standing in the way. We don’t have to try to be aware, it’s already here and happening, even in the womb it was there. This is why awareness is the essence of Dharma—it’s our Buddha nature. Some even call it our higher self or true mind, and now modern science is using meta-awareness because it’s hard to deny the power.
We then can see that God, Dharmakaya, or any other imputation, isn’t found in concepts alone.
The awareness nature gives the power to free up from beliefs and let truth reveal itself as beyond limited concepts and human language. Yet concepts alone can be the blinders which stop us from ever recognizing the simple, naked awareness— present right now.
We can see how meditation masters have been mistranslated in the higher meditation teachings. We see the words “accumulate” and “cultivate” but one cannot cultivate the true nature of mind, or unconditioned awareness, which is naturally present and primordially perfect. It’s not a matter of accumulating wisdom, but relinquishing ignorance.
There is no one to acquire wisdom and wisdom is naturally present, unconditioned and perfect. It’s not about cultivating concentration, it’s about lessening distraction and lessening the cultivated karma that is already there. This can be a reversal in direction that not many people really mention. Even the thoughts and acts of trying to gain something or get somewhere else can be bondage and suffering, keeping us on an endless hamster wheel.
Trusting the unknown, or the knowledge that we’ll never figure it out, while letting answers reveal themselves and allowing healing to naturally happen, maybe the most tricky part.
Dawai Gocha is practitioner and teacher in a Nyingma Dzogchen lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. He first took refuge with His Holiness Penor Rinpoche when he was a boy and has continued to practice Buddhism for over 20 years. He has received teachings from H.H. Dalai Lama, H.H. Penor Rinpoche, Mingyur Rinpoche and others; receiving empowerments and instructions on many different Buddhist practices. He founded MeditationOnline.org with the blessings of his teachers and continues to share the teachings with online meditations and dharma talks.
Editor: Dana Gornall