Sogyal Rinpoche ~ Stop Manipulating Your Mind

Sogyal Rinpoche ~ Stop Manipulating Your Mind

January 12, 2020 12 By Peter Engel


To conclude, there is this really amazing
when I was, about forty years ago I heard this from a great master and it had such an
impact on me. And later I discovered in the Dzogchen teachings
when I received from Khen Rinpoche, Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche, it appeared again and again
this phrase, because it became a really important one, which says in Tibetan is very beautiful: chu ma nyok na dang
sem ma chö na dé Chu means ‘water’, ma nyok means ‘if
you don’t stir it’, na means ‘then’, dang means ‘clear’. So that means: Water, if you don’t stir it, will become clear. His Holiness the Dalai Lama said, “That’s a fact.” That’s the nature of water. The nature of water is, if you don’t stir
it, it becomes clear. Now that’s a wonderful example. This is very evocative. Just as water, if you don’t stir it, will
become clear. In the same manner… The next is very important. sem ma chö na dé Sem means ‘mind’ or ‘mind’, ma chö
means, now the beautiful word, Tibetan word, ma chöpa, in for example like Dzogchen, Mahamudra
is the most wonderful thing, ma chöpa. Ma chöpa, very difficult to translate it
into English because ma chöpa means that, but the closest term that we could use to
describe ma chöpa is unaltered, unaltered, you know? When you leave something in its own natural
state, without any manipulation or contrivance, that’s ma chöpa. Do you understand? Because the trouble with us we manipulate
too much. I remember once a great master he told me,
“Rinpoche, the root cause of our mental, all our mental problems is too much thinking,
too much thinking. We don’t leave our thinking mind alone.” So leave your mind unaltered without any manipulation
or contrivance. Just as water, if you don’t stir it, becomes
clear, In the same manner, mind left unaltered will
find its true nature. sem ma chö na dé …will find its bliss, will find its peace. It’s very profound. In fact if you realize it more, you can realize
the calm-abiding of shamatha, the clear seeing of vipashyana, will bring the experience of
great bliss of the unity of bliss and emptiness and all these experience of nature
of mind, all that can rise from that. That’s why in the instruction on meditation
in the higher teachings, this one: chu ma nyok na dang
sem ma chö na dé is really the key. I found this to be… And then further on this great master Longchen
Rabjam, you know, the Omniscient One
Longchen Rabjam, in the teaching called Semnyi Rangdrol,
Self-liberation of the Mind, in that he said: ma chö ma chö rang gi sem ma chö
ma dzin ma dzin rang gi sem ma dzin chö shing chö shing sem kyi nyog lang pe
chö me sem kyi nying pö dön la drib Meaning: ma chö ma chö rang gi sem ma chö meaning: Do not alter, do not alter, do not alter this
mind of ours. ma dzin ma dzin rang gi sem ma dzin meaning: Do not grasp, do not grasp, do not grasp this
mind of ours. chö shing chö shing sem kyi nyog lang pe
chö me sem kyi nying pö dön la drib
meaning: Alter and alter, mind that’s altered will
stir up the cloudy depths of mind which will obscure the inherent nature. So the key is unaltered. And so the key to even Dzogchen, the highest
meditation, is unaltered, leaving your mind. As Khyentse Rinpoche says: sem ma chöpa nyampa
sha. In fact Khyentse Rinpoche, once I asked him,
“When are we in the nature of mind, when are we not?” He said in characteristic simplicity, he said,
“If you leave your mind unaltered, in the ma chöpa, you’re in the nature of mind. If you’re altered, you’re not in the nature
of mind.” The main thing’s unaltered. When you remain unaltered in this way, slowly,
slowly it frees the thinking mind, slowly, slowly, the ordinary mind, thinking mind actually
stops. There’s no longer even the thought of meditation
or meditator, all that, beginning to become in the state of being, in the state of transcendence. It’s amazing. So the first is really meditation: Do not alter, do not alter, do not alter… But then it says: Do not grasp, do not grasp… Is that when you remain in the state of unaltered
you may arrive at the deep stillness of profound peace but then after a while a little movement
may arise, something rises, then the tendency is we may, the rising may be whatever experience
come, we tend to grasp at it. So the advice means do not grasp at the risings. Whatever risings, you leave the rising in
the rising. As Dudjom Rinpoche used to say: leave the
seeing in the seeing, leave the hearing in the hearing, leave the thinking in the thinking. And particularly in terms of experience, people
have very profound experience of bliss, clarity, absence of thought. They get very excited and they, they grasp
on it. That’s the mistake. Sometime if you have a negative experience,
you know, then you have an aversion. So it’s these two things that—attachment
to happiness and the cause of happiness and, and that the aversion to suffering, cause
of suffering, that which cause both—that which cause suffering both and happiness,
suffering. Basically means that whatever experience more
come, if it’s good experience one should not be attached to it. If it’s of a, even a negative experience
there should be no aversion. Just experience of experience. Good experience is good, bad experience is
also good. It doesn’t really matter. What does it mean by being uncontrived mean? It means that if you can rest, means it, this
means that if you can rest, it’s OK; if you cannot rest, that’s also OK. If you have thoughts, that’s OK; if you
don’t have thoughts, that’s OK. Good thoughts are OK; bad thoughts are OK. Everything is allowed. Awareness is like space, thoughts and emotions
are like the clouds. If there is beautiful clouds and ugly clouds
and rain shower or thunderstorm and hurricane, tornado, blizzard and hail storm, it doesn’t
make any difference to the space. Whatever comes in the space is fine because
nothing can change it. A blizzard or thunderstorm cannot change space,
blue sky, bright sunshine cannot change space. Space is already there. You cannot burn space or destroy space in
any way. It’s always there. It’s the same, it is the same with our awareness. Whatever, whatever appears in our mind, good
thoughts or bad thoughts, emotions or absence of emotions, feelings of restfulness or sense
of restlessness, stress or relaxation, it’s all like a weather. Some days there’s good weather, some days
bad weather, but these weather-like experiences cannot change the space-like awareness. Even bad experiences are within the awareness
because without awareness we cannot have them. Because I think the main thing that you do
not realize, don’t realize—this is the really something amazing I’m going to share
with you—you know, what Buddha said: sem—in The Wisdom Sutra— sem la sem ma chi té
sem kyi rangshyin ni ösal wa’o Mind is devoid of mind
For the nature of mind is Clear Light. If you really examine mind, the investigation,
there’s no such thing as what we call ‘mind’, actually exists. Past is past, future is not yet come. Even with the present, the moment you think
about it it’s gone. The only thing is pure awareness. So what ‘Mind is devoid of mind’, if mind
is devoid of mind, what is mind? What is the nature of mind? What is the main thing? This people don’t realize it. This is the secret of Tibetan Buddhism and
this is the gift that the main thing is, is the, is the cognizance. The mind’s nature is cognizance. It knows, it knows. You understand? It knows, it’s clarity, it’s cognizance,
it’s awareness. Awareness. That awareness, that pure awareness that’s
within ourselves is the most precious friend. We should make friends with this one
because that awareness is there when you were born, it’s there when you grow up, school,
when, it’s there when you get old, it’s there when you’re sick, it’s there when
you’re ill. Is the most reliable one. Everything else is temporary, momentarily
changing. The awareness. So you should make friends with your pure
awareness, this clarity. Often people meditate on, focussing on just
remaining in the stillness more. That’s—the great masters say is not the
thing. The focus is on clarity, clarity, pure awareness,
pristine awareness. In fact rigpa, the word ‘rigpa’ means
pure awareness. Beyond our ordinary mind. Is that clear? So in that dimension whatever appears in the
mind, good thoughts, bad thoughts, emotions, absence of thought, feeling, all is fine. Like for example a very good one to demonstrate
is a movie projector. When you have a movie projector, you know
when showing a movie, when you look behind it what really causes it is a, is a bulb
that’s giving the light and it goes onto the film which is moving at a particular speed,
gives the illusion of reality on the screen of our phenomena, isn’t it? But now this bulb is giving the light, OK? And the bulb, the light of this bulb is being
misused. It could be kind of like a movie of Jesus
Christ Superstar, all kinds of things, but you see the bulb is not at all involved in
all this. Whatever movie’s being used, but not at
all involved. Our true nature of mind is not involved at
all. There’s a part of us is always pure, unstained,
free, pure. In fact more we realize it, more you own that
aspect of your nature, more free you become, more purified you will be. You’ll be able to overcome your negative
karma and gain liberation and freedom. That’s the secret. You got it? So when you realize that, even bad experiences
are within the awareness because without awareness there cannot be them. In fact, you see, even with this clarity,
if there’s no clarity there’s no anger. If there’s no clarity there’s no desire. If there’s no clarity there’s no also
wisdom, you know? But the trouble is, when the anger rises,
yes, but the trouble is we’re not aware. When the anger rises, we should become aware
of the anger and not act in it, not become the anger then become negative. Whereas if you’re aware of the anger and
remain steadfast, then anger can liberate anger, desire can liberate desire… It’s not easy but possible. You can actually become, people want to be
free of their negative emotions. This is the supreme way. Therefore don’t care about your experiences,
moods, thoughts, emotions. Everything is allowed but after some time
you will get distracted and then when you notice, “Oh, I was distracted,” then you
already come… But if you even realize, “Oh, I was distracted,”
and if you become aware of it, you’re no longer distracted. The key to connecting with our true nature
is being unaltered, ma chöpa. When you remain unaltered, leave your mind
in its own natural state, all the thoughts, thinking naturally dissolve. More you settle, the more you become natural
or like more and more you settle in your true nature, the more and more you connect with
your fundamental nature. Ma chöpa is a natural way of abiding. It brings an atmosphere of comfort and ease. We are naturally relaxed, free from the conceptual
mind, free from thoughts, thinking. Ma chöpa is really, is carefree dignity,
natural simplicity. There’s nothing to attain, there’s nothing
to do. Often there can be a subtle tension in your
meditation that we think, “Am I meditating well? Should I be correcting my meditation by doing
this or that?” It can become a struggle, but ma chöpa puts
ease to your meditation, completely free from limitations and concepts and by just being
unaltered, ma chöpa, you accomplish all. Of course, now that’s quite a way up, by
the way. First you’ve got to do basic practice and
that I’m showing is the goal, what you need to arrive, like this, see? Free. Do you experience a little bit? I’m extremely grateful for my masters who are
actually demonstrating, showing through their being. Introducing me to this, brought me
to me the really true knowledge of my own nature very much.