Awakening is in Our Nature – The Buddha Nature
The qualities of awakening – profound peace, luminosity, compassion, etc. – are naturally present as the true nature of mind – the Buddha nature. Here, we shall see how the natural state remains obscured and can be rediscovered.
Homage to the Tathagata who showed that
To be free from suffering and discontentment,
And, to be perfectly aware, responsive and blissfully benevolent
Are in our nature, and within our reach to discover!
Homage to prajñā-pāramitā, The Perfection of Wisdom,
The discovery of this pure nature beyond confusion!
Here, we shall see how the natural state remains obscured and can be rediscovered.
The profound peace of Nirvana is in our very nature.
It seems like a distant goal, only because dualistic emotions disrupt that continuum.
A lake’s pristine water lacks its own purity when silt rises up from the lakebed.
Conquer dualistic emotions!
Having conquered it, nothing ever disrupts the original peace again.
When the silt is cleared, water’s purity is not disrupted even in wind and movement.
The brilliance of awakened-awareness is the natural quality of mind.
Awakening seems distant, only because myriad concepts shroud and obscure its clarity.
A clear mirror lacks its own clarity when dust builds upon its surface.
Do not get stuck to concepts! Let insight penetrate through them!
As concepts turn transparent, nothing ever can shroud awareness again.
If a mirror does not let dust stick on, no dust can obscure its clarity.
The swift and precise responsiveness of awakened-wisdom is the natural agility of mind.
It seems beyond reach, only because our shell of habits obstructs its effortless expression.
A river’s free flow is obstructed when its water turns into blocks of ice.
Let the heat of wakeful awareness melt the ice of habits!
As wisdom blazes ceaselessly, never again can the staleness of habits take root.
When a hot spring flows vibrantly, no ice can form in its course.
Boundless compassion to all beings is the way of our natural responsiveness.
It turns into dualistic emotions when the deceptive walls of self and others restrict its flow.
A mother’s compassion does not flare up when her lost child is mistook as a stranger.
Let the walls of duality collapse in the wake of wisdom!
As non-dual compassion blazes blissfully, never again can the walls of duality rise up.
Once the bliss of pure compassion is known, a mother’s compassion cannot stop with her child.
Selfless and spontaneous generosity is the natural source of sustained delight.
Yet, we abide in conflicts with the hope for delight from stressfully clinging to things.
A trapped monkey holds on to the bait with desire, without seeing the delight of freedom.
Let free those clenched fists!
Once the inner joy of giving away is discovered, the fist will never clench again.
Having seen the vast ocean, the frog does not boast again about its well.
In that way,
The perfect awakening is our natural state – the Buddha-nature.
The qualities of awakening are naturally present in us.
Yet, we wander in Samsara only because confusions obscure it.
Once, awakening is recognized, there is no fallback.
Awakened Ones and unawakened beings differ only in that recognition.
Because recognizing the natural perfection is Buddhahood
And the lack of that recognition is Samsara,
Neither the Awakened Ones nor the unawakened ones exist inherently.
Empty are the Awakened Ones, and empty are the unawakened ones,
Because, there is no essence to be found wheresoever.
The Buddhas are awakened by realizing their emptiness.
We wander by mistaking dream-like illusions to be real.
By confusing self and phenomenal world to be not empty, peace is disrupted.
Realizing emptiness is peace.
When emptiness is not realized, concepts shroud clarity.
In realizing emptiness, the brilliance of empty-awareness shines forth.
When emptiness is not realized, the staleness of habits build up.
In realizing emptiness, responsiveness remains ever-fresh.
When emptiness is not realized, the deceptions of duality tear us apart.
In realizing emptiness, boundless non-dual compassion pervades.
When emptiness is not realized, there is clinging to self and possessions.
In realizing emptiness, the delight of selfless generosity springs forth.
Empty of essence, and yet vibrant with the qualities of awakening.
That is our nature.
In the continuum of interdependent arising,
Those who let their natural qualities manifest are the Buddhas.
Those who constrict and distort it through confusion are the unawakened ones.
In the basic space, they are equal – Empty, aware and responsive.
The natural state is perfect awakening – the Buddha-nature.
We wander away from that natural state only because of not realizing reality.
And, once there is the realization of reality, there is no fallback.
May all beings recognize this and awaken to their natural perfection!
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Om shanti shanti shanti