Cutting through Samsara
and entering Nirvana,
Cutting through Samsara and entering Nirvana, Part 1-guided practice
Samsara means being caught up by a mind that goes around in cycles. Samsaric mind refers to thoughts, feelings and subtle energy where thoughts and feelings are born from. This includes the sense of separate self or the sense of ”I” or ”me”. Actually all thoughts and feelings are charged with some sense of me-ness.
When the samsaric mind is too busy and makes one go crazy because the mind is so scattered, there is a need to cut this cyclical function of the mind that thinks and feels.
This cutting has to be thorough, a thorough cut through all levels of the samsaric mind. The talkative mind can be silenced simply by relaxing the jaws and the surface of the subconscious mind can be calmed down by relaxing the belly and the physical body but to cut through through all levels of the samsaric mind, we also have to cut through the subtle energy that is beyond the form of thought and emotion. This subtle energy is dormant and has no form. That is why it is not easy for meditators to perceive. However, this is a way to cut through through that as well. And when this is achieved, a stateless state of open awareness, where the mind has been completely blown out, is entered. The meaning of nirvana is literally ”blown out” as in candle's flame that is blown out.
Tsoknyi Rinpoche says in his book Ground, Path and Fruition:
The practice of the Thorough Cut is like taking a great big knife and just cutting the snake of solidified confusion. You take a machete to all the thoughts of the past and the future, to the whole complex of confusion about what is real and what is not, and just hack them down in one fell swoop. There is no visualization. Do not think about it. Just cut it. Drop it. It is very energetic. It is not like having a nice meditation.
There are many methods to help with this and one whole class of those methods is the one called Parting Samsara and Nirvana. In it, you get your body moving-active, walking, anything-and then stop and look, immediately, and in that moment completely cut through all of the thoughts-conceptual, intellectual, gross, subtle, whatever.
You can shake your body violently or you can shout or whatever; just work for four or five minutes and suddenly drop everything.
In terms of the traditional methods of parting samsara and nirvana, practitioners would go to the jungle, take off all their clothes, and just jump, jump, jump, shout, shout, shout, and do crazy things to cause a real breakdown. Or they would jump into icy water. By these methods you can intoxicate all the small states of mind and really stay in rigpa.