Pointing out instruction
by Alan Wallace
And in the midst of that, let’s already take a little step toward Dzogchen, the Great Perfection. And that is, while attending to the sensations corresponding to or correlated with the respiration, throughout the entire body, kind of the flow of energy through the whole body, corresponding to or related to respiration, while attending to the movements within the body, corresponding to the respiration, attend to this from a place of stillness. Your awareness, your mental awareness, resting in stillness while simultaneously attending to the flux, the ebb and flow, of the sensations of the breath throughout the body - stillness and movement, stillness and movement simultaneously.
As you calm, as the mind stabilizes, as the clarity of mind, like the sun rising over the horizon, the clarity of mind becomes clearer and clearer. Then make a segue into a practice that is called by various names, one is simply observing the mind, again from a vantage point of stillness.
Direct your attention now single-pointedly to one out of six domains of experience, the domain of mental events, of thoughts, of memories, mental images, the same domain in which dreams arise at night, but also subjective impulses, like desires and emotions. And from the vantage of stillness, clarity of stillness, awareness that is at ease, still and clear, observe the theater of the mind – the comings and goings, thoughts, emotions, memories, fantasies and so forth. Coming and going, arising in the space of the mind, dissolving back into that space. And observe it in an ongoing way from that vantage point of stillness without, what psychologists call Cognitive Fusion, without getting caught up and carried away by the memories, the desires, the emotions and so forth.
And then as you go deeper, look to the intervals between thoughts, attend to the very space of the mind itself. And attend clearly, discerningly … observe what is the nature of this space. Is it physical space? This is the space of the mind. Does it have color? Does it have shape? Does it have a center, a periphery? Does it have form? Does it have any physical qualities whatsoever? Observe it closely, the very space of the mind.
And then as we move along the strategy, this is a very condensed course, as you are able to maintain that flow of clear, discerning, awareness, the space of the mind, And observing also how thoughts emerge from that space...
...Alright. So observe the space of the mind and now do something very clever. Withdraw the vector of your attention and withdraw it right into the very nature of being aware itself. Have no directionality, no vector. No object of attention outside of awareness itself and simply rest in an ongoing flow of awareness of being aware - consciousness of consciousness itself...
And now one step further and we’ll step into the domain of Dzogchen. Now carefully, incisively observe that which is observing. We call it the mind. Observe the mind. We call it awareness. Observe awareness. Observe that which is aware, that which thinks, that which intends. Observe the observer. And cut through the mind, right down to the very ground, which is Rigpa.
And Dzogchen meditation is nothing more or less than cutting through to pristine awareness, Rigpa, and viewing reality from that perspective. And that right there is the view of the Great Perfection.
So in your practice, - I just gave you enough to keep you busy for at least a few days – in your practice, when you come to the end, when you’re coming to the, where you’re able to sustain the flow of awareness of awareness, and then you cut through the flow of awareness of awareness to, the penetration to, that which is aware, you note a distinction between the awareness that gets distracted, and gets dull, and gets centered, and gets distracted again …. And that’s the mind.
But as you cut through to that which is aware, you may cut through to a dimension of awareness that is unborn and unceasing, that never moves, because it is not in time. It is unchanging and you can never wrap your conceptual mind around it. Because this baseline, this ground of awareness, from which all conditioned states of consciousness emerge. Transcends the very parameters of existence and non-existence. It transcends all conceptual categories. It can be known. It is not an ultimate mystery. It can be known directly without mediation, but only by itself. It can know itself. But your conceptual mind cannot grasp it. It is beyond its pay grade, it is beyond its scope.
So this Rigpa, this pristine awareness, it is present right now. It is where your awareness is. It is where your thoughts are, it is not something separate. It is not somebody else’s, it not God’s or Buddha’s or some other person’s. It is the ground state of your own awareness. And I’ll end on this note: hidden and in plain sight. So try that and see what happens. Thank you so much.
This talk can be found from here.