Teaching on the
According to Open Heart
Teachings of vajrayana need to be technical so that we can understand what we are doing and know where we are heading but it is important to not let the technical language become an obstacle to the actual experience.
The natural state can be considered, recognised and meditated through the next Four Immeasurables.
Firstly, it is imbued with equanimity, meaning that it is peaceful in a way that penetrates our entire being, our foundations. When I say "it is peaceful", it means everyone has this bedrock peacefulness within them and when I say that everyone already knows what I'm talking about in some degree, it's not something distant or foreign to us. Therefore, it makes sense to us.
Secondly, there is or we are capable of having an immensely rich and pure sense of healing love at the heart. This is very important to experience because if we don't, we won't really understand the nature of mind or compassion which both are the core of the great vehicle towards full enlightenment. This love, softness and pureness of the heart, is something that most practitioners don't get and because they don't, the next immeasurable of compassion becomes like a bird with one-wing, that obviously cannot fly like a bird should. Love makes the whole thing matter to us, brings it alive, so if we don't experience this love, if there is no emotional connection, we simply can't care, are not able to express compassion from the deepest place within us. If this kind of love is absent, we won't be travelling in the great vehicle towards enlightenment and all we do, our whole training will be missing a loving heart. What is life or the path withot loving heart? Not much. Love also heals hurts and traumas we all have. This love who we are, it makes us complete as human beings.
Thirdly, we are capable of this immense care from our own hearts within our chest to the hearts of all beings. This is compassion, so much stressed in buddhist teachings. Compassion is cultivated because in our subtle body we are actually connected with all sentient beings around us, physical and nonphysical. When we cultivate compassion from healthy heart of love, suddenly we can feel how all beings are together, and experiencing the pain of cyclic existence. Therefore we can become a cause of liberation for other beings, become care-givers, instead of remaining in confusion, ignorance and pain like most beings. It makes a vast difference. Here we can see the seemless continuum of equanimity, love and compassion. It really is a seemless continuum, although can be artificially chopped into pieces and viewed separately.
Lastly, followed by foundational equanimity, love that fills the heart, reaching out to all sentient beings with care and interest, is what joyfulness is. The first three are what constitutes joy. This is the liberated state that is full of meaning, that is not flat, boring, indifferent, tasteless and colourless, and not made heavy with mental gymnastics on phrases such as "not existence nor nonexistence". Joy means being light, very light, being light, travelling light but not being indifferent, distracted or selfishly concerned. Those who are fully enlightened, live in this experience without a moment's break. Those who are on the path to full enlightenment, can emulate this through repeated practice and when they do it correctly, there is always an immense relief and relaxation of the samsaric death grip, caused by the sense of self.
These four are traditionally called Four Immeasurables, here expressed as taught and viewed in Open Heart. Guru Rinpoche's guideline for Open Heart is to "Bring joy back to buddhism". This is the joy he is talking about, something simple, something real, something abound with meaning. The natural state is rich, tasty and delicious, not flat, colourless and emotionally meaningless. It needs to move and touch our hearts, otherwise it has little meaning and effect.
Love! More love!