Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Our Bhagavan: view as vast as the sky, conduct as fine as barley flour

from an essay called A Hot Potato, by Philip Renard:

Padmasambhava, who was one of the masters that introduced in the 8th century with Dzogchen the most essential element into Tibetan Buddhism, had no doubts whatsoever about this subject. In a text (in which the expression ‘view’ - ltaba in Tibetan - refers to seeing from the recognition of one‘s true nature) he says:

“Do not lose the view in the conduct;
If you lose the view in the conduct, you will never
have the chance to be liberated.
Do not lose the conduct in the view;
If you lose the conduct in the view, you stray into black diffusion.”

He shows us the two poles of error. The first pole is the unending polishing of the person, the attitudes or conduct, leading to the fact that the ‘view’ of one‘s true nature stays hidden behind the horizon. The second pole - which the great 20th century Dzogchen teacher Tulku Urgyen calls even worse than the first pole - points to the fact that, because the view shows that good and bad do not exist, one thinks that in his conduct there is no good and bad either. That is the reason why Tulku Urgyen emphasizes that view and conduct should be clearly distinguished. The way one behaves should be in harmony with ordinary human ‘worldly’ values and distinctions.

Padmasambhava also said: “Though the view should be as vast as the sky, keep your conduct as fine as barley flour.” In other words, even someone like Padmasambhava, who is considered in Tibet a ‘second Buddha’, with his complete realisation of nonduality, kept emphasizing that every inch of our behavior is worth our attention.

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