Emptiness (Space) and Form: Unity of Space and Vividness (Clarity)

August 4, 2009 at 1:50 pm Leave a comment

The phrase “the unity of clarity and emptiness” (sal tong zung jug), is a special term for the view favored by the Sakya tradition. If you care to observe your perceptions, you will find that whatever you perceive and whatever you experience is the reflection of these three: clarity, emptiness, and their unity. This is what is meant by the unity of clarity and emptiness, and this is what you must realize. To realize this is to realize the true nature (dharmata) of the Buddhas.

There are many similar terms, such as “the unity of appearances and emptiness” (nang tong zung jug). Things do appear, but when you examine them in meditation, you discover that they are empty of any inherent existence. Also, we may speak of the unity of sound and emptiness or “audible” emptiness (drak tong zung jug). Everything that we hear, if examined, is found to be empty. In this case, emptiness is discovered and established through hearing sounds, which are not inherently present by themselves.


As we have said, when the last thought has ceased, and the next thought has not yet arisen, there is a gap. In this gap your mind is not like a blank space, as there is some experiencing or knowing present. When recognized, this is luminosity (osal); it is also known as self-knowing primordial wisdom, or simply as awareness (rigpa). This awareness is a non-dual continuity.

Whether one speaks of dzogpa chenpo, mahamudra, or khorde yerme, there is nothing beyond just this; there is nothing more to be discovered. Now, once you have recognized awareness (rigpa), it is necessary to remain in that state.  It is not enough simply to recognize, you must continue on in the recognition. In order to be able to do so, you must receive the transmission and guidance of a genuine master and the blessings of an authentic lineage. This continuity in the recognition of awareness is the real meaning of the inseparability of samsara and nirvana; it is the great seal (mahamudra); it is the great perfection (dzogchen).

Chogye Trichen Rinpoche

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Entry filed under: Buddhism, Uncategorized, Yoga. Tags: , .

Bodhicitta: by Chogye Trichen Rinpoche 3 jewels — 3 kayas — Body, speech, and mind of the Buddha

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