The Jewel Ship by Longchenpa (exerpt)

September 10, 2010 at 4:45 pm Leave a comment

An excerpt from The Jewel Ship by Longchenpa

On The Play of Experience

All experiences and life forms cannot be proven to exist independently of their being a presence before your mind, just like a lucid dream.

All that is has me–universal creativity, pure and total presence, as its root. How things appear is my being. How things arise is my manifestation. Sounds and words heard are my messages expressed in sounds and words.

All the capacities, forms, and pristine awareness’s of the Buddha’s; the bodies of sentient beings, their habituations, and so forth, all environments and their inhabitants, life forms, and experiences, are the primordial state of pure and total presence.

Not realizing that everything is nothing other than the manifestation of one’s mind is called samsara.

Without understanding me, the creativity of the universe, but investigating the phenomena that I manifest, You perceive everything dualistically due to your attachment and longing. Impermanent, apparitional things will fade away. They are aimless, like a blind man.

Accustom yourself to this nondual reality where the duality of mind and that, which appears before mind, is like a dream.

All that is experienced and your own mind is the unique primary reality. They cannot be conceptualized according to the cause and effect systems of thought. Investigate your mind’s real nature, so that your pure and total presence will actually shine forth.

The concrete states of matter, solids, liquids, and so forth—should be examined in this way. Remaining for ten days where no otherness can be found, you will realize that not even an atom’s worth of anything exists that is separate from pure and total presence. Realizing that, you will certainly be free from all fabricated obsession with the otherness of objects. Moreover, the very being of what is experienced externally, in being an essenceless, open dimension, is shown to be the state of pure and total presence.

In being the variety of unceasing experience, it is shown to be the play of pure and total presence. This is not the same as claiming that whatever you experience is mental because what you experience is not a mental event but arises as the play of the state of pure and total presence. That claim does not distinguish between mind and the state of pure and total presence. The state of pure and total presence is the clear light, the pure fact of awareness, non-conceptual ever-fresh awareness; whereas mind is the motivating factor of samsara: pervasive conceptualization.

As “The Two Truths” says:

Mind and mental events are concepts, mere postulations within the three realms of samsara.

Whenever the state of pure and total presence is recognized, mind and mental events cease. Mind is objectification; pure and total presence does not objectify. Therefore, even the subject who is held to be mental is also seen to be the originally pure state of being.

Experience is Open-Dimensional [Open-Being]

Because we are unagitated within, there is no object to seek within.
Since there is no attachment to an object, there is no object to seek as a support.
With the [objectless non-dual] compassion that does not arise, does not cease, and is selfless [all abiding compassion], being for others is always available.
It does not need to be brought about [It is natural and uncontrived]

Therefore, examine this present mindful awareness internally, externally, and in between. First, where does it come from? Where does it rest now? Finally, where does it go? Can you determine its color or shape? Wherever this awareness is present, is it an object, which appears externally? Is it one of the psychological constituents of a person? Does it exist? Somewhere in between? Since you have not found this awareness by examining and analyzing what appears externally or internally, you ought to conclude that even the ten essential aspects of tantra” are also not found upon inquiry. When you investigate whether perspective, meditation, commitment, charismatic activity, mandala, empowerment, stages of cultivation, paths

To traverse, obstacles to purify, pristine awareness’s, or Buddha Activity exist in their own right or are founded on something else and do not find any of these to exist in reality, this is known as “The great transcendent non-meditation, the real significance of the ten primordially pure aspects of tantra.

Translated by Kennard Lipman and Merrill Peterson, introduction by Ch. Namkhai Norbu, Snow Lion Publications, 2000.

For larger excerpts see:



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