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Tenzin Palmo: The Nature of the Mind

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globaloneness project The Nature of the Mind Oneness. Ven. Tenzin Palmo, Tashi Jong, India, Buddhist Nun One thing is that, of course, like most of the great spiritual traditions, Tibetan Buddhism understands that the main problem which obscures us from liberation is the fact of our identification with the full sense of an "I" or an ego. And that this ego manifests itself through our thoughts, and our feelings, and emotions, our sense of time, and our sense of duality. Our sense of prejudices and concepts— everything which we think about with the conceptual mind, which we think is "me," who I am. And so then there is the understanding that behind that, behind the flow, the constant flow of our thoughts and our feelings, and our emotions, our memories and anticipations, there's that quality of knowing, that we usually don't recognize because we're so caught up in the thinking and we don't recognize that which is behind the thoughts, which is, in a way, the quality emanating the thoughts. That quality of awareness, that quality of clarity and empty-spaciousness behind the coming and going of the thoughts. And in Tibetan tradition, this is compared to being the sky, because, especially in Tibet, the skies are vast and endless. And sky, space, it has no center; it has no circumference; it is infinite. And you can't divide it up and say, that's my bit of space; that's your bit of space. I mean, whether you're high caste or low caste, you're all breathing the same air. And that's something which we all share together. And so this is, therefore, a very good simile of the nature of the mind, which has no center and has no ending. But, of course the mind is not exactly like space, because the mind has awareness. It has the clarity— that sense of cognitive knowing. But that sense of unborn awareness, which in Mahayana Buddhism is called the Buddha Nature, is that which unites us with all existence, not just human beings, but everything. Because as I say, it has no boundaries. So in that state of primordial awareness, there's no sense of "I" and "other." That essential duality simply doesn't exist. There's just the quality of knowing, of being very aware and very open and spacious mind. So in that sense, you could call that a state of oneness.

Video Details

Duration: 4 minutes and 10 seconds
Country: Andorra
Language: English
Producer: Global Oneness Project
Views: 825
Posted by: global on Jun 21, 2007

At the age of 20, Ven. Tenzin Palmo left her home in London for India to pursue her spiritual path. There she met her guru, His Eminence the 8th Khamtrul Rinpoche and became one of the first Westerners to be ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist nun. In 1976, seeking more seclusion and better conditions for practice she found a cave in the Himalayan Valley of Lahaul where she lived for 12 years, the last three in strict retreat. In 2000, she founded the Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery to give young nuns of the Drukpa Kagyu Lineage the opportunity to realize their intellectual and spiritual potential.

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