Gampopa's Heart Advice on the Path of Mahamudra

"What is the essence of the mind like? It is not existent, and yet it is not non-existent. It is neither eternal nor nothing. Free of the two extremes, it is not found in the middle either. In relation to cutting, it cannot be cut. In terms of destroying it, it cannot be destroyed. The essence cannot be changed. As for stopping, it cannot be stopped. At all times it is free of coming and going.
“Since the essence is unbroken throughout the past, present, and future it cannot be cut. It is uncompounded. It is primordially and spontaneously present, so it cannot be destroyed. It is devoid of form and color. it is not a substance or a thing, which is why it is unstoppable. When you understand what this means, it is called the essence. It is called great bliss. It is called coemergent wisdom. It is called nonduality.”
-from “Confusion Arises as Wisdom” by Ringu Tulku


Great quote!

Reminds me of the wonderful chapter “The Later Visit to Rakma,” in “The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa” (Stagg, translator), where a boy was asking Milarepa about the mind and Milarepa told him to look for himself.

The next day the boy returned and said, "Lama, I looked to see how many minds there are and what they are like. I found there is no more than one. If you try to kill it, you can’t kill it. If you try to overpower it, you can’t. If you try to sieze it, you can’t grasp it. If you try to push it down, you can’t push it. If you try to place it, it won’t stay. If you send it away, it won’t go. If you try to gather it, you can’t gather it. If you look at it, you can’t see it. If you examine it, you can’t find it. If you think it exists, it won’t show itself. If you think it doesn’t exist, it spreads all over the place. It flickers and flutters, bounces and bounds, flashes and disappears. I can’t say what it is at all!

The next day after receiving instructions he came back and offered the following,

It moves and it is clear and luminous. It is not something I can identify. I couldn’t find any color or shap it has. Together with the eyes, it can see. With the ears, it can hear. Together with the nose, it smells. With the tongue it tastes. With the feet, it walks. It’s a total mishmash—a complete disaster!


This is very poignant reminder of how hard it is to find an authentic teacher. I will try to find this book.


I love Stagg’s translation of a"The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa".
Thanks for the quote.