Up Next

Words of Wisdom

Mindfulness and Selflessness: Selections of Tibetan Buddhism Texts by Mipham Rinpoche (vegetarian), Part 2 of 2

Download Docx
Read More
“The five aggregates, which are the basis upon which the self is projected, are themselves multiple and impermanent. We might think that there is a self which endures, in the sense that it came out of the past and will pass into the next phase, and that this self is somehow unitary. Yet such ideas are simply projections, made on the basis of the gathering of the aggregates; and they have no foundation in reality. The subject, which is the mind that thinks ‘I am’ is therefore self-clinging. And its referent object is what we call the ‘self’. Rather like mistaking a length of colored rope for a snake, we simply project the idea of a self onto the aggregates, while the self in fact has no real existence. Understanding this is the view of selflessness.”

“In short, clinging to an ‘I’ is the source of all mental afflictions (kleśa), which are the root of saṃsāra (the cycle of birth, death and rebirth). Its antidote is the realization of individual selflessness, which is like the root of the path to liberation. And the full view of emptiness, through which we understand how all phenomena lack true existence, overcomes cognitive obscurations in their entirety- and is thus the root of the Mahāyāna path. Until we arrive at a deep, stable certainty concerning the great equality that is the inexpressible dharmadhātu, in which emptiness and dependent origination are indivisible, we must continue to refine our view.”

“Conviction at this stage is equivalent to the certainty regarding illusoriness that is experienced during post-meditation. Although it represents a positive intellectual grasp of Madhyamaka, by itself it does not qualify as seeing the true dharmadhātu, the great Middle Way beyond conceptual elaboration, which must be understood through self-knowing awareness. We must therefore engender a special form of certainty within the space-like freedom from conceptual elaboration that results from directly seeing the actual state of inexpressible unity. Then we must practice the meditative equipoise in which all philosophical standpoints based on thoughts of refutation or proof have faded away entirely. This is said to mark the point at which an analytical view developed through study and reflection is perfected.”
Share To
Start Time
Watch in mobile browser
Scan the QR code,
or choose the right phone system to download