One more thing you need to hear. What you need to hear is ???, which is while it is emptiness, it is clarity. It’s perceivable, it’s a clarity. And while it is clarity, it is emptiness. This is how people like Chandrakirti, Nagarjuna, Asanga, they all think, this is how everything functions. Forget about mirror now. You are looking at me. Actually – but you see the thing is that you have forgotten the emptiness aspect of me because you have so much reason why I am solid and I am truly existent, because lot of things: Okay, he has been sitting there for almost five days, so he has to be real. So the time. And then consensus. If you ask around: Is he really there? Most them will say: Yes, he is there. So consensus. And also the usage. This man has been blabbering the whole five mornings. It has been recorded. There is evidence that he talked for four, five days. So, all of this makes you think or makes you forget the emptiness aspect.
Why is it so difficult to talk about emptiness and clarity? Why? Let me try this example. You are looking at a mirror and you see your face in there. Right? Now is your face gone there? No. That face in that mirror is not your face. Well I mean physically. That is not there. There is nothing behind. It is a flat thing. Your face is not there. Okay. Keep this in your head. Your face is not truly there, it is a reflection. Okay. But why is it so difficult. Every time you look at the mirror only your face comes. Not a banana or litchis or something like that. You understand, only your face comes. So this makes us think: Oh it has to be true. Because if it is not true then sometimes your face, sometimes a banana, sometimes a paper, something like that. Everything will become chaotic. But that is not the case. And also it works. If you need to put a lipstick, you don’t have to do it on the lips of the mirror, you use that as a reference and you use it on yourself. So this paradox or actually I think quite a good word is matrix. This matrix of emptiness and clarity, this seemingly non existent – it is not there, your face is still here – but the logic of only your face, not a banana, still works. These two.
You can safely that people who got carried away by the first sentence of the – okay form is emptiness, emptiness is form, form is not other than emptiness, emptiness is not other than the form, you can kind of jokingly say that people who got carried away by the first stanza, not have enough patience and listen to the rest, so to speak, they became very popular in Nalanda and slowly slowly slowly went to Tibet. Really. Okay, this could be wrong, this is my thinking. Tibet, India, very popular, specially northern India, and Tibet. And now I think in the West. People who kind of missed the first sentence, sort of missed the first sentence and got carried away by emptiness is form they got really excited and somehow the lineage went to China and Japan. This is how I feel.
So the dispute, not really dispute, dispute is not the right word, the style I think is the word, the style of the teaching has become different and not only that, in fact they even have their own, what you call it, the commander in chief at their helm so to speak. Maitreya. Emptiness is form and Manjushri, form is emptiness. ?? we call it, the two, not this two, but at least Nagarjuna guys from the Manjushri ??.
See, there is the emptiness aspect, the shunyata. Shunyata has the emptiness aspect. Nothing exists truly. But one should never ever forget that there is a clarity aspect too. Emptiness is not like a ???, it is not like an exhaustion of a fire or evaporation of moisture. It is not a negation. It is not a nihilism. So there is the clarity and emptiness. And these two, when we talk, for instance when I am talking to you, ideally I should have two mouth and simultaneously say the word emptiness and clarity. But because I don’t have that kind of power or that kind of attribute, I say in order. And this again misleads people by either falling into the emptiness or falling into the clarity.
Buddha taught emptiness, for instance like on the Vultures Peak he taught prajnaparamita. But also Buddha taught buddha nature. And at glance, you will see a little bit of a contradiction. One is totally non existent and all of that. The moment the buddha nature is taught, there is an element of something does exist. I mean if you read the Uttaratantra, very heavy words like “it is unchanging”, “it is indestructible”, the buddha nature is almost like a Hindu atman. This is again, as I was telling you earlier, to cancel each other out. Maybe I should not be using all this kind of inauspicious language like “canceling each other”. I should use more holy language, such as union of the emptiness and the clarity. But actually, it actually means canceling each other out. Did you know that? ??? or the union is exactly canceling each other out. It is purposely done, even the way he taught. In the Avatamsaka, a very beautiful example of a mother nursing a baby. And the doctor says: “Milk is not good for this baby.” So the mother applies something very bitter on her nipple. And then when next time when the baby comes and want to drink, it tastes really bad and not good, so shies away. After a period of time, the doctor says: “Oh the baby now is enough of refraining from the milk, he has to drink milk.” Now she has to win back the baby to her milk. So then she has really coach the baby to how you know – see both are trick. There is something bitter. Trying to lure the baby. This is what the Buddha does, its a game that they play. It is.
Okay now all the things that I was telling you about refuge are much more on a philosophical and theoretical level. When it comes down to the practice of course, unless you are very very immersed with the theory it is very difficult to always remind ourselves as somebody was telling me, death, impermanence, buddha nature. All of that is going to be difficult. For that we have all kinds of different methods. We have methods of visualization, we have methods of, other forms of, even the mindfulness practice such as shamata, vipassana, which is becoming kind of popular nowadays. Maybe not the actual vipassana but some form of mindfulness is becoming popular which I think is very good, taking refuge to the path of mindfulness because it is, you know, to be mindful is what mind is capable of. No other substance or entity or phenomena can do it to the mind. Only mind can be aware of itself. And this is what, we can do this. This is not a myth is not a mystery, it is very much doable, even now, you just did it. You can just do it, just look at your mind. And of course you would say I didn’t find anything, fantastic. That is what we want hear. And that is what we want you to experience. But then at the same time, second fantastic thing is, but you know I didn’t find but then you noticed something still bothering me, something still going up and down. Even more fantastic. Because now you are realizing the nonduality of emptiness and clarity. Mind is, if you look at it, you don’t find anything, but who is it that is doing the non finding thing. It is the mind. Mind is finding there is no mind. There we go, that is just amazing. And we all know that mind, without the mind, everything what we have is useless. It is because of mind we can taste our food, it is because of our mind we can feel sad, we can improve, we can forget, we can remember. Without the mind we are like a piece of wood.