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Lions Roar : May 2006
standing or realization of selflessness. If we have compassion or love with an egocentric view, then that compassion and love will not be genuine. When the experience of selflessness is combined with compassion and love, it becomes the perfect Mahayana ex- pression of bodhicitta, which is not just emptiness, but compas- sion and selflessness unified into one experience. Third Turning: Buddhanature IN THE DISCOURSES of the third turning, taught to a retinue of bodhisattvas, the Buddha went further into his teachings on the ultimate nature of mind. At this time, he taught that the true nature of mind is not merely emptiness, a state of nonexistence. Rather, our fundamental nature of mind is a luminous expanse of awareness that is beyond all conceptual fabrication and completely free from the movement of thoughts. It is the union of emptiness and clarity, of space and radiant awareness that is endowed with supreme and immeasurable qualities. From this basic nature of emptiness every- thing is expressed; from this everything arises and manifests. With these teachings on the absolute nature of mind, Buddha introduced the notion of tathagatagarbha, or the buddhanature From the standpoint of the truth that’s genuine, There are no ghosts, there are not even buddhas, No meditator and no meditated, No paths and levels traveled and no signs, And no fruition bodies and no wisdoms, And therefore there is no nirvana there, Just designations using names and statements. All animate, inanimate—the three realms, Unborn and nonexistent from the outset, No base to rest on, do not coemerge. There is no karmic act, no maturation, So even the name “samsara” does not exist. That’s the way these are in the final picture, But oh, if sentient beings did not exist, What would the buddhas of three times all come from? Since fruition with no cause—impossible! So the standpoint of the truth that’s superficial, In samsara’s wheel, nirvana past all grief, It all exists, that is the Sage’s teaching, Then what exists appearing to be things, And their nonexistence, reality that’s empty, Are essentially inseparable, one taste; And therefore there is neither self-awareness, Nor awareness of what’s other anywhere. All of this a union vast and spacious, And all those skilled in realizing this Do not see consciousness, they see pure wisdom, Do not see sentient beings, they see buddhas, Don’t see phenomena, they see their essence, And out of this compassion just emerges, Retention, powers, fearlessness and all? The qualities embodied by a buddha Just come as if you had a wishing jewel— That is what I, the yogi, have realized. ♦ Translated by Jim Scott, under the direction of Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche. An Authentic Portrait of the Middle Way A VAJRA SONG ( DOHA) BY THE TIBETAN YOGI MILAREPA PRESENTING THE VIEWS OF THE SECOND AND THIRD TURNINGS OF THE WHEEL. PAINTINGBYSHERABPALDENBERU/COURTESYOFMICHAELEMATTHEWS ➣ page 100 The yogi Milarepa SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2006 47