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Lions Roar : May 2012
43 SHAMBHALA SUN M AY 2012 ASAYOUNGCHILDIusedtositonmy grandfather’s lap while he meditated. At two or three years old, of course, I had no idea what meditation involved. My grandfather didn’t give me instructions and didn’t speak to me about his own experience. Yet, as I sat with him I felt a sense of deep comfort, together with a kind of childlike fascination with whatever was going on around me. I felt myself becoming aware of something becom- ing brighter and more intense in my own body, my own mind, my own heart. That something, when I was old enough to fit words to it, is a kind of spark that lights the lives of all living beings. It has been given various names by people of many different disciplines, and its nature has been debated for centuries. Luminous and Empty According to Vajrayana Buddhism, the fast track to awakening is to look directly at your own mind and discover its true nature. TSOKNYI RINPOCHE shows us how to experience two of mind’s most profound qualities. This Is My Mind, In many Buddhist teachings, it’s known as buddhanature. The term is a very rough trans- lation of two Sanskrit words, often used inter- changeably: sugatagarbha or tathagatagarbha. Sugata may be roughly understood as “gone to bliss,” while thatagata is usually inter- preted as “thus-gone.” Both refer to those, like the Buddha, who have transcended, or “gone beyond,” conflict, delusion, or suffering of any kind—a condition one might reason- ably understand as “blissful.” Garbha is most commonly translated as “essence,” although on a subtle level, it may also suggest “seed” or “root.” So a more accurate translation of buddhanature might be the essence of one who has gone beyond conflict, delusion, and so on to an experience of unclouded bliss.