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Lions Roar : March 2019
mind is, later Mahayana Buddhist pundits teased out huge and astounding implications embedded in the early teachings. They began by distinguishing two aspects of mind—an absolute aspect and a relative, phenomenal aspect. These, they said, are both identical and not identical. So mind (not only in the abstract, but also my mind, your mind, the mind of all sentient beings) is at the same time both transcendent and not. This means that the transcendence isn’t a place or state of being elsewhere or otherwise: it is here and now. Mind and matter, space and time, ani- mate and inanimate, imaginative and real—all are mind. Mind can be both absolute and phenomenal because it is empty of any hard and fast characteris- tics that could distinguish one thing from another. It is fluid. It neither exists nor doesn’t exist. So, strictly speaking, it isn’t impermanent. It is eternal. In effect, mind equals reality equals imperma- nence equals eternity. All of which is contained in the workings of my own mind and that of all sentient beings. So this little human life of mine, with all its petty dramas, as well as this seemingly limited and painful world, is in reality the playing out of something ineffably larger and grander. As Vasubhandu, the Indian Yogachara (Mind-Only) Meditation works with mind—and mind is so much more than we think it is. Three leading teachers break down the powerful logic of Buddhist meditation. All that we are and experience is mind, explains Zen teacher NORMAN FISCHER. That mind is original enlightenment itself. LION’S ROAR | MARCH 2019 53 PHOTOBYPEATHEGEEINC/GETTYIMAGES