Cultivating Insight into the Nature of Things as They Are

THE BUDDHA TAUGHT THAT HOW THINGS APPEAR to be and how things actually are is quite different. Our failure to distinguish these two truths gives rise to all sorts of mistaken thoughts and conflicting emotions. In the same way that to attain enlightenment it is necessary to train in establishing loving-kindness and compassion, it is also necessary to cultivate a proper understanding of the view, so that practice designed to prepare us for and introduce us to direct insight into the nature of mind can come to fruition.
Teachings on the view have been given by many distinguished Kagyu masters. Excerpts from some of these teachings follow.
The Experience
of Sunyata:
the True
Nature of
the Mind
Ven. Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche
Rinpoche explains that If we acknowledge that there are no perceptions without the mind, we can understand that phenomena, too, are dependent on mind. Perceived objects do not exist independently and do not have a permanent quality of their own, and labels are just reference points that we devise to support the existence of our thoughts or perceptions. Labels such as good/bad, happy/sad, long/short, and hot/cold are created by the mind, and do not in themselves hold any inherent truth. Because everything is a function of the mind, phenomena are not things in themselves, but are what the mind is and how the mind relates to them.
Three Kayas,
the Bodies of
the Buddha
The Ven. Traleg Rinpoche
This teaching on the manifestation of spontaneous enlightened compassion is presented from the view of the five wisdoms, the seven limbs and the eight powers that define the three bodies of the Buddha. Through understanding Buddhahood in this way, one gains a valuable perspective on the nature of things as they are.
Ven. Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche
The two truths refer to the mode in which things appear, and the ultimate truth of the mode of being, or the way things really are. Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche presents conventional and ultimate truth through the various progressive viewpoints and traditions of the Dharma.
The Heart
of the
Buddhist View
Ven. Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche
Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche explains Buddhanature along with the approach of knowledge and the approach of devotion, which must be unified. He does this through explaining different ways of viewing suffering.
Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche
Rinpoche explains that the whole idea of the Mahamudra teaching is very profound. Mahamudra in Tibetan is chak-gya chenpo. Chak-gya means mudra or symbol and chenpo means great. A mudra is a symbol of a characteristic, like the seal of a powerful king. When a powerful king makes a rule and puts his seal on the rule, everyone is subject to follow that rule; no one can escape the rule, because the king has put his seal on it. Similarly, no sentient being is beyond Dharmata, or the nature of mind; all sentient beings are subject to it. Therefore, it is like the seal of a great king in that sentient beings cannot escape from the nature of mind, Dharmata.
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