The Most Powerful Spiritual Path In The World Is…

Via Benjamin Riggs
on May 18, 2011
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“The most powerful path of the Vajrayana world and the whole of the Buddhist world is right here in our ordinary life.

Meditation brings the wisdom of a Buddha. Although we use the term “bring,” meditation is not actually bringing anything; it is simply uncovering. The whole purpose of the nine-yana path is to uncover.  Paradoxically, we are uncovering the uncovered nature. In reality, it has never been covered because ego never truly existed in the first place….

“Great perfection” means “perfect in its own state.” The path is perfect the way it is. For example, in searching for a method that we can use to work with a painful emotion that we may be experiencing, we do not have to go outside that raw experience. The antidote is already there, within the experience itself; or, as we often say, “The answer lies within the question.” Thus, the path is perfect as it is, and the naked experience of the emotions is perfectly enlightened right from the beginning…

The first step of Madhyamaka analysis is to see the differences between the basis of the label and the label itself, or between the basis of the label and labeling processes of mind. As a result of this analysis, we can see that the basis of the label is not label. The basis is free from any label, free from the labeling process, and free from any conceptual theory….

The yoga of one-taste refers to the experience of appearance and mind. At this stage, there is no difference between our outer appearances and the inner consciousness that perceives these forms.  There is a sense of penetrating the depths of duality, transforming it, and seeing the non-dual nature of our minds. That is called “one taste.” There is not one taste for whatever is designated as an “object” and a different taste for whatever is designated as a “subject.”

“Form is emptiness, emptiness is form. Form is no other than emptiness, and emptiness is no other than form.”

At a fundamental level, there is no difference between the experience of darkness and the experience of light because, in both of these states, there is a sense of great space. That space is Shunyata. That space is emptiness. That space is egolessness. When the luminosity joins this space, the space becomes very vivid to us; it becomes completely one with the light. At that moment, we do not first see something called light, which is solid like an ice cube, and then see the space, somewhere outside in the darkness.  It is not like that. When the light joins the space, the space becomes light and light becomes space. They do not have individual identities. Space and luminosity, or awareness, do not care about their identities as much as we do.

When we experience this panoramic view and are not distracted, that is meditation. Our meditation is simply nondistraction….” ~from Wild Awakening by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche

If we push through the relative experience of subjective thought and reconnect with our bodies—the unquestionable experience of basic awareness that manifests as a bouquet of aromas, forms, textures, flavors, melodies, emotions, and thoughts —we will rediscover a spacious environment that facilitates the spontaneous expression of basic intelligence. That is, a basic experience free of division, therefore devoid of conflict. All forms of division are but a symptom of the principle division between mind and body. This division is a side effect of a misunderstanding, namely the belief in a conceptual-self localized in the dome of our skull. Reconcile that division in the singularity of basic awareness, and watch as the network of thought that establishes dissatisfaction come tumbling down like a house of cards. ~from Remember The Body. Touch The Earth. Heal Wounds. by Ben Riggs

In the video below, Alan Watts elaborates on this basic experience of mind, and, as a usual, he brings a great deal of insight to bear on the issue. Awesome video!

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About Benjamin Riggs

Ben Riggs is the author of Finding God in the Body: A Spiritual Path for the Modern West. He is also the director of the Refuge Meditation Group in Shreveport, LA and a teacher at Explore Yoga. Ben writes extensively about Buddhist and Christian spirituality on Elephant Journal, and his blog. Click here to listen to the Finding God in the Body Podcast. To keep up with all of his work follow him on Facebook or Twitter.


4 Responses to “The Most Powerful Spiritual Path In The World Is…”

  1. […] is a grave error. The enlightened declare that both the body and soul perish together. “Buddha” is emptiness, and heaven and earth return to the original ground of being. I’ve set aside the eighty thousand […]

  2. vital-bliss says:

    This article is such BS – I have never seen such an arrogant article titled as such…..There are actually spiritual paths that have ANANDA Spiritual Bliss….I am sorry but NIRVANA does not mean Bliss, it is only the "deforestation of the Ego" Nir-Vana…
    This powerful path is the destruction of any Love of God/Goddess in any form, so the traumatized masses flock to it due to their trauma from patriarchal impersonal religions….People want to enjoy separate from God -as they do not understand and have not experienced the Spiritual Bliss emanating from the Goddess and the Joy beyond liberation~
    The deepest power is in Love and this love is expressed in Song and Dance~!

  3. Padma Kadag says:

    WOW…Vital-Bliss…I agree that Ben's title is a little over the top and maybe your reaction is too. Bliss is not absent from vajrayana experience. Vajrayana does not say that there is not god/godess. To say that would be saying that all of the other realms of being do not exist either and then there would be no need for the vajrayana. Humans, animals,etc. Bliss does exist in vajrayana practice but it is not the final goal or destination, if you will. If your Bliss comes and goes is it not subject to karma? If bliss were static would we need to discuss it? Your nihilistic view of Buddhism is wrongly placed. Rather than reading the comments of the likes of me…please find a real Buddhist teacher and put your questions to them.

  4. […] startling my eyes open, and I saw its glassy eyes. That bird had been there the whole time. Maybe compassion is mixed in with everything too. Maybe the practice of yoga is a method of cultivating […]