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Essays listed in chronological order starting with most recent. For archives, please see previous volumes below.
  • Writer's pictureRudy Bauer

Deathlessness and Awareness(Rigpa)

Rudolph Bauer, Ph.D. author ;Edited by:   Jan Nicholson, Ed.D.

Deathlessness and Awareness (Rigpa)

1. The essence of Dzogchen is guru yoga.

2. The essence of the guru is becoming aware of your awareness, your own rigpa [awareness of the awareness] as the guru, the self-revealing light of awareness, the self-manifestation of awareness within you as yourself, within you as translucidity itself.

3. Taking refuge is taking refuge within your awareness as primordial awareness, the primordial guru. And taking refuge within the manifestation of this self-same guru, this selfsame awareness is the primordial guru. We take refuge through extension or spreading of the self-arising awareness within our bodies and beyond our bodies. When we extend the light to the light, we are entering into oneness with guru-from-within to guru-within-the-others.

That is why we extend to the enlightened masters, the Siddhis. That is why we extend to the archetypical manifestation, the sambhogakaya manifested as the guru as deity, as energy, luminous archetypical forms. That is why you extend to the generational field as guru within your families and friends. Guru yoga means you are in the state of emptiness, luminous spaciousness, luminous knowing, gnosis, direct perception. Of course if you are only in your mind, you approach guru yoga but are not quite through the doorway; as Dr.Yan Xin would say you at the doorway of qigong but you must enter through it.

4. As you become aware of awareness (ripga), as you become aware of the guru, it is not always fun since the guru is sunyata [emptiness] experienced as nothingness, or emptiness, or spaciousness, or openness. Sometimes falling, falling, falling. Sometimes, in the background of your experience of awareness as death itself, one experiences a kind of dread, as complete contingence with nothing to stand on or stand within. The dread of dissolving, the dread of death, the dread of non-beingness can be terrifying.

5. To become aware of awareness, as the first glance, an indirect glance or just meeting glance, you meet emptiness or nothingness, or vast unbound spaciousness such as the first Samadhi is often described. This guru, this awareness is deathlessness itself, the deathless state, unborn and undying beyond coming and going, beyond appearing and disappearing--although paradoxically, to me, the dharmakaya, is the doorway to the primordial guru you will meet at death, the doorway and you as you pass through the darmakaya as if you are dissolving for ever and ever, and in fact you are.

6. At the moment of death which we have been looking into, peering into, gazing into, as your mind and body continuum begins to dissolve into the alaya field of remembrance, your awareness dissolves briefly into dharmakaya--pure openness, pure potential, vast infinite potential, the great mother, and you may leap into the mother’s lap, leap into awareness itself, forever in non-dual oneness, home completely. Some, as the texts say, go unconscious at this moment because the dharmakaya is so saturating, a bit too much.

7. Then, in the awakening of dharmakaya, one may dissolve forever into oneness, or one may in the oneness of the dharmakaya experience the manifestation with sambhogakaya, the dimension of heaven, the realm of deities, devas and dakinis, different dimensions of this infinite universe, Amitabha [infinite light Buddha], or various realms of beautiful knowingness, where the one and the many are in oneness.

8. Some remain there infinitely or some move into nirmanakaya, and their alaya is vastly illuminated and they incarnate into the context of their alaya.

9. Of course, extension is such a great practice. For if you are established in extension as you enter the dharmakaya through the doorway of death you are in oneness already. Extension is the cultivation of oneness. It is the samadhi of self- arising awareness, the samadhi of compassion wherein the energy arises from within you and goes beyond the body to everyone; the inner ying meets the outer ying. It is also described as the yoga of radiance and absorption, giving and receiving.

10. Thus, refuge, infinite refuge is so great and is the practice of the bodhisattva.

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