Dzogchen is Self Liberation Through The Appearing of Appearances
By Rudolph Bauer, Ph.D., Diplomate in Clinical Psychology, A.B.P.P.
In the Gudyargarbha tantra there is this most wonderful verse. Appearances, sounds, and thoughts are the diety, mantra and the state of dharmakaya. What this wonderful language brings forward into our awareness is the amazing understanding that self liberation is the direct experiencing of the appearing of appearances.
To experience this nature of natural self liberation you and I must remain within the unimpeded field of our awareness of awareness. This awareness of awareness, this self -awareness, is rigpa. This awareness of awareness opens up to us the dimension of timeless awareness. When you are in timeless awareness appearances are self -liberated. By our experiencing and seeing and knowning directly through the vaste vista of timeless awareness whatever is manifesting and whatever is becoming apparent is liberated into the vast expanse of timeless awareness.
By going beyond experiencing appearance only within the view of our conceptual mind, rather by gazing into the appearance from within timeless awareness we experience the very appearing of appearances in their essence, we experience the very manifesting of phenomena in their nature and in doing so, self liberation happens. When the appearing of appearances is experienced in the expanse of awareness field of timeless awareness, there is natural liberation of whatever is appearing and whatever is manifesting in this great expanse of timeless awareness. Appearances are always appearing, phenomena always manifesting, presencing always presencing and simultaneously there is dissolving, there is the disappearing and there is the vanishing of appearances. This appearing and disappearing of appearances often takes place simultaneously.
When we are in timeless awareness we experience the manifestation of time, we experience the manifestation of phenomena, the appearing of appearances and their immediacy of their unceasing moving and disappearing. The moment arises and vanishes.
When appearances appear and phenomena manifest there is the immediate and natural co emergent arising of conceptualization of the experience. As the appearing of appearances manifest there is the corresponding appearing of the conceptual mind, conceptualization takes place naturally and unceasingly. The conceptual mind relentlessly maps and objectifies the appearing into an appearance. The conceptual mind judges everything and anything as good or bad, right or wrong , as true or false and as better or best, is or is not.
When the conceptual mind becomes dominate,conceptualization and the mind and functions of the mind dominates the natural unbound perception of awareness, dominates the perceptual field of awareness. Within this domination of mind, the natural liberation of appearing of the appearance is experientially lost. Within the domination of mind, functions of thinking, feeling, sensation, memory and fantasy alone, the manifesting of appearing is reified, and the ever-unfolding process of appearing and manifestation is experientially lost. The translucidity and transparency of the phenomena is lost. The nature of the phenomena as spaceous luminousity is lost experientially.
Nonetheless if we can intergrate the mind into timeless awareness, intergrate the thinking, feeling, sensation, memory into timeless awareness then the fullness and richness of the unfolding of experience and disappearance of experience happens and natural liberation is sustained.
When we are conceptualizing and making judgments about what is being perceived, you and I can experience the arising of conceptualization and judgements within the state of the field of timeless awareness, then the objectification and reification of the phenomena as appearing will not take place. The phenomena will be appearing within the field of timeless awareness, and the phenomena will be experienced within and as the manifestation of the pervasive field of awareness. The phenomena will appear as manifestations of the field and dissolve within the expanse of the field.
When a phenomena appears within mind alone, the phenomena is located in the function of the mind. When phenomena appears within the field of timeless awareness phenomena appears as the manifestation of the field of timeless awareness. Arising and liberation occur simultaneously. The co emergent arising of the phenomena and the arising of discernment are experienced simultaneously and as both are held within the gaze of timeless awareness. The fixation of judgment ceases and the manifestation of appearing and disappearing is sustained experientially within the vast field of timeless awareness.
.Appearances are always moving, always appearing and always manifesting and always dissolving and always vanishing .Phenomena is always arising from within timeless awareness and vanishing within timeless awareness. Phenomena are always arising and vanishing as the expression of timeless awareness.
When we experience phenomena in and through the field of timeless awareness field we experience the nature of phenomena as the manifestation of awareness, the field of awareness, which is vast and multidimensional. When we experience phenomena in and through the awareness field we experience the radiance of phenomena within the natural radiance of our own timeless awareness.
When you and I experience phenomena appearing within the field of timeless awareness we can easily experience the duality of phenomena (me and you) within the non-duality of the great expanse of timeless awareness. When you and I focus on the field of timeless awareness we can easily experience the non-duality of the field within the duality of phenomena (the you and the I). We can also experience within the duality of phenomena (me and you), the non-duality of the field that is manifesting us and the other. We can experience the indivisibility between us and the other.
This is the natural self -liberation of timeless awareness. Within timeless awareness, appearances are liberated by merely appearing within timeless awareness. Cognitions and conceptualizations and affective states are liberated continuously by self-manifesting within this context of timeless awareness. Self-Liberation is experienced witihin the manifestation of appearances as well as the simultaneous cognitions about the appearances when such manifestation is within our field of timeless awareness.
When phenomena are appearing and conceptualization and judgments are manifesting liberation takes place by sustaining our experience of being in naked awareness, by remaining within the field of timeless awareness. Arising and self liberation are occurring simultaneously.
By suspending thought and by suspending the mind even momentarily, the nature of awareness is manifested which is spaceousness, energy and light. By suspending the mind awareness begins to manifest within us and within this awareness the field of timeless awareness becomes evident and experiential. Timeless awareness which is appearing within us as us is primordial awareness itself. And so within the nature of our own awareness as timeless awareness the appearing of phenomena is experienced completely within the primordial awareness field of emptiness and radiance. You and I can experience the Beingness of being through and within a being. In suspending thought the beingness of being becomes manifest through the being’s Being experienced within the field of timeless awareness .
As the mind within awareness arises to experience and think phenomena the nature of phenomena will manifest as no thingness. No thingness appears as the nature of phenomena in the light of the awareness field. The nature of our own awareness itself is also no thingness.
Timeless awareness is no thingness. And so in light of no thingness the no thingness of phenomena becomes manfest. In light of the no thingness of timeless awareness the no thingness of the appearing of appearances becomes manfiest.
Everything and anything manifest from within the no thingness of awareness. Everything and anything dissolves within the great expanse of awareness. The indivisibility of everything and anything within the non-duality of the no thingness of awareness is the source of liberation and enlightenment. The no thingness of awareness is not simply empty like a box, but the no thingness is the luminous radiance as spaciousness. The spaciousness is knowningness as unbound creative potentiality. This potentiality is pervasive within and as all phenomena. All phenomena and all appearance is indivisible within the vast potential luminous radiance of awareness. The same no thingness of this vast potential awareness manifest us and within us as our own awareness, our own whoness.
To experience the nature of our own awareness as the vast potential of luminous awareness is liberation. To experience the nature of all appearance and all phenomena as the vast potential of luminous timeless awareness is liberation. An so self liberation is that close and that immediate and that completely natural.
Rudolph Bauer, Ph.D. A.B.P.P.
The Washington Center for Consciousness Studies