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  • Rudy Bauer

Longchenpa – Words and Meaning

By Rudolph Bauer, Ph.D., Diplomate in Clinical Psychology, A.B.P.P.


Rudolph Bauer, Ph.D. Author, Erin Johannesen, M.A., M.D. Editor


1.  For this morning’s meditation, I am going to read and elaborate from the writings of the great Dzogchen master, Longchenpa, whose words and understanding can help us understand meditation.  Understanding helps us hold and experience meditation in depth and breadth and helps us in the refinement of our perception.  Without understanding, the experience disappears. 2.  Without understanding, meditation can be an aphasic experience.

3.  There is this adamantine [diamond-like] nucleus of radiant light lying at the heart of all living beings.  The enlightened nucleus can be identified with the primordial ground of all that is.  This nucleus is primordial awareness.  This ground of pure possiblizing, of pure potential, is adamantine, both in the sense of being devoid of actualized concrete forms and in its sense of indestructible primordiality that continues throughout all living beings, [continues through you, life after life]…continues throughout the universe itself.  Vajra kumara means unborn and undying…ever youthful.  From this view, everything is alive.

4.  This pure primordial ground resides within our hearts, and its presencing pervades the body in a wonderful network of luminous channels and [in] mandalas of the interiorized deities…the archetypical energies…such that, in every instant, we re-enact the cosmic drama of self recognition, or lack of self recognition.  We are aware of awareness, or unaware of awareness within both ourself [ourselves in oneness] and the outer geography of the intersubjective, experienced world.  Our very subjectivity is the manifestation of the primordial ground; our very self is the manifestation of the primordial, luminous ground.

5.  The first adamantine topic:  The ground and ground presencing.  “Ground presencing” means the appearance within the ground and the lightening up of the ground…the radiances of primordial awareness manifesting infinite forms and infinite presences…infinite singularities.  This radiance, which is compassion, begins as an unimpeded rainbow of pure light flowing forth from the ground and arising within the ground as the elements.  It flows too as the dimension of archetypical forms and as the dimensions of us…this world among other worlds. 

The radiance of light evolves into dualistic forms.  Congealed light becomes congealed matter, and dualistic experienced light becomes matter encapsulated as earth, wind, fire, and space.  This self awareness of self presencing is the core dynamic of the universe.  This gnosis, this jnana, this intelligence, this knowningness of radiant light – from which the entire spectrum of psychic activity and material dynamics arises – reflects the various luminous light energy vibrations that congeal and become dimmed.  The entire universe within universes, multi-dimensional and parallel, is a thoroughly intelligent and anima mystic universe…is psyche…as universe.

6.  The ground’s utter emptiness, which is actually openness of pure potential, is in perfect union, complete oneness, with the luminous radiance of light energy.  This emptiness, or openness, or potential is inherently dynamic and luminous…luminous in its manifestation.  Its essence is purity, its luminosity is spontaneous presence, and compassion is its pervasive and creative resonance.  This ground of being is brilliant, shining intelligence.  Thus, at the cosmic level, this self organizing gnosis is the infinite star systems and parallel universes, and, at the microcosmic level, it is the subtle structures and the peculiarly personal world of the self conscious animals and beings that is ourself [ourselves in oneness].  All of this [shining through] is compassion resonating…time itself is compassion manifested.

7.  Timeless awareness manifesting time…timeless awareness in time, and time in timeless awareness…non-duality manifesting duality, non-duality within duality, and duality within non-duality.

8.  There is the shock of non-recognition, the great lack of non-recognition…ma rigpa, and there is the consistent, ever present, self-organized movement of desire for rigpa, of self knowing self, and the experience of the ‘ground presencing’ knowing the ground presencing as ground.

9.  As the dimension of primordial ground, the field remains a virtual reality, a potential reality.  This self-contained potential is devoid of actualization and is devoid of exteriorization.  It [this potential] is like a spiritual body contained in a vase.  The entire universe is enfolded within it as pure potential.  The [Dzogchen] master, Karmaya, comments that Dzogchen tantras very rarely, if at all, invoke the theories of emptiness, or syunyata, as non-self existence.  These non-self theories are, at times, misleading because the understanding of emptiness lacks the dynamic reality of primordial awareness as luminous openness, as radiant purity, and as the resonance of cosmic compassion.  Purity is the essence of the ground.  Original purity is simultaneous with spontaneous presence, internal radiance, pure potential, or virtual reality.  All of this [dynamic of luminous openness] gives rise to possibilizing the potential of actualizations of infinite forms of infinite worlds…all in singularity.  

10.  Emptiness may be empty, but as such, it is not the case of it being empty of inherent dynamic spontaneous light energy, for the vibrancy itself presences itself as you and me.  It presences itself both as congealed materiality of light and as adamantine awareness…the who in mind and body.  And circumstance.

11.  Primordial awareness is a ‘who’ and not an ‘it.’  Who’s in us?  Who are who’s in Whoville?

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