Sunday, August 12, 2012

White Shell

Over the past three or four days, I've been spending time on the 'Net chatting about this and that with my friend. We began by discussing the "even when you are wrong, you are right" school of learning from mistakes, and this somehow segued -- you know how talk bounces around -- into discussing Yeshe Tsogyal as an historical personage, who loved Guru Rinpoche.

It is certain he loved her right back; at once ordinarily and extraordinarily. Together, they made of their love an enormously liberating experience for all sentient beings.

After these conversations, I chanced to come upon the following by Yeshe Tsogyal, and it seemed appropriate. From the text, it would seem she is quoting Padmasambhava, but who is to say where one of them began and the other ended, so to speak?
"An individual who knows that there is no delusion in the primordial ground of being and then goes astray establishing sentient beings and their worlds: this is like a white shell appearing yellow to a jaundiced eye. Although a variety of seemingly conflicting passions manifests, one knows that there is no delusion in the ground. Fully realizing this, then whatever one does, one knows there is no cause for delusion. Knowing this, primordially there is the freedom of self-generating pristine awareness; at the time of delusion there is the freedom of self-generating pristine awareness; and in the end there is the freedom of self-generating pristine awareness."
So, this seems like a beautiful way to love, doesn't it? A relationship based upon this sort of view is almost certain to be gentle, and beneficial to all parties. Imagine: you love someone, and the nature of your relationship is such that it becomes a source of refuge, a source of instruction, and a source of realization for others. 

Here it is, centuries later, and we continue to receive the benefit of their relationship.

I think from now until my dying day, I will remember this little comment about a white shell appearing yellow, and just leave a white shell as a white shell, without too much tinkering. In this fashion, one can almost certainly benefit from mistakes without actually making them.

Dakini Day, August 2012

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2 reader comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear teacher, I have an inkling of what this text may mean...but could you offer some commentary? I'm very interested in how to ever make so-called "romantic" love become a path of cultivation, but I can't understand this quote well enough...does it mean that you see past the form of whatever is going on and keep the beloved's Buddha nature in mind when they are throwing a jam pot at your head? And/or does it mean that when PMS surprises me masquerading as a yellow lense yet again, I should breathe and remember the statements of Garab Dorje before I hurl the toaster at him? Or...? Thank you for helping the more enlightenment-challenged among us...

Editor said...

Always a pleasure to hear from an ex-wife. May the force be with you, dear.