So, then --
We can be thankful for the reawakened presence of Padmasambhava in our lives, no matter where we happen to be, and we can be thankful for the myriad ways this presence continuously announces itself. We have Padmasambhavas as teachers, books, images, sights of nature, melodies of wind, bodies of stone, and soft, infinite whispers. We have, you see, this immediate recognition of Padmasambhava as something without deceit, and therefore true. When we are bewildered, truth is very healing, and comforting. This is, almost certainly, not the first time we have been exposed to the truth; hopefully, this is the first time that truth will stick all the way to the last breath, and lead us to yet another reawakened presence.
I read a lovely passage the other day, attributed to Urgyen Tulku but without further citation. I immediately thought to share it with you, reproduced here as encountered:
"Ordinary people think that enlightenment is something that happens once, 'KaBOOM', 'ZAP', 'BZZZZZZZ', 'KAZAAM' and 'That's It' and we are forever there.
"It is not like that at all. Recognition of our Enlightened Nature or Buddha Mind, or Ordinary Mind for the first time lasts only for a few seconds. But due to the force of our habitual thinking that has been going on for countless lifetimes, Ordinary Mind will be obscured again by this conceptual thinking mind.
"This is when training really starts, this is when what Great Masters call true meditation is. This is when we have to keep bringing or letting the Natural Mind arise again and again.
"First we have to establish confidence that IT IS the Natural Mind. The difficulty in this is that it is so ordinary and simple that one will easily doubt that it is special. Therefore it is of primary important to have an authentic Master to confirm, clarify the experience. It is only that we have absolute conviction that it is what it is that confidence will arise spontaneously and slowly. This is not a matter of a moment but days, weeks, months or years training.
"Until the time when one is never for a moment separated from the spontaneous Natural Mind is one confirmed a Buddha.
"There are many statements and advice to this subject, I will quote only one here.
"The training in recognizing mind essence is this: short moment repeated many times. There is no other way. A short duration guarantees it is the authentic mind essence, by itself. Many times ensures we grow accustomed to it. Attempting to keep long moments of recognition simply corrupts the natural experience with a conceptual state of mind.
"You need to grow used to the natural state through training. The training is simply recognizing, not a willed act of meditating. In the moment of recognizing, it is seen. In the moment of seeing, it is free. That freedom does not necessary last long. The fact that there is no 'thing' to be seen is clearly seen as it is. It is not hidden; it is an actuality.
"Short moments, but repeated many times. You need to train like that. Once you are fully trained, you do not need to think twice.
"The training is simply to remain undistracted, because it is nondistraction that takes us all the way to complete enlightenment. Non-distraction does not mean deliberately trying to be undistracted, as we do when we replace normal thoughts with the thoughts, "I shouldn't be distracted" It is simply to not forget. The moment we forget - and we do forget- both the practice and all other things are forgotten, because our attention strays."
Isn't that magnificent? It strikes us as true, because it captures the essence of what we actually experience. It takes away all the pressure of "performance consciousness." This simple advice is in fact widely applicable. You could train a marksman, or musician, or learn to love this way.
The analogy of love is particularly apt. If we could grasp this analogy, we would not experience nearly as many ups and downs in our relationships as might now be the case.
Love appears suddenly, and effortlessly. In the initial stages, it is quite powerful: almost intoxicating. We tend to imbibe rather deeply at this point, but the cups are many and the canteen is still finite. When the drinking is done the analytical mind begins to dissect the experience, and out of nowhere love somehow becomes profound. We speak in terms of its gravitas. This is not so useful, but this is our habit. In the midst of intellectual battles, we tear up our love with tiger teeth and throw it around the den, harboring all sorts of opinions and suspicions.
Eventually, we have a motion picture in distress. Scripts have been distributed, but each person has a different script. These scripts are rife with scrawled additions, hastily scribbled directions, and crossed-out dialogue. The pens are of different colored inks, and many sorts of handwriting. The accompanying musical score is even worse.
So, I think it is better if we approach love as "short moment repeated many times." This will have the effect of reawakening love's presence so that we do not need to think twice. Love's sweetness is constantly present. We can throw away the scripts. Now, every sound is sublime music, and nobody is drunk. We are in touch with the original source -- no need to carry around a canteen.
Padmasambhava wants us to be happy. Whether this happiness is great or small, he wants us to be happy. Naturally, he wants us to experience greater happiness, but to experience this we need to start small.
We need to begin with each other in a way that recognizes this is Uddiyana and we are the angels. We already know, don't we?
Maybe we just momentarily forgot.