“In Dzogchen it is very important for us to know that mind is empty. Again, this is not merely talking about it once and then dropping it. As practitioners we have to come back to this again and again with joyful effort. Mind is emptiness, and everything is mind. We have to constantly reinforce or reengage this state. This is not something we believe in just because the Buddha, Garab Dorje, Guru Padmasambhava, Longchenpa, and Jigme Lingpa said so. We need to look to our own minds and find out for ourselves if this is really true or not. If we find that it is true, we must keep that realization all the time and not let it go. If we let it go, it means we fall back to the world of duality and start grasping.
It is very important to realize that everything is the dharmakaya—the enlightened, one taste of equanimity—and bring that understanding clearly and vividly into your heart. In ancient times, great masters asked their students to take one week to go out and find their minds. The students literally went out to try to find where the mind was, what size it was, and so on. They really tried to find it, get it, bring it back, and share what they found.
There is a story of a very famous Dzogchen master known as Tsangyang Gyatso. This great master was introducing the nature of mind, so he asked his students to go out to find their minds and then come back to him. One rather dull student went out and had great difficulty because he thought he was really going to find something solid. He looked for it again and again. At the end of the week as he was coming back on the last day, he saw a nice stone on the road. It was an interesting looking stone, so he thought to bring it back and say that it was his mind. Of course every student had a different message to share, but when it came to him he held up the small stone and said, “Great teacher, I think that this is my mind.” Tsangyang Gyatso immediately got up and pushed him, threw him on the ground, and beat him. Then the student pleaded, “Master, please don’t beat me!” “Why?” asked the master. “Because it hurts,” he said. “Who hurts?” asked the master. At that moment, the student recognized the emptiness nature of his mind and later became a very famous practitioner.”
Supreme Wisdom: Commentary on Yeshe Lama (pgs 200-201)
Copyright © Padmasambhava Buddhist Center at Padma Samye Ling. All rights reserved.