After spending almost a quarter of a century on the spiritual path and having been able to enter samadhi or satori at will since 2007, coming into contact with the Buddhist teachings through direct experiences, has really been a turning point.
Especially the entry-level nondual and anatta insights have changed my inner (and outer) orientation pretty much completely. And after those initial, thorough and permanent insights, Vajrayana came into my life. Dzogchen and Mahamudra experiences have made a real difference!
There is one aspect of the Mahamudra and Dzogchen nondual realizations that I really love: they are completely grounded into everyday life. Completely.
Tantric Master Khyentse Rinpoche has put this beautifully:
“The everyday practice is simply to develop a complete acceptance and openness to all situations and emotions, and to all people, experiencing everything totally without mental reservations and blockages, so that one never withdraws or centralizes into oneself.
This produces a tremendous energy which is usually locked up in the process of mental evasion and a general running away from life experiences.
Clarity of awareness, may, in its initial stages, be unpleasant or fear-inspiring; if so, then one should open oneself completely to the pain or the fear and welcome it.
In this way, the barriers created by one’s own habitual emotional reactions and prejudices are broken down. When performing the meditation practice one should develop the feeling of opening oneself completely to the whole universe with absolute simplicity and nakedness of mind, ridding oneself of all protecting barriers.
One should realize that one does not meditate to go deeply into oneself and withdraw from the world. In Buddhist yoga, even when meditating on chakras there is no introspection concentration; complete openness of mind is the essential point.”
(Source >>, emphasis mine)
And opening up like that requires letting go of a lot of things within, the most important being the innermost identity:
“It is simply impossible to keep any trace of any kind of identity (whether from the Centuar, Subtle or even from the Causal stage as per Wilber map) when really moving on to the Buddhist Nondual, i.e. anatta and sunyata. No way. Even the slightest trace of identity implicates and indeed induces duality, albeit unperceivable.
If we consider Vedanta Advaita (monism, non-separateness), there are no problems with some kind of ultimate or causal identity or entity or inherent quality still present. No problems there.
But as soon as we move on to the Buddhist Nondual, namely anatta, and sunyata, then every single trace of identity, entity and inherent quality (even the higher Causal notions of the unmanifested Being or Brahman) must be left behind, entirely and unconditionally.”
– from my upcoming book, After Anatta
These experiences of identity transformation and collapse can indeed be quite challenging, to say the least. All in all, however, letting go of the identity and other notions of some kind of inherent existence within or without, is the most liberating experience!
It is so much easier to live without constant and energy-consuming re-animation of identities!
“The very meaning of the ‘Dzogchen – Great Perfection’, refers to the true primordial state of every individual and not to any transcendent reality.”
— Chogyal Namkhai Norbu, my Dzogchen master
What do you think?