The Eternal State

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Longchen Rabjam

"Old Man Basking In The Sun"
(Commentary by Keith Dowman, in Italics)

By forsaking any deliberate, patterned, physical, verbal or mental action in which we have been immersed like innocent children in their uncertain, never-ending and pointless games in the playground, we may stretch out in the pure pleasure of immense relief like an old man basking in the sun with no intention to do anything at all.

By the label 'buddha', a synonym of 'gnostic awakening', I do not imply that any immaculate buddha exists: whoever thinks that buddhas visibly exist can never find buddhahood in the spaciousness of reality. Whoever knows buddha as unmanifest can intuit the nonactive mind;

knowing buddha as absent, the original face of mind shines forth; never appearing concretely, 'buddha' is all-embracing, and the essence of his being shows!

Conversely, in the gradual approach of the mahayana, through the diverse blessings of discriminate lifestyles, the nonactive reality of the mind is lost, and what lies within cannot be found at a distance.

Nonaction, easily discovered and apprehended, for the gradualists is no less than a terminal disease; yet it is the stake that tethers unwavering samadhi, timeless samadhi, that can never be lost or distracted.

The singer of false hope for contrived concentration provides morbid inspiration for the casual  approach: what has always existed can never be lost or forsaken and it supersedes all remedies based on goal-obsession.

Yet if this transmission of the supreme source were taught to followers of a teacher of the causal approach, they would denounce it from their limited viewpoint: 'Every product has a cause; every tree has a root.'

The yogin who aspires to buddhahood through concentration spurns artless integration due to his very desire for samadhi; the uncontrived natural state is universal reality, and buddhahood is inseparable from that reality.

So 'buddha' is just a label, a verbal designation, and 'reality' is nothing other than our own mind, which left as it is, is called pure being, dharmakaya, where 'left as it is' means unborn from the beginning, and where 'unborn' means unsought and unfound: nonaction cannot be realized by any endeavor.

The image of an idle old man stretched out basking in the sun covers nonaction as instruction for nonmeditation and contrasts to the frenetic activity of super-achievers on the mundane stage or rather, to babes in the playground of life acting out their pointless games with body, speech and mind. All ambition is based on discrimination and is a futile attempt to change or recondition things. The nonaction of Samantabhadra in contrast is relaxation into the natural perfection of nondual reality that is inn original disposition without stirring or departing from it.