Author’s note: The title of this article is a quote, taken out of context, from a talk that Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche gave at an advanced assembly several years ago. The following is my processing this idea while sitting in the dining hall at Karme Choling as we waited for Rinpoche to invite us in the shrine room, after opening the mandala, to give us an empowerment a few days ago.
Note: This piece first appeared on elephant journal, here.
Ultimate confidence in basic goodness and the instruction of the guru manifests as an unshakeable relaxed awakeness.
A moment of effort that attempts to overcome a perceived fault in the way things are to reclaim some sense of comfort or stability is an instance of forgetting the guru’s instruction and lacking confidence in the basic goodness of self, other and society.
Rather than neurotic effort, a flash of discomfort could be seen as a reminder to let go and relax into the natural state.
An attitude of appreciation can be a key catalyst for this type of experience. Appreciation is the absence of lacking—contentment. Contentment is the sense that there is nothing missing or needed in a given moment.
When there is nothing missing one has the opportunity to look out, to appreciate what is there already. To be in this way, I believe, is the point of being alive. It is the basis from which we are able to be of benefit to others.
The question, perhaps, is how does this experience of relaxation and appreciation relate with the urgency of helping the world in the dark ages. The answer to this might be in seeing clearly what is needed in order to be of actual benefit.
Since aggression begets further aggression, speed begets more and more speed, what may be needed is the counter-intuitive approach of the relaxed wakefulness describe above.
Another element of this experience is relaxing into the inexhaustible well of energy, windhorse, that is no longer being blocked and obscured by self-defeating neurosis.
Further, this energy manifests with an attitude of unwavering gentleness—a true antidote to the sources of confusion and suffering in the world. Thus, the person embodying the experience of basic goodness accomplishes all tasks easily.