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The Essence of Ourselves

The Essence of Life 

Revealing the Essence  

We are unconditionally Buddhas, without need of meditation or Dharma practice. At the same time, we are trapped by afflicted emotions and limited dualistic perceptions.  

So we need to ask, “What is the main hindrance that prevents us from unfolding our primordial essence?” It is the sense of “I” that prevents us from actualizing who we are in this moment, who we are as the mind of love and wisdom. Ego is a very powerful habit that continuously obstructs us because it is the most entrenched, deeply rooted habit that has occupied our lives. Therefore, it requires some kind of path. This is the work of purification.  

At the same time, we must recognize our own Buddha essence, otherwise the practice becomes stale and lifeless because we have no target, no real understanding of why we are practicing; we do not know what we are really aspiring towards.  

All beings have Buddha essence, therefore sentient beings and Buddhas are the same. We are not trying to be anybody else, not a saint, not a spiritual person. We are not trying to become anyone in particular, because we are already Buddha as we are. Who we are in this very moment is completely divine.  

But, we do not recognize who we are? Do you understand this tendency? If we have not recognized our Buddha essence, then no matter what we try to acquire from the outside, we will be ridden with the same lingering sense of dissatisfaction. We will be coupled with guilt, shame, and regret, because we have this intuitive knowledge that we are somehow cheating ourselves out of real happiness. There is no lasting happiness in acquisition. True happiness arises from the contemplation and recognition of our Buddha essence, which is a surrendering, regardless of what we are experiencing, whether we are joyous or sad.  

The great Tibetan lamas I have known never experienced any sense of judgment towards themselves. They really live in each moment because they do not want anything. We never live in this present moment because we get stuck with memories of the past concerning unfortunate events. This tendency creates obscurations in the moment. We also think about the future, projecting the obsessions of our insecurity and uncertainty regarding fear of death. This makes us strive to achieve so that we may continue our petty evasions of reality. But living in this moment is the most amazing spiritual achievement, and the practice of compassion is about living in this moment.
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