“For most of us, our natural mind or buddha-nature is obscured by the limited self-image created by habitual neuronal patterns – which, in themselves, are simply a reflection of the unlimited capacity of the mind to create any condition it chooses. Natural mind is capable of producing anything, even ignorance of its own nature. In other words, not recognizing natural mind is simply an example of the mind’s unlimited capacity to create whatever it wants. Whenever we feel fear, sadness, jealousy, desire, or any other emotion that contributes to our sense of vulnerability or weakness, we should give ourselves a nice pat on the back. We’ve just experienced the unlimited nature of the mind.” -Mingyur Rinpoche
The concept of buddha-nature is beautiful. In the Tathagatagarbha Sutra, it is taught that within all of us lies a Buddha. The incomprehensible essence of enlightenment is present within us here and now - yet we don’t realize it. In Zen it is said: “It is right in your face. This moment the whole thing is handed to you”. The Hindu mystic Nisargadatta Maharaj claims: “What you seek is so near - there is no place for a way”. They are pointing to the fact that if it were not for certain veiling factors - we would be awakened right now. Classically, it is said that Ignorance, Greed, and Hatred (The Three Poisons) are what stop us from recognizing our true nature.
Mingyur Rinpoche is asking us to do something radical. To see the obscurations of the mind as a path towards remembering who we really are. Instead of seeing turbulent emotions as veiling our true nature, or as obstacles on the path - we view them as the path. Slowly waking up to the fact that the path itself is the fruit. What we seek is with us always - including within apparent confusion. This is the direct method - seeing everything as an expression of our tathagathagarbha.
The difficulty lies in the immediacy and intimacy of it all.
This is why the Kashmir Shaivites say: “[It is] the greatest secret, more hidden than the most concealed, and yet more evident than the most evident of things”.
Remember this when you encounter people today - and treat them in a way that honours their innermost essence.
It is as it is.