This is really how it is.

"And I would say, 'Why do you think it has to be difficult - it really is so easy.' Then they would say, 'But I don't get it.' And I'd reply, 'What do you mean, you don't get it? Just let it be!'...On one hand, maybe I'm just fooling everybody, making it too simple. But on the other hand, this is really how it is! It is the truth. What is the use of trying to sit and push and struggle, when you can allow the three kayas of buddhahood to be naturally present? Why do we have to strain and contort ourselves into an uneasy posture and an uptight meditative state with some hope that in the future, after a lot of trouble, we may get there? You don't need to go through all that trouble and tension. All you need to do is totally let be and recognize your nature right now." -Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche

This quote is an invitation to reconsider how we look at enlightenment. In Tibetan Buddhism, a Rinpoche is a spiritual master - literally meaning precious one. They are realized beings - so it may seem strange that Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche is speaking so casually, and almost negatively about meditation! In fact, it appears he’s against the whole thing! “Why do we have to strain and contort ourselves into an uneasy posture”. He even says you don’t need to go through the trouble - all you must do is recognize your nature right now.

This is really how it is. It is truth. The insight here is that the truth, nirvana, enlightenment is everywhere - all the time. It is not that you attain/achieve/reach awakening through meditation - but you simply drop off all the habits that kept you from seeing its ever present nature. Since it’s ever present - it’s simple! It’s already there - there is nothing to look for.

What is ever present? What is all-pervasive? In many Himalayan traditions - they call it the Ground.

It is empty in essence - totally interconnected with everything

It is cognizant in nature - pure unadulterated awareness

It is unconfined in capacity - far reaching and expressive

The way things are is not complex - it’s likely as simple as Rinpoche makes it out to be. As Pema Chodron says - you are the sky, everything else is the weather. The Ground is simple awareness. But until we can recognize - we must train in dropping away tension. Learn to let go of thoughts, emotions and patterns that bring us away from the present moment, away from recognizing the Ground. But whether we recognize it or not, the Ground is there, and we are its expression.

It is as it is.