Listen to the world

27 03 2008

Questioner: Could you say a little more about seeing life as a teaching?
Ngak’chang Rinpoche: Well—you can let the world speak to you. You can listen to the world. You can see what the phenomenal world is mirroring.
Khandro Déchen: You can see impermanence, sickness, old age, and death all around you.
NR: It’s a free teaching.
KD: It’s happening all the time, and all you have to do is observe it and take it in. You can understand from just looking at what’s going on all around you that this is what life is. Sometimes it’s happy, sometimes it’s sad, and sometimes it can’t quite seem to make up its mind.
NR: But what is it that sees? What is the nature of your perception? Sometimes it’s attracted, sometimes it’s averse, and sometimes it’s indifferent. And what is that focus to which you’re either attracted, averse or indifferent? Who is it that finds himself or herself to be attracted, averse, or indifferent? It’s simply spaciousness—the nature of what is.
KD: Maybe from this perspective you could discover the greater appropriateness of mirroring this suchness without judgment.
NR: In order to acknowledge what is, you need to learn how to see what is. As soon as you deal with areas beyond conventional comprehension, words become stretched to capacity, and you either follow them or you don’t. But you can always learn from life. You can walk down the street and let it be a contemplation on the nature of existence. You can allow your intrinsic warmth to arise in response to the sadness you see. You can allow yourself to feel open and loving toward the people you see passing you.
KD: Walking down the street can be a powerful experience if you actually take in what’s going on.
—from the book Roaring Silence

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