The nature of enlightenment with Thubten Chodron
This video with Thubten Chodron is part of an ongoing teaching series based on “Samsara, Nirvana, and Buddha Nature,” the third volume in The Library of Wisdom and Compassion series authored by the Dalai Lama and Thubten Chodron.
The teachings provide advice on taking initiations and focus on the following concepts:
- Third Simile: Ignorance hides our inherent Buddha nature like a kernel in its husk.
- Form and formless realms can obstruct realizing Buddha nature in ordinary beings.
- Fourth Simile: Attachment, animosity, and ignorance are like filth covering Buddha nature, hindering its manifestation.
Think about the third simile: our buddha nature is like a grain in its husk. Just as the husk must be taken off for the grain to be edible, we need to remove our ignorance before we can understand the ultimate truth.
Our minds are too clouded to recognize the enlightening activities of a buddha.
Reflect on how our ignorance obstructs our own buddha nature and our ability to identify the enlightened activities of the buddhas in our lives.
Think about how the buddhas instruct us to take away the husk of our ignorance so that we can eventually nourish others with our own enlightened actions.
Contemplate the analogy of a court: our buddha essence is like gold buried in dirt; it is pure, but we are often oblivious to it, especially in the face of the afflictions of attachment, aversion, and ignorance that dominate our minds.
Truly understand this is our experience in samsara. Reflect on how, as the buddhas teach us to control and eventually eliminate these afflictions, the beauty of our own buddha essence can be revealed. Visualize what that must be like.
The teachings appear to explore the nature of enlightenment and the obstacles that can hinder one’s path toward realizing their Buddha nature.