Dudjom Lingpa, the source of our close lineage, once posed a powerful question to his personal yidam (archetype of his enlightened self). He asked, “…emptiness [our original nature] seems to be without benefit and harm. Why is that?” His yidam replied, in part, “The reflection of the planets and stars in the ocean are none other than the ocean. The physical world and its sentient inhabitants are none other than space. Samsara and nirvana are none other that displays of ultimate reality.” These are metaphors of our innate wisdom—the unfiltered awareness that does not create duality of good and bad.

This duality is very difficult to overcome as we are quite habituated to separating things into extremes. To observe the interplay of energies from a place of neutrality is one aspect of our spiritual practice. We rediscover a naturally unbiased point of view—which includes all points of view. It is not about agreement or disagreement, nor is it indifference. It is about our capacity to watch and listen without prejudice. Then compassion has a chance to express itself everywhere equally.

My root teacher boiled it down to this: “Oh Michael, sometimes things go up and sometimes things go down.” He realized our natural unconditioned mind is capable of watching the seesaw of life from the standpoint of the fulcrum, the point of balance free from extremes. The ground of our awareness is naturally inclusive. In this time of increased divisive rhetoric, it is all the more important we find our balance point. We may discover our understanding of the world is not so black and white!

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