It is common for us lazy practitioners to view thought as an enemy. When we misperceive Buddha’s teachings, we believe thought to be nothing but distraction. But from the Dzogchen perspective, which is the foundation of our lineage, all thought is an emanation of the pure light of awareness. On the other hand, when we become involved in thought energy and decide about conceptual meanings, we forget their source.
This exchange between Padmasambhava and Yeshe Tsogyal from Treasures from Juniper Ridge, is a clear example:
Lady Tsogyal asked the master: Should we regard our thoughts as imperfect?
The master replied:
Don’t see thoughts as being faulty.
Like waves upon the ocean,
Any thought that may arise
Within the quiet emptiness that is your mind
Is but the dharmata’s display.
You can firmly resolve on that.
The Sanskrit word dharmata, in Tibetan, means the intrinsic nature of everything, the essence of things as they are. Dharmata is the naked, unconditioned truth, the nature of reality, or the true nature of phenomenal existence. So, thought has no limited meaning, it is simply a display of all possibilities rolled into a moment. If we decide on a particular limited view, it is like we have drawn a curtain in front of a sunny window. We only see shadow.
Our practice is to recognize the light and liberate the mind that casts a shadow. The light is always there and the shadow defines the light. This is true realization of our emptiness nature, radiant and complete in every quivering moment.