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You Are the Eyes of the World

You Are the Eyes of the World

by Longchenpa, Kennard Lipman, Merrill D. Peterson

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Just as the images on television are nothing more than light, so are our experiences merely the dance of awareness. Often we form attachments to or feel enslaved by these experiences. But they are only reflections. As easily as television pictures vanish when the channel is changed, the power of our experiences fades if we penetrate to the heart of reality—the


Just as the images on television are nothing more than light, so are our experiences merely the dance of awareness. Often we form attachments to or feel enslaved by these experiences. But they are only reflections. As easily as television pictures vanish when the channel is changed, the power of our experiences fades if we penetrate to the heart of reality—the light of the natural mind within everyone.

You Are the Eyes of the World presents a method for discovering awareness everywhere, all the time. This book does not discuss how to turn ordinary life off, and it does not describe how to create beautiful spiritual experiences; it shows how to live within the source of all life, the unified field where experience takes place.

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The Beacon
...text is clear and direct, and requires relatively little background in Indian, Tibetan, or Buddhist culture to understand.

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Chapter One

The Jewel Ship

The Anthem

Naturally serene, seamless like space,
Embodying wholeness, the unity of ever-flesh awareness and
its field,
Unchanging, impartial, not biased toward being or nonbeing,
I salute the supreme universal creativity.


Here I have elucidated for the sake of future generations the
meaning of the supreme way of life.
This approach to life, which comes from the spontaneously
perfect universal creativity,
Is the way to directly experience the pure fact of awareness that
is at the very heart of all experiences.
This approach is not a gradual process of self-development;
with it, you actually wake up to what is, right now.


    Out of compassion, the truly and completely Awakened One,with his skillful knowledge, enunciated a myriad of lifestyles and approachesto the teachings. In these cases he taught according to theinclinations and abilities of those to be trained. What he taught tothe majority of people had only indirect, provisional significance. Hedid not speak even once about the direct, real meaning.

Although the teacher, through the three dimensions of his existence,
taught about reality in various ways,
Those teachings were indirect andprovisional.


To lead beings to a path that was pleasing to them,
During the first revolution the teacher, through the three
dimensions of his existence,
Taught the existence of separate, graduated paths.
As a way of leading narrow minded people to the real meaning,
I have been understood in the limited terms of provisional


... although the teacher contrived
The teaching in this way and taught validly,
Those scriptures are just provisional, not direct.

Therefore the approaches—ranging from those who are contentwith listening and preaching to those who practice the suprememethod of transformation—are merely a means for approaching thegateway to self-refreshing awareness, the pure fact of being aware.Aside from that they do not, in fact, thoroughly comprehend thatawareness because they do not transcend the fundamental pitfallsand obstacles.

Oh listen Great Being!
The three revolutions announced by the three teachers
Of the three times have pitfalls and obstacles.
You may wonder how that could be?
The six approaches which lead to definite attainments
Are pitfalls to the state of total completeness.

    Even though you may familiarize yourself with the point of thelower approaches in this life, you will not see the reality of thatwhich fashions everything, the pure fact of awareness, which thoseapproaches contradict.

Listen! Those who do not thoroughly understand me—
universal creativity—
Are attracted to the diverse teachings,
And involve themselves in what the teacher, through the three
dimensions, intended.
They very much contradict what I, universal creativity, intend.

Therefore the scriptures of the real teacher, a direct teaching whichwas not taught by the buddhas of the three times during the threetimes, have been spoken by the teacher, universal creativity.

Listen! I am the teacher, universal creativity.
These scriptures, which are the heart of the teaching and the
root of spiritual pursuits,
Were not talked about very much by the teachers of the three
This unborn primordial state of the teacher
Was not spoken of previously by the buddhas of the three
It was not spoken of later, and is not spoken of now.
The unchanging creativity of the universe
Communicated it previously, will speak of it in the future,
And speaks of it now.
The creativity of the universe teaches you fortunate ones
This direct teaching, this scripture about the freedom that you
do not need to strive for,
This oral transmission of the elevated teaching
Which gets at the core of reality, neither exaggerating nor

This universal creativity sums up the unique reality which is thecore of all spiritual pursuits and teachings

Listen! The teacher of the teacher, the creativity of the
In the midst of his uncontrived audience,
According to this inner source of all uncontrived, quintessential
Describes how everything appears.
When you have understood the unified frame of reference of
this core teaching,
All other frames of reference will be reflected within this
creativity that makes everything else possible.
Thus, if you know me—the intelligence of the universe—
You will know the inconceivable truth.
If you know me—the majestic creativity within everything—
You will know and be at peace with the reality of everything else.

It is the source in which the inner truth of all approaches to theteachings are united.

I, the creativity of the universe, pure and total presence,
Am the real heart of all spiritual pursuits.
The three approaches with their three teachers
Do not exist apart from this one definitive approach.
This is the level of the creative energy of the universe, pure and
total presence.
It is the source of all spiritual pursuits.

List of Subjects

    This quintessential instruction in the primordial approach to theteaching, concerning the creative energy of the universe—the ongoingabsolute perfection which is at the very summit of the eight vehicles—hasthree main parts: the spiritual advisor who teaches it,the student who follows the teaching, and the teaching to be learned.

The Spiritual Advisor

    Having himself mastered the true import of the state of totalcompleteness and knowing the philosophical tenets and spiritualteachings of both the non-buddhists and the buddhists, the teachercan generate a direct understanding of the heart of the matter in thestudent's mind. He knows how to show the sublime path which leadsthe student to realize that quintessence. The student should rely on aperson who is not tainted by the distractions of worldly concerns ormere semantic distinctions. Such a worthy mentor is to be pleased byall sorts of gifts.

This precious treasury, the authentic master
Who paints black alum on gold to purify it,
Entices because of his limitless value

    Contrasted to such a true mentor is one who is confused aboutthe meaning of the spiritual teachings and philosophical tenets of thebuddhists and non-buddhists. Craving goods and semantic distinctions,delighting in distractions and entertainments, he breaks hisvows and commitments. One who leads people who are faithful yetlack guidance down a dead-end path and who pursues material gainthrough religion moves outside of the true meaning of the primordialreality. Thus he teaches to others mere words, as if they weresomehow spiritual. He even lacks the fortune to understand for himself.It stands to reason that this monkey show should be abandoned.

Innocents, through deception, are seduced to a path that is just
an idea,
With neither time for setting out nor time for realization—
How will they be able to seek reality on its own terms?
When following the teachings of a monkey-like master which
have no logical basis,
You end up believing in a false path.

obtained, such a student is
called one who has achieved according to the word of
the guide.
With commitments properly maintained, such students are
given this oral explanation.
After swearing an oath to proceed following the spiritual
advisor's word
As long as student and teacher are alive,
The student is given the epitome of the teachings: the creativity
of the universe.

Thus, being mentally unattached, all wealth should be offered to theTeacher. The teacher, to complete the accumulation of merit, acceptswithout desire what was offered and offers it to the three jewels.

... in short, even body and life should be offered,
All the more so food, objects, and animals.
Even if they are not needed,
A worthy person will accept them, offering them to the three

The Teaching

    The teaching has three phases: the spiritual heritage, whichestablishes this teaching as believable and trustworthy; the mainsubject matter, which arises from that transmission; and the proscriptionto preserve the teaching by not broadcasting it

The Spiritual Heritage

Listen Great Being!
The history of the teaching is given
Because initial confidence arises from it.

    The historical unfolding of the teaching reveals three ways bywhich its meaning is transmitted:

• Through natural self-authentication,

• Through the medium being the message and the form being the content,

• Through literary composition.

The meaning of this is as follows: (1) out of the total field of experience,the non-localizable realm of genuine reality that is a vast expansivenessfree from all fabrications, the supreme ordering principal ofthe universe, manifests reflecting the deep structure of what is. Inthis realm which is an immense palace terraced with light be communicatesby activating an indestructible cognitive responsivenessout of the ever-fresh awareness which is his own primordial stateand that of the five buddhas. This process then proceeds into thedimension of the full richness of being which communicates its messagethrough its own medium (2) to dGa-rab rdo-rje, in the materialdimension. He spoke correctly and grammatically (via language) (3)to the great master Mañjusrimitra. He nondually communicated thedynamic meaning to the great master Sri Simha. He communicatedthe very secret heart of the matter to the miraculous translatorVairocana. He communicated the great nondual pristine awarenessto the prince g•Yu-gra snying-po. He communicated the effortlessfield of reality to lCog-ro skyes-bzang legs-stain. He communicatedthe unchanging ground to rBa rgyal-ba'i dbang-po. He communicatedthe sky simile to mTshur-mchog-gi bla-ma. He communicatedthe great settling into the natural condition to Drung ye-shes dbang-po.He communicated the nondual nature to Zur-ston rin-chengrags-pa. He communicated the primordially pure fact of being tolCe dga'-ba'i dbang-po. He communicated the unique fact of awarenessthat is without affirmation or negation to sNyan rin-chen rtsemo.He communicated the actual state of things that is totallybeyond the intellect to Chos-rje kun-dga' don-grub. He communicatedwhat is uncontrived, unstained, and self-arising to sLob-dpongzhon-nu don-grub. He communicated the primordial freedombeyond cause and effect to Klong-chen rab-'byams-pa, the practitionerof the natural state of total completeness. He communicatedthis to 'Jam-dbyangs kun-dga' rgyal-mtshan. He communicated thisto mTshugs-med chos-rje rin-po-che raja.

The Main Subject Matter

    The second phase, the actual teaching transmitted by the foregoinglineage, has three parts: the foundation, guruyoga; the realsubject matter, setting forth the teaching; and how to integrate experiencesafter meditation.


    The necessary foundation for recognizing for oneself the realityof pristine awareness, which is what mind is all about, is the phase ofyogic meditation on the guru.

Swiftly moving pristine awareness, free of all mentation,
Is like a precious jewel which comes from all spiritual friends.
Not objectifiable, not dependent on transformation,
It naturally satisfies all wishes.
While if analyzed it doesn't exist, when you find yourself in that
state it really does arise.
Concretely it isn't apparent, yet in its aspect of arising it can be
shown to all.
The precious treasury, the wise sage who is free of bias toward
self or other,
Teaches by means of selflessness and compassion, and is called
'That which accomplishes everything.'

The Visualization and Guruyoga

    Now sit down on a comfortable seat. After taking refuge, generatingcompassion which is not limited to any specific object, and recallingthe ultimate content of what you are, which is atemporal anddoes not come into being, you should visualize a deep blue Humemanating light rays. These symbolize the non-duality of the natureof one's own mind and body. This light, through its vast matrix ofrays, purifies all that presents itself internally or externally withinthe subject-object dichotomy. Thereby all that presents itself is seenas the gods and goddesses in the highest realm.

    In that realm visualize yourself as a deep blue Vajra-being withone mouth and two hands, bedecked with silks and jewels, andseated in the heroic posture of such a being. In your right hand is avajra held against the heart; your left hand is at your side, holding abell. Imagine a matrix of light rays spreading like rainbows fromyour heart to the ten directions. On the crown of your head visualizea lotus stalk where a jewel-encrusted lion sits. Seated on this lion isthe master who gives you your basic inspiration as the embodimentof the creativity of the universe. His body is blue, he has onemouth, and his two hands form the gesture of meditative equanimity.He is the dimension of totality, ornamented by the symbol offreedom from any fabrications and thus appearing without clothes,seated in the vajra posture, entirely essenceless.

    Now imagine the masters of the lineage appearing as a mass oflight in the forms of the countless buddhas of the five families, eachone fully ornamented in their own fashion, and entirely essenceless.On the tips of light rays spreading from those buddha bodies to theten directions of the world imagine the dimension of the full richnessof being and the forms of the six sages, who are the magicaldimension appearing for the benefit of the world. While vajrabreathing recite the mantra Om Ah Hum for as long as you are able.Then everything vanishes into the supreme ordering principle ofthe universe; while residing in the realm that is essenceless, reciteAh countless times. After that, having said "May all the phenomenaof samsara and nirvana be liberated into the primordial sphere,"you may rise. This is a highly esoteric and most excellent exercise.

    By training in this visualization for a fortnight, from the realmwhich realizes random appearances to be like a dream or a mirage,there emerges the self-arising compassion which focuses on sentientbeings as well as the realization that all phenomena lack identity.

    Thereafter, no mental state will arise which is caught up inthe distractions of this life or the eight worldly concerns. Firm disgustfor samsara and the determination to get out of it arise as well.These all emerge as the self-manifestation of the primordial state ofcreativity.

The Real Subject Matter

     The real subject matter, the way the teaching is set forth, hasfour parts: (1) becoming certain through the perspective of theteaching; (2) transcending limitations through accustoming yourselfto this perspective; (3) overcoming obstacles through the way youconduct your life; (4) abandoning hope and fear—the result.

Becoming Certain through
the Perspective

    Becoming certain has two parts: (1) certainty that what appearsis the play of experience itself; (2) determining that experience itselfis open.

The Play of Experience

    All experiences and life-forms cannot be proven to exist independentlyof their being a presence before your mind, just like alucid dream.

All that is has me—universal creativity, pure and total
presence—as its root.
How things appear is my being.
How things arise is my manifestation.
Sounds and words heard are my messages expressed in sounds
and words.
All the capacities, forms, and pristine awarenesses of the
The bodies of sentient beings, their habituations, and so forth;
All environments and their inhabitants, life forms, and
Are the primordial state of pure and total presence.

Not realizing that everything is nothing other than the manifestationof one's mind is called samsara.

Without understanding me, the creativity of the universe,
But investigating the phenomena that I manifest,
You perceive everything dualistically due to your attachment
and longing.
Impermanent, apparitional things will fade away.
They are aimless, like a blind man.

Accustom yourself to this nondual reality where the duality of mindand that which appears before mind are like a dream.

All that is experienced and
Your own mind are the unique primary reality.
They cannot be conceptualized according to the cause and
effect systems of thought.
Investigate your mind's real nature
So that your pure and total presence will actually shine forth.

The concrete states of matter—solids, liquids, and so forth—shouldbe examined in this way. Remaining for ten days where no othernesscan be found, you will realize that not even an atom's worth of anythingexists that is separate from pure and total presence. Realizingthat, you will certainly be free from all fabricated obsession with theotherness of objects. Moreover, the very being of what is experiencedexternally, in being an essenceless, open dimension, is shownto be the state of pure and total presence. In being the variety ofunceasing experience, it is shown to be the play of pure and totalpresence. This is not the same as claiming that whatever you experienceis mental because what you experience is not a mental event butarises as the play of the state of pure and total presence. That claimdoes not distinguish between mind and the state of pure and totalpresence. The state of pure and total presence is the clear light,the pure fact of awareness, non-conceptual ever-fresh awareness;whereas mind is the motivating factor of samsara: pervasive conceptualization.As The Two Truths says:

Mind and mental events are concepts, mere postulations within the three realms of samsara.

Whenever the state of pure and total presence is recognized, mindand mental events cease. Mind is objectification; pure and total presencedoes not objectify. Therefore, even the subject which is held tobe mental is also seen to be the originally pure state of being.


Excerpted from You Are the Eyes of the World by . Copyright © 2000 by Merrill Peterson and Kennard Lipman. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Meet the Author

Longchen Rabjam (1308–1363) was born to a noble family of Tibet under many signs of auspiciousness. He showed great skill in all aspects of scholarship from an early age and excelled throughout his life in the practice and accomplishment of dharma. His power in visualization techniques and ability to actualize miraculous appearances is well known throughout Tibetan history. Longchenpa had many pure visions where he was given direct instructions from Guru Padmasambhava and many other wisdom deities. Recognized as an emanation of Vimalamitra, Longchenpa's sharp acumen and prolific writings have made him one of Tibet's most renowned and precious teachers.

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