The Natural State

In 1970 and in the following years, the “natural state,” what Rinpoche called “the meditative state” and “the awakened state,” was, at least for me, at the center of everything he taught. It wasn’t just a matter of theory, but what I experienced whenever I was with him, alone or in groups. Over time I discovered how to find my way there on my own. Throughout my seventeen years studying with him, this was the central theme and the main point in my interactions with him, up to the time he died.

As Rinpoche’s own teachings unfolded over time, this emphasis became less explicit, more implicit. In his Vajrayana teachings, though, at least for me, “pointing out” this natural state was always the centerpiece of every program he taught.

As my teaching evolved, I felt that I needed to bring students not just to understand, but to directly experience the natural state as the ground and essential point of their own being, and of Rinpoche’s entire lineage and, beyond that, of Buddhism itself. I felt that otherwise everything remained too conceptual and too abstract. But how to do that?

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