the genesis of confusion


Ever-present Good’s (1)

Prayer of Intention

Ho!  All experience, potential or actual, patterned or free, has one ground, two paths and two results.

It is the play of awareness and ignorance. Through this prayer of Ever-present Good may everyone come to full and complete awakening in the palace of the realm of totality:

The ground of everything is not made of anything.  In this indescribable naturally present expanse there are not even the concepts of patterned or free.  Know this and you are awake.  Do not know this and you are a sentient being wandering in samsara.

May all beings in the three realms know the indescribable ground.  I, Ever-present Good, am the ground, without genesis or conditioning.  I am ground natural awareness — what is.  Internal and external distortions do not touch me.  The stupor of mindlessness does not conceal me.  Projections do not contaminate me.

As awareness itself is resting naturally, I experience no fear, even if the three worlds are destroyed.  I experience no longing for the five sensory pleasures.  In natural non-conceptual awareness neither solid form nor the five poisons are present.  The five aspects of pristine awareness are all present in the unceasing clarity that is awareness.

From the ripening of the five aspects of pristine awareness the five families of original buddhas arise. Through the further expansion of pristine awareness the forty-two buddhas arise.  Through the dynamism of the five aspects of pristine awareness the sixty blood-drinkers arise.

Ground awareness is never confused.  Because I am the original buddha, through my intention beings in samsara’s three realms recognize natural awareness. Thus, may great pristine awareness be complete.  My expressions arise continuously, radiating in inconceivable trillions of forms, teaching in different ways all who are to be trained.

Through my compassionate prayer of intention may all beings in samsara’s three realms rise out of existence as the six kinds of beings.  First, for confused beings Ground awareness does not arise.  That blankness, in which there is no idea of anything, is the genesis of confusion and ignorance.

Suddenly, from that unconsciousness a terrified and unclear knowing stirs. From that, I and then other, the enemy, arise.  Through the momentum of patterned propensities samsara unfolds in its usual way.  The five poisons, the reactive emotions, spread.  Reactions based on the five poisons just go on and on. Therefore, since the basis of confusion in beings is mindless ignorance, through my awakened intention may they all recognize awareness itself.

Naturally inherent ignorance is a distracted mindless knowing.  Ignorance that conceptualizes everything is a holding of self and other as two.  The two ignorances, inherent and conceptual, are the ground of confusion in all beings. Through my awakened intention may all beings in samsara wake up from their thick mindless stupor.  May their dualistic fixation become transparent.  May they recognize the nature of awareness.

Dualistic thinking is doubt.  When the slightest attraction forms, habituated tendencies grow increasingly stronger.  Food, wealth, clothing, places, companions, the five sensory pleasures and loving families — attraction to the pleasant torments beings:  This is the confusion of the world.  Dualistic actions have no end.

When attraction’s fruit ripens, they become hungry ghosts, tormented by craving – wretched in their hunger and thirst.  Through my awakened intention may all beings who yearn and want neither avoid the discomfort of desire nor act on the yearning or want.  When they let knowing relax in its natural place awareness also finds its natural place.  May they attain distinguishing pristine awareness.

When an object appears externally, a subtle fear-ridden knowing arises. Habituated tendencies of aversion grow and hatred, violence, and murder arise. When aversion’s fruit ripens, oh, the scalding burning pain of hell!  Through my awakened intention when strong aversion arises in any being in the six states, may they let it be, without doing anything with it.  As awareness finds its own place, may they attain the pristine awareness of clarity.

When they are all puffed up with pride they become competitive and critical of others and aggressively arrogant.  Disputes with others cause them to suffer. When the fruit of those actions ripens they become gods and experience death and downfall.  Through my awakened intention may beings inflated with self-importance let knowing relax in its own place. As awareness finds its own place, may they know the meaning of balance directly.

The habituated tendencies that reinforce dualism lead to the pain of self-praise and criticism of others.  They become increasingly quarrelsome and cutthroat, Titans, slashing and killing, and as a result, fall into the hell realms.  Through my awakened intention may all who are quarrelsome and competitive stop their hostility and relax where they are.  As knowing finds its own place, may they attain the pristine awareness of effective action.

Distracted by mindless indifference they are dull, depressed and forgetful. Oblivious, lazy and confused, they wander like animals without a home. Through my awakened intention may the light of clear attention shine in the darkness of dull confusion.  May they attain non-conceptual pristine awareness.

In all beings of the three realms the basis of everything is the same as in me and all buddhas.  It became the ground of mindless confusion.  Now, they engage in meaningless actions.  The six actions are like the confusion of dreams.  I am the original Buddha.  I give rise to this intention of Ever-present Good, so that I take form and teach the six kinds of beings.  May all beings wake up to the totality of experience.

Ah ho!

From now on, whenever a contemplative forms this powerful intention from the natural clarity of unconfused awareness, all beings who hear it will be fully awake within three lives.  When the sun or moon is seized by Rahu (2),

This prayer is taken from the ninth chapter of The Tantra that Teaches Transparently the Vision of the Great Completion Ever-present Good, which says that when this intention is sincerely formed, all beings have no choice but to become fully awake.  This translation was made by Ken McLeod.

1. Sanskrit: Samantabhadra; Tibetan: kun.tu.bzang.po (pronounced Kuntu-zangpo). Ever-present Good is the original buddha in the dzogchen tradition. Good, in this context, is the good beyond such concepts of good and evil. The text is written in the first person, so that you read this prayer feeling that you are Ever-present Good (which you are but may not know so right now).

2. Rahu is the mythical planet or monster that causes eclipses by swallowing the sun and the moon.

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