All Buddhist Teachings Have One Target

Our Mind

All the teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni, all the different methods of practicing and all the different analytical traditions – no matter if they are teachings from the Theravada, Mahayana or Vajrayana tradition – all are targeted towards one thing: our mind. The target is our mind, our own mind. The mind that I have right here, the mind that you have right there.

All the different methods of meditation, all the different reasonings and analysis and philosophical teachings, they are all directed towards one target, and that is our mind.

The first thing that is important in Buddha’s teachings is to understand our own mind. To understand our own mind’s pattern. Understanding who we really are.

The dharma often seems very complicated: there are three yanas, or vehicles, there are all these details about the paths, the methods, and so on. But it’s actually very simple. All of these things are basically there to help us to understand our own mind.

So what is our mind? What is our habitual mind? What is our mind’s pattern? These things are taught very clearly and precisely in teachings such as Mind and Its World.

At the same time, in the Mahamudra teachings, we also approach our mind, we are also trying to understand our mind.

Normally in our usual approach to dharma study and practice, we typically relate to the dharma in a way where we set the dharma over there and our mind over here, without ever trying to mix these two together.

But if we continue in that way and allow the dharma and our mind to remain separate, then it is very difficult for anything resembling genuine practice to happen.

We could do a strictly intellectual study of the dharma, and that would bear some success. But beyond that we would not really be able to do a genuine practice. If you really want experience, then you have to apply the dharma to your own mindstream, you have to join the dharma to your own midstream. We must mix our mind with the dharma teachings.

The Nitartha Summer Institute is an opportunity to mix your mind and the dharma together. You have the opportunity to gain some experience of your mind and its nature, right there, by combining study classes such as Mind and Its World and Mahamudra meditation.

Come and join us for an amazing summer from July 5 – August 3 in beautiful Salem, Oregon! Explore your mind from various angles, and mix your mind genuinely with the dharma!

– based on Mahamudra teachings given by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche at the Summer Institute 2014