The Mahayana emphasizes the need to understand the complete nature of all phenomena.


Vajrayana and the Mahayana View of Wholeness.

The Mahayana emphasizes the need to understand the complete nature of all phenomena. It is a view of “wholeness.”

Ordinarily, the mind merely connects with appearances: the appearance of forms, sounds, thoughts, feelings, and so on. We then make assumptions based on how things appear, how they sound, how they feel. This is a very subtle moment: this moment of grasping at some impression, clinging to it, and in that grasping and clinging, immediately articulating an assumption.

Simply put: you do not take time to fully understand what you see, hear, think, or feel. Your understanding arises from fleeting moments that can only produce assumptions, all of which are based on what you stand to gain or lose in the moment. This builds up sediments of
deluded perception, through which you cannot see things clearly.

It is not the sights, sounds, thoughts, and feelings that are deluded; you create delusions, through the speed of making biased assumptions. When the mind has no time to open up to the wholeness, or completeness, of appearances, the sediment of delusion settles into “good” and “bad” assumptions. And at that point, every form, sound, thought, and other sensation you relate is dominated by ego’s personal preferences and convenience.

The Power of Perception.

To understand vajrayana, know that we are talking about perception.
What is meant by the “complete” nature of perception? What makes a sound or thought “whole”? Are they merely what you imagine them to be, or is there more to it?
A very traditional analogy is this: When someone comes to you with a complaint, are you able to really appreciate the whole story—whether you like that person or not? A wise person will listen to the whole story and give an unbiased judgment in the situation. Any judgment based merely on appearances is an ignorantly made judgment, and any decision will be very biased or partial. This example applies to the habitual ways we relate to everything we see, hear, and think.

Our judgments and opinions about appearances are very powerful, in that they become causes that bring about effects. The karma we create builds a sphere of experience for ourselves and for the world at large. Karma is propelled by our opinions and judgments, and
when those opinions and judgments are not sane, they bring about negative karma.

No one intends to create negative karma. But a mind that does not perceive things sanely, or wholly, churns out unending amounts of karma. And karma dominated by ego’s biased views, preferences, and conveniences becomes negative karma—simply by not seeing things clearly and completely.

**An Introduction to Ngöndro.

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