Anam Thubten: The Thin Veil

The following article is from the Spring, 2012 issue of the Snow Lion Newsletter and is for historical reference only. You can see this in context of the original newsletter here.

WHEN WE GO INSIDE, SHOCKINGLY WE ALWAYS DISCOVER that the very thing that is preventing us from recognizing the most beautiful truth is not really outside, it is inside. There turns out to be a veil that is very thin and transient. The human mind finds it difficult to just lose everything, to just drop everything, melting all of the contractions and all of the tensions and loving all of the expressions of reality; not caring about death, not caring about birth, not caring about all of the ideas about attaining and not attaining, and with an open heart embracing everyone.

This human mind has a very hard time; it has a desire to be rigid, contracted, and always lost in this vicious trap of analysis and ideas, with ambitious and arduous strategies and labor, including this spiritual labor. This is mind's addiction and this is actually the prime reason for all of our suffering.

If we can change our attitude a little bit, by simply turning our attention within, we actually don't have to give up any of our desires and aspirations. We don't have to give up our desire for God, we don't have to give up our aspiration for enlightenment; we don't even have to give up our devotion to the guru, because sometimes that is a very hard thing to give up. So let's not give it up. Do not give up any of this. We can go inside, just turn our attention inward, knowing that the guru is inside, Buddha is inside, Brahma is inside, the divinity is inside. And the moment we change our attention, the moment we change that attitude, then our spirituality changes. Our spirituality is no longer this journey on the conceptual desert where we never find the river that we are seeking, the river of love, the river of truth.

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I is a thought that runs deep in our consciousness, but it is just a thought, a mistaken thought.

Then our journey becomes actually not a journey to somewhere but a journey to liberation that is already unfolding in this very moment. If you have devotion to the guru, do not give it up but remember that the guru is inside, not outside of yourself. In Tibetan there is a most beautiful phrase, rang rig don gyi la ma, which means that the ultimate guru is your pure awareness. When we turn our attention to what is holding us back, we find that nothing is holding us back except this really thin veil, just this thin veil. And if we look into that thin veil, we find out that the basis of it is actually this sense of I am. But if we look into that I, it is simply a thought. I is a thought that runs deep in our consciousness, but it is just a thought, a mistaken thought. It is a mistaken perception of who we are. That's pretty much it.

Adapted from The Magic of Awareness 

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