37 practices: verse 22

22. To remain free from subject-object fixation

All appearances are my own mind; / Mind’s nature from the start is concept free.

To know exactly this and not engage / In grasping signs of subject and object:

This is the way a bodhisattva trains.

verse 22 audio above

With verse 22, we begin the practices of cultivating ultimate bodhicitta, the nature of mind, verses 22-24. We couldn’t find ourselves in a better place during the first 49 days of our root lama’s parinirvana.


As Dorje Chang Kalu Rinpoche explained in his final teaching before his own parinirvana: “The essence of the lama or buddha is emptiness; their nature clarity; their appearance the play of unimpeded awareness. Apart from that, they have no real, material form, shape, or color whatsoever — like the empty luminosity of space. When we know them to be like that, we can develop faith, merge our minds with theirs, and let our minds rest peacefully. This attitude and practice are extremely important.” — from “The Lama’s Mind is Like the Sky,” 1989.

The nature of the lama’s mind is also our own deepest nature, and verses 22-24 provide clues to connecting with it. You can find an overview of verses 22-24 here.

More from the commentaries on verse 22 coming soon. Meanwhile, verses 23 and 24 are posted.

2018 class audio:  March 1 and March 8, 2018

Next practice: Verses 23 and 24: how to deal with positive and negative experiences from the perspective of ultimate bodhicitta

The complete study guide: click here (see “about the 37 practices study guide” at top of page for orientation if needed)

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