When we speak about dharmata, or things as they really are, we are speaking about the absence of the confusion and mistaken appearances that ordinary people experience most of the time. When we talk about the mind itself (Tib. semnyi), or mind as it is, we are referring to the inseparability of luminosity and emptiness. If we just meditate without having identified dharmata, the meditation will make us more peaceful, gradually causing us to understand the view, but it will not cut the root of the disturbing emotions. Therefore, we need to find out what the dharmata is and rest our mind there.
from the book Advice from a Yogi: An Explanation of a Tibetan Classic on What Is Most Important
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