Although the nature of mind, the basis, is completely pure, one does not recognize this luminosity. Failing to recognize one’s own mind is what is known as ignorance. Out of ignorance arises the fixation to a self.
The nature of mind, which is cognition, or awareness of the fact that one is aware, is fałsely experienced as a self with which one then identifies; this is grasping.
Simultaneously, mind’s luminosity, its ability to project, is experienced as something separate from this identity, as an externał object; this is fixation.
This dualistic view shapes one’s actions, and thus karma is accumulated in many ways. The accumulated impressions and the accumulated karma ripen; the ongoing process of karma ripening is the wheel of samsara, through which one circles constantly. The image of the waterwheel of samsara turning constantly refers to this process.
3rd Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche
from the book Cloudless Sky: The Mahamudra Path of the Tibetan Buddhist Kagyu School
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