Gesar Magazine is very pleased and grateful that Rinpoche offered us an opportunity to publish his interview with David Barba, the translator of the Spanish edition of Revelations of Mind, which will be published this year in Barcelona by Edicions La Llave. In a wide ranging, six-page interview, Rinpoche discusses his current projects and answers questions that David was particularly interested in.
The following selection is part of Rinpoche’s answer to David Barba’s question about the mysterious and magical traditions of Tibet.
Tibet also has spiritual magic. At one monastery alone, a hundred thousand lamas became so accomplished that their bodies disappeared one by one, and only their clothes remained behind. Every school in Tibet has many such lineages. The Nyingma have many great practitioners, and lots of powerful, healing, creative practices that to a Westerner might look like magic. Then again, this world as it presents itself looks pretty magical, too.
Imagine how your world might look to a person who lived five thousand years ago. What would such a person make of these mysterious shapes and forms? These manifestations of culture, history, language, our concepts and thoughts—consciousness itself is magical. We tend to point to something outside ourselves and call it ‘magic,’ but we might be the magicians.
David: You are a great representative of the Nyingma tradition, maybe the most mysterious tradition in Tibet. What can you say about your tradition to help us better understand its idiosyncrasy? Can you tell us about the mysterious Nyingma practices?
Nyingma practices focus on mind. You suggest the Nyingma are mysterious, but I believe the mysterious one, really, is mind. The mind seems to have no shape and form, no character we can apprehend; yet it is always with us. All the while, we are dependent on ‘me’ and ‘mine’—on all these creations of mind—and we never get to know the operator. You could say of the Nyingma that we would like to know the depths of the meaning of mind.
Toward the end of the interview, David asks for advice in dealing with the global pandemic and Rinpoche replies:
“My advice is that whatever you feel you understand, do your best to cultivate that understanding, and help it grow. Support yourself as much you can. Dedicate your-self to developing crystal-clear certainty, so that you completely understand what you are doing.”
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