Meditation Categories Peace

What Is the Nature of the Mind?

The mind, it is so real that we can feel it, but it is also so unreal that we cannot smell or touch it. What exactly is the nature of it? Empty while luminous—such is its nature—that scientists and philosophers fail to understand what can only be realized through the pith instructions of the guru.

What Is the Nature of the Mind?


My question is how to understand the mind? From venerable Atisha’s teachings on mind training, it is described that the source of mind can never be found. Neither can we smell the mind, nor can we touch it, however, we can feel it. So, what is the nature of the mind?

Khenpo Sodargye:

When analyzing the mind with wisdom, it’s unobtainable; but without analyzing, it seems to be there, existing.

As it’s written in Perfection of Wisdom Sutra in Eight Thousand Lines,

The mind is devoid of mind,

For the nature of mind is clear light.

“The mind is devoid of mind” means that the mind is empty by its nature; “the nature of mind is clear light” refers to its nature of luminosity.

So, in the ultimate sense, there is no arising or cessation of the mind; while on the conventional level, we see what we see and hear what we hear without fail.

In order to recognize the nature of mind one must practice according to the pith instructions from the guru. However, with so many people here it is not proper to give the pith instructions directly. Anyway, it’s of great importance for us to keep learning.