SACRED TEXTS AS A SPIRITUAL TEACHER

In TRUE BOOKS by Erik Pema Kunsang5 Comments

Words spoken from within an expansive and compassionate state of mind have an almost intangible power to reach into our hearts, inspiring us to find meaning and direction in life. Such magic is possible because we all share the same nature of mind. We treasure such words. It’s equally pure magic how ink written on paper can touch us deeply and resonate with a sound so clear and true that the realization of its meaning comes alive and part of our being. We call them sacred texts.

There are several kinds of books about reality: The books which talk about reality in third person, making it obvious that reality is not directly known, but only thought of and written about. The language is dualistic and transmits the atmosphere of being distant, separated from original unity. But it also has the role of pointing in the right direction, so we are inspired to cultivate ways to slowly open up.
There is another kind of book, the voice of which is the awakened state and which speaks directly to the nature of mind in the listener. Meditators experience that the words, like delicate reflections in the infinite space of the paper sheets, speak not only to the listener, but in fact is reality itself speaking, unadorned and free of concepts, right in the present moment. The language of such scripture is nondualistic, the definitive meaning and ultimate truth. This type of literature I call sacred texts, because it liberates our mind and not only inspires or transforms it. Therefore such books are to be read within the open mind of kindness. We discover that intelligence, love and creativity unfold while reading the sacred prose and poetry.

Sacred texts provoke us to question the grand illusion of life instead of taking it as a given.
Sacred texts are like an inexhaustible treasure, in that they don’t wear out or are used up by being read one hundred or even a thousand times.
Sacred texts serve as embodiments of realization and endless positive states of mind flow from honoring and respecting these texts.
Sacred texts set a tone that is in tune with reality, that rings clear and true, like nectar in the ears.
Sacred texts remind us of realities we once understood but lost again from sight, or we have vaguely or clearly sensed but never articulated.
Sacred texts bring back the atmosphere of being serenely present.
Sacred texts help us validate true insights and avoid pitfalls, paving the way to the genuine self-confidence of awakened mind.
Sacred texts remind us of a truth we have understood so that we recognize it to be our present reality. Then the texts have taken the role of a spiritual teacher.

At the end of the spiritual journey, every moment of experience and every way awakened mind expresses itself is sacred literature, the never-ending tantra of original wakefulness. That is the domain of siddhas and bodhisattvas to enjoy and to share with others.

About the Author
Erik Pema Kunsang

Erik Pema Kunsang

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Translator of ancient Buddhist scriptures, author, bridge-builder to modern life, Buddhist teacher & meditation instructor. Board of director at 84000: Translating the Words of the Buddha. Founder of Rangjung Yeshe Publications and LEVEKUNST art of life. Other LEVEKUNST articles by the same author. Erik’s website & retreats.

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Comments

  1. Longchenpa is abstract, but mind blowing.

    On a more sensual level, I love Walt Whitman…he was both in the game and outside of it, watching and wondering.

  2. Beautiful! so inspiring and deep.it resonate deeply at the core of my being. I’ll take it into heart with Dharma texts. It also enlighten me to see why sacred text are so revered in the Jeiwsh tradition , and the power of letters. I have a buddhist friend who had all the copies of the Zohar-the mystical book of Kabala. She had a fire unfortunately, everything was burnt to the ground. accept these copies..they bear such powerful truth, they were never harmed. It’s also intresting to notice that sacred books were burnt by the Chinese and the Nazis alike. I always felt that both Tibetans and Jews held profound wisdom of truth. I know about great Kabalistic pracitioners who manifested rainbow body. Tsokny Rinpoche, Packchok Rinpoche and Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche expressed the same truth in my ears.

  3. What a beautiful, powerful reading. Much of the magic of sacred texts is as well contained in this article, it made me shiver a little bit. Thank you very much Eric.

    1. Erik Pema Kunsang Author

      Thank you Kate. Sacred texts, understanding them from verbal explanations, practicing them and translating them for others have been the centerpoint of my life. I have seen how they affect myself and others, making all the effort worthwhile.

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