Samsara is nirvana

 

Samsara is nirvana.

First, what do the two terms refer to? For me, samsara is when mind is identified with images and thoughts, when these are held as true. And nirvana is clarity around this, a more clear seeing that an image is an image and not “true”. These images and thoughts may be “true” in a conventional sense, in that they are of practical value to help us navigate and orient in the world, and they are really not true at all.

Some ways I find how samsara is nirvana:

Any content of experience is awakeness. My whole field of experience is awakeness, and that which allows awakeness and it’s appearances. Confusion (identification with images/thoughts) is also this awakeness. In this way, samsara is nirvana. It’s all awakeness.

Identification comes from and is love. Identification with images and thoughts (samsara) comes from love and is love. It comes from a desire to protect the image and idea of me and I. It is worried love. In this way too, samsara is nirvana. Identification and all that comes with it (discomfort, contraction, reactive emotions etc.) comes from and is love.

The world is my mirror. When I see identification in others, it’s happening within my own world of images. It’s my own identification, since (said more accurately) it happens within my own world of images, and (said more conventionally) it mirrors my own identifications. Imagining identification “out there” in others points right back at it in myself. There is an invitation for me to take a closer look at what’s happening here, and find more clarity. In that sense, samsara leads to nirvana, and recognizing samsara as nirvana.

Samsara and nirvana coexist. Even a little more peripherally, I notice how samsara and nirvana coexist in my immediate experience. Right now, there is contraction and identification, and there is infinity and non-identification. The two are here at the same time, and when I see that, it seems inevitable that they coexist here now. Even if they are not exactly the same, in this sense, they at least coexist.

They are both labels. Samsara and nirvana are both labels, they only exist in my own images and thoughts. In that sense too, they are both the same. They are both images and thoughts, and not inherent in reality. As they appear to me, they are created by my own mind. The existence of them, and the distinction between them, is all created by my own images and thoughts.

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