What is the pure view and how can we achieve it?

Lama Ole’s answer:

It’s actually very simple. The pure view means seeing everything as fantastic just because it can happen. Usually we have a discriminating consciousness. We think “smart” or “dumb,” “like it” or “don’t like it,” etc. The pure view means that one doesn’t forget the mirror itself amid all the reflections in the mirror, that one always remembers that what is looking through our eyes and listening through our ears—awareness itself—is joy, fearlessness, and love. One looks more at what is between the thoughts, behind the thoughts, at what perceives the thoughts and feelings—this infinite space-clarity present in everything.

If, for example, we experience something that is “unpleasant,” that “hurts,” it’s actually exciting that there is somebody able to experience this. Pain in itself is a very exciting feeling, and it’s interesting to find out how we ourselves react and how others react. It is important not to cling to the images in the mirror but to always be aware of the mirror itself. In this way, that which perceives and experiences is always present through the ups and downs in the mind. If you keep this view, then everything happening is the free play of mind, the surplus of mind, the power of mind, the abilities of mind, the light of mind, and so forth.

Seen through the pure view, thoughts reflect the Truth State of mind. That they can occur at all is because there is something that experiences these things. If we experience thoughts this way, there is no more clinging to good experiences and pushing away bad ones. We see everything that happens as exciting, as interesting, as a possibility to learn, without being caught by it. Everything shows what is possible.

I can tell you, even if a mafioso came in here throwing a handful of grenades, even the blood and the bits of us scattered all over the walls, even that would express the Truth State. It would be the perfect expression of the explosive charge in connection with the human body under these circumstances—everything is truth! OK, if you are in the situation and think, “I am my body and I want to live for a long time,” then this is clearly painful. Everybody knows that level of experience. I’m speaking of seeing it in a transpersonal way, beyond thinking that one is one’s body. I’m talking about a higher level, where everything is fantastic just because it happens, whether it is being born or passing away. On this level, one is the clear light that perceives all things. Here, there is no moralism in favor of this or that.

If two thugs try to steal an old lady’s purse, I would stop them. Of course I would do that. But I wouldn’t be moralistic about it, because it’s possible that in her last life she also snatched something from them, creating this connection. So one should help indeed, but without all the moralistic pressure, without judging others. People are stupid, not evil. They are seeking happiness and trying to avoid suffering. They just always stick their hands into the nettles instead of the flowers.

The pure view also means that you know that highest truth means highest joy. You know that you’re in a pure land, that all people are buddhas who just don’t know it yet, and that the more you can see things as elevated and pure, the closer you are to the truth.

In your everyday experience, you might think of it like this: A man walks in and his face looks like it’s been rolled over by a freight train. But his hands are beautiful, so you look at his hands. Or maybe the hands and face aren’t so nice, but the shoes are good or he has a nice car. You try to see all beings and everything that happens as new, fresh, and exciting, and to experience the most beautiful and pure aspects of the situation. If you succeed in seeing something new and beautiful in every being and every face, whatever it may be, then you gradually come to where any experience will be an “aha” moment. This means that you will see the mirror beyond the pretty or ugly reflections, the perceiver beyond what is perceived.

If you have many unpleasant experiences, then you will always stay on the surface and try to cover up, defend, or run away from things. That’s to say, from a bad dream you can’t easily “wake up” to recognize the dreamer behind the dream. But instead, if you always choose to see the best, the most beautiful, the most meaningful in people, then you will identify more directly with the experiencer itself.

It is much easier to wake up from a good dream than a bad one. That’s why we work with building up the most beautiful dream possible, to see beings and things on the highest possible level. Experience shows that one can easily open up on that level and go on from there into true purity, into true meaning. But if one is caught in some lousy dream, there is no impetus. Everything is sticky and half-wet, half-cold—it’s not much fun. If you experience yourself and all beings as potential buddhas; the whole of space as a pure land; everything in itself as sparkling, radiant, and meaningful; then the rest is a gift.

Your mind is a creature of habit. It builds up habits and makes them ever stronger. That’s why you should be cautious in situations where you know, “there I always fall into the water,” “there I always get problems,” “there I always see things in a skewed way.” Try to do what generates useful thoughts, speech, and actions in an easy and natural way, and keep yourself away from bad company and situations that lead to bad habits. You go on working with view and practice together until one day you sit there and everything is beautiful and exciting. It takes a bit of view and a lot of work.

It’s very important on this path to understand that there is no ordinary level of truth with some black and gray depressions beneath and some rosy dreams above. This image of reality is not true. If we look for something true and real, there is only one point where everything comes together: highest joy, love, strength, courage, meaning, confidence, surplus, wisdom, compassion, and so on. Where all positive qualities unfold is highest joy and highest truth.