This self-liberation, arising from the Absolute, is taught in Dzogchen and Mahamudra, and other paths. Hence, Chogyal Namkhai Norbu, in Dzogchen:
Whether one finds oneself in a calm state, or in a pure manifestation of movement, these are both experiences and are not the state of contemplation itself. In the state of presence, which remains the same in relation to thousands of different experiences, whatever arises liberates itself automatically. This is what is meant by "self-liberation."
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Of import is Evagrius' optimism about the natural state of the person, optimism Buddhism shares (see above, "state of contemplation" and "state of presence"). Buddhism gives parallels to this natural state, or Buddha Nature. A stream is bright and pure. When something stirs it up, the water becomes muddy; then, the mud settles. The clarity of the water remains untouched. Strickly, the water was never muddy. Or take the sunlight. The air is transparent; the brightness of the Sun shines through it. Smoke pollutes the sky, obscuring the brilliance. Then, the air clears. The radiant light shining in the atmosphere remains untouched, though accompanied by smoke for a time. Christians refer to this unborn radiance with the Latin "Imago Dei," translated "Image of God." Again, the self-liberation of the experiences arises from the potency of the Source, not from our struggling to overcome them.
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The natural state of the mind-heart is, Evagrius says, a "gentle radiance" marked by tranquility and calm. The natural state of persons is pure, meaning undiluted with any addition, called positive or negative. Basic goodness is not good or bad morally, nor pleasing or unpleasing in feeling, but untouched by any such opposites.
Hence, likewise, the peace we speak of is beyond our ideas of peace as an absence of its opposite. Peace is, it does not have an un-peace to contrast with it. What most persons mean by peace is an emotional calm, a state of body-mind; this is not the peace of the Heart. Gentle radiance is our inherent nature. Hence, we do not have to struggle against un-peace or for peace, only return to our natural state, which is to return to the Light.
Chinese Zen master, Huang Po (d. 850) -
Our original Buddha-Nature is, in highest truth, devoid of any atom of objectivity. It is void, omnipresent, silent, pure; it is glorious and mysterious peaceful joy - and that is all. Enter deeply into it by awaking to it yourself. That which is before you is it, in all its fullness, utterly complete. There is naught beside. Even if you go through all the stages of a Bodhisattva's progress towards Buddhahood, one by one; when at last, in a single flash, you attain to full realization, you will only be realizing the Buddha-Nature which has been with you all the time; and by all the foregoing stages you will have added to it nothing at all.
*Huang Po Hsy Yun. The Zen Teachings of Huang Po.
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Why is equanimity practically important? Equanimity is the stateless state from which the Fruit of Spirit arisings come forth into the body. Without equanimity, the motions of emotion veil the Luminosity and, so, its fruition. The Ground is the fruitful, placeless place within which inheres, in natural potency, the motions of Grace. And when a grace springs forth, it does not arise alone. For example, when love arises, one may feel joy. The point I am making is related to the word "God" and "Dharmakaya," speaking of the Absolute, or Reality, one in theistic faiths, one in Buddhism. All manifestations of the Way we feel, express, and share rise into time-space, so the body, and these are from the Absolute. Equanimity comes with the self, by grace drawn into Home, the Heart; so, the self in the Self-in-God.
Prayerful Quiet is a means of the union of the self with its natural state, so Home, often referred to as True Self or Self. Inner turbulence and potentials of it are transformed into the ground of equanimity. One welcomes blissful, contented peace and being, thereby, a peacemaker, a calming, harmonizing being. The peacemaker does not make peace, actually, but embodies tranquility. A calm and centered being bears in his or her being-among-others serenity. This inner calm manifests as the outer radiance, emanating as rays from the Sun. We continue to soak in Presence, confirming the peace we are becoming, until one could say, "She is peace."
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Spiritual contemplation is a return to the Harmony, to live from Grace gracefully amid the aggressiveness luring persons from love, joy, and peace. When one is one with the Gentle Radiance, one is the Breath of blessing.
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(C) Brian K. Wilcox, 2020
*The last sentence of the Philippians passage can read, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," as in the Authorized Version of The Holy Bible.