It’s one of the things that I’ve always found amazing is that as you begin to have experience of this extremely spiritually profound state, you begin to experience both emptiness and the phenomenal world with simultaneous intensity and vivid impact. In other words you experience everything – absolutely everything – as if you’re seeing it for the first time. There’s no overlay. You don’t run tapes over: “Oh, that’s that and that’s that, and there’s the Starbucks.”
And it’s like every time you go into the Starbucks it’s like it’s the first time you’ve ever walked in there and you feel everything there with just extreme clarity. It’s very interesting because it makes your life, you see everything, and experience everything with that raw perception.
In a pre-awakened condition of contact with cause and effect and the experience of phenomenal perception, you are engaged in a kind of memory loop which kind of layers on, and layers on, and layers on with the repetition of various activities. The mind goes into habitual patterns.
The Power of the Mahamudra is that it shines a light so steady and burns through everything and burns off all of those patterned behaviors, so everything it touches just simultaneously arises as empty and arising as the appearance of the world. It’s a paradox really, and in that paradox the mind goes through a kind of traumatic crisis. “Is it empty? Is it the world?”
And so the mind will be driven to a kind of collapse. And what’s collapsing are the behavioral structures of mental habitual pattern behavior. When this happens it is synonymous with the satori of breaking through it, like you just feel this pressure building up and then finally it’ll just slice through and you’ll touch vivid reality. It produces an unforgettable event.