Pure Perception: Fake It Until You Make It!
In February 2016, Phakchok Rinpoche answered a student question about pure perception. If we have not yet developed true pure perception, is it okay to “fake it”? Or is it better to just let go?
Pure Perception Takes Time
Rinpoche explains we need to work slowly. We need to fake it to make it, but we also need to let go. ‘Letting go’ is the emptiness part and ‘faking it to make’ it is the pure perception part. You try to make it up (conceptually thinking “it is pure, all is pure, all is pure), then let go. Very slowly, pure perception will begin to arise because your nature is Buddha. Everybody’s nature is Buddha. But you don’t see the nature yourself and you don’t see other people’s nature. That is the problem.
In the ultimate sense, seeing things as pure is not faking! Yes, in the beginning, we are faking it, because we just don’t see it now. But we need to understand that it is the real truth. We must start by faking it because we don’t see it.
Compassion Takes Time
That’s also how we develop compassion–in the beginning we aren’t capable of extending it to all beings. But,we really need to understand that every sentient being is our mother. We need to know that. Don’t let go of compassion. Fake it in the beginning. After time spent practicing regularly, there is no need to fake it, it is real.
And ultimately, is real. We are all related in many lifetimes. Live with that thought for a few minutes. Here we are not knowing each other. Not loving each other. All the different characters—that all disappears. The link of love is automatic. We are interconnected. Don’t worry about believing it or not believing it. Don’t make a big issue about it, but just think, “We are connected.” Then compassion automatically arises. The result will come. When you have compassion, the path is correct.
It is good for us to spend some time talking about these things and to share our understanding.