Yes, I definitely need a teacher. I simply cannot reconcile all the differences that appear in print, even with the help of this forum, it seems.Thrangu Rinpoche
Of course, it is possible to give dramatic pointing-out instruction, and when you do so, some people do recognize their mind’s nature. ... It certainly is a dramatic experience for those people who achieve it...
Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche:
Do not expect the actual moment of rigpa to be something dramatic
(Rainbow Painting, p.89)
Okay, maybe we can chalk this up to different meanings of "dramatic." But within the very chapter quoted, TUR seems to be saying two very different things. On the one hand:
In the same way, if we have correct understanding, the moment we apply what our master teaches, we recognize our nature. That there is no entity whatsoever to be seen is called ‘emptiness’. The ability to know that mind essence is empty is called ‘cognizance’. ... These two aspects, empty and cognizant, are indivisible. This becomes obvious to us the very moment that we look; it is no longer hidden. Then it is not just an intellectual idea of how emptiness is; it becomes a part of our experience. At that moment, meditation training can truly begin.
Recognizing mind essence as empty cognizance is what needs to be seen. This matches with the Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche quote (and others) earlier. On the other hand, he follows it up with this:
But a person who has some degree of understanding will say, “Things don’t know themselves. There is nothing other than the mind that knows things. Things exist because of being perceived by a perceiving mind. This mind is empty and cognizant, therefore, all things are the unity of empty cognizance.” Such comprehension is correct, yet it is still only intellectual understanding. The second step, experience, is something more personal and not solely an idea.
In other words, "recognition" refers to seeing that all phenomena are empty cognizance. Well, it is a little easier to experience directly that mind is empty cognizance than that all things
are -- for me, at least. And so it goes, throughout this book and others. Recognize that mind essence is empty and cognizant -- it's obvious. Great. Just rest in that. Great. Now that you recognize all phenomena as empty cognizance, simply repeat this recognition periodically...
Further suggestion that the latter is what he means:
When the recognition lasts continuously throughout the day we have reached the level of a bodhisattva.
A bodhisattva directly perceives the emptiness of phenomena, right?
So it should hardly be surprising that doubts continue, despite all the quotes we've been accumulating in this thread. So, Magnus, I think I see why I need a teacher. I still don't see why these books are phrased so confusingly, but who am I to question TUR?