It is important to remember that songs of realization are coming from experience in practice. They are verbalizations of how life displays itself to the practitioner. If we then read these songs and take them on as a set of beliefs then we are misusing them. Instead we should use these songs to check with our experiences how life is and how it appears to be.
But anyway maybe we can still use this song to illustrate some important points. So here goes.
"Emptiness, the secret of all the perfect Buddhas,
is the nature, void of every attribute
And free of all extremes. Not even in the middle is it found.
This absence of intrinsic being is established as The Great Perfection."
Emptiness is the nature. Absence of a permanent identifiable intrinsic being is established. This is far from the idea that there is no being at all. Again it is a descriptor of the real state of being.
"Pursuing their investigation
Through their inferential reasoning
Philosophers spin out their arguments.
They are totally at variance with the ultimate.
Awareness that is self-cognizing
Lies beyond the reach of words."
It lies beyond the reach of words but it doesn't lie beyond experience. There is awareness of basic being and the nature of that being.
"The primal wisdom of the Conquerors Transcends
The arguments of thinkers who assert existence,
As well as thoughts of common folk of lower understanding.
It is primordial freedom and the path of Great Perfection."
Thinkers who assert existence refers to those who assert a permanent fundamental state, such as those Vedanta philosophers who identify Brahma as the primordial state. Here JL is not denying conventional existence, but saying that the nature of wisdom is such that it transcends the type of existence that is said to be permanent.
"It is not bound by objects that appear, for it is empty
Yet it has a core of natural luminosity.
It is awareness that with qualities, the wisdoms and the kayas,
Is conjoined, like sun and sunlight, never to be parted..."
Here the notion is of union rather than absence. Again there is the description of reality as being 'mere'. This is a positive description of reality as it has appeared to the practitioner.
"...Awareness that transcends discursive mind
Is the Natural Great Perfections special theme.
Those who realize it find freedom
In awareness that arises from the ground.
Beings who have no such realization
Circle in that very state."
There is an awareness that transcends discursive mind. That is beyond discursive mind. Here it is clear that awareness arising from the ground is not discursive mind itself but a quality of an objective condition that is beyond discursive mind. My interpretation is that such awareness is found only when you 'de-personify' the practice by looking at life itself rather than personal mind (which always has a lot to say).
Idealists believe that both objects and the perception of those objects are mind-made. That is, the outside world of objects is a reflection of the mind that both perceives such objects and creates such objects.
The Dalai Lama says the following:
"The question of whether there is an external physical reality independent of sentient beings' consciousness and mind has been extensively discussed by Buddhist thinkers. Naturally, there are divergent views on this issue among the various philosophical schools of thought. One such school [Cittamatra] asserts that there is no external reality, not even external objects, and that the material world we perceive is in essence merely a projection of our minds. From many points of view, this conclusion is rather extreme. Philosophically, and for that matter conceptually, it seems more coherent to maintain a position that accepts the reality not only of the subjective world of the mind, but also of the external objects of the physical world."
I agree with the Dalai Lama's position here. There are others who do not.
I think meditators start by looking at mind, but end up with a more pervasive experience that focuses on life itself. Meditation in the end is as effortless as life itself. But we need to experience this for ourselves. What I have said is that if we understand how life presents itself to us, then we will learn a lot about it's nature. We will be humble, without fantasies, without worldly concerns. Contrary to this is the effort some practitioners exert into telling life and reality how it should be. It should be empty, it is ignorance, it should be transcended and so on. Here we are taking the words of our teachers and using them as ways of looking at the world that are positions and beliefs. Instead we should be letting life and reality tell it's own story. Contemplation then becomes integration into life and the nature of life. Practice is effortless. Eventually you will say mind is like this! Life is like this! Because it will be obvious.
Consider this quote from Khenpo Gangshar:
"Ignorant people claim that everything is mind.
They are deluded about the three types of appearance.
Have many shortcomings, mix things up and over exaggerate.
Meditators, give up such unwholesome ways!"
I am not saying this is what you believe. So don't be offended. But I think there is reason to be careful when you read assertions such as all is mind and there is no reality and the ultimate nature of mind is emptiness. Still there is an objective condition and we still have life. I happen to think that scholars who posit such things as reality doesn't exist and the objects that seem to appear are appearing due to ignorance, are being irresponsible and they should think if they are doing anyone any favours. Already Tibetan Buddhism in the West has been seriously misunderstood. So many people have beliefs that are nothing more than fantasies. None of those beliefs helps reduce the eight worldly concerns or makes the practitioner more loveable. And so on.......
The Blessed One said:
"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.