Meditation is the element of practice that most people associate with the spiritual path. But before we get to meditation, there is something more fundamental to understand: realization.

~Orgyen Chowang Rinpoche


While realization is the prerequisite to true meditation, it seems to be something few people are familiar with. Realization has a variety of meanings. We use the word to express becoming aware of something we weren’t aware of previously. In everyday language we say things like “I just realized I forgot my keys.” Realization means we see the truth. Ultimately, it is realizing our true nature or realizing the nature of reality. This is often translated as “the view.” The word in Tibetan is tawa, and in the Dzogchen teachings it’s also referred to by the term rigpa. Realization and meditation work together very closely.


Realization is getting in touch with and accessing the pristine mind that is our innate nature. Realization is how we access the happiness that lies within us always, and how we can see it so that we don’t just have an intellectual understanding of it, but actually experience it. Being in direct contact with your nature of mind, getting in touch with it experientially, actually accessing it, is called realization.


The mind is like a blue sky, fundamentally; eventually you will discover that.

The mind is flawless; eventually you will experience that.

The mind is pristine, pure; eventually you will directly enter that.

This is the most wonderful thing that will happen in your life


Perceiving, experiencing, glimpsing your true nature, your normal, natural, unfabricated state of mind is called realization, and this is just the beginning. The entire path to awakening starts here.


When we remain in Pristine Mind meditation for twenty to thirty minutes, or for however long, we are perceiving or experiencing that fundamental mind, not mental events, but the fundamental, natural state of mind. We directly perceive that. We are face to face with the nature of mind, our flawless awareness.