6. In post-meditation, be a child of illusion.
This is the final absolute bodhicitta slogan. It deals with the post-meditation experience, which is essentially everything that happens off the cushion. Trungpa Rinpoche writes, “Being a child of illusion means that you continue what you have experienced in your sitting practice…into postmeditation experience.” You continue to rest in the nature of alaya, maintaining awareness of the simplicity and vividness of the phenomenal world without being caught up in the illusory display. It is an extension of the mindfulness-awareness practice.
We could also continue the projector analogy, imagining that we remove the bulb from the projector entirely and put it in a flashlight. Then we just walk around with it and see what it illuminates. Pema Chödrön calls this “letting the world speak for itself.”
I really appreciate the logical flow of the five absolute bodhicitta slogans. At the beginning we begin to notice the dreamlike quality of experience and memory, then we are reminded that even this is a product of a mind which has no discernable existence. Then, in case we get caught in thinking we “understand” this, we are invited to let go even of the idea of emptiness. This leaves us with the simple instruction to just rest the mind in its true nature or essence. The final slogan bridges absolute and relative bodhicitta with the transition from formal meditation practice to post-meditation experience of the world as it is.
To conclude the absolute bodhicitta slogans, here is a haunting and evocative passage from the Sadhana of Mahamudra, another text from Trungpa Rinpoche: “Good and bad, happy and sad, all thoughts vanish into emptiness like the imprint of a bird on the sky.”