Clouds Do Not Change The Sky

Lama Tsultrim Allione is one of the many Tibetan Buddhist teachers that I read regularly in Tricycle, Shambhala Sun, and Buddhadharma magazines. Her writings are as clear and easy to understand as the cloudless sky.

According to the Tara Mandala website, she was one of the first American women to be ordained as a Tibetan nun in 1970 by the 16th Karmapa. After four years as a nun, she abandoned her monastic vows to marry and raise a family with three children.

She founded Tara Mandala, an international Vajrayana Buddhist community in Pagosa Springs in Southwest Colorado in 1993. The programs there are extensive and are for the development of innate wisdom for the benefit of all beings.

These words of wisdom from Lama Tsultrim Allione give insight into the Tibetan teaching of the luminous mind. This is a mind which is clear of feelings, thoughts, memories, images, and plans. This is a mind in its original nature, free of conditioning.

Lama Tsultrim Allione

We should remember that the true nature of the mind has no solidity; it is rootless, clear, radiant awareness.  Know this, don’t try to block the emotions and sensations that arise in your mind.  Don’t try to analyze them.  Whenever thoughts or memories come up, don’t hold on to them by ruminating on them.

Mind itself is luminous and clear, like immeasurable space, and any feeling, thought, or memory within it is like a cloud in a clear sky. Clouds have many shapes and qualities, and so do our thoughts and emotions. But clouds do not change the sky.

– Lama Tsultrim Allione

Lama Allione tells us to let go of thoughts, sensations, emotions, and memories as if they were clouds passing through the sky of our minds. She notes that “…clouds do not change the sky,” warning us to not let our feelings, thoughts, sensations, or memories stick around in our minds and try to change us.

Can you remember a time when your mind was like the clear blue sky? How did you feel? Can you experience it again? How?

Connect with Meditation Practices

Connect with

Or enter your name and email address below.