Primordial Heart Essence

The Way of Original Heart


    Original heart, an embrace of all being, an openness natural and abiding, is none other than the acknowledged nature of essence reflecting out of our hearts and all manifestation. This is our natural way of being. This great wholeness is inherently trans-cultural and is still alive in us all, no matter how occluded, a living oneness that we can all come home to.

    The way of original heart, the practices of opening to this sacred wholeness woven throughout the fabric of being, arose out of direct experience in the wilderness long before landmarks for this path were set down and codified as streams of practice that eventually became known as Mahasandhi, Maha Ati, Dzogchen, or Great Perfection. We want to encourage reconnection with the original roots of this path and bring these practices back to the Earth, their natural home. Particularly now in these times of great upheaval brought on by human insistence on separation from the Earth, it is crucial to embrace the teachings that are all around us manifesting naturally as the vision that is this life, let go of separation, reconnect with the Earth and recognize original heart, the true sky of our hearts, within direct experience in the natural world as a prayer for all life.

    The complete path of the primordial heart essence involves the union of original heart, the visions of radiance, and the vision that is this life. The practice of this union, the ancient visionary path of radiance also known as Tögal (Thogal), is not widely taught or experienced and requires years in deep retreat and many more years of letting go before embracing this practice. Yet the same essence manifesting as the visions of radiance also manifests as the natural world, and if our hearts are open and our minds are allowing, we can begin to touch the qualities of inner radiance that are here all around us. We are surrounded by teachings. All that naturally manifests is here for us pushing and pulling us toward resolution.

    Just as a circle is drawn with the energy of a line sweeping around and curving back to merge seamlessly with itself, completion is inherent in the path from the beginning. Circles and the movement of return to origin are expressions of the cyclical nature of the radiance of essence that weaves the entire world experience we find ourselves within. They are the basis for the path of radiance and they shape all manifestation, from atoms and molecules and the orbits of sub atomic particles, to planets and stars and the dance of their movements within the larger movements of the universe itself. Circles and cycles from the point of origin are apparent everywhere in the natural world. Bubbles and expanding rings of light form on water in a light rain; rainbows bloom in a misty sky; seeds sprout, grow upward, mature and set seed again; waters flow in rivulets and mountain streams into larger rivers leading to the sea, then rise into sky and clouds, and fall as rain on mountaintops again. A luminous seed or sphere of this sacred cycle abides in the heart of every being, waiting to be awakened and return you to essence through the field of natural manifestation all around you and within you. This visionary path of radiance is a primordial window into the intent of essence that arises in all that naturally manifests.

    The expression of this world as the intent of essence does not arise as an illusion to deceive. It does not arise as delusion to make us suffer, or to drive us to turn away or escape. Nor is it just a dream to be seduced by or to be tossed aside. This expression of the essence is a vision, a sacred vision with a living intent woven into the fabric of our being.

    We can touch the love at the heart of this intent through the web of living energies sometimes called Indra's net. This luminous web of intent, a reflection of the living continuum of the essence that arises so vividly within the visions of radiance as lattices of light, can be experienced directly within the vision that is this life through opening our hearts to others in genuine compassion and love. The jewels at the crossroads of the net can be holy beings, friends, mountains, plants, waters, rivers, oceans, a dewdrop, the light on a windowsill. The essential aspect of Indra’s net is the luminous heart to heart connection with all life, the recognition of the primordial essence in all. We are already an integral part of this sacred net of great compassion. Our choice is to open to it and bond with this great union.






The moon is most happy
When it is full.

And the sun always looks
Like a perfectly minted gold coin

That was just Polished

And placed in flight

By God’s playful Kiss.

And so many varieties of fruit

Hang plump and round

From branches that seem like a Sculptor’s hands.

I see the beautiful curve of a pregnant belly

Shaped by a soul within,

And the Earth itself,

And the planets and the Spheres—

I have gotten the hint:

There is something about circles

The Beloved likes.


Within the Circle of a Perfect One

There is an Infinite Community

Of Light.


--Rendering of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky