Rigpa is the state of compassionate awareness that, according to Mahayana Buddhism, is the innermost nature of the mind. It is the primordial, nondual mind that shines through when unobscured; intelligent, cognizant, awake. “Empty in essence, cognizant in nature, unconfined in capacity.” Recognizing and dwelling within rigpa is the goal of Dzogchen practice (a kind of South/Central Asian relative or analogue of Zen meditation practice).

Anima suggests the state of animacy, animateness, animality, shared by all sentient beings. “Anima mundi” is the World-Soul that permeates and animates all things. “Animism,” both in its classical definition and in its revived and revalorized form (as used by anthropologists such as Nurit Bird-David and Tim Ingold and scholar of religion Graham Harvey), is belief and practice which recognizes the aliveness and “ensouledness” of all things. “Anima” is also Carl Jung’s term for the inner soul, the feminine part of the male self, though, by extension, I take this to mean the multifaceted diamond of animate soul within all things.

Where Rigpa meets Anima is where the empty, cognizant, unconfined essence of reflection meets the embodied, relational phenomenality of the world in its ceaseless becoming.

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