Presented by Jhampa Shaneman
These lectures were transcribed by T Vd Broek. Heartfelt gratitude is offered for all the hours of work spent on this Dharma activity. These talks are offered free of charge. They have been slightly edited.
August 6 1991
We are dealing with the idea behind the teachings which are that if one strives for enlightenment, from a Mahayana enlightenment, enlightenment means one is in the position to be able to benefit all sentient beings. Therefore, to be in that position, one should be very balanced, very internally balanced. Because how if one has an internal problem, can one help another sentient being if one has not resolved that issue for oneself. If one strives for nirvana which is ever lasting blissful happiness or peace but no expression from that, that the mind absorbs into nirvana and stays there, that is the hinayana arhatship, the goal of the hinayana path, there are no real problem to resolve internal problems. Rather, one realizes the ultimate nature of reality and absorbs their mind into that, and if there is a problem he does not allow any fuel, he does not allow his mind to manifest to a coarse level of consciousness where delusions act. You could say there is a suppression of delusion because the mind is pulled to a tighter concentration which does not allow delusions to function. The arhat does express a certain amount of love and compassion, but their mind is froze and they do not interact. They do not get caught by delusion because they do not let their mind waver. That is why they are focused on the extreme of peace which is the internal realization of voidness where their mind does not function.
A bodhisattva path is greater and the aspiration is greater. The bodhisattva says, I want my mind to still function and interact with sentient beings. And I want to do it in a positive and enlightened manner, to benefit sentient beings, bring sentient beings into enlightenment. Because, just as I was benefitted as a practitioner by the Buddhas presence and the Buddha's teachings so also would I like to repay that. So there is a greater sense of compassion. With that intention, the bodhisattvas cannot freeze their mind, have unresolved issues within because they would not be able to function for sentient beings in a full way, and when they come to enlightenment, they cannot have an unresolved with corner of their psyche.
The presentation of these teachings is for the ideal of the bodhicitta. If one delves into it, one thinks in a deeper level, what is the use of having an experience of nirvana or ultimate peace where you have to basically freeze your mind? Because, if you allow your mind to become more fluid, it immediately manifests into delusion. Therefore you would be uptight and not have a lot of spontaneity to being. You would be absorbed into this internal bliss experience and have no outward relationship with anyone because you would not allow yourself to thaw or become respective to that point because your delusions would kick in again.
So one would have to say, if I would like an attainment, why would I want an attainment where I would freeze half of my consciousness because I do not want it to be active? A greater sense of bliss would be to know you could open your mind and in that, know you don't have any points of paranoia or fear, in for example, delusions, desires, hatred, prejudices function. You are completely confident in your state of being. That is what the Buddha is. The Buddha has that complete confidence in their state of being.
With that as the idea, that is why we have been doing these teachings. To appreciate the practice of becoming a bodhisattva, in a traditional Buddhist sense it is meditation, you meditate on love and compassion as an expression, you meditate on the voidness, internal realization, and you aspire for full enlightenment. So in that way you do not cling to nirvana, internal experience. Nor do you cling to external stimulation and delusion. Rather you try to keep your mind in the middle which is undoing delusion and also appreciating the ultimate nature of reality. So the mind is more balanced. It is in the middle and one actually then ends up with the full enlightenment, not a partial enlightenment.
With that then, the realization one needs to work through one's internal issues, internal lacking. internal incapacities. With that as the goal, because in doing that you can logically follow through. If I resolve issues in that area, I am liberated in that area. I don't have to worry about being deluded. I don't have to worry about that there is a problem. I have enough positive energy on my side, that every time I meet with that issue, it won't defeat me, rather I can go through it and become a positive person. So it makes you more powerful, more happy. A lot of positive things come about from that type of idealism about oneself and one's practice.
With that as the background we moved into the presentation of archetypal perspective. We divided mind into four categories to give us a way of looking at ourselves and maybe estimating where maybe we would have more necessity to deal in one area. Like are our feelings very well developed. Is our intellect developed, our intuitions, do we take care of our body? So we have balance. Good intuition, social skills, and we have good relationship with our body. We are healthy in all of those areas. That was the way of investigating ourselves and where there might be potential to work on ourselves.
From there I pointed out we normally motivate towards a goal. Certainly if we are enthusiastic about life, we have a definite goal. We want happiness. We want a house without a mortgage, a partner, and so on. I think there is a definite difference between our intellectual idealized goal and then where we are moving towards. We have complexes, places where the energy does not move freely. For example, a relationship to our mother or father, as a general subject. If we have a complex in that area, then the energy moving into those areas becomes complicated. It is not a straight forward I received affection and I was nurtured and I grew up and now I give that back. Rather, my parents were neurotic and screwed me up a bit. I participated in being screwed up and I end up being screwed up. You can't look at any one side of the fence, it is a thing where there is a relationship established.
So in a complex it is complicated and not straight forward or clean cut relationship. Rather there is all sorts of insecurity, needs, hesitations, suppressions, all these things, when the energy starts to come out, suddenly it has to say, I don't dare open up to anyone emotionally and so I am going to put up this defense shield and they won't ever know that I am uptight. And so, if you appreciate that, then, we go back to the idealized goal. And you might find your goal is over here or there. By that, I mean, the way your personality acts, it actually is dong a bunch of compensating and defenses. Although it maybe understands that it is working toward some intellectual goal, the reality is, because there are complexes, we set up minor goals to balance ourselves. To think we are alright.
For example. Never allowing yourself to open up to feeling love toward your partner. The reason being, you had a lot of love in your parents and they betrayed you, and you because you got betrayed, you got insecure about showing love because you feel you might get hurt. Because of that, you play the the game that I love you. But reality is you are defending yourself like hell because you don't want to get hurt. In that way, you have a bunch of minor goals which are set up as a defense to feel you are alright. The more you meditate, I personally think you will come to some realization, especially if you have an ideal, I would like to be fully enlightenment. You will realize that there are these other areas where you are insecure, unrealized, just not very experienced or capable. And in those areas, you think you are striving to enlightenment, I must meditate, and I must try hard, but you have these areas, and you can end up with an incredible dichotomy of someone who tries to be virtuous but on the other side of the fence has incredible hang ups and all sorts of problems. And, not trying the two together. Because they do not tie the two together, you can end up with someone who has problems.
As far as I am concerned, spirituality requires that you deal with who you are. All of the teachings you get regularly in Buddhism deal with how to do that from a Buddhist perspective. The only reason I am applying this psychology is because I think it is beneficial and helps you tie yourself together more so you do not end up with a dichotomy of I would like to be a spiritual person but I have all black areas within myself I don't know how to deal with. So you need to go back and identify what spirituality means. It means you. You as an individual and where you are coming from. It does not mean you live up to an ideal. It does not mean you are a part of a faith and because you are part of that faith you will be saved and everything will be fine. Actually, you kick the shit out of your religion and start to realize spirituality is an individual event and has nothing to do with the group. It only deals with yourself and where you are coming from and where you are going to.
In that way it becomes a beautiful thing. Religion then becomes internal. And spirituality then is true experience. And when you do have spiritual experiences, then it is something internal and you know for example, when you die, you are covered. You have had such and such experiences, you have confidence in who you are and know where you are going to. In many ways being part of a religion ruins a lot of your spirituality. Because we tend to get lazy.
So we are in this process of real integration versus philosophy and acting pious when we are not really that pious. Within that concept, you can take the thing I want to become enlightened as presented within the Buddhist path, which is a being who is fully capable of benefitting all sentient beings where ever they are coming from and no matter what their state of being. This means, you have to be sensitive to all the variance of delusion. And all of the problems delusion creates. And the best way to that is not looking at other people, it is looking at yourself and understanding your own delusions, realizing your own sufferings. And when you do that clearly in your own mind, you have a real place to move forward from in regards to compassion, helping others, and regards to teaching.
We spoke of dream analysis, and really, the interesting dreams are where things are not working out right. You have problems in your dreams which indicate something is not being dealt with. A month ago I talked a lot about attitude. If your attitude is more open as in I am going to integrate myself way, you will find that in your dreams you will be able to deal with issues effectively and bring things to a good conclusion. When attitude is not healthy, like if we switch over into being pious, you might find yourself being afflicted by a lot of drunks around you, evil natured people, the real nature is that you are not that way. And you are setting up an idealism in your attitude which is not close to reality and therefore end up with bad dreams.
When dreams indicate a problem, you have a way of saying, the whole point of the practice is to internalize and has to do with me working things through. If you have a positive attitude regarding yourself, then you will find that your life would be a lot more comfortable and one would have a lot less nightmares. Or if one did have a bad dream, one would be able to cognize the cause of that. What is my attitude? What is my position regarding some of the things which are indicated in this dream? Or, what is happening in my life right now. What is my attitude? And by putting oneself into a more positive position, one might find that dream does not recur any more. But by neglecting, not trying to allow oneself to be conscious about contradictions to one's character, then one will have night mares, recurring dreams, or something where it is bugging oneself. And it is because one is not allowing oneself an openness and a positive position within one;s personality to look at things, and therefore has little hidden secrets in hidden corners and there is a lot of suffering because of that.
The integration process has nothing more to do than there is some aspiration toward becoming integrated or enlightened. Secondly, it has nothing to do with how effectively you do it, because it will take years and years to work through your problems. It is not going to be a quick solution to anything. But if your attitude is in the right position, it will not be that painful. If it is in the wrong position, then there will be a lot of problems with it. But if one can set one self up in a constructive and positive position, and maybe pray and meditate to become that sort of position, then one will find one has issues, desires, anger, biases and a slew of other things, but if your position is positive, saying I am open to hearing information from that area of my being, I know it is there, I balance myself by being conscious of what is more true to reality versus a delusion about reality, in this way I work on myself.
Let's say you have desire based on delusion. You would say to yourself, I realize this desire functions within me and in being conscious of it, how practical is that desire? And most delusion is based on completely silly things, some wish to possess, or something like that, so you go inside and see if you could posses this desire, would it solve my problems? No. It wouldn't because it is still that I am the owner of that relationship or object, but does it really help me? If you own a person, does that make you happy? Sure you are happy for awhile until you get bored. So it does not resolve it. Or if you own an object, it is wonderful until the object breaks down.
So if you have desire based on external things or based on a delusion you are setting yourself up for suffering. So you have to think things are impermanent, I shouldn't invest a lot of emotional energy in things which are impermanent, because inevitably it will cause problems, emotions, upsets and such. So you divest your projection of some of it's intensity of it's energy. You realize you do have the desires, but if I posses that object, would it solve my problems? No. So it is better to be more conscious of the fact that all desires cannot be fulfilled and do not resolve problems. And you pull the energy back in a little, and it is not like a total investment, like if I owned a Rolex watch, it is the ultimate of ecstasy. Everyone is going to look at me and think this guy is pretty rich. There is people like that! People who think their being is incredibly enhanced by a Rolex watch. And it is all delusion. Watch what happens when the watch gets broken! Watch what happens if it gets stolen! Or watch what happens when someone else shows up with a Rolex watch! They suffer because their whole personality is based on a delusion.
Or you could take a position, like an owner of a business. And if delusion is invested in it, saying I am glorious in this area. I am powerful! And you strut your stuff and you are arrogant! There are people like that. When they get position, they get inflated. There is delusion functioning. And yet you cannot say the position is wrong, but they need to take some of the energy which inflates them in regards to that position. They have to realize that their position is established in dependence on others. So if you take some of the wind out it, allow the energy to come back, and you become a practical person, and nothing has been rejected, just some of the delusion regarding that which has been removed. And thus you become more centered and do not give the object more power than is due.
And that is learning now to balance and remain in a positive position. Within that there are different levels of integration where it manifests. They are applicable. physical, and then a greater sense of fulfillment, spiritual, and then the realm which is the integration of all of them.
For the anima or animus, if you have fairly healthy sexual relationships, it can be met in your dreams easily and comfortably. It does not dominate you or attack you. A level of integration which would indicate that is that you have people of a physically attractive nature there. The next level would be the capable worldly person. But that I mean, in regards to business ventures, social interactions, all the realms of being a wonderfully good human being. The more you become integrated in that level the more you will have the internal reflection of that within yourself of being happy, having the situation around you you would like, the possessions, people and such around you you would like. You are very positive in regards to those areas. You do not have insecurities or lacking and such. And it's response would be dream imagery where you have a wonderful situation or partner in your dream life. The next level or spiritual level, is normally identified as someone who is celibate, a monk or a nun, a personification of that which is spiritual or beyond the physical. The final level is the fully integrated which has all of the above qualities which are fully integrated.
In becoming enlightened, and in working towards integration it is important that we take into awareness that as an individual who is a meditator and aspires toward enlightenment, if you want to be practical, if you want to have a faith which is realistic, it means to work through the issues within yourself. And that is your spiritual practice. It is not to become a devotee. And it is not to make prostrations and things like that. It is to work on oneself within one's self.
With that, the process of enlightenment is not that you in having awareness of yourself, it is not that you have expectations that you are going to be this paragon of virtue or that you are going to accomplish being a paragon of virtue. Rather, real spirituality is an awareness which has a positive perspective about the various facets of your being. In that way, when you have delusions, you try to work them through, you could say, basic truisms which take the wind out of the delusion. Because when you have a hang up there is a lot of energy in there. It means a lot of delusion there. And you can not mend the delusion, cannot mend the kink in your personality that fast. It takes a long time. But you can recognize the kink and determine to have a positive relationship with it. I am going to dialogue with it and give it the wisdom that I understand.
The Dalai Lama talked about this one time. He said sexual desire as a monk is a really hard one. But you call your sexual desire forward and dialogue with it. You say, I am a Buddhist monk. I cannot do that which I feel I would like to do. And the desire says I don't give a damn! Give up your robes. But then you respond with very valid reasons. So dialogue would happen in a real way giving the delusion the wisdom of why I am like I am and why you are being frustrated. And if you had skill, desire would step down a little bit. You would loose a little of the energy of the desire and maintain your position.
Regarding yourselves, you have to realize this energy is completely pushing me, so put the energy here. Ask what it wants. And then find out if it is practical. You are demanding that I do this type of activity, but if I look at what that activity is which you are asking me to do, will you really make me happy? Will you give me the fulfillment you seem to promise? And when you see that it will not, and could bring ill effects, you talk about it and bring about a lessening of the energy. And later when it arises again, you have to talk again. If you don't, then it ends up saying you are not dealing with me any more and goes around behind you and starts pushing you. Then you find you get delusion and it gets worse. When it gets worse, you have to pull the delusion out, put it in front of you and say, hey delusion, what are you doing? What do you want? And it will respond. It will say this will will make you happy! And again you respond, if I did what you asked me to do right now, would it make my happy?
And it blows the wind out of your desires. You don't have to destroy regular desires, but the crazy ones!
And this has been the point of what the last few weeks has been about. To try to appreciate ourselves in awareness. That one doesn't have expectations of being a paragon of virtue or something incredible. But one should have a very positive relationship with oneself and with everything one has with oneself. So when you have various delusion, have a relationship which says, hey, I have a delusion. Delusion come here, let's talk. If you do that your delusion will tell you exactly what it wants you to do. I want you to go off and get that thing. Delusion grasps at things. And then you can ask, is it practical? And if is, then go for it. But if you are smart you won't invest a lot of your personality in that project. There is wisdom going on in that side.
The focus of the meditation is clearness, openness and depth, three of the things I use for meditation analogy. Now incorporate a better understanding in regards to openness, means, I am open to allow whatever if fluctuating and functioning within me to be there. It is alright. I am not a paragon of virtue, I am just an ordinary sentient being. Then you allow yourself to dialogue with those, which is openness, depth and stability. And from your side, start to establish positive relationship and find if it is in tune with reality. What will you do for me if you follow through?
You might find yourself integrating quickly if you do it in a constructive manner.
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