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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.

Nanaimo Aug 18, 1992
The most important thing is to cultivate self awareness in that one becomes more conscious of that thoughts can arise, but it is not necessary to immediate follow with them. As I have said, we are not in a reality right now which is part of the day's activities. We are in a reality that is immediate. And it is said that it is important to gain realizations of the nature of mind. Because if we do, then we can disengage ourselves from the ones which cause emotional turmoil. Attachment and anger, attachments which produce anger or unhappiness for us. Our inability to be self aware is what causes us to get so miserable. If we develop some awareness, it gives us some freedom. It allows us to take a step back. And even if there is demands made upon us by the outer world, still you can only do what you are capable of. And so you cannot go beyond that! You cannot ask more of yourself that what you are capable of doing!
The awareness allows you the freedom in that when thoughts arise, if you are unconscious, you could go with them. Then you could go on a roller coaster ride of highs and lows and various depressing states. With self awareness, when you are not too powerful with that, you will get depressed or be affected, but as you develop self awareness you become more capable of disengaging from particular situations which make you very serious about things. And you can gain some freedom from this, a little space, to be able to see options.
Is it not that often in life situations, if it becomes so serious, we loose all ability other than to make black and white decisions! The grey area becomes unclear! We cannot see the options. Whereas if we have some freedom of mind, then we can have an opportunity to see various ways! We are not too uptight about it! That is part of the whole meditative process! The ability to have some freedom of consciousness. To have some levity in our nature! So we can laugh at things! Even in the most serious moment, there is the possibility of laughter! It is important to have that ability, because if you don't, if a red flag appears in front of you, you will charge because you have no ability of self awareness. Or to step back and see the other options ! That comes from observing the natural mind.
The text says "Firmly tighten your attention. You must try to see this bare nature of your mind as clearly and starkly as possible and see nothing else. Whatever extraneous thoughts arise, either try to recognize them for what they are, or like an opponent in a duel, cut them off immediately as soon as they occur!" This is from last week. It means try to be aware or alert!
"Finally, when you have eliminated all extraneous mental activity and your mind is in a clear state, you should continue meditation in a relaxed and natural manner concentrating on the mind as a clear cognizer without letting your memory slacken."
Of you look at awareness, mind is like a mirror. It is like a wonderful ability to be aware. Investigate your understanding of what it means to be aware. It is a phenomenally interesting thing! And in just awareness, recognizing the various forms that arise! Like there is personal self image that arises. There is also the image of other people that arise in your mind! This person I have trouble with! This person I love a lot! I really enjoy this person's company so I am excited there! Whatever! You have all these different things arise! Well, if you become conscious, it is mind's cognizant nature generating these images and then identifying with them or assuming them as very real and true until some other information comes in and changes them. Then they get reshuffled and we take up a new position. And then again something changes and we shuffle our personality or perspective a bit! Actually you shuffle awareness to assume another position where you can say it then feels comfortable, and on you go!
All that is within the arena of awareness. If clear awareness. Clear cognizant awareness. So with your meditation, the ability or what you want to do with yourself, is to be able to settle and just say I am clear awareness. And as you settle there will be a residue, sort of an image of myself. As an entity, as some sort of a being. And then you just say, that is an awareness. That is a clear awareness. And then you allow yourself to relax to openness. Then allowing the various things that will shuffle through. But your focus is on the clearer state cognizant clarity. Within that, with that focus you gain a lot of freedom from the various images which arise which we normally assume as being real and identify with.
For this evening's meditation, I would like the main focus to be on the clear cognizant nature of mind. Some peace of mind generated, will sort of arise and you can sort of say in a clear arena or pool of awareness. And within that you allow the various thought forms that do come as meditation progresses, to just be observed without being identified. They are awareness literally. With subjective and objective poles to them! And other such trappings with each awareness that arises. But it is not necessary that we immediately gravitate to the subjective side and identify with them. We can still allow it to arise. The most important thing is that every time a thought arises, it does not have to be that it a reality! You might think, so and so likes me, or so and so does not like me! Then you find out it has nothing to do with reality! That person is in a whole other head space. But you were thinking in this way!
So the thoughts which arise are not always correct. If we can start appreciating that, we do not have to believe in every thought we have is the real world. With that, we start to move to an open minded state of awareness which is more established on a real vision of the world. A real awareness of the world versus the jaundiced vision which is normally held by people who have a lot of preconceived conceptions, a lot of projections, a lot of expectations. For them, their world is so brittle! Because everything has to conform with how they expect or project it is! Every time it is out of that norm, then they immediately fall to pieces or get angry or whatever they do to try to put it all back in order!
Isn't it, when someone gets angry, they are trying to make everyone conform to what their vision is! And then once everyone conforms or leaves the room, they again feel comfortable! Watch people! It is interesting! Especially when people get very depressive. It is normally because they want everyone to conform, to become disciplined in their image of what they want the world to be!
We want a more open state of awareness. The basis of that is the ability to cognize the mind as clear cognizer of conscious awareness. So that will be our meditation for this evening.

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