Annual India Tours
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 Sept 29 92
We have been doing a lot of preparation work. We have got to "It has been taught, tighten your attention on memory. Firmly meditate in a relaxed manner. This is the way you should settle your mind. Elsewhere it has been said, that is your mind, previously constricted too forcefully with the pinchers of memory and alertness, were to be relaxed slightly, there is no doubt that you would become free of mental agitation as has been explained. Then you should relax your mind and meditate without any mental wandering. Therefore I shall now explain the methods for introducing yourself to the true nature of mind in accordance with the oral traditions of my root guru who eliminates all darkness of the mind, looking like a saffron robed monk, but being in actuality the manifestation of the wisdom of the Buddhas."
Essentially we have working at trying to set you up to gain a realization of the mind. The intention of the teachings is self realization or self awareness. That is the objective. This type of self awareness is to be integrating. As you become conscious, you can use both your ideas and your life in the real world and integrate them in a way that is very holistic or realistic. There should be no falsification of your experience of reality, or else your mind is projecting or overlaying. And that process is the process where we actually suffer. By that is meant the world is completely pure. The world does not have anything in it. Like something which gives quality that makes us unhappy.
This is a watch. My watch. But you could take it apart and would not find anything of me in there. It is just a watch. But my reality projects on this as mine. And of course I suffer proportionately. If the battery goes dead, if it gets scratched, or broken, I suffer! The point is, the more we lay upon the world in illusion, the more we have potential to suffer. The ideal is not to divest the world of any sort of warmth, but to realize or differentiate our mind in projection, versus our mind in reality.
We all want the warmth, we all want happiness. And so the process of self realization does not take you away from those things. Rather, it puts you in line with the real sources of happiness, being in tune with reality. That is what we have been working at when we talk of mahamudra. We are trying to take our philosophy or ideals which are really trying to strive for happiness, and take that in a realistic way, try to integrate. Mahamudra, the great symbol, meaning the integration of body speech and mind.
Up to this point we have talked about trying to calm the mind, trying to differentiate the mind from it's delusions and such. In regards to that, if you think about yourself, very much what you set up is an idea of what can be expected. In this room, we can expect everyone to be fairly decent. The point is, we have certain expectations so our mind sets up criteria. This is a safe environment. Then when things get off kilter, when unexpected things happen, we either compensate or we loose it and become agitated or unhappy. This is the incredible process of balancing ourselves. The basis of that is our conscious or unconscious idea of what we are putting out. We have certain projections on what is security or insecurity. And that is the way our mind works. It projects on that level.
Very often it is hard to gain a more depth experience. To go beyond that.If we can not quiet our mind. If we can not learn how to be deeper than our intellectual premises we set up. They are not to be negated, but it is to try to have something which gives us a stronger basis with reality. What offers us that, is our awareness of our breathing. It is not intellectual, and secondly it is constant. Three, it is very related to our mind. When we are excited our breath changes. When we become anxious or depressed, our breathing cycle changes. It is a strong indicator of what is going on emotionally within ourselves. And intellectually, if both our intellect and emotions are fired up, our breathing is also fired up.
In the attempt to try to penetrate beyond the intellectual premises we always set up about our environment, to find something deeper, the breath then is like a wish fulfilling jewel. You can, if you develop that as a basis of awareness, be able to go through turbulence. Happiness turbulence, or negative depressing turbulence. And being able to try to recognize the nature of your mind, if you do not calm your intellect, it is extremely difficult. It is possible! You intellect is sitting there firing off thoughts, discriminating, having it's awareness very sharp in a sort of prejudiced manner, almost! Your personality is basing a lot of it's security on a whole set of ideas that it has about itself. It's position, it's authority, it's power, it's sense of inner stability! Self esteem! Many things! These are the intellectual premise that makes you feel like you are a worthwhile useful stable sort of person.
There is no question set against that. It is just that very often, that very same mind sets us up for a lot of suffering. Projections. Taking basic objects which have a pure nature and overlaying a lot on it. Regarding a lot of objects, regarding also ourself. A lot of falsification of who and what we are.
The meditative process to recognize the nature of mind requires the ability to slow or relax the intellectual grasping so we can get a deeper experience of ourself. It is not that it is more valid, because our intellectual process has validity within what it has done ti itself. But it is just to give us a deeper basis. Somewhere where we can have depth to our being! Part of that process which is unique to Buddhism is actually, you are trying to become more one with your tathagatagarba, your Buddha nature! Tathagata means just at it is. Tatha means reality. Garba is the womb. So it is called the womb of reality. Tathagatagarba is the seed of that womb of reality. The idea of that is, if you could access reality, nurture it, you would go back to your source. Accessing that, if it is in the correct manner, if it is in tune with reality, it is the union oneness experience. They use the analogy, when you gain enlightenment, it is called liked the mother meeting her son. Or like the son meeting her mother! Either way! The point is, the mother has no doubt that it is her child! The father can always be doubtful, but the mother always knows that it is her child! The Tibetans always say that. They say the father has faith, the mother has knowledge! Like that, when you realize buddha nature, it is like the recognition of a mother for her child, there is no doubt about who is her offspring! So when your mind approaches it's real nature, it is like that. The recognition of the mother to her son! It's like that. There is no doubt. This is the real thing thing! This is the actuality, this is tathagatagarba!
The whole process is to gain integration, and in that, you have to slow down the whole process that has been causing a lot of problems, that is the process of projecting, elaborating, falsification, making the world conform to our ideas which sometimes are very difficult! For Buddhism you do not want to add more, you want to strip away. You want to free up! You want to loosen it all< loosen the knots that tie! To do that, you do that with awareness. To do it well, you have to have a vehicle. And the supreme vehicle is your own breath! In some traditions, vapassana, their whole process is based on awareness of breathing, concentration.
So there is terrific ability in being able to do that. You don't need to be very elaborate. You just sit down and become conscious and go with the breathing. And being able to develop that will give you a key to access levels of experience which you previously have not been able to find. Because the mind is always grasping after this or that. Too many thoughts! This gives you a very real basis and a key to calm down intellectually and emotionally because awareness of breathing in it's natural process will calm you down. And it gives you access to something deeper. Just depth of experience in being, and of course, the Buddhist ideal is the experience of tathagatagarba, the seed of suchness, which is your own mind!
This is a preliminary for the next few lectures which will be on trying to recognize the nature of the mind. Tonight's meditation will be on awareness of breathing, and trying to just allow yourself to open. You can make an analogy. It is like a river. On the surface of the river there are leaves twigs and things which float by. But you want to become deeper like the current that flows under the surface. Deeper, calmer! Above are all the different thoughts, but you are identifying with the deeper current. The access to that is through your breathing. With that, allow the thoughts to flow by. BE like a beautiful serene jewel on the bottom of the river bed! Just looking up. Of course there are vast expanses of sky! And the various things which flow by! Just let them float by! They are just the thoughts that you have. They may be reflections of reality, but do not cling to them. And the process with which you do that is the awareness of breathing!
Copyright 1994 Daka's Buddhist Consulting
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