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 Dec 08 1992
In regards to the Buddhist perspective in one's personal development, there are various practices which are undertaken. They are divided into what is the expression of how one should attune oneself, as to how it would manifest in activity in the sense of how one tries to become more realized internally as to the nature of life, what is the nature of mind and such things. In regarding those activities, there are those of body such as trying not to harm other sentient beings arising from "just as I don't want to hurt, no one else would like to hurt either, so therefore I should not cause harm to others". In regards to activities of speech, along similar lines, if one can one should always try to be positive and inspire with ones's speech and should try not to slander or gossip. But the real point of the practice is in the mind.
If the mind is realized, automatically the activities of body and speech fall in line. Whereas if one never realizes the inner mind, then one may say one is virtuous and maybe one tries to control one's activities, talk with positive with speech, but the source of motivation from those is shallow. It based on this is the right thing I should do. Or, someone said it is good, or such things like that. So it is not solid. With certain circumstances we can loose our confidence. So it is important to gain inner realization specifically of our mind. How our mind creates the activities of body and speech. With that realization you have the source of why any activity is undertaken. And you can also have the criteria for judging your own activity. It is common knowledge in Buddhism that any activity with the right understanding can be done. It is not essential that one always appears to be some virtuous person. In circumstances where harm is being done, one can be quite vigorous in trying to stop that. It is not considered negative. It is not that one sits there nicely and says "you shouldn't do that" kind of thing.
If you have the capacity you can try to stop another person's negativity. Because your motivation is to correct the situation, it is not negative. So you cannot say in Buddhism there is the "thou shalt not" kind of dogma. Rather, you should always try to gage your activity from your motivation and from your endeavors and relationship with the world around you.
The main point is that one realizes that realization of the mind is the most important thing. And in that, don't limit that to just intellectual mind. The intellectual side of our mind is a very shallow part of the mind. Mind, for a Buddhist, means the whole depth and gambit of experience. It is much more encompassing and understanding. So you can have an intellectual mind, but you also have a feeling mind as in good and bad feelings, you have a conscious energy which is the vehicle upon which the awareness, the mind rides. So mind should be understood in a very large interpretation.
Continuous mind is one thing that was written by Trinley Norbu Rinpoche. He is from the ningmapa tradition. They have beautiful exposition on the realizations of the mind. It is a wonderful presentation.
I thought since the series of teachings has been on inner realization, in reading this I loved it so I thought I would share it with you!
In the undeluded purity, self appearance, there are no names for love and faith.
But since all sentient beings grasp at the uncatchable display appearance, all our phenomena become heavy and substantial and we create the duality o self and others, the concepts of ordinary mind, and the karmic delusions of habit. Since all habit belongs to either deluded panic, or the noble path of enlightenment, it is best to develop the positive path to enlightenment that always creates the positive energy of love and faith. Until we attain the selfless appearance of the Buddhas, love and faith share the same essence of deep caring. The only difference is that love is aimed toward sentient beings, including those less fortunate than ourselves, which faith is aimed towards sublime beings, including all buddhas and enlightened guides. The nature of love is to give positive energy to others in order to benefit them, to release them from suffering. The nature of faith is to trust in sublime beings in order to receive the blessings of wisdom energy that benefits oneself and others. True faith creates the vast love and compassion that benefits countless sentient beings.
If we rely on ordinary dualistic mind, we cannot have deep and lasting love. Either for our our equals, or for less fortunate beings because ordinary dualistic mind depends upon the uncertainty of temporary circumstances. This uncertainty causes disinterest, hatred, and betrayal. If we do not believe in the unending continuity of the mind, we will only consider the immediate tangible circumstances of our connections to others. Rejecting or accepting them, as circumstances chance according to what is most expedient for us. Ordinary love that arises from karmic results of habit can seem to have the qualities of being genuine loyal and stable. But those qualities only mask the potential for the opposite qualities of insecurity, disloyalty and instability to arise if circumstances change. Because ordinary love has no depth, it is automatically limited. If it becomes unpleasant, we stop feeling it. When we only react to circumstances, we are really just considering our selves and our own reactions without respecting or caring deeply for others. When we feel isolated we want to be loved. We show love to others in order to be able to receive love from them in return. But when we are satisfied, we forget about others. This is not enduring or continuous love. It does not cause the impartial compassion of bodhisattvas, because it depends on our personal selfish desire.
We do not believe in anything we cannot experience directly. With the obscure perception of the dualistic mind, we will not recognize that our awareness is limited and we will only care about our own immediate experiences. Our main interest will be in our own temporary benefit even though this benefit is easily lost since it depends on unreliable temporary circumstances. It we only react with self interest to whatever circumstances appear, we will make choices based on trying to find temporary satisfaction. But this effort is always ultimately hopeless since everything within samsara is uncertain, because it is changing. Through the short sightedness of our habit, we do not even notice we are missing what is meaningful like someone who eagerly chooses to eat the cows red meat instead of continuously drinking it's white milk. If we believe that mind continuous, our love for others becomes continuous. If we recognize this continuity, we do not trust temporary tangible circumstances or take them too seriously.
Since it is tiring to switch between unchanging uncertainties which is inherently impermanent and unimportant, we become less easily influenced by the circumstances. This creates the habit of stability so our mind is less erratic, our lives less chaotic, and our feelings for others less changeable which causes love to become increasingly deep and loyal. If we believe in the continuity of the mind, then love inconspicuously connects with others. We love with continuous positive energy so that even tangible separations between people who love each other do not reduce the intangible power of love. This love is automatic and enduring since it is not easily affected by circumstances. If we can keep this grasping at others with the selfish fear of loosing them, or our hope of possessing them through the unawareness of ordinary dualistic mind, them the energy of love increases and its quality of giving energy to others opens and expands. The positive habit of continuity is created by not depending on what occurs each moment as though it were only a moment. But by believing in the continuity of mind, we can acknowledge the continuity of all circumstances including our experiences of love with are not just for one moment or one life. We can understand that it is useless to try to escape from momentary dissatisfactions, or to pursue momentary benefit by abandoning all circumstances and chasing after new circumstances. Since nothing really changes unless we are released from all circumstances to enlightenment.
Through our nihilistic habit we may superficially judge the relationship between parents and children, friends and companions or teachers and students, deciding they are inharmonious or unsuitable. If we do not believe in continuous mind and continuing karmic connection but only believe in coincidental circumstances, we may think it is better to discard difficult relationships on order to rid ourselves of problems. And we may easily turn away from others. But if we believe in continuous mind and karma, we know that momentary phenomena always change. Unless change is connected with practice leading to enlightenment, it is unnecessary to try to change our useless worldly phenomena which only will take us from being miserable to being miserable again. We will not take temporary negativity so seriously if we know that all circumstances within substantial world are impermanent. We will also not want to hold onto negative feelings that increase negative habits since we will recognize there is not benefit in doing this. By believing that we can actually change or karmic circumstances, we can pray for others, purify negativity, and create positive karma with the intention of attaining enlightenment. Instead of trying to change our outer circumstances, we will understand that it is more meaningful to change our own inner phenomena.
Before we start our meditation, the emphasis is that we often we do not think of the deeper or longer continuity of our being. We just focus on just who are are right now. And by being very short sighted, we grasp to these people, and reject others. And we make may judgements and decisions in this way. Rather, we should try to establish a deeper base. As it says, if we recognize the long term continuity of our being, then we can become more patient because we have to be with ourselves for a long time. So if we are more capable in dealing with everything, if we put that as a priority, that long term nature of our being is a priority, then small ups and downs are no so important. Our love and caring with others has a more stable basis because it is the nature of our being that is the ongoing continuity of ourselves that we are relying on.
In may ways it is termed to remove oneself from dualistic mind, which is myself and others, and all that entails. If we stop believing in dualistic mind, and rather try to recognize that mind in the sense of non dualistic, that the on going flow of mind and our experiences with that mind really are owned by the way we understand ourself. Controlled by the way we understand ourself. And so if we put emphasis to our side of the relationship with all phenomena, something which we are always going to be with as time passes, you move away from a neurotic dual mind into a more non dual mind. A mind which recognizes it's own continuity and relies on that rather than establishing itself on personality and the dualism of mine versus of yours, and all of the ramifications of that.
Copyright 1994 Daka's Buddhist Consulting
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