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 May 25th 1993
We are on the last two pages of the teachings. I received this teaching myself from Geshe Dargye. If anyone is seriously interested, they can contact me for the transmission.
If you consider the essence of the practice is to find how to be closer to the real causes of happiness. Very often we grasp to pleasant experiences as being wonderful. By clinging to those, we make ourselves depressed. We get separated from those and become overly excitable and very unhappy. In that way our mind always in extremes of elation and depression.
We are very intelligent. It is easy to start to appreciate when you look at things, how often we feel everything is separate. Sometimes some things stand out vividly. Something will stop the flow of our energy, stops the flow of who you are. you get shocked and your mind becomes disturbed. At that experienced emotionally is basically is your mind grasping to fix things as very independent. But isn't it that if you become more conscious of it, each of us sitting here are fully interdependent and participant with the atmosphere, the warmth, moisture. I have gone over this so many times! If you can take that appreciation and apply it to your personality, which is similarly created in that manner, suddenly you get an appreciation that anyone at any moment is very interrelated with the situation around them. It is not like a fixed entity.
If there is someone with anger around you, it is not like they are terminally forever angry. If you understand their interdependent nature you can understand that you have an opportunity to put some good energy into this person to defuse the situation. In some way help them to a more calm state of mind. I would like to ask you as individuals, that if you have someone around you who is angry, why not as a personal experiment on your side, befriend them. Put some energy to just being friendly. Suddenly they are going to look at you and their energy will be also friendlier. It is funny because they might get suspicious of you because their nature is so perverse! But if you are persistent, they might go beyond that and actually be friendly and chatty with you.
In that experience you can start understanding the mutable nature of reality. And you can understand your relationship to other people. And it does not take a lot to start looking at just having that little bit of consciousness that, I am a breathing entity. Every aspect of my being is interactive. I am not a closed system. As much as you have a deeper understanding of the nature of reality around you, you can understand the interactions of yourself in an incredible way. Your own intelligence can take you into the participation of yourself as a person or entity in the environment around you.
That is a very physical and practical. But then move that understanding to the realm of my mind is similarly produced. When you do that, you should dissolve any sense of anxiety of who you are or what you have created for yourself in the previous years. Because what you start to understand is, if I have an angry nature, or jealous nature, whatever sort of delusion I exhibit, we can understand there have been causes for why it has been there. I have never looked at my type of attitude. But now that you start to recognize it, you can now input into yourself to bring yourself into a better position. Because you understand it takes time to change, you are not going to have unrealistic expectations on yourself.
Just like eating food when you are very hungry. The results will not be immediately apparent. It takes time for the digestive system to kick in. There will be that process that your body has to go through. Same thing. When you look at yourself as an individual, appreciating that mutable nature, then putting a positive attitude and good intentions. with that, it is not suddenly that you are going to become a transformed person. But with the application things will gradually change for you. The more profound understanding is not just thinking well relatively I am just going to change my nature and be a more positive person, for a Buddhist, it is to really delve into the ultimate nature of my being is interdependent. Nagarjuna's commentary says that when one understands voidness, one only really understands interdependence. And so it is not an easy thing,because when we sit here and our own little mind, we have a strong sense of independence. It is naturally there. Like an innate sense of consciousness.
But really the individual personality inside of me right now making the decisions and acting the way I act, really that is the product of input and experience over the previous years. And so that I act and make decisions the way I act is drawing on that information all the the time. So even though I have a sense of independence I really do not. In the teachings it is said, things appear vividly, independently. But as soon as we have a better understanding, or we examine reality, right away we dissolve that. The trees outside are a direct expression of interdependence. They fully participate. The mind has to start appreciating that. And in that you are aligning yourself with reality. And in bringing yourself also to the appreciation of your own personality as an interdependent phenomena does not mean that your personality should die. And this is often the assumption that we would make. That they take their thoughts or understanding of voidness and say well, I have to be somehow be selfless. Dead ego. It is an extreme that someone I must annihilate myself. Never was that said. It said merely take out that starchy product which makes you think you are independently existent. But that in no way takes away from your personality. It is a functioning entity. It is just the same way it always was. It is just the way that you appreciate or hold yourself to conscious awareness, is much more dynamic and in tune with reality.
For deeper investigation, you have approach the ability to become a ultimate experience as a human entity, the experience of the ultimate nature of reality . And it requires special concentration, but with that you can have an experience within your own mind stream which is clear light and such. That is so to speak, personal investigation into ones own nature. And all it requires is the desire to seek that experience. It is not anything outside. So our analysis of the outside world is able to take us to an analysis of ourselves internally.
The mahamudra teachings is termed the dance of mahamudra. And it is that one becomes more inclusive of oneself and the environment in world around. It is termed the great symbol in that it is the pinnacle or final level of understanding to bring yourselves to in the pursuit of happiness, the pursuit of fulfillment.
For this evenings meditation, I always enjoy working off the body and then into the personality. And you do not kill yourself! Be conscious of your breathing and let yourself relax and your mind come into harmony with your body's harmony with the environment around you. Because your body is interacting in the world around you. As you allow yourself to have that appreciation, then allow that to play upon the way that you hold yourself as an individual. The way you grasp yourself as a personality. Allowing yourself to hold that is said to be like space like meditation in that the boundaries or self projected senses of limitations can be dissolved. I often reflect that it is fun if you start to take your body as an entity and dissolve it's sense differentiation from the immediate atmosphere around you. As you do that, it only takes a bit of extrapolation to go to the atmosphere is not there on it's own! It too, is interactive! The world is interactive with the solar system around!
At a certain point you have to discover there is no edge to this phenomena of interdependence. Then you can allow yourself to relax into he appreciation of the full dynamic of interdependence. From there, it changes your attitude from a very authentic position. That is the important thing, that we do do authentic transformation and not one which is based on here say.
Copyright 1994 Daka's Buddhist Consulting
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