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.
November 18 1990
We have been dealing with trying to get better experiences in our meditations. The most important facet of developing meditation is our motivation and secondly, awareness, the conscious awareness we develop as we continue our meditation. Motivation is important because it is from our motivation that we reap the results of our actions. So when we motivate and we do not have a clear understanding about what we would like to do with ourselves, the results are not as clear. Very often we are motivated but we are not very conscious of what we are buying. By that I mean sometimes we feel that there is a need, I need to be a little clearer, have a better understanding about myself, or I need something in life and I do not know what it is. That is the sort of sense, the feeling that we have that comes up in our heart. So we go and look around for different answers to satisfy our needs.
In meditation, because it is a more conscious involvement with what we are doing with ourselves, it is important to realize our motivation. That can be just realizing we have a need, and in consciously starting to engage it and be more conscious of our activities. For example, I remember that in my own life, when I left Canada and went to England in 1970, I was very unhappy about life. Canada was very unsatisfactory for me personally. I didn't understand what was wrong because I had a brand new car at that point, my own apartment, yet something was not fitting. I was very unconscious and only knew that I had a need. In England I ended up buying this little book called "Meditation and Contemplation" by Christmas Humphreys, again not knowing what I was doing but it looked interesting. I read it and it said to stare at an apple and try to visualize the apple with your eyes closed after. From having that book, I ended up getting on a bus or a truck that drove me all the way to Afghanistan. Finally I ended up in India and ran into the spirituality in India. Totally that was what I wanted. But it was also unconscious. I was very lucky. But, what I would like to say for you is, to try to be conscious of what you want or need. The more conscious you are, the more clearly you can start to realize that and not be to vague. The more vague you are the less you will be able to experience the results of the benefits of what you are striving for.
In motivation, principally it does not matter what level or type of motivation you have. It is to try to be more conscious of it and try to insure that it has positive results for you and is a realistic motivation for you.
Regarding meditation, the development of better conscious awareness, the most important thing to realize is that it is your mind that creates your experiences of reality. And it is the attitude in the; mind which is going to establish how you feel about what you are experiencing. In trying to appreciate that, if we start to understand that it is the mind which creates our experiences, them in many ways we take away or start to assume responsibility for what we are experiencing. Very often we put the responsibility of what we are experiencing onto other's shoulders. We try to delegate it to other people, saying it is your fault. You are doing this to me. Trying to dump on others often. Even if we are not suffering, we often try to give responsibility away for our happiness to others feeling that it is up to so and so to spend time with me, and therefore we are very dependent on other people giving away our responsibility and our control. And then feeling sometimes unhappy or sometimes resentful if things do not work out.
So it is more important to be conscious that we create our own experiences by our attitude and by previous familiarity with certain habit patterns and such. Because of that then, we have the various experiences we have. In the Bodhisattva charyavatara, the main Buddhist text, it says if one wishes to guard one's practice, one should very attentively guard one's mind. If you do not guard your mind, you will not be able to guard your practice.
By that is meant if you become more conscious with what you would like to do with yourself, it is important that you understand that the source of the creator of that is your own mind. By that, you take responsibility, you take greater control over how things will go for you.
In that way, if you find that there is a need in you to be more happier, more realized, or integrated or grounded, that is the basic objective we have. If we start to consciously engage that and we would like to obtain that, then we have to be much more conscious of our own mind and how it is creating our realities in each moment. If we do not, then we are falling into giving away our responsibility. Perhaps we run away to the beach, but when we come back we are stuck in the same old rut. Escapism does not help. You have to take full control of your life. If in establishing that, a vacation is appropriate, then go for it! But whatever the case, taking conscious awareness and how we motivate into any activity, and in the activities we are involved with, are we maintaining some conscious awareness as that activity progresses about how we motivate.
You can certainly apply that to general things. Like when you go to work, how you motivate yourself in the morning for the whole day. It is important to maybe spend some time thinking about how I would like to be more happy,m I would like to abandon my old habit patterns which are not very successful in creating happiness for me. And with that you align yourself toward a clear state of consciousness. That is something you can do on a daily basis.
For what we are doing here and now, we are going to meditate. If we have an awareness, start to be more conscious that we would like to more happy, more integrated, more even keeled, whatever our motivation is, there is the; motivation.
If from then when you start your meditation, you forget that and sort of walk off into thinking about other things, then your motivation and your activity are really not in harmony. You are not going to obtain the results of becoming a more integrated person. You might sort of say, I am trying, but you are not going to receive the results and the outcome will be that at some point you will be disheartened with meditation and look for something else. And you will swing over, looking for something better to work for you. Essentially you could find someone who is so dominating, that they will dominate your life and then of course you will feel that you are getting your act together. They give you all the right advice and patch you all together and shove you out. And you say yes! But you are under their motivation. You have not really found your own motivation. So it is not assuming responsibility, it is more a giving up of responsibility if you let somebody take your life over, which can happen easily in our society. There are all sorts of institutions which try to give us what they consider proper goals.
So as we would like to cultivate ourselves for who we are, and for where we are at, not from some imaginary position which we are not at, then we should first touch base with our motivation. Then in the meditation technique we are involved with here, is principally touching base with a more clear and serene level of consciousness, when one becomes more capable of allowing various emotions to go through without grasping and clinging to them, which is the objective, then you have to allow yourself to be focused and that this practice will assist me in becoming more clear in my mind. Have clear concentration, and lead me towards more happiness.
With that you can settle and go into your meditation. So you need to cultivate the awareness which says that the object is clarity of mind. To use the three analogies, clear like space, deep like and ocean and stable like the mountain. With those analogies then the object is that my mind is stable, deep and not tossed and turned like the waves on top of the ocean, and to allow yourself to be open like space. So when certain emotions come through, you allow them to go through without clinging to them, grab them and make some reality. Just allow them to go through. When good feelings come, again do not cling to them but allow yourself to be clear in your concentration.
The main objective is clarifying and stabilizing conscious awareness. That does lead to a greater sense of equanimity, happiness and fulfillment because it has to deal directly with you as a person sitting there in your meditation. It is not a false meditation, an imagined state that is non related to who you are. That is the main meditation for this evening. Try to spend five ten minutes questioning your motivation. Why did I come here, and if that is not why I came here, then saying to yourself, what would I like in my life? What are my needs? Start to realize what motivates you daily on a deeper level. If it essentially along the lines that I would like to be a happier person, a greater sense of inner fulfillment, not be always extroverted and essentially stimulated, but to have an actual inner confidence in your stability, if you find that, then you can move into your actual meditation which has the three analogies. The objective is to allow your mind to be equal and open minded, and to still allow yourself to be there and breathe from the abdomen, focused in that way.
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