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 25 1990
The main focus of the meditations for the last while has been toward the cultivation of a clear state of mind with emphasis towards having alertness and consciousness. We talked about being conscious of ourselves and how we creating our reality, our selves all the time. Last week I dealt into information about motivation in that we have motivations all the time. For example coming here this evening, we had the thought that we should go to meditation tonight so we came here. In motivation essentially you are fulfilling yourself in that motivation by being here. You are actually realizing the results of that motivation.
We have a terrific opportunity being that we are human and have a human existence. The Buddhist concept of reality is very open ended in the sense that it says that all sentient life is precious. There is no one section of sentient life which is special and gifted versus other sections. All sentient life is considered to be equally precious in the sense that it is conscious awareness. And some conscious entities have very limited capacity to express awareness and intelligence, and others have greater capacity. We as humans have a powerful capacity. We have literally taken over this planet. But there is nothing more special about us than a cat in the sense that basically we are a life form. We all want happiness and do not want to suffer and we all have a certain capacity to pursue that. Humans have a really powerful capacity.
The question is though, although that information is very nice, what does that have to do with anything about me? As we are delving into more conscious awareness, as I say, the principle objective of your practice is to become a more conscious entity, a more realized person. So whether you put it in Buddhist terms or not is immaterial. The important thing is that you realize that you are becoming more realized, more intelligent, more integrated and happy, fulfilled, having better experiences with one's existence. That is the objective of most of us is.
In realizing our human rebirth and it's power, are we really starting to grasp to how special our existence is? If you think of the various existences you could have taken, that you are even in the human realm is precious. Even this country, and the freedom from limitations such as imposed upon those in other countries. We have a wonderful situation and are we utilizing it to our best.
We are conscious entities. We have an ideal in our mind, clear or even just a gut feeling that we would like to increase our good situation. The point is to become more conscious of the wonderful freedoms we have and to take advantage of what you have now because it is not always the case.
There are different levels we can take advantage of it. Inwardly saying that I have an existence. What sort of existence am I creating? How would I like to improve that? This is the most fundamental level. You can think that for activities which I create, and to use the word karma, karma isn't little check marks in a book. Karma is your attitude. What your activities create for you, imprints, and those imprints create your attitude. This is karma, activities which you do and having completed them, you have an imprint in your mind. So you have an opportunity on that level to create good karma in the sense of doing activities which do good for you and the world around you and such.
Then you can start to identify areas in which you have a lacking and you can start dedicating some energy into improving those areas, character and such so you start feeling better about yourself. You have a lot of freedom there right now. You do not have a heavy system which is always coming down on you, there is incredible freedom to study and pursue the things you want to. In that way, just realizing the different potential that you have. Potentials to create positive karma, for working on your own personality, and there are lots of places you can ago in and work on. Outside activities such as volunteer work, or you can do it your own home environment. Saying I am not always as kind as I could be to the others I live with. So maybe I can be more kinder to them! I could do just a little extra activity, a little kindness that makes me feel good and the people I live with feel good. There is karmic evolution there!
Then, also you could develop on a deeper level. Starting to realize the nature of how we create our little realities, realizing the noble truth of suffering and starting to get to the source of it which is really our perspective. The others were just working outwardly. Now we move inwardly and ask where our mind is coming from. How do we create our perspective that creates the experiences I have. That requires more meditation. So you put a little more time and energy into your meditation. What are the important things which formulate your attitude. When you don't think about things too much, all of a sudden there is this attitude there which is you. And why is it there? Then go into it. Try to discover the causes for it being there. And if it is negative, has negative influences, then you can start to do some things in your meditation to bring you out of that old habit pattern. It is not going to be quick thing. You are not going to get a quick fix in three weeks of meditation, and say, I am a transformed personality! It won't work. Sorry. Maybe in ten or twenty years!
But, you are going to be more conscious and that makes you feel good. You can say that old habit energy is kicking in right now and I am not going to buy into it. I am going to back off on that one, not going to let myself get resentful or angry or be jealous or envious, whatever is the energy which kicks in out of habit pattern. I am not going togo into it. So you are more conscious. And there is a terrific satisfaction just in that, to understand that you are not an unconscious person any more, you have more conscious awareness there. So there is an area in which you can start to work on. That is inner development.
And the higher level of conscious development is to move more into the realm of what is the real nature of reality? What is the nature of my existence and the world around me? How can that information, how the implications of that on my existence? So you start thinking about that and delving into the very nature of self and from there what would be the appropriate activity according to that on it is said a self concerned level as one realizes the nature of self, one can have an understanding which will give one full liberation. This means we no longer have hang ups about anything we relate to. We are very even keeled and a very high level of inner bliss is generated from that. That bliss gives you personal liberation. When you die, you can actually go into a concentration of pure bliss which is basically no cause for you to take rebirth again. So it is like blissing out and having no cause to come back. That is high level meditation but it is possible.
If though, you are not self concerned, if you have more open mindedness, termed a universalist, thinking of not only your own needs, but realizing also that others have needs too, and that maybe I can do a little towards helping others, if your mind moves in that way, which is more positive, still you realize the nature of reality, in the sense that you get a high level of inner bliss, but you dedicate that energy towards learning how to better express it into the world in ways that help other people. So you use the fuel of a more liberated level of consciousness in your interactions with others. You are not tight minded and look at others as potential partners or friends, or social life, or for the benefit of you materially or something! Or as enemies! So we go out of that normal mundane head space and move into one which says hey, lets look at others and see them for where they are at and see if I can do a little goodness with them, help them grow out of their closed mindedness and become a little more enlightened. In that of course, is considered the best way because it helps evolve the whole of humanity and the world because of the implications of that.
The point is, we have a lot of potential. We have a wonderful human rebirth, and of all the rebirths we could have taken in the world, we took it in a wonderful place. Think about how this is good! I have a nice existence and can go to the store any time I want and buy almost anything I want. And even if I get a good line of credit I could buy big things which I normally could not. I have a wonderful opportunity materially.
Then, what can I do with myself? What could I pursue with that? Then, there are many levels. Externally you could dedicate your life to great material gains if that is your priority. But if it isn't and you have a more internal development, then you could move on other levels. You could actually include a more positive karma for yourself and the world around you. Then you could move into a higher realization, maybe becoming a more conscious entity, not buying into old habit patterns, you are working in more inner levels of transformation. Then moving into realizing the neurotic mind and the sources of it. Then you realize the nature of reality. If you move that way you can move into personal liberation by understanding the nature of reality or you could go beyond it and try to be a little more universal and use the bliss that you generate from starting to realize the nature of reality in trying to be beneficial with relationships with others which is termed the work of a bodhisattva. Meaning is an enlightened warrior or a spiritual warrior in that you try to bring enlightenment into the world.
That is the talk for the evening. The meditations are the same. It is you being more conscious, not just allowing yourself to sit and go to sleep and have the regular old thoughts come up. Try to develop conscious awareness, awareness with the three analogies, open, clear like space, deep like an ocean, and solid like a mountain.
Copyright 1994 Daka's Buddhist Consulting
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