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.
Sept 23 1990 (My birthday)
As in each moment we create our reality, we have our previous activities which brought us to this moment. But also in each moment we move forward and our frame of reference or position regarding the world around us is also our own creation. In modern times we speak that a positive attitude is important. The more positive attitude we have the better we can see the opportunities and options we have in the world around us. Over the last three or four weeks we have been dealing with the ultimate nature of reality. What is it, if we were to come to a final position? How does that relate back to us as individuals and the way we hold ourselves right now.
How are we holding this reality, and are we holding it in harmony with the nature of the world around us or are we creating a false reality. That is the whole focus of what is happening. And it becomes more real as the subject matter when you suffer. So a lot of this might seem to be intellectual, but it has a fundamental basic purpose in that the more you appreciate an intellectual side of things, at least you are investigating into the ultimate nature of reality, then at times when there is stress or pain, something which needs to be dealt with, then you have a better framework to deal with that information.
All of us have death in front of us. How are you going to approach that? How is your own personal vision of yourself? How can handle that information? That is a major issue awaiting all of us. And then there is the day to day events of having to deal with those we love, trauma and such. The context for this evening is to help us come in harmony with reality so we do not create false realities and then have to suffer the various mental gymnastics you have to go through to keep in balance. Like when you end up in a position where things do not work out and you have to do a lot of balancing to keep your equilibrium.
Last week we talked a lot about subjective and objective side of things. To try to become conscious of that when an object arises before you, that is the object. And then within you have subjective attitudes or thoughts arise. So you have subjective mind, conscious door like the sense object, these objects come in and your mind responds with particular information. So you are trying to become more realized in how you deal with information that comes to your mind. So there is the object, the subject, and the contact with those two and what happens on your mind. So to try to be open minded and when something comes before you, how does your mind respond to that? To try to watch the formulations that are created about that.
For example, you base a certain set of thoughts on certain things, like you see someone and feel like this person is an opponent and you have a little nervousness about it. What information arises in your mind? Physically can I handle the person, or emotionally can I handle this person, or what is the internal basis that your mind identifies with that sets up your emotions.
The point is to try to make you more realized that there is actually an inner world that goes on. And that you mind bases itself on body or your capacity of how well your body can handle anything. Or it works with your emotions, like this is too emotional a thing for me and I cannot handle it. I don't want to deal with it, and walk away or something. Again you work from an emotional base. You work from an intellectual base. So you have an inner basis you shift onto and from there you generate certain thought patterns and attitudes situation for yourself. That was last weeks meditation.
This week I want to move into another phase which has to deal more with ourselves as a person. By that I mean that we have very strong belief patterns about ourself. But if we think about it it is ourself and our age, the clothes we wear, the looks we have, the money and so on. This relationship we always set up. So there is the self like an entity, which seems to look upon the body or possessions or age or status, and sets up those thought patterns. Is that in reality? Is that sort of continuously creating a reality on those, is that true? Building up a sense of self as being something quite existent, is that in tune or harmony with reality?
To help us do that, let us look at this toy. Do we recognize it as a toy?
Yes. We can recognize it and label it and all agree on what it is. But where in that is toy? Getting into this is how we can get into our mind. We do not get the toy in it's parts which each have their own name. The object is lumped on the conglomerate of the parts, but each part is not the object, it is it's own name. You can go through the whole thing and not find toy but we all say it is toy. Because we are getting into it, it does not make it any less toy because we have analyzed it and cannot find toy anywhere on it.
After analysis, we have taken away it having a reality from it's own side. It will function and warrants it's name but in the very object, although it has a function and qualifies for being that, on it's side, it does not say toy to us. But we would agree to what it is. It is from our side that we put the name to it. If we took away all the parts which are not toy we would be left with empty space and we would not even have some magical energy there saying toy. If we put it all back together, we would have energy there saying toy.
Our mind labels things and identifies them. Our whole environment. But on any of those objects, the object on it's side will function as a cushion or chair and qualifies as being that object, but reduced to parts in search of it's essence, it could not be found. You did not take away something from the cushion in removing it's cover. The cushion did not become less of a cushion because you started to realize there was nothing in there which is cushion. You have to remember that we often put that there is something in there. But it is just a name we gave to it.
When you look at an object, our labeling goes onto it. The entity does not grow or shrink, it is just doing it's function. Nothing is taken away or added to it, it is just as it is.
When you look at yourselves as individuals, and this has to rely on allowing yourself to be very open and open minded with yourself, when you sit in meditation and allow yourself to be there and you are watching mind which is one aspect of your being, whenever it functions, you will find it relates to the body. It establishes the basis, my body of such an age or such a body. We all believe in ourselves as being very real don't we! But when we in meditation try to get in touch with what is more in harmony with reality, as we allow ourselves to be more conscious, we put a lot of emphasis to mind. Saying my mind is reality. But I want you to start watching your mind, and when it formulates a thought, it will create that thought pattern based on reference to something. Always. Like thinking you have to sit there straight and properly but my back hurts. The My has to be established on the basis of a painful back.
Watch your mind function. Because normally we put a lot of emphasis to our personality. Who we are and what we feel we are. Then we want to be conscious of, the who and what I am, is always referring to some object. And it is like the operator in a bobcat. He feels powerful and can work the gears and such. But if you took the wheels off, he cannot do anything. You cannot say he is the bobcat, he needs a functioning bobcat to be able to do the activities.
The same thing with us. We feel our personality as powerful and what we are. But if you took the body away, think about how the attributes I give my body, and what will your mind do? You mind will still think thoughts about the body. So you cannot say the mind has some existence separate from the body. It is intricately involved. Like the operator of the bobcat, cannot proclaim he is the all and all of the bobcat. If the tires are removed, he is crippled.
Same thing in your own personality as you meditate. All you are doing is trying to become more in tune with reality. That you are not just your personality or the energy behind yourself. Actually your existence is very much your body, in balance with your mind, in balance with the energies you feel, the intellect you have, your feelings and such. You have not become anything less or lost control but you become more in tune with reality if you start to divest a little of the energy that your personality normally feels it has. It normally feels very much in control of our little segment of reality and our personality creates our reality in each moment. As we sit here we are creating our thoughts.
If we want to become more in tune with reality the emphasis to our personality has to be shifted. This means your mind has to accept a broader basis for existence. This is what is termed in Buddhism as emptiness which refers to, if we looked through the toy for the essence of toy, we cannot find it . And so there is emptiness of a really existent toy. There is only a nominally existence. Not a truly existent toy but a functional toy, a relatively existent toy. That applies to your personality also. As an entity, you are functioning. You have attributes and things and are dynamic. But that entity is not just a personality and the power we feel within our personality. Actually we are much broader. We are intricately involved with the body and such. Then we become more balanced in our existence.
For example, people that end up with an ulcer, stress and such, are people that are not conscious of the fact that they have a body. They abuse it because they are not conscious of the fact that if they had more balance in their life, they could accomplish a lot more. However they live strongly in their personality and go until they burn out. There is disharmony there and no balance.
For ourselves we want to be more in balance and can do so by looking at who and what we are. One part of ourselves is our personality but we should realize that our personality and what it feels about itself is based on the material sides of ourselves such as our body and what we manage to accomplish with our bodies and such. So we learn to divest ourselves away a little from our ego and become more holistic or balanced.
So although we label objects, and they are there and functional, they are pure. They are just as lit is. They function wonderfully. But we are what gives it it's name and makes it "toy". So all around it comes the aura "toy" which we identify with. In yourself, where is the me? Normally we put emphasis to mind, personality, awareness we have in the immediate moment, and say this is the me. Analyze yourself. The personality sitting here and powerfully in the moment and doing the meditation, watch that and see what it does. You will find that entity establishes a basis and refers to that to then validate itself. So it refers to it's body and validates itself. Then it refers to its accomplishments and validates itself and feel more real. And that is the game that we play with ourself. There is nothing wrong with that but it is not as in tune with reality as it could be.
For example, if we were more in tune, when death comes along we will be able to accept it and understand it as part of the whole process of life. This is very powerful to help you become more in tune with reality. But it needs you to get more in tune with who and what you are as an actuality, as an experiencing entity right now. And you have to question how does my personality set itself up in every moment? And is this valid or in tune with reality or am I creating a fantasy world, one which does not have death, doesn't have any degeneration of my functions. Because if I have that sort of fantasy world, then I am going to suffer a lot when the body does not function properly. When things do not go well for me, I suffer. Every time you suffer you can say you are not in reality. Suffering in the sense of feeling frustrated is because of non acceptance of reality of the moment. If you accept the reality of the moment you can do something about it. As long as you don't accept it, you are fighting it and therefore there are problems, suffering, anxiety, stress.
You have to always be in the moment. Start to figure out what is the basis of my personality right now. What is the position I come from when I am functioning in the world around me.
Copyright 1994 Daka's Buddhist Consulting
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