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 2 1990
Following on the series of talks on developing insight to the nature of ourselves. I spent the last time on identifying the target. You have to have the object you are focused on. In this you should try to become more conscious of the correct way we should hold ourselves versus the way which is productive for a lot of suffering and misery. In the sense that if our attitude grasps strongly for us to be an independently self existent person, we set ourselves up for a lot of suffering. The reality of what we are is that we are fully independent and a very impermanent entity.
The issue is to spend time delving into what is yourself and trying to get a better grip on it. By that, in investigating you should not go to the extreme of saying I can not find myself, you should just allow yourself to gain insights into how your personality formulates itself in any circumstance, alright.
There is a good meditation technique dealing with the three aspects of yourself. Your body, mind and your name. It asks is yourself your body? Is the self one's body. The sense of self as it listens thinks itself real and right here. But have you ever appraised how your being is? What are you as you are sitting there listening? If you investigate your body, we feel strongly that we are an entity. I look at is that this is my body. These are Jhampa's hand, feet and such. But in saying that, it is referred to a subjective self holding the object of body. Jhampa's body. My hands. And so it seems to indicate that we are something separate.
These are interesting meditations and very crucial. You would have to say as I sit here I refer to myself, I say my body, my leg, this and that. We refer to our body as an object from a subjective position. Does this mean we are different from our body? We quickly think my body feels sick today, I have a fever. The thing is, we should delve into it. How is our mind holding ourselves? It would indicate that ourself is the possesser of the body. And we would have an idea that the self is obviously not body. Body parts can be replaced but do not seem to affect the self. Obviously our body is not ourself.
We might say the brain is myself. But, the lumps of grey matter are all the same. So it is hard to say physically the brain is the self. So it is easy to say that you as a person relate to your body as a possession, not the self. So all we can say is the self that you have, the sense of self that is listening to me has put itself as other than body for the reason that you refer to your body as possessed and the self as possessor.
That moves us into saying that mind is the self. And in delving into the sense that says the mind is the self, we do have different mind states. We have happy mind states, sad mind states, and mediocre mind states. Different head spaces. And when you are depressed, it is like something has affected you and you relate to it as being an external thing, like I am depressed because that part of my life is not working out. And when circumstances change I feel my depression has left me. So the self seems to be held as something different than the actual emotional experiences that we have. So we somehow still get a sense of self that has separation from the emotions. The emotions push us around. You get angry, unhappy, and we ride on the waves of these emotions, but the sense of self we have seems to be different.
Then there is name. You can delve into it and easily see that you are not your name because for example, for the women here, when you got married and changed your last name, did you loose part of yourself? So name, obviously you identify with your name, is not the self.
I Am trying to get you to look at how yourself is. And particularly, spend some time seeing how you relate to your mind. How your sense of self relates to your mind. You can think of the emotions. Maybe today you were satisfied or maybe some emotion about some hesitancy about something. And see how you position yourself in regards to that emotion you had. Feelings are quite strong so are good to work with. So delve into how the self and emotions and things set themselves up. Try to see if you can reveal yourself?
And you feel you are here and real listening to me. You have to ask what is the nature of this entity sitting inside of me thinking it is doing all of these activities? What is this sense of self that is going on right now? How does that sense of self set itself up in my head?
I just want you to become more familiar with how your personality feels it is set up, alright? It is part of the recognition of the target which we are later going to try to get you to verify or come to some perception about. So try to verify the self in the sense of trying to clarify it and then validate or reappraise our situation. That is the meditation.
Copyright 1994 Daka's Buddhist Consulting
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