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 9, 1990
We have been working on the concept of self, and have been looking at what is a definitely definable basis for ourself. The meditation technique of last week was to allow one's mind to sort of function and to become conscious of the basis of any one mind state that we have, in this way starting to become more clear as to what would potentially be the basis of ourself. The general idea that arises is that obviously the self of our personality is very fluid and changeable. Therefore maybe a lot of the unconscious manner of our working is based on non-reality, that our sense of self is based on non-reality and we should become more conscious of the real reality. Or what is the reality of nature in it's actual way?
In dong that there are a few pointers for meditation which are helpful to allow the mind to become more centered, more conscious of it's true nature. There is the analogy of an eagle, the sky, and the mountain. They are nice because they allow within your meditation, if you understand the images, it gives you something to be able to settle into and then to observe your mind. It is an image to help you realize your mind in a deeper and more detailed manner.
The analogy of space is to leave one's mind very open. The definition of space is that it does not impede anything. So when something arises, it does not get stopped, it travels through space. There is no judgement on whatever was in the mind. So for having our mind like space, we should leave our mind open, and not allow ourselves to be tight and rigid. If we want to gain a deeper at-one-ment, a deeper attunement to ourselves so we move from a very real spot or point of power, we should allow ourselves to be fully open to who and what we are. To do that we need the analogy of space in the sense that whatever arises within our mind spontaneously or whatever, we have to allow it to be able to flow through and not cling to it. Allow it to manifest just as it is.
We should be like a mountain because it is very solid. There is a solid base for a mountain. In the same way when you sit to meditate, you should be like a rock, very solid very rooted. Not have a fickle mind that jumps around a lot, we should learn how to be very stable. The principle technique for that is breathing. And if we can, we should breathe through our abdomen. In that way we draw the breath in fully into the base of the lungs. Then your mind will automatically shift out of being intellectual into a deeper mode. So breathing is very important. And to get a stronger effect of being solid like a mountain, we should try to utilize our breathing and not doing it controlled! Just to allow consciousness of inhaling, down to the depth of my gut, and that is where the muscles is. It is also the largest chakra in our body, near our navel. So when we inhale we should draw it to that point and then release from that point.
In focusing in that way, we allow our mind to relax from being intellectual. We allow ourselves to become more solid. The abdomen is a very neutral emotional point. It is just very solid, very real, and so in that way we don't get too flighty! It is very important to have a very solid basis when we try to gain deeper experiences of our inner workings. And that part of our body is a very solid part of our being.
The third analogy is like an eagle. When you see an eagle in the sky, it soars and maybe moves it's wings once or twice, and then soars for miles. In that way, we should not have too much intellectualization in meditation. lIt is important to focus ourselves, that our mind sets the tone for what we are doing, but having set the tone, then we should allow ourselves to flow with that as long as we can. The opposite to that is to be like a little bird which beats its wings between here and there and finally arrives at that point. But it is sort of a continuous battle or effort. And if our mind is of that nature, full of intensive internal dialogue, it is like the beating of the wings of a little bird and is not effective for gaining deeper experience.
We need to like an eagle, have one movement of thought saying, I am going to realize the nature of my mind. Then we flow with that. And we find we might get wafty, not have clarity of being, then again we focus on being here and now. And we have our breathing which helps us focus. And so again we have a large sweep of the wings, again we try to soar internal miles, for our mind.
The point is to use that analogy, that when you are sitting, not have a lot of thoughts. Have a mind which has a deeper movement, like an eagle soaring, there is not a lot of intellectual thought, just sort of a thought which puts us into our channel.
Finally, the analogy is termed as a bird at sea in the sense that if you are in a boat in the middle of the ocean, a vast ocean, and you release a bird, it will fly up and around, but having no where to go, it comes back to the boat. Like that, if when we sit to meditate, we do not let our mind have anything to land on, like being a boat in the middle of the ocean, the mind will fly around. It is inevitable when we sit to meditate, it will fly away because mind is like that. But if we say, whenever my mind tries to light on something, I am not going to let it. And an object enters the room and the mind alights on it and you are caught up with the object, register the object, and learn how to not let your mind settle on the object. If you do that, then you will find that your mind does come back and just focus on itself like a bird in the middle of the ocean. In that way, you do not fight the object, you just do not let the mind engage in any object that it tries to grasp at.
This is a brief run through on the nature of the mind because it has been an on going process of the teachings. So I would like to leave with you that, to review the analogy of space, of being like a mountain, being like an eagle, and finally like a bird in the middle of the ocean.
The object of those is to become more conscious of the nature of the self. You have to identify the ground or target for that. All we can do, because mind is mysterious and wonderful, is start to focus on the here and now. As we do that, we become more conscious of the workings of mind. And then there are some teachings we will go into. But if we do not focus first on the here and now, then everything I teach is intellectual knowledge and there is not much benefit in it!
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