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 16, 1990
We are involved with the subject of trying to develop penetrative insight into our personality and into the actual nature of reality. Being that our personality is part of the world around us, there must be a way that we can realize that point which puts us in tune with reality. Helps us find a place where we can say, this is where I am coming from! This is what I feel good about!
That is important because everyone has, consciously recognizing it or not, something which is their focus. For most of us, it is abased on external things which we take up as our cause. So it is based on our mind's appreciation of who we are, for example is the most fundamental reason for being in existence is that we are either male or female. We base our relationships with our partner, friends and others on this. And then we identify with that type of feeling and so act out on that level. There are other levels of activities, but that is one which functions within us. We have these ideas about ourselves. From those, we take our step forward when we interact with others.
It works fine. Whether we take that or we take a job, or whatever we do. We have a focus and we gravitate our lives around it and try to work that into something which gives us satisfaction and happiness, joy fulfillment, whatever we can attain. That is something we can all put in front of ourselves and say, yes, in one way or another, we have something which is our focus.
The question that arises is, that sometimes when things do not work out, we have our focus but the things do not come together, we have suffering, anxiety, troubles and such. And we go back into ourselves and ask what is wrong? What is happening to me that I am loosing my sense of togetherness, my sense of being able to attain or something. These sorts of things. Why is everything falling apart and why am I suffering?
All of the teachings of the last while have been about that. To help us get more in touch with who we are and what we are so we have on an intellectual a scheme for things, or a way of establishing ourselves, so we are more comfortable or capable of handling the things that happen in our lives. If we look deeper, there would hopefully be the possibility of realizing that in an integral manner, realizing that which is part of ourselves. For example, we put on a new set of clothes and we join a certain group, and then we say I feel much more focused and things are coming together and I feel good about it. And, all of these people support me. That is wonderful, but that is so external.
So we really want to talk about internal. Me. My personality. My being. Who am I and what is happening in my life around me. And you are always pushed back into that when you get into suffering. As soon as there is suffering or unhappiness, you have to go back to that fundamental question, who am I? And then you can put it together as best you can and start again interacting with the world. We do that. That is a taken.
So the meditations we have been working on for the last little while have been to help you gain an appreciation of just who am I and what is reality for me? And what is reality for the activities that I am involved with around in the world. So that being the ground work within we are working, the meditations of last week gave you four analogies, of being like a mountain, like the ocean, like space and like an eagle. You are like a mountain because you should try to be solid when you meditate to gain a better realization about yourself. You should not let your mind be fickle and wander around, you should try to be solid and grounded. To be like space, in the sense that space does not obstruct anything. If something arises in space, it just travels through without obstruction. So our attitude should be open minded. The we do not try to fend off things or do battle with certain thoughts and feelings that come up within us. We should allow those things to arise. We should not cling to them, but allow it to arises. So we have the analogy of space.
We have the analogy of being like a pigeon on a boat in the middle of the ocean. That is, if you had a boat in the middle of the ocean, and released a pigeon, it would fly up and away, but after awhile it would have to come back to the boat when it got tired because there is no place to settle. It couldn't land in the ocean. Also with your meditation technique. You should try to let your mind not settle or go to something and then become fixated on that. You should let your mind only settle in it's own nature. Being like the boat is like your own nature. When the mind starts to wander away and think about things, you do not let your mind rest on that. You sort of take away that object it would like to go to. And if you do that, your awareness will finally center back on mind in it's own nature.
The fourth analogy is that of an eagle. If you are doing this, you should not be sitting there having a lot of small thoughts like a little bird that flutters it's wings. Rather, you should be like an eagle and soar, maybe beat your wings three or four times to get to a certain attitude, and then you allow yourself to soar on the wind currents. So also with your meditation. You should maybe have a strong motivating force, of I am now going to realize the nature of my mind and I am going to be open minded and stable, and such, and with those few powerful strokes of mind thought, then you should allow yourself to settle and flow with that. And if you find yourself loosing your energy, or falling to earth, then again you beat your wings a few times. Like I must be clear minded, just be focused. Powerful thoughts, and then again establish yourself on gliding or flowing meditation which does not have a lot of thoughts. We will not get realizations if you have too many thoughts.
Tonight the emphasis is to try to allow the mind, in showing itself, to start to realize why the thoughts come the way they do. Each one of us has our own sort of what we have done to bring us to this moment. Right now in this room, we each have our own little story that brings us right to this moment. What we have been doing, who we have been seeing, what we have been eating, what we have been involved with, our attitude, our emotions, all of those things bring us to right now.
Taking that right now, when you sit to meditate, and when an object arises in your mind, try to be open minded. And when the thought arises, realize it's relativity in the sense of that particular image or thought arising in my mind right now is based on I have some needs, that I have this or that. And just observe how the mind mind functions. Let's say you are meditating, and a thought about clothes comes. I need clothes. You should see your mind moving to clothes. What is the reason for clothes in my mind? So you go back in your mind and say they arrive because I feel I need a new wardrobe, I need this and that! What you want to do in the larger sense, is make your mind more spacious, and see that thought arise because there is a sense of some need or something. So you can see the relation between the two. And then you let them dissolve.
And then as you sit there you have another thought arise. Maybe it is based on your body. Like I am not like I used to be. My vanity is hurting a little bit. Our flesh is sagging a bit! So our personality has this thought arise. Then see what creates those type of thoughts. It is based on the fact that I am identifying that I prefer to be of firmer flesh. And because I am not, I have these sets of thoughts. So you have object, something which arises in your mind, and then you have this objective side, and that is why these thoughts are arising.
You are realizing that any thought process which goes on in your mind is based on an object, your relationships with that object, and then all of the thought processes in it. They are all relative. I am really talking about, what is behind you? What is the real source of your entity, your nature, your being?
In doing this, in allowing the meditation for this evening, you are starting to become more aware of the fact of how trivial so many of your thoughts are. I am not saying you are trivial people, because we are all trivial in one way or another. But if you want to find a real source for yourself, you can't get hung up with all of the little thoughts that you have. And you have to become aware of just how they are based on simple little things. The need for clothes is based on the fact that I would like to look a little better. When I walk down the street, I would like to think I am a better dressed person. That I have the money to spend on clothes or something. Whatever it is!
Then ask, is that the real me? And you can say, that is not the real me, that i snot what I would like to consider myself to be. So then you allow that to go. And your body is another object we deal with. And my body is not what it used to be, or it is this or that! So you have to become more aware of saying, am I just my body? Is that everything I want to be? Is my whole focus my body? And again, you are starting to become more realized in the way the mind functions. An object arises whether internal or external, and then there is this objective side, the possessor of all of those sorts of feeling and thoughts of looking at that object, and it sets up this little internal dialogue about that. And so you start to become more conscious of how al lot of your thought processes are built up or established. And because we never think about it, if we took any one person and took out all of these different things, you would find that the basis of what you are is based on who you are, your sense of status, your sense of your placement in life, your sex, your financial status. These are the sort of things which are major movers for why you are who you are. Like what you hold as the basis of your being.
So, you want to realize that this is the way my mind has been functioning. Rather unconsciously. And is that what I really consider of myself? Is that reality? Am I my car? Am I my house? Am I the clothes I wear? Am I the financial status or position I have in life? Am I my job? And if we start to become more conscious, we realize that we are not these things. We realize everything, our clothes, our car, our job, changes all the time. Normally we cling to those things and feel they are very important. But now we should start to become more conscious of just how temporal and secondary they are.
The technique tonight is to utilize those four analogies and the object is to realize a little deeper the nature of the mind. Try to establish a wide open minded stable meditative state. And when a thought arises, try to see it in the light of subjective side, objective side, and that is why the thought process is established. And by seeing it, just realizing that is not really what I consider to be me. And go back into your meditation. And repeat. And start realizing that the only thing you are going to find in there which is hard is your actual personal identification with a lot of the thoughts. In that you have to be really relaxed about it to realize. Like we identify quite strongly with a lot of the thoughts that arise in us. But we have say, is that the real me?
Things like I have a beard, my hair is thinning, thoughts like that are very personal thoughts and feelings we have. So when we are sitting there and they arise, we nave to step back from ourself, not be so personally identified with the thought, and look at it. It is based on the object, my balding head, subjectively I think I should not be balding yet, I am too young or something! And then realize, I create a lot of emotion or feeling about that, but is that the real me? Is that the basis of me? That the hair is falling out of my head. It sounds silly, but we put a lot of energy that way!
So that is the meditation for tonight. The real point is realizing more the nature of mind. The emphasis for this evening is towards realizing the functions of mind regarding subjective self, objective object, and asking if this is the real me or something which is temporary or a phase in the long process of life.
Copyright 1994 Daka's Buddhist Consulting
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