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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.
Our mind, when we look at something, we understand something, and then that understanding, the more we know that object has particular depth to a particular understanding we have. That is part of what you could call the relative aspect of becoming more enlightened. It is the quality of mind, depth of mind, in viewing something and having some deeper thing.
When you are interacting with someone... Where I work I have to interact with lot's of people. I will have someone come in, let's say, an attractive woman. You go into the mode of "This person is attractive!", and that sort of thing. And then you talk to them. It's something that happens. And I say this person is a suffering sentient being that has hopes and fears. And they are asking me for something, or I am telling them something. I am sure that all of you have similar opportunity. It is you look at them with different eyes, to say that although this person is maybe attractive, they have fears, hopes, anxieties, they cry sometimes. All of a sudden you have a different vision, you look at the same person and there is a different mind there. And then you can maybe switch back and say they are attractive, they have a nice body, I wonder what they are like in bed! We have those thoughts! We look at someone and play those mental games sometimes. And then you switch out of that one and go into the other one which says this is a suffering sentient being.
It has to do with your mind, when it is looking at someone, and what your mind has as it's perspective. I think that is around in the subject matter of what we are dealing with in dealing with images and what images carry. In trying to develop a more enlightened attitude or more compassionate attitude, I think it is good if you can start playing those games a little bit. It is not really playing a game because you are not saying anything. But just with your own mind, allow yourself to go into those different avenues and experience them a little. In that way maybe you can break up the rigidity of your mind in interacting with people. Certainly if you get caught up with the fantasizing, particularly sexual fantasizing or something, it will cause trouble. Inevitably it will make you agitated in yourself, and then it is sort of a suffering for yourself, but just to allow yourself to touch on it, and maybe become more conscious of sometimes those styles of thoughts you have, and then to switch out of it. That this person could maybe have some fear or pain in their life, maybe something very powerfully moving for them has happened recently and then you break up your previous mind, you shatter it! And you have a new mind in looking at this person. It is more possible with people you don't know. It is not as easy with people that you know because you tend to categorize people you know. You have too many ideas of that they are like this or that. So you cannot play that sort of imagery game with them. I offer that as some sort of mental exercise.
And then there are others one such as someone walks up to you who has bad breath. You are sitting there, holding your breath the whole time, breathing out through your nose as best you can! The thing is to sit there and watch your response. And to try to go through it. And to just relate to the person. It's interesting because it helps you maybe appreciate more about yourself and the way you react to others and such.
The point of all of this is to try to develop a deeper mind, a mind that appreciate on a deeper level, a more meaningful level. For example, in relating with people, to allow your mind, when you look at someone, to have the idea in your mind of the feeling qualities of that person. Or the hopes, fears of that person. To have that more consciously in your attitude, in your interplay. It's a facet that maybe you have more naturally, we may think that about ourselves, but I think there is always room for improvement.
For this evening, the meditation isn't that profound other than it requires that we are able to experience our own emotions, hopes and fears, and then to relate that actually every other person in the room has a similar set of hopes and fears and such. To try to break down our insensitivity or numbness that we have in regards to others. Very often we look at another person, think this person is happy, they never cry or have suffering. But soon as you start asking questions, maybe you find out that there is a lot there.
For the meditation tonight and for an ongoing process in your own relations with other people, is, when you are in front of someone, and maybe you find a negative projection, or this person has bad breath and all I want to do is get away from them, or that I want that space from that person, or on the other side you are attracted by the person, is to catch that mind, and look. You are getting imagery information. To take that mind, stop it, switch over and know your own emotions and feelings and understand that this person has hopes, fears and cries a little sometime. To stop previous set of mind thoughts which are sort of your own head space. So what you have managed to do is to step out of your own mind set and into one which has more potential to be in a relationship in a more feeling tone with the other person. Alright!
So that is the general scope and general focus for this evening. To try to become a person that relates to people as people, as living beings. And to be more on a level of human feeling and quality versus what you normally project and sort of fantasize.
For the meditations, try to touch base with some of your emotions, the higher emotions, some of your lower emotions, and maybe go around the room and allow yourself to go into the realm of others as a human being. To soften your mind. To break up mind patterns which tend sometimes to be fixed.
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