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.
Jhampa Nanaimo OCT 3,89
In one way for my mind it's difficult to teach a little bit because I have been doing this for about eighteen years and you sort of don't remember what the motivating forces are other than you remember what your motivating forces are even though it's after quite a long time. But what I thought was, in the practice, the focus is realization. Realization is your mind coming to an appreciation or understanding about yourself. And I think what makes it meaningful, makes it work, is that there is all of a sudden something meaningful, like in participating, there is something with "meaning." What meaning is, is that your mind is drawn by that, or is stimulated by that. So, if I think about what are the forces that let's say have you people come here, and what are the forces that make me pursue mine, is that there is something meaningful. And meaningful has to be that in your mind there is something which is saying, that aspect is powerful, that aspect is weighty for me. And that meaning requires putting some energy toward it.
So in that way I wanted to touch on just mind. Mind is not like "Intellectual" mind, sort of the intellectually thinking mind, it has to be our being! In buddhism they use the word mind, and it means the being of the person. You have been given lots of little interesting talks. There has been an actual evolution we went through in the series of lectures, a spectrum of teachings that starts at this end and ends up at that end. And there is a progression to it in the sense that some issues are basic human and in the higher issues are a little more philosophical, yet they are still related to the human experience and psyche. The are a little deeper, require more thought, more depth into.
In that way, as the lectures went on, there were certain areas that I am sure that you responded to and thought you would like to get more information on that and thought about that area more. And other areas were interesting but not what you wanted to pursue. For this evening, mostly I think there is lot's of information being dealt out, but it's good to say, Hey, I have the information, but now try to touch base with that which is meaningful. Try to touch base with what is you. Because it is always fun to talk dharma. I could keep you entertained as a Buddhist for quite a long time! And there are a lot of ways of teaching and such, and there is also lots of information, different facets to the human pursuit of a deeper meaning, a more profound meaning to life. But what I would like to do for this evening is to say, in the context of something meaningful, like what is it that is meaningful for you? And in that sense, that this is meaningful for you and important because it makes you feel good or validated, reaffirms what you believe in in your life. It's to go in and touch that a bit, become more conscious of that aspect of yourself.
From there, try to say, this is meaningful for me. What does that mean if I try to expand that? Lets say that there is now,... I have a reason for living my life!! So you say, alright, I have found a meaning. And then to allow yourself to try to expand that into more aspects of your life. Allow yourself to go into that a little. It is something interesting for you personally because in this you are finding yourself.
Like I say, I hate Buddhism in the sense that you can have a very formulated path. And then once you get into it then you always have something you can do! You can do a meditation on this or that or something! And you end up being quite, lulled to sleep! You have no conscious awareness, you have this fantastic and wonderfully formulated path to pursue and everything is taken care of, and all you have to do is apply yourself to it and it is fine and dandy.
Rather than that, it is more important to be finding your reasons why you tick. Within those reasons, looking at them from the dharma perspective, and finding how they fit, and how you work with them and such, so it is more real for you! The best of practices really is one where you personally evolve on your own level. Sort of your own guru! They say the ultimate guru is you, yourself! Your spiritual teachers are the friends. Like the sanskrit term is kaliana mitra. which means a virtuous friend, a spiritual friend. For that friendship then, they share what is spiritual and in that way they help you develop yourself.
So, for this evening, I really want to leave you with yourselves. Really you are with yourselves anyway! That is the reality of life! But try to work with it in the context of saying, why did I get turned on to be here? In that, try to feel your emotions about it. And then see, well, that is the reason why I got in, and then, what came of that maybe changed a little bit? It's a re-appraisal time. But it is also it's a very good time to re affirm what is meaningful for yourself and not let lost in a great mass of philosophical teachings which are practical yet sometimes take us out of ourselves and we become very stages, or orchestrated person rather than being an authentic person.
I think the key for this evening is to say, is when you sit and you breathe, breathing is just to allow yourself to relax, and then turn yourself to your own feelings and say, this feeling in me is powerful. It gives meaning to my life. It makes me understand how I should act, it makes me think that this is the way I should like to act. I feel positive and confident if I act this way. Whatever it is, find the emotion and maybe it's two or three emotions, but find the more powerful ones, and from those emotions, allow yourself to ask, those, if I was to take those very powerful feelings and expand on them, then how does that reflect on other aspects? Like when I work? When I am with people I love? When I am involved, interacting with others on a general basis? What does it mean?
As I say, one is a re appraisal, and the second is an affirmation of your own good feelings. And maybe feeling more confident about yourself. Saying, that is where I am coming from! That's what makes me tick! So you really do touch base with yourself.
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