Friday, July 26, 2013

Liberation Through Knowing the Mind

“Therefore, O Ananda, be ye lamps unto yourselves.

Be ye a refuge to yourselves.

Betake yourselves to no external refuge.

Hold fast to the Truth as a lamp.

Hold fast to the Truth as a refuge.

Look not for refuge to any one beside yourselves.” – The Buddha

“Why have you come, my son?”

“Guru, I have come to clear my mind of its confusion. When I wander for too long in Sangsara I become confused.”

“My son, the problem lies not in your mind, or in Sangsara, but in your identification with your mind. To know your mind, you must separate yourself from your mind.
Come, sit with me, watch your mind, and by watching your mind you can separate yourself from it, and by separating yourself from it, you can know it, and by knowing it, you can realize your true nature.
To know yourself—to know your mind—is to know The Mind, and to know The Mind is to experience Nirvana. ”

“Seek within thine own self-illuminated, self-originated mind whence, firstly, all such concepts arise, secondly, where they exist, and lastly, whither they vanish.

“This realization is likened to a crow which, although already in possession of a pond, flies off elsewhere to quench its thirst, and finding no other drinking-place returns to the one pond.

“Similarly, the radiance which emanates from the One Mind, by emanating from one’s own mind, emanates the mind.

“The One Mind, omniscient, vacuous, immaculate, eternally, the un-obscured Voidness, void of the quality as the sky, self-originated Wisdom, shining clearly, imperishable, is Itself the Thatness.” The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation, edited by Evan-Wentz

“Guru, when I am here in your presence, the excellence of your teachings reminds me that my  life in Sangsara is a dream, but then, when I leave here, my life again takes on the appearance of reality while you and your teachings takes on the appearance of a dream.”

“You are describing the state of duality, duality exists in the mind, but non-duality, at-one-ment, is the nature of the mind.”

“Nothing save mind is conceivable.

“Mind when uninhibited, conceives all that come into existence.

“That which comes into existence is like the wave of the ocean.

“The state of mind transcendent over all dualities brings Liberation.

“If the mind is not known, all practice of good and evil results in nothing more than Heaven, or Hell, or the ever revolving Wheel of Sangsara (births and deaths).

“As soon as one’s mind is known to be of the Wisdom of the Voidness, concepts like good and evil cease to exist.

“Even as in the empty sky there seems to be, but is not, a fountain of water, so in the Voidness there is neither good nor evil.

“When one’s mind is thus known in its nakedness, this Doctrine of Seeing the Mind Naked, this Self-Liberation, is seen to be exceedingly profound.

“Seek, therefore, thine own Wisdom within thee.

“It is the Vast Deep.” ibid.

“What is the difference between the Sangsara and Nirvanana?”

“The difference is that between Ignorance and Wisdom.” Ibid

“Guru, when I watch my mind I observe that there is automatic thinking, automatic feeling, and some kind of awareness that sees them both. It is very much like watching a movie. I sit in the theater and watch the images and hear the sounds of the story. I am moved to feel happiness and sadness. The more I watch and listen, the more engrossed I become until I lose all awareness of myself sitting in the theater.”

“Yes my son, it is as you say. But what is it?”

“Is it all Sangsara?”

“Wherever there is distinction, there is duality; wherever there is duality, there is Sangsara.”

“Mistake not, by not controlling one’s thoughts, one errs.

“By controlling and understanding the thought-process in one’s mind, emancipation is achieved automatically.

“In general, all things mentally perceived are concepts:

“The bodily forms in which the world of appearances is contained are also concepts of the mind.

“The quintessence of the six classes of beings is also a mental concept.

“The happiness of gods in heaven-worlds and of men is another mental concept.

“The three unhappy states of suffering, too, are concepts of the mind.

“Ignorance, miseries, and the Five Poisons are, likewise, mental concepts.

“Self-originated Divine Wisdom is also a concept of the mind.

“The full realization of the passing away into Nirvana is also a concept of the mind.

“Misfortune caused by demons and evil spirits is also a concept of the mind.

“Gods and good fortune are also concepts of the mind.

“Likewise, the various perfections are mental concepts.

“Unconscious one-pointedness is also a mental concept.

“The color of any objective thing is also a mental concept.

“The Qualityless and Formless is also a mental concept.

“The One and the Many in at-one-ment is also a mental concept.

“Existence and non-existence, as well as the the Non-Created, are concepts of the mind.” Ibid

“Guru, it is all so clear when I look at things through your eyes.”

“My son, you must learn to see through  one eye—the One Eye of unity that opens when the two eyes of duality close. Eyes see only what is in the mind; they appear to look out when in fact they reflect what is within. When within and without disappear, then the One Eye opens.”

“There being in this yoga nothing objective upon which to meditate, how can one, without having ascertained the true nature of mind by meditation, assert that mind is created?” - Ibid

“Guru, when I look inside my mind I see three categories of uninvited thoughts—thoughts that attempt to figure things out, thoughts about things that need to be done, and thoughts about all nature of desires.”

“My son, is the content of your three categories ever in the present?”

“No Guru, they are always reflections of the past and projections of the future.”

“And what is always in the present?”

“My breath.”

“And yet, my son, the mind in its immaculate state knows no distinctions such as past, present, and future. That is why it is said, ‘There being in this yoga nothing objective upon which to meditate...’”

“And yet you counsel to know the mind?”

“There is an old Sanskrit saying, ‘When a problem comes to a man with a troubled mind, it is like carved into the stone, but when a problem comes to a happy mind, it is like written on the sand.’ It would be a mistake to not attempt to know the mind, yet it would also be a mistake to believe that one can know the mind with the mind, for, is it possible to jump over one’s own knees? Self-deception is heavy and leads one to the state of suffering; knowing that one is not-knowing is light and leads to the state of happiness—still, even these states are false, dualistic, and evaporate like dreams that never were, when the One Mind is known.”

“Guru, is that why the monks always seem to be happy, always laugh a lot—is it because they do not succumb to the urges of the false mind?”

“They are trained to watch and to act without attachment. They are trained to recognize the projections of all dualities as false.”

“The unenlightened externally see the externally-transitory dually. The various doctrines are seen in accordance with one’s mental concepts.

“As a thing is viewed, so it appears.

“To see things as a multiplicity, and so to cleave unto separateness, is to err.” ibid

“When one seeks ones’ mind in its true state, it is found to be quite intelligible, although invisible.

“In its true state, mind is naked, immaculate; not made of anything, being of the Voidness;

“Clear, vacuous, without duality, transparent;

“Timeless, uncompounded, unimpeded, colorless;

“Not realizable as a separate thing, but as the unity of all things, yet not composed of them;

“Of one taste, and transcendent over differentiation.” Ibid

“My son, observe that monk standing by the threshold of the temple; what is his principle physical trait?”

“Guru, do you mean his eyes?”

“What about his eyes?”

“They seem to be open very wide, almost protruding from his face.”

“And, what does that suggest to you?”

“It looks like he is very interested in everything.”

“My son, in the temple there is a large statue of the Buddha; have you ever noticed its eyes?”

“Guru, if my memory serves me right, the Buddha’s eyes are half open.”

“The Buddha is depicting the state of balance between the internal and the external. What is your experience?”

“When my eyes are closed I experience the thoughts of my mind. Sometimes I am the witness of those thoughts—like when I am practicing the technique of mindfulness; sometimes I am absorbed in those thoughts—when I lose the practice or when I am not practicing at all.”

“And when you open your eyes?”

“When I open my eyes, the outer takes over and I no longer see my thoughts. I respond to them, but they are invisible—my body acts according to their prompts.”

“And do you discriminate between thoughts and feelings?”

“Yes, I see them as two different things. Feelings seem to attach themselves to certain thoughts.”

“Which thoughts?”

“Thoughts that are important.”

“What makes some thoughts seem more important than others?”

“The thoughts that are concerned about health, wealth, and safety seem most important.”

“My son, are you not speaking of Sangsara?”

“Unless one knows or sees the natural state of things and recognizes the Light in the mind, release from Sangsara is unattainable.

“Unless one sees the Buddha in one’s mind, Nirvana is obscured.

“Although the Wisdom of Nirvana and the Ignorance of the Sangsara illusorily appear to be two things, they cannot be truly differentiated.

“It is an error to conceive them otherwise than as one.

“By not taking the mind to be naturally a duality, and allowing it, as the primordial consciousness, to abide in its own place, beings attain deliverance.

“The error of doing otherwise than this arises not from Ignorance in the mind itself, but from not having sought to know the Thatness…—from not having sought…—from not having sought…

“Seek within thine own self-illuminated, self-originated mind whence firstly, all such concepts arise, secondly, where they exist, and lastly where they vanish.” Ibid

“The bad news is you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute. The good news is there’s no ground.”Chogyam Trungpa

“There being no duality, pluralism is untrue.

“Until duality is transcended and at-one-ment realized, Enlightenment cannot be attained.” The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation, Evans-Wentz

“So my son, many years ago I was invited to a talk by our most esteemed teacher, Chogyam Trungpa. The talk was supposed to be on the subject of meditation. I remember clearly when he walked into the room. It was some time after his automobile accident—he walked slowly with a noticeable limp and used a cane. There was a heaviness to his walked that exceeded his handicap and his size. It was like an elephant walking into the room. I could almost see the wooden floor bend under his footsteps.

“When he was seated before us he began to speak. He spoke about this and that, but never mentioned the word meditation. His voice seemed to come from a space outside of his body. He allowed us to ask questions and I remember a young man asking him about eating meat. The young man said he didn’t eat meat, but understood that Chogyam Trungpa did eat meat.

“Trungpa replied that he did eat meat because he enjoyed eating meat. He asked the young man why he didn’t eat meat. The young man answered that he couldn’t say why he didn’t eat meat—he had no philosophy about it, no feeling of right or wrong, spiritual or otherwise, he just did not want to eat meat.

“Trungpa replied to him, saying that his reason, or more appropriately, his lack of reasons for not eating meat, indicated that the young man was not eating meat for all the right reasons—that to not eat meat because one felt that doing so was spiritual, or good, would show attachment, and that attachment was bondage, and in bondage was heavy karma that keeps one bound in the suffering of Sangsara.

“After about an hour, Trungpa still had not even mentioned the word meditation or, in anyway, instruct us in meditation, and I began to realize that what was happening was that he was creating the state of meditation in the hall, and that he was playing the role of Enlightened mind in the process.”

“Guru, what did you learn from this experience?”

“Trungpa listened to all the questions and responded in an open and clear way. He was never impatient and never judged any question as being more or less appropriate, more or less spiritual. He appeared to remain impartial and involved. What I learned was that mind continues to work, thinking, figuring, deciding, asking questions… In meditation we should not become impatient with our thoughts and not attempt to drive them away. If a thought calls for a response we should respond to it as Trungpa did to us, in an open, clear, and non-judgmental way, involved but not attached. My son, that is what I learned.”

“All hail to the One Mind that embraces the whole Sangsara and Nirvana,

“That eternally is as it is, yet is unknown,

“That, although ever clear and ever existing, is not visible,

That, although radiant and unobscured, is not recognizable.”   Ibid

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