Online meditation resumes Tues., Aug. 31

Hopefully this two-week interlude has provided insights into the five senses, the sixth sense of the mind, and consciousness in its distinctness. If so, it would be due to attention placed on the subjective and seemingly objective experiences provided by them in their combination. Below is a YouTube discussion between a neurological scientist/meditation practitioner and Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche on how clear the scientific evidence is regarding how our subjective equipment creates our objective experience and that to the brain “waking” reality and “dream” reality are the same. Lively conversation between them!

We resume on Tuesday, August 31 at 7 am MT (8 CT/9 ET) {don’t know the Aussie or Kiwi time!}. We will come back to “Awareness in its seat” and “Leap.” Some of you might recall these cycles of meditation a few years ago. The quotation is from The Aspiration of Samantabhadra which is a Buddhist Mahayana text. Did you know that the teachings of the Buddha and subsequent teachings over 2000 years by men and women who followed his orientation toward truth about phenomenal existence and truth of Being were not called Buddhists? That came about when Western cultures, such as Great Britain, began to colonize the East which were countries and cultures that had been practicing Buddha Dharma for many centuries. With that the term Buddhism was coined. Soon afterward, the teachings of the Buddha and his heirs got codified as a religion – which never in its history had that been the case. Science of mind, yes. Science of meditation and realization, yes. Extensive psychological system that cuts to the root of all emotion-mind processes, yes. A philosophical system, yes. An extensive cosomological system, yes. But ‘ism’ was added to the category of ‘the teachings of the Buddha’ by colonizing cultures born from the Abrahamic source (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). One reason for this might have been for simplification, but if so it is inarticulate and incorrect.

You see, every part of Asia had been touched by the teachings of the Buddha over the vast period of more than 2000 years since his incarnation. And, although the essential teaching about how to investigate reality was the same – simply look, contemplate, assess, and let go of the untrue – the teachings integrated into a variety of cultures in a variety of times. As a result, Buddha Dharma practiced in China is different than that in Laos or Cambodia which is different from that practiced in Burma which is different from that in Siberia, or Japan, or Indonesia, or Tibet, or Pakistan, or India (historically for both). The historical buddha, Shakyamuni, had no interest in politics or political structures, societies and how they organize themselves, who is rich or who is poor from a material point of view, or who practices what or how. The Buddha’s compassionate motive to exist and teach was to provide orienting toward non-deceptive truth, truth that anyone can discover directly for one’s self should one be interested.

What truth? Truth like ‘black lives matter’ or like ‘we should help one another’ or spraying poison on crops will poison bodies, water, air, and soil? No, not such itemized statements because from an awaken view these statement are truths that are obvious. Black lives matter because all lives matter including mosquitoes, the worms and microbes in the soil, the coral and living beings in the seas, the livestock that is raised, slaughtered and butchered for pet and human food, and the Earth as a life form itself. All lives matter. And from this view, if anyone or being has selected other beings to be those that don’t matter, aren’t included in well-being, then the being making that arbitrary decision has just seeded the causes of one’s self not mattering. The energy of that choice will come around. Such is karma. Helping one another helps oneself. If everyone is nourished, I will certainly be nourished. If no one is homeless for any reason, then I will never be homeless for any unforeseen reason. If everyone lived respecting one another, free from deceit and greed, violence and fear, then I am included in everyone. So, yes, we should help one another with the great and vast intention of everyone and all beings experiencing well-being.

The truths indicated by the Buddha are functional, practical, and part of every moment of every day. For example, whether one adheres to a religious faith or not, anyone can plainly see that greed and covetousness are poisonous emotions that afflict the individual having them and beset others when such emotion-thoughts are acted upon. By investigating our emotions and thoughts, we discover how fabricated they are. We make them up and then give these inner voices life and recharge them continuously. Another consideration of truth is that all compounded things are impermanent, hence everything changes. If one investigates this, one will find that yes, every thing changes, including this body, my emotions, states of mind, ideas, opinions, where I live, how I live, what suits me, my relationships, my interests, what gives me joy, pleasure or discontent. And, to top it off, this body is mortal, will die and, not only is that certain but, is unknown as to when and how.

The truth offered in so many ways by the Buddha over 40+ years is essentially that all that we think, perceive, experience, and project are done so through a set of equipment that is constantly changing yet human beings cling to what was, or to the idea of what could be if only, or dismiss obvious joy and obvious sources of suffering due to this set of equipment: five senses, the sixth sense of the common mind, and consciousness together with the habituated patterns in all of the above which are fostered by culture, society, history, and more. Yet none of this is the Truth (big T), the punch line, or the important take-away from the teachings of this philosopher-scientist-revolutionary barefoot begging enlightened being. He also announced that the essence, the heart of Awareness, of all beings is beyond the impermanent collection of habits of sense, mind, and consciousness. Your essence, your essential nature does not depend upon these faulty and changing instruments, nor upon anyone or anything outside of yourself. This essence of Being is Truth, no one gave it to you, no one can take it away. No one created this ‘pure and total consciousness’, this ultimate nature of Being-Compassion-Wisdom. Like the space before your face and in which you sit, it just IS. Nothing can mar it, nothing can improve it, nor is it an It but words and language help to orient us.

So, the Buddha constantly put questions asked to him back to the individual who asked. ‘What is the real problem you are trying to solve?’ Have all the parts of the problem been considered? Will the solution accomplish the goal intended? What is the goal? Furthermore, who is asking. What aspect of your multi-layered phenomenal existence taken as real is the source of the question? What is reality? Ontologically is there such a thing? Who is thinking these thoughts? What is a thought? What collection of emotions, sensations, perceptions, habits and patterns of consciousness are what is named a thought? What is real, what is non-deceptively true? And, can I discover this?

Like the Buddha, I am not interested in one’s faith-base, or even if one has one. The Buddha did not start a religion or philosophical system or a scientific process intended to be an end-all in itself. Similarly, my interest is simply that we human beings take advantage of being human, of being conscious, of being able to ponder, contemplate, muse, meditate, change, transform, and discover true truths, deep truths, even the innate already present essence of Being.

All our online meditations and meditative retreats are such musings and explorations. Maybe just maybe you have used this two-week interlude for self-discovery, to notice the usually not noticed of how immediate the rubric of naming, claiming, and dooming something to be singular and distinct is due to habituated feed-back loop processes of the five senses, the common mind, and consciousness. So, let’s take a leap in the next cycle and recognize innate Awareness in its seat.

We resume Tuesday, Aug. 31. Same bat link, same bat time.

Notice that Saraha’s seat is the sky.


About Donna Mitchell-Moniak

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