The Mind Illuminated archive

TCMC 22 April 2010 Part 1



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what is useful that we can talk about? Yeah. I have a question. In addition of the inquiring one there's an article about acceptance real. And then the often misunderstood as being passive and not having a choice anymore. And I wonder... If you could elaborate a little little bit more it. What is the difference then between finding reality. Mh. Good all or making a choice and and and prepared to intervention something with this to by the reality. Okay. So... So you read and article out exceptions.

And the the gist of the article is that acceptance is not same as. Is that right? Yes. Which is that's certainly richard true. What acceptance you you know, there's a there's that little prayer that goes back There's a little. Do you know what? Yeah That'd. Question? That me the serenity. Yes. That's that's the what god god need this this serenity to accept the things so i cannot change. And what does it say? To change the things been changed the thing that. And the legit that was a difference. Yeah.

Well the serenity prayer. Right? So acceptance is accepting the way things car, which I saw the same thing as declining to take action and to things different. As a matter if I everything else how about the buddhist teaching, you know, compassion, and kindness, morality and ethics, the generosity, patients, all of these other things actually compel us to take action when we can take action. But even there, we say you do so without attachment to the outcome. Right? And so this is what's really important in exact times.

To begin with to you have to accept the way things are in the moment. Because that's the way things are. And any other attitude is it's as it be pointless saf. Because that is the way things are. So you begin with acceptance, but what is is a result of tax and conditions? What is is? It's just as simple exact. But then see with the sentiment what? Potential actions can be taken and how things might be different. Than this leads to acting appropriate. Way. But once again, we need to remember several things...

We need to remember that the causes and conditions that lead to the present are often rather massive. And so they may not... They it may not simply be able to produce change in direction. So the process of acceptance of the way things are is going to have to continue for some un determine period time into the future. As those positive conditions continue to produce their fruit. And then also, there is this element of unpredictability and the limitations that we have on our capability to make changes.

And so that's where we have to learn not to be attached to the outcomes. But continue to to strive and the best way that we can. And and likewise another thing related to taking acceptance for is to mistake for for just simply it the word discreet me right now. In ind, yes. So mistake e for ind. Because these are These are strategies that have a certain limited effectiveness and can in a given moment seemed to be good strategy to you find yourself in and a difficult situation to retreat and pass and to attempt to turn off your feelings and to achieve a state of ind.

And that might... And often does provide a certain inquiry solution to whatever the problem is. And of chris I think that they're closely related to another well known psychological phenomenon. Which is where we essentially withdraw from from the situation we dis associate from it and go elsewhere, And none of these none of these are desirable responses. You know instead of being fully present instead of acceptance, but acceptance with the mindful awareness of what the potential is to to make change and the willingness to take appropriate action.

And, of course, we start this out being ordinary world links out some of the gifts that come with continued practice, which makes this much easier to do. And so initially, it's not easy. We can attempt to approach situations with prior to having the the true capacity for e. And the the same thing attempting to remain present with undesirable circumstances have finding the courage, and that's where that per comes in in that prayer there the courage to take action because it's so much easier to be passive.

So saying present and mindful and reminding yourself to be accepting even though emotionally due to your existing conditioning always being crying out and struggling against what what is. And then having the courage to pick action. Certain outcome. I even know the they like signal by to it if people we wanna not have hoped, then they could change something which is which was so to their life. They was not yet they would have given up. So... That's right. So there wasn't attachment on some when we it he keep probably will you locked it up when we don't let go.

That's right. Things like. So where is... Where is it where actually me? And he does hope? How in the end and the? Well, and those kinds of things you're talking about are very important. And wonderful. I mean, i mean there's all kinds of stories that we could recall of people that have brought about really important change because they continue to struggle even when the odds were terribly against them. You know, in in this country alone. Has been so, but when you go beyond that in the world as a whole And as a species our various cultures, We have a world culture now with attitudes or what is right and wrong and what is is discussed they just simply didn't exist almost anywhere two or three hundred years ago.

And the farther back the more, you know, the the worst story was... And the only reason there's a change is because it's had people that are having in the people who had decreased this struggle. Not that they've always started in perhaps what was ultimately the wisest way, but they did the best they could and best knew it. Fine. But the problem is you see when this self that is rooted in this particular mind with its own attitudes and judgments. Wants things to be a particular way. And reacts against the fact that they are not that way, then we suffered.

Right? That is not the same thing as saying that this very mind cannot recognize those things which need to change. They can understand a deeper what do you wanna call it ethics or morality and and a deeper sense of right and wrong about things and realize that there's a direction that things need to go inspired by compassion inspired by sense of justice, things like that. Now that is not really coming out of this personal cell wanting to see things manifest it. I mean, it has that element to it.

I mean, most undoubtedly, Martin Luther king, personally, one of things to be... But it was there was also a part of of his mind that recognized that right us the goals that he was working towards. And the wrong of the things that he wished to bring to people's attention half and correct. And that's what's important. And I think that most often, in the people who look at history to make a really big difference They have managed to set aside or minimize the personal aspect. Which has allowed them to come from a much more powerful place.

I think in Nelson Mandela, you know, he he... Actually, I I don't know if you realize it. He made the decision to continue to endure what was being done to him and stay in in Prison because it was to be free personally was not worth giving up the struggle and to die personally, and to have members of his family and close friends persecuted and even killed was worth was worse that was a cost that was a price scheme was willing to pay. So that's setting aside the personal attachment to the personal view and the and.

And the other important part of it is is the is the goal and the means, a person can make a lot of mistake and the kind of goals and needs they choose. But the less or less of their own desire and anger is involved, the more clearly, they're going to see the kinds of names that are most effective. So And that's that's how people can do things and take this kind of action. And there's a an element on a personal sacrifice, which throughout history people have made those kinds of sacrifices. They have actually had the sense that they were part of something larger than their personal cell and we're actually willing to sacrifice zero body mine, self and existence in in in the cause and in the host of making that kind of change.

And as a matter of fact that is exactly the emotion and sentiment that is behind the. Sacrifice Jesus on the crops. Right? And then the idea being there he more than anybody else? He had more beliefs and for greater of sacrifice, but nevertheless each of us as an individual We... And this is really what the path is about. Get over the attachment and the clinging to the personal cell and to recognized the truth of belonging to something. That is not much larger than this cell. Thanks for asking that question.

Anybody else having anything to say good evening to those of you that came we were talking about activity versus acceptance than e versus ind and also the the fact of of action that change what we're compelled to do if we all start on. Socially engaged. It's an important thing. Because i I think there's something that there's not enough. I think more buddhist need to become socially engaged buddhist. And it's snyder side It... It's it's intrinsically a part of it. So less unless you are focused on your own personal self my family and mind job my house, my first, my retirement my vacation gotta to do i yeah.

The only alternative is to, you know, my people my country, my world, you know, expand expand that beyond there. Anyone else have... Any Just say? Very interesting both called on uncertainty. Uncertainty. On starting. Sounds interesting. Mh. Down. Mh suggesting that sense it's certainty, you know, at any level including the of insight, etcetera. Is really more an emotion similar to say over. That's a fifth of certainty is emotion. This is just what he's saying. Well, I I have had thoughts about that at different times.

What comes to mind for me is that we long for certainty. We strive for certainty. We try to project certainty and all kinds of things. And in fact is not, you know i that's... But our minds are curtail. And, you know, compulsions craving is really the root comp. And all of the other compulsions are flow out of that in one way or another. And there's a mental comp towards for certainty. And we don't find it and and even when we pretend we've found that there's always some part of our mind that does it's a it's an illusion that we're clinging to.

I mean, they're Well, there done things that are important. I mean, that that the physical body dies is is one of those things that's certain but that's a good example of there's so much uncertainty around that. What what's that name? What happens? What dies? What does buy? What happens after very subtle? You know So it's an emotional need, to to try to find certainty. And I think it's very close to what we call cleaning. That we're always... We're we every news environment and then everything is is painting.

And the more where we are is that the more we want to grasp on to something and hold on to it cling to it. Make it say. The more where we are of the uncertainty that is the true nature of things. The more our mind has a reflux reaction. Of trying to find certainty somewhere and where I can't find it to create the illusion of certainty And it when we come down, if we want to be really honest with ourselves, we have to recognize when that's happening and to and acknowledge that that the kind of certainty that we're looking for simply isn't there.

Just this same the the the kind of perm of things and that the hold on ability to things this it doesn't really exist either. When we thought trying to do the impossible time that contributes to our freedom to our liberation then we can begin to you You can start to women in the ocean of life when you stop trying to clean to something that's stable. And that's that's a new kind of freedom. That's a new love of freedom. And abandoning the the comp to find certainty is also liberating. Then you're able to embrace the way things actually are.

But even there, I'd say paragraph so. There's nothing at certain, but This path is still a path for its one kind of certainty and alternate certainty. The idea is that if we can... You, any kind of alternate ultimate truth that is still like kind of certainty. Right? And So for maybe to rule out every kind of certainty isn't quite fair. Don't we operate in relative certainty that... Well, if you put water in a glass view are relatively certain that the water is going to stay in that class, that it's it's not gonna hold it.

Sure. Right, I we could really function very well if we didn't have relative certainty. But absolute certainty is a different level. We're in... That's right in the in the true self, there there's no need absolute with certainty. There simply is. Right. It's only in the aggregate. I guess the problem is really one of looking for absolute certainty in the relative. Right. Fine. And have what I was talking about, you know, if we keep looking for absolute certainty in the relative we're gonna keep being disappointed.

And it's just, you know, we have to accept that sooner later. But that that doesn't rule out the possibility of dirty that is and absolutely but it is has to be completely outside the relative, The mind generated the conceptual know, the dependent, they're causal determined to us, you know, that into that real why it's very nature is as none of the kind certainty that we would like to find out. So in the book that you're reading, what what did they have to? Or does he have to say about this? Can being a another scientist saying that, you know, you can stimulate parts the brain and get varying results and and...

Yes. Now as you can get long or feelings You can also get this transcend and deep sense of knowing. Okay. So. Now, there is a very interesting question, you know, that that's... And that is... May this would drive you were thinking about maybe with that books about. But this is one of those questions is the absolute that we are making reference to here the experience out the the mystic of of the buddha or enlightened beings. And and the question has been raised very bluntly. How do we know that's not just another brain function.

And if you could find the right place to stimulate in the brain, everybody would experience that. Which on the one hand, it attempts to really totally be value or we're doing. Right? That if if... Well, if you think about it that way but... And related to the, we don't have time to go into this right now. We could talk more about it afterwards, but there is Well, there is this recognition now that all of our perceptions are determined by our conditioning. And that therefore every experience we have is a product of the kind of brain we have acting on the kind of conditioning, but what we have.

And really, very little more or other lived than that. And this has been this is something that is well developed now in modern philosophy, cognitive science, neuroscience. Or anything else. And there it is called construct, what says all of your perceptions, all of your experiences construct and says that without exception, every experience is a result of conditioning it's a sabrina acting on conditioning. Or even even the brain is projection, but they're saying that it is essentially different kinds of conditioning interacting groups every experience.

And the challenge to that has been is the mystical experience. Is or being a cyclical. If there's such a thing. Has an experience, it actually transcend the condition that sound condition. And what's interesting, if you look at the history of of all mystical spirituality. They're talking about achieving the condition. That about going beyond conceptual. You know so the the be and and this those exist a debate as a matter of fact. I just... I picked up the guide to that conference last week of the consciousness.

What's what? What's that? Got. Is that what fault I thought it was the science of consciousness or something like that. Rick. There are actually some talks in that conference that we're touching on this the. So so that is something that's being addressed by the intelligence of our of our area, that that has car error that kind question. And Well back to certainty. Yes. And you say with certainty that there is an absolute certainty. But then on the other hand, if you it... If if you're if the Would you accept it if you could have...

If you could have the rest of your remaining existence. Played out in the kind of experience that Ib buddha would have. Or fully enlightened being. Would you... Would if if that were an option, would you be concerned with the question of well? Is this ultimately real to? And I I'm not stressing an answer. I just requested. Deserve and quote does or being down they're not. Instead going open much fun love eventually needs come more fun what's wrong everything. That's right. What's wrong was loving everything?

And maybe the answer is in in the experiential. I mean, what some of the people would say is if there's a party of brain you can simulate that makes you feel loved, then it's really any such thing as love. But experiential there definitely is. And I personally would choose to. Brought everything as opposed to all these certain things. Would it be nice to have on live or I felt starting and knowing all the time. And what I found in myself is and that immediately showed me my addiction don't no mind.

So to it? Don't a moment. Don't know what. Yeah. I think. Well Not really. I'm gonna this. I can see right. Understand interesting topic to continue back after we have meditate here. But Yes, there's an an issue of of certain data again miss for states that were after. This is actually in a sense, what buddha and promises and certain other spiritual path for the mystical nature. Promising. You're saying that any belief system and things that you take on faith, can still the need that we have. And spiritual leaders like the Dollar long has said, If you're religion tells your knee, then stick with your religion, with the weakness that's pointed out, is that if it's based on faith, it can be lost.

You know. And so what is being offered in certain kinds of spiritual paths like Buddhism and when to speak weight canadian work. Of the data or Sunday state or mystical christianity and things like this. Is an experience that carries with it, a level of certainty that is absolutely in immune to see that problem of being lost or discovering something new that blows it out in a lot than censorship. Yes. Dog. Beyond dogma. Yeah. Down, beyond dogma. Beyond the acceptance or something on the basis of of something others and totally convincing experience as well as satisfying the needs of the rational mind.

So totally convincing experience also requires a degree of interpretation Okay. That's right. This is where the construct comes in. You have this experience and then what makes you totally convinced is the way you interpret it afterwards? So yeah. Well, actually that. Interesting just skype, but I think you came here to meditate.

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