The Mind Illuminated archive

Behind the Veil


Q&A: What is Behind the Veil

How can meditation help us know that we are not self-existent ourselves, just like everything out there?

Master Culadasa discusses the process of getting behind the veil. “Everything you are doing is trying to create enough equanimty so the mind will cease for a moment its endless creation of the world.”

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Student: The big question is how can meditation help us know that we're not self existing ourselves, as well as everything out there.

Culadasa: You see the way that it can, because by as we develop concentration and mindful awareness, we can start observing what's happening as it's happening. And when we do that, where you start to notice that.

Was that there, isn't the kind of self that we think there is. We'll start to notice that I can't think of a very different way to say it, but we started to notice. If you're saying, there's just saying there's no, there's really nobody doing the scene. And the self, the sear is something that gets introduced afterwards. And when your mind is focused well enough and your habit of mindfulness is strong enough and you observe what's happening.

If you find that experience unfolds in this and this marvelous light conscious experience and that

you see that happening. And then you see, after that you see the idea of a cell arising and appropriating the experience to itself, then you realize it's just another idea. Another way that it happens when you're sitting in meditation, is it becomes very clear to you. That your life is a stream of conscious experiences.

And there's only two kinds of objects of consciousness, which are sensations and novel objects. And he realized that the self is just another metal object, but it rises every now and then. And then another thing that you observed if you have trained your mind and you are observing what's happening.

Your intentions that all along this idea, you had to find deciding this and I doing this and I'm wanting this and my feeling this, and I'm thinking this, you start to observe no

pipe and decide this decision just came up from the invisible recesses of my mind. And it's obviously the result of my previous condition. There's no, I deciding this and you see the same thing with your impulses to action or speech and your intention. You'll see, just rising by themselves, out of the line, out of something invisible place of the mind, and then at that point, even, if you're looking for the self at that point, he said gee, if there is a sale, it must be hidden in that bar back around. But I can't see because. The conscious the consciousness that is observing the intention arising didn't create the intention.

And not only that, the consciousness that's observing there is an intention to see that actually it's coming out of causes and conditions. It's coming out of past experiences. And so you began to suspect maybe there isn't even some mysterious self in the background of the mind period in these intentions, they are just simply coming out of faster experience with, so these are the ways in which you can begin to realize that.

The kind of self, but we believe we have, and it just doesn't exist. And this right, what I've just talked to you about is our natural senses is there must be a self because somebody is experiencing mass and there must be a self because somebodies deciding to do it. And so it's really powerful when you're making.

Is clear enough and focused well on. And the other thing about this, let me just make it clear is we're not putting ourselves into some fantasy state of mind where we see something that we expect that we're going to read this on. Teachers told us we're going to see. We're just simply making armor.

Stable and making our mind powerful in its perception. And it's exactly the same stability, clarity, and power that we can observe. Anything else where they, when we observe our own mind with, we find this that, Hey, there is no need and all of this for an experience or the experience just happens and there's no need in here for a decider and to do it because it happens.

And then we look at where it comes from and. Not from any kind of self, but from causes and conditions. And so that's how meditation allows us to do is what we've had to look. If we don't look, we won't find, and it really helps to have some guidance in where to look and how to look in how long and how long ago this.

It seems to me, this is a very long, you have to spend a lot of time in meditation in order for, to get that to that state.

How long has found you see, you have to create the right conditions and the mind that he'd begin with. Already, you arrive in the moment of taking up the practice with a lot of past conditioning. Okay. And then from that more moment forward, you are undoing old conditioning and you are creating nutrients.

So it will partly depend on what kind of conditioning we arrived with, but it will hugely depend on how diligent you are in the process of creating the right conditions to actually see and understand. And also whether you're doing it properly, because you can be very diligent and put a lot of time and energy into.

But if you're not doing it the right way, it will take an awful lot laundry to happen, so that's an important part of it too, how long it takes. It does not have to take a long time. It actually does not have to pay for a long time and it can happen. It can happen at almost any time if the conditions are right.

To see that the self that we think we are is just something that our mind is making out because our mind needs to make up the idea of a cell in order to function in the world. And. And so when we realize that it's not something that's real, it's not an inner ego, God that we need to keep, hang over reasons to them.

Then we are Leonard liberated to a large degree. So it's creating a condition so that we can see that likewise creating the conditions so that we can see what we experienced as external reality for what it really. See it, that this is as much a creation of the mind as the self is. And it serves exactly the same purpose as the cell.

It's a way for the mind to organize sensory experience, to make sense of it and to and to function and act. But the other conditions that are important. The ultimate saying is to take this understanding and with that as a foundation to to go beyond these or to recognize that the south is an illusion to recognize that the way we perceive the world is an illusion is one thing.

But the other thing is to have some experience of what lies behind dealers and that has its own unique set of characters. There is our mind is constantly regenerating appearances constantly so quickly that we can't see what lies behind those appearances. The only thing that will cause the mind to pause and its creation of these projections is for the mind itself to develop.

I very powerful.

Equanimity, let me put this in another way. If we look at why the, why is the mind creating these appearance? So it's it, the mind is is driven to create the appearing of appearances by an internal logic. That internal logic is one that Not only sees its own appearances as being real, but assigns value to them.

It's the fact that the mind assigns value to its own projections and its own construct that keeps the mind, churning them out when we develop or when the mind develops equanimity towards its own projections, then it becomes. Less prone to continue. So the seriously and the creation, and that's what we're looking for is to create a strong enough sense of equanimity that the mind pauses.

And then when the last image fades away, then there is the reality that lies beyond, and the mind will resentments projection shortly thereafter. If that's all we need, is that one. Behind the curtain. It's not all we need. We need to be able to go back and take again and again, after it's turned back into the world of appearances and the mind thinks to itself what was that?

And it makes up a story about it. And we need to go back and look again to undermine the news story, and it gets more and more refined. So where does equanimity come from? If you develop. Deep state sort of concentration and mindfulness, and you sit in meditation, then a part of what develops is equanimity.

One of the results is that when you get up and hear back out in the world and you experience a lot less craving, a lot less desire and aversion. And so you had an in the fee of summertime but in the scene, the, into the emptiness of sayings and the emptiness of. They'll also produces an acronym.

Acronymity the more deeply we understand, and if we cultivate the habit of reminding ourselves that things are empty and seeing if we can realize how to recognize it, when my mind's just making it look that way, if we do that often enough. And if we also, when we. Ourselves at attaching to emotions or attaching to two goals or projecting actions or things like that.

If we can train ourselves to remember what we've already discovered that wow, that feels like I'm doing it. That's just coming from some deep conditioning. There is no self. This is another way the mind acquires equanimity is through inside your knowledge. And when you begin to see that if I attach to this impulse that arises and say, I am such and carry out an action and in response to it, I do such and such because I want such and see that those things are only creating.

This is where mindfulness comes in your advisement, doing this all the time. And although it's a conscious mind, it hasn't put together, Hey, and be, to discover that it equals C and the truth that you want to condition your mind to discover for itself is that these things are spent doing are not producing the result with things that's called.

They're producing a different kind of result, and it's just contributing to the endless cycle of dissatisfaction and frustration and temporary pleasure instead of grasping after more and more. When you see this, when you see this, I should say, when your mind sees this, when as a result of your practice, this mind, the very mind was doing the projection of all of these appearances also begins to understand.

Sort of mindful that these are illusions and, but pursuing them is just causing a happiness that creates a very powerful that clinic. So the condition that you're trying to create, what all of this adds up to in the end, that's another way you could simplify prescription practice is everything you're doing is trying to create, and that's at clinic.

So that the mind will cease for a moment. And it's seemingly endless creation of a world in a particular way. And the effect of that is to give that very same mind, hugely different piece of information to. And it takes a while for it to process it too, which is why, as I say, indeed, you need to go back and look beyond the veil.

More than once in order to really get the full effect, but to produce the kind of change that needs to happen.


Automated transcription

The big question is, how can meditation help us know that brenda self ourselves. As well as everything out there. Well, you see, the way they it can because by... As we develop concentration and mindful awareness, we can start observing what's happening as it's happening. And when we do that, we'll start to notice that because that there isn't the kind of itself that we think there is. We'll start to notice that I can't think of a very different way to say it. But we start to notice that what you're saying is just saying.

There's there's no... This really nobody doing the scene and the the the self to see is something that gets introduced afterwards. And when your mind is is focused well and enough. And and and your habit mindfulness is strong, you know. And you observe what's happening, you you find that experience unfolds in this in this marvelous light of conscious experience. And stat. You see that happening. And then you see after that, you see the idea of the cell arising and app the experience. Itself. And you realize it's just another idea.

Another way that it happens when you're sitting in meditation, is it becomes very clear to you that that your life is a stream of conscious experiences and there's only two kinds of objects of consciousness which are sensations, and medical objects. And he realize that the itself is just another natural object, but rice is early now in them And then another thing that you observe, if if you have trained your mind and you are observing, what's happening is that your attachments. That all along this idea you had that I'm deciding this and I'm doing this and I'm lying this and that and and I'm feeling this and I'm taking this.

You start to observe the well, no. How can decide this. This decision just came up. From the invisible recesses of my mind that is obviously the result of my previous conditioning. There's not i deciding this. And you see the same thing with your impulses to action or speech in your intention. You'll see. It's surprising. Find themselves out of the line, out of some invisible places in the mind, you know, and And and and then at that point, even you if you're looking for the self, at that point, you say, well, gee, if there is a cell, you must be hidden in that bird, but I can't see, because certainly, the conscious the consciousness that is observing the intention arising.

Didn't create the intention. And not only that, the consciousness is observing, there is intention to say that actually, it's coming out of causes and conditions. It's coming out the past experiences. And so you begin to suspect, maybe there isn't even some mysterious cell in the back of the mind creating these intentions, they are just simply coming out of past experiences. So these are ways in which you can begin to realize that the kind of self, that we believe we have. And it just doesn't exist.

And this right, what I've just talked to you about is is our natural sense is is there must be self because somebody is experiencing it saying this. And their must be self because somebody is deciding to do it. And and so it's really powerful when your mine is is clear enough and focused well enough. And the other thing about this. Let me just make it clear. We're not putting ourself into some fantasy state of mind where we see something that we expect that we're going to this on teachers told us we're line to see.

We're just simply making our mind stable and making our mind powerful in s perception, and it's exactly the same stability clarity and power that we can observe anything else where that when we observe our own mind with, we find this that Hey There is no need in all this for an experienced or. The experience just happens. And there's no need in here for a decided on do. Because it happens. And then we look at where it comes from and it comes not from any kind of stuff but from causes and conditions.

And so that's how meditation allows us to do. But we've had look if we don't look, we won't find. You know. And it really helps to have some guidance and we're look and how to work. And how long how long do look? For this this... It seems to me this is very long, you have to spend a lot of time in meditation in order for to get that to that state. Well, How long you spend? You see you you have to create the right conditions. And the mind that he begin with, already, you know, you arrive in the enrollment of of of taking up the practice with a lot of past condition.

Okay? And then from that more moment forward, you are you are undoing old condition. And you are creating new conditions. So it will partly depend on what kind of conditioning we arrive with. But it will hugely depend on how diligent you are in the process of creating the right conditions to actually see and understand and also whether you're doing it properly because you can be very diligent put a lot of time and energy into it. But if you're not doing it in in the right way, will take an awful lot longer to happen, you know.

So so that's an important part of it too. How long it takes and does not have to take a long time. It actually, it actually does not have to take a long time. And it can happen It can happen at almost any time because the conditions are right. To see that the self that we think we are is just something that Our mine is making out because our our mind needs to make up the idea of a cell in order to function in the world. Right? And and so when we realize that it's not something that's real, it's not an inner ego god that we need to keep, you know, hang reasons to them.

Then we literally into into a large degree. So it's creating a condition so that we can see that. Likewise, creating a condition so that we can see what we experience as external reality. For what it really is. See it. That this is as much a creation of the mine as the cell is. Answer exactly the same purpose as the cell. It's a way for the line to organize sensory experience, to make sense of it and to and function and act But the other conditions that are important, the the ultimate thing is to take this understanding.

K. With that as a foundation to to go beyond these two, recognize that the south is illusion to recognize that the way we perceive the world, there's an illusion is one thing. But the other thing is to have some experience of what lies behind the. And that has its own unique set character for sick. There's our mind is constantly regenerating appearances constantly. So quickly, that we can't see what lies behind those appearances. The only thing that will cause the line to pause and its creation of these projections is for the mind itself to develop a very, very powerful entity.

Let me put this in another way. If look at why the why is the line hit creating these appearances? The line is is driven to create the appearing appearances by an internal logic. That internal logic is one that not only sees its own appearances as as being real. But assign to value to them. It's the fact that the mine assigns value to its own projections and its own construct. That keeps the line churning them out. When we develop or when the mind develops e towards its own projections. Then it becomes less prone to continue so in the creation.

And that's what we're looking for is to create the strong enough sense entity that the mine pauses. And then when the last image fades away then there is the reality that lies beyond. And the bind its projection. Shortly there thereafter. That's all we need is that one peak behind the curtain. Well it's not all we need we need to be able to go back and think again again. You know, after come back into the world of appearances and the mind thinks to itself. Well, what was that and it makes up a story about it.

And we need to go back and look again to undermine the new story. You know, i and I guess more and more refine. So where does the come from? Well, if you develop deep states or concentration and mindfulness, and you sit in meditation, then part of what develops is e. One of the results is that they you get up and your back out in the world and your experience a lot less a lot us desire version. And so you have the ac in the fee of summertime. Adam but in the scene into to the anti of things of self, that also produces an.

More deeply we understand, you know, and if we cultivate the habit of reminding ourselves that things are empty and and and seeing if we can realize how you recognize if Well My mind just making it look that way. If we do that often enough, And if we also when we find ourselves it attaching to emotions or attaching to to goals or projecting actions or things like that. If we can train ourselves to remember what we already a discovery that, well that feels like I'm doing. That's just coming from some deep conditioning.

There is no so. So this is this is another rate the mind acquire at is through inside knowledge ended. When you be in to see the well if I attached to this impulse that arises, and say I am such and such and carry out an action and response to it. And I do such and such because I want such such. And and see that those things are only creating suffering. This where mindfulness comes in. Your mind's been doing this all time. And although it's a conscious mind, it hasn't put together a and b, you know, to discover the equal c.

And and the truth that you want, you want to condition your line to Discover for itself, is it these things that's been doing are not producing the result with things that's going to. They're put producing a different kind of result and it's just contributing to endless cycle of this section frustration and temporary pleasure and so grasping and more important. When you see this, you see this, I should say when your mind sees this. When as it result for your practice, this mine, the very mind what's doing the projection of all these appearances.

Also, begins to understand through mindfulness that these these are illusions and that pursuing them is it is is just causing happiness. That creates a very powerful. So the condition that you're trying to create what all of this adds up to in the hand. That's another way you could simplify description and the practice is everything you're doing, is trying to create enough chat. So that the mind will cease for a moment and it's seemingly endless creation of a a world and particular way. And the effect of that is to give that very same line hugely different piece of information to process.

And takes a lot of for to process it too... Which is why as i say, you need you need to go back and kinda look down the layout.

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