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?
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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.