Stronghold 22 May 2011
A Transcript is available here.
this an opportunity for us to talk about issues concerning meditation or ga times. We may have on our mind do not be clear belts phone. Please I invite you to think about questions that might out of comments you might like to make. And good morning too. For So yes, have anything like What do you do in the situation where someone... Was she barely hadn't new contact bill and i've making the mistaken morning to, you know, yeah works situation we are giving them something like. That that person takes it...
This severe dislike to move to the point of being really vicious But you don't you'd really have had almost no contact with them. Right. What do you do in a situation like that? Okay. So this a more general situation, what do you do whatever do something that takes the dislike for. But in the particular situation you're asking about it. I think what you're saying is because you have hardly any contact really I think that you know that you put dining. Yeah. So so the obvious thing which you might first think of jan, I is Well, whatever I done to offend this person, let me try undo do it...
It's a lot harder to do and yeah that situation. So what are your thoughts on? I mean, is... I know did you have to do something? Well. I never reacted to the person's tit rates and actually, it got to the point where other people were criticizing her in the way she was yeah. And I I wasn't angry with him. I thought that The only thing I could think of was if something has to be bothering her had never are aware you know, it but there was no way for me to offer for or to to to even offer consolation.
In the situation, so I didn't really know what to do. Yeah. But you're already doing the most important thing. But says you're not reacting becoming angry you're not getting into any kind of negative space as results. That's the most important that already doing there. And so really, what's left is is there anything you can do for this person? And That's as much of an answer as I can give you without nine the details of this situation it is it definitely maintain. Your own attitude to patience and just understanding and compassion and non.
And then if there is any opportunity to to ease this person's on unhappy sent do so I guess in time that boy think that the can't it's fair. Then It's kinda of what it is. Yeah. Kind of but end of our general sense. The same thing would apply the most important thing is, you know, is This... This was really every situation you're presented with. Exactly the same thing. Is true. No matter or whether it's a good and positive situation or nothing. Or something negative or hurtful or involved like getting person is to look at your own reactions and like not get into any sort about natural states about it.
So that's always the most important thing. And then when it's something that involves somebody else, and then comes the compassion of the patient's, the understanding and seeing what there is that you can do. One brain. And sometimes there's not anything that you do. That's that's just way is. By you and the most you could do is avoid further the person. So like tried to avoid contact as much as I could because I felt, like, it just needs their upsetting her. Yeah. I don't wanna contribute. That you haven't been able to talk to earlier.
Doesn't seem like the d able was been? No. This was some time ago, that get the funny thing was that other people started criticizing her and taking task for the way she was treating me. That is often what happens especially. It doesn't happen if you react. But if you don't react somebody's like they're... That's very seems to be very commonly the outcome is that other people say? This special fix. So i you think of that as being, you know, your respective hardness. Couldn't car. Because she makes bad car.
Do you get hear themselves he get started? Would you like to see people in pain? Yes. When you see people in pain, that you want to be able to do that can't. Off constellation, which in this case, we couldn't do that as a Yeah Yes. Sometimes there's something you can do about someone's pain that you can be compassionate and offer cancellation. Yeah. No. At least that much. Although if they see you as the because of the pain they, we're not gonna accept your consultation. So all i can tell and they have any practice related questions?
Practice that you're doing how it's going? Why? What supposed to accomplish. Right is or doesn't accomplishing that. What the John is actually intending? To accomplish. I know that you go through the stages. What is the jonathan or attending things but... Yeah. I know the stages of the john and each one has a different kind of flavor to it. Yeah. What is the... Why is the progression? How is it supposed to work Well, likely way to look at those Genres as, those different stages is that they're like.
They're like a section of the mind. Like their dissection of present moment experience where you're peeling off successive of layers and seeing more deeply into the nature of mind and what's happening in present moment. So that's the actual structure of the Job themselves. K? There are... You can enter into join this from i pay lighter or a deeper degree of concentration John by the race absorption if you're not familiar with that. Parties smelling no. Yeah. It's a very powerful a single pointed absorption with a particular object.
Allows us you to enter into a a very new unique state line. And You can enter John from different degrees and concentrations. So just light John and there's deep. And the in the deepest tone, the first layer you're peeling off is basically all text external since for the awareness. So that all of your dealing with from that point is the mine. And you have you have a mental object that you're using for your meditation in that first persona. And because of the absorption itself, there is very strong joy happiness growth.
Return to different things, which most people don't recognize this two different things, but one the things that John's do is illustrate to your quite hills straight way your mind work, you come understand what's difference. There's just two different things involved and what seems to be single phenomenon twenty happiness. Anyway, in the in the first john you have a mental object and your attention is doing what what you normally do with the attention that it is being directed towards out object and on that object.
It is actually how you enter into the obstruction. But the subsequent On is, at least in in most forms of doing the time. You do away with meditation object. And so the next layer this being peeled off is that later of conscious intentional directed activity. And what it's replaced with is just and expansive awareness of the line itself. And if you heard called, from a tibetan tradition. Well, actually from the Northern navy tradition went into that. But that is actually that is the practice of John.
And here open expansive awareness, of mind itself. And in that and and that particular pie can go ahead and allow. Thoughts some sensations to recur and then you observe them not as something separate from the line. Something that's a part of the line to compare the mind to the the the mind and absence of these things to line president certainly Yeah in the more traditional form the older form of John practice. To just let go of the process of attending to have this open awareness of the line. And use the the joy happiness of the present.
And has your understanding of them through observation improves, you're able to let go of the joy, which is in that state. And have just happiness. So that's the next level dissection and as you practice in that level of Jonah then you understand the nature of the feeling and happiness. And you're able to work with it in such a way that you abandoned in favor of a a a powerful act entity. And so in the fourth china in in the level. You dissect all these other turned out you're in the state of just consciousness of the mind itself independent.
Mental states and independent felix. Our abs sales and beneficiaries you've gone, but when you've gone beyond Joy and Grief happy estimate. Same pleasure joanne Agreed. And also this is this state has put on i'll be characterized price right really not. A brilliant. Consciousness and self aware conscious thing. The subject when John continue the process of the dissection in the mine. I probably don't need go into them in detail. But this is the idea. Now both both and the Bah form of it and in the progress with John partner another.
The original question is what's the purpose of it. So this is what it is. It's says process of dissect experience and trying to understand its nature and its components and even being work and set one things i another purpose of that is insight. So that kinda leaves us to the next special. So what is inside? Right. Well, insight, but we have ordinary kinds of insights all the time where through cumulative experience of certain highs that will dawn a profound understanding that we didn't have before And it's not an an intellectual level of Oh, it's this than that, how that must be the way that.
It's not that kind of thing. It's just... What we normally call insight is a a kind of intuitive understanding that suddenly arises from a very deep place. And the cousins of its intuitive nature as comes from a deep place. It has the ability to influence the way we see things. Right? That's the way that's the way intuition works. You can't ignore your intuition just there. It's going to affect your perception. And even Mundane ordinary. Are coming from this utility role of understanding And they have these...
They are they are the result of experience. Kind of experience that makes it the prem. Alters the way you understand that. That's that's what an ordinary insight is. And Intuitive understanding can't be either accurate or false. I suppose you realize that. Right? Some people don't realize that. And they hate have any intuition about something or must be true. But our intuitive understanding of the world, is false and it's the problem. And we've talked about that before and you believe that I am this center cell.
And as this a world is the way it appears to me. And the only way I can be happy and avoid suffering to manipulate that world. That's our intuitive understanding that we begin with. That is really the cause of all of our problems and all the problems we make for everyone else around us. So when we talk about insight, in in meditation and and and sense the da. We're talking about something that similar to ordinary insight in that it is a profound intuitive understanding that is arrived at through experience.
But the target of that understanding is very specifically to undo false intuition that's the basis of how we perceive the world. At how we behave. And traditionally, the insights are described as being insight into the three characteristics human existence. Which are basically the on each imp, which is really not just that things don't last because that's that's something that we already understand, But it's really... That there are no things. There is only process. There is only change. And buying in order to be able to work with the process that we are part to device the world to things.
And access all those things are real, but they're not really. They're just process is all totally interconnected. And so insight into... It's usually described as insight anti permanent, but you would see in imp isn't really capturing the side. But the first characteristic of everything is that everything is changed. There is... It... But it this there is nothing but change. Thing thing is an illusion. When you have that insight, that comes from experiences. Of different kinds that really imprint upon you deeply that in fact, my mind is just making this appearance cut state objects.
That that there really is no such thing. And when that when that understanding reaches the deep level and and it becomes intuitive of dollars, then it changes the way that you see everything. And so you have... That's that's That's a super name insight into the first and the characteristics of existing. The second characteristic is that all all phenomena are devoid of self nature closely related these themes. Only the projections of the mind on the the reality lies behind that. And the insight into imp helps us to realize that everything that we see is this nature.
But we can still cling to the idea that we are the exception high and a self. I am this precious stream of consciousness. That is something about me that's real substantial i you know. And and so the second characteristic is that is ana. Self, which is realizing that just has nothing else in this world pass cell or always as sometimes, but just as everything else is empty. So So is the self empty. And so that's profound. Insight. When when you have a cumulative of series of experiences that put you face to face with that reality, it's going to have the effect of becoming a deep into his knowledge and you stop experiencing.
Your self has the real thing that you have always that your intuitive mind has already already. As always assumed it to today and may it appear to be. And then the third characteristic that the third insight is that only suffering can result from the belief. That things that there are things very exist that i am the cell. And that the only path power suffering is to completely overcome. That was ill mistake. So so that's the traditional prison present presentation. Hand inside is inside into through three characteristics.
And improvements everything has changed. No self. Self, but I think right, you know, this vision. And that clinging to things as real and myself as real as only gonna cross suffering. And so always cross surfing, will always cause certain. And right drove that cleaning as the path to to pre proliferation. Those are the classic insights. And What they really are if you think about them, they're probably having the the ignorance to underlies all of our perceptions. What they to is, you know, they are transforming in themselves but as you know, you can have an insight into something.
You can. But you can't always necessarily sustain that. Right. So you you need to all of these insights leave coalesce us into a single clear comprehensive understanding and when that happens. Then you know, then you have to achieve the first degree first stage duration. The purpose of the John practice is to achieve that kind heavy insight. This has a purpose code the mono accuracy. And just as the purpose of meditation from inter tradition. That's okay actually this underlies all medication. Ultimately ultimate purpose model meditation is to achieve the super Monday insight to the degree that it comes together and you.
Have liberating the culmination okay. What caused you ask the question? because professor through the children's, because I've been practicing to see you John's mh. But I wasn't thrilled clear on exactly... I understand what's happening. Okay. I didn't quite understand are was supposed to need to as you as you make the progression. Yeah. Well, what one way of of describing where the John are supposed to lead to and this might be helpful to keep in mind is that All all form patients. All... Yeah.
All informations we use that. As a word... Mental any kind then. You think about a your come collision that well, all formations are actually mental so you could say all mental foundations. But would just you all firm patients. All formations are constantly in the beta flex. So that's the insight and intensive. And all four patients are associated with suffering in some way or not And so in these practices how of the Job it's a very interesting thing that if you practice the first donna up, the way you're supposed to for a while without rushing to the second and the third.
You'll reach a place where you're distinctly dissatisfied with a meditation experience that when you first achieved it seemed so incredibly wonderful. Then when you move on to the second a your practice, so you'll come exactly the same place that. This is really... you know, it's gotta be something better than this since saving on. Take john. And so this this is you just kinda do that. All formations are dissatisfaction. Some extremely so in the art of suffering and some suddenly, so but ultimately our call factory.
And then as you're going through these some, you're also going to be I mean the the mind and our consciousness, this is what we tend to claim to. If we started thinking about what who like. What am I who am i? Who is this so? You know, and you sort try not this and i'm not that. Not my body and. Yeah. Right. Think on my mind. And if you examine that and say, well, you look at the mind closely tossed scientists out and, you say, yeah, but behind this consciousness, that that's my true self. And The only way you'll ever know that's not true is is when you get the state's going beyond that but in this process and practicing the job.
And essentially, discarding all these aspects of your mind, it becomes really clear. You know, it's like peeling the layers off the but the last layer gone, there's nothing left. There's no there's no essence of onion mean lying in the center that has been. Characterizing all layers all this time. And so all I'll done on this. Okay so. I've all Done part silk. But domino's in that sense refers to mental experience all phenomena all experiential phenomenon of any kind of the most high or of the lowest sort or anything in between.
Are all ultimately devoid of this poor of any kind of self nature. So all not this far. Find talking but now so. So that's that's where... And and it's good to have that in mind and you're practicing which i then then you know where you're going in or more likely to hit the right play. And important part of the John practice, because especially the first several john how they are associated with very supplying... Well first of all, lose the joy that's been intense exciting. You know, and then there's the happiness, which is more serene and volume and then there's the entity and tranquility, which is even more sublime still, But an important part of that process is noticing the inevitable tendency, you can't...
There's no point trying not to have this happen. Never tendency for your mind to clean to the pleasant that's asap. So you don't try to stop it from happening. You try to you don't try you just be aware of it. And you be aware of how that dynamic changes over time? Where you go from bringing to what seems precious to dissatisfaction. And you will he will and you practice the On. Go through a period where there will be attachment to the pleasure and some people would have you believe that well that's the dangerous you're saying that's why you shouldn't practice china's because get a cash pleasure.
But this the whole point he did like i'm attached to the pleasure. You can observe it and come out the other side. So it's the path i understand. It sounds like you're saying there is nothing. That theory is not... Well, yeah, so easy for it to sound like that. And that is such unfortunate thing because you know, the the two extremes that when we speak to this being the little way, the two extremes are on the one hand, believing that harry exists and I just. And then the other hand leaving that nothing can't exists.
And they're both... They're both tragic mistakes because I don't know what extremely bleeding I you exist and everything helps exist really way it appears to you. Put you in the state of constantly try to struggling with a world that, you know, you can't ever really succeed. It's always gonna be true and they're gonna get by very least. They have lots of troubles handle between. And of course the other extreme is a kind of realism which is very terribly destructive. Although have it can seem rather liberty, but if it meets this a very terrible thing.
Because everything loses. It's me nothing has needed if nothing exists. You know, it at first, can't save like, how of relief and sometimes does. But longer you stay in that place, so nihilism, the more desolate and despair to experience the reality becomes. But not saying that there's nothing the opposite is true. And that's... That is the hardest thing to understand is that there is everything. There no thin. There is. No thing. There is no separation. The ultimate nature that we would like to be able is this described has such, completely un differentiated as described as F this does not mean that nothing exist.
It means that no exists. Different. So it's described as Nirvana, and all of these different words are trying to trying to convey the nature ultimate reality, which our relationship to is holistic in in the sense that we are in every part of it and every part of it is in cost. And the the we that we speak of is it bears the same relationship to such. That the wave does to the ocean and to try to sweep away the waves so that you can see the water. Is the the mistake that we can't. Make. And so even...
So one one problem that we have to is people say, oh, there's it's not that there's nothing it's terry and they in their mind. This becomes this homogeneous putting of existence, you know, everything's all. One, but that's ignoring the fact that inherent in the nature of such is the appearance of diversity and multiple which is as much a apart of the nature of such knife. As is is all this homeless holistic it's in alright. That's much a... As as much as that as this nature. So is this appearance of diversity that we struggle with.
And So it's not that it's not that nothing exists. It's that. It's not that there is nothing because that there is everything. And when you lose yourself, you gain everything. But it's not that you would become. And this is where analog called down. It's not the unity unique count. Immersed in this in this vast putting of existence and being as you know, like a drop of water washed in the ocean. You know, you are out the nature of water, which is the nature of the ocean. But. The diversity separate is a part of that total reality.
So it's not a putting of land everything the same either. If even work do well. Maybe i talk about the heart sutra comment on it, because it's it's so interesting to. Weird... Yeah. No Well, yes, that's. That's a very profound expression. Exactly talking about. No. I know here. No Body no knows no time. Nothing to see. I mean to hear and i field, I get a sense. For is acting emptiness and enhancing is support. That's exactly what we're talking about. Is probably the most elegant attempt that I know of to express what as we're talking about.
But unfortunately, it's so easy to at heart conversation and say, oh, i need not use. That's not the idea. But there is nothing. But... It's interesting to look at your own experience. And when does it consist of? And if you do that, there's a series of insights that lead up to the big sites that I talked about. And one of the first ones of about is to look at your own mind and look at your own experience as you do in meditation. And you see that your experience consists of two kinds of advance.
One is sensations and the other is maxwell dance. Thoughts and images and motions all last. And look as hard as you will, you won't find anything else. Where is the world? Well the world is actually a mental construct that mind has generated based on sensations but you can't get you can't really get beyond the sensation. Have you're there's a includes your it's not just the world but your body. There's body, by which you experienced these sensations you see you feel all of these other things? Git is also out the same nature of everything else.
There is there are sensations and on the basis of those sensations. The mine deposits the existence of a lot of a particular shape size characteristics with particular kinds of sense right you. But they're really an high is that really in here. Well, think about how you go about the signing. You can't see your own ear, but your hear things. You could see you the field on here can put you can use your hand which you believe is real. To deal something, which seems to be real. But what is really...
What was just sensation? How do those sensations and you're you're constructing the idea of the hand and touches and here, your Eyes see other the people and you see, and part of the envision images formed as ears. But lot of line if you take it down, there's nothing but sensation so there's nothing natural or patients. That try to make sense of all these sensation. So that's it. That's that's way sort of the beginning level basic insight is that all my experience consist of sensations and the name ru form Group companies form.
And usually, we think of that as being material universe and materiality and the body and so forth. First insight as you realize form is nothing but sensations. And everything else developed for is a con mine, which is No. So Not the rip. So non is worth the light generates to explain root the sensations that otherwise can't account for it. That's the first... That's the first tense right. So right there, you have there's no eye no here. No. Nobody. No no. The reality is that that if you have this insight, then you hear the lights from the right sutra.
It doesn't mean that there's nothing it's... Yeah. I know what that means. Is is that my experience is made up of mental activities trying to explain these sensations that I keep experiencing. To feedback. All neurological. It's a whole barrel yeah. That's see other the really interesting thing about it if this, you know, with Western science, we examined as of I the mind is just the stuff that the brain does and the brain is just all throw herself, things like that. But we take those back the other way it will.
Our mind, the idea of brains and they're selling god is still just the mind trying to explain since station. Yeah. With a different with a different kind of mind we might interpret both sensations differently as something that doesn't give resemble but brain in ourselves and go forth, but we're so comfortable with assuming is the I underlying. Anybody you have anything they want to say or ask her comment adam? I just did you find this discussion helpful and you knew it? Yes. Yeah. Especially for a unit?
How about for? Not beginners so Yes. Well, i'm. Thank you you. Okay. Well, let's take a break before we sit he might need to use the Restroom and I we you a little bit. So give ourselves about ten minutes, and then now let kinda back we'll we'll sit for forty five minutes. But hey. So sit for forty five minutes, then we'll do half an hour walk and then we'll do another sip that they will be somewhere between half hour forty five minutes depending on factors.