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Progressing on the path.


Q&A: How do I know I’m really making progress on the path?

Master Culadasa discusses how to notice our progress on the path to awakening in our daily lives.

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Student: How does one minimum mapped out is one note that one is progressing in being wakened without. Knowing that it's not your mind kind of shit, knowing that it's not your mind, but shit.

Culadasa: Okay. My first answer may seem almost facetious, but it's not, which is no matter what, my name is bullshit.

But if your mind is bullshitting you in the right way,

then you will experience a change in attitude towards yourself and towards other people. And towards the events that happen to you. It is a reflection of your deepening understanding of how, of the basic truths that you've been setting and that you've been reflecting on and that you've been penetrating into more deeply in your meditation.

It really is. And, until until a certain point.

It's still what your mind is doing, but it's your mind? What is happening is your mind is processing the same information and not coming up with quite the same result that it has in the past. And so the results that he's coming up with is allowing you to see things more clearly in a less attached, therefore, less suffering and also less Harmful way in terms of the impact on other people, because you're saying clearly you're not understanding to a degree that as a precinct over time that this isn't really the way that, that seems to me to be.

And with that clarity, you see your emotional reactions and you see your the words that are coming to mind to be spoken and actions that you feel impelled to to perform in a different way and seeing them in that different way. Another sign of the progress you make, is it seeing them in a different way?

Changes the impulse. And very often you don't speak those words or don't perform those actions are not in that way. And goes in your emotions instead of identifying, I don't know, wallowing for awhile and whatever your own ego state is you see it, you recognize it and you.

Let it be there and let it go away without it dominating you. That's how you tell now let's go back to the bullshitting here.

Do you have specifics on how your mind or a person's mind might be bullshitting you?

It feels like an argues with me for something that I actually know inside. Okay. So you are experiencing some push and pull of different parts of your mind and you're finding one part is much. You say something I already know. So there's some part that is much more grounded and stable and it's understanding.

And is that the part that corresponds to understanding the truth of the Dharma? That's really good. Because what comes before that is the same push and full, but so part of the dominant is a part that thinks things should be seen and reacted to in the same old way, like times complete with all of its suggested occasions and rationalizations and everything else.

So that's a really good sign. Now. Anything else?

Just makes me wonder what's next.

Well,

really what will happen next? And this is very important is that. As you see and understand these things more clearly, then that becomes more and more the automatic and spontaneous view that arises that time. You began at 10 intuitive level to. Perceive sayings and this more awakened and wise way.

You began to just spontaneously experience the fact that Oh, yes, this is empty too. Oh yes. This is my mind is making this happen to, and that just becomes more of your awareness. Most importantly, is that feeling within yourself of not being the self that is somewhat important, but feeling like I am a process, that's a part of this whole thing.

And I don't need to fight against it. I can just relax and, stop, struggling and be with it. That's what kind of amazed me. And this last experience I had with the house guests is that. Acting in the way that I usually do, I felt really detached from it. And then there was this little thing telling me that was not normal for me to be feeling that way, but there was a peacefulness in it and same time.

That was great release. Yes. And that's, that is that is not less to be expected. You're going to find yourself. Reflecting on your behaviors and your reactance, we'll that attitude of, wow, this isn't the way I used to react and wow, this isn't the way everybody else does. Or you see somebody else reacting and you say, oh, I used to do that.

I don't do that anymore. And that's really very good. Wonderful. Your mind can get carried away. You can say, oh, I'm changing. Oh, I know one was everything I'm awakened, and this will really get your guard down. It will be floating along on your own personal cloud nine and suddenly will happen.

It will knock you right off of your horse and in a way that's great because it makes you say, oh, maybe I've got more work to do. No, as a matter of fact, all of the problems that you encounter are really very beneficial when you reached the stage, that whenever you find yourself experiencing something, has a problem, challenging you.

And that way, when you've reached the stage that you say, wow, wait a minute. No, I don't have to, I don't have to go through this anymore. Then. That's very important from that point on every challenge you experienced is going to, it's trying to help you make a further step and it's to, you're going to have this opportunity to to reflect and say, okay, Intellectually I know better emotionally.

I don't. So then you have the opportunity to work on it and emotionally intuitively it's it's both, it's emotions, but your emotions really are a reflection of more unconscious ways. Your mind is evaluating circumstances. And when it happens, when they're in this negative way, it means that process is still read and clinging and attachment.

And so that's why it's producing the emotions and feelings that have this kind of negative flavor on as a general rule. Without question anytime there's a suffering. Even the slightest amount of suffering, it's like a big red light that comes on flashing. It says craving. You don't have to say no, I don't see any craving it, but it's there.

If you're experiencing suffering, Derek is craving. And that is, the instant you feel that, no craving is there and that's your opportunity to to examine yourself and say, okay, where is this coming to? Am I attached to

what you consider anger? Anger comes out of craving. Yeah. Craving is a craving. Includes both the positive aspect of desire, less greed follow signs and the negative act hatchback. Anger, hatred, annoyance, inpatients criticism, judgment, self criticism, self judgment. All of these things are they are a manifestation of our craving and essentially.

You can look at it this way, that when your emotions and your thought processes are about things being differently than the way they are, that is the essence of craving. That's wanting something that you don't have or wanting something that is not to be.


Automated transcription

Does one. Switch. How does one know that? One is progressing in being awakened without if I mean, knowing that it's not your mind kind of shit. Knowing that it's not your mind, but? Well. Well... Okay. My first answer may seem almost procedures, but it's not which just no matter what, you know mind bullshit here. Yeah. Okay. So But if your mind is bullshit sitting you in the right way, Then you will experience a change in attitude towards yourself. And towards other people and towards the events that happened to you.

It is a reflection of your deepening understanding of of the basic truths that you've been citing and that you've been reflecting on and that you've been penetrating into more deeply in your meditation. So I'm it really is and, you know, until... Until a certain point. It's still what your mind is doing. But your mind. What is happening is your mind processing the same information. And not coming up with quite the same result that it has in the past. And so the result that he's coming up with is allowing you to see things more clearly in a less attached therefore less suffering and also less harmful way in terms of the impact on other people.

Because you're you're seeing clearly you're understanding to a degree that is increasing over time that that this isn't really the way that that seems to me to be. And with that clarity you see You see your emotional reactions and you see you're the the the words that come to mind to be spoken and actions that you feel and tell to to to perform in a different way and seeing them in that different way. Another sign of the progress you make is it's seeing them in a different way. Changes changes the impulse.

And and very often you don't speak those words or don't perform those actions you're not in that way. And like i was in your emotions kind of instead of identifying them wall for a while and whatever your own ego state is. You you see it, you recognize it and you let let it be there in let it go away was without. Dominating you. That's how you tell. Now let's go back to the bull here. Do you have specifics on how Your mind person mine might be you. Well, it feels Like argues with me for something that I actually know inside.

Okay. So you are experiencing some push and pull of different parts of your in mind. And you're finding one part is much... You say something I already that was is on part that is much more grounded than stable and it's understanding. And is is that the part that corresponds to understanding trees of the dha? That's really good sign. Because what comes before that is the same push in pull. But the part the dominates is a part that thinks things should be seen and reacted to in the same old way. But comes complete with all of its justification and rationalization and everything else.

So that's a really good sign. Now anything else Just makes me wonder what's next. No. Well Really what will happen next is... And this is very, very important. Is that as you see and understand these things, more clearly, then that becomes more and more the automatic and spontaneous view that arises. That time, you begin at at an intuitive level to perceive things in this more weekend and and wise way. You begin to just spontaneously experience the fact that... this is empty too. Oh, yes. This my mind.

Is making this happen too. You know, and that just becomes more of your awareness. Most importantly, is that feeling within yourself of of not not being the self that is so unimportant, but feeling like like, I'm am a process that's a part of this whole thing. And and so I don't need to fight against it. I can just relax and and, you know, stop struggling and and be with it. So... Well, that's what kind of amaze me and this last experience I had with the house guest is I wasn't acting in the way that I usually do.

I felt really detached from it. And then there was this little thing telling me that that was not normal. For me to be feeling that way. Mh. You know But there was a peaceful in it the same time that was great release. Yes. And that that is that is last to be expected. You're going to find yourself reflecting on your behaviors and your react, you know, will sort of that attitude. Wow, this isn't the way I used to react. And... Wow, this isn't the way everybody else does or you see somebody else reacting and you say, oh, I used to do.

I don't do that anymore. Mh. Know and that's really that's really very good. Wonderful. Your mind can get carried away. You know, you can say, oh, well, I'm changing. Oh, well. I know I'm one with everything? I I'm awake weekend. You know, and this will... This will really get your guard down. He'll be floating along on your own personal cloud nine. And something will happen and it will knock you right off of your host. And in anyway, that's great. Because it makes you say oh, Maybe i've got more work do.

You know, there's a matter In fact. All of the problems that you encounter are really very beneficial. When you reach the stage that whenever you find yourself experiencing company has a problem, you know, challenging you in that way. When you reached the stage you say, wow, wait a minute. You know I don't have to Don't have to go through this anymore. Then then that's very important. From that point on every challenge you experience is going to, you know, it's going to help you make a further step.

It's good if you're going to power this opportunity to to reflect and say, okay. Intellectually, I know better emotionally I don't. So then you have the opportunity to work on it. Emotionally intuitively. It it's it's both I mean, some emotions, but your emotions really are a reflection of more unconscious ways that your mind is evaluating circumstances and when it happens when they're in this negative way, it it means that that process is still rooted and and cleaning and attachment And so that's why it's producing the emotions and feelings that have this kind of negative flavor.

As a general rule without question, anytime there's is suffering, even the slightest amount of suffering, it's like a big red light comes on flashing that says, craving craving craving. Say, no. I don't see any treatment, but it's there. If you're experiencing suffering, there is creating and that is, you know, the instant you feel that. You know. Craving is there. And that's your opportunity to to reflect to examine yourself and say, okay. Where is this coming to? Why am I attached to? Welcome okay.

Would you consider anger part of that gravy? Anger comes out of crazy. Yeah. Craving is craving includes both the positive aspect of desire last green all those things and the negative act aspect of of anger hatred, annoy in patients, criticism, judgment, self criticism, self judgment, all of these things are... They are manifestation of craving. And essentially you can look at it this way, that when your emotions and your thought processes are about things being differently than the way they are.

That is the essence of creating. That's wanting something that you don't have.

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