The Mind Illuminated archive

Cochise Stronghold 14 March 2010

Automated transcription

Well, we'll have a little talk here this morning about something or other. I can't wait to hear what. Does anyone have any ideas? Well, I have a little And it's one that you've already brought up a few weeks ago. Three weeks ago guess, ritual ritual, ritual or the lack of necessity. Well, the lack of necessity is because Ritual has no inherent power in itself. And so we certainly don't need there's no necessity for something that is just an empty form. But the value ritual is that it it can help to put us in a in a certain mind state to is that will be conducive and one way or another to what we really wanna be able to do.

And so That's the real value of it. Chanting something together helps to separated from our ordinary everyday worldly leak concerns. And click and and mark something to us as being at a time in place or something different. And in one way or another all of these different rituals do that sort of thing. Did you have any other thing in mind belts? I'd like to know why you are asking this question. Well, I I just... I mean, you must be thinking, you know, I've been thinking about it too. Well, I I have and I've been trying to study this philosophy or religion and and I find it.

The buddha didn't want you to really worship any day a here. And so I just trying to sort out, which is applicable for me actually. That's what I'm trying to sort out. I find it valuable. That's why I come here. That's why I go on Thursday. I mean, I sit at home. But I find the likeness mine shall, I say very beneficial for me. So that's why I come and enjoy it, but I don't know that it's actually necessary or something that I will continue to follow. I don't know that I can really embrace buddhism the way it needs to be embraced if you're going to practice it.

And, that's a very interesting question. You see I don't know if I can really embrace buddhism. The way it needs to be embraced if you're actually going to practice it. There's so much in that Like, what what is the way in which it needs to be embraced? I don't still well in order to actually practice it. Mh. Because Buddhism has changed an awful a lot since the time the person we called the buddha. Mh. And as many different forms of it? And embracing a lot of those forms is no different than embracing any other religions.

And practicing it and those times is know, different back to any other religion. Which case you do need to embrace it in a particular way to practice it in particular Did you need to ask yourself for question? Does this say anything at all to do with what the person we call The buddha was trying to teach and trying to find out. And that's that's what I think is the important thing. Someone needs a religion. Basically, the Dolly lam said, Go for one year grew up. I've always avoided religion. Right.

I I can understand that. But then it doesn't really matter what religion a person embraces the question is, does it might come when you want to, and willing to go beyond religion. And that's what I feel like that's the first point at which you start to really practice buddhism not in the sense of all of these things that carry the labeled buddhism. But what sid art to the time, you know, and we call him the buddha, which means the awakened one. And religious buddhism is more buddhism. It's the it's the ism of the the guy that looks like the pitch the statues.

Right? But on the other hand, if you remember that Buddha is not a really a name although what we user it like it is. Buddha means one who is awakened. Then Buddhism and then doesn't mean the ism of that guy. It means it means that the practice of becoming awakened. But there is of becoming awakened weekend. And to do that, you have to leave all that other stuff behind. It's more a question of what you have to let go of to practice that form rather what you have to embrace to practice? So... And really, the practice of Buddhism is it's about letting go of things.

Mh. It's about practicing discernment. And seeing and understanding things as they really are. And then when you understand things as they really are, then you can value them in a different way. And then the then it becomes the process of letting go of those things that stand in your way. And appreciating those things for their own contribution to your experience as being a human being in the world. One of the things that's come up often recently, Annie he's been listening to the recording and brought it up this morning all these people asking about carmen, because that's not one of the things you have to embrace.

For the true buddha. It's one of the things you have to embrace your religious buddhism. Hangs you have to let go of your true throughput as. Rebirth. And true isn't is something that happens to you every moment. It's not about. But happens at the time of the death of this body. And Karma is about how we are the results of our own thoughts and intentions. And how when we realize that life becomes a creative process it's not about accepting that everything that happens to me as a result of something that somebody who I was at I don't number.

A long time ago, you know, and that I have to behave in a particular rate and being good because otherwise somebody who won't even remember being made is gonna experience and some unknown future. Because those aren't helpful. As a matter fact... The reason you have to let go of them. I mean, you can hold on to them. There's nothing wrong with holding on to them since everything empty anyway. Except that both of these ideas make you attached to the one basic thing that keeps us in imprisoned, which is the the belief that we are the sacred itself.

And And so both the idea that rebirth taken in the wrong way and Carmel understood in a simplistic way. If you owe those ideas in your mind, they they make they they make the walls of your present stronger. What we need to do is to break out the prison of this perceived separate itself. And be liberated and free and able to be totally present. Discover true nature in a true nature reality and and and to become an expression of our own buddha nature. The true The truth of lies behind Karma is that absolutely everything is interconnected and interdependent.

And the real truth behind. The idea of rebirth is that we're not the separate banks that we experienced our ourselves has. And our nature definitely isn't this temporary constantly changing dependent mind that we experienced on a daily basis and the self that we imagine we are. And it's such a good thing that it's not it would be shame if that's how we were. At least once we're able to see what the true nature of that is. And to to realize that we are much much more than that. Coming back to the ritual thing, what is it in us that say likes to hear the bell?

Mh. Likes to come in here and see candles and mh flowers and things like this. Or smell beautiful smell. I mean, it seems to be kind of a human thing that for from ages. Mh. Is this... Where does this come from? You know? I mean, there there's a certain thing about ritual and and doing things in a certain way that puts you into in a in a in a different state of mind as she said earlier. But I wonder it it seems kind of empty not to have it to me because I And and at the same time, I'm I'm wondering about it too, you know, what what is the meaning of it that there's a there's a a pleasure in the things like candles, chanting, beautiful art Mh.

And flowers and all all the that stuff it goes with this that deem to go with higher nature of humans but I you know, I I don't it it seems Like, I'm I'm a little bit like you. I'm have done a lot of the ritual part of Buddhism. And I'm at the point now of of some of it not making any sense to me. Anymore and, you know, what part do I wanna keep and, you know, like, the idea before you start meditating and making everything clean in your place and and being able to sit down about a lot of disorder around, but have having focus on on certain things that would be like ritual.

Sort of things. I looked at my my altar or one morning and looked at looked like it was like, a bunch of kids toys. Mh. And and then there are other times I can look at it, and there's a special light coming on the Buddhist space and stuff, and it's like... Oh, there's magic going on here. Mh. So I I don't know... I'm not even asking you a question. I'm just, you know, carrying on. Not Well i I I agree with you that the sound of the bell is really. That having candles on an, it's it's a really nice thing.

Probably if nobody ever redundant it before the first time we saw that we'd like it because what why that's thing? That in touches something inside his You're gonna take the bell. I like sound bell. I like I like the sound. You know? I I think Not everybody does. For the most of is do, we like the sound bit of a bell. But there's also something else to that I think people always have kinds of sale sounds that for whatever reason we find them beautiful, and we enjoy them bells one of them. And so for as long as people have been able to create things, like bills who would make beautiful sounds.

They've used them in particular ways. Of in ringing the bell, I feel a connection tell all of those people throughout history, who used the bill to call each other together, you know, to pursue and whatever way. Of whatever belief systems or or whatever they have. That that little flame inside, but that seeks something something higher or something beyond something more noble and and pure. Than what makes up their everyday life. So, you know, to me ringing the bell before we come in here, it really type touches into that.

I feel. You know, it's like the the sound just doesn't reverb in a canyon. And it goes back through all these centuries in Millennia as long as people had bills, you know, and and not just bills it has a same. No I... The other thing that I love is very interesting is, you know, the Japanese know so to the attention, it it it is really a connection beyond it's part of in a subtle way, it's it is a breaking king out of that prison of self separate self. And connecting to all of that. So In a you what I think is a more genuine sense.

It could say it's the collective karma human beings that that produces the sense of enjoyment that I get from hearing the bell and ringing the bells. It me there's another piece to it also so? It's not just separating the pro from the sacred. But it also immediately seems to bring in a sense of humility. Mh. And and and through that humility that sense of humidity the sense of self becomes something different. It doesn't become me. It becomes that's when I get more of a separation stellar. But you can.

Yes. I I know what you mean. Yes. That's right. You know? And even... I was thinking while you're talking. The separation of the sacred and the per profane. But it's not even there really two different things. It's that we just let go that stuff that we walked up with for, you know, and We let the pro... We let the profane become sacred. Yeah. I'm I'm wondering if we as beings need this ritual in order to shift our concentration from the everyday night. Yeah. Into something different. And that may be the the sad rules and the who really have given up the status of self in an enormous way don't need that.

But we whilst we are working towards that might need in order get. Yeah. It doesn't ritual set us apart make is separate from the home. I think it doesn't my understanding for myself is that it doesn't separate me from the people or the community who participating in the ritual, but it separates me from the mundane things that keep me and tiny down to the world. To the to the false reality. And what it does will need when I come into a come the sun up is it in fact connects me to the people around me makes more towards the understanding of collective than individual.

That's that's how that's the experience that I have of it. It depends on how you use the rich book. It's not in the power is not in the ritual and the effect that it produced is not in the ritual. Because after all, you know, Football players use rituals for before they by game. And the Nazis used all time rituals and all kinds of people all over the world, use Rituals not always in the most way. Most of religions have their own. And there is an element of religions. It's a very sad thing about religions is that they do...

They do create separation. And so there is an aspect of we come to do... We come together and we perform a ritual which unites us that at the same time it separates us from and os sizes all of those who don't belong to. You know. So so it's it's all and what we do it. In getting back to sound. Mh. Think ritual was up here and sound under Underneath and what when I've been listening to what's being said, it reminded me of my first experience in the that loads of the drum. And like the sound of the Bell.

And what you were talking about how connect you for me. It's... I don't know if humbling the right word or not to me. It's more like an opening. Mh. Connects me to everything, and it just brings me to to my heart and the connection with all humanity, kind of what you're said movements I think sound. It's like clear. Don't even have words to describe. Yeah. So amazing. And I've I've been in a lot of silence in what I've been doing last. Couple of weeks and being in the sound of nature. No and silence.

And quiet when you're out there is like so powerful because it has a sound It's just amazing. Yes. I mean, I could just sit down out there in some of the places that I've been and forever never get up. Because it's really feeds and nourish I think I I agree with you sound. It it has a very primal caller. I ritual is so much more hideous and intellectual like purpose it's just something is big sound. And things like inc and candles are more at that, you know, the during the level of the senses at are really fundamental basic level.

And as it's the universal personality of it is obvious, I mean, we... Here's we know. But all human beings like these things, but isn't amazing that almost anywhere ego go even you know, you go to the jungles of South America and they use they used fire and they used the burn scented things and things like part of the bridge. So it is a very united fit. Doesn't really get separating until you get up to a little more heavy intellectual kind of level of ritual. Think it's like what I heard you bring with us to bay.

Common sense of who we all. Within... The stuff that that we think we it brings us to a common foundational. One. Mh. But in the basic thing, it also shifts you into a different part of your brain and mh. My you know, like the drumming and like the the bells and all those things. And the candles even you you go into a different conscious a different part of your consciousness. So that that that truly it is helpful to me. Mh. Yes. Yes. But if you're just doing it without I mean, if you're just doing it in a rope sort of way, because that's the way you're supposed to do it, then it doesn't make that shift.

So a lot of it is. I think, you know, how you use it? What what what you're what you're how you're putting yourself into a preparation for meditation in a way it's very good preparation for meditation of it it has been for me in the past. Sounds some music and some sounds have very for me anyway, a very spiritual one about it where you can really just kind of feel the the one does cher she might be. Yeah. She's a a navajo. I listening trying to love her, but but she puts me into that. I think it's kind of the.

But also, the buddha he talked about the... A certain stage of realization of realizing that you know, Rich mh. Right how much charles weren't, you know that they can talk about that? Well, yeah. That is one of the that's one of the shutters that falls away when with stream entry with achieving the first stage of enlightenment. Together with the attachment to the view of a personal cell being real. Is is realizing that rules, rights and rituals have no power of their own. You know, and know, it's interesting when you get to the place where you know that.

It's hard to remember to what degree you used to be attached to the magic of bright schools and rituals and they agree to which everyone else is. Even people to, you know, how do we educated people who claim that they don't believe believe in magic it'll all still have all kinds of rituals if they do that you So it is it is a major advancement and in the development of wisdom when you get to the point where And and it's it's part of what's called realizing emptiness. When you realize the rituals, all ritual are empty.

They're are only what your mind makes of them. They have absolutely no power how's their home. They are completely totally empty. And then Then you can use rituals far more effectively. You will never waste your time going through motions of ritual, because she just makes my sense. Instead if you're going to do it, You're going to use it as as as the tool as an instrument. It says wait. Kind takes us back to what you were talking about before there. You know? Within these religious forms of buddhism, there are people who do to kinda awaken.

And for them, you know, they know the emptiness said ritual, but they can still embrace it and use it. What it really is, you know, it's it is an instrument for them to shift their mental state and to help shift the mental state i was better around that with absolutely no illusions that it is easy of there's an entirely empty. I'm reading this book only about happy to and this called the eight path to abe. Maybe you that. And I really am enjoying it so far, but it it is so practical for me. Mh. you know, this is really great stuff.

And it's not anything different than the other things that you're reading, but it doesn't have all the kinda rhetoric with it. It's it's very... Here it is. And I guess it doesn't matter as long as you to much you feel like you need to do for your for your... Oh, I don't tim like but that's a little legal i think for me at point, but but for me to look my life the way I would like to live it. Mh. I don't think it's ego it to circle at all for you think care about him enlightenment... I mean, the idea of my enlightenment man you're in enlightened my...

That's where the ego. Becomes involved. Mh. And if you if you follow the process, which is a really good thing to do, then that does have to fall away and I we won't long away. But yes, i i which I don't know they... It's it's a written by a month from just gonna listen a monastery in Virginia. Mh. I don't... I probably couldn't even pronounce. His name actually. I don't remember what is but it's part. The eight the eight full path to happiness. Mh. Well, and that's the thing. That's what the told past is.

Mh. The force. Noble truth is the full path. And it is a path to the end of suffering. And to happiness. That's really interesting about the Buddha own presentation and I was teaching his, you know, that he said, I don't teach mattis. I don't teach any of this. And first since then you have all of these other buddhist that came later, and that's all the they talk about is kinda conversation. But he said I don't teach by the food. All I teach is the is is suffering and the end of suffering. The path that leads to what's the happiness liberation and happiness But then as he expands it, it's obvious that, yes, but the only way that you can achieve this end of suffering and this happiness, is through overcoming the delusion that your caught in.

And so you get wisdom sort of as a bonus has the frosting in the cherry on king. Right. So but that's that's what the eight volt taxes is temp to happiness. And I think it's really good to always keep that in mind that that we want and end to suffer, not just for ourselves, but for everyone around this. And So it is it's very relevant. And you you mentioned that it was what interests me is that he especially as you mentioned that it was free of all the usual rhetoric and I I I take from that, you know, all of the...

All of the other stuff that really comes from other cultures. I think that's an interesting thing that's happening in buddhism. Buddhism as it comes to the west. It arrived package with all of his cultural stuff. Which belonged to not culture but a different delta. And you see everywhere buddhism has gone. Has got a completely different collection of cultural stuff for this in China or Japan or out or Southeast Asia wherever wherever it is. It has all this stuff that really belongs to that culture doesn't belong to us.

As come to North America. And a lot of North Americans have been drawn to it and it's and and the basic teachings of the buddha resonate with us. But since it arrived in that package, there is this need to embrace to tibetan buddhism or embrace Zen. You know, and and that's what he said that you're not sure you could ever do that. But Steven ba has written some books and, you know, the his most recent one is confession at the Buddhist State. And wrote buddhism without belief. And there are more and more people starting to teach buddhism in the rest and who are moving from all of this accretion that doesn't really it doesn't belong to the original teachings of the buddha and it isn't really a part of our culture in our society.

And know, like I said, and he commented on the in the last few weeks both on Thursday nights and sundays, more and more questions about Karma and rebirth. Because that is something that has never been a part of our our western mindset. And it's so it keeps being a stumbling block for people. You know, they dedicate themselves a study buddhism and for many years, they do their best to accept all this. And then, you know, they get to the point where there's some parts here that this now makes make sense.

How do you reconcile this this literal rein version of re rebirth? With the buddha is most fundamental teaching in those cell. It just doesn't fit. Right? And and as happened as this last Thursday night. How can we ever do anything new? How can we become enlightened if. Absolutely, everything that happens to us as a result of Carmen. Just one to one. You do This kind of thing you get exactly this kind of result, if that was true, Well, you could never change anything. You could never do anything You could never home my.

And this is what's happening. More and more is that people have embraced the whole thing enough to begin to really appreciate and understand the depth of where it offers are starting to see well is parts of this that just don't seem to belong. And of course we'll probably add our own parts to have belong tube. But as long as we take the recording teaching of the buddha, the path enlightenment met, and we are able to understand that and make use of that. And that's what's most important. I do find it very interesting that in in the different places where buddhism has developed such a thick layer of culture that includes other religious police.

That while the notion of enlightenment still exists, it's something that's almost una attainable. You can become writing down a hundred thousand life lifetimes. You know, our hot are, rare, you know, maybe one and a thousand years nowadays. Not like the old days. Yeah. Like this. And I think I think that is the confession of these religious cultural forms of re that they have lost the corps that they have lost the right because the teaching of the buddha himself we thousands and thousands of people to enlightenment men, you know, the stuff that.

And so when we have delivery to our shores the form with buddhism comes along with the promise that if you're really lucky in a hundred thousand lifetimes, this will pay you off. You had say, look, I think the machine broken and needs an oil change at the very least. So then that's what we need to work on. That's what we need to bring about. If we look at our online, you know we we've had many layers of life just in one life. Yes. Absolutely yeah right. I think that's what we're really talking about.

It is Deep in eaten. Yes. We continue to grow any balls. And we... I mean... It's how I speak. I maybe it's how you speak to you know, i I speak to my previous or incarnation like, background in Canada. You know, I did this in another argument incarnation, and that was thirty years ago. But what I am is a result of what I did in those other imp incarnation. So I mean, it has tremendous validity if you don't this this size it, if you don't make it into something know then it becomes really powerful and and deepens defense our understanding and our appreciation.

It seems really simple to me that what's really important is how we respond to our experience Mh. That's what I heard using last night when I was listening. To some of the talks. Yeah. That really... I mean, simplify simplify simplify, and then then we can realize. That's right. The most important thing is in the present moment in the eternal present moment. It is what you do with what arises in this moment. That's the most important thing. I mean, that's for all intents and purposes, that's the only thing.

And that's what all of these other things come back down to when you look at them. You know, I'm sure if you as you... I don't know. If we were to look at that book that you're mentioning there, you know, how do you follow the a path to make yourself happy? It has all to do? With how you respond to what happens in the present moment has it as it's unfolding? You find out over ec cartel he's not a buddhist, but that's what he said. That's. Really bill. Yeah. And this there's Every in California, Adi s, and if it listen to his talks, He does his radio thing you're saying the same thing.

Mh. You know. We all we all have the potential to the enlightenment. And to be enlightened is to be relieved of that burden of vein. So the other thing that happens in these cultural along religious forms of buddhism, Not only is there a huge amount of ritual and not only is there a lot of doctrine, but is complicated and difficult to make sense of in which if you're going to be that kind of buddhist, you feel like you'd have have to find a way to accept and embrace it. But you also find it's filled with people who are supposedly enlightened with are manifesting about as much ego as you're likely to see anywhere.

Okay. Yeah And who create and the system may long it creates the expectation. That everybody is going to be, you know, acknowledging their superiority over all the rest of us. Enlightened spiritual. The buddha wasn't. Now he was an amazing individual people gave him enormous respect. But he never, you know, we make statues in it now, but he actually said, I don't want to prove predict did be that. Don't ever do that. Really. You feel don't do that. Gotcha. He don't make statues of me and worship me after I'm gone.

U, Yeah. But I think it's all alright. You know, I I think it's so. I that. I think it's alright then we do. I think it serves as a great reminder to us. You know. It's like the the cross. That it's... You... Anybody could recognize just the form of a buddha. It's a symbol Yeah. Of something that people... I mean, from everywhere, yeah. Recognize. That's the buddha. You know know saying about anything about it or not and people who have not the shredded of knowledge or about buddha. Love booty images and they buy them to put in their gardens and they in and.

Yeah. So what is that? That's really unusual something about that shape they really like and they also life the shapes across. You know, or jesus hanging on the cross either either way, those two symbols. Or end garden. That's very tranquil. Peaceful. Well, it's... We're not as separate as we think we are. We can't help that take of all of the all of the humanity that has appreciated what those things symbolize, you know, it's we we resonate with it. We're not isolated i'm and separated from it.

As completely as we think we are No. I I I sometimes thought that how is it? That we can relate so readily to stories of experience, who a cheap and totally totally different situations. And but we can and we have that ability to empathize and sympathize and deal compassion for and sympathetic joy with everything else circumstances and times in places and kinds of events and peoples that are totally remote from anything we've ever experience herself. Then I I think that too is it's an expression of the connectedness and, you know, Carl jung called the collective unconscious.

Let me talk about the archetypes and things like that. And Whatever terms we might end up describing that in terms of. It is a reality. It is something that we all experience. There is a collective unconscious, but binds us together. All on that... Real quick. And then you go into thought, thought as energy and thought is tele and actually. I think it has. Mh. You read in in some of those things that been reading about buddha and that. To monitor your thoughts because they carry an impact also. Mh.

And That's very interesting we talk about the collective consciousness. With that part that would have to d. Yeah. Yes. You know, we have no question that As far as the material world goes, the footprints we leave behind are there for others to see. And yet, it seems to us as though everything that happens in here is not forever. Lock up in here and separate. It's it can't be. It just can't be You know we talk about rituals and beliefs, but as a child, I was told you know that my grandmother died very young very young.

So she was my best friend. It would my grandmother died. I was told that she was watching me, that everything I did she was paying attention to. And so, you know, I couldn't steal something. Guess my grandmother was watching. And mh it was actually, you know, when I think about Karma and stuff i... Or whatever. You know, I feel like you know, just that idea that that there wasn't this locked away thing because I believe that No plato. Oh, here. Good. And, you know, I I feel like that. Really actually helped me because I started being very very honest and and here's what never like Take at a very early age.

It was like, I saw other people stealing and lying and stuff I thought. So I feel like oh my gosh, you know, that was kind of... You know, you know, so happy that's the That'll be. And that's very similar isn't on it to the idea that God knows every side. Yeah. And and that can be a very helpful thing. I am making you be honest with yourself, as you you're imagining that there is this other line that you can't deceive then you have to be honest yourself. And I suppose the same thing if you imagine there was a omniscient buddha to delivery or whatever.

It's it's a it's an aid it's we both. Remember Santa claus, They're good okay How to watch out. But then we output outgrow santa claus and and then we get got a place for you say of God knows every thought. He obviously doesn't care very much.

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