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Thread: The Mind

  1. #1

    The Mind

    Just a practice note. As my practice deepens I can definitely see how mind is and wow. At this point in my practice I am beginning to realize all the BS that I have been producing through my misunderstanding. Anyway, practice goes on. I can really say that at this moment I know something, vaguely, yet also I truly can say nothing at the moment, because I am also aware that I don't know. It comes and goes.

    Words should be spoken with awareness and understanding. No? I don't know. I have a vague comprehension that unless one is truly mindful, words can be nothing but a waste of digital space. And my mindfulness, as I discovered this morning, needs some work. Now I shut up.


  2. #2

    Re: The Mind

    Brother Will,

    I think I hear what you are saying.

    I am not sure why, but it makes me think of a quote from Wei Wu Wei:

    "There seem to two kinds of searchers: those who seek to make their ego something other than it is, i.e. holy, happy, unselfish (as though you could make a fish unfish), and those who understand that all such attempts are just gesticulation and play-acting, that there is only one thing that can be done, which is to disidentify themselves with the ego, by realizing its unreality, and by becoming aware of their eternal identity with pure being."

    I started on this path as the first type, and am slowly growing towards the second.


    Urug 8)

  3. #3

  4. #4

    reality and self as fiction

    This isn't worth another thread so I thought I'd just post it here, fwiw.
    I'm wondering if others have had a similar experience.
    I was reading the other night, fiction, Harry Potter, and when I put down the book I had this sense/awareness/thought that what I was seeing/expreiencing was as fictional/untrue as what I had been reading.

    We've probably all that that experience of not quite leaving a book we've been reading, but this was different. I wasn't still "in the book". I was pretty clear in what I was seeing. It just seemed that it wasn't all that "true".

    Anyway, it hasn't gone away. It's not as strong of a sense as before but is still there and has come to include "me". Maybe this is just the beginning of real non-attachment.

    Anyway, it has the same sort of anxiety about it as standing on a surface at some height (like a catwalk or fire escape) and looking down past my feet for a looooooooooooonnnnngg way to any surface.

    There's also a little enjoyment to it.

    Maybe my "chemical karma" of the 60s is finally coming due as I approach my 60s! :lol:

  5. #5

    Re: reality and self as fiction

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Niederfrank
    ... when I put down the book I had this sense/awareness/thought that what I was seeing/expreiencing was as fictional/untrue as what I had been reading. ...

    Anyway, it hasn't gone away. It's not as strong of a sense as before but is still there and has come to include "me". Maybe this is just the beginning of real non-attachment. ...
    Hi Don,

    Yes, most Buddhist philosophy reminds us that this world, and our sense of 'self' with it, is largely or wholly a fiction. How much of a fiction, and in what way, has been debated over the Buddhist millenia ... However, all Buddhists fundamentally agree that this life and universe, as we experience it, is substantially the manufacture of a human brain assigning labels, categorizations, judgments and the like, all mediated through the senses, to whatever is 'out there' (which is nothing 'out there', if you go with certain very solipsistic interpretations of the 'mind-only' school). That is one of the reasons that we 'just sit', dropping these labels, categorizations, judgments, etc. ... and I think that Koan centered Zazen has the same non-objective. Experiencing this during Zazen is natural (it is one of the many experiences of Zazen).

    On the other hand, this fictional story is my life ... it is the movie to which I have bought a ticket ... so I think I should sit through it until the end.

    Furthermore (and this is not made clear enough by some Buddhist teachers, I think), the fictions in our life are ABSOLUTELY REAL too. REAL through and through. How? They are just what they are. So, the cup of tea I am drinking now is, of course, just a complex interaction of atoms, my tongue, my brain cells and the like. In truth, there is no 'taste of tea' until there is a human tongue and human mind to create the experience. However, this drinking tea is a perfect act in and of itself, is really, perfectly just what it is ... nothing to add to it or take away. Phenomena are Truth. The same applies for everything else in your life, which is REAL REAL REAL ... all the while being a fiction. In fact, if the universe went to all the trouble of 'writing this character (me) into this movie (my life)', maybe there is some reason for the fiction. In fact, maybe the movie is the reality!! Not being sure, I just cut wood and fetch water (both imaginary too).

    Part of our dropping labels, I think, is to drop all thought of 'real/unreal', and just allow our lives to be what they are.

    Why this emphasis in our Practice in realizing that life is a fiction? There are many reasons, but one is this: When we realize how much of this life is mind-created, we realize how much freedom we have to 'rewrite' the story. When we realize that everything is really just-what-it-is, we also realize that there is nothing to add to our lives, nothing to take away.

    Gassho, Jundo (also a fiction ... but don't tell that to the tax office)

  6. #6
    Thank you, Jundo.
    Especially this,
    "we also realize that there is nothing to add to our lives, nothing to take away."
    I think my word for the week is "enough", "basta".

    fluffing the pillow, shaking the Etch-a-Sketch...

  7. #7
    "There is no mind, there is no body, there is no Buddha. There is
    no better, there is no worse. There is no master and there is no
    student; there is no giving, there is no receiving. What we think
    we see and feel is not real. All that is real is Emptiness. None
    of these seeming things really exists."

    Dokuon had been sitting quietly smoking his pipe, and saying
    nothing. Now he picked up his staff, and without warning gave
    Yamaoka a terrible whack. Yamaoka jumped up in anger.

    "Since none of these things really exists," said Dokuon, "and all
    is Emptiness, where does your anger come from? Think about it."
    Perhaps if I read more I would ask less! :lol:

  8. #8

    Fiction Wisdom

    Continuing from above, read this last night from the near-end of the last Harry Potter book.
    “Tell me one last thing,” said Harry, “Is this real? Or has this been happening inside my head?”
    Dumbledore beamed at him, and his voice sounded loud and stronrg in Harry’s ears even though the bright mist was descending again, obscuring his figure.
    “of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”

  9. #9
    Hi Wizard Don,

    The following is not as much fun as Harry Potter (I am so glad you are not like 99% of the adult Harry fans, who read it in secret), but I found a very nice post related to this topic on another Buddhist blog. (I am not sure of the proper manners for posting someone else's post, so I will just post it here):

    It is a common misconception (derived from practitioner's of zazen's best attempts to explain their practise) that there is a state of perfection attainable through the practise of zazen and the study of Buddhism. Notionally, the Buddha was a perfected being who had awoken to the state of reality and thus transcended the afflictions and suffering of the rest of humanity. It's difficult to shake this very attractive idea as an idea, it's propagated all over the world as 'Buddhism' after all. However the problem here is in the subtle interpretation and understanding in experience of this concept of transcendence.

    Afflictions and suffering are an intrinsic part of the real state of humanity thus the Buddha had awoken also to these. His transcendence was not deliverance, much less spiritual and much more real.

    Because we are averse to experiences we regard as unpleasant and gravitate towards experiences we regard as pleasant, the fact that the Buddha was not delivered from the painful, dirty and shameful aspects of life seems disappointing.

    In the West we want our 'spiritual' icons to be like Christ, that particular icon so firmly welded into our hearts and imagination. The Buddha's deliverance however wasn't hard won through crucifixion and his reward not delivered in heaven but was revealed in meditation, his deliverance an earthly one. This is like catnip to the me generation - no suffering, deliverance and reward on earth! Indeed many newcomers to Buddhism sense a positive change in their mentality, stress levels, relationships and physical wellbeing and some stop there, practising Buddhism as little more than a kind of take-it or leave-it self-help.

    But Buddhists believe that the Buddha awoke to the real state of experience, beyond it's names and description, beyond our unreliable feelings and concepts about it. He experienced this unnameable reality, all that we experience as human beings including all the unpleasantness but he was aware-to, intrinsically connected with all that he experienced. Perceiving that the notional world he'd generated was different from reality, fully experiencing that reality and understanding in experience that this clear state could be maintained by the middle way, he practised and taught this. Some choose to call this big consciousness or something like that, a boundless, expansive awareness that includes everything in experience as itself or 'thus-self' if that's not confusing.

    With this awareness of real experience he could not but practise for all of experience, it is impossible to practise for the betterment of a self that becomes difficult to identify as seperate in this context. This does not mean that the self 'vanishes' but merely that it is understood that the self as we conceive it, is a collection of concepts and unreliable reactions, instinct and feeling, artificially divided from experience, it's still us though, we still experience it and ourselves through the prism of all that unreliability.

    Reality however is us, it is always in motion at macro and microcosmic levels - balance in that activity allows us to wobble along the tightrope of existence as best we can, not with a notion of compassion and wisdom but actually as the substance of such terms itself which is quite simply not what we think it is. Maintaining and practising this state, there is no space for a conceptual self to march around doing 'good' or being 'mindful' but the very actual activity of wobbling along as best we can maintaining that bigger consciousness is what is meant by those words in the real world.

    Posted by Michael Kendo Tait at 6:19 AM
    Gassho, Jundodore

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