10 Oct 2012

Teaching pt1: Alan begins his commentary on the section on mindfulness of the mind in Ch. 13 of Shantideva’s Compendium of Practices. Where is the mind that becomes attached, hateful, or deluded? It has no location, basis, or form. The mind is not seen by any of the buddhas. The mind is like an illusion because it apprehends events with unreal projections. Even though one looks for the mind everywhere, it is not to be found. This means it is unobservable which means it doesn’t arise in the 3 times which means it transcends the 3 times which means it is neither existent nor non-existent. The same holds for rigpa which is beyond conceptualization.
Meditation: Mindfulness of the mind preceded by settling the mind. 

1) settling the mind. Let your eyes be open with a vacant gaze. Turning away from the 5 sensory domains, direct your attention to the mental domain. Observe the space of the mind and all mental events arising therein illuminated by awareness holding its own ground. Sustain the flow of mindfulness without distraction, without grasping.

2) mindfulness of the mind. Is there any stable or unchanging? Are mental events intrisically the source of happiness or suffering? Is there anything here which is intrinsically mine? Is there anything here that is really mind? Is it anywhere to be found? Mind that is nowhere to be found nor has any attributes is empty. Rest in the emptiness of your own mind.
Teaching pt2: Paranormal abilities are cited as the 4 legs of miraculous activity attained within the first yoga of single-pointedness.
Q1. What is the difference between the space of the mind when it’s still and awareness of awareness? There is nothing there in either, so can we speak of vacuity? Is it transparent and spacious? 

Q2. How long does it take to get to each stage in shamatha and maintain it? Once shamatha has been attained, how to maintain it?

Q3. In awareness of awareness, do the eyes focus on the space before us?

Q4. How can we relate to others experiencing the wrath of samsara? 

Q5. In the 4 immeasurables, the visualization and aspiration require effort and don’t work when I’m relaxed.

Meditation starts at 31:15

Download (MP3 / 53 MB)

Transcript

Teaching pt 1:

This afternoon we return to the close application of mindfulness to the mind so clearly a vipashyana practice and the parallel once again is very, very strong with Tibetan medicine practice by a lung real master and that is:

If the patient is very frail or has some very serious illnesses that take the energy then and all of that, then the system, the person’s body, the whole system will not be able to probably assimilate or benefit from really strong medicine, it just won’t be able to take the impact, so therefore very gentle medicines are given that don’t have that deep an impact, not really powerful medicines, but they make a little bit help and then gradually they nourish the system, they strengthen the system, a bit more balance and then he gives strong medicine. This way a tradition of a Tibetan doctor one I lived with a quite long time, meet with his patient once every week and each time brand new fresh diagnosis by seeing the urine, the pulse, questioning and so forth and then week by week if the healing process is going well, then you see one medicine change, there are usually three medicines, one medicine change and another one will change, gradually given stronger and stronger medicines until eventually hopefully a complete cure is brought about.

(2:11) It is very similar here and that is we start just learning how to breathe, that’s not going to purify or eradicate any mental affliction to its root, but learning how to breathe, learning how to settle body, speech and mind in the natural state is anything but trivial and a lot of you I think now experienced that in eight weeks where we learn this is what like to breathe, this is what like to have the body, the mind at rest and so forth with clarity and then this whole domain of shamatha. Of course everybody knows, no matter how good you are at it if you become the world expert, it won’t eradicate a single mental affliction not even one but it does make some pretty formidable obscurations go dormant so it is almost like hibernating in which case then you can bring a much strong medicine and of course that’s vipashyana. And if that’s working if that does its work and it’s really more attenuating the mental afflictions getting to pretty deep level, and you just keeping moving right on you can bring in, for example, one route very developmental state of generation and completion, very, very powerful. Or in another route or you can do both complementary and that is going right into Dzogchen, or Mahamudra (Great Seal), as we have seen and this goes right down to the core, the ultimate ground of awareness and the deepest medicine there is.

(3:30) And so this vipashyana really is intended as we see in some many text, Shantideva makes it is clear in both of his great treatise that this vipashyana; the cultivation of the perfection of wisdom is really intended for those who have already made their mind serviceable so it is not at all to imply, he doesn’t imply and I have not have heard a teacher say – don’t start it until after you have achieved shamatha, way too straight. I have never heard one teacher and I had a lot of teachings over 42 years but not one said – oh no, don’t touch it until you achieve shamatha. At the same time all the classic teachings say - but the time when you can really fully benefit from it. And then of course what is the whole point of vipashyana methodologically is to have that total fusion, union of shamatha and vipashyana.

(4:18) So we saw earlier here from Rabten Rimpoche’s commentary to the Mahamudra teachings on small stage of yoga single pointedness, the first one is getting that shamatha, rather a nature of awareness and then immediately apply it to vipashyana and above all vipashyana right to the nature of the mind and that’s where we are going now. So it is good to sow seeds.

As I mentioned, I think it was Jochin asking about receiving Vajriyana empowerment, that’s beyond vipashyana, that’s beyond cultivation of Bodhicitta but according to all my teachers without exception, within the Tibetan tradition, all of them say go ahead and sow the seed. When you feel you’re ripe, you’d like to, the faith is there, go ahead and sow the seeds and then as you’re doing the groundwork, the only problem is if you don’t do the groundwork and you keep on doing the facsimiles you can do those indefinitely you’ll never do the work they’re designed to do and you’re not laying the groundwork. Then you have a lot of good mental imprints. That’s about it, which is certainly something but when you consider there really is a path here right within arms reach, then why not go for it.

(5:20) So we turn now to Ṣikśasamuccaya the Compendium of Practices by Shantideva. We covered the close applications of mindfulness to the feelings, we turn now to his presentation and of course he is really primarily is citing sutras one after another. This one’s quite formidable. The close application of mindfulness to the mind is discussed in the Ratnacūḍa Sūtra, so here now the Buddha is speaking:

Instructions for one that is reading this transcript: below it is being written each part of the text read by Alan followed by Alan’s comments about each part that was read.

Text: “Consider this, ‘While thoroughly experiencing the mind,”

(6:28) thoroughly experiencing the mind, - how would you go about doing that? Gee, maybe settling the mind would be a good way. There you are just attending to whatever comes up, the space of the mind, subjective impulses, objective appearances, that is pretty thorough, when you get very custom to it, you see, ok, like a plantation owner, standing up on the hill and looking out over his whole plantation - ok, that is all of it, I’ve seen it, and he’ll say “that is my whole plantation” and what is not saying is you mean that tree or you mean that piece of dirt or you mean that rock, you mean the borders. He is not doing ontological analysis, right? He is not saying ‘I thought I had a plantation but I guess I don’t after all, why did I spend so much money on it?’

So there is this phase - you’re looking out over the plantation and you say: where is your plantation? It is right over there, you can see there is the border that is my plantation. And you leave it right there, in Tibetan it is called: “don’t investigate, don’t analyze” just, you’ve said something true – that’s my plantation, that’s my neighbor’s plantation, there’s my other neighbor’s plantation, that’s my plantation. True, leave it right there within this cognitive frame of reference, that’s enough and you should know where the borders are. Good borders, good fences and all that make good neighbors and so forth.

(8:01) And likewise with the mind, in the Gelugpa tradition they ‘call this settling the mind in its natural state’, [Alan mentioned the name of settling the mind in its natural state and one of the words in Tibetan is] “shine”, shamatha, which means focus on the mind. So when we are doing this, we are not saying, ok, which one is the mind, which one is the mind? We are saying, no, I am looking at the space of the mind whatever, and that it is as good as gets for observing the mind, that is what we call observing the mind. I am looking over Cassia, I am looking at her face and, yes, I am, there’s Cassia’s face. But which part of the face is her face? Her nose, her mouth, her hair and so forth. No, we’re not doing that, no, “matamache” (in Tibetan) there she is and we leave there, then if you want to probe into, ok, does she exist from her own side, then you are bringing in the vipashyana.

So it‘s very important to see, there is the face which has its legitimacy, it’s truth, it’s conventional truth, a relative truth, but it is a truth and it’s never negated - this is the actual point, the crucial point, it is never negated by the ultimate analysis. Direct realization of emptiness does not say, wow, I was ever wrong before when I thought that’s Cassia right over there, she is still right over there, even after you realize emptiness, there are still a sentient beings and there still suffering and as far as their concerned, they’re caught up in what an awakened person would call a non-lucid dream, and for them, they’re calling ‘reality’ because that is as good as gets.

(9:22) So when thoroughly experiencing the mind, then you can see it is just a perfect platform, the shamatha platform is ‘settling the mind in its natural state’ and maybe bringing in a bit of ‘awareness of awareness’.

So now we continue:

Text: ‘While thoroughly experiencing the mind, what are those minds that become attached, or hateful, or deluded?

So here it is, we’ll often say that, I’m just tormented by my mind, I am depressed, and anxious, my mind it fitful, my mind is restless and so forth. And so the mind also becomes dominated by these three root poisons, but then he says: ‘what are those minds?’ So now we are going into this ontological analysis which we’re probing in.

Text: Do they arise in the past, future, or present?

(10:04) Now clearly this really has a power to it, a power to transform, a power to deconstruct your experience of your own mind, even only if you actually apply this to your own experience of your own mind and don’t just think about somebody else’s mind and then write an article or win a debate, ok?

So these minds, sometimes the mind feels full of craving, attachment and so forth, other times malevolent, hostile, aggressive, hateful, other time is dopey, deluded, stupid and so forth.

So do they arise in the past, future or present? Any mind that is past has vanished so it cannot be that

Text: Any mind that is past has vanished.

Vanish, means it is not there anymore.

Text: Whatever is in the future has not come.

So you do not have to worry about that.

Text: Whatever arises in the present does not last.

So when your mind does become dominated by any of the mental afflictions probe right into that way, posing this kind of questions, see if you can find that mind that by its own nature really is attached, hostile , delusional, see if you can find it.

Text: Kāśyapa, the mind is not found to be present inside, or outside, or both inside and outside.

“Inside” of your body for example or outside or both inside and outside, nowhere to be found in space.

Text: Kāśyapa, the mind is formless, undemonstrable, intangible, devoid of a basis, invisible, unknowable, and without any location.

Kāśyapa, the mind is formless, undemonstrable, which means you cannot point to and say, ah…You cannot do that, you cannot say, oh, there is. The mind is formless, indemonstrable, intangible, devoid of a basis, so this whole, this is why sometimes I get such, how would say, passion arising when I hear these heavy, heavy terms, like “this is the underlined neural mechanism of the mind” as if they found really the basis of the mind and all they found is the correlates. So I say ‘wait a minute, wait a minute’ that is what he is saying here: “it has no basis, correlations to neural activities of course, I mean the Buddhist literature doesn’t talk about neural correlates but it certainly speaks about very strong correlations with your pranic system for as long as you are embodied, forever, subjective experience taking place in the mind there was always a correlated state of energy or energetic that is process in the body, that is classic Buddhism.

(12:33) So the whole notion of mind/body correlations very specific and detailed right down to the, whatever type of experience you have, realizing rigpa there is something taking place in the body, right? The prana going into the “bindu”, at the heart, experiencing anger, malice, compassion, realization of emptiness, no matter what it is from the grossest to the most sublime as long as we are embodied there is something taking place.

One would say in modern medicine there is a neural correlate, something’s happing in the body that is correlated to that, in first person physiology we speak about the movements of the prana, but to say that there’s a correlation does not mean this one is really the ontological basis for the other and that is what he is critiquing here: it’s devoid of a basis. It’s “invisible, unknowable, in terms of really finding it, and without any location. It is not inside the head, the heart chakra. It is nowhere to be found.

(Kasyapa – it’s a powerful statement coming )

Text: Kāśyapa, the mind has never even been seen, is not seen, and will never be seen by any of the Buddhas, as something existing in and all by itself, really observed.

Text: Apart from phenomena that arise from mistaken identification, how can one know the kind of process of anything that has never even been seen, is not seen, and will never be seen by any of the buddhas? Kāśyapa, the mind is like an illusion, for it apprehends many kinds of events by way of unreal conceptual projections…

(14:15) Unreal means they’re not really there from their own side.

Instruction for one that is reading this transcript: Alan read practically directly the text since 14:20 to 18:13 minutes and the main comments are included in the transcript after he finished to read the text:

(14:20) Text: Kāśyapa, the mind is like the current of a stream, for it does not remain, but arises, passes away, and vanishes. Kāśyapa, the mind is like the wind, for it goes on for a long time and moves without being able to hold it. Kāśyapa, the mind is like the radiant light of a lamp, for it arises in dependence upon causes and conditions. Kāśyapa, the mind is like the sky, for it is temporarily obscured by mental afflictions and derivative mental afflictions. Kāśyapa, the mind is like lightning, for it instantly vanishes and does not linger… Kāśyapa, because the mind produces all suffering, it is like an enemy. Kāśyapa, because the mind destroys all the roots of virtue, it is like a sandcastle. Kāśyapa, because the mind mistakes suffering for happiness, it is like a fishhook. Kāśyapa, because the mind mistakes the identityless for an identity, it is like a dream. Kāśyapa, because the mind mistakes the impure for the pure, it is like a blue-bottle fly. Kāśyapa, because the mind inflicts many kinds of injuries, it is like an adversary. Kāśyapa, because the mind always looks for faults, it is like predatory goblin. Kāśyapa, because the mind always looks for its chance, it is like an enemy. Kāśyapa, because the mind is imbued with attachment and hostility, it always vacillates. Kāśyapa, because the mind robs all the roots of virtue, it is like a thief. Kāśyapa, because the mind is attracted to forms, it is like the eye of a fly. Kāśyapa, because the mind is attracted to sounds, it is like a battle-drum. Kāśyapa, the mind is attracted to smells like a pig that likes disgusting odors. Kāśyapa, the mind is attracted to tastes like a maid who eats leftovers. Kāśyapa, the mind is attracted to tactile sensations like a fly stuck in a dish of oil.

Kāśyapa, even though one looks for the mind everywhere, it is not to be found. Whatever is unfindable is unobservable. Whatever is unobservable does not arise in the past, or in the future, or in the present. Whatever does not arise in the past, or in the future, or in the present really transcends the three times. Whatever really transcends the three times is r neither existent nor non-existent…”

Alan’s comments about the text above:

(18:13) It is quite interesting in this analyze of the mind that we do experience but probing into its actual nature. One finds that it is unfindable, unobservable, does not arise in the past, in the future or in the present, that’s exactly true of awareness of rigpa, pristine awareness, unfindable, there’s no way, there is nothing can ever observe rigpa other than rigpa, and rigpa does not observe rigpa, rigpa does not find rigpa anymore than the tip of my finger find itself. The only way that rigpa is ever found, ever known, ever realized is through a non-dual awareness of itself, but no other mind, not the substrate consciousness, not coarse mind, no other mind can possible make contact with or find or observe rigpa. It is invisible, invisible too close to be seen. Hidden in plain sight, so to speak.

So it is quite interesting here that the statements he’s making about the mind then actually directly pertain to the ultimate dimension of mind. This rigpa, pristine awareness does not arise in the past or in the future or in the present, it is beyond the three times and that is what he says ‘whatever does not arise in the past or in the future or in the present really transcends the three times’, that is exactly it - rigpa is in a fourth time, transcending the three times.

(19:26) And then finally:

Text: whatever really transcends the three times is neither existent nor non-existent…”,

That’s one of the crucial features of rigpa. And it is not just pointed on now and there.

And that is classic Dzogchen literature says of: rigpa that transcends all conceptual elaborations, it’s free of, divorced from all conceptual extremes, all polarities, such as, and the first one is, it neither arises nor does it perish, just for starters.

(20:27) And then it neither exists nor does not exist. In other words, there is no invitation at all if you can even go that far, ok among existence and then in what kind, it won’t even let you in the door of conceptual elaborations because that is pretty basic, Ok, is it there or not? Does it exist or not? Let’s get out on straight. And the answer is, sorry that question is not computed. Even that question cannot get in and then it is neither one or many, so the rigpa of Maitreya and the rigpa of Buddha Shakyamuni. Are they the same or are they different?

(21:10) Tracy’s rigpa and Tania’s rigpa are they the same or do each have their own rigpa? It does not compute, neither the same nor different, don’t go to either one. So even the notion of ‘it’s all one’, which is very appealing and reflects a natural articulation of many very deep authentic experiences, this is deeper than that because you cannot even say ‘it’s all one’ versus ‘all two’. It doesn’t lend itself to numerical categorization, right?

(21:42) And then finally, no going and no coming. It’s free of going or coming, transcends that.

So why one would resist (It is one last one and we go to meditation) is the question of my Gelugpa training, a question arose in my mind a long time ago, a central Madhyamaka theme, pinnacle of Buddhist philosophy by wide, not universal, but by wide consensus in Tibetan Buddhism.

That all phenomena, conditioned phenomena and unconditioned phenomena, have no inherent nature of their own, they arise in dependence upon conceptual designation. In other words, there is nothing there subjectively, objectively or anywhere else, that already exists independently of any conceptual designation whatsoever. There is nothing, and they say from the most minute elementary particle, this is straight out of the classic literature, they call it, an atom, a quark, whatever you like, but the most minute particle of matter up to the mind of a Buddha, so that’s a pretty bandwidth I think. They try to cover everything in that bandwidth and they say this from the most minute particle of matter up to the omniscient mind of a Buddha, there is nothing there that exist by own inherent nature, it is all empty of inherent nature.

(23:13) So, how do these phenomena arise? -

They arise in dependence upon conceptual designation. In other words, they can be said to exist only relative to a cognitive frame of reference and that cognitive frame of reference is activated by conceptualization, by this is this, that is that, ok? That activation of the observer participant. But you cannot speak of anything having any existence whatsoever independent of this cognitive frame of reference or conceptual designation. That’s the statement, now - true or false, that is the statement.

So then the question arises, with my twenty years of Gelugpa background and then having roughly twenty years of Dzogchen background on top of that, one of the questions came up early is: what about rigpa - Comes a Gelugpa to debate with Dzogchen master, ‘what about rigpa’?

Does rigpa depend upon conceptual designation for rigpa to be there, for rigpa to be present? Does it arise in dependence upon conceptual designation?

Well, that just make no sense at all, zero. It is absolutely by nature non-conceptual, transcending conceptualization, to say that it exists in dependence upon conceptual designation really just does not make any sense, right? And then we say, Ah ha you mean it exists independently of conceptual designation which means therefore the Dzogchen teachings must be incompatible with Prasangika Madhyamaka therefore Padmasambhava and Tsongkhapa have a real problem with each other, right? So which is it that is, doesn’t exist inherently by its own nature independently of conceptual designation, in which case you are refuting Nagarjuna let alone Chandrakirti and Shantideva and Tsongkhapa and so forth or does it arise in dependence upon conceptual designation in which case you are just refuting Dzogchen, so which one? (25:08)

(25:32) Nicholas, what is the way out? What is the way out here because His Holiness Dalai Lama and many, many, Dudjom Lingpa, his teachings in emptiness are complete in accordance with Prasangika Madhyamaka, I would say that. And there he is, one of the greatest Dzogchen masters of, I think of any time, but certainly in the nineteen century. So, the teachings on Dzogchen, are they incompatible, the Dzogchen teachings on rigpa, are they incompatible with Prasangika Madhyamaka because they’re saying that rigpa does exist independently of conceptual designation which means it is inherently existent and therefore Nagarjuna is wrong? Or are the Dzogchen teachings of rigpa internally inconsistent because the Dzogchen teachings say it’s completely beyond conceptualization. So what is the way out?

(Alan is asking questions about this issue and making considerations about what the students is responding and it seems that the right answer is: )

(27:38) Mike said the way out of this is just take seriously and literally what the Dzogchen teachings said about rigpa in the first place and does not fall into either category of existent or non-existent therefore to ask in what manner is it existent: dependent upon conceptual designation or independent of conceptual designation, what part of the early statement didn’t you understand?

And Mike got that right, exactly that you are working when you are asking that question in what manner does rigpa exist? Dependent upon conceptual designation or independent of conceptual designation there is a built in assumption and that is it does exist, which means you’ve already planted it in the conceptual framework in which the word exist means something. But who defines the meaning of the word ‘exist’? Conceptual minds, the word ‘exist’ does not define itself - this is really important - it kind of seems like it does, like it is either really there or not, but not so simple. Look at different philosophical traditions west and east throughout the ages, look at modern psychology and modern philosophy of mind, look at physics, look at physics, does a tachyon on exist? A tachyon is a particle that travel only faster than the speed of light, does it exist? Does dark matter exist? If it exists, then why can’t you measure it? And so forth. And so the only point here is no criticism of any of these system but is to say that none of the terms that we use define themselves and that includes fundamental demarcation between: to be and not to be, to exist and not exist. Even those two categories don’t define themselves, they haven’t already defined themselves so we simply come and discover them but rather the very categories of existence and non-existence are categories conceived by the conceptual mind and moreover different conceptual minds conceive of them in different ways and that is the way it is.

So that being the case rigpa does not fall into any conceptual category conceived by any conceptual mind, it transcends them all.

(29:27) Then one may wonder, well then, why talk about it at all if it transcends all words and all concepts which is the statement that is find hundreds of times in Dzogchen literature, it transcends all speech and all conceptualization then why then do people keep on talking about and conceiving about, and writing about rigpa so extensively when what part of ‘transcending words and concepts’ don’t you understand? And I think you know the answer of that, too?

Why use words if not to describe something if words are no good for describing the nature of rigpa? So what other use my words be for in using words relating to rigpa? Elizabeth?

(30:26) The philosophical term is instrumental, the words are a tool so the finger pointing to the moon, no matter how large a tome you write like the Seven Treasures of Longchenpa, the greatest classic in a whole tradition in Dzogchen, tremendous mind, tremendous insight, tremendously large body literature but no matter how many words are there, none of them capture it but all, from every single sentence, is designed like medicine to point you, to get you there, as an instrument to move you towards realization, as an instrument.

Let’s go in meditation.

Meditation:

But before venturing into these deep investigations we take the gentle and soothing medicine, settling the body, speech and mind in its natural state and gently calming the turbulence of the conceptual mind, quieting the flow of rumination.

And let your eyes be partially open at least, very relaxed, soft blinking whenever you like but let your gaze be vacant, don’t latch onto any visual form, any object. As if you are day dreaming let your gaze be vacant and in this initial practice of taking the impure mind as the path, taking our own mind, the mind which we are very familiar, taking this as the path to realize shamatha, direct your attention to one of the six domains of experience, turning away from the 5 sensory domains so this is clearly not open presence and direct your attention single pointedly as possible to the one non-physical domain that of course is the domain of the mind. Attend to that space of the mind and whatever arises in it, just like looking on someone faces and recognizing, yes, that is Cassia’s face, that’s Mike’s face and it is a valuable recognition and in a similar fashion look at the face of your own mind and observe whatever arises within that domain, moment by moment to clearly distinguish between the stillness of your own awareness as you sit upon your own throne, awareness holding its own ground, remaining in its own place and illuminating the space of the mind and all the movements therein.

Like a falcon flying into the wind but remaining stationary with respect to the ground, facing into the wind of the flow of thoughts, memories and so on and sustaining the flow of mindfulness without distraction and without grasping.

Briefly return to the first line of vipashyana investigation in terms of the space of the mind and whatever arises in it. Is there anything that is stable, unchanging? When carefully examined, are any of these impulses or appearances in the mind by nature veritable, true sources of suffering or happiness intrinsically? And anything whatsoever can appear to us as mine if we grasp onto as mine, my country, my planet, my friend, etc? But it is mine only because we grasp it as such, is that true for the space of the mind and the contents? Is there anything here that by nature belongs to you, that is really yours by its own intrinsically nature or does it appear to be yours only because you grasp onto and identify with it?

And now turn your attention to your mind which is so deeply and habitually reified, grasped onto as real we see these many things, these many actions or functions attributed to the mind as in the Ratnacūḍa Sūtra, the mind does this, the mind does that, mind as an agent, the mind that has these many functions, these many qualities. And now examine closely, does such mind really exists at all or is merely fabricated by conceptual projections, superimpositions which are then grasped onto as real from its own side? Turn your attention once again to the space of the mind and whatever arises within it but see now is there is anything here that really is the mind. Is it anywhere to be found? If the mind really exists, captured in the past, in the future, it must be now. So what in this present moment can you identify as really being my mind that is not only being vanished by the time you bring out the label? If the mind is indeed findable, if it’s observable, identifiable, you’re looking in the right place it must be here. If it’s not here, where else could it possibly be? And, if it is not here, then it’s nowhere. Is there anything here really, as we attend to for what we call the impure mind, is there anything here that we can say from its own side, by its own nature that is pure or impure or are these merely conceptual projections on something that is not there at all?

When we look for the mind and ask, is it permanent or impermanent, is there anything there by its own nature that’s either is permanent or impermanent or are these two simply conceptual projections that we superimpose upon space?

When we ask if the mind is by nature suffering, duhkha or suhkha, happiness, do we find anything there of which is either statement is true or is it empty of both, neither one to be found. And finally when we look for the mind itself, can we say that is either a self or not a self that has an owner or has no owner or are these two simply constructs, projected into empty space, that which is nowhere to be found and has no attributes of any kind, it is empty.

So, rest in the awareness, the knowing of the emptiness, the un-findability of your own mind.

Teaching pt2:

Summary: Paranormal abilities are cited as the 4 legs of miraculous activity attained within the first yoga of single-pointedness.

(56:20) So a very brief reference to something I elaborated quite extensively yesterday and that is this yoga of single pointness for which the small stage spans the entire Mahayana path of accumulation, the medium stage covers the first two phases of the path of preparation namely warmth and pinacle and then the great stage of the yoga of single pointdness covers the final two stages of patience and supreme dharma. And I was, just kind curious, I checked this afternoon, I think I might misspoken yesterday, and that is – where, just brought casually, the author all over the place, the (name of the author) says at this point then a range of paranormal abilities and extra sensory perceptions arise, right? Without saying “and this is how you get them.” I actually know one of the finest researchers in this field, (name of the researcher), he is very, very good, a physicist, used to be where Will used to work …The Stanford researcher institute, used to be involved there, got millions of dollars grants from the CIA, the Defense Department, to do research on exactly this - remote viewing, pre cognition, and then he found, he is a very good researcher, I think, he wrote a number of books. But then the question comes - ok, why do some people have it and some people don’t, because they are basically calling people off the street. One woman they called in simply as a subject to compare to these people that were well trained. And the woman they called in as a subject was off the chart better than anybody they trained, you know and they had no idea, is like “eeny, meeny,miny,moe” would you like to come in, oh, great, you’re fantastic. But, I mean, as a scientist or anybody trying to make sense of this, then, what gives rise to that? With Budhaghosa then we have this very detailed whole series of exercises, very arduous exercises and the dhyanas that frankly, to my mind, that make conceptual sense when one ask does that work or not. But there is no such recipe, such sequence, disciplines, this is how you do, this is exactly how you do it, it is just flat out ‘go for the union of shamatha and vipashyana’ which you begin to get there in the small stage. You’re applying your shamatha and immediately putting it into vipashyana but then you might recall in that medium stages when you are not on the cushion, when you are not in formal meditative equipoise then the tendencies of reification come right back in, it’s almost like you’re lucid when you’re on your cushion but as soon as you’re off the cushion you’re not lucid or as if you’re sober when you are on the cushion and then as soon as you get off you’re drunk, like you fall off the wagon, so to speak. And you remember he says that and then as you moving along the stages, small, medium great stages of the Mahayana path of accumulation, moving through the small stage of yoga of single pointness then you’re getting more and more consistent, so that you’re getting more clearly, more definitively, decisively when you are on the cushion in meditate equipoise but then it’s starting to flow over more and more into the post meditate state. So by the time you get to the middling state, this can be very short so don’t worry. The middling state, or the medium state of this yoga single pointdness, now you are in the stage, the path of preparation, not bad, path of preparation and you might recall, for those of you who study this, that the culminating phase of the path of accumulation is characterized by what we call ‘the four legs’, ‘the four foundations of miraculous activities’ or ‘siddhis’, so you are developing those ‘four legs’ but right through this process of the union of shamatha and vipashyana as it deepens, deepens, deepens and gets clarified or you’re removing the veils of conceptualization. So that by the time you get to the path of preparations, the medium stage of yoga of single pointness this is where the siddhis, the paranormal abilities or sidhis and extra sensories perception are just arising spontaneously , so it’s quite interesting, but it kind make sense then, if the realization is deep enough, that is there you are, dwelling in space-like awareness of emptiness and luminosity on the cushion but then even when you are off the cushion you still see things as empty appearances on the cushion and off the cushion, it’s getting more homogenous even though you really do have a clear distinction, this is meditative equipoise, more space-like, and this is post meditative, this is more illusion-like, it is getting stronger and stronger, which means you are not falling back into the ordinary, the old patterns of reification, it is simply by that, that the paranormal abilities and extra sensory perception arise spontaneously . So that is kind of cool because for those of us who are very intended on liberation and awakening, frankly I wouldn’t do it. When I take some time out, you know achieve shamatha, achieve vipashyana what have you, and say now is take time out never mind the main track the main freeway, let’s go off and get some paranormal abilities, I would not do it. Life is too short, I don’t know when I would die, I don’t want say, I am dying today, tell me, so I would not spend the time,? What do you do, join the circus? You know, look at me, look at me, I can do that without being David Copperfield, without having a million dollars of technology, look at me. It’s not worth it, not worth the investment. But if it’s coming out purely as a derivitive, a natural emergent phenomena, coming right out of absolute main stream union of shamatha and vipashyana, then that it’s good and not time wasted, no time going off to a thing of a secondary importance.

Ollaso, now one question for Birghete.(1:02:09)

Note for readers: just to remind, the session question and answers are not included in the transcript.

Transcribed by Rafael Carlos Giusti

Revised by Diane Strully

Final edition by Rafael Carlos Giusti

Posted by Alma Ayon

Discussion

Ask questions about this lecture on the Buddhism Stack Exchange or the Students of Alan Wallace Facebook Group. Please include this lecture’s URL when you post.