28 Come to your senses! Who is the winning bull?

15 Aug 2015

Alan starts with a brief recap of the Buddha’s meditation advice for Bahiya. Alan invites us to come out of our imaginary realm that we call reality and to come to our senses in order to see what is manifestly appearing to our senses. Appearances do not exist in physical space, they do not exist in neurons (the brain is only chemicals and electricity). Awareness is the most indubitable reality we know. Alan says that there is no evidence he can present to persuade us that we are not conscious. Awareness happens. All that we know is awareness and appearances to awareness. Is there a world out there independent of appearances? The mind alone is real. The appearances to the mind are real, and they have causal efficacy. A world that exists out there is a fantasy. Alan presents the two bulls that are bound for an head-on collision: the Chittamatrin bull and the materialist bull. Someone is profoundly wrong. Alan also touches on the two types of ignorance in Buddhism: connate ignorance and acquired ignorance, providing examples of each. This discourse comes down to showing Padmasambhava’s strategy. Before launching into shamatha, Padmasambhava shows us how the mind is crucially important.

The meditation is on vipashyana focused on the mind.

After meditation, Alan asks why do we take ourselves as sentient beings so seriously? Where is this sentient being’s mind? Alan concludes with a compelling quote from David Ritz Finkelstein (from “Emptiness and Relativity” published in Buddhism & Science: Breaking New Ground, edited by B. Alan Wallace (New York: Columbia University Press, 2003), 365-386.) and also with a quote from a Rime master.

The meditation starts at 40:22

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