13 Aug 2015

The practices so far may seem separate but they are all inter-related. When settling the mind in its natural state we observe the space of the mind and what comes up within it in real time, trying not to get abducted by the content. We then move on to something more challenging, the mental afflictions, of which Alan focuses on Craving, hostility, ignorance/delusion. We become ensnared with our mental afflictions when they appear because we see them from an ordinary perspective; that is, we have cognitive fusion with them and therefore react to them. However, if we view them from the stillness of our awareness, an ‘I/it’ perspective, we see them more as events taking place, as appearances of the substrate consciousness. With reference to the sadhana of Avalokiteshvara, based on the realisation of emptiness and the power of imagination, everything is viewed as displays of Dharmakaya. Therefore when a ‘mental affliction’ appears it is seen as an aspect of primordial consciousness (a facet of Buddha mind) not as a delusion. We get a a taste of this perception when we view these upheavals from the stillness of our awareness. Alan emphasises that a person is not the same as the mental afflictions that we may witness in them. Similarly, those we witness in ourselves are also not us, they come and go. He goes on to relating this to the Sangha. Following meditation he finishes by explaining the imagery of the deities displayed on the shrine.

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