22 Apr 2016

Alan started by bringing back the theme of the ultimate nature of mind, citing some approaches: (1) recalling the foray we made into an ontological probe into the nature of mind in terms of origin, location and destination - a classic vipashyana practice, especially in Kagyu (Mahamudra) and Nyingma (Dzogchen) traditions; (2) Karma Chagmé Chapter on Insight in “A Spacious Path to Freedom”, that draws the conclusion that mental appearances emerge from emptiness, their location and destination are empty, referring to the emptiness of inherent nature of mental phenomena themselves as well as the emptiness of inherent nature of their origin and destination; (3) Nagarjuna (Madhyamaka) in his ontological analysis of causality, the tetralemma: phenomena do not arise from themselves, they do not truly arise from other, they do not truly arise from self and other, nor do they truly arise from neither self nor other. So, this particular approach - origin, location and destination - is designed for people following the Mahamudra and Dzogchen path in which you first achieve shamatha in the nature of the mind, and then you rest in the substrate consciousness - the bhavanga, subtle continuum of mental consciousness - which is not configured as a human mind, it is like a stem consciousness - called conventional or relative nature of mind by Panchen Rinpoche, and essential nature of the mind by Düdjom Lingpa. And then we investigate whether this raw specimen truly originates, is truly located anywhere and truly goes anywhere; the conclusion is no, no, no and you’ve realized the emptiness of the mind. Karma Chagmé comments that once you’ve realized the emptiness of that by which you apprehend any object, the nature of these objects of the mind must also be empty, like a domino effect. On the other hand, there is the phenomenological analysis of causality. In Buddhist philosophy it is stated that all conditioned phenomena arise from a substantial cause or something that transform into it, like a seed that loses its identity and transforms into a sprout, following the conservation principle. This transformation has to be enabled by cooperative conditions like water, sunlight, etc. in the case of the seed-sprout transformation. And then Alan brings this to the mind, the central focus of Mahamudra, Dzogchen and this retreat. As we take the mind as the path, having already investigated the emptiness of its origin, location and destination, we take the space of the mind as the meditation object - like the interval between mental events - and we ask simple phenomenological questions: is it flat or tridimensional, black or transparent, does it have a center, shape, periphery, size, and so forth? We can also directly observe whether it is a dead space or it is more kind of “effervescent”, not static, like a quantum soup, ready to erupt at any moment. Alan suggests then this hypothesis: is it the case that phenomenologically this formless space of the mind takes on the form of mental appearances and then they dissolve back into the space of the mind? Actually, when we phenomenologically analyze a thought, we don’t have many options: does nothing transform into it? Impossible! Does physical matter like neurons transform into a nonphysical thought? Implausible! Neurons, synapses, electricity may certainly function as cooperative conditions for mental states to emerge. So, by a process of elimination, mental events must be arising from something non-physical - the space of the mind is transforming into these mental events which then dissolve back into it. Is this something we can observe? That could be very interesting! Similarly, subjective mental impulses must arise from something non-physical - a propensity (vasana in sanskrit) gets catalyzed by some event and an emotion, for instance, arises. When Alan was studying physics, he was very interested in the energy of empty space. Let’s say, as a thought experiment, that we take a volume of space and take all matter and all energy out of it, including gravitational energy, everything. Now you examine theoretically and empirically: is there anything inside that volume? Yes: the energy of empty space. Space itself has its own energy - the zero point energy. And if you calculate the density of this energy, you will find that it is infinite. As an analogy, in this quantum field theory, energy is permeated by the space and there occur quantum fluctuations, and configurations of mass-energy will emerge and then dissolve back into it. Many years ago, His Holiness engaged with world-class physicists debating the notion that space itself is not a smooth continuum, but it is composed of space particles, or quanta. The universe emerged from space particles. His Holiness related this to Kalachakra, where there is the view that space consists of particles; these particles of space take on form and the universe emerges from them and expands and then contracts back into them. And the cooperative condition is the karma of sentient beings that triggers these space particles to manifest in a world inhabitable for the sentient beings whose karma co-created it. The Big Bang was not accidental. Before meditation starts, Alan commented that although cooperative conditions for waking and dream appearances are different, they are made of the same stuff; waking appearances are not more real or substantial than dream appearances. When we really are viewing reality this way, then things start to change.

Meditation is silent (not recorded).

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Olaso. So I think you’ll recall that we made a brief foray into an ontological probe into the nature of the mind, in terms of its origin, location, and destination. [?00:17 Tibetan] classic vipashyana practice focusing on the nature of the mind, the ultimate nature of the mind, emphasized especially in the Kagyu and Nyingma traditions, or Mahamudra and Dzogchen traditions. And it’s very very clear in Karma Chagme’s chapter on insight in A Spacious Path to Freedom that when, the conclusion is drawn that mental appearances emerge from emptiness, their location is empty and their destination is empty. This is referring to the emptiness of inherent nature, of the mental phenomena themselves, as well as the emptiness of inherent nature of their origins and other destination. So this would be very much in accord with the much broader Madhyamaka theme that we find in Nagarjuna in his ontological analysis of causality, that phenomena do not arise, is tetralemma that phenomena do not arise from themselves, they do not truly arise from other, they do not truly arise from self and other, nor do they truly arise from neither self nor other, classic. And so by engaging in the type of analysis then one can see that phenomena do not inherently arise at all. If they don’t inherently arise at all then they will be very hard to imagine how they can inherently exist, if they never inherently came into existence. So it’s classic, classic Madhyamaka. And in a compendium of essays on Dzogchen and Madhyamaka that I translated, one of the two authors of this, of these essays, comments that this particular approach, origin, location, destination, is really designed for people following this Mahamudra or Dzogchen path in which you first achieve shamatha on the nature of the mind. You’re resting in the substrate consciousness you, you’ve reduced mind down to it’s kind of bare skeleton. It’s not configured as a human mind, male or female, old, young or so forth, you’ve got it down to its nucleus, not its ultimate nature but you know, the bhavanga, the subtle continuum of mental consciousness. But this is kind of like a stem consciousness as Panchen Rinpoche says you’ve come to, when you identify that, you’ve identified the conventional nature, the relative nature of mind. And Dudjom Lingpa or Padmasambhava in the Vajra Essence as we’ll see later on, says you have now identified the essential nature of the mind, but on a relative level, right. And then you take that. So now you’re seeing it nakedly, unadorned, unconfigured, not complex, simple simple. And then having this kind of raw specimen, then you investigate whether this raw specimen truly originates, is truly located anywhere, truly goes anywhere. The conclusion is no no no and then and then you have realized the emptiness of mind and then Karma Chagme Rinpoche then comments toward the end of his chapter, that once you’ve realized the emptiness of inherent nature of the mind and you direct your attention outwards to all objects of the mind, any type of object of the mind. Once you’ve realized that that by which you are apprehending any other object is itself empty, then it follows very readily, that the nature of all the objects of the mind that you’re apprehending, must also be empty. It’s like domino’s, it’s like a domino effect, everything falls apart and you see the emptiness of all phenomena. On the one hand, on the other hand, there’s a scene that’s especially drawn out, all of us who’ve studied Buddhist logic and debating, epistemology, just basic kind of classical Buddhist Buddhist philosophy as in Sautrantika. In the more phenomenological analysis of causality. So we’re not going ontology, we’re not asking whether it’s inherently existent but you know if you see a crop of wheat where did it [come from]. Did it just come out of nowhere? Did it just come out of emptiness or did the wheat actually come from some place, and the answer is yeah, seeds. And the seeds germinated and each seed as it germinated, the seed transforms into the sprout and in so doing, loses its identity as a seed and takes on the identity of a sprout. Therefore it’s called a primary cause, a substantial cause. The very substance of the seed turns, transforms into the substance of the sprout. So once the sprout has arisen, you just have a husk, that is shunted off to the side and so that one transforms into the other. [04:53]

And it’s widely stated and I don’t think this is anywhere challenged in all of Buddhist philosophy, that all conditioned phenomena arise from a substantial cause or something that transforms into it. Have you found any such exception to that anywhere, Glen? Nor have I and it kind of makes really good common sense as well. And moreover that by and large and physical or subtle that we just don’t have time for right now but I know there are issues here. But when something passes out of existence, if it had to transform, something else had to transform into it, for it to come into existence, then it does, there’s a symmetry there. One would expect that it in turn transforms into something else. So that the stalk of wheat for example gets burnt ok. It gets burnt and then the stuff of the stalk turns into ash, it turns into thermal energy, it turns into smoke, it turns into you know all that. So it transforms into something else and in so doing loses its identity as a stalk of wheat and takes on the multiple identities of thermal energy, ash, smoke and the like. So there’s a conservation principle here that’s kind of really core to Buddhist understanding of causality. So now let’s bring this to the mind, because that after all is really the central, central focus of Mahamudra and Dzogchen and this whole retreat. So now we can speak of a phenomenological investigation as we are tending to here we are, we’re directing the telescope of our samadhi to the space of the mind and seeing the events that arise there. So very briefly and we’re not going to repeat it right now very briefly, the ontological approach, a probe. Do these phenomena if they really exist, do they really come from anywhere? Empty. Do they really exist anywhere? No. Do they really go anywhere? No, empty, empty, empty. Okay, now let’s get on with it. And then he goes right back into the conventional approach Dudjom Lingpa, classic. This is what he does again and again in his five Dzogchen treatises. Now that you have kind of shaken up the reification of mind, you probably haven’t fully realized it yet, but you’ve shaken it up. Then you come right back and you take the mind as the path. This mind that didn’t really truly arise from anywhere, isn’t located anywhere, and doesn’t really go anywhere. Now that mind, you’re taking it as your path, you’re observing thoughts, images, and so forth yep all clear. But now that we’re here, right in the midstream of this taking the mind as the path. And we are making sure that we’re not missing anything, not overlooking anything. And that is the space of the mind also, is you know, a legitimate object, an important object of mindfulness here. As we’re maintaining that baseline you know you may have a sustained interval between this event and that event arising in the space of the mind. And during that sustained interval where you just don’t see anything happening in the space of the mind, then as I emphasized yesterday try to see that as clearly as possible, and you can ask some simple questions like I did yesterday afternoon. Is it flat or three dimensional, black or transparent, does it have a center, shape, periphery, size and so forth. These are very reasonable phenomenological questions. As we establish that baseline of ascertaining the space of the mind there is one other point that became quite clear in my meditation this morning. And that is as you’re attending to it, and I’m really bearing in mind the comment Kathy made yesterday, but not now it would be easy to interpret your statement as more theoretical true, but not empirical. Like this has the potential, you have the potential to stand up right now, but you’re not doing it. So that something, it is true, but I’m not observing it. I just know that you’re of sound body and mind and you do have legs and you could stand up if you wanted to. [8:49]

So I’m looking at you, you could stand up if you wanted to. But it’s not something I observe. But check this out just if you will, if you feel like it. When you’re really very still and you’re observing that space of the mind, then looking very closely, fine tune it, enhance the acuity, high resolution of your awareness, attend very closely. And as you are attending to, that space of the mind check, is it static? Is it dead? Not flat as in the sense of two dimensional, but flat as nothing happening or and this is a leading question but you know to check it out yourself, is it effervescent? Is there something almost like fizzing, something dynamic, something suggesting it could explode at any moment, but not as a conceptual imputation but seeing almost like it’s scintillating, that’s probably the wrong word but I think you get the impression. Now one thing we can be sure of, that is in terms of Buddhist philosophy, and that is, Glen, this space of the mind, is it permanent or impermanent? This space of mind we’re attending to, is it permanent or impermanent? [Glen responds and Alan repeats] It has to be impermanent, yeah it has to be impermanent. Not in the sense that it’s going to vanish someday and then you won’t have it anymore but in the classic meaning in Buddhism, impermanent means it’s arising from moment to moment to moment. Well that would already imply it’s not static, it’s impermanent. The unconditioned space which is the shear absence of [? 10:25 inaudible] contact. That’s a sheer absence, that doesn’t arise from moment to moment. It’s permanent, unchanging, but this is called, this is a space that you can observe. So observing that, see whether you can fine tune it, and see whether it’s kind of, I’m speaking poetically, with a metaphor here, like a quantum, a quantum, what do they call it? Quantum, what’s that term I’m looking for? It’s a noun. A quantum flux, a quantum field, it’s only poetry, I’m not saying it really is one. But a quantum soup, that’s ready to erupt at any moment. See, then, see this when a thought arises for example: Mary had a little lamb. Pheit there it comes. Phenomenologically, see if you can examine where it comes from. Not ultimately, but like a sprout comes from a seed,yeah we can watch that. Is it the case? Here’s a hypothesis, and again I could be flat wrong here. Here’s a hypothesis and that is that this formless space, clearly it doesn’t have a form, it’s not square, or quadratic, or cubic or what have you. Here’s a hypothesis is that this energy filled space actually takes on form. It can take on the form of a mental replica of a sound, like a song or melody, a form, a scent, and so forth and so on. It actually, the space actually transforms into, takes on the form, of a thought, an image, and so on, these appearances. And then those appearances just fade right back into that space. They dissolve back into like a wave on the ocean, emerging from the ocean, dissolving back into the ocean. It was never anything other than the ocean, but it just took on that form for a while, and then that form just dissolves right back into its ground. Is that the case? Phenomenologically no. The ontological probe is not to suggest that mental events don’t exist, which is simply silly. But they are empty appearances. There’s no substance to them, they have no inherent identity, they don’t exist by their own nature, but they do exist as empty appearances. Emptiness is form, form is emptiness. Very very familiar refrain. But now as empty appearances then are they emerging from the space, does the space actually become crystallized as these forms and then dissolve back into. As soon as you raise this kind of phenomenological causality issue with respect to the mind there are just a few options. A thought comes up, Mary had a little lamb, good as any. There’s a thought and you observe it and it has causal efficacy. There’s no question about it, it has causal efficacy. It can make you think of the next line of the poem or what have you. So it’s as real as anything else. It arises in dependence upon cause and conditions, and then the simple question can be all right does that thought, any thought, any image, whatever you like, does nothing transform into it? That is, can you have a body of nothing, absolutely nothing whatsoever, can nothing transform into something and that seems kind of a priori impossible. [14:00]

If nothing can transform into something, then it should do it all the time or never. But why would it happen sometimes and not at other times? But it’s also kind of, it just insults the intelligence. Nothing transforming into a chocolate cake. Nothing transforming into an atom. Nothing transforming into a planet. Nothing transforming into a thought. It really doesn’t make any sense at all. So I’m going to set that one aside as I find that utterly unsatisfying, incredibly improbable. Then we can look at what scientists are very familiar with things like neurons, synapses, dendrites, and so forth. Do they actually transform into thoughts and so forth. The thoughts are evidently non physical, they have no physical characteristics and cannot be measured physically. That should end that conversation. So if neurons for example, or electrical discharges from neurons, or synapses, if they actually transformed into a mental event, the physical would be transforming into something non physical, which would violate the laws of physics, but that doesn’t happen. And also you would get, you’d become more and more light headed the more thoughts you had [laughter], because the neurons would be disappearing and turning into something immaterial and if you lived a really long life you might have a hollow head by the time you finish. Which would be really annoying, I’d hate that, sometimes it feels that way but I don’t think that is really truly true. So that seems extremely implausible. At least as implausible as nothing transformed into something. How would you activate nothing? How would you impinge upon nothing? So that it gets peeked and turns into something. It just, it kind of insults the intelligence I think. Because in the Buddhist causality, causal theory, it’s not enough just to have something transform into something else, there have to be cooperative conditions, that catalyze, that trigger, that enable something like a seed to transform into something that it wasn’t, but it will become, and that is a sprout. And that’s like water, moisture, heat, fertilizer, and so forth. And then that transformation takes place and then you have a stalk of wheat let’s say in deep space just hanging out there. If it’s going to turn into something else, there needs to be, you know, generally it’s going to be like let’s put it right back here, there is going to need to be some cooperative conditions. So neuronal activity, there’s no question about this in my mind it seems transparently clear. Neuronal activity, the alcohol, alcohol content of your blood, and so forth can serve as cooperative conditions for the arising of different mental states including silliness, intoxication, dizziness, and so forth. But the alcohol doesn’t turn into these mental states, the neurons don’t, synapses don’t, nothing physical does. But they do in a cooperative fashion facilitate, enact, enable, the state of drunkenness to arise or and so on. Or you can activate with the micro electrodes you can activate very small ganglion neurons and trigger a memory. That’s happened, is very good research there. But the electricity doesn’t turn into the memory, the neurons don’t turn into the memory. It’s actually a cooperative condition for the memory to emerge. But if we say where does the memory arise from, either nothing or physical, neither of those makes any sense. So it must be arising most plausibly by a process of elimination from something non physical. And in terms of these appearances I think the most viable candidate to my mind, the only one that makes sense, is that the space of the mind itself is transforming into these mental events and dissolving right back into them. So is that true or false? Because this is not a religious catechism here. If you believe it, I don’t think it’s really going to help you just by believing it, at the end of the day, so what. But if it’s true, if it is something you can observe, that could be very interesting. As you observe not only the formation of the objective appearances like thoughts and images, but as you observe the arising of subjective impulses and the hypothesis here would be subjective impulse of anger or disappointment or joy or surprise, these are emerging from the substrate consciousness and they dissolve back when they, when they, when they fade out they dissolve back into imprints or potentialities, vasanas, they’re called in Sanskrit, into the substrate consciousness. So right now I’m not upset at all, zero upset. But I could have a thought, or something can happen and I can get upset. In which case something, another person, a thought, a memory, what have you, triggers that potentiality, the vasana, the habitual propensity or seed, gets catalyzed by some, some event. And then the subjective experience of being upset arises and after a while it fades away and then the propensities, and so it came up just come up a couple days ago. Who was it, somebody said or whoever it was, said, I want to know who it was. [One of the retreatants says John] John, it was John, thank you, you knew exactly what I was looking for. And that is when we’re settling the mind in its natural state and anger arises are we not reinforcing old tendencies. [19:04]

That was indeed John. And remember my answer, not if we’re simply observing it, but if we are identifying with it, yes. The propensities that were there for let’s say anger, were already there, they’re triggered by something, it arises, I cognitively fuse with it, I feel angry for a while and then it subsides. I’ve just reinforced those propensities. Good point very important point but if I don’t cognitively fuse, then they’re not getting reinforced, in fact they start to dissolve away of their own accord. Interesting. So when I was doing my undergraduate work in physics at Amherst, early on, I wanted and I knew I wanted to do a thesis. So I did one, and I had a wonderful mentor, Arthur Science, and my whole reason for studying physics was to really take what I understood of Madhyamaka and see how this pertained to quantum mechanics, if there was a meaningful relationship. I read the Tao Of Physics, which I found very interesting for the physics side and very unsatisfying, let’s say, for the spiritual side. Because he’s not, he’s a good physicist but you know, an amateur when it comes to the philosophical side. And so I had the philosophical side, but I was an amateur when it came to physics. So I wanted to do try to do a good job really study it seriously. So I did, for two and a half years. And during that time though I was very focused on one topic that Arthur Science suggested to me and then I pursued for about two years. And that is zero point energy of the electromagnetic vacuum. Which is to say the energy of empty space. Which is very very widely accepted theme in quantum mechanics, quantum field theory. That empty space itself when you take all of the matter and all of the energy, like electromagnetic, thermal, gravitational energy as a thought experiment. Take a volume of space and take everything out of it, everything. You can’t do that literally, you can’t take gravitational energy out but as a thought experiment you can. So take a volume of space, take all energy out of it, and take all matter out of it right down to the elementary particles. Suck it all out. And so now you have a volume here with nothing in it and then you examine, theoretically and empirically. Now that you’ve taken everything out, is there anything there? And the answer yeah. Turns out there is. It’s called the energy of empty space. Space itself has its own energy. The zero point energy and it permeates all of space. And I did, because I’m really slow and clunky at mathematics. I had to do it, and I think it was thirty pages of mathematics. I did it. Every step I understood. But I’m really slow, that’s why it was thirty pages instead of four equations. But you can calculate the energy density. How much energy is there in like a cubic centimeter of empty space? And if you do the equation straight without interpreting them or interpreting them away and it’s very elegant mathematics actually. Then you come out with a very neat little symbol at the end and that is the energy density of empty space is infinite. And mathematicians and physicists just don’t know what on earth to do with that you know. And so then they normalize it, they regularize it, they make it manageable, they tame it. But the straight mathematics says that the energy of empty space is already infinite and it is said now stepping back however you want to interpret that literally or interpret it away so it’s no longer infinite. And it’s not silly when they do that, but it’s not necessarily justifiable either. The point here being this is only an analogy but I found it an interesting one, years ago. And then in this view, quantum mechanics, quantum field theory, energy is permeated by this space and there occur quantum fluctuations where out of the very nature of space itself, configurations of mass energy will emerge and they’ll dissolve right back into it. So it’s not so much horizontal, this seed turning into this sprout, but right out of the nature of empty space itself there emerges a configuration of mass energy and then it dissolves back into the field. I thought that was quite interesting and according to the time energy Heisenberg uncertainty principle which I studied fairly closely, the shorter the fluctuation, the shorter the emergence of some configuration of mass energy, the shorter it is, the larger it can be. The longer it is, the smaller it has to be. So one of the major theories about what catalyzed the Big Bang is that it was an extremely brief quantum fluctuation which released an enormous amount of energy enough to, create a universe. Extremely brief, which means it can be extremely large. It was, [blip, blip] and then the universe comes. And then in one theory, then the universe, when it stops accelerating will turn around and it will converge in upon a singularity, that’ll be called the Big Crunch and it will go back into the singularity and this may be cyclical. Einstein thought that was cyclical. It’s not at all clear one way or another but that’s one plausible hypothesis. [24:15]

And then along these same lines there’s a theme that His Holiness the Dalai Lama learned about a long time ago and he’s engaged with world-class physicists. And that is the notion that space itself is not a smooth continuum, but space itself is composed of particles or quanta. That all of space consist of quanta, little globules, little particles of space, space particles. And that when a, and that the universe is actually emerging from space particles. Phoo...voila...world and then his Holiness related this to kalachakra. Where it is the view in kalachakra that space is considered to consist of [? 24:58 Tibetan], the particles of space. And then in fact the formation of the world system emerges from particles of space which take on form and then after some time, expansion and contraction. You remember that? Then they, eventually they contract back into particles of space. And it’s the cooperative condition is the karma of sentient beings that triggers these space particles to manifest in a world that is inhabitable for the sentient beings, whose karma co-created it. You remember Thomas Hertog saying, there’s something very, very, very odd about the laws of physics and the constants, the physical constants at the time of the Big Bang. Extremely rare, extremely precise, and just exactly that needed to allow life to emerge as we understand it. Well the Buddha said again well you’re right, and that which teases out those laws, and those constants, is the karma of the sentient beings who’ve just migrated from another universe that collapsed, dissolved into a singularity. And they’re migrating over to another one, and this is not god, not some external entity, but the sentient beings who will populate the universe that is about to be formed. And it is their karma that is triggering, catalyzing, configuring the space particles so that the universe that comes out will be habitable for them. And no universe emerges that is not catalyzed by the karma of sentient beings, because universes are for the sake of sentient beings. We’re not accidental. Was that enough? [laughter] Let’s go watch the show, twenty six minutes here we go, twenty four minutes, silent meditation. [26:54]

So just very briefly. So during our in between session, periods we’re still experiencing appearances arising all over the place and we’re experiencing subjective mental impulses arising from moment to moment and as for the appearances arising in the space of the mind, thoughts and mental images, and so forth. So for all the other appearances, they too are arising from the substrate and when we fall into deep sleep they dissolve back into the substrate. So there’s no difference, the thoughts, mental images and so forth simply as a subspace of the larger space of awareness all together. And all these appearances we see of the surrounding Tuscany countryside and so forth. All those appearances emerging from space and when we blink, dissolve back into space. When we fall back into deep sleep, back into space. We start dreaming, we may dream of Tuscany, dream your heart’s out people listening by podcast. You too can join us in your dreams. And when you’re seeing in your dreams in the waking state the Tuscany landscape whether it’s dreaming or the waking state the origin of the appearance is the same. Cooperative conditions are different, cooperative conditions for us who are here. There are photons coming in, there are sound waves coming in, and so forth and so on, of course. When you’re dreaming there are no photons coming in, your eyes are closed anyway. So the cooperative conditions are different, but the stuff, life is the stuff that dreams are made. The appearances of the waking state are no more or less real or substantial than dream appearances and they don’t exist anymore from their own side than dream appearances. So Dudjom Lingpa, Padmasambhava says at one point, well the primary difference between dreaming and waking state is waking appearances are a bit more durable. They last longer, but they’re not more substantial. So when we start to understand this, we really get it, then we don’t just put it in a drawer, into a mental drawer like a pair of socks that you may wear one day, but you immediately put them on and you walk in them and that’s when you really are viewing reality, not just having some Buddhist beliefs or having entertaining very interesting, Buddhist hypothesis. All good intellectual entertainment but when you actually start viewing reality then that’s when things start to change. So we try to implement to integrate as much as possible the way of viewing reality, based upon first hearing, and then thinking, and then the meditation is going right into experience. And we’re enriching experience, enriching experience with our view, with our understanding and insight. And we’re enriching experience also from the heart, when we attend to other sentient beings and we have as Shantideva says, just one little snippet I remember so many times, When you see another sentient being walking, like a human being for example, walking along the road and just to view that person saying: “Ah this is my kin, in dependence upon people just like this one I can practice dharma”. Have an immediate sense of gratitude, immediate sense, I’m here to repay your kindness. That’s why I’m here you know. It’s so, you’re not just being mindful moment to moment, yes there’s a person walking this way. That’s kind of like, depleted mindfulness, you know just getting appearances. Kind of a meager diet. But we enrich mindfulness by bearing in mind the insights, the understanding that we have. So we attend to other sentient beings in a different way, we attend to appearances in a different way, we attend to ourselves in a different way. That sounds good to me. Enjoy your day.

Transcribed by KrissKringle Sprinkle

Revised by Rafael Carlos Giusti

Final edition by Cheri Langston


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