BUDDHIST ACCIDENTALLY FINDS GOD

Buddhist Accidentally Finds God

God, in reality, is never what we think, as what we think is a concept, rather than the reality itself.

What is reality? Reality is not unknowable: it is natural to us, and we cannot be separated from it. If reality is natural to us, then it can be proven. This unchanging reality, on investigation, turns out to be our pure consciousness, beyond conceptual, impure consciousness. If there is no pure consciousness, then there is no God. But there is pure consciousness … !

No pure consciousness; no God.
Know pure consciousness; know God.

Humans fall into two categories: those who believe in God, and those who do not (of course, there are others – those who are not sure, and those who don’t care – but here, we are simplifying into believers and non-believers).

Interestingly, the disbelievers only came about because of the believers: one claims something exists, and the other says, “Prove it!” – so the believers started the argument! 😀 Both are arguing over a concept rather than the reality.

We are assailed by demons that separate us, and create anxiety and angst. Angels are inspirational messengers that remind us; they are the symbolic teacher of all phenomena. Through this reminder, we regret our past mischiefs. Genuine recognition is forgiveness. That recognition comes from pure awareness. In other words … !

The realisation of divine, enlightened Spirit liberates conceptual thinking, anxiety, angst, demons … and angels. These conceptual projections obscure reality. When the veil drops away, we come face to face with that which is beyond clinging to ideas.

2 Corinthians 3:17
But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and  where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into His image with intensifying glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.…”

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MASTERY OVER PERCEPTION

Mastery Over Perception

Mastery over perception
means that we cease to react to appearances.
Karma is therefore no longer reinforced,
purifying samsara.
And the lighter … and lighter … we feel!

You can see where this is going!

😀

Karma: the residue of memories that influences our behaviour.
Samsara: the perpetuation of karmic influences that fixes us into a seemingly solid reality of dissatisfaction.

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IN RIGPA, NOTHING STICKS

In Rigpa, Nothing Sticks

This means that ego has nothing to feed on

In rigpa* we can clearly see, feel, taste, smell, hear and think, but without attachment; as a consequence, we do not become oversensitive.

Mastery over phenomena
means that phenomena
has no mastery over us.
It doesn’t stick 🙂

In this modern world, we are taught to be in touch with our feelings and, as a result, we can be oversensitive. Being oversensitive, we are easily offended, and demand that the world changes. Such behaviour is contagious, and we become collectively addicted to self interest, sentimentality and self-indulgence. That is emotionalism!

Being attached to our feelings as a guide to truth obscures reasoning – and results in a sticky world.

To cope in this topsy-turvy state of utter confusion, we need clear insight in order to detach ourselves, and avoid becoming victims.

Being is simple.
Being human is complex,
and we can deny ourselves natural, spontaneous joy.

*Rigpa means pure awareness or empty essence.

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MISDIRECTED FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS

Misdirected For Thousands Of Years

We are told to worship a power outside ourselves; to, in fact, give our power away. This abdication of sovereignty has taken many forms: as a result, we have attached ourselves to divisions, keeping us busy, distracted and divided, and giving rise to conflicts that have no valid basis as those divisions never existed in the first place.

The doubt I wrote of yesterday – the feeling of suspended concepts – was referring to a neutral state of emptiness. Conventional doubt can leave us confused – so much so that we have to rely on something or someone from outside.

Our magical power of realisation has been surrendered to another magician.

We are led to believe that there is a mountain of spiritual knowledge to climb by suggesting there is a goal, when in truth, we are already there. In order to realise what we are, we have all the power of consciousness that we require.

There is no goal. There is nowhere to go. There is only realisation.

There is and can be nothing higher, deeper or more authentic than the origin of our pure consciousness, which is our source and our home. Once this is established, we merely regulate our conduct through compassionate activity, to maintain awareness of pure consciousness. There will be ups and downs, but all we have to do is remember … until we never forget.

Just look around;
humans are still squabbling at the base line.

Being is simple.
Being human is complex.

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IS THERE GOD?

Is There God?

This is a dualistic question, and will produce a conventional, dualistic response.

There are four possible answers – yes, no, don’t know, don’t care – each of which is a fixated idea. On this relative level, there is no absolute realisation: we can only believe, or make an assumption, and these both obscure genuine experience.

If, however, we can acknowledge a doubt within each of those answers because we cannot be totally sure, then something miraculous can occur. That doubt might just be the key to realising the truth beyond our fixed ideas.

Doubt suspends speculation. A space is created in which to look, and then look again because there is a recognition that something unusual is happening. There is a presence of knowingness in not knowing! The realm of heaven is right here, right now.

In that undefined state beyond defined concepts is a timeless presence of purity that is within everything we see.

What would you call that?

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THE TIBETAN BOOK OF THE DEAD – AUDIO BOOK

The Tibetan Book Of The Dead – Audio Book
narrated by Richard Gere

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1MZwriqVvw

Commentary by Gyalwa Dokhampa

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdoes_5Nt-I

No Regrets: Dalai Lama’s Advice for Living & Dying

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RECOGNISING THE PROBLEM IS THE SOLUTION

Recognising The Problem Is The Solution

Our greatest problem is identifying the problem. Once that’s done, the problem – whether it’s electrical or plumbing or spiritual – can be solved. Everything is solvable once we identify the problem.

We may find ourselves dissatisfied or depressed: once we recognise the cause of that, healing can take place. All we have to do is find a suitable method: teachings or transmissions can help us identify the problem. We have to take the plaster off the wound. Because we have had the courage to recognise the problem, the joy and satisfaction are priceless. Only then can we find the correct solution, and apply it.

The best advice my father-in-law (an electrical engineer) gave me was to look for the obvious disconnection, which means testing the whole circuit until you find the fault. This is the way of the universal teacher that tells you everything you need to know. And it costs nothing 😀

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THOUGHTS AND EMOTIONS ARE NATURAL

Thoughts And Emotions Are Natural

We all have thoughts and emotions:
it’s what humans do.

But what do we do next?

These same thoughts and emotions can either:
create a fresh, dynamic atmosphere of compassion, expressing clarity
= enlightened spirit
or
create a stale, egocentric atmosphere where emotions haunt and possess us
= evil spirit.

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DON’T BLAME THE MEDITATION

Don’t Blame The Meditation

We may think that we do not have emotions,
or that we do not get angry.

Then we start meditating,
and suddenly realise that we do.

Don’t blame the meditation for being aware.
😀

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YOU DON’T HAVE TO LET GO

You Don’t Have To Let Go

Letting go of emotions or ideas isn’t something we have to do: all that is necessary is to be aware. Purely aware. Pure awareness liberates thoughts and emotions naturally. Grasping does not exist in the presence of pure awareness.

If there is grasping, there is no pure awareness.
If there is pure awareness, there is no grasping.

It’s that simple.

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THERE IS NO SPIRITUAL MYSTERY

There Is No Spiritual Mystery
There never was.

A ‘mystery’ occurs to a confused mind when it assumes that it does not know. Confusion arises when our mind is full of concepts and assumptions: these concepts and assumptions obscure pure consciousness, and thus, mystery is created.

Simply put, that which sees the mystery is the obvious, natural, clear light of pure consciousness.

If we fixate on texts, we will remain in a dualistic state of ‘me’ and ‘the teaching’.
There will be no end to arrogance.
Let go of study to resolve the mystery.

If we identify with a deity, this too is dualistic, having a subject and an object.
There will be no end to feeling worthless and guilty.Let go of devotion to resolve the mystery.

If we sit for hours in stillness meditation, that is still a duality of ‘me’ and ‘the stillness’.
There will be no end to the oblivion.
Let go of meditation to resolve the mystery.

We are using study, deity and meditation as antidotes for our misery: the misery will return, however, as antidotes are only a temporary release. We have to recognise or resolve that pure consciousness is right here, right now.

Once we have resolved the reality of pure consciousness … job done! All that is then needed is to remember: remembrance will then influence everything we do, purifying karma, and making our life simpler.

All religions have a formal, exoteric side intended for the general public.

All religions also have an esoteric side – the mysterious, occult, hidden, secret, mystic, magical,  cabbalistic side, intended for the few.
There is no need to make a mystery out of spirituality.

The pointing out instruction of Dzogchen can dissolve all mysteries from the start. We are pure consciousness. There is only pure consciousness. That is the mystery – which is not a mystery, when realised. It is that which is recognising, right here, right now! There is nothing more advanced than that.

We all fall into the trap of thinking that we don’t do enough spiritual practice when, in actuality there is nothing to do but be aware. Effortlessly aware.

There are fixations in the mind, but by understanding and realising pure consciousness, they are softened and therefore resolved. We can have a fulfilling and happy life and death, without doubts hanging over us. It just takes practice of becoming familiar with our true reality.

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ONE TASTE: IS THERE RIGHT AND WRONG?

One Taste: Is There Right And Wrong?
How to argue, and not argue

The Buddha said;
“Just as the great ocean has one taste – the taste of salt – so also this teaching and discipline has one taste – the taste of liberation”.

But what does that mean in practical terms?

When talking on a conventional level, we argue about this as opposed to that, which leads to more of the same. Everything has the one taste of our personal bias, so the Buddha obviously wasn’t talking about that 😉

There are many commentaries about “one taste”, so we have to pick our way through to see what makes sense to us. Here are few examples;

The absence of inherent existence of the mind of an ordinary sentient being, an arya
or buddha, is the same in nature”.

“The final reality, the tathagate essence, the emptiness of inherent existence of the
mind, is inseparable in the sense that all conventional phenomena are of one taste in
emptiness. They are all inseparable in emptiness”.

“All phenomena are of one taste in that they are without arising ultimately”.

“In emptiness there is no I, the creator of negative actions. In emptiness there is no creating of negative actions. In emptiness there are no negative actions created. Even though there are infinite phenomena, in emptiness nothing exists at all. There is no this and that, no me and you, nothing. In emptiness everything is one taste. From this emptiness, everything comes into existence. Whatever exists is the manifestation of emptiness.”

Commentaries originate from a particular level (yana), and our realisation will depend upon our understanding at the moment.

From a Dzogchen view, we are pure awareness, empty of contamination. This is our true reality. Being pure awareness, no concepts of good and bad are present as no judgement is formed yet: this can clearly be recognised in meditation. “One taste” is just taste, empty without comments of ‘sweet’ or ‘bitter’. Judgement comes afterwards.

Tibetan Buddhism describes emptiness as having five attributes, or wisdoms lights:

Mirror-like wisdom
Discriminating wisdom
All-accomplishing wisdom
The wisdom of equality
All-encompassing wisdom

These wisdoms are manifestations of emptiness.

Although emptiness does not entail judgement, note that there is ‘discriminating wisdom’ – having the ability to discern – because we have to be able to recognise whatever is an obstruction to the clarity of mind. It is the recognition of such an obstruction that denotes a transmission taking place: the noise in empty silence. We now can judge whether something is beneficial or not, but in the light of spiritual wisdom.

The teachings are transmissions.
We are the receivers.
The receiver recognises it is receiving: it’s switched on!

It’s just a matter of tuning in.

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THE PROBLEM WITH ‘DOING’ SPIRITUAL PRACTICE …

The Problem With ‘Doing’ Spiritual Practice …

… is wanting something,
fearing not getting it,
and ignoring what is already present.

The way to salvation or liberation free from suffering
is to see the Lord of Love everywhere, and in everyone.

That seeing is the Lord of Love.
It was never anywhere else.

In the early stages of spiritual practice, we do something. Gradually and synchronistically, the inspirations of realisation occur. We discover that wanting what we already are is an interference to realisation.

Spiritual practice is a reminder; it is the mindfulness training boat that takes us to our destination – pure awareness. Once we have arrived, we no longer need the boat of longing. We can just be.

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BEING CONVINCED ABOUT OUR WAY

Being Convinced About Our Way
It’s just a matter of seeing.

We all have an inner longing, but maybe we’re not clear about what that is. Once we give it a name, this seems to limit the longing, creating a barrier we cannot pass. This inner longing is beyond the physical or mental realms; it’s more like a ‘feeling’. A mystery, but not a total mystery because there is something familiar in it.

Here, we are referring to our inner dimension. This is something we daren’t talk about, because talk is just talk.

The word ‘spirituality’ can have many definitions, so we need to be precise about what exactly it means to us, personally. The idea of spirituality switches many people off, because the material world – and their place in it – means everything to them, and if we’re not careful, we can become caught up in their partiality.

It’s just a matter of seeing.

Our path is confusion, and is therefore, dark. We need to enlighten the path, and keep the light on. Once the path is lit, we can see – and that is all that matters. Then there is no need for the path; it’s gone!

Because there is just seeing, subtle fears may arise because we feel we have to see something: we miss the genuine experience of just seeing, of pure awareness, and therefore we resort to clinging to the path of religious formulae. We have not “Gone, gone, gone beyond”.

Our path, our method, our emphasis is actually our undoing. This ‘undoing’ clears away our confusion about our reality. This blog has no intention of converting anyone to anything: genuine teachings merely support whichever path we choose, to realise our reality. Realisation is light … is enlightenment … is clarity.

It’s just a matter of seeing.

Our paths have many names. A path is a means to an end – the end of confusion. It’s not there to create more confusion 😀 . We have to connect with our longing, which is self realisation; the end of the path. And the path can end now!

There are many religious or spiritual traditions, so it’s plain to see that there is more than one approach. Ultimately, when we go beyond words, we go beyond the teacher, the teaching and the upholders of the teaching: “Gone, gone, gone beyond.” If we cannot maintain the light (which is just a matter of seeing), then we need the support of the teacher, the teaching, and the upholders of the teaching.

In order to know anything, we need awareness. We need to look and see – and realise that there is nothing to see. It’s just a matter of seeing, of pure awareness. When we are convinced of this, and have gained confidence in it, then nothing can disturb us. Now we can love, because there is nothing to defend.

If, after death, there are visions, we need to know the difference between the clear light of seeing and the projections of the conceptual mind.

The longing of clear light in union with clear light is ultimate attainment.

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ACETYLCHOLINE – PROLONGED FOCUSED ATTENTION cont

Acetylcholine = Prolonged Focused Attention… continued

This is a complex subject, and although this is only a consciousness blog and not a medical journal, it’s still important to consider such topics.

It seems that our modern, speedy lifestyle is having a detrimental effect on us. Two particular items caught my eye on this subject: too much stress, and exposure to unnecessary chemicals which cause an imbalance in our brains.

In our new world order of flashing images and flashing lifestyle, our inner wind (our anxiety) is always up. If stress is showered upon us when we are children, just think how it is affecting us now. The loss of Acetylcholine is also connected to types of dementia.

There are many sites about this subject: this is from one of them. http://www.gethelpfordepression.info/AcetylcholineDeficiency.aspx

Acetylcholine levels can be low for a number of reasons, including:

  • not enough B vitamins in the diet – Acetylcholine is made from the B vitamin choline, with the assistance of vitamins B1 and B5

  • too much sugar – a high sugar intake robs the body of its vitamin B stores, reducing acetylcholine production

  • too much stress – stress uses up B vitamins and depletes acetylcholine levels in the body

  • exposure to mercury, lead, aluminium, PCBs, fertilisers, pesticides or EMF can all interfere with acetylcholine production in the body

Symptoms of low acetylcholine levels can include:

  • poor focus and concentration

  • memory problems – difficulty remembering names and faces, birthdays, lists, directions or instructions

  • misplacing your keys, wallet or glasses frequently

  • slow and/or confused thinking

  • difficulty finding the right words

  • disorientation

  • making simple mistakes at work

  • introversion – preferring to do things alone rather than in groups

  • feeling of despair, lack of joy

And then there is the addictive lifestyle of reward – the Dopamine effect! The way in which we think affects our lifestyle, and our lifestyle affects our brain. The way our brain works, with its memories and judgements, affects our mind.

This is why it is important to be aware.

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ACETYLCHOLINE = PROLONGED FOCUS ATTENTION!

Acetylcholine = Prolonged Focused Attention!
“People are losing this capacity.”

Friederike Fabritius:
It’s only when we truly focus that a chemical called acetylcholine is released in the
brain. Of the three factors we need for peak performance, focus may be the toughest to
achieve. We are surrounded by distractions.”

Part of lecture:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0C93OcfzGk

Full lecture:

(in this lecture, she actually says ‘fight, flight or freeze’ 😀 )

Neuropsychologist Friederike Fabritius, co-author of “The Leading Brain”:

“Although dopamine, noradrenaline, and acetylcholine are what you need for peak performance, I have developed a friendlier framework to make things easier to remember: It’s Fun, Fear and Focus.

“When you have fun with the task at hand, that is, when you really enjoy what you are doing, you release dopamine. Dopamine makes your brain more efficient, helps you learn better, and allows your prefrontal cortex, the region of the brain for rational and analytical processing, to function better.

“After fun, there’s fear, which releases noradrenaline. And when I say “fear,” I’m not talking about horror movie fear. I mean the little bit of uncertainty you feel when you’re slightly over-challenged, when you’re forced to step just outside of your comfort zone.

“The last of the three factors is focus. It’s only when we truly focus that a chemical called acetylcholine is released in the brain. Of the three factors we need for peak performance, focus may be the toughest to achieve. We are surrounded by distractions. If you are multitasking, you aren’t focusing. And if you aren’t focusing, you can’t achieve peak performance. So, close your door, clear your desk, turn off your phone, and truly focus on doing your best. If it isn’t too easy, that’s OK. As we’ve seen, a little fear is good. And, in the end, you’ll do more than just perform at your peak. I think you’ll have fun!”

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WHEN ARE WE AWAKE?

When Are We Awake?
When we are aware.
When we are solely aware!

When the mind becomes attached to a thought, it goes into a day-dream state. This thought may be very profound but it is still a day-dream, and not actual experience leading to realisation. To prove this, we only have to look; that is why we meditate.

In Shamata meditation, there are three aspects: resting, stirring and knowing.
Resting is being relaxed and still.
Stirring is the arising of a thought.
Knowing is the recognition that a thought is arising, and we return to relaxed stillness.
There is still a feeling of ‘me’.

In Dzogchen meditation, the three aspects are called ground, path and fruition.
The ground is pure awareness, our essential nature of emptiness.
The path is our confusion about the ground.
Fruition is realising that the path (our confusion) never existed: we have been the ground all along.
Dzogchen is pure awareness, and there is therefore no time for a ‘me’.

It is the arising of a thought that sends us to sleep, and into a day-dream. The more we recognise the arising of a thought and let go, the longer we are awake. Our problem is that the stirring of a thought becomes interesting, and we follow – forgetting our original nature of emptiness. We become attached to the thought, and are therefore lost in the day-dream.

To be awake is to be aware. Just aware.

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CARELESS MINDS

Careless Minds

Our mind wanders: it collects ideas, replays and projects.
In this state, it is a mischief maker, a gossip, an intruder.
It entertains … but whom? The watcher.

Contagious mind distracts our enlightened nature.
These ideas become a problem when they’re not noticed.
These same ideas become wisdoms when they are noticed.

When carelessness is recognised, attentiveness is present.
They are inseparable: by virtue of one, the other is noticed.
This is the two truths in unity.

The purpose of meditation is non-distraction; to be aware.
Being aware, we notice that there is nothing other than awareness.
That is pure awareness, empty essence. It’s what we are.

If we become careless and sloppy, we become vulnerable,
and can be exploited.

When the mind is attentive and clear, it has insights
into both unenlightened activity and enlightened activity.

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COMFORTABLY NUMB

Comfortably Numb

We can become spiritually numb: numb to our true reality.
We can become numb to others’ suffering.
We can become numb to being deceived.

Ignorance is comfortable … we wish.
It’s as if we have a ‘dead switch’
that turns off further investigation of the big picture.

We prefer comforts to pure consciousness.
We are detached from understanding the causes of others’ suffering.
The ‘planet for profit’ mindset depletes world resources on an industrial level,
and then blames the people.

* “Comfortably Numb”: song by Pink Floyd

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I AM NOT GOOD ENOUGH

I Am Not Good Enough

I’m not generous enough, patient enough, disciplined enough, or have enough concentration or knowledge. I am, in fact, defective. Should I be depressed?* The answer is NO!

The point is that if we know we have these ‘failings’, there must be a knowingness present to be aware of this. True knowledge is within, but we may have difficulty in manifesting it due to our narrow environment. We judge ourselves (and others) by conventional standards, which are defective as they maintain a limited view of reality, concealing the uniqueness of our ultimate nature of pure consciousness. We can never be without pure consciousness – it’s what we are. It can, however, be covered up, masked, distracted. External contaminates can mess with the brain, and so the mind, but not essence.

We may well appear imperfect on a conventional level, but ultimately, there is perception, awareness, consciousness, the senses: we see – and that’s good enough. We only appear to be not good enough when we relate to others in the relative world. There are always people more generous, patient, disciplined, concentrated, knowledgable than us so, on a conventional level, we are all different.

We have potential. We are good enough. If there are people who appear smarter than us on a conventional level, it does not mean that they will realise their true nature sooner. We have all we need right now … a good heart. We all want to love.

Ultimately, we are all pure consciousness. It is just there in every being, as it is our true nature, which is love. There are many paths and traditions but ultimately, the fruition is just our pure essence realising itself.

We are all good enough; it’s just a matter of realising that.

*(Did you know ‘they’ still use electroconvulsive therapy on people who are depressed? https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/oct/20/electroconvulsive-therapy-ect-mostly-used-women-older-people-nhs )

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NORMAL OR ABNORMAL MENTAL HEALTH

Normal Or Abnormal Mental Health
What happens before the first noble truth is acknowledged?

There are four noble truths:
The truth of suffering.
The truth of the cause of suffering.
The truth of the cessation of suffering.
The truth of the path to the cessation of suffering.

We all have mental health issues; it goes with being sentient. All sentient creatures perceive phenomena – physical and mental – as being real, and are subject to fight, flight or freeze – desire, fear and ignorance.

We maintain this primitive view of our existence because we are not enlightened about our true nature. In our daily life we ‘get by’ like everyone else, more or less. This is our ‘normal’, but until we ‘lighten up’, we will continue to perceive all phenomena as something to which we react.

Normal: conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected.

To be enlightened is to illuminate spiritual insight into our true nature, which turns out to be the pure light of consciousness itself – our pure consciousness. To ordinary human beings, this would appear to be ‘abnormal’ because they want us to be like them – ‘normal’. If we are not, it is perceived as a threat to them – eliciting fight, flight or freeze! Funnily enough, this is clearly evident when people of different spiritual traditions meet 😀

Abnormal: deviating from what is normal or usual, typically in a way that is undesirable or worrying.

Until we are enlightened about our true nature, we will be subject to a limited view; a mistaken, biased, obsessive, fixated view about what we normally think we are. We therefore suffer. Of course, what we normally do is cover up these feelings with distractions. If we ignore, it means we must know; we know, but ignore.

There comes a time when we can no longer live like this. We have to admit to ourselves that we are not happy. Recognising this state, we need to find a source of empathetic knowledge rather than dogma.

The first noble truth of recognising suffering is the most precious jewel. It is precious because this will sustain us throughout our whole journey along the path to enlightenment. We are extraordinary!

We could, in fact, say that our suffering is our path to the cessation of suffering! 😀 That’s wisdom for you. We do not need any substance to dull or mask unhappiness: we only need first to acknowledge (be aware) that we are not satisfied – and then the door opens.

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EMOTIONS ARE OUR ULTIMATE REALITY?

Emotions Are Our Ultimate Reality?

Emotions and thoughts are Dharmakaya. ‘Dharmakaya’ is Sanskrit for ’emptiness’.
Emptiness is uncontaminated consciousness = pure consciousness, our ultimate reality.

How are emotions our ultimate reality?

Likes and dislikes, pride, jealousy, ignorance: all have one thing in common. There is seeing present. Something is seen in order for this emotion to arise. The important point is that seeing – our ultimate reality of pure consciousness – is already present.

However, due to ignorance of this fact, our conventional mind engages in protecting our illusory self image. A distortion of appearances occurs and, as a result, an emotion fires up and we either react – or smoulder inside! 😀

If, on the other hand, we have been introduced to the emptiness of pure consciousness, we see – but without going down the road of reacting. In that very first instant of an emotion about to arise, the mind lights up, and that is the light of emptiness – pure consciousness, our ultimate reality.

Ultimately, appearance and perception are simultaneous. Mirror and reflections. It is the nature of empty essence to be mirror-like; it just reflects. Pure consciousness merely sees.

This isn’t a vacant state of being unaware or not knowing. It is ultimate reality. Because of this ultimate reality, both vacancy and excitement are noticed.

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THE CUSP OF KNOWING AND NOT KNOWING

The Cusp* Of Knowing And Not Knowing
is knowingness itself

We may either take it for granted that we know, or think that we don’t know: both negate ever-present, exact knowingness itself. Knowingness isn’t a frozen state. Rather, it’s a ‘touchy-feely’ openness that is telling us something. It’s our teacher.

This pure knowingness is pure consciousness – a transparent state alive to all appearances – and all appearances are a product of karma. The exhausting of karma is our path home.

Pure consciousness is aware of whatever presents itself in the present moment: whether we think we know or do not know, it neither fixates upon nor freezes a situation. If pure consciousness fixates upon or freezes a situation, it becomes impure consciousness, doesn’t it?

Spiritual teachings are a precious initiation into our true nature, but they are not the cusp of experience and realisation. That comes from the touchy-feely moment of the five wisdoms: mirror-like wisdom, discriminating wisdom, all-accomplishing wisdom, the wisdom of equality and the wisdom of spaciousness, which are the enlightened activities.

If, however, ego grasping has taken over, and we reify ­something abstract, making it concrete or real, then those wisdoms turn into negative emotions, and activate demon activity. We block our natural flow of trusting in the moment now, which is resting in pure consciousness.

If we take our world literally, we will miss the expedient symbolism of constant, pure teaching. The Buddha’s teaching is down to earth: his ground-touching gesture is the witness mudra.

*A point of transition between two different states.

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THE DALAI LAMA; MULTI-FAITH YOGA AND MEDITATION

The Dalai Lama; Multi-faith Yoga And Meditation
Calming a Disturbed Mind ♡

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUieZeyDLrM
Full enthusiasm!

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OUR INNER CORE OF UNEASE

Our Inner Core Of Unease

Due to subtle trauma experienced in the past, I worry about everything, and that has left a residue of memories not only in the mind, but also in the subtle body. It didn’t matter that I meditated, studied and reflected; there was still an internal unease – a coding.

We can witness this unease in others. Even though they may appear to be pleasant people, there are always giveaways, reactions, projections, deflections and withdrawals. It’s not what people say or how they appear to be that matters; it’s how they are. This isn’t a criticism – it’s how we all behave. We need a subtle mind to deal with subtle problems.

What is this subtle body?

The subtle body is the inner, neurotransmitter system of energies, channels and winds. If these energies, channels and winds are unbalanced, blocked or out of place, we feel uneasy. It’s here that reactions and emotions come in to play, stirring us up even more and pushing us close to the edge. This is very important when we view our daily lives, and consider how ideas and feelings are collect and stored. If extreme, this will create stress or depression and affect our immune system *, and we can become dis-eased.

It doesn’t matter how clever we are, our feeling of being grounded is all about the coding in our subtle, internal system. The display or expression of our coding will have an effect on others. If we are at ease with ourselves, then others will notice this, and also be at ease. Light radiates. Unfortunately, darkness is also catching.

We can observe a feeling, anxiety or tension somewhere in the body. Just meeting certain people – or even hearing a name – can make us tighten up, causing us to be tense or alert. This effect may be due either to them and their inner system, or to our vulnerability.

So now we decide to relax and meditate, but maybe it’s not really working. Because of our coding, we can observe our habitual patterns of trying too hard or a experiencing feeling of pointlessness. There is a seemingly set position of anxiety in our lives, but this can be reduced by lowering the ‘inner wind’ that rises from the navel area. We may feel a tension, or discomfort in the head, neck, throat, heart or gut … for me, I just have to bring to mind certain ‘spiritual’ people I’ve known and up goes the mercury! 😀

How to feel better.

All we have do is be aware of that tension. Do it now. Take a gentle breath down – physically and mentally – to three finger width below the navel (I find that the muscles there tense slightly). This is like grounded Chi. Hold that breath for 6-9 seconds and release, while retaining a memory of breath in that area. Try this for 10, 20 or 30 minutes. See how it feels. The practice is not a big deal but has a gentle, lasting effect.

This is where genuine change takes place, and we start being the real person that we are. Instead of living on our nerves with our eyes out on stalks, projecting onto everything that appears, we rest back in a proper Chi stance.

It has been shown that a truly positive attitude or mood has an effect on the functioning of our immune system in response to stimuli. If that is indeed true, it could mean that consuming ‘junk’ food and watching a lot of distasteful and disturbing material could have a detrimental effect on our mind and body.

https://www.today.com/health/could-your-mood-affect-how-well-flu-shot-works-t116846

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THE WORLD IS GETTING BETTER…

The World Is Getting Better …
“What?!”

When we meditate, it seems as though our thoughts are getting worse. We are getting worse! But what’s actually happening is that we are noticing more: we’re seeing what is going on. Although we are constantly trying to cover up our defects, the light of clarity is witness to this. That is the purpose of meditation.

Likewise, with the terrible things that are happening in the world, it seems to be getting worse. Human beings have been exploited and abused for thousands of years by those in power, but now, it’s right in front of our faces. It cannot be ignored: due to the ease of communication, this – and what is behind it – is clearly seen. There is nowhere to hide, even though those in power constantly try to deflect our attention. Being told, “Move along – there’s nothing to see here” doesn’t work any more 🙂 They don’t see that we see! We no longer trust them. It’s glaringly obvious that it will all fall apart.

Clarity is light. Where there are the darkest shadows, there is the brightest light.

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HOW CAN I BE HAPPY?

How Can I Be Happy?

The question should be, “What is it that’s making me unhappy?”

If we recognise that we are not happy, we must innately know what true happiness is. Not knowing that we are intrinsically happy causes problems. The important point is that these problems – or impurities – can be removed. It is actually our hanging onto these impurities that is the problem, rather than the problems themselves. Life can be pure and simple, with every moment enjoyed, even in adversity.

The word ‘happiness’ can be misleading as it has two connotations: pleasure and contentment. These are not the same as each other: one suggests a bubbling and the other, stillness. The bubbling gives us a feeling of excitement, which doesn’t last and so we keep looking for more. Stillness – or rather, contentment – is the flatline of stability in which we just see.

All we want is to return to something we innately know. True happiness is an unshakeable, objective reality, especially under adverse conditions.

We are addicted to the fizz however, and ignore our natural joy of contentment. We don’t have to feel guilty about this; it’s a lifetime’s work. We are being pulled this way and that, away from happiness. We panic and are confused, and life becomes complicated: this is not a happy place in which to be. When we ignore inner values, we can become destructive.

At every moment, knowingness has a choice
either to look for happiness,
or to be happiness.

You are your own master.

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THE DHARMA IS LIKE A NEW COLOUR…

The Dharma Is Like A New Colour …
… one that we never saw before

Our understanding of reality depends on our wish to understand, and the amount of effort we are willing to put in. There comes a point in life, however, when we think we know everything that we need to know, so we don’t – or can’t – look any further.

In Aldous Huxley’s insightful book, “Brave New World”, world reformers eradicated religion, monogamy, and individualistic traits. They stabilised society by indoctrinating young minds into being a certain type; it was a class system to which a person felt they belonged and knew their place. The pleasant narcotic “soma” prevented people from thinking and speaking freely.

We can see this taking place now. Our mechanical minds are programmed to function, without any interest in evolving. Talk about consciousness to most people and we are met with a blank look: “I cannot understand it, so it’s not worth understanding” or “I’m smart enough already, so I don’t need it.”

All the Dharma is saying is to look at awareness – which is consciousness – and that’s what we truly are. We are our own reformer, and not a set of restrictive ideas. The Dharma is not a religion, and neither is it a philosophy: it is spiritual psychology that is provable to any individual, if they make the effort.

The Dharma is about being aware of the workings of the mind. It’s realising our make up to wake up!

If we are brought up in a culture where the Dharma has been longstanding, then, as a natural process, it’s a way of life because there are many inspiring influences. The spiritual way of life is more important than keeping everything clean and tidy.

In the modern world, there aren’t many mahasiddhis to inspire us … but we are very clean and tidy!

We have to want to understand. Wanting to understand is a rarified place in which to be, and it can feel lonely. However, the more closely we look, the more interesting Dharma and colourful life becomes, so there’s no time to feel lonely.

It may come down to being fed up with living within such a limited palette.

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BODHISATTVA

Bodhisattva
😀

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IT TAKES TIME TO REALISE OUR REALITY

It Takes Time To Realise Our Reality

The essence of the Dharma cannot be comprehended by the conventional mind. Hearing or reading about the Dharma is immediate, but that’s just information: to experience and realise the Dharma, we need a still, open mind in order to see clearly. If we think that we know the Dharma, then we’re just fooling ourselves. The realisation is that there is nothing to find – we are what we seek.

Our true reality takes time to process; it’s the great ‘double take’ – to look at something and then look again because you suddenly realise that something unusual is happening. We are not what we see. This isn’t something we can cleverly work out: it is the seeing itself that is realised … “Oh!?”

All we have to do now is remain in the “Oh!?” It solves everything. It knows everything about you and what you need. Call it rigpa. Call it the inner god. Call it advaita. Call it whatever you want. It’s a mystery only to the thinking mind.

The practice is to be … !

Some comment on text and teach about form, method, procedure, ritual, convention and outward forms of religion. And some bring to light the inner essence.

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GURUS AND OLD PRACTITIONERS

Something To Be Aware Of: Gurus and Old Practitioners
The subtle problem of spiritual achievements

We all fall into the trap of wanting to make our life comfortable but, spiritually speaking, this is where the devil gets its teeth in! Here, we have to remember that the devil is our own internal, ordinary mind that clings to desires and loathings – that which we call ‘ego’. As attachment to spiritual achievement, it’s a problem at the highest level, but it can also be that which tips us over the edge 😀 It’s why the devil can never win, because the devil is an illusion.

There are certain characteristics and behaviours that we notice in others that may give us an uneasy feeling … before we experience and admit it within ourselves.

Old practitioners do not get angry because they know it won’t make them feel good. Desire gets worse when we know the Dharma makes things good for us. We understand that jealousy and pride will rob us of the comfortable (and complacent) attitude that we have: being stuck on our fixation – our attachment to bliss and happiness – our desire hasn’t actually diminished at all.

We learn not to be proud because people will put us down, and we will feel bad. There is a genuine confidence with the teachings because we have been practising them for a while and they make us happy. This confidence is mixed with pride that we know so much: we’re not harming people because we can deal with our emotions, and we secretly think we are special.

We have learned to control ourselves and our environment in order to be ‘happy’.
We are in a ‘feel good’ Dharma.

It’s possible that we have come more intelligent, but somehow we are more self centred – we are the great Samsaric masters. This is easily done, and so we have to be honest about our basic wounded-ness, and everything we are covering up. It isn’t easy to be that truthful.

If we feel bad about such matters, it will only complicate the issue; it’s just good to be aware. We see that we put a spin on everything. We hear the teachings in the way we want to hear them, and we indulge ourselves. Becoming caught up in the culture of entertainment, we do whatever we want, but this is not ‘freedom’. Ultimately, it’s a relief to find and admit our hidden flaws, but that takes courage. Question everything.

All human organisations are subject to being … well, human. Spirituality is all about the reality of consciousness rather than acquiring a culture of ‘self’ respect and superiority. This is where spirituality moves into a religious organisation, which turns into politics and power. Old Tibet was a form of feudal system in which people had obligations to the guru – and nowadays, gurus still have their own kingdoms. We should not just follow a guru blindly and accept everything he or she says as everything has to be examined by us. Teachers are not to be adored: they are merely a reminder of the essence of the teaching because the essence of the teaching is what we are, and is within us all the time.

We shouldn’t blindly follow others, but at the same time, we shouldn’t dwell too long on what we might perceive as a mistake otherwise we will be in danger of corrupting our inner peace through a self-indulgence of criticism. We can choose to stay or move on. We may not all on the same path, but our inner wisdom essence is the same.

The Dalai Lama explains about Lamaism and its problems:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wP4rsM7AZQ

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THE MIND REACTS; IT’S PROGRAMMED THAT WAY

The Mind Reacts; It’s Programmed That Way

Liberation is being aware of what is happening when our mind is calculating and reacting. We need to be aware when a reaction is about to start, and also when a reaction is full blown. Reactions take time – mili-moments – and so they are observable. They don’t just happen, but to be aware of this, we need an uncluttered essence.

Only an advanced meditation practitioner’s mind will remain silent because they are practised, and therefore well aware of this process, so we shouldn’t be alarmed if our mind still reacts. We are town yogis after all, and have things to do, but we can remain balanced and less overwhelmed. This, of course, does not mean we do nothing, but now we work from wisdom and insight … hopefully!

The mind reacts because it holds on to memories, and therefore holds on to judgements. It is a calculating machine. The solution is to acknowledge the reaction and be loose and then at ease with it. By letting it be, this releases us from the overwhelming power of the emotions.

Even though we may have ‘practised’ spirituality for years, we still react – or rather, the mind still reacts. We may be very knowledgeable about spiritual matters, and have attended long retreats, but those likes and dislikes still show themselves.

As town dwellers, this is to be expected, but there comes a time when we genuinely want to end the contagious effects of samsara: the fixated attachments that bind us, driving us mad with ideas :D.

The mind reacts, but that does not mean consciousness then has to act it out. That reaction comes from the old brain network – the programme (and the programmers!). Once we stop acting out, karma starts emptying, which means purification is taking place. The programme is no longer running us.

There are two approaches to this enlightened attitude:

Once empty essence is acknowledged, a feeling is experienced before the reaction takes place. It’s a sort of unidentified, uncomfortable or pleasant feeling that hasn’t yet taken form, and it’s believed to occurs within the subtle body. It’s a residue from the past. The Buddha in the mud acknowledges.

In the other approach – when we’ve missed that first feeling – we are suddenly aware that a full blown emotion has taken place, and we have a choice whether to act on it, or let it be. The shock of the emotion, in the very first instant, reveals clarity. The emotion and wisdom are, at this point, simultaneous. The Buddha in the mud acknowledges.

In the first case, the emotion is about to happen. In the second, it has already arisen.

When we look around, we can see the programme that drives most of us: this, if recognised, will be an inspiration, and is a major factor in our wish to engage in recognition, experience and realisation.

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WE DESPERATELY NEED TO TUNE INTO OUR CONSCIOUSNESS…

We Desperately Need To Tune Into Our Consciousness…
…now!

In the world in which we live, we are constantly being de-tuned. This reduces our performance and efficiency on a spiritual level, as all our efforts are focused on increasing our performance and efficiency on a conventional level. The result = exhaustion. We’ve turned away from our dynamic, peaceful, enlightened potential, and have become unconscious of the disturbances taking place in our minds. We are constantly being fed sickening fantasies; life has become devalued and cheap. People are being allowed to die – and being killed – to prove a Machiavellian two-faced point, which is merely to gain more control of our lives: situations deteriorate to implement a preplanned solution.

All ordinary people want is to live a peaceful life, and do their thing, but there are those who are opposed to people following their hearts. They hate unconditional love while arousing an exaggerated, sentimental conditional love with hand on heart, generating feelings of tenderness, sadness, or nostalgia in an self-indulgent way. These power-crazed demons want it all, and they want us to want more than we need. This is impure consciousness maintaining impure consciousness.

The way in which we perceive consciousness will dictate our view. One person may see something as normal, while another sees it as insanity. We are put out of tune every day; demons fear sanity, and love confusion. This disruption has to be maintained as it is so easy to be re-tuned to sanity because we have innate perfect pitch: we can use our ‘Get out of jail free’ card of just being aware of consciousness. Realising reality does not cost anything – just awareness.

Our understanding depends on the sort of path we choose to follow. The title of this article could have been, “Tune Into Consciousness” or “We Need To Tune Into Our Consciousness” but I chose the more urgent, “We Desperately Need To Tune Into Our Consciousness”. How much do we value the reality of consciousness? We start to realise that there are levels of alarms that ring out to us about what is taking place … code green, code orange, code red!!!

This blog has only one message – that we are pure consciousness: the words may be arranged differently in each article but it’s always the same sentiment. If you go to teachings, it will be the same essence, more or less. There may be exotic practices involving chanting and recitation which are goal-orientated, and were devised for the type of person who is sleepy. These are more to do with the old world, but in the modern world, as we are more alert, our path should be oriented towards direct liberation.

To date, I have written 1984 articles, which happens to be the same number as George Orwell’s book entitled “1984”. His theme, ‘control by fear’ is just as applicable today as then. We have been got at!

Whatever is going on to delude us, we can still maintain pure consciousness by being in tune with our true reality. The more we recognise the effect of fear and hope, the more the realisation that these emotions are a fantasy. It’s obvious when you look!

The Buddha’s first noble truth is the recognition that we are suffering. In fact, we should return to this constantly, as the recognition of suffering refines. It’s all about having a bloody good look :D!

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CAN WE CHANGE OUR BRAIN?

Can We Change Our Brain?

If we can change our mind, we can change our brain.
But changing our mind isn’t as easy as we think!

Neural pathways are set up when we’re young
and that is our programme, our way of seeing.

We can change the way our brain works by being aware of the corruption within it. Our judgements are based on memory – the software on the hard drive – and that influences the whole process of perception. This programme is developed in our early years when we are at our most receptive, and thus we live a certain way of life. Most of us believe that’s the way we are, and we accept our place in life.

If we feel that we cannot change, then perhaps we can agree that we can refine our ideas – or at least be aware of our bias. First we have to be prepared to investigate how robotic we actually are. You cannot have a discussion with a robot. Being robotic is being unable to process new information that we hadn’t previously considered: we find that not only are we not interested, but we actually turn our gaze away.

“I’m not a robot!” Can you change your approach? Not easy, is it?

There are three approaches to changing our mind, changing our brain, changing ourselves. Wisdom meditation is the first way. It’s being aware of awareness, conscious of consciousness. In order that we don’t become robotic in our meditation, we destroy the meditation – short moments many times. This ensures that we turn our ‘self’ off. Wisdom is the clarity of mind essence. This the first influence of change.

The second approach is deep appreciation for the teachings about the nature of reality, to the extent that we now value this knowledge which makes our life meaningful, beneficial and happy. We become devoted to the genuine teachings and the genuine skilled teachers who make sure that we understand. This the second influence of change.

The third approach is a genuine, sympathetic kind heart towards those who are experiencing levels of suffering from the gross to the very subtle. That is compassion. This the third influence of change.

All three approaches take an idea of self out of the picture.

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DO YOU FEEL YOU ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH?

Do You Feel You Are Not Good Enough?

This feeling can be disheartening, and can have an effect on whatever we do. Unfortunately, it also delays the realisation of our natural birthright of enlightened potential – and sanity :D. Being half-hearted clouds clarity, when we already have all that we need to succeed in realising our goal – whatever that goal might be – and that is awareness.

The feeling of not being good enough can give rise to all sorts of unnecessary negative emotions, which we then justify. That is delusion. That is the cause of our suffering. We simply lack confidence in the essential simplicity of a subject.

This feeling is even more evident when we are talking about spirituality and spiritual establishments or traditions. It’s quite understandable that such a feeling might arise: there are so many ‘good’ people, ‘scholarly’ people, ‘holy’ people, that we don’t have chance to keep up with them. It is as if we have to sign on the dotted line, and never look at anything else ever again. It happens.

Once we are hooked into others’ enthusiasm, we become fundamentalists, leaving our humanity at the door. The problem with learning ‘about’ something is that we feel that we are superior, and act in a superior way. It happens.

Modifying our manner does not mean that we are spiritual: we’ve just become something that we are not. Mannerisms become a weight around our neck. If we fall into that trap, we will never feel that we are good enough, and will be critical of others as a result. It happens.

It is not a question of being aware of how we act. It’s about the awareness itself. Being taught something is an introduction: it gives us a way in, so that we can have our selfie taken at the door to the path … Big smile! Big pout! But we only actually pass through the door and set foot on the path when we let everything go and just be ourselves, warts and all. People fear being honest: they feel vulnerable, and that’s why they stay outside, despite believing that they are inside.

For those of us who aren’t ‘good enough’, experiencing all those doubts, uncertainties, confusion and dissatisfaction is, in fact, the path. It is these very qualities that keep us looking, rather than ‘finding’ something to do, or talk about.

The feeling of being ‘not good enough’ is disheartening, but with it comes the realisation that that is the way we are at this moment. In that, everything drops away and there is a sense of relief and release. That is honest openness – and it’s good enough.

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DHARMAKAYA, SAMBHOGAKAYA AND NIRMANAKAYA?

Dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya And Nirmanakaya?

Simple!

Dharmakaya:     finding nothing – emptiness.
Sambhogakaya: awareness of finding nothing – the brightness of clarity.
Nirmanakaya:    the inseparability of the two – clear light – unconfined compassion.

Why is this compassion? Because we now know the nature of absolute reality, and that which prevents the realisation of this.

We lack compassion simply because we forget the emptiness of clarity of our being, which then allows concepts to fixate and cloud our minds. It is because we obsess about our concepts that hope and fear are created.. The result is a miserable world that we maintain, which makes genuine compassion challenging.

The outcome of realisation is confident joy … but also, sadness as we realise that beings have to find their own way, in their own time. We can help to show the way, pointing out the obstacles.

Gently does it.

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THE DARK AGE OF SOCIAL ENGINEERING

The Dark Age Of Social Engineering
‘The guiding hand’

Where do our ideas come from? We can all be accused of racism and intolerance, but what is behind the recent speed of change in demographics? Of course, people will react. Are our natural cultures losing their uniqueness? Are genders being squeezed together to confuse? Are town shopping centres all looking the same? Are authorities becoming heavy-handed? Are more people in debt? Why is there music/noise everywhere? The list goes on and on …

Ideas and distractions are constantly circulated into the population via the media through fashion, music, science, religion, sexuality, education … the list goes on and on. These ideas can have an immediate or long term effect.

The people who propagate these ideas are the gossips, the busy-bodies, the trolls, the fear-mongers, the jobsworths spreading the ‘news’. Unwittingly, we become part of smear campaigns, quick to point the finger away from where ideas originated.

To understand the ‘news’, we have to read between the lines, looking beyond explicit statements to see their effect, and ask ourselves where our ideas came from.

The Establishment is a dominant group or elite that holds power or authority in a nation or organisation. People come and go, but the Establishment constantly secures its place and looks after its own. This is the same in any organisation: once on top, they want to stay on top.

“All that glitters is not gold” is a well-known saying, meaning that not everything that looks precious or true turns out to be so: this can apply to people, places, things and ideas that promise to be more than they really are.

Tainted information contaminates purity. Our minds are tainted with concepts. We only have to recognise them to be released from them, to become free and ultimately enlightened. If we don’t, we stay dumb and subservient.

Authentic meditation is reality, and not just mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness may make us better at whatever we are doing, but it can enslave us because we become enthralled, captured by fascination. So near, yet so far.

Authentic awareness meditation reveals the effect of social engineering: it uncovers all those hang ups we have about ourselves and what, in fact, this manufactured self is made of. We see what is going on.

When does this social engineering start?
When we are young!

From the film “South Pacific”:

You’ve got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You’ve got to be taught
From year to year,
It’s got to be drummed
In your dear little ear

You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff’rent shade,
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You’ve got to be carefully taught!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAls_gUhlQw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAZ8yOFFbAc

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WE LIVE IN A WORLD OF TWO IGNORANCES

We Live In A World Of Two Ignorances

These are known as ‘co-emergent ignorance’ and ‘conceptual ignorance’:
We ignore our true nature, and we maintain that ignorance.

Because consciousness forgets its true essence of uncontaminated, pure clarity, when it looks out at the universe, it fixates on everything as being real and permanent. Being attracted or repelled it (we) creates in our mind a seemingly permanent reality.

This is a limited, frozen reality of confusion; it’s a dumbing down of intelligence. If things were, in fact, solid and unchanging, nothing could be created or destroyed. There would be no movement, and our understanding would never change. If this was indeed true, life would be a worse nightmare than it is now. But that isn’t the case (thank goodness :D).

We live in a world where the populace is ignorant of their true essence – and desperate to maintain this ignorance in order to provide a (false) sense of security. This is the illusion in which we live, causing a hell of misery in the world. There is a children’s saying, “Sticks and stone may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” Nowadays, because of super-sensitivity, we have become vulnerable and paranoid, and therefore believe that we can be attacked by words.

True security lies in our true nature.
We are not what we see or believe.

That which sees is the pure clarity of essence.
It is the only certainty that never changes.
It not a physical ‘thing’ and can never be harmed.

It can only be ignored.

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TOGAL = FIVE LIGHTS OR RAYS

Togal = Five Lights Or Rays

The light that shines

These rays are the five wisdoms that are the natural display or manifestation of pure, empty awareness: “mirror-like wisdom”, “wisdom of all-encompassing space”, “wisdom of equality”, “discriminating wisdom” and “all-accomplishing wisdom”.

Pure light prisms into colours. These represent the five Buddha families in their pure aspect of a Buddha-type but, when ignored, they also represent the five defilements or negative emotions.

There are extensive descriptions easily available on the internet. Here, we are merely clarifying the terminology of Togal, especially with regard to Dzogchen – pure awareness. Of course, there may be deeper meanings to the one presented here, but we need steps in order to demystify. The experience will be unique to the individual.

When talking of visions, this is a cultural experience, and translated as such. If we see shapes and colours when closing our eyes, this is the ‘inner light’ of ‘phosphenes’: atoms constantly emit and absorb tiny particles of light, or photons, described as ‘coloured snow in the dark’. This may be experienced according to our karma: we may see Buddha images or just coloured snow in the dark, but the source is pure awareness. Even the notion of pure awareness may have many names.

Tibetan monasteries are very colourful. They are a reminder of emptiness that is within: the clear light (Trekcho) and the outer colours (Togal). The external vision of the monastery attracts: that is skilful means.

When we start to understand the light that shines, we are talking about our purest aspect that has downgraded into a gross appearance of self deception. We have solidified all appearances and created samsara, a vicious cycle of existence of ignorance, dullness, excitement and therefore, vulnerability and unhappiness.

We do not all have visions, but we can turn mental occurrences into anything that is beneficial. All appearances are projections in the mind. Ultimately, there is only clear light. There is no mystery. Mystery occurs when we doubt knowingness, which is our natural being of pure awareness, pure consciousness. We are Dzogchen, Trekcho and Togal.

The light that shines is skilful means … is love.
Pure and simple.
It’s the same in any language, tradition, universe or dimension.

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BUDDHISM IS SELF INVESTIGATION

Buddhism Is Self Investigation

Seeking the truth is not about going to a teaching, being told something, and believing it. The Buddha’s teaching has many levels: the same words are used, but the meaning changes as we investigate. Gradually, we see differently, and we live differently. We see the story behind the story. The problem is that we are investigating something that never existed in the first place – a self image.

The more we try to find our ultimate nature, the more we realise that there is nothing to find. Our ordinary mind is not subtle enough for this investigation as we are using impure consciousness, which judges from memories, and is thus defective programming. We have to be in the moment now in order to experience accurately, and that means having an open mind, without any active programming!

Everything that we perceive is based on confusion. We believe what we see to be real, having a permanent, true existence. As we investigate, we find answers that perhaps satisfy initially, but gradually, that becomes no longer the case. We need to question everything, until we realise what is investigating what. Unfortunately, ‘religion’ can obscure our search for reality. Come to think of it, so can science!

The Dharma is not facts to be learnt. It is information to experience. Through experience, we gain knowledge – inner knowledge – which ultimately becomes wisdom – unshakeable wisdom about the emptiness of ultimate truth. The kingdom of heaven is not a place; it is just waiting to be realised. Of course, we may start by believing that there may be an ultimate truth, but we won’t know that until it is experienced and realised … now!

We will not find something that meets the definition of our true nature, as anything we find is subject to change. Nothing truly exists: if we investigate thoroughly, we come to understand that anything we find never existed in the first place – even our confusion!  We realise that whatever we discover through our ideas is empty of any inherent existence of its own. Everything – matter and ideas – are subject to causes and conditions, and are part of the collective programme.

The Dharma is not something we can write down and learn, and then move on to something more interesting. It’s finding, letting go, dropping, finding, letting go, dropping … it’s like that.

The reason that there are levels is because, at certain times, the ordinary mind has to be convinced, and so we settle for one particular idea at a moment in time. This does help as part of the process of making us decent, mentally-healthy human beings – and we could just stop there. We may, however, find that something is missing. We are still holding on … to terminologies.

According to contrived prophesies, the world is going to end either today or tomorrow. It’s already tomorrow in Australia and nothing has happened 😀 Don’t believe everything you read. Don’t take stories to be literal.

There is always a level of consciousness beyond confusion.
The moment you think you’ve got it figured out … you’re wrong!

😀 😀 😀

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IS HUMANITY STUPID, EVIL OR JUST GULLIBLE?

Is Humanity Stupid, Evil Or Just Gullible?

Why are we functioning on such a basic level, when we have so much hidden potential? The funny thing is that this potential is NOT hidden. This potential is “awareness”, which is functioning all the time, except when we are asleep, unconscious or distracted. And it is that awareness which is reading this now – pure consciousness, pure being. But a moment later we forget, and go about our business. We have forgotten what we are.

We may appear to be intelligent and sophisticated, but we are actually running around in circles chasing our tails, doing and saying the same things, day after day. We live in a programme of responses. No one ever says anything unexpected, do they? Scary isn’t it?!

The ‘news’ isn’t news: it’s programming that repeats the same lines, decade after decade, and we’ve become so used to this that it seems normal. If something important is actually happening in the world, they’ll either show you fashion and celebrities, or create fear.

It is precisely because we are programmed that our ‘button’ can be pushed to react to type, and in so doing, we get to press others’ ‘buttons’. We go to war over belief systems; “You don’t believe what I believe, therefore I shall turn away from you … or kill you”. What a scary world!

If we take a step back from humanity, we see that we are very dangerous beings. The more stupid we become, the more dangerous we are.

The moment we step back from the programming is the moment we wake up.
Meditation is awakening from this nightmare: we realise that we aren’t machines!

The sweet smile of recognition
brings tears of joy of oneness.

41 seconds…!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNS_SUmCJm4

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SIMPLY WATCHING THE BREATH

Simply Watching The Breath

Sitting quietly, not following thoughts, focusing on the inhalation, pausing, exhaling, aware of the breath is resting in the clarity of stillness. This is basic meditation, and helps us to concentrate. Being able to concentrate means that we don’t get distracted. This, of course, influences everything we then do, and can change our life. That’s how important it is.

A quiet space is preferable, but we can do this anywhere, at any time. All the senses are open, but inactive. We are coming to our senses! Being is awakening.

Although we may be keen to do advanced practices, we can miss the whole point. Stability and calmness of the mind/brain is vitally important; it is the foundation for the golden roof. It is but a quantum hop from being aware of the breath to being aware of pure awareness.

Quantum: a discrete quantity of energy proportional in magnitude to the frequency of the radiation it represents.

In returning to this simple practice every day, we can see if it is different or not.

In watching-the-breath meditation (shamata), we sustain effort, and try to maintain concentration so that no thoughts are let in: this breaks our habitual patterning. We can review ‘problems’ later, with a calm mind.

In pure awareness meditation (rigpa), it is short moments many times. We deliberately break the meditation. This is so that we let go of ‘doing’ meditation: there is no longer ‘me’ doing ‘something’. That is pure consciousness. We are pure consciousness.

All sorts of inspirations can occur in meditation, but if we are not careful, we can become hooked by them – and this is a huge trap. It is for this reason that returning to shamata is so important. We can review the inspiration … later!

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WHATEVER PATH WE FOLLOW

Whatever Path We Follow

Whatever path we follow, whatever we believe, whatever we think we know, it is essential to realise that pure perception is taking place, through the haze of the brain/mind’s chattering.

We don’t have to recall special teachings: we merely have to be aware that awareness is taking place. That is the beginning of waking up to our reality. This pure perception has many names, but in essence, it is pure consciousness, empty as a clear sky. They do say that inspiration comes out of the blue! 😀

This is neither about the seer nor the thing seen. It is the absolute seeing itself – pure awareness, pure consciousness. That is what spirituality is all about: it is the transformation of the natural (in conventional, human terms) into the super-natural (spiritual awakening).

There is no mystery to be solved, but merely awareness being aware of itself and coming to rest in that realisation. There are no lofty ideas, no rituals, no incantations, no clever sayings, no teachings, no teachers and no Buddhas. We have arrived. In that emptiness, there is nothing to solve, except the acceptance that whatever takes place in our lives is a product of our previous conduct – whether pleasant or unpleasant – and we have to work with that, with genuine love. We are not embellishing ourselves with spiritual terminologies as our true essence is beyond all that chatter.

Realising absolute truth, we don’t suddenly become wonderful people, as there is old luggage to be disposed of. We have to live out our relative existence, but now there is a rightness about it. It’s our lot and our confusion … and our path of discovery.

Being skilful about whatever we do, we take care not to overlay or modify ourselves by reinforcing obsessive, limiting ideas that we have acquired. A clear mind is open to all possibilities.

We work with where we are now. We don’t have to envy others’ immaculate lifestyles, although they can be very seductive. We don’t need pride in our lifestyle, thinking it’s better than that of others; their path may be simpler.

Whatever path we follow, it all comes down to pure perception – not better perception than others. Just pure perception – and that is a good heart!

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OUR CONDUCT IS CONTACT…

Our Conduct Is Contact …
with others or things

The inner view of emptiness – intelligent clarity – is simplicity itself. We are just aware, barely conscious. Our conduct or expression, however, has to be skilful and is therefore complex: anything we say or do – positive or negative – has a tremendous effect on others and on a situation. This is love in action, which can take many forms.

Our conduct is the same as ‘merit’:

Merit: Middle English originally in the sense ‘deserved reward or punishment’: via Old French from Latin meritum  ‘due reward’, from mereri  ‘earn, deserve’.

Thus we can see that our conduct or merit is … karma! Our conduct is the way in which we clear the path to enlightenment. There’s no point in having lofty views while still being obnoxious, smug or antagonistic 😀

Conduct is feeling the situation, and being at one with the thing or person, at that level. When in the jungle, think jungle.

Having said this, there is always a moment of inspiration to uplift, to heal. Being skilful is proceeding carefully, neither smothering nor ignoring.

We cannot buy our way into an enlightened heaven; intention is what counts!

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ALPHA AND OMEGA

Alpha And Omega

Jesus,“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to each person according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by its gates.…”

We start with ‘I am’, and then wash the mind of contrivances and realise just am-ness. From awareness to pure awareness. The antidote to being contrived is being uncontrived.

Contrived: deliberately created, rather than arising naturally or spontaneously. Artificial and unrealistic.

Uncontrived: natural and spontaneous.

The way is the light of clarity, and we are that light. Without the light of clarity nothing would be known would it? The moment we behold “I am”, the reward is that which is aware of “I am” – pure awareness, pure consciousness. Once the light is on, its nature is to shine.

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SEEING AND THE SEEN ARE INSEPARABLE

Seeing And The Seen Are Inseparable

This is the meaning of the two truths of our reality.
Ultimate and relative reality.
Pure consciousness and that of which pure consciousness is aware.
The real and the seemingly real.
That which is constant and that which is impermanent.

In just seeing – pure consciousness – there is neither concepts nor duality. Duality begins when consciousness forgets its pure state of emptiness, and comments on whatever is seen.

Of course, ‘to-ing and fro-ing’ is happening all the time: in one moment, we are empty essence (pure consciousness) and in the next, we are totally caught up (impure consciousness). Spiritual practice is just being aware that this is taking place. No one is saying, “Hold your breath and stay in purity”; just be aware and recognise our own obstacles of doubt, worries etc. That recognition is perfect purity itself, being awareness, being consciousness. The main point is not to feel guilty about occurrences in the mind because they are merely programmes from the past.

These doubts and worries are our illusion, but we have to be aware of collecting others’ illusions as well. Being detached is de-hypnotising ourselves, avoiding being caught up in others’ history or geography. How many times have we taken part in something that wasn’t of our own making? And probably assuming that this is reality – and that have to stay in that illusory reality?

Spiritual traditions are like this: they are only a guide, a map. When we know the direction in which we are going – which is the here and now – the map will not experience all the obstacles for us. We do that at every step we take.

When we are confident of our direction – direct experience – we can put the map down and watch our steps. Seeing and the seen are inseparable.

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WHAT IS TOGAL?

What is Togal?

It’s a secret!
Or is it?

In Dzogchen, there are two aspects: Trekcho and Togal. We can read up on the meaning of these words, and still be confused. At some point, we have to come to our own conclusion – and that IS the point! Whatever is said about these strange words, they are natural to us, so they aren’t really a secret, are they? They have just gone unnoticed: when seen, they can be translated into our own language.

I started writing about this subject yesterday, and it got to four pages in length … and then just stopped. That’s the Dharma for you – fully comprehensive and confusing!

The Dharma is complete, as it can take a person from the recognition of suffering to enlightenment. It can accommodate all sorts who are willing to look. But it can also appear to be pedantic – excessively concerned with minor details or rules – and over-scrupulous. I love it, but terminology obscures the direct view!

Trekcho and Togal is the light that shines: it is the light and its shining. The mechanics and the vision. Craft and art. If we become obsessed by the light/the mechanics/the craft, we may forget to have fun! If we become obsessed by the shining/the vision/the art, we may forget the clarity of emptiness, our origin.

There is, however, a good reason for so-called secrecy, or limited explanation. Togal has to be a natural-outcome-realisation, an effulgence, literally shining brightly; the radiance of a person or their expression, emanating joy or goodness.

If we try to shine without a steady flame, our light may flicker and even fizzle out. We need to realise and have confidence in the light of emptiness first, in order to have a steady flame! The shining is dynamic presence = spontaneous presence.

We all have this shining light: we are this shining light, but it gets obscured by our thoughts and emotions. Once we become confident and stable in the clear light of empty essence, thoughts and emotions become expression – a display, an ornament – of creative compassion.

Togal shines naturally and cannot be disturbed – or put out 😀

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REGRET, BUT DON’T KEEP REGRETTING

Regret, But Don’t Keep Regretting

Conventionally, it is good to regret what we may have said or done in the past that caused hurt, because at that time we knew no better. If we learn something from regretting our past actions, then we can move on. Now, when our button is pressed, our reactions based on the past are not so excitable.

To keep regretting will only create guilt, barriers or even traumas in our mind, which will affect our behaviour, and how we deal with life and others. This is a hinderance to our spiritual progress and mental stability. We simply cannot keep blaming ourselves … or others. Ultimately, we must let go. Then was then, and now is now. We either live in the continuity of ignorance, or in the continuity of liberation. Release sometimes just happens spontaneously; I’m still wondering at that.

If we think that dwelling on the past will improve things for us now, we will live forever in cloud cuckoo land.

cloud cuckoo land”: to think that things that are completely impossible might happen, rather than understanding how things really are.

As Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.”

The good news is that we always have a choice.

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MIND THE CRACK!

Mind The Crack!

Thoughts give the appearance of being a solid flow, but between those thoughts there is a gap – the crack of light that is the essence of our true nature. This constant flow of thoughts seems real enough, but it is precisely because these thoughts come and go that we see they are impermanent, having no inherent reality of their own.

Reality, as perceived by most humans, is actually a simulated reality. How do we know? Through familiarisation, which is called meditation, we recognise that we are not our thoughts, as those thoughts are observable.

As the crack grows, more light pours in. The light has always been there, but was obscured by the appearance of thoughts and ideas about our self, which is our simulated reality. That light, that luminosity, is awareness. When the light of awareness realises itself, then our true nature is realised simultaneously. We are that light. It’s what we are – clear light, clear awareness.

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DHARMA CHAT

Dharma Chat

I love discussing the Dharma but, on reflection, the Dharma is about what is going on in our own mind right now. We can go to teachings and listen to enlighten our path. We can ask questions of the teacher, and the teacher will reply from their own tradition and in their own style – but the Dharma is still about our own experience, rather than what’s written in a book or, in fact, what someone else says. As the Dharma is our own experience, discussing the Dharma with others is little precarious as we each have our own experience and leanings. Discussion may clear up a point, but it’s sometimes like talking to aliens 😀

It all comes down to what is looking, and that is pure consciousness, hidden behind various veils.

Personally, I’ve never met a Buddhist – or any other religious person – that I can talk to (come to think of it, it’s just as difficult to communicate with family members!). We have to talk in generic terms, and not get too close. This is why retreats are silent and we practice in solitude, as we each have our own rituals and ways of practicing. A meeting of minds in momentary – and that’s fine.

The Buddha’s teaching isn’t about doing this and that. It refers to consciousness itself that is aware in its purest form – emptiness. There isn’t anything to say about emptiness, except that it is called Shunyata in Sanskrit! 😀

The Buddha’s teaching is about realising our true nature, and the hinderances that confuse that realisation.

Still, having said this, if you want to discuss anything – there are always niggling questions – you can write to buddhainthemud@hotmail.com You will always get ‘an’ answer; it may not the best answer, but it will be supportive! Questions clarify, and any answer that you get back can then be reflected upon. It’s up to you whether to agree or not.

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