The Pointing Out Instruction on the Nature of Mind
Knowing the difference between
conscious-ness and a conscious-mess.
We really do need to know the difference so that we can discern which state we are in. The recognition that we are in a mess , is the very moment of realisation! So we can’t go wrong. 😀
The instruction is simple and short, but we need a little warming up. We may find this teaching shocking, annoying, boring or enlightening : it made me really angry when my attention was brought to the fact that I had spent decades in what my teacher called ‘idiot’ meditation. This illustrates the fact that there are both gradual and direct paths to enlightenment.
On receiving the instruction, my only feeling was “Is that all?” There really is nothing else!
This realisation brought with it a huge sense of relief. It may do the same for you. 😀
Spiritual groups, therapy groups and religions all tend to add a complexity to teachings which are ultimate simplicity. They make up rituals for people, creating a beautiful mould to which beautiful people cling, maybe losing the simple beauty of the reality of pure, empathetic awareness.
The Buddha’s first noble truth is the admission that we are suffering or dissatisfied, rather than continuing to cover up this dissatisfaction. The second noble truth is the realisation of the cause of that suffering, which is the identification with an idea. The third and fourth truths are finding a method to release us, and realising that we are already liberated.
I am not a teacher. The authority for instruction comes from the reader, rather than the teacher. It is the student who recognises, investigates and realises the authentic nature of truth. Authority does not come not from someone who has a title or wears robes calling themselves an authority; it comes down to our own realisation. Spiritual teachings are expressed in different ways and may or may nor connect with our experience. One has, however, to ‘read between the lines’.
Terminologies and incantations can create mystery and confusion. This instruction is merely one candle, having been lit, passing on the light.
This teaching is the Maha Ati/Dzogchen approach, where we drop the mantras, breath and mindfulness meditations and recognise directly the nature of mind. You don’t even have to meditate!
Mindfulness meditations are merely a boat to get us to the shore of realisation; once we arrive at the shore, we can leave the boat behind. Unfortunately, we become stuck in the boat, digging our oars in the sand, to makes us feel as if we are doing something. This turns out to be futile diligence.
Mindfulness meditations make us feel good and that is a excellent start, but we may experience a certain dissatisfaction, suggesting a time to move on. We are not taught sequentially; we learn sequentially. Having many teachers helps us ‘read between the lines’ when reaching an empirical understanding. There is but one truth, with many expressions. We are one in pure consciousness, and unique in expression.
There is a very subtle different between “I am resting in stillness”, and beingthe stillness. The first is a duality, while the second is not. In pure reality, there is neither that which is experienced nor an experiencer: there is merely experience. The word merelyin this context is synonymous with pure emptiness; ‘mere’ is used to emphasise that the fact of something being present in a situation is enough to influence that situation.
When we maintain mindfulness, resting our attention in naturalness without thinking, in that state we may experience a vacancy – me and a maintenance. If no awareness insight is present, this is exactly what the masters call ‘ignorance’.
When we do experience this state of vacancy, we look into the one who perceives this state of confusion. In that moment, there is a realisation of the spontaneous presence of experience, of consciousness where there is neither experiencer nor thing experienced, but just experience of realisation that there is nothing else. We have arrived at wisdom. We have arrived at what we are – pure consciousness.
This one truth has been present all the time we have been searching for the truth. We are nothing but this truth. It does not matter whether roughness or smoothness, pleasant or unpleasant is experienced, this pure consciousness never changes. We are liberated from confusion when we see that there is just seeing. No exotic words are needed as this moment is indescribable.
We no longer have to cling to a set of ideas; the package of perception, memories and judgements. This package is our karma and our personal teacher that will be with us until the moment of enlightenment. In the moment now, there is no karma: when we fall back into the illusion, karma reminds us of that illusion.
When we forget our true nature, we can return to mantras, breath and mindfulness until we return to the shore of realisation. Our conduct should be one of true compassion and empathy. When we realise our true nature and that which obscures it, then we will understand the world around us.
“What about the confusion in the world?”
“Oh that? It’s deliberate.”
This is why we have to wake up.