The Nature of the Mind – The Nature of Reality – The Fascinating Study of Enlightenment and the Karma of Ego

nature of the mind

This is IT for me, you know?  Contemplating the nature of the mind and reality makes it all bearable.  No.  Not right.   Much more than bearable; it makes life a total celebratory event.

You see, we all think (or feel) that we have our own personal single mind that is so very real because it experiences and recognizes things.  Yet, how often (if ever) do we stop and examine those experiences that the mind thinks are so real?  Break them apart, open them up, see what’s there at the core–do people do that?

Trauma or crisis can help us contemplate this type of thing (or not)–happiness too; any intense experience.   Many times doing that drives us to addictive distraction instead of some level of enlightenment and joy.  But if we really examine the experiences that the mind is having and we do so carefully, and we really contemplate this experience that this mind has and we look for that mind that has this crisis or happy experience, we cannot find a single thing!  Not one single thing but a blend of many components that we call “consciousness’.    It’s NOT YOU!

Here’s what I mean–there is no solid mind or self at the core of the experience or no real experience-ER.  I know, it sounds crazy if you’ve never thought about it but give me a chance to explain.

Consciousness has many various components–parts!  You know like a car, a vehicle has many components, parts–engine, tires, frame, door and so forth.  Is not our mind and our consciousness the same?  Consciousness has awareness of visual objects (forms, shapes, colors) and then there is awareness of sound, touch (tactile consciousness), taste consciousness and all these are separate parts or functions of the mind.  It’s like the car analogy–separate parts, gas tank, gas pedal, speedometer, steering wheel and so forth.

Consider the experience of anything for a moment–it doesn’t have to be crisis or trauma.  Anything.  Happy experience let’s say.  If we consider that each type of consciousness recognizes a particular field of experience (sound awareness or consciousness recognizes sound and visual consciousness is aware of shapes and colors of forms)… if we consider this as part of any experience we see that each of the types of consciousnesses function in an independent way from the others.

So the mind is a blend of consciousnesses and not one single unit or not one single, unitary thing.  Rather it is a compound object just like the car, the vehicle.

There are said to be six consciousnesses and in some books I’ve read there are eight.  And one of those eight include the consciousness which clings to the notion of EGO or “I”.  And another consciousness that is part of what we think of as “me” is called ground consciousness — and I wrote about this a week or so ago.  

The ground consciousness  stores information from all other levels of consciousness and accumulated past lives.  You can see how this level of mind would easily support the idea of an individual identity called “me”.  It would seem so ‘real’ but it is a grouping of consciousness; a grouping of experiences.

To explain further, it is fairly easy to grasp that the visual consciousness perceives objects–that’s the potential of the visual consciousness.  If you look at a red cloth, you see red.  If you look at snow on a mountain, you see white.  We are able also, quite obviously, to see things in succession–first seeing one thing and then the next with one thing disappearing and the next thing appearing in consciousness.  So visual consciousness is multiple and successive and has the potential to see many things at once and so is not single or solitary or one thing.  Nor is it one single solitary unit of time.

strawberry fields foreverEven if we could isolate a single solitary unit of time, it would only occur within the framework of ongoing consciousness because awareness is never static–its fluid.  So every moment has to relate to a previous moment and a future moment—meaning, it is not any more singular than we ourselves are.  The future moment is the present being the past in relation to it.  Yeah, I know that last sentence is pretty deep; but the point is that time is not solid, solitary and static and neither is consciousness and neither are we!  

There is no single unit of identifiable reality in either the external world of appearances or in the subjective mind.  Even space does not have a fundamentally real, inherent existence. Space is not a compound, and does consist of various parts like the car or like our mind.  Space is not a thing–it seems to exist but it is the negation of a particular appears of anything else.  Even the space in a room only exists because of the walls–take away the walls and the space that you thought existed in the room is not there and only depended upon the walls around it to appear as if it existed.

So the whole point in this blog post brings me to the point of liberation–even if I can’t fully understand it all in a way to describe it in words; in an experiential way I’ve known this truth from meditation…   it’s all true.

For example, in a contemplative meditation last evening, I tried to find… well, I asked, “Where is Joy?  Where am I located?”  It took less than a nano-second to realize I’m not my body and once you get past that basic truth, look for the location and you will find it’s everywhere!  And now here!  and nowhere!

And this, my friend, helps me to chill-ax (chill out and relax) and to see the humor in it all…. appearances are empty forms!  And again, quoting the Beatles once more, in the Strawberry Fields song, “Nothing is real; and it’s nothing to get hung about.”  

DEDICATION:  May this post help another in a way that is in divine order when they come upon this post–for this is my true intent in writing it today!  

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Peaceful Reflection in Post Aversion and more on karmic tendencies

Not all apartments here are created equal, nor are all karmic imprints the same!
Not all apartments here are created equal, nor are all karmic imprints the same!

This post is me being bare-to-the-bones honest.  Sharing what I’m learning on this journey.  You may remember the posts since last year have reflected my struggle with… well,  straight to the point shall we?

Not all apartments are created equally, nor do all humans carry the same karmic imprints and tendencies in consciousness.

My inner question over many months involved knowing on deep levels that every irritating sound (or even smell; well, maybe especially smell) was illusion and my response of intense aversion to it was of course of my own making.

The sounds is ‘me’ and the smells are ‘me’ but at the same time in conventional reality obviously coming from the source of the downstairs neighbors.  For months on end, I realized this and argue with self, “…but it is so real (the loud voices the curry/garlic stink),… so real for something that is an illusion!

How could this be me when everything that remains of me that is still sane indicates the opposite?  

I knew the truth of it but the aversion was so strong that the reality of it increased in proportion and the whole thing kept feeding itself.  By the way, since moving I’ve learned that the apartment building itself where this experienced hell-realm is located is cheap construction and the townhouse I’m in now has very good soundproofing. Our neighbor to the right (this is a 2-level townhouse) consists of 3 people and a dog and we never hear a word, nor do the 3 of us living in this townhouse even hear one another’s TV or words from room-to-room or from upper-to-lower level.  So life is much more pleasant as far as that goes.   Not all apartments and townhouses in this complex are equal.

The other apartment  situation may have been karmic but it provided me the stimulus to ask more deeply about the nature of reality and the nature of mind.  I would never, ever wish to repeat it but I do see how the experience benefited my evolution.  

I knew deeply then as I always have in my core being that the external sounds, smell, appearances were empty and coming from the mind but the aversion was so strong… it was very confusing and I resisted it desperately causing myself compounded suffering.

The thing is when we look at something in meditation, we see the appearance of it in the mind.  Sounds, smells, all senses are this way.  The mind interprets everything and assigns meaning or judgment to it…  “i.e. this is pleasant, this is horrible, etc.”

And when we try to find the consciousness that see’s and interprets the energy, when we try to find the visual consciousness or the auditory consciousness or the olfactory/sense of smell consciousness that is doing the looking or receiving the smell, we cannot find it.   Mostly because it is constantly changing and in Buddhist terms it is “empty”.

Being a psychic this is known to me and seen in my work–energy is constantly changing and what we perceive is not the true nature of things, it is only our own perceptions which are deeply ingrained patterns (see last blog post)… latent karmic imprints.  

I have to admit here that there is difficulty in explaining in this written word what I know and what  am learning here now, post-aversion, in my continued  reflection and further study of  Tibetan Buddhism.  It’s complicated on one hand and so simple on the other!  All the Libra energy in me can hold the paradox but my Mercury in Scorpio feels it and has trouble with the words.

I realize even more clearly now that the sounds and smells [from my boisterous and cooking Indian downstairs neighbors and the guitar-singing neighbor who followed] were all simply energies which hit my senses that these sense consciousnesses had absolutely no opinion of those sounds or smells.

And further, and more importantly, I realize with more clarity that  it was my mind that  was giving it whatever meaning it had back then which was that of extreme aversion.

For another person with different karmic imprints, the situation would perhaps even been pleasant (although that’s hard to imagine) or at least the aversion may not have been as strong.

Why would it differ?  All those latent karmic imprints and tendencies were awakened and it seemed very difficult to have control over my intense aversions.  I am not making excuses, I’m demonstrating, hopefully, how something pleasant or unpleasant (attractions/aversions) may differ with person-to-person based on the karmic tendencies in ground consciousness [see last blog post].

Back then, I kept thinking [getting the thought]–this smell is ‘me’ and their yelling in Hindi is ‘me’ but (at the same time) how can that possibly be?    Karmic habituation of interpreting certain energy a certain way is part of the answer.

I don’t have all the answers but it’s all getting clearer now that I am in a new setting where peaceful reflection is possible.

(I share this in the hope that it may serve or be helpful in some way to another out in cyber world who may be experiencing any type of difficulty or confusion.  May we all be brought to clarity and contented happiness and freedom from all suffering and causes of suffering.) 

 

Summer Solstice 2014

Looking for the first star on the summer solstice from my new room
Looking for the first star on the summer solstice from my new room — we moved yesterday!

Waiting for the sunset! or twilight or something!!  I moved this weekend!  Just remembered it was the Summer Solstice.  I’ve been so busy, actually forgot.

I am sitting in front of  two very large windows in front of my desk here in my room.

My large Buddha statue that was on my balcony is now sitting on my desk right in front of me looking serene, reminding me of the nature of mind and the nature of reality. I have nearly everything set up and put away… what a monumental task moving is. My son-in-law was awesome (he drove the u-haul) and my whole family helped. Everyone said, “You’ll never get all this stuff in that room! They shook their heads and smiled at me but I pre-measured and was confident.

 I managed a bed, love-seat, dresser, desk, filing cabinet and large TV in here… oh and a book case with all my astrology books, tarot books and some others. (Had to put so many books in storage!! along with so much else!)

Anyway… I got all of my indoor plants set up in my room and I put the outdoor plants on the front and back porches, along with the bird feeder on a shepherds hook and out front a blooming petunia graces the door along with my two hydrangeas and between the bushes, my large concrete angel statue! 


I have a huge walk-in closet and which was able to accommodate everything. My sister and niece are thrilled with the huge kitchen downstairs and brand new stove and refrigerator! We’ve been busy, busy, busy non-stop today like yesterday getting everything out of boxes and taking empty one’s to the dumpster. 


It almost feels like I’ve gone off to college and have my own dorm room!  Or maybe “Golden Girls’ (after the TV show)… my niece, my sister and me.  


I can’t wait to start doing readings in this new location. 


It was soooooo nice to get to sleep last night without people talking underneath my bed! LOL!  and I will not miss the downstairs neighbor in the old place who played his guitar and sang like a coyote… bless his heart. 


My sister, niece and I are getting on well, being happy to have everything set up here and having the old apartments empty, cleaned and ready to turn the key over to the rental office tomorrow! 


We are both full of bruises and some cuts and our backs and feet are sore from carrying boxes and furniture and beds and everything up and down stairs! 


I am waiting for the first STAR to come out (have a nice view of the sky now) but if it doesn’t hurry up, I may have to miss the event for this evening in lieu of a hot bath.


Tomorrow the phone gets hooked up here and the internet is still not working bur my daughter let me use her…

“Verizon 4G portable wi-fi”

…thing-ie which is really awesome actually. She uses it for travel on business trips.

I’m still looking out the window for a star. Not yet…


The sunset was a bit disappointing…. I guess my windows and the setting sun are a bit out of alignment for this time of year or maybe the sky was prettier earlier and I missed it.


My sister’s cat is a charmer… such a sweet and quiet cat, she hardly meow’s at all but is no trouble and very cute. I call her Natasha which is what she told me her name was but my sister and niece call her by another name. It’s nice being around her.

Well, anyway, I’m not waiting anymore for the first star to come out.


I’m heading for the tub and then to read my book a while!   
I’m so very much enjoying “The Cave in the Snow”–about the Tibetan Buddhist nun who meditated in a cave in the Himalayas for 13 years!


As hot as it’s been this weekend, its just fine to read about snow. 


Speaking of meditating… right after a hot bath I’m going to really quiet down and meditate.


Hope you had a nice weekend. 


I’m happy to have the change and am having many laughs with my sister. 


PS ~ Happy Summer Solstice!! Hope you had a nice weekend!