2021-09-09-Citta (4 of 5) Big Mind, Higher Mind
3:24PM Sep 9, 2021
So here on the fourth talk on mindfulness of the mind, mind state, kind of a little bit now maybe tried to explain a little bit more about what that guided meditation was about. So the, when the Buddha teaches the classic teachings on mindfulness practice the four foundations of mindfulness, the third Foundation has to do with mindfulness of the mind, the state of mind, in that description of how to practice that, there's instructions to notice eight pairs of mental states. And the first four, have a lot to do with noticing the presence of how we relate to the world, how we get involved in the world. So there can be desire, greed, there can be Elwell, or hostility, hatred, there can be delusion. And also there can be ways of relating that are without those. And so the mind somehow is still in involved in in the world and thoughts and feelings and all this. And, and it's possible meditation to feel that that shifts and changes that that contractions of and the tightness, the tension of greed, hatred, and delusion begin to abate. And a whole other motivations come out to relate to the world generosity and love. Also, in how we relate to the world are confused about the world or begin kind of not quite knowing whether to be involved in the world are connected and preoccupied or not, the mind goes through a transition, where sometimes it just doesn't know whether to collapse and gets tired and fall asleep or doesn't know what to get overexcited and doesn't know where to land, what to focus on. But it's agitated, the mind can get to kind of contracted in itself get get get scattered in all kinds of ways. But it's still kind of a mind that's concerned with things in some way. As mindfulness gets stronger, as our ability to be present and rooted in here in the present moment, as we've not so inclined to get caught in our thoughts and preoccupations, then experience, the mind shifts, to a kind of mind state kind of mind way of operating. That's not so incessantly concerned with relating to things. If you're involved in thought, swept away in thoughts, you're relating to the thought to the ideas of the thought, if you're preoccupied with your feelings, you're gonna know then the mind is kind of involved in that and focused on it. So so when we stop focusing on this stuff, then the mind starts to become freer from its preoccupations. And then we start experiencing the mind more as its own thing in its own state. It's very hard to talk about what the mind is. And so to call it a mind, state, or some have been calling us a state of being the quality of our inner life. Some people might call it, the heart, the quality of the heart. And you know exactly what the mind is, we don't know. But we don't have to know for the purposes of meditation, we just have to recognize something about how awareness consciousness feels, what we might call the Gestalt, the totality of our mental activity, the state of amonth mentality, this inner kind of world, of knowing of being conscious of being aware of mindfulness, and are feeling the quality of it to this. And when it's no longer preoccupied with things, then the mind starts feeling more peaceful, more calm, and want some people find the mind feels more expanded. And it feels large, large mind, big mind expanded mind. And, and, and it's a little bit you know, it's possible, it's a little bit of an imagination, because what the mind is part is a reconstructing apparatus. It takes in all the data that comes in from the senses, and from our memory and all kinds of places, and it kind of shapes it constructs it in some kind of way. understands it. It's an understanding apparatus that we have. And so whether there's actually space in the mind that we're making or just feels that way. We close our eyes and just feels like there's a vast kind of maybe luminous darkness or light that might be there or Just
without a sense of seeing us to feel felt sense of perception, being expansive, and taking in things that are beyond the edges of our body, not in some telepathic way, but just kind of like you're sensing that awareness is open. And, and it's not like focusing on anything at all the absence of being concerned with anything, that awareness of consciousness still operates, but it's not eclipsed by our concerns. And so the mind that's not always relating to things is a mind that starts feeling qualitatively different. There's a deeper level of peace, a deeper level of calm, ease, spaciousness, stillness, silence, that is, that starts to be a shift, when the mind is not always incessantly relating to something. And so to learn to recognize that shift and for each person will be different. And so hopefully giving enough with different words that some of you will find different words work better than others. But there's a shift from, from to something that feels more healthy, more satisfying, more free, partly because a lot of the unhealthy not everything, but a lot of the unhealthy ways in which the mind operates, the ways that we suffer and feel anxiety and feel, you know, the cotton desire and ill will and confusion, a lot of that the condition that makes that happen, is a rumination, or preoccupation, and things. And it kind of we're spinning tales, stories, ideas, telling ourselves things that are kind of deflating to tell ourselves things that the same things over and over again, and reminding ourselves of stories that are painful, and ideas that are painful. But when we stop doing that, stop being in the world of thoughts and ideas and aboutness, then the mind doesn't have that stress anymore. And it turns out the mind without stress feels very satisfying, very peaceful. Nothing has to change in the world, except how we relate to everything. And, and how we hold things in the mind and awareness. So that becomes a radical shift. As we begin recognizing the quality of the mind. At some point, we can recognize the quality of the mind, that's not preoccupied, not focused on things and being always relating to things. And this mind, then is some people say it's receptive, open, receptive mind, open mind, open awareness. The mind now is maybe not the mind people say is more like awareness, more like consciousness more like you know. And they can feel boundless, they can feel like it has no limit. So the Buddha says, one can know that the mind is large. Omega, know that it's not large, that it's, it's small, still, maybe because it's preoccupied. But at some point, it's you can actually watch it sometimes oscillate between becoming large, and we're not stable and that settled mind. And so then some wonderful thought arises, and we get involved in it. And then when there's aware with all you can actually feel and see how things got contracted and narrow again, maybe some people even find it darker, the light goes out as we get involved in these thoughts. But if we're pretty settled, it might be easy to let go of it and then we come back to this larger, more luminous and spacious mind. As this develops further, the Buddha says that in this instructions, he talks about a mind that is that that feels as if it has some it's with a ultimate feeling, kind of ultimate state feel to this or maybe that ultimate, maybe not the right word, but it could also mean higher. Now we're into a higher state of being a higher state of mind. Something that's really exalted or special or maybe specialist good and now it's with something special. And and and the mind feels really good and we know it.
There's a clear knowing of that. Wow, this is there's a purity there's a clarity, there's a Christmas there's the freedom there's a piece here, that is qualitatively different. Print. So without this, this is a mind with a high quality. However, what the how the traditional understanding of this is, there can be a wonderful feeling sense that as, as high quality mind this is, it's not the highest potential the highest potential is a mind, which is called unsurpassable. And this is when, when there's no duality, or no separation between knowing the mind is special. And, and, and no separating from the knowing of it. And the special mind itself, they become one in the same almost that the knowing is so special, and is no different than what the mind is. So all this ability, the fourth third foundation to really get into it, it's a it's a description of what happens when the mind is settled and concentrated and mindfulness is strong. And so don't feel like you have to be there, or this is your, you know, you're, you're a poor meditator if you don't know what I'm recognize what I'm talking about. But it's good to know the description of the of the map of what's going to happen in meditation. Because some point you might touch into something like this, oh, this is what the text is talking about. Now I understand now, I see it rather than being like, what's this? And what do I do with this? So the mind, the heart, consciousness, awareness, it's one of the precious things and the, the our whole, there's a paradigm shift in how we live fully and completely in this life. When we know there's a new game in town, the old game was always to be concerned about things and always relating to things is if that's the only game in town, it's a fine game at times, and we're not rejecting it. But now we know there's another game, there's another paradigm of how to be. And it's possible to be a mind that's receptive, aware, conscious, for sure. But it's not locking into things lobbing on is not organizing itself to be focused and relating to things all the time. But it is receptive and can still know. And it allows for some deeper response from within, then can happen if we're only responding from the paradigm of relating relating and relatedness. So hopefully this makes sense. And if not, just store it away, and someday, maybe it will. And so we'll have one more day on this is Buddhist teachings on the third Foundation, and I look forward to our time tomorrow. Thank you.