Discover more from Timeless Luminosity Newsletter
2023, February, Issue 30
Human perception is extremely limited. I suppose this is exactly why we develop and maintain ego. It is this grasping at what is not real, that is what we do as sentient beings. We’re limited by the extremely limited extent of our own perceptual abilities. We don’t know what’s going on. We’ve never known what is going on; and, so, we invent something, we fabricate our own existence, based upon our extremely limited point of view. We become habituated to that. Not knowing, building our ego, causing suffering in the world, this is our addiction.
The poison that we are addicted to is a tough pill to swallow. It takes tremendous effort to feed this addiction; and, it can only be possible through not acknowledging our present condition, by being extremely dishonest with ourselves. The poison is a concoction of ignorance, attraction and aversion. From our limited point of view, we ignorantly engage the world, judging whether things are good or bad, then building ego from that mess. We say stupid things to ourselves, such as, “You’re either with me or against me” or “Evil is them, good is us.” These divisions are divisions of mind, extremely harmful to everyone everywhere, including you.
It's easy to be habituated in this way, generating hate for anyone who doesn’t completely support your unexamined take on reality. We search for people who will agree with us, not just in general; we look for people who will agree with every last detail of our vision, of our ego-building. If they agree with us, then they are friends, if they disagree, then they are enemies. What nonsense is this!?!
This idea of self and other is not supported by the ineffable reality we discover upon awakening. It is this sense of separateness itself that is at the heart of ego. It is an ignorant viewpoint where we simply don’t realize that we are all fully connected, not possible without absolutely everyone else. We are an emanation of all the possibilities we discover beyond our limited viewpoint, which is generated by ego.
If we awaken, we are no longer judging, perceiving in a limited way, constrained by our own misery, our own unknowing. Ego dissipates into void, just like a dream, just like any fiction. From beginningless beginnings, we have created ourselves in our own mind, then we think that is somehow real.
If we sit in contemplation, looking at mind, at what we do with mind, how we grasp at what is not there, how mind cannot be located, we start to understand our present condition. Since we are addicted to what is not real, we need to back the train up all the way to the station. We need to do what we did when we were first born. We need to take another look at just what is going on here, without judgement, without grasping at things, just openly and honestly from square one, as if you have just now been reborn.
The great yogi Milarepa said the following:
The enlightened one knows that all things are mental,
Therefore one should observe one’s mind by
Day and night.
If you watch it, you can still see nothing.
Fix then your mind in this non-seeing state.
(The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa, by Chang, pg. 134)
This is really an important teaching that gets to the root of our condition. It cuts to the heart of confusion, putting that to rest. It was the first thing that I was taught after first learning about Buddhism from a lama. And, it turns out that this might be the only teaching you may need. Knowledge of the ineffable is not found by great intellectual endeavors, it is found by observing the simplicity of our present condition, relaxing enough so that we are not constraining ourselves to our own addiction, which is habitual mind.
Please know, if you have read my books, I have held this teaching by Milarepa at the center of what I write. It’s very simple, even though it may sometimes seem very complicated. If it seems complicated, know that our own mind makes it that way, it makes it so that we cannot move forward on our Spiritual Path. Simplify and relax, that is important!
Whatever you do, always strive for awakening, which is at the heart of Bodhicitta. If we observe mind, at some point we will find ourselves feeling less heavy, filled with light. Be sure to remain at ease in that observation. Don’t elaborate or conceptualize. Don’t ascribe meaning to that or brag to your friends. Simply remain in that illuminated condition. Practice such that you are able to remain mindful of what you have learned in this way, without getting excited or generating thoughts. Apply this to your life. It’s very natural.
I have no doubt that we will all awaken. It’s already begun. You are nearly there.
Blessings of Light,