Padma Sambhava, by Nicholas Roerich 1927. Nicholas Roerich Museum, New York
by Jeanne M. House
There are two choices in life- to be Real or to be un-Real. The Buddha demonstrated for us a path and a way to embody our True Inner Reality or to become our True Buddha Nature. The Buddha Nature is a seed within each of us and represents our “inner potential” or what other religions may call our soul.
Our goal in life, is to nourish and grow this Buddhic-seed within us, until it becomes a “Tree of Life,” (our own vine and fig tree), which represents All Good. This natural Goodness is the permanent portion of our being.
When we partake of relative good and evil, we are participating from the impermanent portion of us, which is just a notion or figment of our imaginations. I say notion, because this part of us is unreal, but we believe that it is real. Our goal then is to transcend this erroneous notion so that we begin to act only from the portion of us that is All Good. But how do we accomplish this?
There are two paths to reach our Buddhic Essence-one, is to tackle each erg of energy that does not have the pure strain of the Buddhic Essence and transform it through love and compassion, or the other way is to simply become the Buddha within. This is the short cut. I will describe these two paths further later on in the paper. But first, I want to continue with my overview in order to give the necessary scope of the Buddhic Consciousness before I embark on the ways to it.
There have been many stories about Shamballa including the “Lost Horizon.” Many people have made treks to the Himalayas in order to discover mysterious Arhats or Eastern Masters, like Baird T. Spalding, who wrote the series “The Life and Teachings of the Masters of the Far East.” Or, H.P. Blavatsky, the messenger for Theosophical Society, who claims to have been trained by three of these masters-- Kootumi, El Morya, and Dwal Kul, (a disciple in training at the time). These masters lived high up in a Ravine in Tibet.
She describes the Three Jewels as, the higher self, the mediator, and the lower self. The higher self is the Buddhic Consciousness, the mediator, is the Christ Consciousness or the son, (of which the dharma was designed to assist), and the lower self, which is the Sangha, or community of disciples working out our salvation or liberation.
There certainly is an allure of the Himalayas and a sense of the mystery and wonderment of the adventures one might have, in a place such as this. But, what about an inner adventure? What if we had this place inside of us?
It seems much easier to dream about an adventure travel trip to exotic places, when one may not realize that in order to meet a real Arhat, we would have to make an arduous journey that would require of us, much physical and psychological training in order to adapt to such dizzying heights and purified air; not to mention the inaccessibility of these places. In the movie, “Seven years in Tibet,” a trained Olympic medallist who climbed the largest mountains, barely survived the trek to Tibet. And what about the inner resilience and attainment needed to magnetize such a high and holy person? (When the pupil is ready, the teacher will appear.) Sure we may have had past lives that qualify us, but we don’t know that for sure.
So, if we were to equate this outer journey with an inner journey, then we would definitely have to begin with the same commitment to the journey, not just elude to the pomp- n -circumstance of it all. The very first thing one must do to reach the summit of our inner being is to make a vow or commitment to attain this enlightenment or liberation.
What on earth could give us the kind of inspiration to climb a mountain like the Himalayas? The answer is that nothing on earth can. Most earthly individuals would think we were absolutely nuts. But for those of us who have an “inner memory” of this Paradise Lost, there is a quiet voice in each of us urging us onward and upward. For there is only two ways to go-- Up or Down. We never stand still, we are always in flux. The goal is to take more steps upward than downward.
Some people say that the Garden of Eden was really Maitreya’s Mystery school. It was there that a lot of us strayed from the “path of the Buddha” and ever since we have been living a “path of karma.” Now this path of karma is Maitreya’s way of extending loving-kindness to us all. Through the path of initiation and reckoning with our own mis-guided and mis-spent energy, we have the opportunity to return to this Lost Paradise. Maybe this Paradise was never lost, but still exists behind the veil of our own limited consciousness, (which was probably limited to to our lack of guarding our energy in the first place.)
And how do we know of this Lost Paradise? We remember it. According to Plato, this means that our souls have experienced this on another plane of consciousness. Maybe this memory is our link to the Buddha within. After all the Buddha did say, “Come and find me.”
This yearning to find the Buddha is called Bodhichitta. Bodhichitta is our inner resolution to take the journey up the mountain and to not tarry in mortal consciousness at the base of the mountain. So, Edenic consciousness or Nirvana is the goal. Step by step we balance our karma, which is the mercy and compassion of God, which helps us to build a foundation of Self-responsibility. Buddha told us to work out our own salvation. This “working out” is the key to the Self-mastery needed for the journey.
SO WHAT KEEPS US CLIMBING?
The answer is Love and Will or Will and Desire.
It is the heat of fervent desire to become Godlike, which causes our energies to arise into the upper sphere of our identity. Once there is a vacuum in us, the higher energies can then descend into the now, empty vessel of consciousness.
The key to the motivation of our consciousness, is in our underlying willthe will of our mind, which is our motive or intent, and the will of our heart, which is our desire. We must balance these two wills, as we walk the Middle Way.
The power of Good is focused in the subconscious mind beneath the surface of our awareness. When we surrender our human mind and will for the mind and will of our Inner Buddha, the subconscious mind, it then acts like a transformer that steps down our energies as they are distributed throughout. Our will and desire are like switches that direct these energies. If we have an imbalance of will and desire, like opposition between what we want and what we do, than the distribution of energy will be uneven.
But if we tether our will and mind to the Buddha within, this vital force will permeate our entire consciousness. When we are out of alignment due to an imbalance, we literally become pulled apart and we suffer. Craving is the cause of suffering. All craving stems from our Self-ignorance. Pain is the result of ignoring our Self or Oneness with our inner Buddha Nature.
Our will must be one-pointed if it is to be effective. We must be the watch guard on the wall of our own consciousness. The control of consciousness leads to knowledge of Self and the knowledge of Self leads to more and more consciousness. Such control involves the discipline of the mind and heart and harnessing ones energy. The will is the only permanent and unchangeable element of the mind. It is this will, which gives unity to consciousness and holds together all ideas and thoughts.
Enlightenment through self-knowledge is the way of the Buddha. But, we take on Buddha qualities in increments. We must be patient and merciful with ourselves first. And through tolerance and patience with ourselves, we then can build our foundation of our Buddhahood one step at a time. Moment by moment we internalize the Mind of the Buddha by returning love for affliction and return wisdom for each assault.
THE ALCHEMY OF THE HEART
Our senses are defenses-dense barriers built by fear and un-forgiveness. Forgiveness not only frees the offender, but also frees oneself from the return karma. Forgiveness is self-enlightened interest. Little by little we liberate our energies that are surfeited in Samsara by the golden flame of the Buddhic light within us.
MINDFULNESS AND DESIRE ARE THE KEYS TO THIS INNER PARADISE
Perpetual mindfulness and the desire for bodhi are the transmuting fires that create the heat to stay on the path of liberation. If we don’t pursue this path, our returning karma continues to magnetized to the energy patterns we have created in the past.
As we become this Great Tree of Goodness, we extend our branches of compassion and loving-kindness to our self, and then to those close to us and then to the whole world. It is like a child adoring his Mother and the Mother adoring the child. The lover and beloved unite as One. The way of the Buddha is the Knower becoming the known and the known becoming the Knower.
THE LAWS OF OUR INNER BEING
As we seek to “go beyond” our current level of awareness, we are reminded of one of the greatest secrets of them allthat ultimately there is No destination. The real goal is the on-going discovery of Reality, which ultimately has no beginning and no end. The path is an on-going discovery. And the way is through investigation. The key here is doubt. We must experience the trek upward for ourselves and not just believe because we know how told how to climb a mountain and we know others who have done it. As we reach higher levels of awareness, we start to sense that we are actually just being nobody and going nowhere. This is a transcendent realization!
As we use the tool of our mind to investigate the nature of our real self, we realize that we cannot locate this self. This self that we have originally had thought to be me or “I”, is not located anywhere. We are not a person in our own self, but a collection of elements we call person.
WHAT HAS SHAPED ME?
What seemed to have kept us together, has been our memories and our experiences. Physics tells us that there is no location in our brain where we can find memory. Memory is not written anywhere. So, where is it? This who I am, is not located anywhere.
We are simply discontinuous flashes of energy. We are mere affects of the memories, dreams and reflections of our former thoughts, actions and feelings. We are actually an affect of a cause that we ourselves, set in motion at a previous time. These effects are called aggregates and are not permanent.
At this point, a part of us may want to go back down that mountain. We are now reaching those dizzying heights we spoke about. The part of us that is attached and identified to the mere thought of us as solid, unchangeable beings, cannot even comprehend the idea that we are simply memories, dreams and reflections of our former thoughts, actions and feelings.
But for those of us who are staying on, we continue to investigate the real cause behind this being we call us. Where is this cause? It is not located in our bodies. Since, nothing comes into existence by chance, but by causes, we are an affect of this cause.
NOTHING IS PRODUCED BY ONE SINGLE CAUSE.
Temporary existence of certain phenomena is necessary in order to bring such and such another phenomena into existence. Physics tells us that an effect is never a product of a single cause, but always of several causes of unequal potencies. In truth, there exists only the perpetual flow, both continuous (it never stops), and discontinuous, (it exists of distinct moments), of flashes of force. Every action causes an emission of energy. Even aspirations that we do not know we have, emit seeds.
THE TRUE RELATIVITY
All existence is relative between the concept that everything is and nothing is. Everything that exists depends on other things and that which support it. And if causes and conditions that support it ceases, it ceases to exist.
To 'go beyond,' is to cease clinging to opinion. An opinion has relative value in the eyes of the “observer.” Plato called these opinions, ‘likely stories.’ For example, if we were climbing the Himalayas, we may see the peaks of the mountains in front of us and they may appear to be much closer than they actually are to us. And if we believe the ‘appearance’ than we are living the illusion of truth from our own vantage point. ‘Going beyond’ is that which is beyond current perceptions. But, where are we really going? Nowhere and everywhere. Here and there is simply in us. This is true quantum physics.
The tangible world is really movement. Movement is the fruit of causes coming from the whole universe and has repercussions in the whole universe.
When we are looking at length, we are really looking at a series of movements. When we look at an object each moment is a series of instants no one identical to the first instant. Nothing that exists is motionless and all things that exist, consists in a succession of changes following each other, with a speed faster than we can perceive. The universe is movement made up of contacts. These contacts and the effects are the universe.
Therefore images we see are images which have been and which are no longer. Those things we see are images of the past. So, we are actually like old newspapers. We live out our past propensities and need to acquire the habit of awakening ourselves to the reality of the moment.
ETERNAL MOMENTS OF CO-CREATION
This makes us mere apparitions of our previous acts and never fully engaged in the eternal moment of co-creation! We are mere apparitions or shells of a previous act. Like old newspapers, never fully experiencing current news or our current selves while it is occurring.
The question then is, how do we do we co-create, moment-to-moment with the Universe?
LET'S DISECT A MOMENT:
Each of our thoughts, words and actions shoot into the world and sets into motion effects. It is the ideas we hold, and not the material activity in itself, that constructs the chains and binds us. It is this activity, the builder of mental constructions, which builds the world of illusion of which we are prisoners.
What we need then, is a new “way of seeing.” And this is precisely what Buddhism provides for us- A new of seeing. In Buddhism, facts are examined and analyzed with constant attention. This is a ‘Path of Seeing’ that is a direct path for the sure-footed climbers versus the round about road. If we are mere reflections of what we were and our task is to co-create reality as it is happening, then who could can guide us to this new “path of seeing?”
There is a legend that we form a part of a hierarchy of higher beings that extends above us and they assist us in climbing new heights. Those people who have forged strong ties to these higher beings, are a part of the antahkarana or chain of masters and chelas who are being called to higher levels of love.
The legend continues with the fact that we were all once masters of time and space ourselves, but as time went on, we got farther and farther away from the pure strain of love and entropy set in. Now, we need a re-infusion of light, in order to make the quantum leap into the divine.
Buddha came just like Christ and Krishna to quicken our memories and offer us a road map and an example. They demonstrated the fire of love necessary to break through the miasma of this entropy that infects every religion.
But if you cannot tune into the inner voice of a master, than the Seven-Point Mind-Training that is included in “Buddhism with an Attitude,” by B. Alan Wallace, is a beautiful and practical guide- book. In this book, he provides details covering the two paths of this journey that I mentioned in my introduction. Everyone should carry this in their backpack and review it daily.
Most westerners haven’t been trained to perceive life in such a way as he describes and therefore we go round and round the mountain or wheel of dharma, lifetime after lifetime.
Dr. Wallace reminds us, that What we attend to, is what we become! “Buddhism With An Attitude” is nothing less than a means of going after our true Buddha Nature. Find your own Buddha Nature and become that and do not stop until you do.
He reminds us to begin to identify ourselves with the sufferings, the feelings and the wants of others. To hear their pain and make it a part of your own consciousness and to train our self in the sensitivities which will answer to the suffering of mankind. He provides us with a guide to the Bodhisattva ‘Way of Life.’
He instructs us to carry out in deed, as well as in feeling, an ever-growing sympathy and an ever-deepening compassion. We learn to develop charity and tolerance. No injury can give offence and sorrow is for the one who has done the injury. No anger can arise against any wrong. In our sorrow for the doer, we have no time to waste in any anger. I call this D..anger or danger because it is the deadliest emotion.
We are trained life after life to be more identified with all. Life after life, these qualities develop. The Buddha showed us how to work for man to enlighten his ignorance, to bring him knowledge and to show him reality that underlies all the illusions of the world.
He showed us how to have a compassion that nothing can shake. He demonstrated that just as one is ready to go into Nirvana, for Love’s sake, he turns around and comes back, now a Bodhisattva. This is the supreme renunciation or the fullest of self-sacrifice and the most inspiring of ideals. The goal is to embody the qualities of self-sacrifice, knowledge, and love.
As we think on the Buddha and the Bodhisattva ideals, there is a transforming power in our thought. These ideals form a subject of our thought and the thought transforms us into its own likeness. What we attend to, we become. Our ideals may become a living reality; Men become like that which they think and worship. Liberation, then is a change in our perceptions, our ideas and our feelings, or, an awakening of profound insight into the Truth of our being.
THE PLACE OF GREAT ENCOUNTERS
Here, we thought we were on a path of our own volition, when all along, there was a higher order working behind the scenes and now our old self has “lost it’s way” and a new path is being shown to us. Here we must ‘go beyond,’ our round-about path and take a direct path to sudden liberation. True wisdom must go beyond all conceptions. Find yourself behind your thoughts and rest there. Here is where we just allow the truth to unveil itself to us. Deep within a human being abides the wisdom that can support him in the face of negative situations.
The Dalai Lama and many scientists, philosophers and psychologists, including B. Alan Wallace, are currently researching ways to assist us to overcome our current way of “seeing.” They are researching ways to help us in changing our temperaments, by devising an inner science or systematic method for weeding out old tendencies. This system is designed to assist us in transforming ourselves.
In the book “Healing Your Emotions,” edited by Daniel Goleman, he records conversations with the Dalai Lama on mindfulness, emotions and health. From these conversations some progress was made on developing this inner science. Here are some of the mind-altering concepts:
MIND IS THE MASTER/ WE CREATE OUR OWN DESTINY
What hasn’t been created by thought doesn’t exist. Thought is the underlying cause for all of our karma. Our higher--level thoughts can change our bodies.
We can first start by working with the instantaneous events of our minds. (If we take care of the minutes, the hours will take care of themselves.) Thoughts actually untie themselves.
We need be trained to carefully to observe our moment-to-moment thoughts and feelings without reactivity. We must realize how our thoughts are linked to our emotions. This will change our brain as well as our behavior. Experience and learning shape the brain!
CULTIVATING EMOTIONAL BALANCE
Inner transformation, negative emotions creep initially into the mind and they transform into moods, and eventually traits of temperament which we embody lifetime after lifetime. Since emotions are not solid, we can “see through” our emotions with our penetrating wisdom, and dispel our self-ignorance.
When are we gripped by an emotion?
How can we transform them?
BY ACTION AWARENESS OR AWARENESS IN ACTION
Here we use emotions as catalysts and springboards to no longer be enslaved by negative emotions. By having awareness of what is happening while it is happening, we bring more intelligence to our emotional life. We don’t change the emotions, but how we respond to them.
We change our actions, not our feelings. All emotions are okay and have a role, but we want to get rid of enslaved emotion, because the emotion itself enslaves us and seizes us. The strength the emotional event has when we learn it may effect how hard it is to remove it.
If we don’t catch the emotion initially, or diffuse it, than the second goal is to not act on it. When the refractory period ends, the emotion ceases. We have heard the phrase “blinded by emotions.” Well that is truly what we are - blind. We actually lose our periphery vision during the refractory period and we are not receptive to new information.
OPPORTUNITY FOR INNER LIBERATION
This insight into the nature of our ongoing construction of reality represents a necessary step toward freeing the mind from the inertia of mental habit. Seeing for instance, takes into account what we perceive through the senses, but it is also shaped on other conditions such as memory, expectations, posture, movement and intention. There is a perception and an emotion is layered on top of the tendency towards motion and they act like a predisposition in which we meet the world. The very act of encountering the world is intrinsically emotionally shaped.
There is no such thing as perception without emotion. There is no such thing as a pure visual experience. It will always be in the context of what just happened or other events of the past in working memory. People’s reaction to one’s experience, happens about 100 milliseconds. The brain stem does not reflect like or dislike or expectation. The ordinary person cannot discern it. An emotion is very difficult to stop once it is initiated. It is an automatic response.
Positive emotions are a process of deliberate thought and negative ones arise spontaneously. Each of us has a happiness set point, a biological determinant ratio of good-to-bad moods. The ratio is determined by how often and how strongly wholesome behavior versus destructive emotions grip us. Our moods are governed by an inner reality rather than an outer event. An inner contentment and calm joy, regardless of external circumstances, is the sign of real happiness.
THE QUESTION THEN IS WHO ARE WE BECOMING? ARE WE MORE OF THE UN-REAL SELF OR THE REAL SELF? (the Buddha or the anti-Buddha)
There is an inner core of the self that is not so easily swayed by the culture one is exposed to or the environment in which one finds him self. But, it is this outer or independent self that is shaped by the outside world that we are targeting.
As Moses put it, “Whom shall you serve?” Are you serving your inner Buddha Nature or your sur-real self, which was created by you, in order to get along in the world around you. Some people call this un-real self the ego. Most psychologists would say, that this ego is useful to us when we are developing, but where we go wrong is, when we start identifying with this false-self as our only identity. And worse yet, we think it is our Real identity.
I would think that a strong ego is necessary to begin with, because then you can offer something on the altar of your heart that can be transformed by the portion of you that is permanent. I say heart because I think that there is a deeper region in the area of our heart, where the Dhyani Buddhas can assist us with the alchemy of transformation.
But, how does Buddhist Psychology apply to this process of inner transformation?
Buddhist Psychology, according to the Dalai Lama complies with what we have just discussed:
1. The first moment is nonconceptual-purely a visual perception that apprehends the form in question
2. The second is conceptual, which recognizes, ‘Oh, this is that?’
This leads us to the moment of decision which is a conceptual moment. The first one is just a pattern being perceived without conceptual process. The first moment is pure perception and the second one is where we make a mental cognition. The murmur of thought, draws on our memory and enables us to recognize and label the visually perceived object for what it is.
First it is an impression, then the labeling and it becomes a sequence.
The brain activity actually undoes itself; it creates a gap where the transition from one moment to another is actually marked. So, we have ultimate free will or choice moments before we act.
The following is a flow of cause and effects:
FORMULA = PERCEPTION, COMMA, ACTION
(There is recognition and then action, but they are punctuated.)
Once we realize this, it is a magic moment. By our own free will, we can undo our former selves and re-do a new self. This requires of us, absolute responsibility in the creation our own destiny. But, as excited as I am about this miraculous concept, I still find myself getting caught up in the snares of instantaneous reactions that rush through me. I don’t feel in control.
Why is this?
Even with all this self-knowledge and wisdom into who we think we are and who know we aren’t, something is missing-the fervent desire to attain the victory over our false-self. This is the place on the journey where maps are useless, and only desire, belief and skillful means, will suffice.
This is the part of the path that requires a cosmic leap from the impermanent self into the divine self. Here is where we lighten our load. It is our karmic load that keeps us attached to the gravitational pull of the earth. In these lofty heights, the air is thin and in order to reach the summit we need to be as light as air. Now I am not talking about “castles in the sky” here, but true rarified air that only those who have had special training can go. It is a huge “go beyond” point.
Maybe some of us get stuck for several lives here. We think we are so knowledgeable and spiritual, until we bump into this place that we cannot go beyond and lose our tempers all over again, because we are still clinging onto our former selves. This is the place of ultimate detachment, non-clinging and LETTING GO of who we thought we were.
It is a place of great mystery because only those who have gone beyond this point have the secret to getting there. What we thought we knew, we did not assimilate into our very existence or this leap would be a cake-walk. We applied antidotes to our false notions, we settled in our Buddha Nature, we became compassionate to all sentient life, including ourselves, but what is missing?
THE ART OF LIVING LIGHTLY
Maybe our whole life is gearing us up for this one point in the road. The goal is to live lightly and to stop clinging to former notions of ourselves, and the world around us. What is needed to cross the line of mortality to immortality, is for us to journey to a place of cluelessness and ignorance. Ignorance can be used as a tool for enlightenment.
WE ARE A COSMIC EQUATION
Man is but a physical equation. While perceiving ourselves as separate from the Buddha, or our own Buddha-Nature, we must play out the laws of physics, while we are still in time and space. But, when we settle in the natural mind of the Buddhic Consciousness, we are no longer subject to time and space and we can expand the field of the mind.
We must get out of the finite consciousness in order to perceive the vastness of our True Nature- our inner Buddhic nature or our Real Self. This is the mortal dilemma. Cycle by cycle and day by day, we are given a certain amount of energy to overcome this gravitational pull of our karma and grow in consciousness in order to ultimately reach cosmic consciousness or the Mind of the Buddha.
Round the hill in an ascending spiral man slowly advances, but there is a short cut to the top of the hill ..straight , narrow , ruggid and steep…few are chelas of the Masters.
Since we all experienced bodhichitta, and we are all determined to get to the root of our self, then what haven’t we done? What thread have we missed? Let’s get out our check-list and review.
1. Do we have the necessary virya or determination to get up the mountain? In addition to wisdom and compassion, we must embody the quality of virya. This word means vigour or virility, which signifies both energy and masculine potency. It is an element of fearlessness. A true bodhisattva is no weakling. He embodies a fierce compassion that shatters the human miasma and makes the scattered mind one of concentrated effort and a targeted arrow that reaches the goal every time.
2. Are our motives pure enough to magnetize a cosmic push up the mountain? It has been said that pure motive magnetizes the resources for accomplishing the goal. When we drop the momentum of the former self behind, the causes behind appearances surface and reveals to us the treasure-house of the Divine Mind. All constructive efforts receive support spiritually, morally and materially.
3. Do we have the necessary belief in ourselves and do we feel worthy of the goal-Buddhahood? Those who have the tendency to accept negative concepts about themselves or their future again and again, produce negative fruit on their ‘Tree of Life.’ But, if we have gleaned some wisdom into our True Nature, our inner Buddha can be called forth as a God-given Reality. This unlimited possibility affords us a sense of hope and overcomes the sense of struggle. We must have FAITH in our ultimate destiny. We have to expand our consciousness by daily practice until its normal state.
The Bodhisattva Kuan Yin
THE REAL SELF
According to Theosophists, our highest wisdom is the Celestial or Buddha consciousness, abiding in the secret chamber of every human heart. The next lower level is the Bodhisattva level or ‘son’ of the Celestial Buddha, which represents the wisdom. The lowest level is the human Buddha, which is the level of the mortal consciousness in need of perfection. This living three-fold Buddhic consciousness is the constitution of every human being.
At the Buddha’s deathbed, he said, ‘Seek out your own perfection.’ I believe he meant, ‘Seek to be Real, or, to consciously attain union with the Atman or divinity within us. The wisdom and peace of the divine is found within ourselves.
This is our Dharmato follow the inner Buddhic principle within ourselves. We may follow the path of the great master, because we have the identical cosmic elements within ourselves. First we must identify with the All and transcend our lower self to merge with the higher portion of our being.
As we think we can, we develop spiritual muscles. There is transforming power in our thought. What the Buddha has done all can do. His ideal will form the subject of our thoughts and that transforms us into its own likeness.
4. What are we really attending to? And what do we truly know about ourselves? Examine the source of our knowledge and beliefs with a view of what is Real and what is not Real in our consciousness. Align our selves with Divine Intent.
This means integrating with another part of our being-- our inner being, our True (Buddha) Nature or our Real Self. The only way to connect and dialogue with this portion of us is to use our Mind as a tool to penetrate the maya and discover this un-perturbed nature within. Or the peace, calm and joy within.
We must tread lightly on this earth. Everything we do is like Velcro, where what we experience is so in our face that we do not even realize that it is not even real. But, The wisdom and peace of the divine is found within our selves, not outside our selves. We must follow the Buddhic principle within ourselves. We all may follow the path of the great master, because we have the same identical cosmic elements within us. This is our esoteric dharma. This is the real yoga of our lives. Here we experience direct knowledge and directly experience this ONENESS.
5. Are we balanced? If we observe our mind, what is it saying? What is real about these thoughts? Where do they come from? And more importantly, where are they taking us? Where might they be headed? Who is in charge here? What is true balance anyway? It is an inner condition or a spiritual perception of the condition of not over-grasping and not disengaging in life. Here we must detach and un-cling to the false notions of ourself.
Knowing is being in the act, not just knowing how to act. Knowing is being aware as we are living not after it has taken place. We must reserve for ourselves a part of our energy for the observation of our self and not totally identify with all of our parts. Integration here then does not mean identifying with these moments that arise and pass, arise and pass, etc.
We discover along the way that the environment we experience does not truly exist “out there.” We are, actually perceiving life, from the inside out. Everything is empty of individual, inherent existence. We do not experience anything purely objectively. Our entire universe arises upon our sense faculties. Everything exists in dependence upon conceptual designation. There is no concrete reality beyond appearances. Nothing exists in isolation.
The wisdom, compassion and power of the Buddha is within us, trying to get our attention. This inner-Buddha assists us with two simple steps--we recognize appearances and then we dissolve them. So, our conscious intention is crucial!
TAKE REFUGE IN OURSELVES
The Buddha said to Ananda, “therefore, Ananda, be ye lamps unto yourselves. Be ye refuge to yourselves, betake yourself to no external refuge to the truth…He also said, “Self is the lord of self, who else could be the lord?”
This is why we must develop a spiritual practice and stoke the fire of our hearts daily. It is this rarified air that we need to become familiar with, so that when it is time to ascend to the highest realm of the mountain top, we will have had experienced it in our own prayer and meditations.
All can reach the summit of the mountain, but few do, because of the lack of inner preparation. At this point in the climb, we need inner resilience and a determination that will provide the necessary impetus to leap from the finite to the infinite. We must let go of excess baggage.
The three-fold teaching of taking refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha, could be interpreted as levels of consciousness.
So, I am the owner of my karma, everything else is on loan. But, we can’t take karma with us to Nirvana. We bring tendencies with us in successive lives, that create our opportunities, but we must let go of these tendencies. The choice is ours, constantly, every single moment. We must perfect the skill of living in each moment. If we don’t watch every karma-making moment, it is going to get on the credit side. Mind moments and choice moments have possible karma-making in them. The more profitable and skillful our choices, the more opportunities we have. Each mind moment has to be watched. Total attention to every moment is necessary.
According to the Dhammapada, chapter 12: Self, All that we are, is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. The pull of our own karma and past thoughts and deeds keep us in the wheel of Samsara. Our thoughts must be of a higher nature now, if we are to attain the summit of our being.
Each of us must daily strive to understand the totality of our being and our relationship to the whole as well as to the parts. We must realize our place in the cosmic scheme and reserve our energy for fulfilling our dharma. But we must be realistic too.
First, we must take stock of our present reality. Next, we can take stock of our imagination and devise a realistic goal. We must strive for pure motives so that we can draw to us the wisdom of the Divine Mind. There is magic in believing and hoping. We need faith in the universal purpose and cosmic reason for our own destiny. We must guard the possibilities and expansion in our hearts and control our moods before they control us.
We expand through love, wisdom and power, the universal triad. As we relinquish the un-Real self for the Real self, we will muster the will, wisdom and wherewithal to overcome.
Each we weave a strand of our future.
The past is like a dream and the 'future is not yet come.'
The only thing of interest is now. Everything else is a dream-world, never being totally awake, there is no joy in that. We can only be alive now. We must be totally awake and aware of our intention. Here we have an “inner body experience,” instead of an outer one. “Look within thee; thou art the Buddha.”
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