Turning the Light Around?

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.
User avatar
Injrabodi
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:27 pm

Turning the Light Around?

Post by Injrabodi » Sat Feb 29, 2020 7:10 pm

In quite a number of traditions knowledge is presented as the one and only true upāya, which is what all of the other means eventually lead to. Diverse scriptures also point out men and even asuras sitting in samadhi for absurd lengths of time, such as 10,000 years, yet failing to obtain liberation because the ability to concentrate the mind only correlates with enlightenment, but could never itself cause enlightenment.

The only schools that seem to believe concentrating the mind leads to liberation are Theravada Buddhism and Raja Yoga, while the more refined schools of cultivation that have arisen since understand that liberation is gained by turning the light of consciousness away from the objects of the senses (mental images, mantra, the breath, etc. also being external objects) and turning it directly back onto itself, and understanding the nature of consciousness itself.

So how exactly does one turn the light around? I've only ever trained in concentrative meditation and my mind naturally wants to settle upon objects. Is the key here to sit in nonmeditation, keeping the mind free of all external entangling objects, until a moment of satori strikes?

User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
Posts: 7677
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Turning the Light Around?

Post by Astus » Sat Feb 29, 2020 10:07 pm

Injrabodi wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 7:10 pm
concentrating the mind leads to liberation are Theravada Buddhism
Not so. Vipassana is necessary for liberation.
So how exactly does one turn the light around?
It (囘光返照) is simply an expression for self-reflection, or introspection. It means not chasing a sensory object but reflecting on what is happening in one's mind, with the main focus on the universal characteristics of e.g. impermanence, and emptiness. As for any detailed method, look at the various techniques of insight meditation.
Is the key here to sit in nonmeditation, keeping the mind free of all external entangling objects, until a moment of satori strikes?
Insight is not a miracle that happens out of nowhere but something one has to work on. To sit mindlessly results in simply a mindless state, not liberation.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

User avatar
LastLegend
Posts: 4119
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Washington DC

Re: Turning the Light Around?

Post by LastLegend » Sun Mar 01, 2020 3:55 am

Injrabodi wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 7:10 pm
In quite a number of traditions knowledge is presented as the one and only true upāya, which is what all of the other means eventually lead to. Diverse scriptures also point out men and even asuras sitting in samadhi for absurd lengths of time, such as 10,000 years, yet failing to obtain liberation because the ability to concentrate the mind only correlates with enlightenment, but could never itself cause enlightenment.
Hmm maybe anger and feisty lead to being asuras? For people who practice meditation?
The only schools that seem to believe concentrating the mind leads to liberation are Theravada Buddhism and Raja Yoga, while the more refined schools of cultivation that have arisen since understand that liberation is gained by turning the light of consciousness away from the objects of the senses (mental images, mantra, the breath, etc. also being external objects) and turning it directly back onto itself, and understanding the nature of consciousness itself.
Sounds good. But don’t grasp to light?
So how exactly does one turn the light around? I've only ever trained in concentrative meditation and my mind naturally wants to settle upon objects. Is the key here to sit in nonmeditation, keeping the mind free of all external entangling objects, until a moment of satori strikes?
Consult platform Sutra?
Make personal vows.

User avatar
LastLegend
Posts: 4119
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Washington DC

Re: Turning the Light Around?

Post by LastLegend » Sun Mar 01, 2020 5:13 am

Platform Sutra

Noble friends, when you hear me speak of emptiness, do not cling to it. First and foremost, you must not cling to the concept of emptiness. If you sit in meditation with a mind devoid of awareness; that is called clinging to idle emptiness.

Then there are some who sit in meditation devoid of awareness, believing that to not think of anything is great. Because of their erroneous views, it is futile to discuss prajna with them.

Noble friends, what is “prajna”? It means wisdom. If at all times and in all places, we cultivate wisdom and every thought is free from ignorance, this is the practice of prajna. With one ignorant thought, prajna ceases; with one wise thought, prajna arises.
From your own true suchness, illuminate and observe with wisdom, neither grasp nor reject anything—this is to see your true nature and attain Buddhahood.
Noble friends, if you wish to enter the most profound realm of reality (Dharma realm) and the samadhi of prajna, you must cultivate prajna paramita, uphold and recite the Diamond Sutra, then you will realize your true nature. You should know that the benefits of this sutra as clearly extolled in the text itself are boundless and immeasurable and cannot be fully conveyed in words. This is a teaching of the Supreme Vehicle and is spoken for the benefit of the very wise and those with superior faculties. When those with lesser faculties and little wisdom hear it, their minds give rise to doubts. Why?Just as when the celestial dragon sends rain to Jambudvipa, the cities and villages will be flooded and drift about like leaves and twigs. But should it rain on the great ocean, the ocean water will neither increase nor decrease. When practitioners of the Great Vehicle or Supreme Vehicle hear the Diamond Sutra, their minds awaken and are open to true understanding. We therefore know that the wisdom of prajna is inherent in our nature. By always using this inherent wisdom to illuminate and observe clearly, we need not rely on words. Similarly, the rains do not originate from the sky but are brought forth from the ocean by the celestial dragon, to nourish all animates and inanimates, sentient beings, trees, and grasses. Hundreds of streams flow into the ocean and merge into one body. Such is the prajna wisdom of our intrinsic nature. (1-5)

Noble friends, by observing and contemplating with wisdom, which illuminates within and without, we realize our original mind. Realization of the original mind is true liberation. To attain liberation is to attain prajna samadhi. Prajna samadhi is “no thought.” What is “no thought”? To understand and perceive all dharmas, with a mind free from attachment and defilement, that is “no thought.” When in use, this mind pervades everywhere, yet it does not cling to anything. We only have to purify our mind so that the six consciousnesses exit the six gates (senses) without being contaminated or defiled by the six dusts (sense objects). Coming and going freely, the mind functions without hindrances, that is prajna samadhi; that is to be free and liberated. That is the practice of “no thought.” But if we suppress all thoughts and do not think of anything, that is Dharma bondage and is an extreme view. (1-8)

http://buddhagate.org/the-platform-sutr ... -hui-neng/


My thought: maybe ‘light’ is unborn wisdom?
Make personal vows.

SteRo
Posts: 585
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:29 pm

Re: Turning the Light Around?

Post by SteRo » Sun Mar 01, 2020 7:32 am

Injrabodi wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 7:10 pm
... I've only ever trained in concentrative meditation and my mind naturally wants to settle upon objects. Is the key here to sit in nonmeditation, keeping the mind free of all external entangling objects, until a moment of satori strikes?

Concentration is great. It's a limb of the Eightfold Path or the Six or Ten Perfections. The other limbs must not be neglected.

User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
Posts: 10774
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA
Contact:

Re: Turning the Light Around?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sun Mar 01, 2020 7:35 am

Injrabodi wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 7:10 pm
In quite a number of traditions knowledge is presented as the one and only true upāya, which is what all of the other means eventually lead to. Diverse scriptures also point out men and even asuras sitting in samadhi for absurd lengths of time, such as 10,000 years, yet failing to obtain liberation because the ability to concentrate the mind only correlates with enlightenment, but could never itself cause enlightenment.

The only schools that seem to believe concentrating the mind leads to liberation are Theravada Buddhism and Raja Yoga, while the more refined schools of cultivation that have arisen since understand that liberation is gained by turning the light of consciousness away from the objects of the senses (mental images, mantra, the breath, etc. also being external objects) and turning it directly back onto itself, and understanding the nature of consciousness itself.

So how exactly does one turn the light around? I've only ever trained in concentrative meditation and my mind naturally wants to settle upon objects. Is the key here to sit in nonmeditation, keeping the mind free of all external entangling objects, until a moment of satori strikes?
Get Vipaysana, etc. instructions. I'm unaware of any Buddhist school that thinks that this absorption is the ultimate goal, this is contrary even to Pali Scripture, and the words of the Buddha.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

User avatar
Injrabodi
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:27 pm

Re: Turning the Light Around?

Post by Injrabodi » Sun Mar 01, 2020 10:17 pm

Astus wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 10:07 pm
Not so. Vipassana is necessary for liberation.
Samatha and Vipassana are two wings of the meditative bird and both are required in order to obtain high states of absorption, correct? If I recall correctly, anapanasati practiced right is both samatha and vipassana.
Astus wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 10:07 pm
It means not chasing a sensory object but reflecting on what is happening in one's mind
The images arising in the mind are exterior to consciousness as well. Watching a cloud in the sky or watching a thought as it's born and dies, both are exterior to consciousness itself. How could the presence or absence of thoughts ever obscure the essential nature?
Astus wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 10:07 pm
Is the key here to sit in nonmeditation, keeping the mind free of all external entangling objects, until a moment of satori strikes?
Insight is not a miracle that happens out of nowhere but something one has to work on. To sit mindlessly results in simply a mindless state, not liberation.
LastLegend wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 5:13 am
If you sit in meditation with a mind devoid of awareness; that is called clinging to idle emptiness.
I wasn't talking about sitting mindlessly, I was talking about sitting filled with awareness yet not focusing it on any one point. Like the shikantaza of Zen.
LastLegend wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 5:13 am
Noble friends, by observing and contemplating with wisdom, which illuminates within and without, we realize our original mind. Realization of the original mind is true liberation. To attain liberation is to attain prajna samadhi. Prajna samadhi is “no thought.” What is “no thought”? To understand and perceive all dharmas, with a mind free from attachment and defilement, that is “no thought.” When in use, this mind pervades everywhere, yet it does not cling to anything. We only have to purify our mind so that the six consciousnesses exit the six gates (senses) without being contaminated or defiled by the six dusts (sense objects). Coming and going freely, the mind functions without hindrances, that is prajna samadhi; that is to be free and liberated. That is the practice of “no thought.”.
Thank you, Master Huineng cuts directly to the core of the issue as usual. I think the translator here is erroneously using the word mind instead of consciousness though. Consciousness is the original ground upon which all things rest, whereas mind is merely a product of the physical body and mostly just regurgitates conditioning endlessly, along with a priori sensory data.

What he describes is exactly what I'm trying to do, locate, rest and abide in the essential nature and not play games with concentrative exercises. As in Dzogchen they say the master is an old man resting in the sun of the essential nature, whereas all others seeking conditioned goals are like children making sandcastles.

This is a quote from a Shaivite text, however given the close association and mergence of tantric Buddhism and Shaivism for centuries I believe it's fully applicable here. This is in chapter 4 of the Tantrasana of Abhinavagupta-
"In this context we can say that no other direct
means but reasoning, which is the light of pure knowledge, can
serve as the limb of yoga. For example, tapas, etc., belonging to
the niyama group, ahimsa, etc., belonging to the yama group,
various types of pranayama, etc., all are finally based in objective existence.
Therefore, what could be their role in regard to
consciousness? Even pratyahara only renders excellence on the
level of senses, that is, the instruments of knowledge and action.
In the same way, dharana, dhyana, and samadhi, if practiced
gradually and in this particular order, could grant to the meditator
the identification with the object of his meditation. However,
meditation or practice on the supreme reality, which is identical
with Siva and is one's own innate nature, is not at all possible. The
practice of one who is established in consciousness is the process
of steadily establishing prana, intellect, and body in it. This is not
unlike carrying a burden, studying the real meaning of sastras or
practicing dance. In the case of consciousness, however, nothing
can be added or taken away from it. Therefore, how can practice
(in regard to consciousness) be possible?"
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 7:35 am
Get Vipaysana, etc. instructions. I'm unaware of any Buddhist school that thinks that this absorption is the ultimate goal, this is contrary even to Pali Scripture, and the words of the Buddha.
In Theravada Buddhism, isn't Nirvana the state that lies beyond the eight realms of absorption (four realms of sublime form, and the four formless realms)? Nirvana is itself an unconditioned state, and so doesn't qualify as absorption, but one still does have to climb the ladder through the other realms by means of vipassana and shamatha to discover it if I recall correctly.

User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
Posts: 10774
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA
Contact:

Re: Turning the Light Around?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sun Mar 01, 2020 10:26 pm

In Theravada Buddhism, isn't Nirvana the state that lies beyond the eight realms of absorption (four realms of sublime form, and the four formless realms)? Nirvana is itself an unconditioned state, and so doesn't qualify as absorption, but one still does have to climb the ladder through the other realms by means of vipassana and shamatha to discover it if I recall correctly.
Vipaysana, roughly speaking is not "concentration", but insight. Yes, ideally meditation aims to be the union of shamatha and vipaysana, but on this basis it is incorrect to state that Theravada only sees concentration through the Jhanas as the goal, to best of my knowledge. In fact the insight bit is what brings it beyond. This is what differentiates Buddhist meditation from some other meditative traditions where the highest formless absorption is seen as enlightenment.

I mean, if you want basic instruction requiring no teacher start with the Sathipatanna Sutta. You'll notice that in addition to teaching Anapanasati the Buddha also directly teaches contemplation on the body, feeling etc. Very roughly speaking, at this point it ceases to be exclusively "concentration" meditation anymore.

Then of course every tradition has myriad expressions of these.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... el019.html
I wasn't talking about sitting mindlessly, I was talking about sitting filled with awareness yet not focusing it on any one point. Like the shikantaza of Zen.
For this you just get instructions on Shamatha without an object, which in many systems progresses to the union of shamatha and vipaysana, ostensibly.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
Posts: 7677
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Turning the Light Around?

Post by Astus » Sun Mar 01, 2020 11:08 pm

Injrabodi wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 10:17 pm
Samatha and Vipassana are two wings of the meditative bird and both are required in order to obtain high states of absorption, correct?
The various levels of absorption (jhana) are attained through samatha. Vipassana is the insight that no matter what is attained, it's always unstable and temporary.
How could the presence or absence of thoughts ever obscure the essential nature?
There is no essential nature to be obscured or remain unobscured.
I wasn't talking about sitting mindlessly, I was talking about sitting filled with awareness yet not focusing it on any one point. Like the shikantaza of Zen.
Of one is aware of things, there is attention focused on things, even if for only a short while. Shikantaza is not about maintaining any specific state, but about freedom from identification with any state.
one still does have to climb the ladder through the other realms by means of vipassana and shamatha to discover it if I recall correctly.
The levels of absorption and the realms of samsara are not ladders. Some level of tranquillity (samatha) is required, but otherwise it is through insight (vipassana) that one eventually relinquishes clinging through realising that there is no reliable thing anywhere.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

User avatar
明安 Myoan
Former staff member
Posts: 2489
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:11 am

Re: Turning the Light Around?

Post by 明安 Myoan » Mon Mar 02, 2020 1:22 am

SteRo wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 7:32 am
Injrabodi wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 7:10 pm
... I've only ever trained in concentrative meditation and my mind naturally wants to settle upon objects. Is the key here to sit in nonmeditation, keeping the mind free of all external entangling objects, until a moment of satori strikes?

Concentration is great. It's a limb of the Eightfold Path or the Six or Ten Perfections. The other limbs must not be neglected.
:good:
With a heart wandering in ignorance down this path and that, to guide me I simply say Namu-Amida-Butsu. -- Ippen

Reciting the nembutsu and believing in birth in the Pure Land naturally give rise to the Three Minds and the Four Modes of Practice. -- Master Hōnen

User avatar
LastLegend
Posts: 4119
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Washington DC

Re: Turning the Light Around?

Post by LastLegend » Mon Mar 02, 2020 4:19 am

Injrabodi wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 10:17 pm
I wasn't talking about sitting mindlessly, I was talking about sitting filled with awareness yet not focusing it on any one point. Like the shikantaza of Zen.
Ok.
Thank you, Master Huineng cuts directly to the core of the issue as usual. I think the translator here is erroneously using the word mind instead of consciousness though. Consciousness is the original ground upon which all things rest, whereas mind is merely a product of the physical body and mostly just regurgitates conditioning endlessly, along with a priori sensory data.
I think mind is referring to the whole mental body without breaking down which aggregate is which or which is inherent wisdom (unborn), the core of Mahaprajnaparamita that should allow one to operate freely without any attachment restriction, though not quite because eons of karmic habit. Consciousness is one of aggregates. If we are able to use consciousness to distinguish clearly without distortion? Karma is known to come in bunch which creates confusion and suffering that has the strength pull us out of being clear? Though in practice, we should not distinguish consciousness or separate from unborn wisdom? Or we create duality and going in circle of aggregates? It’s question of how we deal with eons of karma?
What he describes is exactly what I'm trying to do, locate, rest and abide in the essential nature and not play games with concentrative exercises.
:lol: Yes do that until we find it not to be useful.
As in Dzogchen they say the master is an old man resting in the sun of the essential nature, whereas all others seeking conditioned goals are like children making sandcastles.
That practice will lead to enlightenment or a clean wisdom (be aware just my wording of course and was told as such) that’s free of every attachment but now people must find ways to continue towards becoming a complete Buddha. But there people might not know what to do further? So the way (I was told) to progress further is do Bodhisattva work or use emptiness to benefit beings. It’s not going out to market to pass out food but to do bigger things like transforming a storm from hitting simply using a thought (purely based on compassion); it’s not using siddhis. Corona virus?
This is a quote from a Shaivite text, however given the close association and mergence of tantric Buddhism and Shaivism for centuries I believe it's fully applicable here. This is in chapter 4 of the Tantrasana of Abhinavagupta-
"In this context we can say that no other direct
means but reasoning, which is the light of pure knowledge, can
serve as the limb of yoga. For example, tapas, etc., belonging to
the niyama group, ahimsa, etc., belonging to the yama group,
various types of pranayama, etc., all are finally based in objective existence.
Therefore, what could be their role in regard to
consciousness? Even pratyahara only renders excellence on the
level of senses, that is, the instruments of knowledge and action.
In the same way, dharana, dhyana, and samadhi, if practiced
gradually and in this particular order, could grant to the meditator
the identification with the object of his meditation. However,
meditation or practice on the supreme reality, which is identical
with Siva and is one's own innate nature, is not at all possible. The
practice of one who is established in consciousness is the process
of steadily establishing prana, intellect, and body in it. This is not
unlike carrying a burden, studying the real meaning of sastras or
practicing dance. In the case of consciousness, however, nothing
can be added or taken away from it. Therefore, how can practice
(in regard to consciousness) be possible?"
Unborn wisdom!

If we are able to distinguish clearly through six faculties?

Practice is not to obtain rather until unborn wisdom is unmistakably discerned.
Make personal vows.

User avatar
kusulu
Posts: 77
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:39 am

Re: Turning the Light Around?

Post by kusulu » Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:52 pm

Injrabodi wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 7:10 pm
In quite a number of traditions knowledge is presented as the one and only true upāya, which is what all of the other means eventually lead to. Diverse scriptures also point out men and even asuras sitting in samadhi for absurd lengths of time, such as 10,000 years, yet failing to obtain liberation because the ability to concentrate the mind only correlates with enlightenment, but could never itself cause enlightenment.

The only schools that seem to believe concentrating the mind leads to liberation are Theravada Buddhism and Raja Yoga, while the more refined schools of cultivation that have arisen since understand that liberation is gained by turning the light of consciousness away from the objects of the senses (mental images, mantra, the breath, etc. also being external objects) and turning it directly back onto itself, and understanding the nature of consciousness itself.

So how exactly does one turn the light around? I've only ever trained in concentrative meditation and my mind naturally wants to settle upon objects. Is the key here to sit in nonmeditation, keeping the mind free of all external entangling objects, until a moment of satori strikes?
For me I am satisfied with "gathering together" body, mind, feeling, dharmas; thusly setting mindfulness to the fore. - e.g. bringing everything together, unfinished thoughts, plans, projects, analyses, all the processes and investigations, bringing them all to the zafu; then turning to set mindfulness to the forefront. If the senses then turn "inward" they do it on their own. Samatha AND Vipassana (whether I take it from the Mahayana Agamas or the Pali Suttas) are like a continuum, although they are taught in differing degrees in different traditions, both are always present. Following the breath can be done directly or with the use of mnemonic devices, "objects". Sitting is to be done by bring the impetus of the entirety of one's existence to the front-and-center but not holding on to any thought or concept of what that is or what it means. Whether this takes one to satori, or awakening, or to enlightenment is not the kind of thought you need to attach to. Again, when you "gather" your shit together, set all such thoughts aside. 100% let things be as they are. There is no sitting practice where both "stopping" and "seeing" are not the nuts and bolts. "Satori" whatever that implies is not really the "goal" per se, if one study what Zen masters and others say, it's all about transitioning the practice from being a place of bondage to a place of complete freedom. But in the case of shikantaza, the idea of any attainment is fully discarded, as it properly should be. Harmony is the Key.

User avatar
Grigoris
Former staff member
Posts: 20843
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Turning the Light Around?

Post by Grigoris » Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:58 pm

Injrabodi wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 10:17 pm
The images arising in the mind are exterior to consciousness as well. Watching a cloud in the sky or watching a thought as it's born and dies, both are exterior to consciousness itself. How could the presence or absence of thoughts ever obscure the essential nature?
If they are external to consciousness, then what is observing them?
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

User avatar
LastLegend
Posts: 4119
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Washington DC

Re: Turning the Light Around?

Post by LastLegend » Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:15 am

Grigoris wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:58 pm
Injrabodi wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 10:17 pm
The images arising in the mind are exterior to consciousness as well. Watching a cloud in the sky or watching a thought as it's born and dies, both are exterior to consciousness itself. How could the presence or absence of thoughts ever obscure the essential nature?
If they are external to consciousness, then what is observing them?
Is there an appearance of observing?
Make personal vows.

User avatar
Wayfarer
Former staff member
Posts: 5112
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 8:31 am
Location: AU

Re: Turning the Light Around?

Post by Wayfarer » Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:48 am

In my understanding, self-and-other is a fundamental structure in consciousness. It arises naturally after birth and the process of individuation commences - newborn infants have no such sense at all. It develops over time and gradually becomes assumed by every mental act - me, mine, myself, this is mine, that belongs to me and so on.

I think a major part of the whole process of refined awareness is understanding that process instead of simply acting it out. Normally it is just a program that runs automatically - like a daemon, in computer terminology. It sorts everything into the categories of self and other. But by insight into that process you're preventing it from executing automatically. That is why, I think, that sages say that they have no sense of self, of 'me and mine', but that this doesn't come about through effort or trying, but by understanding the process. That is what I understand 'turning the light around' to mean - becoming aware of the mental activities (sankhara) of I-making and mine-making.

This insight is developed especially in yogacara.
'Only practice with no gaining idea' ~ Suzuki Roshi

User avatar
Grigoris
Former staff member
Posts: 20843
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Turning the Light Around?

Post by Grigoris » Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:49 am

LastLegend wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:15 am
Is there an appearance of observing?
All relative reality is an appearance, but there is no benefit in going down that rabbit hole.

Since it seems you agree with the original statement, then can you answer the question: How can images arising in the mind be external to consciousness?
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

muni
Posts: 4885
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:59 am

Re: Turning the Light Around?

Post by muni » Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:04 am

...the master is an old man resting in the sun of the essential nature, whereas all others seeking conditioned goals are like children making sandcastles.
Yes and this of course means not there is the Buddha (master) "in" the sun of the essential nature while there are others like children making sandcastles which "are out".

The child is own dreamlike state.

Just like devotion is not for 'a person' and compassion 'for all others', when the light of devotion is arising it is including all.

Compassion is no different 'sunlight'.
Phenomena adorn emptiness, but never corrupt it.

Only if you have developed the love and compassion of relative bodhichitta can absolute bodhichitta – the very essence of the Great Perfection and the Great Seal – ever take birth in your being. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

User avatar
LastLegend
Posts: 4119
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Washington DC

Re: Turning the Light Around?

Post by LastLegend » Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:04 am

6th Patriarch of Chan said, ‘mirror wisdom is not because of the stage’
Make personal vows.

User avatar
Grigoris
Former staff member
Posts: 20843
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Turning the Light Around?

Post by Grigoris » Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:09 am

LastLegend wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:04 am
6th Patriarch of Chan said, ‘mirror wisdom is not because of the stage’
Well that is enlightening... :roll:
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

User avatar
LastLegend
Posts: 4119
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Washington DC

Re: Turning the Light Around?

Post by LastLegend » Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:24 am

Grigoris wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:09 am
LastLegend wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:04 am
6th Patriarch of Chan said, ‘mirror wisdom is not because of the stage’
Well that is enlightening... :roll:
:lol:

There is original wisdom that is unborn and absolutely empty of any appearance (of consciousness, images, etc). Why concern with internal versus external?
Make personal vows.

Post Reply

Return to “Meditation”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 20 guests