Reaching the unconscious mind

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Rick
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Reaching the unconscious mind

Post by Rick » Wed May 14, 2014 3:49 pm

If, as one is wont to hear, the unconscious mind is vastly "larger" than the conscious mind ... healing the conscious mind might well leave the unconscious mind still in chaos, bound, suffering.

So it seems to me that true radical transformation = liberation can only occur if the unconscious mind is also liberated, clear, still.

Yet the activities of the unconscious mind are, by definition, unavailable, like objects on the dark side of the moon.

My question: Does meditation "heal" the unconscious mind?
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Jetavan
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Re: Reaching the unconscious mind

Post by Jetavan » Wed May 14, 2014 4:21 pm

rachmiel wrote:

Yet the activities of the unconscious mind are, by definition, unavailable....
Not "by definition". The "unconscious" is simply that of which one is not aware. One could be aware of it in the future; or one may have been aware of it in the past.

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oushi
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Re: Reaching the unconscious mind

Post by oushi » Wed May 14, 2014 4:37 pm

rachmiel wrote:My question: Does meditation "heal" the unconscious mind?
It may, if it succeeds in revealing the content to the conscious mind. It is hides behind the mist of habituation, like socks you are wearing now, without being conscious of them. ;)
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Rick
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Re: Reaching the unconscious mind

Post by Rick » Wed May 14, 2014 7:03 pm

Per Buddhist thought does liberation require that the unconscious mind be disabused of fairy tales and delusions? Or is it "enough" that the conscious mind is delusion-free?
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Matt J
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Re: Reaching the unconscious mind

Post by Matt J » Wed May 14, 2014 7:20 pm

I don't see the split. This would be like having two different minds, but that is not how it is for me.
"The essence of meditation practice is to let go of all your expectations about meditation. All the qualities of your natural mind -- peace, openness, relaxation, and clarity -- are present in your mind just as it is. You don't have to do anything different. You don't have to shift or change your awareness. All you have to do while observing your mind is to recognize the qualities it already has."
--- Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

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oushi
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Re: Reaching the unconscious mind

Post by oushi » Wed May 14, 2014 8:25 pm

Matt J wrote:I don't see the split. This would be like having two different minds, but that is not how it is for me.
Look again. I don't want to bring this topic again, but look at your body. Two hands two legs, two eyes, two brain hemispheres. There are two minds intertwined, so they look like one.
rachmiel wrote:Per Buddhist thought does liberation require that the unconscious mind be disabused of fairy tales and delusions?
There is nothing explicitly about unconscious mind in Buddhisms, that I would know of.
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Matt J
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Re: Reaching the unconscious mind

Post by Matt J » Wed May 14, 2014 10:41 pm

Two hands are two parts of ONE body. Hard lines and boundaries break down under investigation. If I keep one hand clean and healthy, and let the other rot and wither, what do you think will happen?
"The essence of meditation practice is to let go of all your expectations about meditation. All the qualities of your natural mind -- peace, openness, relaxation, and clarity -- are present in your mind just as it is. You don't have to do anything different. You don't have to shift or change your awareness. All you have to do while observing your mind is to recognize the qualities it already has."
--- Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

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LastLegend
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Re: Reaching the unconscious mind

Post by LastLegend » Wed May 14, 2014 10:49 pm

Matt J wrote:Two hands are two parts of ONE body. Hard lines and boundaries break down under investigation. If I keep one hand clean and healthy, and let the other rot and wither, what do you think will happen?
Nothing because there is no hand. :lol:
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Re: Reaching the unconscious mind

Post by Wayfarer » Thu May 15, 2014 12:24 am

If you're interested in a deep book on the subject, have a look at The Buddhist Unconscious: The Alaya-vijñana in the context of Indian Buddhist Thought by William S. Waldron:
This is the story of fifth century CE India, when the Yogacarin Buddhists tested the awareness of unawareness, and became aware of human unawareness to an extraordinary degree. They not only explicitly differentiated this dimension of mental processes from conscious cognitive processes, but also offered reasoned arguments on behalf of this dimension of mind. This is the concept of the 'Buddhist unconscious', which arose just as philosophical discourse in other circles was fiercely debating the limits of conscious awareness, and these ideas in turn had developed as a systematisation of teachings from the Buddha himself. For us in the twenty-first century, these teachings connect in fascinating ways to the Western conceptions of the 'cognitive unconscious' which have been elaborated in the work of Jung and Freud.

This important study reveals how the Buddhist unconscious illuminates and draws out aspects of current western thinking on the unconscious mind. One of the most intriguing connections is the idea that there is in fact no substantial 'self' underlying all mental activity; 'the thoughts themselves are the thinker'. William S. Waldron considers the implications of this radical notion, which, despite only recently gaining plausibility, was in fact first posited 2,500 years ago.
It's a hard read, but then, it's also a hard subject.
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Re: Reaching the unconscious mind

Post by TaTa » Thu May 15, 2014 2:32 am

The whole point of shamata is to develope extrordinary mental balance and atenttion to make the unconsious consious and work with it.

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oushi
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Re: Reaching the unconscious mind

Post by oushi » Thu May 15, 2014 6:31 am

Matt J wrote:Two hands are two parts of ONE body. Hard lines and boundaries break down under investigation. If I keep one hand clean and healthy, and let the other rot and wither, what do you think will happen?
Of course everything is interconnected, and diseases spread, but that's not the point.
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Re: Reaching the unconscious mind

Post by Lindama » Thu May 15, 2014 7:51 am

At the end of the day, the unconscious and the conscious mind do not call for healing. Simply see through them. Meanwhile, we can do nothing except to try to heal them. As my medicine man told me long ago.... there is no such thing as trying. There is no such thing as a division between conscious and unconscious mind. It is a model, a concept, that's all. Not only that, neither is a thing, like a vault of ideas.... no. Whatever we call unconscious is nothing other than ourselves which resides in the twilight mist there for us to discover. There is no such thing as Vanna White and Door # 1 or Door #2. With an open heart, we begin to see those precious places that seemed invisible at first... the compensations, the inadequacies, the weaknesses.... which then become our strengths. No need to do anything. It's the land of the so-called brave. Free at last.

PS: I am not for one minute talking about psychological pathology... we are talking about Buddhism here.
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not this morning,
melon flowers bloomed.
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Re: Reaching the unconscious mind

Post by Grigoris » Thu May 15, 2014 11:51 am

Personally I don't believe that calling the alaya-vijnana unconscious mind is 100% valid. There is no seperation between what exists in the alaya-vijnana and our conscious mind. Whatever exists in the alaya-vijnana is a product of our conscious mind (karma), and whatever manifests in our conscious mind is dependent on what exists in the alaya-vijnana.
"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."
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Rick
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Re: Reaching the unconscious mind

Post by Rick » Thu May 15, 2014 2:28 pm

Lindama wrote:There is no such thing as a division between conscious and unconscious mind. It is a model, a concept, that's all. Not only that, neither is a thing, like a vault of ideas.... no. Whatever we call unconscious is nothing other than ourselves which resides in the twilight mist there for us to discover.
It's good to remember this ... and easy to forget when one talks so earnestly about conscious and unconscious thoughts, feelings, etc. We create an image of different rooms, one small (conscious mind) one vast (unconscious). As with all models of reality, this model is ultimately fiction. That said, there's a ton of stuff going on in our minds that is not available to conscious awareness. And it's this "dark side of the moon" stuff that keeps us spinning away in our samsaric hamster wheels.
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Rick
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Re: Reaching the unconscious mind

Post by Rick » Thu May 15, 2014 2:30 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:There is no seperation between what exists in the alaya-vijnana and our conscious mind.
I've heard alaya-vijnana called unawareness. So isn't there a functional separation between conscious awareness and unawareness?
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Re: Reaching the unconscious mind

Post by Grigoris » Thu May 15, 2014 3:40 pm

rachmiel wrote:I've heard alaya-vijnana called unawareness. So isn't there a functional separation between conscious awareness and unawareness?
I have heard ignorance being translated as unawareness, but not alaya-vijnana. Alaya=seed. Vijnana=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

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Rick
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Re: Reaching the unconscious mind

Post by Rick » Thu May 15, 2014 9:07 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
rachmiel wrote:I've heard alaya-vijnana called unawareness. So isn't there a functional separation between conscious awareness and unawareness?
I have heard ignorance being translated as unawareness, but not alaya-vijnana. Alaya=seed. Vijnana=consciousness.
Here's an example of what I mean:

Chittamatra and Madhyamaka Assertions

All four traditions of Tibetan Buddhism accept that the Chittamatra (sems-tsam, mind-only) system of Indian Buddhist tenets asserts alayavijnana (kun-gzhi rnam-shes, all-encompassing foundation consciousness, storehouse consciousness) as a truly existent (bden-grub) unclear consciousness that underlies all moments of cognition before enlightenment. It serves as the basis for imputation of the habits of unawareness and of karma, continues from lifetime to lifetime, but ceases with the attainment of Buddhahood.

Alaya-vijnana doesn't translate as unawareness here, but it is the basis of "the imputation" of it.

Link: http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/index.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Reaching the unconscious mind

Post by Grigoris » Thu May 15, 2014 9:19 pm

By unawareness they mean avidya, ignorance, lack of mindfulness, lack of attention. Not lack of consciousness, as in unconscious mind.
"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

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Re: Reaching the unconscious mind

Post by 5heaps » Thu May 15, 2014 11:41 pm

Jetavan wrote:
rachmiel wrote:

Yet the activities of the unconscious mind are, by definition, unavailable....
Not "by definition". The "unconscious" is simply that of which one is not aware. One could be aware of it in the future; or one may have been aware of it in the past.
/thread

the unconscious mind is something that only dopes are unaware of. minimal success at samadhi graduates you from not an utter dope and makes the unconscious extremely obvious

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Rick
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Re: Reaching the unconscious mind

Post by Rick » Fri May 16, 2014 4:17 am

Sherab Dorje wrote:By unawareness they mean avidya, ignorance, lack of mindfulness, lack of attention. Not lack of consciousness, as in unconscious mind.
Terminology aside, there are thoughts and feelings and conditioned patterns that we are not aware of. Clearly these influences prevent full clarity and understanding, thus promote suffering.

Is it possible, per Buddhist teachings, to become aware of these things and unknot the hidden knots?
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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