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Sum Ergo Sum

Tag Archives: emptiness

My Understanding of MU

Who should practice the MU-koan?
No

What’s the purpous with MU?
No

How can you understand it?
No

Seems rather ridiculous, right?
No

Why has it been around for so long?
No

Is every answer a negative?
No

So what’s an affirmative answer?
No

Is the point to bore you with your own questions?
No

Is MU representing The All?
No

What can possibly come out of this?
No

So “No” is all what it is?
No

Dang it, I’ll go back to counting breath!
No

Whaddya mean “No”?
No

Hey, I’m talking to you…
No

This is just my thoughts
No

I’m tired
No

Ah, I see. When…
No

Wait a minute
No

This is so cool
No

I say “No” to everything!
No

I say “No” to every-THING
No

I should stop this, right?
No

But if “No” is all I get..
No

…then I know the rest of this
No

So I should just keep at it?
No

OK, so I’ll quit right here?
No

This if freakin’ useless
No

This gives no insight whatsoever
No

Luckily, there’s only five minutes left ’til the gong
No

Whaddya mean “No”, it is!
No

Shut Up!!!
No

You just won’t cave will you?
No

You’ll always be here?
No

Two minutes left…
No

YES IT IS!
No

?
No

You wait and see
No

I’ll just relax for now
No

Oh yes, I’ll abide in…
No

So it’s impossible for me to relax?
No

Aha, I must let go of trying to relax
No

I gotta let go!
No

You are so wierd
No

When is that bloody gong?
No

GONNNNGGGGGG

Yessss!
No

You can’t fool me to go on with this
No

That’s right, I win
No

________________________________________

Ok, so that’s how I see it. No matter what I come up with, the response is the same. It’s reliable and solid as a rock. It tells me that there’s no “I” to make up all those questions and in the end “I” will understand that and the real I will shut up. It’s also “No” to all of concepts, rationalizing, analysing and effort to “understand”.
I’ll just sit with it and that will arise in me.

-How about that Joshu?

-No

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How To Play Hide And Seek With Your Thoughts

I only have 10 minutes for this post so this it’s very “on the go”. I just read This:

For all thoughts the source is the ‘I’ thought. The mind will merge only by Self-enquiry ‘Who am I?’ The thought ‘Who am l?’ will destroy all other thoughts and finally kill itself also. If other thoughts arise, without trying to complete them, one must enquire to whom did this thought arise. What does it matter how many thoughts arise? As each thought arises one must be watchful and ask to whom is this thought occurring. The answer will be ‘to me’. If you enquire ‘Who am I?’ the mind will return to its source (or where it issued from). The thought which arose will also submerge. As you practise like this more and more, the power of the mind to remain as its source is increased.
Sri Ramana

I then thought  of a litte game I sometimes play with my mind during meditation, try this:
Ask yourself  “What am I thinking right now” and then be attentive.
You might try to gently leave out the “now” like when you count in a song – 1,2,3,-. Just so you don’t mix up counting with playing the actual song. Leave some space after you’ve established the rythm.
“What…Am…I…Thinking…Right…” and then full attention.

In my experience, when I succeed in nailing down my attention to that space (usually take nine inch nails and it’s hard work), then I find nothing, When I say “nothing” I mean no Thoughts. There is of course awareness of whatever is prominent in my perception, but I have no Thoughts about them. It is as if the five senses can be experienced without thought, but the sixth sense of thought itself dissolves when it tries to look at itself. That would be rather “so what”-ish since the eye cannot see itself. But it’s kind of interesting anyway. Maybe this assignment of attention creates a situation where Thought dries out as a result of not getting any input.

If not hearing, touch, taste, smell, vision and not memories or fantasies, then what?
Space, emptieness, peace…?
I dunno.

Is this what Sri is saying with “the power of the mind to remain as its source is increased”. Or is it the other way around? Probably it’s a matter of word-entanglement and misconception on my behalf. My experience is Sri’s but inverted, haha.
Asking my question gives me the answer;
– If Thought is the forerunner of all things, then all things are based on emptieness because when I pay close attention to my Thoughts it seems like they’re totally dependent on other sense input and/or memories to arise at all. A consequence of that would be that all things are the forerunner of all things. They just pass through our minds in order to manifest as action.
– Thought, seen as such a transformer between input/output, past/future is only present here and now and is inherently empty in itself. You can either let it be filled with all that is here and now (mindfulness), or you can direct it to your vast archive of then and there-memories to build fantasies about when and where (mindlessness). If you direct it towards itself, thought looking at thought, there’s nothing to find.

Oh well, times up and Old Joshu screams, MU! I’d love to hear from anyone trying this.
Maybe it’s just me?

 

What Makes My Self Mine And Not Yours?

My Self is the inter-action between my physical body with all is’s reactions to the environment and that particular environment with all is’s reactions to my body.

The inner workings of Ultimate Reality, sort of…

Consider the figure as a picture of the relations between Forms and Emptiness. Books on this has never pictures in them to go with the message which to me is surprising. Well, there’s always the Bodhi Tree, the Mountain and the River and whatnot, but they all say the same thing;
-This Is The Truth, This Is Reality, Open Your Eyes And Realize That The Answers To All Of Your Questions Are As Simple As This. Fair enough, but I’m trying to paint a picture of the actual confusion that makes me blind and keeps me asleep. Naturally this will not be beautiful at all. It’s not a beautiful thing to paint. It’s abstract, heady, rational and by default confusing. I find it impossible to paint a not-confusing picture of confusion, so here we go.

To be Form there only need to be One Form. There would be no one to recognize it so in essence it would be unknown. Therfore we can leave that hypothetical argument aside. It’s irrelevant.
To be unconscious Forms there need to be at least two of them and there need to be Emptiness in-between. In fact, there could not be two forms without some space in-between.
To be self-consious Form, which is the Form you and I are most interested in, there need to be one Form that consider itself differentiated from other Forms. As with unconscious Form, we need also Emptiness.

So, in the picture You are the red dot and Ground is the black circle. In reality Other Form is not one circle but millions because You are constantly encountering a lot of Forms simultaneously (chair, animal, sun rays, airwaves etc). The circle is better thought of as a ball of threads/forms that swirls around you. Sometimes you bounce onto the ball, sometimes the ball contracts and bounce on you. There’s a constant dynamic in this relation and it can’t be avoided. You are 24/7 100% in relation to other form whether you like it or not.

Allright then, our mind can only deal with differentiation, duality that is. We cannot think of Emptiness as a Form. Our mind tells us that Emptiness is defined by the abscence of Form. It is Nothing. So from a minds perspective there’s no point in looking into Emptiness. It will find Nothing. So if you’re not looking for anything take a look at Emptiness, right?
Well, when meditating we’re looking for something, so we go elsewhere. We’re looking for our True Self.  Ok, says mind, then we’ll look at what is You and compare it to what is Not You. That’s the only thing your mind can do, and it is pretty good at it.
Problem is that the mind can only find the Formal aspect of You and that’s not the whole picture. As we’ve seen, the red dot can only exist when together with Other Form and Emptiness. The missing part of your True Self cannot be found within yourself and definitely not inside Other Form. It has to be within the empty space that makes different Forms possible. So mind has to be dismissed when searching for the missing part. It cannot relate to Nothing. So how do we look? The answer is; we don’t! If the only way to consciously look at reality is by using our mind, then we cannot find any part of reality that resides in Emptiness.
This is where the Zen concept of No-Mind come into play. It sounds stupid, but in this perspective it is totally rational. When we come to this point, it is best to say – “Nevermind” to our mind.
But we must be careful not to jump to conclusions here. When we realize that the True Self is not to be found in our physical form with all it’s content of thoughts, feelings, attitudes, memory and awareness, we might think – Oh well, my True Self is Emptiness then. Very not so! If we do that, we forget that we’ve already found a big part of what is our True Self, our physical Form that is. Going back to the picture, if no red dot then there’s no one to conclude – I am Emptiness. So we have to embrace that part of True Self which is Form and then move on with it. There’s no escape from the reality of Form. Therefore there’s no point in trying to deny it. If you look for your True Self without your Form (which in practice is impossible), you’ll only find fragments of the self bouncing in Emptiness. How sad.
So we take our My Form on a mindless tour around the empty space between that and other forms. It is there we can find the missing pieces. Our mind cannot find them because it sees nothing in Emptiness. They have to be experienced mindlessly so to speak. Therefore, those parts of True Self cannot be talked about directly. That would be “minding” them and as soon as that happens, they’re gone. Remember, mind can only grasp Form.
To sum it up; True Self is partially Form, but not entierly so. It isn’t Emptiness either because Emptiness is …well, “empty”. Rather,  my True Self is My Form plus what happens in the space of Emptiness when My Form interacts with Other Form. That means, if there’s any sense in it, impermanence is of two distinct qualities. One obvious where My Form is in constant decay, and one less obvious. The slippery one is to be found in Emptiness where part of my True Self is in constant change due to the dynamics in relations between Forms. That part is in every moment both created and lost and thus impermanent in a circular fashion. In that perspective it would be possible to say that my True Self is in constant decay as well as constantly reborn and killed. You are the one walking the ground as well as the walking itself, and the walking is in itself made up of you and the Ground. Without this relation between you – ground there would only be Emptiness. But instead of Emptiness there is a relation in action and that relation contains equal parts of your form and the ground’s form. Part of the True Ground is thereby found in part of your True Self. Those parts are found within Emptiness, but they are not Emptiness. They are Oneness residing within Emptiness but inherently empty without the duality of different forms.
That is the Ultimate Reality.

If all this seems a load of BS, don’t blame me.
You did it.

Where is my mind?

According to the Buddhist tradition, the working basis of the path and the energy involved in the path is the mind—one’s own mind, which is working in us all the time

Fundamentally, it is that which can associate with an “other”—with any “something” that is perceived as different from the perceiver. That is the definition of mind

Mind makes the fact of perceiving something else stand for the existence of oneself. That is the mental trick that constitutes mind

It is the fact that the existence of self is questionable that motivates the trick of duality

The method for beginning to relate directly with mind, which was taught by Lord Buddha and which has been in use for the past twenty-five hundred years, is the practice of mindfulness

Mindfulness of body is connected with the earth. It is an openness that has a base, a foundation. Without this particular foundation of mindfulness, the rest of your meditation practice could be very airy-fairy—vacillating back and forth, trying this and trying that

All the above come from Trungpa’s text on The Four Foundations of Mindfulness. All seems very true and workable to me. Again it points me to the importance of basic simplicity, and where to find a solid starting point for my particular path. I find most basic questions in meditation to be jumping the gun a bit. You know most of them I guess;
– Who am I
– Who is asking the question
– Who are you
– Where do you come from
– etc
It’s not that these questions are wrong in any way, they’re brilliant, but all of them which I have read takes the actual existence as a given. If Trungpa’s on target, that “existence” has to be established by experience, as a personal fact, before I can move on. The basic question is therefore – Am I?
What does it take for me to answer Yes? Could mindful meditation of body be seen as a quest for evidence of my actual existence?
That seems redundant at first glance. Of course I exist!
Think again about Trungpa’s words; It is the fact that the existence of self is questionable that motivates the trick of duality. Maybe it isn’t so easy to answer Yes after all. If the massive and persistent perception of duality is indeed a result of our ambivalence towards our own existence, the basic answer would be – I don’t know for sure? So why is the question so hard to answer? My current thinking suggests that the problem is we’re barking up the wrong tree, and trying to find Me in my physical body won’t do it. I’m thinking parts of Me resides somewhere else, and that “somewhere” is seemingly empty. Trick is that whatever there is to find in that empty space exists only in relation to my actual physical form. Furthermore, my actual physical form exists only in relation to other physical forms.
That leaves us with a mind that can only deal with different types of form, my form and the forms outside of it. So being “mindful” would mean to establish the actual existence of these forms by bringing into awareness that there is a transmitter (other form) and also a receiver (my form). If that’s the function of it, then mindfulness “with the mind” can never discover the True Self in it’s totality since parts of the True Self is to be found in-between the various forms recognizable to the mind. Bottom line would be that by using my Mind, I can only connect with half of my True Self. The other part is untouchable so to speak. And it won’t help much to be consciously “aware” of this since “awareness” is also a function of my physical form. Only thing I can be aware of, and that’s a good one, is that finding my True Self, my Whole/Holy Self, lies beyond my minds reach. That in itself could save me some wasted time on mind-gaming. So what Trungpa says to me is;
– mindfulness of body gives you evidence of your physical form – if you experience this, then you will soon realize that everything about “you” is in relation to “other” – if you experience this, you’ll eventually find that your mind cannot deal with anything else than duality – if you experience this, you’ll stop searching for your True Self by sitting on a cushion. What then happens is an open question. Maybe you try finding your Self in others. Maybe you try to find your Self in relation to others or maybe you just go home and do some dishing.

I won’t fool anyone by saying this is “my thinking”. Obviously it is Buddhadharma for Beginners. I just have to write it down to let my playful mind have something to juggle with. It’s all nonsense anyway. It’s all I am. Now it’s all I was.

Now I’m a new thought; if the My True Self is to be found in-between forms, namely My Form and Other Forms, and My True Self is to be regarded as an expression of Oneness, how the heck can Oneness be without the duality of different forms?
Jeeeeze, is this the paradox that leads us to the Ultimate Reality being neither Oneness, nor Duality?
This formal expression of the ongoing Big Bang needs a cup of coffee real bad.
As for Me, I’ll soon be  the joy in having just that.

Buddha vs Me 1-0

If all is One, how can you tell?
To know One, you must have a reference that is Not One.
To find such a reference or comparison you can go in one of two directions.
A) Up one step and say “All is not two”.
B) Down one step and say “All is not zero”.
Since going up means there must be duality, that’s not an option, right. With duality we usually don’t mean that All consist of exactly two things, but more than one, and science will in time tell us how many.
So we go to the big Zero, Void or Emptienss instead and say;
All is One since it is not Zero, look, here it is!
Why not leave the Zero out? It is really awkward to say that “All is One but also zero”. We cannot, because One is not possible without the Other, the only other possible being Zero. We must have this “zero/emptieness”- reference point to be able to define One. In fact, a reference point a must have for existence in itself. Defined or not.
So with dry logic, speaking of Oneness requires Emptienss if you also say that everything is interdependent. And as we all know, Buddha says that all things are indeed interdependent.
Now, knowing this is one thing, understanding it another.

Well, that’s my take on the Empty/Form-gig. If I’m just having a bad-brain day, please let me know.