Friday 6 September 2013

Where is the mind?

Where is the mind?
For many years I have immersed myself in spiritual contemplation and growth.

Over the years I have locked myself in a pagoda in a Vipassana retreat.
Spent weeks in a Wat in far northern Thailand being a novice Therevadan Monk.
Spent time in an Ashram in Malaysia and in China,
in a hospital run by blind masseurs learning how the body and mind works.
Lately I have been studying with a Chassidic Rabbi in a local Synagogue and a Holy Master in a Tien Dao Temple here, in Malaysia and Taiwan.

To what end?

Did I find something that most don't know?

I do know that this morning I was reading a short discussion on what the mind is and how we should see our mind.
The next thing was where the mind is situated.
The article was written by the late Traleg Rinpoche of E-vam Institute in Melbourne.
From a Tantric Vajrayana point of view, Traleg Rinpoche shows me I got the answer wrong.

Needless to say I should start all over again.

Forget what I think I know and begin again with a blank screen.

In understanding mind and what it is,
Tantric texts tell us that:
Mind is empty
Mind is luminous,
Mind is bliss.

Where the mind is,
is another matter.

Firstly I thought of the emptiness of the mind.
Tantric tradition says that mind is not something that can be grasped.
We cannot identify it with brain processes,
or with the heart.
The mind cannot be found either within,
or outside our physical selves.
Mind is not an entity,
or a thing, and that is why
the mind is empty.

Unlike inanimate objects, the mind is able to illuminate both itself and other things.
This luminosity is not discovered outside our ordinary experience.
Our experience of anger, jealousy, pride, are illuminated with a sense of clarity well before we put our interpretations on our emotions.
Luminosity of the mind comes in two situations:
when the mind is calm as during meditation and when the mind is disturbed.
With both these situations we should identify and see with clarity and not make any distinctions.
We then will see the luminosity of the mind.

The minds blissful aspect is reliant on being able to cease in making distinctions between our ordinary mind and the meditative experiences of mental tranquility.
We no longer have to make distinctions within our mind saying
"this aspect is good and that aspect is bad so it must be destroyed."
When that conflict is solved, bliss takes place naturally.
Bliss is then discovered as another aspect of our own mind.

These three aspects of mind are indispensable in the tantric tradition.

Now to the question:
Where is the mind?
Traleg Rinpoche said that some identify the mind with our neural system, whilst others locate it somewhere in the heart.
If we are really sophisticated, we may think it is located in the brain.
Tantric logic tells us to identify the minds location as purely within the three aspects :
Empty, luminous and bliss.

My deepest thanks to the late Traleg Rinpoche for his insight into the tantric path.
He said that the greatest hindrance to our search is the fear of our own incompetence.
He said we need to have ultimate conviction.

Thank you dear man,
I am working on my conviction.

Sent from my iPhone and
With love