Mind at Ease: Self-Liberation through Mahamudra Meditation

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It says we only ever understand ourselves arid our world through the kind of mind that we have. The structure of our mind and the functions, states, and processes of our consciousness determine the range of what we experience.

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This is true from the basic level of our sensory consciousness to the higher functionings of our cognitive activities. It follows from this that we must develop an understanding of our consciousness before we can even think of developing as spiritual beings. As Buddhists, we try to emulate the exainple of Gautama Shakyamuni Buddha, who lived in India roughly 2, years ago. He had no special link to a greater spiritual reality.

In order to develop the. Buddhism teaches that the mind functionS on two different levels. At one level is the deluded mind namshe in Tibetan , which is the cause of all of our misery; frustration, and pain. The other level is the enlightened mind yeshe in Tibetan , which has the capacity to free us from that suffering ami pain. That is. There is another level that we currently are totally unfamiliar with. Buddhism speaks of these two levels of mind as the deluded and undeluded mind.


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This distinction is something we need to understand. However, this Mahamudra perspective must be understood from the ultimate point of view, whereby the deluded mind and the undeluded mind are considered to have the same nature. When we speak about the attainment of enlightenment, we are not referring to an altered psychological state.

Buddhists seeking enlightenment are not looking for altered states of consciousness or psychological insight into the workings of our so. Its primary concern is not to address our psychological neuroses or emotional disorders. We should not expect to find out why we eat so much, why we feel so anxious, or where all our self-loathing comes from.

Certainly this kind of understanding may come about as an incidental by-product of meditation-becoming more conscious of our mental states will likely enable us to realize certain things about ourselves along the way. The mind that we are counseled to cultivate in Buddhist teachings is not the empirical mind we normally experience, even though our mental training is dependent upon that mind. It is the undeluded mind that we have to cultivate in order to transcend the limitations of our normal states of consciousnesS.

This distinction is difficult to convey in words.

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In Buddhism namshe and yeshe are different concepts. Yeshe is actually Tibetan for the Sanskrit word jnana, which was translated as "gnosis" in chapter 2. As we begin to access wisdom consciousness,' we will be able to. Transcendental knowledge is more akin to a conceptual form of understanding and is always a precondition for the dawning of genuine gnosis.

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Our deluded, samsaric mindthe ordinary states of consciousness that we experience from moment to moment i l everyday life-is not the same as our undeluded mind. Our minds have been driven into a state of confusion through the relendess. Our samsaric mind, then, is in a state of constant, unremltting resdessness.

That being the case, this state of consciousness can hardly be said to be conscious at all. When Buddhism stresses cultivating the mind, our primary concern is learning how to deal with our ordinary deluded consciousness in such a skillful way that we can go beyond it and realize our wisdom consciousness. We do not attain wisdom as something new, via the overcoming of our ordinary deluded nlind. Our delusions have to be overcome so that our innate wisdom mind is allowed to arise naturally, becau. All the meditative techniques and various other disciplines of body, speech, and mind. In a way, we are trying to bypass that inind and access a state of consciousness that is undeluded precisely because there is a sense of perspicacity or clarity within it already.

According to Buddhist thinking, such deliberate ma. There is another way of being ourselves.


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We are not at all familiar with this other way in our normal states of consciousness, because we perceive and experience things from a limited, myopic, egotistic perspective. In fact, this is the oruy way the deluded consciousness will ever be able to perceive things. Mind training develops wisdom consciousness and allows us to gradually extricate our being from the influence of our. There is no separation between the two. Buddhist spiritu,ality would not exist if it were not for the cultivation of the mind. Part of this training includes inculcating the correct view.

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Eventtially the ordinary deluded consciousness ceases to operate completely, leaving only the undeluded. Hence a buddha's mind is completely different from our own mind. This seems obvious in some ways, but it is not generally well understood in the West because we try to psychologize spiritual realities.

It is important to resist that temptation. They are. In the West, many people say that Buddhist practice involves nothing more than simply being aware; if you can. They equate this lack of disturbance with enlightemi? That is not entirely true.

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Of course, we have to start with a state of awareness in terms of our psychological states, but true aware-:ness stems from the wisdom consciousness, not from the deluded state qf mind. Simply training your ordinary deluded consciousness to be aware and in the present will not lead to liberation so easily. If that were the case, every professionai athlete would be enlightened by now, because they have to focus and be in the present; their livelihood depends upon it. The distinction between these two different types of awareness-the psychological and the spiritual-is exceptionally important from a spiritual point of view.

Psychological awareness is still a deluded state and should never be confused with wisdom consciousness. There can be no quick transition from deluded s.


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Ordinarily, even when we think we are making choices about our lives, we are not choosing in al? It is more the case that we are following our habitual tendencies and deluded understandings. As we have seen, this is a -mistaken structure formed of distorted thoughts and conflicting emotions.

The sorts of things we think about and the sorts of emotion.

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S' we experience all go toward perpetuating delusory states of mind. If we are honest with ourselves, we know from our own experience that the more we try to find solutions to our problems through thinking about them, the more we start going around in circles, sometimes interminably. Buddhism counsels us to resist being abused by our conB. Emotions can be expressed in an unhealthy, self-destructive manner or in a healthy and constructive fashion. Similarly, we can think in a self-destructive, confused way, "'hich reinforces our negative habits, or we can think in a constructive way. This is not to say that we are trying to eradicate our feelings and emotions altogether.

AccoriJing to Buddhism, this is not true. Once ignorance has been purified, all the capacities and functionings of normal consciousness are in fact enhanced. We simply have to train our minds to renounce the ignorance that is behind our deluded states. The first meditation technique is designed to enable us to deal with our.

co.organiccrap.com/141069.php This is called shamatha, or tranquillity. The second technique is designed to aid us in our effort to overcome the proliferation of thoughts that we have spoken about. This is called vipashyana, or insight meditation. The third technique is designed to assist our feelings and emotions and is called meditation on the four immeasurables brahmaviharas.

What is Mahamudra in Buddhist Meditation?

These three techniques will be discussed later-the four immeasurables in chapter 6 and tranquillity and insight meditation in chapters 8 and 9.

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