Reality and Falling Asleep in Meditation

Third in a series- The practitioner has not yet created new perceptions regarding how things actually exist that can be used without the crutch of the inferior view. Students often say, "I am doing my practice, and boom, I suddenly fall asleep." That is because they not yet hold a organized structure in their perceptual continuum where new knowledge, perceptions and learning can rest and stabilize. So, boom, like that. It is actually very common.

The reason why you receive teachings is to help create new perceptions. Inner teachings arriving to the ordinary mind prepared by knowledge and practice recreate the mind so that someday you might instead say, "Wow, I can now understand something that I could not understand before". The new perception on the outside helps, so when the teaching comes from the inside you connect with it. Otherwise you do not understand, and you are the weakest link of your own inner process, unable to support the knowledge offered.

Sometimes the inner teachings come in the form of bliss or in the form of feelings. If it is intellectual knowledge that you need in order to have a careful outer process and you are not stable in that, you simply fall asleep suddenly. Another reason that you might be falling asleep is because in the very place where this perception is arriving, you are just so full of your own intellectual certainty that you know, that when the correct perception comes, there is no place to put it because you are already full of yourself. And what happens? You fall asleep. However, do not give up. Keep working on meditation and listening carefully to teachings to become more and more capable.

So again, while this is happening on the interior, the practitioner still has not yet created perceptions that can be used without the crutch of the inferior view that continues to take what is transitory and illusory to be real. They might temporarily enter into the stage without foundation, and that is what is being described here. In other words, they fall asleep! They do not have the perceptions yet to support this to remain conscious and the crutch of their ordinary view is useless! The inner teachings are not able to be processed. So, they enter into a lower level state without foundation where a more advanced practitioner would remain quietly alert, and that is all. It is not complicated. Many try to make it into some kind of exciting and exotic Las Vegas circus of philosophy when it is really so very, very simple.

This is not a permanent state but a preparation for another state to arise. Now it is usual to that you do not know if you are awake or not awake. You do not know anything. All you know is that later your will remember that everything that you thought was the support was not there, and therefore we call it empty. Since there are many kinds of empty this state is important because it can happen early in practice and many have experienced this. It is an important state because it shakes your faith in the reality of your world and worldview.

Now Chandrakirti in the exposition of the 20 emptinesses states, “Emptiness of the inner”, in other words, emptiness of the subject, refers to Dharmas or heaps of accumulated manifestations, belonging to the subject. Now, keep in mind the explanations I have just given you. “Since it has no inherent nature, the eye is empty of being an eye. The ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind are the same way”. They are all described in a similar way. “They are not stable, nor forever lasting, nor do they remain for a short time and decay. The eye and the rest that are the six inner ones are things that have no essential nature at all. This is one is meant by emptiness of the inner”.

This is what Chandrakirti is telling us. Now, we go on to what I might have to add. Silly me, I am going to add to what Chandrakirti told us which was plenty good enough, but if was not and you do not understand, let's go on.

We do not need to discuss whether the eyeball or the ear or the sense organs are the processing centers of the senses. We understand that the brain processes incoming data in ways that make it suitable for mental events and constructs to be created. That these fleshy organs and the fleshy organ of the brain are not reliable transmitters of data is already understood by science. They can be damaged easily and can be easily fooled, such as seeing a snake when it is a rope, isn't that so? If there are people who witness a car accident, there can be five people with five different experiences of what happened. The senses can be easily fooled.

The outer and inner organs of perception are in the mind and not in the brain which is not located in the physical body but in an energetic form invisible to human sight. In other words, no matter how you cut open the human body, you cannot find the inner bases of the senses or the actual mind. You only find the fleshy brain. Can you tell where the body end and the mind begin? No, they are connected by a spectrum that includes the manifested physical form.

So, the physical senses are empty of what is perceived as their purpose without the actual inner sense organs of the mind. The inner sense bases are also dependent on another dynamic for even more subtle mind that influences it. This means that events from the inner and outer environment are processed through an inferior filter that is easily polluted, meaning your contaminated senses. To be continued


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