Recipe for Enlightenment (part three)

We continue the discussion on cogitation meditation from yesterday. This meditation technique and energetic is like an enfoldment or unfolding of thinking. Rather than looking, thinking, adding more ideas to the thought, you are waiting in encouragement while this enfoldment is drawing forth elements that need to be viewed and understood. This ability only comes with steady practice so not much more needs to be said about this for now.

The cogitation meditation results are gathered into realizations. These minor breakthroughs are characterized by the arisal of a new state of mind or new thought patterns. These minor breakthroughs and new states of mind could also be attained by removal of a difficult state of mind or difficult dynamic. With that removal, a careful ingredient that was previously hidden from the meditator becomes exposed. Something you might have already developed in a previous time; this life or another life was hidden by another dynamic. For example, this becomes apparent when the removal of anger in the interior that is facilitated by the meditator uncovers some very nice dynamics such as a refreshed sense of caring for others.

In our wonderful recipe for enlightenment, some ingredient states of mind need to be fresh, fresh, fresh in the alive present moment, such as Bodhichitta, the altruistic mind. To only remember your good deeds done for others and enter that remembrance into the equation of the gathering of states of mind is to be meditating in a second-hand way. It is stale. It is not fresh. Bodhichitta must be in the alive present moment in order to be bodhichitta. The alive experience of high thinking altruism causes the meditator to become visible where life actually exists in the interior that can be experienced by the actual being.

A student once told me that the saying for beginners should be “You fake it 'til you make it.” For that to work you need get some idea of what altruism is, what it means to you, and remember how it feels to be caring for others. You then hold these ideas together for a while because it feels good. Then, you slowly add to that more memories of producing altruism in your mind. Then another an instance of altruism, and secure that by also remembering how good that felt. For example, thinking, "You know, I am a really good person. I have done many good things for people. Look at how well my children do in school. They have many friends. We have family picnics and I remember old aunt Martha, who is 82 years old, came up to me, and said 'You are so sweet, kind and dear to me,' and she is right, you know. Even when I go down the street, cats and dogs come up to me to be petted, they must sense that I am not going to hurt them."

You can spend a lot of time remembering these truly nice things,and if by remembering you can actually feel the alive in your present moment, this is good. The sooner you get the idea of combining the feeling of the present moment with even more altruistic thinking on a broader scale, that Ah Ha of the present moment is dramatic! The first time it happens could be so big that you might faint! With further development and practice, some practitioners might even lose consciousness when their mind and the alive touch in a concentration state called samadhi.

Now we understand that the earlier view of being a nice person was a transitional development toward a higher view of what compassion and altruism means. Even if you might have built a hospital wing, that is a lower altruism than the state being discussed. The alive state is here, right now, but when that comes together in a certain combination, just like finally getting the last wire on that electric plug, and this one has to be screwed in just so here, the connections are all careful. The alive begins to flow, and something happens energetically in you, and in your actual being, the real you inside. The inner light turns on in a special way, which makes your actual being inside visible to real life.

Part of the Buddhist teachings that have been in the West for a very long time and taught in the Orient, of course, is that this world is like a dream and that this world is illusory. However, it seems like when everything is going well, job is going well, relationships are going well and you have everything that you want, somehow the fact that life is illusory is not very interesting. However, wait for a short time, the weather will change, and you will experience disappointment, and suffering comes like a rat scratching and chewing inside the wall. When it changes, you will not get something that you want, and a relationship will not go the way that you want it to, and then you are ripe to hear that life is just a dream; it is just an illusion. Actually neither one of these positions is very careful but very real to the ordinary mind. I personally do not think it is very nice to use Buddhist practice to beat yourself and others up regarding the nature of reality depending upon which way the wind is blowing!

For the skillful meditator, while preparation of various states of mind are being held energetically within the deeper mind, certain ways that you act and react to stimuli must be dried up in order for the correct combination to arise. You know, there are certain kinds of cogitations that move from your outer awareness mind into an energetic kind of thinking that is thinking, but not thinking. This happens in your subtle minds, which are connected and stimulated by the thinking that you have been doing on the outside to a certain degree. These energetic states of mind, as they pass from your care, go into another form interior, and become another kind of thinking, only this time they are not held in the method of words or mental pictures. They are held energetically and the preparation at those levels must go on carefully in order for the actual state of mind to arrive.

While those states of mind are happening inside, you need to understand better that you have certain spontaneous methods consistently used to receive stimuli from subtler minds, or inner minds, coming toward you from the interior. You have unhappy, habitual patterns or filters and ways that you have reacted when these inner processes and inner thinking are happening. They move to your outer mind, and when higher thinking arrives, these wrong reactions must be dried up so that you get the desired result. For example, mental excitement can push the meditator away from delicate and important nuances, like too much chili.

Too much excitement might be a usual reaction. The very excitement that you are experiencing causes you to lose your meditation. Your meditation is gone and all of the delicate nuances have disappeared. This excitement reflex must be dried up carefully. Otherwise, it comes like too much chili pepper, and the recipe it is not going to turn out well. The excitement is just too strong.

Other emotional reactions to inner stimuli can be inappropriate fear where there is nothing to fear. This needs to be dried up also and this time disappeared into nothing. This is nothing useful to use at all. This inappropriate fear is not a tool or a protective device. To be continued…

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