A careful meditator does not harm the changes in consciousness that have been cultivated in meditation. In a trained and skillful manner, he or she checks to see if they are grasping or holding a perception that could harm the new perception. A person is not alive without consciousness and the interactive tools of consciousness are perceptions.
The mass of perceptions that comprise a human beings mind are shaped by birth karma as well as experiences of daily inner and outer life process. Individual perceptions such as self worth, understanding the importance of precious human rebirth, racist feelings, altruism, or compassion are manipulated daily. We are shaped by outer events; meditation, peer pressure, and so much more that recreate us into the new and happy or perhaps unhappy person that we consider “me.”
Is there a harmful environment within the mind that will potentially damage a new beneficial perception? How do skillful practitioners of beneficial change such as seekers of enlightenment act in the face of the dilemma of harmful and helpful perceptions abiding in the same environment? It is not a good idea to go in there with a hammer and a chainsaw but instead use great delicacy. However, it takes a lot of experience to be able to do the kind of checking mentioned earlier.
There is a higher, skillful yogic process of checking, but most meditators are not objective enough to be capable. Perhaps they are able to do a rudimentary checking such as yogic breath checking, or they know their delusions so well that they hold them away by not feeding them in order for that new perception to stabilize. It is really marvelous; it’s a marvelous process.
Because this is so important, this is why meditators ask their outer guide if they will please check. Some strong experience has happened, they want to be checked to see what they should do next or are they okay or is stabilization going carefully.
On the other hand, for the unskillful meditator that can only tolerate his or her own habitual perceptions without making space for change, they will not accomplish anything. They might as well take up knitting because no real change will come and they are wasting their time. If we resonate with the unskillful and see our self as the kind of person who can only tolerate our habitual perceptions - no matter how bad those perceptions make us suffer, if I have to feel like totally me all of the time, then we cannot change to make any progress. Now, this of course, would not, be any of my students. Ahem…. Nevertheless, we have heard that it does happen sometimes.
The entire path and goal of Buddhism is about CHANGE and the accompanying transitional stabilization of these changes and NOT about knowledge. I say that again - the entire path and goal is about change and transitional stabilizations, not just a final stabilizing of the enlightenment experience but a systematic stabilizing of changes without the goal becoming the acquisition of knowledge. Now, as a scholar, I have to display shock at that concept…sort of [draws in breath] like that, little bit. In my just before, I was quite well known as a scholar, so I still have strong attitudes that scholarship is even more than good. However, I emphasize the need to discover real change much stronger. To be continued….