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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Refuge, Science and Inner Protection

We need a new ways of relating to refuge beyond the fear of rebirth and birth in lower realms refuge. As a practitioner matures there will be many different forms, stages and development of deeper refuge. One aspect of refuge is based on knowledge of what will benefit and what will harm. These discriminative realizations can be approached in various methods.

Traditional debate uses true refuge as reliable syllogisms and basis for other knowledge in combination with other verified truths. This is a spiritual scientific approach to refuge.

Science is a method of testing and measuring to arrive at conclusions that will forward other hypotheses. The quantification of the world; length, height, depth, weight and on to probable locations of electrons is an important collection of information and knowledge.

Then there are people who seek knowledge so they can learn to talk to flowers.
There are many kind, well meaning people, who study hard and collect information toward the quantification of non-ordinary realities also, such as the personalities of flowers and what stones are saying as knowledge bases.

In Buddhism we do not think these are spiritual subjects although others often have placed Tibetan “inner scientists” in the same category. The knowledge of flowers and stones or tree spirits is definitely non-ordinary quantifications. You can learn so much to become knowledgeable about the unseen world and non-ordinary realities, but it doesn’t set you free!

We believe in Tibetan system that anything that doesn’t set you free is not a spiritual path. Some may think a ghost is like a spirit, and therefore if you talk to ghosts you are spiritual, but that isn’t a spiritual path to interact and trust ghosts.

These kinds of things don’t require the courage of conviction of your potential for transcendent transformation. Earth bound living beings should not act as inner guidance for humans who are really only temporary residents on their way to perfection. In order to understand how serious we are about this we take a special vow to not rely or take refuge in worldly spirits.

So we turn toward reliable refuge using logic and reason in addition to feeling safer. You must move beyond your present capabilities and strategies for spiritual success.
This vow combined with sincere refuge and desire for enlightenment will act as protection against possible harm that might be caused by unenlightened spirits. This is possible without relying on unknown inner forces that might be inviting and seductive in gathering to their way of being.

Tibetan lamas are trained to separate spirits from practitioners who are beginning to shine on the inside and can attract them without realizing it. One of the important reasons we take refuge is to not get caught and lose the path to higher development.

Friday, February 13, 2009

High Society

There is a way of placing the mind so that the one moving the unhappy self-referent mind has another more careful reference. That reference helps one enter into higher spiritual society. Just think of all the people walking the streets of New York right now who would enjoy being in high New York society with the movers, shakers and shapers. They would love to be with the artists, philosophers, planners and decision makers who are sitting and drinking champagne with each other in some penthouse on Park Avenue.

Many walking the streets looking for a place to be with others feel a desire to move among high society, feel that they are good enough, yet they have no way to get in because they don’t know anyone. They only know what they know themselves and what a few friends that get together to discuss sports at the local bar inform them about. So they continue to remain on the streets while high society associates with each other as well as accomplishes things that they could only hope to accomplish because that’s where the action is. Right? It’s so? All right.

So, a little bit like that, I’m going to say that a high spiritual society existed such as the great practitioners and the traditional gurus had in old Tibet. My goodness, that was a time and a place to be. That society still exists interior where its location always was.

There is a method by which you can enter into a higher spiritual society by knowing someone who knows someone, just like Park Avenue high society. This is specific refuge of the three jewels through lineage instead of general refuge. Lineage introduces to the inner high society where the individual develops into the kind of being that they’re pretty sure, in their minds that they already are. But they don’t know how to get there so they only languish in the hopes and dreams of being a spiritual being. Is that too plain talking?

Like that, the penthouse is on the 35th floor, pretty unattainable with the shabby clothes and smell of beer that might surround you right now. So, why don’t you first visit the people and society of those living on the 12th floor? Get off the ground level and get it going. Up to now, no one has let you mix with people on the 12th floor. Let’s call 12th floor the breakthrough of personal liberation. That interaction will create new clothes and internal stink (lets just call it purification).

However, the mental development that you need to have for the breakthrough of liberation, which is before enlightenment, is not everything you need. You need to have a special kind of refuge that allows you to be carried to the 12th floor. Liberation is something that you should work for with bodhchitta motivation so you not remain in personal liberation but pass through that to higher stages. You need to make strong effort, but actual liberation means that you are literally picked up and carried to the 12th floor.
More tomorrow
For people in Madison Wisconsin area – all day Sat Feb 21st is Celebration of Compassion event at Joyful Path Monastery
11000 Division St
Blue Mounds, WI 53517
(608) 437-0520

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sexy Toothpaste and the Dharma

Science now affirms that we are made from energy. So, it must be true also for others, who seem so solid. It is felt that there is communication going on energetically between us and others. Energy, which is centered in a location is not limited to boundaries of the human body. This is how and why we are able to feel moods from others. So if we observe life from an over active root chakra we might be both broadcasting and tuning into the root chakra energies even though they may not be directing energetic messages.

We often misjudge the intentions of others because of what is going on inside us. Because there is always energy tuned in to a particular vibrational level, consciousness is unconsciously communicating. Sometimes, without intentions of causing sensual disruption, attempting to inflame others sexually. or looking for a fight, others might misunderstand.
Something like this actually happened to me one day in New York City, my just before, when I was in my male Tibetan body. If you get the picture of my appearance then, I was about the same height I am now, but more slender and very, very shy. I was out with one or two students one pleasant afternoon headed somewhere in the city. I suppose I looked pretty different, being Oriental, fairly new in this country and having no good English. I was observing details all around me and as we passed a fellow on the street, I was watching him because he looked kind of interesting. There I am in my monk robes – perhaps I was an interesting-looking person myself. As we passed, he said in the roughest way possible, “What are you looking at?” I replied, (in small voice) “Nothing” scurring off quickly, hoping that he dtdn't follow, wanting to discuss it further. I felt an energetic communication of aggression that I had not experienced before.
Someone with a great deal of awareness in their root chakra hears messages of danger very often. What other kinds of messages other than danger or aggression is the root chakra sensitized to? Sex? Much advertising depends upon sexual double messages to sell cars and even toothpaste. Because consciousness often is already alert there, it is easily influenced by equating sexual satisfaction with their particular brand of (toothpaste??). Rough music and violent games sell well also, appealing to the root chakra of the vulnerable, because they're in an out of balanced place. Someone with a stimulated root chakra can be corrected.
As dharma practitioners, we must learn to be more energetically courteous with others. Over time, an additional benefit is that there is less interest in violence- based stimulation. We can learn to feel our energetic life force be expressed from the heart center. Our communications with the others become gentler, and as we become more gentle, we become less fearful and more capable of higher development.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Orientation in Space of the Innate View

This morning I was watching the predawn sky while visiting a friend in New Mexico. The beauty of the scenery framing the dawn; mountains, olive tree and even the gold cat sitting in the tree between me and the dawning sky could not distract me from my primary energetic need to orient myself.

Remembering for the millionth time that the sun comes up in the east, I thought, “If that is in the east then I must be in the west.” An unusual feeling flowed over me like an inner mental stumble caused the entire dawn watch to fade as I turned my attention toward the cause of that energetic shift. My training in yoga and logic caused a different dynamic to arise, a studied curiosity that is without emotional content. In other words I actually did not feel a desire to know but compelled to review.

As a human being, my sense of direction orientation is centered here in my consciousness. If that is so, then truly I can say that the sun is in the east just below the horizon. However, the task of orientation is further and spontaneously made more sophisticated by needing to identify the orientation of other objects in relation to me- the center. So, in order to make a judgment of my being in the west I need to produce a magical act of shifting my awareness to the point of view of the sun.

From my consciousness central position I am able to perceive me present and sitting on the bed from the position of the sun without regard to personal safety of that precarious point in order to identify that one who is familiar to me sitting as located in the west. After organizing this piece of knowing I looked up and saw a mountain directly in front of me. The feeling of need to orient myself returned.

A question arose “Where is that mountain?” From my contemplation strategy up to that point there was no way to answer that question. In ordinary innate view there would be a overlooking of the logical progression and at this point a flooding of data, orientation make- do Boolean or fuzzy logic would take over the process and one would feel oriented. My curiosity, for the benefit of understanding the underlying dynamics of orientation would not allow that flood to distract me. I held my deliberately simplified parameters of careful logic and found that it did not allow for any third object.

After some time, I answered the best I could while continuing to hold the strategy of shifting consciousness incrementally for the purpose of this exercise in spatial orientation. “It is over there” as I pointed to it. I felt that answer somewhat disrespected its massive presence but held my structured and simplified view. At this point, I did not feel that the mountain held any real status and position at all so I continued to deliberately add a third element.

Disregarding the cat in the tree watching me watching him, I gently viewed a triangulated position of the now increasing light of the sun, my position on the bed and that mountain over there. The satisfaction of the held simplicity of that orientation dynamic caused me to perceive a natural phenomena of human consciousness that is a gift or bestowal that comes with the innate view of human realm participation.

A plain movement of consciousness toward objects is naturally unadorned with emotion or thought. This plain movement or shifting of awareness imbues objects with a different kind of awareness and is a necessary aspect of healthy and normal perceptual orientation. So, in effect, that mountain me awareness, dawn me awareness and bed sitting me awareness could have interaction there needs to be different amounts of me awareness in the other to be able to notice them from the point of view of primary identity orientation.

Mountain me fades to a smaller percentage of my bestowal of consciousness, cat me receives nothing as well as tree me while dawn me is quickly losing position to another awareness point somewhere interior to my bed sitting me point of view where the mental manipulation of ideas is increasing.

This effortlessly and lightning quick ability to imbue objects and others with awareness is connected to a primary function of existence in the human realm is described in Buddhism as the innate view. The traditional Buddhist position of innate view describes the confused or wrong view that a self exists when it does not. This conclusion that is repeated again and again throughout Buddhist philosophy and psychological training of the mind is a basic distillation of many elements and dynamics that wisdom has introduced or entered into consideration as part of the path. However it has become or changed into a system that attempts to erode the superstructure of the ego. The punishment of the ego will cause it to submerge or change or adapt to the harsh methods to destroy it. It easily changes into a disgusting display of impoverished self-degradation that is totally fake. It is frightening to watch a person who is attempting to control their ego by being so humble when they are hiding self-cherishing. They can even be hiding it from themselves.

The overactive self-cherishing and inappropriately proud ego needs to be separated from self-cherishing to rescue the suffering state that that person is imprisoned by. The ego needs to be healthy, flexible and strong enough to withstand and flow with the rigors of preparation for transformation. The beaten down ego is useless.

In many of the teachings that I have given so far we have discussed a number of aspects of how you are alive as a human being that I am calling your innate view. This is because many of these aspects are unique to human life only and will do you little or no good in the transformed state. This timing you are doing preparation to transform into another kind of being in your actual being inside- the real you that emanated you into this human environment.

We have discussed human perceptions and how many of these give rise to a feeling of solidity and permanence of the human experience. This is good in that it helps the actual being in its emanated form (you) to take seriously the work of preparation that is needed. A sense of suffering both subtle and manifest should alert you to the dilemma and cause you to seek methods to release you from suffering. This sense of suffering is not present in enlightened beings that have cracked thru the innate view and returned to balance. Before they crack thru or emerge or regain the enlightened state from the viewpoint of human realm they experience suffering of a different kind. A kind of holy anxiety or other symptoms can be experienced by them and a certain distress of being separated from how they actually exist. This is also manifest in practitioners from previous lives who struggle to regain a method to continue their work from previous lives and who wish to make definitive advances in inner process before human life ends again.

The innate view is blinders to the myriad forms of life surrounding the individual. As a practitioner becomes more like what they will become in the future in the next stage of development this part of the innate view begins to erode. The mediator begins to experience inside and outside forms, colors, feelings and energetic movements that do not seem to relate to the human experience. At this point when the innate view is eroding that person needs a mentor to explain and introduce perceptual orientation from the viewpoint of a transitional being that the human practitioner is becoming so that they keep a good balance in the human life and gain understanding of the future that they are becoming.

It is at this point that some people begin to feel that they are unique in their abilities and take advantage of their position of understanding to seek power and prestige. Others might become confused and unable to process what they are experiencing. Some of these will be people who take recreational drugs and seek to artificially erode the innate view with its natural barriers for fun. This might cause a disturbance in the natural process of awakening to the path of preparation especially if it become a seeking of a feel good feeling rather that being alive to the actual work of the two lessons of human life.

These two lessons are to learn the true nature of compassion (not sentimentality) and how to really get along with others. These two lessons completed will allow you to enter a new phase of development in your actual being who is on the evolutionary journey to perfection. These attainments of compassion and getting along with others are the hallmarks of maturity needed to enter training for inner sense development after this life is over and you become a candidate for another way of being. However, the spiritual sensualist, whether they were attracted to drugs or not, needs to return to balance.

To return to our discussion of the innate view there are many elements to be considered. This complex set of perceptions and instructions effortlessly perform this imbuing of self in others and objects, among other strategies, and are a rich source of distain for Buddhist scholars and inept meditators. The traditional view of escaping this human dysfunctional state is strong in Buddhist philosophy and is to be thought of as a necessary evil to study the workings of the mind so that it can be overcome. Inept meditators are like unskillful butchers who make a mess of what should be humane and painless. Even the careful meditator faces challenges while in a transition position of awareness development in the possibility of being aware of more than one level of being at the same time.

The meditators mind struggles against the human innate inner need to orient and stabilize the perceptions toward a changing internal environment. At the same time interactions with others can decay into dynamics where a sea of other beings poorly constructed strategies include pressing their own innate view and orientation upon their own environment including the meditators space. The meditator becomes a base for orientation and receives the awareness of others.

A traditional remedy has been to seek solitude as the meditator reaches certain changes and plateaus of transformation when sensitivities can become raw and over-stimulated by others. However, beyond that place is a stabilization of energies that will return to a more normal configuration unless the meditator becomes fascinated with their sensitivities, equates them with spiritual development and becomes stuck in a very uncomfortable place. The loss of plain perception, its function in the human realm and its value as an aspect of a correct conventional view in Buddhist terminology can create further stress.

The meditator who is not in isolation such as Western practitioners who must drive daily to work and interact with many people need to remain stable in their life and spatial relation to their environment. In real terms disorientation is a disruption or misalignment with innate orientation process. This plain perception requires no emotional involvement and should be thought of as natural and even somewhat pleasant sensation in a more neutral sense.

In traditional study of the workings of the mind in Tibetan Buddhism a detailed description of the “physiology” of the various systems and processes help the scholar step away from an emotional attachment to the process so it can be viewed and analyzed. There is yet another aspect of more generalized awareness of environment that underlies the spontaneous moving of awareness toward a specific object, which is the subject of another range of thought or discussion.

Because awareness can be attached to energy or even become mixed with denser forms of energy such as the human body does not diminish its actual nature that is operating in different, perhaps even quantum, parameters. Quantum in this case refers to the definition used in physics- an abrupt transition from one energy level to another. When the parameters of maifestation are exceeded that object or energy will not be seen but could be measured. Beyond those parameters it cannot at this time be measured but felt. Beyond that, it cannot be felt, seen or measured but still exists and can be percieved in other methods that are reproducible.

Dysfunction is created when the individual sets up emotional programming to punish them self or prevent themselves from interacting with their environment out of fear and trauma. They literally become incapable of seeing important environmental objects such as the car in front of them while driving due to mixing emotional content in a function that is or is trying to function in the effortless natural manner. This creates various taboos of what you are seeing demanding that you not see it. Growing distress is created in the natural process that is thwarted in its necessary function. The energetic struggle between the sense of self- preservation and taboos to not enter into any awareness dialogue with the environment creates tensions in systems that will eventually fail to perform their functions.

A balanced sense of self-preservation, spatial orientation and ability to communicate effectively with others are only a few of the processes. That individual needs to return to an appreciation of the natural process and not interfere with its smooth and pleasant functioning.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

24 Hour Vows

The 24-hour Mahayana vows are a pratimoksha vow connected to the vinaya or ethics branch of Buddhist path. Before you seek the ceremony it is good to understand what are the vows and commitments. This is a commentary recorded during the ceremony for a group of students who requested the vows. This was done at a special retreat because it is easier to fulfill the mindfulness of the vows in a more structured environment. Certainly it is also possible to hold the vows and go to work and have a busy day.

September 21,2002 before dawn
You will be taking a vow of non-harming today until tomorrow morning, meaning not taking life. To the best of your ability you will be very careful where you step so you do not harm even any insect. If you go outside, be careful where you step and consciously think, “I am a holder of vows. In that way, I am harmless”. Not harmless in the ineffectual sense, like, “Oh, do not worry about him. He talks bad, but he is harmless,” but true harmlessness, a developed good quality which comes from the interior. “No living being needs to fear me because I myself am without intention to harm.” In that way, it acts as your protection.

You are about to receive the vow of not taking what is not given. This is non-stealing. You are not thieves and would never think to steal something from another person. Holding the vow however bring the merit of the vow to what is already careful in you. The further ramifications are; if you see even some small object, even a flower in the garden, and it has not been given, you may not take it. This land belongs to another person where we are holding this retreat. Everything here belongs to the owner of this property. If there is something that you need, then you request from the one who owns it. This does not have to do with getting a drink of water or tea, however. For these things the permission has already been given.

You will be taking a vow of celibacy today. Do not have sex for the next 24 hours or sexual conversation or activity such as flirting or kissing. That has the further ramification of not anticipating the sexual act, thinking, “As soon as this is finished this is what I am going to do.”

You will be taking the vow of telling the truth. Naturally you do not tell lies, but holding the vow mindfully creates needed merit. This has the ramification of not telling harsh truths that will cause harm or mental suffering for others. This has the ramification of examining your mind, “Is this the truth?”

You are taking a vow to avoid intoxicants. This includes cigarettes, drugs and any other intoxicants. This has the further ramification of not getting excited. Excitement is a kind of an intoxicant; so today you will observe the process of not taking your own internal intoxicant of excitement. Instead, we use a moderated enthusiasm so we can still think clearly.

You are taking the vow of abandoning large and high beds and thrones. The teaching throne is used by the Lama. To display respect for the Dharma, we place a high throne in order to receive the dharma teachings. This is correct. Even the king of a country receiving these vows would not sit on his high throne or sleep on the high and fancy bed. This has the further ramification of strongly abandoning pride. A careful cultivation of lack of pride and arrogance will allow you to keep the vow clearly.

You will be taking the vow of abandoning food at improper times. You will have a single meal today. In accordance to the vow you must begin eating before twelve o’clock. When you begin to eat, don’t eat fast, but continuously. When you put down your eating utensil you will be finished with your meal. You do not get up during the meal, not even to get salt. Make sure that the stove is turned off before you sit down, because once you get up your meal is finished. Whatever you have not consumed is left until the next day. And you do not take second portions. This is the rule.

You will be taking a vow of not wearing perfumes or ornaments or decorations today. Any ladies who might be jingling and jangling, if you are wearing earrings you take them off right now. Your mala is fine because that is your practice material. If you are wearing any perfume right now, directly after the ceremony you go and wash it off. The ramification is that you will not have pride in appearance.

Lastly, you are taking a vow of not singing and dancing. The ramification is that it allows you time to do authentic practice. Now we begin the ceremony.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Marmalade Meditations

Some buddhists are trained to bring a cloud of unknowing to their meditation each time they sit down to meditate. Some meditation systems teach them to trick or in some way to double back on their own mind so that a certain feeling arises fresh and unknowing, and within that cloud of unknowing they can potentially arise as an enlightened being. This technique is not used in our Tibetan system.

In Tibetan Buddhist system we are trained to affirm that indeed I am the practitioner and I am the one who creates a particular state of mind. I, by my own efforts will cause a particular state of mind to arise. In this way we are able to incrementally change the mind during each meditation session. We are training in logic, motivation, and yogic technique to follow the reproducible effect of enlightenment. The teachings of the Buddha affirm this and our system of bringing beings to the enlightened state is famous in efficacy.

Many people have a karmic spiritual nature that naturally effervesces in meditation. This will cause or allow them from time to time to experience something extraordinary where they feel light as a feather or heavy as a rock or feel like they are flying in the sky – all kinds of experiences that come to those with previous development. It is a sign of karmic accomplishment from the past.

However, this is not how we’re going to become enlightened. It’s not even a good substitute for a spiritual practice. Tibetan system trains the mind and energies to take form in powerfully beneficial states of mind. Authentic practice brings certain elements together that are needed to create even more beneficial states of mind, such as bodhchitta and others.

There is a beautiful orange tree outside in reach of my covered deck. The way the sun comes through the branches makes the oranges glow delightfully. Right now the branches are filled with oranges are hanging heavy. I looked at this tree the other day and thought, “What am I ever going to do with all of these oranges? So many of my students don’t even eat citrus.” I thought I’d like to do something creative, and decided to make orange marmalade. Even this thought was an effort because the warm sun on the ripe oranges almost made me dizzy with the scent. So, I’m standing there looking at these masses of oranges, and thought, “I have now an idea that I’m going to make orange marmalade, but unfortunately I don’t have a recipe. And until I have the recipe for it I’m not going to pull a single orange off that tree.”

Like that, when we sit down to meditate we must be sure that we know what we’re doing, that we have increasing understanding of what we are doing after practicing for a while and gain some proficiency. We must gradually understand what is the purpose of gathering states of mind, what are the elements that we need to bring together for our own recipe. We must have oranges and we must have sugar – this much I know. But there may be other elements to my orange marmalade that I’m not aware of.

So let’s look at the energy of practice. We need powerful motivation to continue and grow. We need joyous enthusiastic effort, a desire to learn and a desire to draw this together. We also bring to the recipe our own realizations. I’m going to call them realizations – I don’t mean enlightened Buddhas. I don’t mean high, high level. There are certain authentic realizations that we possess; this is a part of our individual process. I am so happy to say we are individuals and can say, “Yes, I have this or that quality.”

These realizations that we are bringing to meditation are the realizations that we have gained from doing previous careful practice. We acknowledge that our practice is becoming part of us. In the same way, I don’t have a recipe yet for orange marmalade, but once I get it and make my own orange marmalade, I will continue to know how to make orange marmalade after that. So, we gather very carefully various components for correct meditation. What we sit down with at the beginning of our meditation is what someone else might struggle to experience at the very end of a powerful meditation. Even before sitting down we begin with that kind of spiritual energy! We are already a winner even before we’ve begun doing any meditation.

In our tradition we talk about a particular aspect so carefully that we don’t have a single qualm. This learning come slowly over time as we grow in ability to meditate properly. To the extent that we learn to sit with confidence and reliance on the objects of refuge, the training will cause us to spontaneously draw together the remembered recipe of gathered states from own mind. When we do this we are beginning to practice in a very powerful manner.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Really Tiny, Really Old Tibetan Ladies- Rock!

Today I tell you a true story about two tiny little, skinny old Tibetan ladies dressed in their best clothes standing in a crowd waiting for his Holiness the Dalai Lama to pass by in his automobile. They arrived late and found themselves standing all the way at the back of the crowd with all of these nice tall people like you guys standing in front of them. Everyone is looking up the street waiting for the car to arrive except the old ladies. They can’t see what’s happening because they’re only maybe 4’10,” very tiny.

Their desire to see His Holiness must have been fueled by their concern that they we so old this might be the last (or only) time to see him. However, Tibetan people are not aggressive, or we can say not in holy situation by shouting, “Let me through, let me through.” Most of the people were Indians or Western people so shouting at them in Tibetan would not have worked anyway.

So, what these two old Tibetan ladies did was just lean gently on the person at the very back, almost imperceptibly. They just leaned, and leaned on them, and suddenly that person lost their footing and as they did, the ladies scooted in front of them. Then they began to lean on the next person in front of that, and it didn’t take them very long before they were at the front of the line and able to see perfectly.

Like that, when we are working on something as profound as developing deep wisdom ability, we don’t torque the mind, twist it or torture the mind. This come very common, torturing the mind, running this way and that way to think of something that is unthinkable. We lean gently on the mind! Over a great length of time we lean!

When we are working on developing deep wisdom, the mind needs a level of pleasure, a level of pleasurable associated with understanding and developing inner experience. This come very important - the unadorned nature of the dharmakaya vision is beyond words and beyond thought. However, should we dash back and forth to try and not think of anything in a rough way, so that you can think of that, which you can’t think of, it could destroy or damage the very sensitive inner mind that is the one being trained to participate in the most glorious practice. Your mind is a delicate instrument, like an electron microscope. Scientists are very careful with their electron microscopes as the very tools they need for their work.

Books and other written materials on emptiness are very available in the West– much more than in Tibet. These texts, translated into western languages and commentaries by psychologists and western trained philosophers increase in numbers more every day. These abstract principles of emptiness, Dharmakaya sphere and wisdom truth body, are very stimulating and many deeply resonate with them. In practical application of reaching and owning the knowledge it seems to some that the only way that you can get at the abstraction is to run away from your own mind, and the sooner you do that, the sooner you’ll gain enlightenment. Like this? Not at all.