Nature of Your True Mind
We have many minds, and they all move with what catches our attention.
Just like being presented with the same object, different people from different professions will each see something different in it. A tree to a botanist inspires different thoughts than it would to a carpenter.
Our many minds of each of our senses are the same. Each one reacts differently to different phenomena. These minds are not the One True Mind. Their nature is to move towards phenomena in order to entertain themselves or fulfill their desires. The One True Mind does not move, it is settled and the universe revolves around it while it observes all that goes by without moving.
The problem is that the other minds distract us and in our ignorance, we think that these other minds, which we only notice one at a time, if even that much, we perceive as our true mind. In fact, these minds die with our body and personality, but the One True Mind continues.
If we try to locate the One True Mind, we cannot. As the Buddha said in one very excellent discourse on the true nature of mind, if your mind where inside your body, like another organ, it would perceive things inside your body, the organs and such, but it does not. If it where outside your body, it would see your own face, but you do not. Therefore, it is neither inside your body nor outside. The true mind does not move, it is not fixed, it is not locatable, nor is it graspable. In fact, the true nature of your mind is unthinkable.
There was a good lesson from one Sufi who was told that he must love the Prophet Mohammed. He considered this, but to love a person who lived over 1,000 years ago was unthinkable. After much contemplation, he told his teacher that this concept was unthinkable to him, and his teacher replied; “Exactly!”
This is the true nature of mind, God, or any level of ultimate truth, even true love. It is unthinkable. You cannot think it, understand it or logically explain it. It is beyond the nature of your logical mind. You can only experience it. This is the point of the Zen koan, an unanswerable riddle meant to torture your mind until it gives up logical thought.
Lao Tzu in the Tao Te Ching explains that the Tao that can be named is not the eternal Tao. It cannot be conceived or explained because such manner of explanation or understanding is a faculty of one of the limited minds. How can the limited conceive of or explain the unlimited? That is not possible. So as you continually try to understand Truth, of which there is only one Ultimate Truth, there is only one God, whatever name you give It, there is only one reality about the hardness of a tree. Remember that in the case of the nature of your True Mind, you cannot understand it, but only experience it. And this can only be done by standing still, or stilling your mind with knowledge and understanding of the falsity of your present state of mind. When someone says to you, that something is your truth and they have their own truth, that is a person who lives in total falsity. How can there be more than one truth, by the very nature of the word, there cannot be other than one.
To have this experience is the goal of spiritual work. Active contemplating is useful, but remember it is like the skin of a melon or nut. The skin protects the fruit, but once the fruit has been picked and is ready to eat, the skin is discarded. Such is the logical discriminating mind. We use it to contemplate the concept of the nature of the One True Mind, but there comes a point where we must discard it. It is possible to achieve progress without using the discriminating mind, but we shall see why that is rarely possible.
Our prevention from finding the One True Mind lies in our belief that the discriminating mind is our true mind, and that is a lie. We believe a lie because we do not know any better. The many minds have confused us to think that they are the real mind because of all the distractions and pleasures of the world and senses. In the study and self-observation of the nature of the discriminating minds that belong to each of the senses and more parts of us than we know, we can see the limited nature of each mind. Again we return to the path to enlightenment and freedom lies in the removal of obstacles rather than the acquisition of more knowledge.
If you could attain a momentary experience of the true nature of your mind, the solidity of the mind that is neither inside nor outside your being, then you can begin to see the difference between the discriminating minds and the One True Mind.
Sit outside at an intersection. Look at he center of the intersection, on the ground. Do not move your gaze and allow all the cars, pedestrians, and anything else pass by without turning your head from the one spot you are fixed on. Do not strain your eyes, just allow your eyes to look at that spot.
Objectively notice the sounds and smells as well as the sights. Let everything pass by without taking your attention. Allow your mind to rest in one spot, on your breathing and your eyes fixed on one spot without being concerned or having an opinion of anything you experience, then remember this lesson.
Let your mind settle in one spot and let the world go by. Notice your seeing mind, your hearing mind, and your smelling mind. Notice how you have many minds and how they are all tearing at your attention from your One True Mind.
Now we go on with the lesson.
Before you can allow yourself to have even the possibility of experiencing the true nature of mind, you must first prove to yourself that you have many minds and that you believe the lie of them being your One True Mind. This is done by recalling how many times you are on one subject and off to another without your noticing it. You can prove this to yourself right now by attempting to put your full attention in your left hand for 5 minutes. Sense the temperature of the air around your hand, the texture of whatever it may be touching, and any other sensations your hand is having for a solid 5 minutes without a gap in awareness. If you cannot do such a simple thing for only a few minutes, then how can you profess to have the slightest control or awareness of a unified mind, or of your life in general? Perhaps you have an analogue clock or watch with a second hand. Try to keep fully focused on the second hand for seven minutes without your mind drifting to another thought, try even for one minute.
The nature of your true mind is complete self-will and so it cannot be moved from where it desires to be. If you where in contact with your true mind, then you could stay focused on what you choose for as long as you choose. We must have proof of any concept in order to begin the work of achieving it because if you do not prove it and believe the proof, then you will not have the strength to proceed. You may find that when you have the proof, it will be so devastating that you will promptly turn your head away and relive your previous life as an ostrich.
Now if the true mind is neither inside nor outside your being, where is it? If it is neither here nor there, then it can only be everywhere. This is how psychic abilities function. You do not go to one place or into another persons mind, you are already there. The true nature of mind is that which is not moving nor in a fixed defined location and therefore everywhere. Here and there simultaneously.
Look at a mountain or building. Allow your mind to contemplate the thought that your true mind is everywhere all at once. It is like the many atoms that make up the universe. It is everywhere and therefore everything.
Let your mind settle in the same way that you move your center in Tai Chi. This was taught to you in the lesson about putting your attention in one part of your body, noticing it in your head, then allowing it to drop to your throat, then your chest, then lower and lower in your body, then back up again.
This is locating then moving your center. Do this as you look at the mountain or building or whatever you have selected. This is settling your mind in one place and beginning the practice of noticing the nature of your true, immovable mind by collecting your thoughts and keeping them in one place rather than letting it fly all around the world. You actually make the entire universe one thing, as you would gaze at many objects in one view. If you can find your center in the non-moving mind, and look at an outside object, then you may be able to find that you are not as limited as you think you are. This is one practice that the guide can lead you to, but not carry you through.
Kyudo, Zen archery, is an excellent practice for this. You look at the target and not focus on anything else that exists, while you are keeping a diligent observation of every part of your body.
Back to the lesson.
So we have established that the true nature of your mind is not what you perceive or conceive as your mind or your being at this time. When something moves and you perceive its movement, what moves? It is the thing that moves, not your true mind. If you can stabilize your many minds by noticing how they take you like a dog on a leash in conjunction with all the phenomena of the world, then you will begin to settle in your One True Mind. Only through diligent efforts in accepting the lies that you believe about yourself, mainly that you know what you are and that you know the nature of your mind, will you find that there is only one reality, only then can you begin the work. Until then, it is not the flag that waves in the wind, nor the wind that moves it, but it is the mind that moves.
To say there is only one reality is to say that the many realities that people claim to have, are merely illusions. Anything that you perceive to be a reality is merely a subjective illusionary view of one of the many moving minds that take you away from the one non-moving true mind. Fighting for what you believe in, or defending your views and opinions is like hanging on to the anchor of the boat lost in the middle of the ocean.
Unless you are willing to give up the concept that you understand anything, then you will not be able to experience the nature of your true mind because as we said, that is inconceivable. If you hold to any beliefs, or to the concept that you have any idea of truth or reality, then you prohibit the mind from being empty and still, which is the only way to experience the nature of the One True Mind. You cannot find Truth if you hold a lie to be truth.
Funny enough, when you let go of your false perceptions of truth, including the one that you know your mind, or the perception that you think you believe you do not know your mind (both are equal trixters), you will have all knowledge, because you have attained the One True Mind which is everywhere at all times.
This path can take many years, and as you progress step by step, you may gain certain abilities, but be warned never to think you have attained the level of complete knowledge of the One True Mind, for there will always be a trixter waiting in the shadows. When you get it, you will know, and you will not be able to explain or define it.
Practice being the rock in the storm, not moving. You will find this so difficult it appears to be impossible, and you are probably right. It probably is going to be impossible for you, or just about any human being to achieve perfect enlightenment. But it is very feasible to improve the state of your being. So do not get discouraged from doing any practices because you can see the immense task ahead, merely make it your destination and try to get as close as you can. One step closer is still one step closer. Better to be a small stone moved than a leaf destroyed.
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