Every religion has an enemy, looks like. Like Christians and Muslims they have like Satan and so on and so forth, right. Every religion. And buddhism also has one. The devil of buddhism. And what is that? It is called distraction. Constant distraction, that is the satan of buddhism. So, understandably, the main, quintessence of the buddhist practice is obviously mindfulness. This is where mindfulness is taught in the theravada tradition, in the mahayana tradition, in the vajrayana tradition, mindfulness is the thing.
Okay now all the things that I was telling you about refuge are much more on a philosophical and theoretical level. When it comes down to the practice of course, unless you are very very immersed with the theory it is very difficult to always remind ourselves as somebody was telling me, death, impermanence, buddha nature. All of that is going to be difficult. For that we have all kinds of different methods. We have methods of visualization, we have methods of, other forms of, even the mindfulness practice such as shamata, vipassana, which is becoming kind of popular nowadays. Maybe not the actual vipassana but some form of mindfulness is becoming popular which I think is very good, taking refuge to the path of mindfulness because it is, you know, to be mindful is what mind is capable of. No other substance or entity or phenomena can do it to the mind. Only mind can be aware of itself. And this is what, we can do this. This is not a myth is not a mystery, it is very much doable, even now, you just did it. You can just do it, just look at your mind. And of course you would say I didn’t find anything, fantastic. That is what we want hear. And that is what we want you to experience. But then at the same time, second fantastic thing is, but you know I didn’t find but then you noticed something still bothering me, something still going up and down. Even more fantastic. Because now you are realizing the nonduality of emptiness and clarity. Mind is, if you look at it, you don’t find anything, but who is it that is doing the non finding thing. It is the mind. Mind is finding there is no mind. There we go, that is just amazing. And we all know that mind, without the mind, everything what we have is useless. It is because of mind we can taste our food, it is because of our mind we can feel sad, we can improve, we can forget, we can remember. Without the mind we are like a piece of wood.
I think we have to be careful here that so called mindfulness that people seem to have some kind of a love affair with at the moment, this mindfulness don’t hijack vipassana. Because vipassana again is back to nonduality. Without the nonduality there is no vipassana. And actually vipassana is so important, really. The discipline of vipassana doing nothing, that is really bringing you quite close, really quite close to the nonduality. Just observing, because that is all you can do right now. After a while, you know, after a while when your vipassana develops and when it matures, you have to even transcend the practice of just observing. That you have to. But right now, for most of us, we don’t know what that means.
When we meditate, sitting like twenty minutes of doing nothing, just sitting. We didn’t do even all the rest of the three mindfulness. We were just doing the body. Just sitting. What are we doing? We are, the moment the insecurity hits you, instead of putting on a fashion, I don’t know, combing your hair, what are we doing? We do nothing. We refrain doing those things, we retreat ourself doing these things. Basically we just sit. Like Shantideva said, like a ???, piece of wood basically. Like, you just sit. Okay, all this lifetimes, the moment insecurity hits you, you have learned one trick which is respond to it. Either bad way or good way, you have learned that trick. In the ???, you do the opposite. The moment insecurity hits you, you do nothing, neither good nor bad. You just sit. What does it do. It actually sends a message to your mind, and your mind gets really puzzled. Because in the past, your mind wants something, and then you deliver, you try to deliver anyway. You think of something good, bad, whatever. It’s bit like this, it’s bit like – this is maybe not the best example – let’s say there is a battery, there is a battery. And this battery gets charged every time you touch this a little bit. The battery gets charged. It doesn’t matter how you touch, whether you touch stroke, gently, or you hit it. It doesn’t matter. Both way it charges. Just like that, our insecurity, our emotions are just like that battery. Now how do you want this battery to be worn out. Don’t do anything, then it slowly – it has to survive on its own energy and it has to spend its own energy so it exhausts. In the past, when the emotion arise, you poke it, you alter it, you try to do something. As an ordinary human being, you actual get into the anger, jealousy, pride. Of course that is very much touching this battery. As a Buddhist you try to pray, you try to sort of think it is bad. I shouldn’t do this. This is also a gentle way of touching but nevertheless it is a touching. What do you do now. You don’t do anything. You just let it be. When you let this be, then it exhaust its own energy. What does this do. It sends a very specific signal to this insecurity. Its actually making this insecurity or this self face the reality, face the truth. It really forces it to face the truth. And once you faith the truth, you will be very very surprised. You will be like – let’s say you actually experience falling from a cliff. And you just manage to grab hold a dead grass as you are falling. And then you are just hanging there, because of this dead grass. You are just hanging there. And you are so paranoid. Only to find out there is only two inch you are on the earth. There is nowhere to fall. I mean it is really save. The insecurity of the self, clinging to the self, this is what you have to face. And this is what things like mindfulness do, it really forces you.
I mentioned dran pa nye bar bzhag pa bzhi, the four mindfulness, which is really like, properly the stable of meditation. Lus dran pa nye bar bzhag pa which is the mindfulness of form. Mindfulness of feeling, tshor ba dran pa nye bar bzhag pa. Sems dran pa nye bar bzhag pa, which is mindfulness of mind or consciousness, and chos dran pa nye bar bzhag pa, is basically mindfulness of references. For instance, when we look at ourself, or when we point at our self, or when somebody call you, your name, you respond to something. Right? When somebody says Masia, you respond. When you do that, you are, all the time, you are either referring to all of this four, or three, or two, or at least one. For instance, if somebody calls you by the name, like Craig, immediately you are looking at, first thing you are looking, first thing or the most gross thing that you are looking at is the form. Form. Then the second thing you are looking at or referring to is your feeling. And then the third – this is more subtle now – is your consciousness. And the forth, very very subtle, reference such as “I am from Kathmandu”, “I am from Texas”, “I am from Denmark”, all, or “I am man”, “I am woman”, “Buddhist”, “non Buddhist”, “black”, “white”, everything. These are the four things that usually is what we call ourself. Now I am only talking from one small angle, dran pa nye bar bzhag pa bzhi is very very big. Actually if you want to read the four mindfulness you can basically go to the ???, which is like two volumes. It is actually translated into Chinese I think.
Basically it is this. Talking about mindfulness. You know, anger comes. Okay, anger comes, and this is the problem. Anger is the problem. So there is a way to fight with this. One is seeing the fault of the anger. You think and think and how bad it is, how it creates problems, how it destroys the world, all of that angle. That is one way. Another way, this I am stealing from Jamghon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye by the way, I better say this things. The other way is promoting the enemy of the anger, which is love and compassion. And we try to really think about love and compassion, talk about it, praise and read it, you know rap shoulder with people who have love and compassion. Whatever it takes basically. So you have two. There is another one good way, really good way, but difficult for the beginners, which is when the anger comes admitting it and really knowing it. That actually is the most economically, user friendly, what you call it, compact, very compact method. But this is difficult, very difficult, because we don’t have the habit of not doing anything. The moment the problem comes – this is why the shamata, shamata is one of the greatest method of not doing anything. You are just supposed to not do anything. Because if you do something – this is what Saraha said – if you do something you are stirring the muddy water. If you stir more it will become more. This is also the word ???, not doing anything basically. Just knowing. But this is difficult, this is very difficult. Not easy. Because mind has, our habit has so much tricks, it has learned lots of tricks. What it does, okay anger comes, okay anger is coming, and then you know. The moment you know you think: “Ah I know.” Right, “ah I know”, but that “ah I know” is actually, has already stolen your mindfulness. Because there is this ah, we call it sense of victory, you have been defeated by your sense of victory basically.
Most of us we just don’t even know how to not grasp to begin with. Because the moment we even think of not grasping that is already a grasping. So, the wisdom, when we are talking about the wisdom mind we are talking about nondual mind. A nondual mind is something so alien to us. Most of us we have not even tasted it. Even a fake one. So it is like, how to describe the taste of salt if you have never ever have a salt. Almost impossible. But somehow we know that the nonduality is what we need to establish. Until you do that, you are the victim of, as we talked yesterday, violence, emotion, defilements. And therefore, you will be bound by karma and therefore consequences and therefore samsara. So in order to really get acquainted with the wisdom, the closest thing that is, to the wisdom is actually ???, or mindfulness. This is taught in all the teachings from the Sharvakayana all the way to the Tantrayana. Mindfulness. Of course the word mindfulness gets more and more sophisticated and it has a slight different angle to each different approach. Which is a wonderful thing. So mindfulness is the most important, that is the closest thing to this no grasping, no duality, the view. Now, how do we accumulate this mindfulness. We need to – people like you and me, ordinary beings like you and me – we have no choice but we have to depend on condition. We have to because that is the only language we speak, that is only thing that we have. Conditioning. As I was talking to you with the Zen masters example, a thorn is necessary to take out the thorn. We as a follower of the Buddhadharma, we should do whatever it takes, whatever brings you mindfulness, we should do that. Or we should try to get it. It doesn’t matter it is sticker on your car to remind you the mindfulness. Whether it is an amulet hanging on your neck. If that is reminding you the mindfulness, we should do that. And of all the things that needs to be reminded, what we need to remind to ourself is Triple Gem. As I said yesterday, there is actually whole together a Sutra. If you remember and if you mindful of Triple Gem, then you are actually mindful of basically all the yanas. It is all inclusive.