HomeAll PostsMeditation Course week 6: Consciousness for a meditator

To a meditator the experience of consciousness sidesteps the body/mind duality, and the idealist/materialist philosophies. Seeing the nature of the mind directly changes your view of your self. 

Below find the full video from Week Six of the Meditation course 2017

The reason for posting here is that the English subtitles are given below and this enables search engines to register the full video content.


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So, this week

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I want to

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introduce a bit more,
or a

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talk a bit more about this quality of silence

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or this quality of the nature
of your own consciousness

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and

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in Buddhism the word ‘consciousness’

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is used slightly differently to the way that we would use it in English

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but these are reflections
so remember last week I was

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talking about Dhammavicaya
investigation of dharma

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and what that means is

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other than concentrating on your meditation object

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we should also be investigating the things that

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are entangling the mind

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so the Buddha had this very nice sutta

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someone asked him
‘who can disentangle this, this great tangle?’

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and he said that there are

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ways to disentangle yourself from
this tangle

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and the tangle is
we are tangled up in things of the world

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we are tangled up in thoughts, ideas, dreams

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the worries, the memories

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fears, physical sensations
and all the rest of it

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these are things that keep
pulling the mind outside of itself

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whereas to bring the mind back inside of itself

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this – we need to focus on the silence

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and this silence is actually always there

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so we have these 2 practices

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one is the practice of where we are taking the mind

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and one is a backwards practice

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or a backing away from the things
that entangle the mind

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so, you may notice
that with the meditation, that

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the difficulties that come up with the meditation

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are always ones of things
that are pulling your attention

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so your attention can be pulled away from yourself

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into thoughts of the past,
the present, or the future,

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worries, desires, wants
all the rest of it

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it can also be pulled into states

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states like sleepiness

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states like too much energy,
or

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effervescence in the mind

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so this is always our attention
being caught up with the content

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and in Buddhism we differentiate between three things

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the citta, or the ‘knowing’

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the content

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which is called the arammana,
or the object – the content of the mind

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and thirdly the process

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so our path of meditation

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is one of moving the attention

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and starting to see the process

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rather than the content

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but looking at the suffering in things
will tend to dis-entangle you

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from the things of the world

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so that your attention can come
back and be with yourself

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when your attention comes back
and is with your self

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and don’t get confused
with self and no-self here

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all I mean is the experience

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when I say self

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I am talking about ..
not talking about and Atman

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some great philosophical concept of
a superbeing or whatever

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I’m talking about the experience

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you have an experience
a living, buzzing, humming

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thriving experience of being alive

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and that right there is real
that’s – that’s your self

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it’s an impermanent self
– a changing self, so

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we don’t need to get confused with
non-self teaching in Buddhism

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as we can bring the attention into that silence
into that presence

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there are 2 key experiences
one is profound dullness

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and emptiness

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and I know quite a lot of people
who have experienced this

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and then backed away from meditation

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because it seems like this big black hole

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that sucks you in
of just sheer dull emptiness

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and quite a few good yogis that I know

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even in our group in Bangkok, have really

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approached that state
and then really backed off

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and what’s happening there is
the mind is stopping still, but

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but you are still caught up
in the content of the mind

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and the content of the mind
is completely empty

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because the mind has stopped still

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so it’s like nothing – completely nothing
it doesn’t seem very attractive

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but a slight change of viewpoint
slight change of standpoint

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to what sees the emptiness

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that is complete fullness and very bright,
and very alert, and very still

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so when you are viewing the content
it can seem quite scary, but

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but when you are viewing the observer,
or the knowing

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it’s really the most beautiful thing

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taken to the extremes,
these are the

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jhana meditations
and the first jhana meditation is

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the experience of infinite space

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and if that doesn’t scare you a bit
– infinite space ….

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because it’s infinite right …

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you need limits to things
in order to get hold of it in your mind

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but the thing that sees
the infinite space is the other

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is the subject which is infinite consciousness

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and infinite consciousness is a very beautiful thing

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so, there’s this twin aspect
whether you are viewing the

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the content
or the observer

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content being ‘arammana’

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which you might know – the Thai people
here will know the word arom [อารมณ์]

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and ‘arom’ means mood

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but nearly always means bad mood

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but actually the word arom [arammana]
means any kind of mood

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it comes from the word arammana in the Pali

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and arammana means the object that consciousness is focused on

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and for a long time

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psychologists and scientists and philosophers

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have been trying to find

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consciousness independent of the object you are conscious of

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so this is William James

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he is one of the grandfathers of psychology

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even, really before Freud

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and he noted that he can’t find any kind of consciousness independent of an object

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of consciousness

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that fact that William James couldn’t find it
doesn’t mean that it isn’t there

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and so you can see that in his

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masterpiece – but boy
it’s a very difficult book to read .. his

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English language skills …

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are not good
well, he’s American!

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it’s called the Varieties of the Religious Experience

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is the name of the book

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and it’s one of the really classic texts

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so the consciousness –
the thing that views it is called citta

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or ‘mind’
and citta

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has various different meanings in Buddhism

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but in this sense citta is what knows

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and the arammana is what’s known

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so to really get to practice the meditation

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we need to switch out attention
from what’s known into what knows

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that’s a first step

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so the

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this thing that we
know, and is knowing

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is slap bang in the present moment

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and it is the ‘experience’

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and there’s always this philosophical
argument in the world

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… is the world

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idealist

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who feel that the whole world is mind,
and mind only

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because you can’t know
anything other than mind

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any body or form that there is
you only know it because it’s come into your mind

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and on the other end of the philosophical scale you have

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the materialists who say
well mind is just some kind of

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function – but everything
depends upon physical matter

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so you have this duality

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are things mind only
or form [material] only

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however in the original texts

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the Buddha neatly sidesteps this whole question

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whether everything is mind
or everything is form

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he also sidesteps the question
of whether things are body or mind

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which is a slightly different question

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in Theravada Buddhism

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in the original texts
all these questions are neatly sidestepped

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and the Buddha said that

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he didn’t say say that
there is no body and mind

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he didn’t say there is no
idealist philosophy

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or materialist philosophy

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what he said was
‘there is expeirence’

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and that’s why I call this talk
‘The Experientalist’

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and the experience that comes up
any experience that comes up

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must have

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various mental qualities
and physical qualities

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if you can hear the sound
of the air-conditioning right now

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you have a physical quality

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of the impingement of the sound waves on the eardrum

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that’s the physical side

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you also have the side of whether
you like it or you dislike it

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or you may be neutral

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but usually when you pull
something into consciousness

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it’s very difficult to be neutral

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you will automatically judge

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whether it’s attracting you or pushing you away

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whether you want to keep it going
or whether you want to stop it

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there is also an intentionality

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it’s a direction that you are pointing the mind

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so if you’re hearing the air-conditioner

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intentionality is pointing you at that sound

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so you have an intentionality
which is a pushing you there

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you have a liking and a disliking

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you have the perception

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because you know what that sound is
you know where it’s come from

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and you have mind states

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so your mind is either
interested or disinterested

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bright or dull
expanded, contracted

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your mind is pre-coffee or post-coffee

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so these 4 things

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the mind states, the perception (or the memory)
the liking and the disliking

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and the intentionality

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these are called the mental side

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and the physical form

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is the form side

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and you put these together
and you get a word called nama-rupa

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which is a common word

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not only in Buddhism,
but also in all Indian traditions

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so what this means is that

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you can’t have any kind of mental
experience without a physical basis

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and you can’t have any kind
of physical experience without

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the mental qualities accompanying it

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so what are you left with?
you are left with an experience

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and the experience is what is real

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now that experience is necessarily
in the present moment

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it can’t be anywhere else

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there can’t be any question of you keeping your
attention in the present moment, anymore

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if you are seeing it as an experientalist

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why don’t we see the world this way?

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well, we are caught up in our stories

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and most people see a story of what’s happening,
rather than what’s really happening

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that’s why I say that right now
you think you are here listening to me

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and I say you are not

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I don’t think you are here

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do you know that stupid joke?
shall I tell you the stupid joke?

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this joke’s really stupid

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I can prove you’re not here

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I can prove you’re not here

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are you in Los Angeles?

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no
are you in Paris?

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if you’re not in Los Angeles and you’re not in Paris

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you must be somewhere else

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and if you’re somewhere else
you’re not here

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I warned you – I said to you it’s a stupid joke

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so you actually aren’t here!

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you really are not here

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why?
you are telling yourself a story that you are here

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but your actual experience is not like that

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your actual experience is

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your glasses are slipping off your face

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you feel it. You move your hand.
You adjust it.

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it feels better
you move your hand back

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something is in your teeth, and

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you do that!

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your knee aches
and you just twist a little bit

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and then you hear the sound of the air-conditioner,
and then you experience that

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and then somebody just moves
across the room, and you are like ‘who is it?’

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that’s your actual experience

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you’re not sitting here listening to me

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you’re leaping around

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through all of these little experiences

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each one of them comes up

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and that’s real and true
in that moment

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then your mind is flipped
on to something else

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but you tell yourself a story that you’ve
sat here and listened to me the whole time

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it’s interesting how we do this becasue

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there is an experiment on split brain patients

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these are people with epilepsy
sever epilepsy, and one of the treatments

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is to cut the brain in half

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straight down the middle
[at] the corpus callosum

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and you cut the brain here

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and the weird thing is that you do this with people
and they manage to function perfectly well

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it does actually stop epilepsy

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you have to be a very extreme form
of epilepsy to have this operation

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and [these] people live and function
perfectly normally [ish]

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perfectly well

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having done this

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00:15:12,280 –> 00:15:14,520
but the experimenters knew that

253
00:15:14,560 –> 00:15:17,520
somehow, somewhere
something must be wrong, because

254
00:15:17,520 –> 00:15:19,480
they just cut their brain in half

255
00:15:20,960 –> 00:15:24,680
and this is where this whole
left brain/right brain thing came from

256
00:15:24,680 –> 00:15:26,280
it’s not really quite true, but …

257
00:15:27,280 –> 00:15:30,160
so basically your right brain

258
00:15:30,400 –> 00:15:32,360
can recognize objects

259
00:15:32,480 –> 00:15:33,840
and what they do

260
00:15:34,000 –> 00:15:36,400
your left brain can name them

261
00:15:37,240 –> 00:15:39,800
so what they would do it show you a spoon

262
00:15:39,920 –> 00:15:41,640
through your left eye

263
00:15:42,080 –> 00:15:44,880
and that comes through to your right brain

264
00:15:44,920 –> 00:15:47,880
and you say to the person
‘what’s that object?’

265
00:15:47,880 –> 00:15:49,160
-this is split brain people-

266
00:15:49,160 –> 00:15:51,560
‘what is that object?’
they say ‘I don’t know’

267
00:15:52,200 –> 00:15:55,400
and you say
‘what would you use that object for?’

268
00:15:55,480 –> 00:15:56,600
‘I’d eat my soup’

269
00:15:58,360 –> 00:16:00,320
and if you go the other way

270
00:16:00,320 –> 00:16:03,400
and you close off this eye,
and very often the ear

271
00:16:03,400 –> 00:16:04,800
there’s a trick to the ear

272
00:16:05,360 –> 00:16:06,680
and you say

273
00:16:06,680 –> 00:16:09,360
show them a spoon, you say
‘what do you use this for?’

274
00:16:09,440 –> 00:16:10,200
‘no idea’

275
00:16:10,880 –> 00:16:13,680
‘what’s this object called?’
‘It’s a spoon’

276
00:16:15,200 –> 00:16:18,720
and this is where this whole idea of
left brain/right brain come from

277
00:16:18,720 –> 00:16:21,080
people whose brains had been chopped in half

278
00:16:21,080 –> 00:16:26,280
it actually doesn’t apply to ordinary people
because the information crosses

279
00:16:26,280 –> 00:16:28,680
so one of the interesting things was

280
00:16:28,680 –> 00:16:31,680
if you cover this eye,
and you say ‘what is this..’

281
00:16:32,160 –> 00:16:33,960
‘object used for?’

282
00:16:34,080 –> 00:16:35,440
‘I have no idea’

283
00:16:35,760 –> 00:16:38,240
and you say
‘what is it’s name?’

284
00:16:38,240 –> 00:16:39,680
and they say
‘a spoon’

285
00:16:40,160 –> 00:16:42,560
‘oh – I use if for eating’

286
00:16:43,240 –> 00:16:45,000
and do you know what had happened?

287
00:16:45,320 –> 00:16:47,760
this brain can say it’s a spoon

288
00:16:47,880 –> 00:16:50,160
this comes out of your mouth

289
00:16:50,160 –> 00:16:53,200
comes in through your other
.. through your ear

290
00:16:53,280 –> 00:16:55,360
across to this side of the brain

291
00:16:55,360 –> 00:16:57,720
and this side of the brain says
‘it’s for eating’

292
00:16:58,600 –> 00:17:03,400
so if they close off the ear,
then you don’t get that secondary stage

293
00:17:04,680 –> 00:17:09,640
so they are working on patients
who have had this kind of operation

294
00:17:10,360 –> 00:17:12,800
and they close off

295
00:17:12,800 –> 00:17:16,640
they eyes and the ears and
presented things to each side of the brain

296
00:17:16,640 –> 00:17:19,880
so to one side of the brain
they presented a chicken

297
00:17:20,280 –> 00:17:22,520
and the other side they presented

298
00:17:23,240 –> 00:17:26,600
an ice scenery,
snowy scenery

299
00:17:29,360 –> 00:17:34,440
— don’t make me work out which
side of the brain they were working on —

300
00:17:34,440 –> 00:17:38,760
they were working on one side
of the brain, and they said to the person

301
00:17:39,080 –> 00:17:41,640
what would you do with this object?

302
00:17:41,640 –> 00:17:44,480
and he said
‘well I would cook it up and I would eat it’

303
00:17:44,720 –> 00:17:47,160
coq-au-vin – red wine and onions

304
00:17:49,040 –> 00:17:52,120
and then they said what kind of tool

305
00:17:52,200 –> 00:17:56,120
in your garage do you associate with this object?

306
00:17:56,560 –> 00:17:58,600
and the guy said
‘a shovel’

307
00:18:00,080 –> 00:18:03,600
and they said
‘why do you associate this object with a shovel?’

308
00:18:03,640 –> 00:18:04,680
now you know!

309
00:18:05,640 –> 00:18:08,000
because he’s seen the snow

310
00:18:08,000 –> 00:18:10,840
and he associates the snow
with shoveling his driveway

311
00:18:12,440 –> 00:18:16,560
but that side of his brain
hasn’t seen the snow yet

312
00:18:17,400 –> 00:18:18,640
consciously

313
00:18:18,840 –> 00:18:23,480
unconsciously obviously it has seen
the snow because it picks up the shovel

314
00:18:23,840 –> 00:18:26,120
now the interesting part,
they say to him

315
00:18:26,120 –> 00:18:27,640
‘why did you pick a shovel?’

316
00:18:27,640 –> 00:18:29,080
and he said ‘well…..’

317
00:18:29,800 –> 00:18:34,160
‘chickens obviously leave chicken shit
everywhere and we have to shovel it up’

318
00:18:35,520 –> 00:18:39,120
so what’s happening is he’s inventing a story

319
00:18:39,160 –> 00:18:41,480
to explain his experience

320
00:18:42,080 –> 00:18:44,960
and this is what people do all the time

321
00:18:45,400 –> 00:18:49,720
your story to explain this experience
is that you are sitting here listening to me

322
00:18:49,720 –> 00:18:53,360
rather than you are shuffling,
your knee aches, your …

323
00:18:53,540 –> 00:18:55,760
your glasses moved
you looked at your watch

324
00:18:55,760 –> 00:18:56,880
you thought of the time

325
00:18:56,880 –> 00:18:58,340
you wondered what’s for lunch

326
00:18:58,360 –> 00:19:00,540
you readjusted your clothes

327
00:19:00,540 –> 00:19:02,860
then you listened to me again for a few seconds

328
00:19:02,860 –> 00:19:04,320
and then you moved somewhere else

329
00:19:04,320 –> 00:19:06,840
that’s what’s actually happening for people

330
00:19:08,040 –> 00:19:10,840
but you tell yourself a story,
a narrative

331
00:19:11,080 –> 00:19:14,280
and this narrative
is something that tries to

332
00:19:14,360 –> 00:19:17,900
coalesce this effervescent bubbles of experience

333
00:19:17,960 –> 00:19:22,680
and try to make it into some kind of
cohesive whole that you can relate to

334
00:19:25,200 –> 00:19:27,720
the same thing happened
– I think it was Freud

335
00:19:28,000 –> 00:19:29,680
and he was

336
00:19:29,680 –> 00:19:33,980
first got interested in psychology
when he went to see a hypnotist

337
00:19:34,160 –> 00:19:35,580
a stage hypnotist

338
00:19:35,840 –> 00:19:38,300
and they had a bunch of people
lined up on the stage

339
00:19:38,300 –> 00:19:41,860
and the hypnotist said to this one woman
‘when the clock strikes 1’

340
00:19:42,080 –> 00:19:44,080
‘you will go and close the window’

341
00:19:46,780 –> 00:19:49,180
‘but no need to remember this
go and sit down’

342
00:19:49,220 –> 00:19:50,360
she sits down

343
00:19:50,680 –> 00:19:54,920
they carry on and do the rest
of the show with all the other people

344
00:19:55,340 –> 00:19:57,480
and then the clock struck 1
and the woman gets up

345
00:19:57,480 –> 00:19:59,240
and goes and closes the window

346
00:20:01,600 –> 00:20:02,320
then ..

347
00:20:02,740 –> 00:20:06,040
the person on the stage says
‘why did you just close the window?’

348
00:20:06,260 –> 00:20:08,280
she said
‘well it was a bit drafty’

349
00:20:10,200 –> 00:20:12,980
now we know that’s not the reason
she closed the window

350
00:20:12,980 –> 00:20:14,820
she’d been programmed to do this

351
00:20:15,780 –> 00:20:18,040
but the point is that she didn’t know that!

352
00:20:18,060 –> 00:20:21,820
so she invented a narrative
to explain her experience

353
00:20:22,880 –> 00:20:26,140
and this is how Freud came up
with the idea of the ‘Unconscious’

354
00:20:26,360 –> 00:20:28,040
he’s saying your unconscious

355
00:20:28,040 –> 00:20:32,680
has various experiences and
you’ll do something for this or that reason

356
00:20:32,680 –> 00:20:35,580
but if I ask you what the reason is
you won’t know

357
00:20:35,940 –> 00:20:38,340
you will invent some story to tell me

358
00:20:38,340 –> 00:20:42,360
but the real mechanisms that
drive your experience and your behaviour

359
00:20:42,460 –> 00:20:44,060
are in your unconscious

360
00:20:44,060 –> 00:20:46,660
that’s where the whole idea of the unconscious

361
00:20:46,900 –> 00:20:50,040
subconscious, and conscious mind
came from

362
00:20:52,300 –> 00:20:53,560
so these …

363
00:20:55,900 –> 00:20:58,180
are stories that we tell oursleves

364
00:20:58,180 –> 00:21:02,800
because we only need to
actually use basic information

365
00:21:03,380 –> 00:21:06,380
usually when I do this talk
I have my bag – I forgot

366
00:21:06,380 –> 00:21:08,900
usually have my green bag
or my brown bag

367
00:21:09,120 –> 00:21:11,220
and I make everyone close their eyes

368
00:21:11,420 –> 00:21:12,140
and then

369
00:21:12,540 –> 00:21:16,100
I’ll hide my bag,
and then I’ll ask you what colour my bag was

370
00:21:17,280 –> 00:21:21,200
and only about 10% of people
will actually know what colour my bag was

371
00:21:21,200 –> 00:21:24,240
even though it was right there the entire time

372
00:21:27,000 –> 00:21:29,320
2 years ago
I was talking about this

373
00:21:29,320 –> 00:21:31,620
and I had a box of chocolates
on here

374
00:21:31,740 –> 00:21:33,440
I asked everyone to close their eyes

375
00:21:33,520 –> 00:21:35,380
and say what is on my table

376
00:21:35,660 –> 00:21:37,660
and people say there was notes on the table

377
00:21:37,660 –> 00:21:39,640
there’s a microphone,
there’s a bell

378
00:21:40,200 –> 00:21:41,480
there’s your clock

379
00:21:41,480 –> 00:21:43,180
nobody saw the chocolates

380
00:21:43,360 –> 00:21:44,320
you’d think ..

381
00:21:45,080 –> 00:21:47,600
you’d think right!
you’d notice the chocolates

382
00:21:47,600 –> 00:21:49,580
you wouldn’t notice anything
else really would you!

383
00:21:52,900 –> 00:21:55,260
nobody noticed the box of chocolates

384
00:21:55,260 –> 00:21:57,780
it was Ferrero Rocher
I mean they’re quite visual

385
00:21:57,960 –> 00:21:59,480
nobody noticed them

386
00:22:00,780 –> 00:22:03,080
there’s a funny experiment that they do

387
00:22:03,300 –> 00:22:05,700
I love psychology – it’s great!

388
00:22:06,740 –> 00:22:08,100
it’s mischievous

389
00:22:09,240 –> 00:22:13,100
so in the psychology ..
people were coming to

390
00:22:13,340 –> 00:22:15,820
do a test with the psychologists

391
00:22:16,260 –> 00:22:19,100
and when they come in they get a form
and they have to register

392
00:22:19,260 –> 00:22:21,100
so they come in and there’s a

393
00:22:21,320 –> 00:22:23,560
nice looking man behind a counter

394
00:22:24,180 –> 00:22:27,040
and they say they’ve come
to register for this experiment

395
00:22:27,040 –> 00:22:29,600
‘Oh just a second!’
and he dips down behind the counter

396
00:22:29,600 –> 00:22:30,840
and he gets the form

397
00:22:31,260 –> 00:22:33,740
but it’s a different man who stands up

398
00:22:37,700 –> 00:22:41,060
and unbeknown to the people
they’re already in the experiment

399
00:22:41,060 –> 00:22:45,000
and they want to know – do you notice
that it’s a different man who stood up?

400
00:22:45,280 –> 00:22:47,620
and nearly everybody doesn’t notice

401
00:22:48,420 –> 00:22:51,380
now you’re all thinking
‘Oh I would notice!’

402
00:22:52,580 –> 00:22:53,280
no …

403
00:22:53,660 –> 00:22:56,940
and if you did notice
you would notice by accident

404
00:22:57,480 –> 00:22:59,560
that is, you might notice

405
00:22:59,700 –> 00:23:01,460
the colour of the man’s shirt

406
00:23:01,460 –> 00:23:04,500
was blue – you might say
‘oh that’s a nice colour of blue’

407
00:23:04,500 –> 00:23:06,000
or
‘I have seen this colour of blue’

408
00:23:06,000 –> 00:23:09,120
and then the next man stands up
and he has a black shirt on

409
00:23:09,440 –> 00:23:10,880
then you might notice

410
00:23:11,400 –> 00:23:14,800
but it’s purely accidental if
you happen to notice something

411
00:23:15,000 –> 00:23:18,000
because we work by simple story narratives

412
00:23:18,340 –> 00:23:21,200
we come in – there’s a man there –
he went down – and he came up

413
00:23:21,200 –> 00:23:24,080
and he gave you a form
that’s the story that you tell yourself

414
00:23:24,440 –> 00:23:25,640
and that’s enough

415
00:23:27,900 –> 00:23:30,380
sometimes it’s quite funny
some people are like

416
00:23:30,860 –> 00:23:34,540
‘I knew it! I knew there was something
wrong with him when I came in’

417
00:23:34,540 –> 00:23:37,700
but they can’t pinpoint what is was
that had gone wrong

418
00:23:37,820 –> 00:23:39,580
obviously the man has to be

419
00:23:39,960 –> 00:23:41,140
fairly similar

420
00:23:41,900 –> 00:23:44,460
if it’s like a fat bald man who goes down

421
00:23:44,460 –> 00:23:46,660
and a tall skinny man who stands up

422
00:23:46,660 –> 00:23:48,520
you’re going to notice right away

423
00:23:48,520 –> 00:23:52,120
it needs to fit into something
like the same kind of story

424
00:23:54,620 –> 00:23:55,700
I get this a lot

425
00:23:56,840 –> 00:23:58,500
because people say to me

426
00:23:59,380 –> 00:24:02,240
when they see me around town
or in a taxi or something

427
00:24:02,240 –> 00:24:03,480
people will say to me

428
00:24:03,600 –> 00:24:05,120
‘I know you I know you!’

429
00:24:05,600 –> 00:24:06,900
‘I’ve seen you on TV!’

430
00:24:06,900 –> 00:24:08,900
I’m like
‘No, that’s Ajahn Jayasaro’

431
00:24:10,840 –> 00:24:12,380
‘oh I’ve read one of your books’

432
00:24:12,380 –> 00:24:14,480
‘no, that was Ajahn Jayasaro’s book’

433
00:24:17,220 –> 00:24:18,900
because we’re both

434
00:24:19,120 –> 00:24:22,000
good looking English monks
aren’t we! ….

435
00:24:22,460 –> 00:24:24,860
so we fit the same narrative picture

436
00:24:28,220 –> 00:24:28,860
So ..

437
00:24:29,220 –> 00:24:32,900
we live our life ..
people live their lives by stories

438
00:24:32,900 –> 00:24:36,280
we have this narrative that tries to stitch together

439
00:24:36,660 –> 00:24:39,560
this effervescent experience that we have of

440
00:24:39,580 –> 00:24:43,960
actually the consciousness jumps
leaps around from one thing

441
00:24:43,960 –> 00:24:46,120
to another thing
to another thing

442
00:24:46,120 –> 00:24:49,380
and this is why your meditation seems to be getting worse

443
00:24:49,380 –> 00:24:52,120
because you are starting to get past the narratives

444
00:24:52,280 –> 00:24:54,200
and see what’s actually happening

445
00:24:54,380 –> 00:24:55,380
in the mind

446
00:24:57,420 –> 00:25:00,240
this is what the Buddha called
the ‘monkey mind’

447
00:25:02,040 –> 00:25:02,720
and …

448
00:25:03,460 –> 00:25:05,780
people think the monkey mind means

449
00:25:05,780 –> 00:25:07,860
your mind is jumping around like a monkey

450
00:25:07,860 –> 00:25:09,380
because you can’t keep still

451
00:25:09,620 –> 00:25:11,120
and because you are hyperactive

452
00:25:11,640 –> 00:25:13,240
that wasn’t the meaning

453
00:25:14,200 –> 00:25:15,280
he said ‘Monks’

454
00:25:15,940 –> 00:25:18,080
‘easy
it would be’

455
00:25:18,120 –> 00:25:19,460
‘if I told you’

456
00:25:19,820 –> 00:25:22,140
‘about the impermanence of the body’

457
00:25:22,820 –> 00:25:25,140
‘because the body lives for 20 years’

458
00:25:25,160 –> 00:25:27,020
’40 years, 60 years’

459
00:25:27,680 –> 00:25:29,260
‘100 years or more’

460
00:25:30,920 –> 00:25:34,120
‘and you can see it decline
and you can see it cease’

461
00:25:35,320 –> 00:25:38,060
‘it gets older
the teeth turn yellow’

462
00:25:38,160 –> 00:25:41,000
‘the back becomes crooked as a roof rafter’

463
00:25:41,460 –> 00:25:43,280
– I love this symbolism –

464
00:25:44,440 –> 00:25:45,380
‘but’

465
00:25:46,120 –> 00:25:48,820
‘hard it is to see that this mind’

466
00:25:48,940 –> 00:25:50,040
‘is impermanent’

467
00:25:50,720 –> 00:25:54,460
‘because by day, by night
it leaps up as one thing’

468
00:25:55,300 –> 00:25:58,500
‘and before it’s ceased
it’s grabbed on to another thing’

469
00:25:58,540 –> 00:26:00,580
second by second by second

470
00:26:00,900 –> 00:26:03,820
‘just like a monkey swinging through a forest’

471
00:26:03,880 –> 00:26:06,680
grabs hold of one bough
or one branch

472
00:26:06,680 –> 00:26:09,380
‘lets go of that branch
to grab another branch’

473
00:26:09,520 –> 00:26:12,960
‘so the mind goes
swinging through your experience’

474
00:26:13,640 –> 00:26:17,780
he said: ‘this is hard to see as impermanent’

475
00:26:18,440 –> 00:26:20,120
very interesting right!

476
00:26:20,500 –> 00:26:21,280
that the

477
00:26:21,820 –> 00:26:24,940
the faster …
the most obviously impermanent thing

478
00:26:24,940 –> 00:26:26,960
is the one that we feel is permanent

479
00:26:27,220 –> 00:26:29,540
the one that we feel is me, I

480
00:26:29,760 –> 00:26:31,600
myself doing things
well …

481
00:26:31,900 –> 00:26:33,640
your experience is not like that

482
00:26:35,000 –> 00:26:36,960
your experience is one of

483
00:26:37,300 –> 00:26:39,220
continually jumping around

484
00:26:39,320 –> 00:26:40,440
moving around

485
00:26:41,380 –> 00:26:46,440
and this is actually quite handy because it means that nothing really stays in the mind for too long

486
00:26:47,040 –> 00:26:49,280
even bad things, even good things

487
00:26:50,460 –> 00:26:52,220
so I have my story of

488
00:26:53,040 –> 00:26:55,320
every school has little Johnny

489
00:26:55,840 –> 00:26:57,120
who causes trouble

490
00:26:57,320 –> 00:26:59,020
our little johnny in my school

491
00:26:59,020 –> 00:27:01,020
was not such a trouble maker

492
00:27:01,020 –> 00:27:02,060
His name was Johnny Rheimer

493
00:27:03,240 –> 00:27:07,240
and his …
he had a big lawn out the back of his house

494
00:27:07,720 –> 00:27:09,720
and it was being dug up by moles

495
00:27:10,100 –> 00:27:13,540
and his parents laid out some
traps to catch the mole

496
00:27:14,080 –> 00:27:16,280
and they caught the mole on a Thursday night

497
00:27:16,540 –> 00:27:18,220
and even though I was only

498
00:27:18,240 –> 00:27:20,100
7 years old at this time

499
00:27:20,100 –> 00:27:24,020
I can still tell you with absolute certainty
it was a Thursday night

500
00:27:24,240 –> 00:27:25,980
that his parents caught the mole

501
00:27:26,380 –> 00:27:28,400
because on Friday morning

502
00:27:28,580 –> 00:27:31,260
little Johnny Rheimer brought the mole in

503
00:27:31,340 –> 00:27:32,300
to school

504
00:27:32,480 –> 00:27:35,960
to terrify all the other
7 year old girls in the class

505
00:27:37,400 –> 00:27:39,820
and all the boys of course were fascinated

506
00:27:41,780 –> 00:27:46,100
and he brought this in
and showed it around, and

507
00:27:47,340 –> 00:27:50,020
as the evening came on Friday

508
00:27:50,020 –> 00:27:53,200
3:45 little Johnny Rheimer went home

509
00:27:53,540 –> 00:27:55,920
but he left the mole in his desk

510
00:27:57,260 –> 00:27:58,800
a dead mole in his desk

511
00:27:59,900 –> 00:28:02,140
and when we came back on the Monday

512
00:28:03,360 –> 00:28:05,600
when we opened the door,
the STINK

513
00:28:05,600 –> 00:28:07,440
that came out of that classroom

514
00:28:07,940 –> 00:28:10,640
was absolutely discombobulating

515
00:28:10,660 –> 00:28:12,520
it made you disorientated

516
00:28:12,520 –> 00:28:15,400
it’s like you had to hold on to
something to stand up straight

517
00:28:15,620 –> 00:28:17,800
the stink was so vicious

518
00:28:21,260 –> 00:28:23,620
now even the teacher wouldn’t go into the room

519
00:28:23,620 –> 00:28:26,340
we all just reeled back from this

520
00:28:26,460 –> 00:28:27,560
awful smell

521
00:28:27,800 –> 00:28:31,280
so awful I’m wondering actually
if there was a mid term break

522
00:28:31,800 –> 00:28:32,840
that had gone on

523
00:28:32,840 –> 00:28:35,080
I just remember how bad the smell was

524
00:28:37,400 –> 00:28:40,340
so the headmaster was called
and he comes stomping down

525
00:28:40,340 –> 00:28:42,340
and he’s a pretty tough man …

526
00:28:42,600 –> 00:28:43,380
So …

527
00:28:43,660 –> 00:28:46,440
he marched into the room
he opened up the windows

528
00:28:46,440 –> 00:28:49,480
then he stood by the door and said
‘Right! All of you – in you go’

529
00:28:49,880 –> 00:28:52,520
I’m like ‘no no we can’t’
‘Get in!’

530
00:28:52,900 –> 00:28:55,700
and he marched us all into this room ….

531
00:28:57,280 –> 00:28:58,800
kind of throwing up

532
00:28:59,120 –> 00:29:01,260
even the teacher didn’t want to go in

533
00:29:02,820 –> 00:29:04,760
but you know what happened?
within 10 minutes

534
00:29:04,760 –> 00:29:06,780
we are all just sitting there doing our class

535
00:29:07,100 –> 00:29:09,060
why?
because the conscious mind

536
00:29:09,260 –> 00:29:11,100
has picked it up as an object

537
00:29:11,100 –> 00:29:13,980
like: ‘ahhhh it’s awful’
and then you’re just doing your mathematics

538
00:29:13,980 –> 00:29:15,380
so you’ve forgotten about it

539
00:29:17,720 –> 00:29:20,780
now what I found interesting
about the experience was

540
00:29:22,680 –> 00:29:25,000
mid-morning we have our milk break

541
00:29:25,000 –> 00:29:28,080
back in the days when schools
used to give you bottles of milk

542
00:29:28,080 –> 00:29:31,220
when milk was so good for you that
the government gave it to you for free

543
00:29:31,420 –> 00:29:32,620
of course now people ….

544
00:29:34,820 –> 00:29:36,640
people are down on milk

545
00:29:36,640 –> 00:29:38,660
or has it come back into fashion again now?

546
00:29:38,720 –> 00:29:40,800
these things usually come back

547
00:29:42,060 –> 00:29:44,460
I remember those luke warm bottles of milk

548
00:29:44,540 –> 00:29:46,360
awful – oh man!

549
00:29:46,380 –> 00:29:48,260
and they used to force us to drink it

550
00:29:50,620 –> 00:29:51,460
So ..

551
00:29:51,780 –> 00:29:54,820
so when we came back in
after the morning milk break

552
00:29:55,520 –> 00:29:57,300
the room stank again

553
00:29:57,560 –> 00:29:59,420
that’s what I found interesting

554
00:30:01,280 –> 00:30:04,500
during the class we’d just
completely forgotten about it

555
00:30:04,940 –> 00:30:06,700
but then when we came back into it

556
00:30:06,700 –> 00:30:09,260
into the room
it really stank again

557
00:30:09,660 –> 00:30:11,380
now that’s really interesting

558
00:30:11,900 –> 00:30:15,060
it just shows how the mind
when it picks something up

559
00:30:15,240 –> 00:30:18,600
usually it picks up something
that’s unusual in its environment

560
00:30:18,600 –> 00:30:20,160
something that’s interesting

561
00:30:20,360 –> 00:30:21,260
or in the

562
00:30:21,920 –> 00:30:24,800
psychological language
we call ‘salient’

563
00:30:25,160 –> 00:30:27,080
picks up the salient feature

564
00:30:27,460 –> 00:30:28,220
and then

565
00:30:28,460 –> 00:30:30,800
remember what we said
what the Buddha’s teaching

566
00:30:30,820 –> 00:30:32,920
there are 4 mental sides to the

567
00:30:33,500 –> 00:30:35,660
story
and then there’s the physical side

568
00:30:35,660 –> 00:30:37,700
in this case there’s the physical smell

569
00:30:38,040 –> 00:30:39,780
then there’s the liking and the disliking

570
00:30:39,780 –> 00:30:43,000
there’s intentionality
pointing your mind towards it

571
00:30:43,060 –> 00:30:45,880
there’s the perceptions of what it is
what it

572
00:30:46,600 –> 00:30:47,400
is from

573
00:30:48,100 –> 00:30:50,340
and there’s the mind states that you have

574
00:30:50,580 –> 00:30:52,380
while you approach that thing

575
00:30:54,460 –> 00:30:55,720
so what

576
00:30:56,920 –> 00:30:58,840
this whole process means

577
00:30:58,840 –> 00:31:01,900
the reason that the Buddha is
really pointing to this process

578
00:31:02,380 –> 00:31:04,800
is this is where suffering arises

579
00:31:05,780 –> 00:31:12,820
you really can’t suffer over something that isn’t being pulled up into conscious experience in that second

580
00:31:14,020 –> 00:31:16,480
think about something
that you really really hate

581
00:31:17,220 –> 00:31:19,540
I don’t want to use Donald Trump again ..

582
00:31:19,620 –> 00:31:21,920
I want to find a different …

583
00:31:23,340 –> 00:31:24,680
different thing

584
00:31:24,880 –> 00:31:26,660
that you really dislike

585
00:31:29,400 –> 00:31:31,560
not long ago I had an injection

586
00:31:31,940 –> 00:31:34,900
and .. tetanus injection
I didn’t like that!

587
00:31:35,700 –> 00:31:38,160
I go queasy at the sight of needles

588
00:31:39,620 –> 00:31:41,740
and so it hurt my arm

589
00:31:42,840 –> 00:31:45,360
but does my arm hurt the whole time?

590
00:31:45,920 –> 00:31:49,140
no – because 90% of the time
I’m just doing something else

591
00:31:49,480 –> 00:31:52,920
it’s only when I put conscious
attention on to something

592
00:31:53,020 –> 00:31:55,380
that suffering starts to come up

593
00:31:57,460 –> 00:32:01,880
so this is what in Buddhism is called
viewing process

594
00:32:02,600 –> 00:32:04,620
or process if you are American

595
00:32:05,480 –> 00:32:06,960
viewing process

596
00:32:07,320 –> 00:32:10,200
rather than viewing the content of the mind

597
00:32:10,200 –> 00:32:11,740
you view the process that

598
00:32:11,740 –> 00:32:14,680
as soon as something comes into conscious attention

599
00:32:15,420 –> 00:32:17,080
you get catapulted

600
00:32:17,360 –> 00:32:20,340
into this
step by step by step

601
00:32:21,200 –> 00:32:22,260
mechanism

602
00:32:23,060 –> 00:32:24,820
oh I like this
I don’t like this

603
00:32:24,820 –> 00:32:26,500
if I don’t like this
well what do I want?

604
00:32:26,500 –> 00:32:28,480
because of what I want
I have attachment

605
00:32:28,480 –> 00:32:29,560
because of attachment

606
00:32:29,900 –> 00:32:32,640
I have a state of mind
come up around this thing

607
00:32:32,640 –> 00:32:33,700
and then I’m a …

608
00:32:33,700 –> 00:32:36,580
what we call ‘bhava’, being
I have an active

609
00:32:36,780 –> 00:32:39,100
intentionality around this thing

610
00:32:39,860 –> 00:32:43,420
it’s a process that comes up
because I just put my attention on to it

611
00:32:45,000 –> 00:32:48,180
if I put my attention somewhere else
this process

612
00:32:48,520 –> 00:32:50,580
just dissipates and goes away

613
00:32:53,780 –> 00:32:56,820
so viewing the process
is what what important

614
00:32:56,900 –> 00:32:59,220
and the Buddha called this the

615
00:32:59,400 –> 00:33:01,760
seeing the arising of the world

616
00:33:02,080 –> 00:33:04,080
and the cessation of the world

617
00:33:05,720 –> 00:33:07,500
and I actually did – I did a talk on this

618
00:33:07,500 –> 00:33:10,580
in Singapore and I called it
‘The End of the World’

619
00:33:11,120 –> 00:33:13,280
and it was a talk for the Singapore youth group

620
00:33:13,320 –> 00:33:15,400
and there’s 100’s of them came

621
00:33:15,400 –> 00:33:19,360
and they thought I was going to talk about
prophesies about how the world ends

622
00:33:19,780 –> 00:33:22,060
and when I talked about the process of

623
00:33:22,180 –> 00:33:24,160
pulling things into conscious experience

624
00:33:24,160 –> 00:33:25,660
they were really unhappy

625
00:33:25,660 –> 00:33:27,900
‘you were going to tell us
about the end of the world’

626
00:33:30,680 –> 00:33:32,940
so this is the process that we are looking at

627
00:33:33,000 –> 00:33:35,660
and this is the …
this is the s….

628
00:33:35,800 –> 00:33:39,960
next part of the meditation
that I am encouraging you to look at

629
00:33:40,380 –> 00:33:43,620
if you’ve got mindfulness reasonably well trained

630
00:33:44,420 –> 00:33:46,240
you will be able to spot

631
00:33:46,680 –> 00:33:49,460
things as they come into your attention

632
00:33:49,800 –> 00:33:52,680
and as they catapult in this chain reaction

633
00:33:53,800 –> 00:33:55,200
that comes from it

634
00:33:56,380 –> 00:34:00,060
by seeing this process
you see the whole world coming up

635
00:34:00,660 –> 00:34:01,900
you can also

636
00:34:02,180 –> 00:34:03,200
if you stay with it

637
00:34:03,200 –> 00:34:04,900
see the whole world ceasing

638
00:34:04,960 –> 00:34:08,620
as it just starts to filter
out of your consciousness

639
00:34:09,180 –> 00:34:11,580
this gives you enormous confidence

640
00:34:12,160 –> 00:34:12,820
that

641
00:34:13,100 –> 00:34:15,420
anything that arises will cease

642
00:34:15,420 –> 00:34:17,640
one of the key insights in Buddhism

643
00:34:19,160 –> 00:34:21,160
it’s not a psychological insight

644
00:34:21,160 –> 00:34:24,500
it’s an insight you have to have
by watching it in meditation

645
00:34:26,960 –> 00:34:27,680
So ..

646
00:34:27,920 –> 00:34:30,700
the form of the teaching goes like this

647
00:34:30,700 –> 00:34:33,240
there is a …
you have your eye

648
00:34:34,000 –> 00:34:35,260
you have forms

649
00:34:36,660 –> 00:34:38,500
you have eye consciousness

650
00:34:39,320 –> 00:34:42,360
which means in this very second of experience

651
00:34:42,360 –> 00:34:44,640
you are not feeling the feelings in your foot

652
00:34:44,640 –> 00:34:46,480
you are not listening to the air-conditioner

653
00:34:46,480 –> 00:34:47,940
you are not looking at the clock

654
00:34:47,940 –> 00:34:51,600
in this very second
you are looking at something with the eye

655
00:34:54,160 –> 00:34:55,640
that’s eye consciousness

656
00:34:55,640 –> 00:34:58,160
because you’ve got consciousness
fixed on that thing

657
00:34:58,900 –> 00:35:01,040
because of that feeling will arise

658
00:35:01,080 –> 00:35:03,400
feeling means liking or disliking

659
00:35:03,480 –> 00:35:05,860
because of liking or disliking arising

660
00:35:05,900 –> 00:35:07,940
wanting will arise

661
00:35:08,220 –> 00:35:10,460
because of wanting arising

662
00:35:12,060 –> 00:35:14,320
attachment will arise

663
00:35:14,480 –> 00:35:16,880
because of attachment arising

664
00:35:19,100 –> 00:35:19,960
you get

665
00:35:20,520 –> 00:35:22,760
memory
or perceptions

666
00:35:22,760 –> 00:35:25,960
there are different formats of this teaching
I’m giving you one of them

667
00:35:26,420 –> 00:35:30,100
perceptions will arise
and because of that perception

668
00:35:30,540 –> 00:35:32,960
there will be liking or disliking arise

669
00:35:32,960 –> 00:35:34,660
because of that liking/disliking

670
00:35:34,660 –> 00:35:36,140
there will be desiring arise

671
00:35:36,140 –> 00:35:38,000
because of that desiring there will be

672
00:35:38,060 –> 00:35:39,460
attachment arise

673
00:35:39,460 –> 00:35:41,520
because of that attachment you will have

674
00:35:41,660 –> 00:35:44,240
perceptions arise

675
00:35:47,000 –> 00:35:49,080
I see a camera
I want a new camera

676
00:35:49,080 –> 00:35:50,880
what kind of camera shall I get?

677
00:35:50,880 –> 00:35:54,080
I like the Panasonic – who
told me about the Panasonic?

678
00:35:54,080 –> 00:35:56,260
that was this guy told me about the Panasonic

679
00:35:56,260 –> 00:35:59,700
and they used that in this place
and they did blah blah blah

680
00:36:00,000 –> 00:36:02,640
and the mind is off on this endless chain

681
00:36:03,700 –> 00:36:05,860
that’s what’s called
‘papanca’

682
00:36:07,080 –> 00:36:11,240
papanca, or scattered and diffuse thinking

683
00:36:11,900 –> 00:36:12,940
and the Buddha said

684
00:36:13,040 –> 00:36:17,260
‘Monks train yourselves to be one
who is of precise thinking’

685
00:36:17,760 –> 00:36:20,400
and the word precise is ‘napapanca’
[ed: should be ‘nipapanca’]

686
00:36:20,580 –> 00:36:23,520
which means not-diffuse-thinking

687
00:36:25,120 –> 00:36:27,220
so, that’s the

688
00:36:27,840 –> 00:36:29,980
story on consciousness

689
00:36:29,980 –> 00:36:32,740
you’ll notice that consciousness in Buddhism

690
00:36:33,280 –> 00:36:36,160
means conscious attention
given to some thing

691
00:36:36,160 –> 00:36:39,440
doesn’t mean like an underlying
field of consciousness

692
00:36:39,800 –> 00:36:41,720
in to which things come and go

693
00:36:42,260 –> 00:36:43,980
it means the

694
00:36:44,620 –> 00:36:49,020
the experience of … the exact experience
that you have in the present moment

695
00:36:50,980 –> 00:36:54,560
so you are encouraged to view process

696
00:36:57,420 –> 00:36:58,780
is all of that clear?

697
00:36:59,440 –> 00:37:02,080
[Question]

698
00:37:02,360 –> 00:37:05,240
[the question gets repeated momentarily]

699
00:37:06,120 –> 00:37:09,560
so if consciousness is
consciousness of some thing

700
00:37:09,560 –> 00:37:11,720
what’s the word that we would have in English

701
00:37:11,720 –> 00:37:15,400
which means the overarching
consciousness of all ….

702
00:37:15,680 –> 00:37:16,240
like a ..

703
00:37:16,240 –> 00:37:18,600
we would take consciousness as like a field

704
00:37:18,600 –> 00:37:21,380
that things come in and out of this continuous field

705
00:37:22,000 –> 00:37:25,760
and that’s definitely
what it’s not meaning in Buddhism

706
00:37:26,400 –> 00:37:28,640
and it’s partly a mistranslation

707
00:37:28,640 –> 00:37:30,840
and the word actually is vi-nyana

708
00:37:30,860 –> 00:37:32,660
and vi means ‘special’

709
00:37:33,180 –> 00:37:35,260
and nyana [ñāna] means knowing

710
00:37:35,580 –> 00:37:38,980
so it’s ‘special knowing’ – within
your experience right now

711
00:37:39,780 –> 00:37:42,560
if you listen to the air-conditioner
that’s a special knowing that’s

712
00:37:42,560 –> 00:37:43,960
that’s put on the air-conditioner

713
00:37:44,160 –> 00:37:47,480
and you’re ignoring the
colours of the flowers behind me

714
00:37:47,480 –> 00:37:51,740
you’re ignoring the feeling of the pressure
on your bum as you’re sitting on a seat

715
00:37:53,260 –> 00:37:56,360
so within your field of experience
you’ve picked something out

716
00:37:56,380 –> 00:37:58,620
that’s vi-nyana : consciousness

717
00:38:00,060 –> 00:38:03,720
is there a word for our idea of an overarching

718
00:38:03,860 –> 00:38:08,280
consciousness – not really,
but the closest would be ‘citta’

719
00:38:08,540 –> 00:38:12,380
and citta being mind
and arammana being the object of mind

720
00:38:14,920 –> 00:38:17,560
I can go into more of this maybe next week

721
00:38:17,560 –> 00:38:19,300
one of my favourite topics, but

722
00:38:19,300 –> 00:38:22,380
goes right into enlightenment
but too much for today

 

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