Cape of Good Hope, SA, Looking Beyond
Reality exploration Part II
In this blog I will discuss some aspects of what reality exploration might yield.
Someone, having attended the meeting I described in Part I, called me. Being a musician, he told me that only by being in the moment, without thinking and deliberations of the mind, a musician can make great music. The greatest musicians are short-circuited, so to speak. They have succeeded moving themselves out of the way while performing. Their playing has become effortless. Coming back to reality, so he told me, leaves one with the longing for this form of timelessness and flow. Thus it is called in most literature, especially about sports. People also report having experienced such state in moments of great joy, or being extremely pressed. It seems difficult to get consciously into this state. It seems almost as if by accident once touches it.
In the Garuda Zhabkar over and over speaks about the present consciousness, or being conscious in the present moment. This is equal to the ordinary consciousness (tha mal shes pa), that everybody has, and that contains all requisites for Buddhahood. Zhabkar’s definition of the mind itself is exactly this common or ordinary consciousness.
It is this common and ordinary consciousness of the present moment that is without remembrance of the past, and of expectations of the future. This consciousness is able to seep in between the words, between thoughts, and can get beyond them. It is striking that Nirvana in Tibetan literally translates as ‘going beyond the suffering’. It is this ‘going beyond’ that matters. But beware, this going beyond cannot be done by the the rational mind, it only can happen if the rational mind has gone out of his way.
To this end in the Garuda a mind training is proposed. Its stepping stones are at least fivefold. The first one is learning to see naked, to realise that the senses, including the mind, offer coloured information. The second is to realise that the ground of everything, including of the mind gives rise to all kinds of manifestation that, depending on your view, is either Samsara or Nirvana. The manifestation are what they are, seen as Samsara by the unenlightened person, or as Nirvana after liberation. The third is ‘dawning of liberation’, which happens when a thought (this in fact a judgment) and its liberation arise at the same moment. The forth is loose hanging, the state that the mind is unbound of all treads that before steered him. The fifth is the cosmic equilibrium in which one can see that all and everything is in a cosmic endless equilibrium of which the actual changes are just the lively expression of it. It is this last state that makes it possible to turn to the world, and take action, or not, doing what your hand find to do in an effortless way. It is here that you are in the world, but not of the world, as Jesus said of the true follower of his teachings.
I believe that this is a different approach path to the same state that my friend the musician described about being in the moment, the ordinary present being conscious, that Zhabkar describes. Zhabkar offers a training to get there, and promises that when one has attained this state he will realise that (Song 18 line 21 e.f.):
Not having departed, he has arrived at the place of liberation.
Not having done anything, fulfilment arose spontaneously.
Not having turned his face away, his afflictions are purified on the spot.
He is a man with a pure and exalted mind, equal to that of the highest lama’s.
This is, so says Zhabkar, not achieved by doing anything, but by realising in the deepest sense possible that nothing has to be done, that the natural state already is primordally liberated, and exists in the present now. In fact it boils down to the statement that being in the present moment is the only way in which liberation can be attained. This is the brilliance and the purity of the luminosity and the emptiness of the mind, recognised only in the present moment, when without fears of the past and expectations of the future the mind can seep through the cracks of the imagined orders into what is ‘beyond’, the beyond of viewing, meditating, conduct, and hope for success.
In A Course in Miracles the same is expressed beautifully in Lesson 252: Its (i.e. here the equivalent of Zhabkar’s use of ‘mind’), so: ’Its shimmering and perfect purity is far more brilliant that is any light that I have ever looked upon. Its love is limitless, with and intensity that holds all things within it, in the calm of a quiet certainty.’
This all cannot be attained by thinking, or by believing. The only way that I know of is experiencing. Then, by being in the moment, the exploration of reality may yield what my friend told me about musicians and the most positive side is that you can access this at will.
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