Dear All Kalyanamittas,
Below are the audio links to our last Sunday’s 66th lesson of the 6th Patriarch Platform sutra recording dated 14th Jan 2018 for sharing by all. The following important short notes link and its details are enclosed below for your easy reading, listening and understanding:
Short notes for 66th lesson of the 6th Patriarch Platform sutra (Sunday class dated 14.1.2018):
Audio mp3 : https://broteoh.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/66-6th-Patriarch-14-Jan-2018.mp3
Whiteboard Note : https://broteoh.com/wp-content/uploads/66-6th-Patriarch-14-Jan-2018.jpg
- Samadhi is different from concentration
Samadhi is a mind which is “unwavering and collected“. It is a free mind without thought where the mundane mind is silent and not active. Whereas, concentration (or Samatha mind state) is a conditioned mind in Appana concentration. The mind is a focused mind in one-pointedness or absorption concentration. One is then in the Jhana or absorption mind states.
There must be an understanding that Samadhi always exist in one’s true mind but it is obscured (or clouded) by the mundane mind. Hence to realize Samadhi, one only needs to be silent and aware.
Most people seek peace and special experiences like seeing light (or nimitta), experiencing calmness and stillness during meditation but what they do not understand is, when they do that, they are actually focusing via effort and energy field to isolate the mind to abide within so that it is peaceful and calm but there is no clarity of awareness within. This will lead to suppression of delusion and negativity of mental states via strong mental concentration and absorption and one cannot live life with this type of mind state. Then one will not be able to develop the wisdom via mindful observation because all the latent tendencies (or anusaya) are being suppressed and they are not rooted out as yet.
Actually, one does not need to do concentration or absorption meditation because the mind on its own will return to its original state of inner peace and stillness before the stirring if we can just stop feeding it with anymore heedless thinking or thought energy.
- Surangama Sutra
“Perception of form is consciousness, whereas its non-perception is wisdom”
2.1 Explanation for “Perception of form is consciousness”
Worldly perception is by the mundane mind via our mental consciousness, i.e. we can perceive the world via our mundane mind’s seeing consciousness. Our brain which is basically memories and memories are our accumulation of experiences – Good and Bad. They are our views, opinions, conditionings, scars of memories, traditions, our belief systems, our phobias, our insecurity, our fears, worries and anxieties etc. including our greed, hatred and various type of emotional negativities.
Since thoughts are response to memories hence perception via the thought comes from memory and that’s how mental perception comes to be with every moment of consciousness. Hence mundane perception of mental form is consciousness. Take for example the seeing consciousness – how do you know it is a Buddha image? Via memory isn’t it? Then you stir your mind via inputting your content of consciousness according to your views, opinions and conditioning accumulated within your brain or memory. Therefore, when we use our mundane mind to see via our memories, we are not seeing the truth or the reality and we cannot see things as they are because we are perceiving what we see according to our conditioned mind which are full of words, concept, views and opinions, dualities and conditionings, etc.
Hence ‘acting according to memory is not acting at all. One should act with wisdom instead.
Sometimes these conditioned memories, views, opinions, scars of memories and fears, etc. are also accumulated in our subconscious and when there is condition to trigger them, those conditioned memories etc. will arise and your mind will stir accordingly. If we act according to these conditioning, views, opinions, etc. it will result in us not acting according to wisdom. We are merely perceiving things via our old conditioning or habitual tendencies, resulting in wrong perception in every moment of consciousness. Take for example, when a past phobia is triggered, one will panic based on previous experience. But if one just develop the wisdom to act via careful observation or heedfulness then one can just stopped reacting or stirring one’s mind and just stay silent to inquire into what just happened? One will have the understanding to realize that “when conditions are like that, things will be like that” because the reality IS or Truth IS. There will be wisdom and one will not be afflicted like before by the old habitual way of heedless living. Then when one become more skillful in this new way of heedful living, one can move on to the next step to trace the origination factors then retrospectively reverse them, so that we will not fall into the same trap again in the future.
2.2 Explanation for “Non-perception is wisdom”:
Non-perception is not using the mundane mind to see. It is using the direct seeing via the pure awareness or silent mind to ‘see things as they are’ (to see truth, to see the reality), without being influenced by our views, opinions, belief system and conditioning, etc. When we see things via the true mind there is no discrimination or distinction between good and bad because there is no words or concept of duality to arise those deluded thoughts. Everything just follows nature’s laws; only mighty Nature rolling by.
3.0 Question and Answers session after meditation
Question 1: Bro Song shared his experience of having strong sankhara activities all of a sudden despite after having a period of very stable mindful and heedful daily mindfulness living. These sankhara activities arise for no apparent reason and he was fully aware of their arising and also his subtle mind movements and reactions within and he did not know how to deal with them at that time apart from ‘allowing it to be’ until he heard Sis Mindy’s last Sunday question to Bro. Teoh regarding her experience at the cittanupassana retreat that she attended recently.
He then understands that the real cittanuppasana is not ‘thought observing thoughts’ but instead the mind is aware of all the mind states or content of consciousness as they arise. When the content of consciousness has greed one is aware of its arising (or stirring of the mundane mind), so that one’s mind (which is in sati) is sensitive. Then the habitual subtle stirring will weaken as one develops this mindfulness until it is very stable. Then one can contemplate deeper into the arising sankhara (or what happened) to understand that this was actually a test from his cultivation or nature.
Bye! and with metta always,
From: Sister Lee Siew Gaik