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I Want Change - Artist: Meek

The Mythical Mental Reboot

To get away from destructive patterns some put their hopes into the idea of the mental reboot, thinking that by taking oneself away from harmful objects, and through other methods, the mind will return to a neutral state, and that through this alone a mental reboot will happen – a reboot of the mind in a more wholesome manner, perhaps a manner one knew earlier in life. If it were just that easy, we would all be enlightened.

What this does not take into consideration is that mind is a creature of habit, that one cannot undo past actions and that one can never start from scratch. Without having a strong inner antidote or counterforce to one’s afflictions and inner demons, upon returning to one’s usual environment one’s old habits arise again strongly in one’s mind, and soon one is acting in the same way as before all over again.

The Buddha taught that there are things to be abandoned, and that there are things to be cultivated. Examples for that to be cultivated and internalized are the positive qualities of love, compassion, generosity, patience, renunciation and wisdom. The more we have of those, automatically the less we have of the opposite.

  • The more love, compassion and patience, the less anger.
  • The stronger the generous mind wanting to give, the less greed,
  • The more renunciation, the less grasping and clinging desire,
  • The more wisdom, the less ignorance just living in the moment, without awareness of cause and effect.
  • The more mindfulness of the kindness of others, and the more gratitude, the less pride and isolation.
  • The more altruism, the less self-cherishing, the less anger, the less anything negative.

It is like switching on the light, the darkness goes away automatically at the same time, without having to focus on it.

This is the path of the antidote.

The Self-grasping Presents How Its Apprehended Object Exists Nominally

Debate Between Wisdom and Ignorance Note 6:
The Self-grasping Presents How Its Apprehended Object Exists Nominally

The Self-grapsing says to the wisdom:

I arrived simultaneously with the mind [19]
In a mere nominal way.
If you do not assert a really existing ‘I’,
And deny nominal existence

Have you not fallen into the extreme of nihilism? [20]
Cause and effect, dependent arising, action and activity
Are thoroughly pervaded by me.
Therefore, you go wherever you have to go to!

As I do not exist ultimately I came simultaneously with the mind relatively. If we look at the way we exist, you, the wisdom, do not exist ultimately, and did not come together with the mind ultimately, and likewise also me, the ignorance, do not exist ultimately and did not come together with the mind ultimately. I came together with the mind in a relative or nominal manner.

If one views nominally existing phenomena it is denial. If one denies nominal phenomena one falls into the extreme of nihilism. Therefore, have you not fallen into the extreme of nihilism? The phenomena of cause and effect, dependent arising and action and activity are conventional phenomena and their appearance is pervaded by me.

Self-Grasping says that since cause and effect, dependent arising and action and activity always appear truly, their appearance is always pervaded by it. Since it pervades all their appearances it will stay and the wisdom, should go wherever it has to go to!’

You are unsuitable to remain here [21]
Amongst our nominal actions and activities.
You, the one without ultimate true existence,
Since you contradict me, begone!

The self-grasping says:

‘Without true existence the actions and activities of cause and effect are not possible. We, the self-grasping and the mind etc., nominally perform actions and activities, which would not be possible without true existence. Without true existence nominal actions would not be possible, yet nominal actions and activities exist and I, the true-grasping, perform nominally actions and activities. Hence, you the wisdom, are unsuitable to remain amongst us. You without ultimate truth, you contradict me. Be gone!’

The wisdom destroys that notion

The Wisdom Destroys that Notion:
The wisdom says in return: [15bcd]
Because the mind, since first coming into existence,
Has never been experienced as existing ultimately,

Who did you abide together with? [16]
Since you too are completely non-existent
From an absolute point of view,
Who is taking whose side, who is, among other things,

Defending and supporting whom? [17ab]
Go where you have to go and do not return!

That called mind has not been experienced as having a self or being established as having a self since its very first coming into existence. Yet you grasp at it as having a self and say that you have accompanied that mind since beginningless time, so with whom exactly did you abide together with simultaneously?

From the point of view of absolute existence or ultimate existence also you, the self-grasping, do not exist at all. Therefore, from the point of view of absolute existence, neither the mind nor you do exist. While you say you grasp at the mind as having a self it does not have a self.

Hence, who is taking the side of whom? Who is defending and supporting whom? You would need to take the side of a mind with a self and defend it, but such a mind does not exist. Your whole concept is unrealistic and unacceptable.

Stop talking, go where ever you have to go and do not return!

Sentient beings fell under the control of mind, and the mind in turn fell under the control of you, the self-grasping. Due to this they started to be seduced by distractions, to be attached to praise and fame, to be attached to friends and relatives, to think about these actions and activities of this life, to be attached to the side of self and have hatred for the side of other due to the unrealistic conception, and thus start fights and arguments, and to be sidetracked by the meaningless and harmful actions of this life.
In short, the one who generates all non-virtue and suffering and destroys all virtue and happiness is you alone, the self-grasping.

Since you are not experienced as existing ultimately, with whom do you exist together? Since you do not exist at all in an accurate ultimate way, who is defending whom with arguments, and who is looking after whom?

Hence, since your determined object is refuted, you are exorcised from the root. Go wherever you have to go to, and do not return!

 

The self-grasping says in return

The self-grasping says in return: 12d

From the very moment it came into existence 13
I have accompanied the mind,
Taking its side and arguing for it.
Like a father and mother loving their child,

I lovingly gave support, food and clothing. 14
I lead it through the door of the dharma of 
The three poisons of desire and so forth.
If I do not overcome the enemy of the accumulation of virtue 

Then who will overcome this enemy? 15a

Self-grasping replies,

“From the very moment mind came into existence I have accompanied it. When the ‘I’, i.e. the person, needed someone to take its side, then I did it. When it needed someone to defend it against enemies, then I defended it and stopped the enemies. Like a father and mother that love their child I lovingly gave support, food and clothing.

Attachment, hatred and ignorance are generated through the force of self-grasping. Just as one is induced into the virtuous dharma by the virtuous teacher, here the self-grasping says: ‘I am the one that induces the person to walk through the door of non-virtuous dharma. I am the one that brings forth attachment, hatred and ignorance.”

Since these afflictions destroy the accumulation of virtues it further says, “I am also the one that destroys the enemy that is virtue. If I do not this then who will destroy the enemy that is virtue? If I am not there then nobody will do it. I have generated attachment and through that I achieve what is needed. I have generated anger and through that conquered enemies. I also destroy patience and love, which are the enemy. I am of greatest benefit for the mind.”

 

Compassionate prayers and the wishes

Wisdom saying to ignorance:

Compassionate prayers and the wishes 9d

Of those to be subdued – due to this collection of causes, 10
The truth body, enjoyment body, emanation body,
As well as the grounds, paths, qualities, activities and so forth,
Exist, but only in mere appearance.

They are not seen as existing in reality. 11
Hence, that a self exists in reality
Is even more mistaken then mistaken
Therefore, from now on, at all times,

I shall abandon you, the mistaken self-grasping. 12abc
Without generating any aversion,
Go where ever you have to go to.

„All phenomena of cause and effect, such as the mahayana basis, path, result, exist only in mere name, only in mere appearance, and in reality not even one atom of existence from their own side is seen. Therefore, to grasp at existence from its own side as reality, is mistaken even beyond mistaken, and from now on, at all times I shall abandon the mistaken self-grasping from the root. Hence, without generating any aversion, go wherever you have to go to.“

This is teaching that its apprehended object needs to be negated by practicing the wisdom that realises the lack of inherent existence, i.e., the selflessness of the self that is the focal object of the innate self-grasping.

Definition of the Week (44): The Perfection of Wisdom

Jetsun Chokyi Gyaltsan:

The definition of the perfection of wisdom is: A transcendental wisdom that has gone beyond and is distinguished by three qualities.

Definition Key

  1. The quality of the basis – it exist only in the continuum of buddhas.
  2. The quality of aspect – it is a non-dual transcendental wisdom.
  3. The quality of being free from the object of negation – it is illusory-like, empty of true existence.

Four-fold Nominal Division:

  1. Natural Perfection of Wisdom – i.e., emptiness.
  2. Textual perfection of wisdom – e.g., the small, medium and great Perfection of Wisdom Sutras.
  3. Path perfection of wisdom.
  4. Resultant perfection of wisdom.

The natural perfection of wisdom is cognised by relying on the textual perfection of wisdom. By meditating on the thus realized path perfection of wisdom one manifests the resultant illusory like non-dual transcendental wisdom gone beyond the two obscurations.

Reg. ‘perfection’: The Sanskrit word ‘paramita’ means literally ‘gone beyond’, or ‘going beyond’, whereby Lama Tsong Khapa and his students identified the first as the final meaning.

The ‘perfecting’ of generosity and so forth lies therefore in their ‘going beyond’, for which they need to be combined with the wisdom realizing emptiness.

The Buddha said in the 8000 Verse Perfection of Wisdom Sutra that what bodhisattvas lacking the perfection of wisdom cannot achieve over thousands of eons, a bodhisattva with the perfection of wisdom can achieve in one day.

Also:
8000 Verse Perfection of Wisdom Sutra: Chapter 29: Ensuing Knowledge

Subuti, further, the bodhisattvas, the great sattvas, should generate ensuing knowledge of the perfection of wisdom in this way:

  • Because all phenomena lack attachment they should consequently be known as the perfection of wisdom.
  • Because all phenomena are not divided they should consequently be known as the perfection of wisdom.
  • Because all phenomena lack arising they should consequently be known as the perfection of wisdom.
  • Because all phenomena are equal in lacking change they should consequently be known as the perfection of wisdom.
  • Because all phenomena are consequently realised be wisdom as lacking self and as lacking a knower of aspects, they should consequently be known as the perfection of wisdom.
  • Because all phenomena are expressed be mere name and through mere imputation they should consequently be known as the perfection of wisdom.

Definition of the Week (42): Antidotal Knowledge Aspect

Jetsun Chokyi Gyaltsan: An exalted wisdom that is able to overcome its antithetical class is the definition of antidotal knowledge aspect.

To be a path it has to counteract its antithetical affliction, such as love counteracting anger, impermanence counteracting attachment or wisdom counteracting ignorance.

To be a happy meditator, it is important that over time the meditation becomes an antidote against the afflictions, because only a lessening of these disturbing thoughts can produce the inner happiness that one is looking for. The meditation needs to hit the spot. Otherwise our meditation will drive on one side of the highway, and our delusions happily on the other side of the highway in the opposite direction, leaning out of the windows, waving and jeering at us.

Definition of the Week (32) – Wisdom

Definition: Wisdom is a mental factor that thoroughly discerns the object of analysis.

It discerns in detail the faults and qualities of the object and has the function of eliminating doubt: e.g., it analyses whether an action is beneficial or harmful. The objects to be investigated by wisdom are virtue, non-virtue and non-predicted phenomena.

Wisdom and Non-ignorance
Non-ignorance is a stable virtuous wisdom combined with concentration that can counteract ignorance. It is the sole antidote to ignorance.

Special Insight: A wisdom held by the bliss of pliancy derived from analyzing the object while remaining in calm abiding.

From The Debate between Wisdom and Ignorance:
The sentient beings of the three realms
And specifically one’s own very mind,

Since time beginningless and non-abiding,
From whence ignorance came into being,
Have been abiding naturally with the mind’s nature.
This is the mahamudra of the basis.

They who do not realize this, grasp at true existence
And thus wander up to now in cyclic existence.
The direct antidote to this is the wisdom
That explicitly realizes this selflessness.

Hence, that a self exists in reality
Is even more mistaken then mistaken
Therefore, from now on, at all times,

I shall abandon you, the mistaken self-grasping.
Without generating any aversion,
Go where ever you have to go to.

The wisdom realizing selflessness says to the self-grasping:
‘Hence, as all phenomena lack existence from their own side and exist only as appearances to conceptual thought, as mere imputations by name, the grasping at a real self by you, the self-grasping, is so mistaken that it is mistaken beyond mistaken. Therefore, from now on, as I have identified you as mistaken, I shall abandon you at all times. Therefore leave and go wherever you have to go to, without generating any aversion to me.”

Definition of the Week (22) – Definition for a close Placement by Mindfulness

Jetsün Chokyi Gyaltsen:

The definition for a close placement by mindfulness is:

An exalted knower on the path, that is contained in either mindfulness or wisdom, and which meditates by investigating the general and specific characteristics of each of the four: Body, feelings, main consciousness and phenomena.

Vasubandhu in his Treasury of Knowledge (Abhisamayaalamkara):

“The close placement by mindfulness is wisdom.”

Examples for general characteristics: Impermanence, misery, empty and selfless.

Everything compounded is impermanent
Everything contaminated is misery
All phenomena are empty and selfless

Purpose of meditating on the four close placements:
To reject what has been identified by the four noble truths as that to be abandoned, and to integrate what has been identified by the four noble truth as that to be accepted.

The purpose of meditating on the four close placements (of wisdom) by mindfulness is to set us on the path by clearly identifying what is contained in the first two noble truths, and rejecting this, and by identifying what is contained in the second two noble truths and aspiring towards them.

Realizing the four noble truths in relation to ourselves generates renunciation, and realizing them in relation to others generates compassion.