Ideas from Teachers

Submitted by admin on Mon, 08/15/2016 - 18:45
Tarab Tulku
Tarab Tulku

Mind, Thought and Energy from Tarab Tulku      

Some time ago, Tarab Tulku give a lecture in Brussels. (on the 11th March, 2002)

I did not make notes, but, from memory, the key aspects of his talk for me were :-

He spoke of the human problem

He spoke of identifying 3 parts of ourselves

a). Body - the physical

b). Mind - what we sense and think

c). Energy - what remains (by definition) if we are unconscious or in a trance

He spoke of the way the mind inevitably sees itself as subject and the external as object, and of the difficulties which develop from this. If the mind can stop and the body is still, then the 3rd part, the energy that remains, is very interesting and most important..

The short meditation was a process of letting the mind come to rest - to allow or see what is there when the mind stops. This was done by breathing and visualising energy of a particular colour.

On a personal note, I had never seen a senior teacher from any of the world's religions before in person, so it was interesting for me. Tarab Tulku is now a Professor at a University in Denmark, and he teaches groups, mostly in Europe and there is more information on the Tarab Institute site. He was one of the senior Tibetan Buddhist teachers living in Europe, and he has the highest rank in the Tibetan education system.

I cannot resist showing my immaturity by saying that, as he is the 11th Tarab Tulku, and this is then his 11th incarnation as the leading Tibetan Professor, so I was surprised that he was not very eloquent after having so much practice. However, since then I have thought again, and I must say that eloquence really counts for very little. I suspect that he has a deceptive simplity, and very great clarity of thought and intention, and great depth and accuracy in his teachings. This is perhaps a better thing to aim for than eloquence ! He passed away a few years later.

Sri Aurobindo
Sri Aurobindo

Sri Aurobindo - self delight, experience, etc.

The Self-delight of being. Sri Aurobindo indicates that this conception of reality as the self-delight of being has practical consequences; and this is the most attractive and liberating part of his teaching. There is a "discovery" which we have yet to make, the discovery of the self-delight of being. When the discovery of self-delight of being is really made -- this is possible for everyone -- then we have mastered the great art of living. The habitual way of our life is to feel pain when things go wrong, and to fell pleasure, when they go according to our wishes. But, "there is no real obligation on us to return to a particular contact a particular response of pleasure, pain or neutral reaction, there is only an obligation of habit."

If we discover the real nature of our self as the self-delight of being, then we could alter the habitual mode of our living. "It is equally within our competence to return quite the opposite response, pleasure where we used to feel pain, pain where we used to have pleasure" -- Sama duhkha sukham, as the Gita says, a perfect gladness, or a perfect indifference in all situations of pain or pleasure.

The human individual has this destiny before him: "to become the master of his own responses to the world's contacts..." How this may be possible is the practical teaching of the 'Integral' yoga of Sri Aurobindo.

("quotes" from Sri Aurobindo "The Life Divine" p98 )

Experience is a word that covers almost all the happenings in yoga; only when something gets settled, then it is no longer an experience but part of the siddhi; e.g. peace when it comes and goes is an experience - when it is settled and goes no more it is a siddhi. Realisation is different - it is when something for which you are aspiring becomes real to you; e.g. you have the idea of the Divine in all, but it is only an idea, a belief; when you feel or see the Divine in all, it becomes a realisation.

There is no law that a feeling cannot be an experience; experiences are of all kinds and take all forms in the consciousness.

When the consciousness undergoes, sees or feels anything spiritual or psychic or even occult, that is an experience - in the technical yogic sense, for there are of course all sorts of experiences that are not of that character. The feelings themselves are of many kinds. The word feeling is often used for an emotion, and there can be psychic or spiritual emotions which are numbered among yogic experiences, such as a wave of shuddhâ bhakti or the rising of love towards the Divine. A feeling also means a perception of something felt - a perception in the vital or psychic or in the essential substance of the consciousness. I find even often a mental perception when it is very vivid described as a feeling. If you exclude all these feelings and kindred ones and say that they are feelings, not experiences, then there is very little room left for experiences at all. Feeling and vision are the main forms of spiritual experience. One sees and feels the Brahman everywhere; one feels a force enter or go out from one; one feels or sees the presence of the Divine within or around one; one feels or sees the descent of Light; one feels the descent of Peace or Ananda. Kick out all that on the ground that it is only a feeling and you make a clean sweep of most of the things that we call experience. Again, we feel a change in the substance of the consciousness or the state of consciousness. We feel ourselves spreading in wideness and the body as a small thing in the wideness (this can be seen also); we feel the heart-consciousness being wide instead of narrow, soft instead of hard, illumined instead of obscure, the head-consciousness also, the vital, even the physical; we feel thousands of things of all kinds and why are we not to call them experience? Of course it is an inner sight, an inner feeling, subtle feeling, not material, like the feeling of a cold wind or a stone or any other object, but as the inner consciousness deepens it is not less vivid or concrete, it is even more so.

An experience is an unmistakable thing and must be given its proper value. The mind may exaggerate in thinking about it but that does not deprive it of its value.

It is not a question of giving an equal value to everything you do, but of recognising the value of all the different elements of the sadhana. No such rule can be made as that trances are of little value or that experiences are of inferior importance any more than it can be said that work is of no or inferior importance.

(originally in SABCL, volume 23, pages 877-927)

Quotes taken from Sri Aurobindo Letters on Yoga, with thanks.
The Sri Aurobindo Ashram continues his work, however, there is also a large community at Auroville near Pondicherry in India which is based on his form of yoga and the ideasx of his compnion Mirra Alfassa (The Mother) one of the most remakable spiritual figures of the age - some quotes about her life


Text Analysis ideas

This may not be the 'normal' place to find realisations about 'the spiritual', but it seems to me that everybody usually concentrates on the ultimate nature of the mind, whereas the products of the mind are ignored. To me, the ideas below provoke a lot of thought about 'how it all works'.

  1. Ideational. Thought - Message - Text. The Thought of the author is transformed into the Message he wants to communicate, which is then put into Text (or Words if spoken). From any one thought, there is a choice of messages, and for any message there is a choice of many different textualisations. The messages and texts which are NOT communicated can be as important as those which are.
    If thoughts are put into words, then conversely, do words always represent the existence of a thought ? Can the original thought be derived from the words in the text ?
  2. Pattern. Situation - Evaluation - Basis for Evaluation. Several of the authors asserts that the basic simple pattern of ALL texts and ALL communication is Situation - Evaluation - Basis for Evaluation. That is, you read this page, then you evaluate it as you wish, then (perhaps) you look at the reasons why you have evaluated it this way. This statement is about ALL texts, and it is well worth exploring further. Does this imply that situatiion-evaluation-basis is the basis of ALL THOUGHT too ? Other authors expand this root pattern into more specialised ones, such as for technical writing :- Situation - Problem - Solution - Evaluation - Basis. Narrative is said to have a pattern of Setting - Complication - Resolution - Evaluation - Moral, Many other fields have their own variations on this one basic pattern.
    How deep is this patterning ? If it is clear in a text, then it must be in the thought too ? But, is it implicit in the nature of the mind too ? (using the above idea about thought, message and text)
  3. Implicit Dialogue The imaginary reader - another author claims that ALL text proceeds as if the author were being questioned by his imaginary reader with questions such as - Why is that ? What do you mean ? What is good about that ?
    But, does all thought also proceed in the same way of imaginary conversations ?

Are these patterns of implicit dialogue, thought-message-text and situation-evaluation purely aspects of communication, or are they deeper than this. Are some or all of these patterns implicit in the mind too ? and then, are they implicit in the NATURE of the mind ? Or, as some 'spiritual schools' seem to insist, is the mind really not important at all ? But if the mind is not important, is THOUGHT important or not. And, if thought is not important, then why do we have it, what is it for ?

All quotes are from "Advances in Written Text Analysis", edited by Malcolm Coulthard, Routledge, London, 1994. (However, all of the above text is my own words, adapted or summarised from the texts)

1 - I have adapted this from the comments of Coulthard in the preface, pps xi - xii and his own Chapter 1, "On analysing and evaluating written text"

2 - from Chapter 4, p56, Eugene Winter, "Clause Relations as Information Structure: two basis text structures in English"

3 - from Chapter 3, p.29, Michael Hoey "Signalling in Discourse: a functional analysis of a common discourse pattern in written and spoken English"

Mind and Karma, By Mark Kruger

Mark Krueger had a website and he gave weekly (free) astrologically based 'PlanetVisions Updates' which are reports on problems and potentials. I enjoyed them a lot, and have made some selections from his archive:

  • The behaviors and stories at the surface are the symptoms. Identifying in the symptoms only maintains the karma that continues to cycle. It is essential to be conscious of and expressive of the stories/behaviors, but to believe that you and they are these patterns dooms the pattern to infinite replay on the Wheel. It takes considerable time/space for these densest of root chakra reels to burn off. The movie is not pretty nor does it feel like it is moving. 22/02/02
  • These days it's difficult to decide what's the black hole and what's the white hole in the cosmologic schema. You may notice that your perception is flipping back and forth. Aha! That's the way it always is. You just thought it should be stable and linear and real and blah blah blah. The mind is a chaos that insists on its shadow of order. Order is simply controlled, frozen chaos awaiting its thaw. Thaw't is the melting of it all, liquid streams of untidy bits pretending to be something going somewhere. 08/03/02
  • Your origin is not outside of you nor inside of you. You are not the origin, nor the Origin. There is no origin and there is no end to the origin. You are, beyond the Wheel, neither hub nor spoke nor circumference nor rut. 26/04/02
  • You are more clear than you realize. The fog is so persistent and leaves a certain hang over. You are feeling hung over most likely. These ancient stories are binges of drama. Their echoes are stale, familiar and even comfortable. Being tired of them is key. If you think there is something wrong with you because you are tired of the drama machine, do not think again. To let go of the suffering projections of the Wheel requires that: 1) you be tired of them, 2) you see that they will never get you what you truly want, 3) you choose to claim your consciousness as whom you are and let go of identification in all the rest 05/04/02
  • We are watching the mechanisms of the karmic Wheel over and over again. There has never been a better time to witness its exquisite function, to get tired of it and to make a choice to dissolve from it.
  • We are watching seeds sprout now that fell from last centuries' vines. Don't buy the fear that is sold. What I write about is not for the sake of fear. I write to remind you to be conscious through the rapids of change when life as you've known it will dissolve and you will not have any external anchor points. You will not find refuge in anything outside of yourself. You will, if you choose, be able to share your being with other's being as you flow through the Show. Let go of your projections even as you witness them. Don't stare at the projector for you will become blind. See the shadows on the wall.
  • The fear that is sold in the mind is for distraction and reaction. Attack the mirror and you will see the mirror attack back. Isn't it silly? Humor yourself and others. This is a joking matter, but you may be the only one getting the joke in the moment of drama. Do not force the joke. Let go of all the filigree of love. Be present.
  • Remember that what is clearing is the essential layer of identification in life, the body, the planet. The mind will drag out every scenario to make it look like the end, the death, the nixexistence. Consider, for more than a moment, all the karmic layers of spiritual experience over many lifetimes that were certainly the denial of life, the body and good old incarnate Earth. This old spiritual sludge is washing up on the shore of awareness. The shadow of the interdimensional escape hatch, let's say the drug of God seek, is now upon us. Notice that the more God is invoked, especially in the cartoon known as the Middle East, the more life gets negated. Re-legion marches on with its phalanx of control hell bent on destroying the enemy in the name of heaven.
  • We all have our own personal heavens, hells and limbos. You don't have to realize them anymore. Realize your consciousness. 29/03/02

NOTE: his work was written for a particular week and astrological pattern, but he has a general message :

Karma is very simple to me: contracts to play dramas. To figure out good karma or bad karma or such is to be distracted from what one is as consciousness and to be doomed to endlessly looping in the mind identified in a system that one is not.

I think this still has value, and I like the way he did it. Sadly he passed away several years later