THE 5 HINDRANCES. New MJ Awakening Blog

June 13, 2019 - Leave a Response

5 hindrances

THE 5 HINDRANCES

In the Buddhist tradition, the five hindrances are identified as mental factors that hinder progress in meditation and in our daily lives. These factors are identified specifically as obstacles to the jhānas (stages of concentration) within meditation practice. Within the Mahayana tradition, the five hindrances are identified as obstacles to (tranquility) meditation.

The five hindrances are:

1. Sensory desire (kāmacchanda): the particular type of wanting that seeks for happiness through the five senses of sight, sound, smell, taste and physical feeling.
2. Ill-will (vyāpāda; also spelled byāpāda): all kinds of thought related to wanting to reject; feelings of hostility, resentment, hatred and bitterness.
3. Sloth-and-torpor (thīna-middha): heaviness of body and dullness of mind which drag one down into disabling inertia and thick depression.
4. Restlessness-and-worry (uddhacca-kukkucca): the inability to calm the mind.
5. Doubt (vicikicchā): lack of conviction or trust.

-Wikipedia

MICHAEL: In other words, because I am feeling tired and worn out, I am agitated. Because I feel agitated I seek relief via pleasurable stimulation and avoiding unpleasant stimulation. Therefore, I cannot fully trust anything since a pleasant experience can turn unpleasant at the drop of a hat, and so doubt is my constant companion.

Since doubt and uncertainty are exhausting to lug around 24/7, I naturally feel tired and worn out, and the Samsaric cycle repeats over and over and over.

So what’s the solution? See it for what it is. Stop believing your mind and just watch it. See what it’s up to. Start to notice its patterns rather than just robotically reacting to them again and again and again. Remember, the moment you stop observing the mind you fall under it’s spell and believe you are the mind. When this happens simply notice this and continue noticing without skipping a beat. But the catch is you actually have to do it.

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The nature of the MIND is to THINK, like the nature of the EYE is to SEE. New MJ Awakening Blog

June 9, 2019 - One Response

buddha meditating under tree
THE NATURE OF THE MIND IS TO THINK

“What goes on in the mind is all of the thinking that we do. You’ll find that when you’re sitting in meditation, it’s generally thought to be a real obstacle to meditation practice, this thinking that goes on.

But the truth is the mind has as its very nature the act of thinking. Thinking is something we do all the time. It’s the way of the mind. Any experience that we have automatically there’s a thought about it.

So when thoughts arise, thoughts of the past, thoughts of the future, good thoughts or bad thoughts, any kind of thought… we shouldn’t see it as an obstacle or a negative thing at all. We should see it simply as a part of nature. It’s the nature of the mind to think. And how we do this is see it as thinking. It is what it is.”

– Ven. Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu

MICHAEL: The nature of the mind is to think, like the nature of the eye is to see. There’s no inherent problem with either activity, as both are natural bodily functions. It’s the mistaking of the thoughts as “me” (due to ignorance) that leads directly to suffering, stress and worry.

No Happiness/Peace will ever be found in IMPERMANENCE. New MJ Awakening Blog

June 5, 2019 - Leave a Response

 

buddha painting

THE REALIZATION THAT NO HAPPINESS/PEACE WILL EVER BE FOUND IN IMPERMANENCE

“There is no one thing in the world that can truly make you happy and at peace. There’s nothing that you can create that won’t be destroyed.

There’s nothing you can build up that won’t fall apart. There’s nothing that can truly make you happy or satisfy you.

If you can’t find happiness and peace as you are, as things are, in all of Reality, then you’ll inevitably fall into suffering and disappointment when things change and inevitably go against your wishes.”

-Ven. Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu

Addiction to STORY obscures ever-present Silence. New MJ Awakening Blog

June 2, 2019 - Leave a Response

buddha-with-burning-candle-red-background

What’s present that’s not a word?

Silence.

Reminds me of a children’s riddle:

I am ever-present… indeed I am here now, and yet you cannot see me. What am I?”  

Inquiry: Does Silence have ANY story?

Michael Jeffreys

Trouble/suffering arises when I believe the “I” contains a solidity/permanence that it doesn’t actually possess. New MJ Awakening Blog

June 1, 2019 - Leave a Response

dalai lama on ignorance

CAN THE “I” ACTUALLY BE FOUND?

“When the I gets to the level of being a trouble-maker, we find that we are conceiving a self-instituting I that is an exaggeration beyond what actually exists.

The conflict between the way I appears as if it were very concrete and the fact that, when analyzed, it cannot be found indicates that there is a discrepancy between its appearance and how it actually exists.”

-The Dalai Lama

MICHAEL: Therefore in the Middle Way the “I” is said to exist, yet not exist. Like a ghost or apparition, it appears to be there, but when looked for can never actually be found.

Thus, its solidity or realness was only ever an illusion. And yet, it functions perfectly in language, i.e., “I am hungry.” There’s no problem with this. The trouble/suffering arises when I believe the “I” contains a solidity/permanence that it doesn’t actually possess.

Open KNOWING, not open CLINGING. New MJ Awakening Blog

May 31, 2019 - Leave a Response

man clinging to diving board

“Just be open, openly knowing… which includes everything, not just the object that you’re fixated on, normally, like thoughts or whatever.

Look now… there’s only here and now knowing.”

-Salvadore Poe

MICHAEL: Notice thoughts may arise that argue that it can’t be as simple as Salvadore is making it. Because he’s pointing to the fact that you already are what the thoughts are so desperately seeking for!

Not stopping long enough to fully realize this, and instead going back into believing our empty thoughts, is what allows the seeking to continue. Thus the admonition is to stop now and just be open to everything, yet attending to nothing. Open knowing here now. Being. Nothing to seek, nothing to push away. A thought comes, fine, let it come… it will go. Open knowing, not open clinging.

The importance of EXAMINING vs. BELIEVING your THOUGHTS. New MJ Awakening Blog

May 30, 2019 - Leave a Response

buddhist bell

THE IMPORTANCE OF EXAMINING VS. BELIEVING YOUR THOUGHTS

“It’s important to get a handle on your thinking process because it’s the belief in the thoughts themselves, and the action of the thinking process itself, that is the cause of the illusion. It’s the cause of why we believe that the self is more than just an idea. We don’t examine the thoughts as they come up, we automatically believe them.”

-Chris “Buddhist Sympathizer”

MICHAEL: The sense of a “me” (to whom the thought seems to refer to) is created out of thin air every time a thought is believed.

 

Making PEACE with the PRESENT MOMENT means making peace with your mind. New MJ Awakening Meditation

May 28, 2019 - Leave a Response

tibetan-singing-bowl

Making peace with the present moment means making peace with your mind.

-Michael Jeffreys

The 3 Poisons. New MJ Awakening Blog

May 25, 2019 - Leave a Response

3 poisons

THE 3 POISONS

“In the Buddhist teachings, the three poisons (of ignorance, attachment, and aversion) are the primary causes that keep sentient beings trapped in samsara.

These three poisons are said to be the root of all of the other kleshas. The three poisons are represented in the hub of the wheel of life as a pig, a bird, and a snake (representing ignorance, attachment, and aversion, respectively).

As shown in the wheel of life (Sanskrit: bhavacakra), the three poisons lead to the creation of karma, which leads to rebirth in the six realms of samsara.”

-Wikipedia

MICHAEL: It’s our ignorance that leads to our attaching and averting. Thus, all 3 poisons work together (illustrated by all 3 animals biting each other by the tail) to maintain our wheel of ignorance.

Question from FACEBOOK

SREDHARAN: “Can elaborate on aversion? Other two makes sense.”

MICHAEL: Due to ignorance, i grab toward some objects and try to avoid or avert others. It’s this continual grasping of the moment or trying to avert it that fuels the samsaric dream. Attachment and aversion go hand in hand. You cannot get involved with one without the other showing up. A clear mind being empty contains no grasping or averting.

The Middle Way… New MJ Awakening Blog

May 22, 2019 - Leave a Response

illumined buddha

THE MIDDLE WAY

Tonight at the West LA Satsang, I talked about how everything both exists and doesn’t exist. Is real, yet not real. Is there, yet not there.

What do I mean? I mean, for example, that this computer I am writing on is impermanent. It will not last forever. So, you can’t say it’s real in an absolute sense. And yet, you can’t say that the computer doesn’t exist at all since here I am using it to write these words!

Thus, the middle way. As the old zen story goes, the zen master said to his student, “Does the table exist? If you tell me yes, I will hit you 20 times with this stick. But if you tell me no, I will hit you 20 times with this stick. What is your answer!!?”

In a flash the student understood and remained silent.

Michael Jeffreys

 

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