Seeing deeply that the “me” is inherently IMPERMANENT, INTERDEPENDENT, and EMPTY. New MJ Awakening Blog
July 3, 2019

3 fireworks

Tonight’s topic at the West LA weekly Satsang was threefold, as all 3 pointers work well together to help loosen our attachment to the “me,” i.e., the feeling of being an actual “separate self,” which when deeply and repeatedly investigated, is revealed to be:

IMPERMANENT-INTERDEPENDENT-EMPTY

1) IMPERMANENCE reminds us that everything, without exception, is temporary, including the “me.” All thoughts, feelings, emotions, beliefs, ideas, concepts, stories, etc. are like clouds in that they are there until they are not.

2) INTERDEPENDENCE reminds us that nothing exists by itself. Everything depends on something else in order to exist. A plant is not just a plant, but depends on the sun. No sun, no plant. The plant also depends on the soil to grow in, so no soil, no plant. What about water? Same, no water, no plant.

So sun, soil and water are as much plant as the green leaves! And even though we still refer to it as a plant, we now realize that the word means/encapsulates/is shorthand for so much more than we may have once thought. That the plant is the creation of the entire cosmos!

Now bringing it closer to home, what about the “me”? Without a living body, could you have a “me”? No. So the “me” is dependent on a living body. What about air? No air, no body, no “me.” So “me” is dependent on air.

What about thoughts? Can you have a “me” without a thought? No. So the “me” is dependent on thoughts for its existence. Realizing this, we can begin to see that the “me” is not as independently existing as we may have once believed.

Btw, another way to see this is to imagine you were the only person alive on the planet. If that were the case, suddenly the word “me” wouldn’t make any sense, as there would be no “other” to differentiate yourself from.

3) EMPTINESS reminds us that because everything is interdependent, nothing can exist by itself, under its own power, and thus is empty of inherent existence meaning existing totally by itself, independently.

It’s worth spending some time meditating/reflecting on these 3 “deconstruction points,” and feel free to leave any questions or comments in the comment section below.

Happy “Interdependence Day!”

Michael Jeffreys

 

Question from Facebook:

“Hi Michael, I take it that these conditions apply to the small self. How does this all relate to the ultimate Self and what is the ultimate Self?”

MICHAEL: Good question! Yes, all “awakening pointers” are for “small self.” The psychological aspect to us which is trying to make sense of it all. It’s view is inaccurate about how things actually are, and so these are the Buddha’s observations on how to correct our “wrong view.” 

There is nothing to say about the Ultimate Self as any mind made concepts are not it. Just know that you are already THAT, which is why you are not the “me” the mind focuses on/thinks about obsessively.

 

 

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You cannot Attend Your own Funeral. NEW MJ AWAKENING BLOG
June 29, 2019

death

YOU CANNOT ATTEND YOUR OWN FUNERAL

“The experience of emptiness can be a fatal blow to the ego. The only recourse the ego has is to sew the experience of egolessness into the fabric of its personality. The Lord of Mind seeks to accomplish this in two very cunning ways.

First, The Lord of Mind turns it into an experience with a definite beginning, middle, and end. It does this by pretending that thought is exempt from the truth of emptiness. It ignores the fact that emptiness is beyond analysis and conceptualization, because in the realization of emptiness the medium of analysis and conceptualization—thought—is itself revealed to be empty. This is the subtlest form of ignorance. It preserves the basic division between mind and body and therefore the foundation of ego—the dualistic point of observation between our ears.

Second, The Lord of Mind begins to think about the experience. Thinking about selflessness re-inserts the subtle sense of self behind the experience. Suddenly it starts to feel like “I” had the experience. This transmutes the living experience of emptiness into a memory that can be possessed. Now the realization of egolessness belongs to the ego. It has exclusive rights to the truth of selflessness, which enables it to play the memory of awakening over and over again. This inflates the ego to god-like proportions.

The closer we get to enlightenment the more dangerous the path becomes. If we fail to see through the ego’s claim to awakening, we will fall into the trap of full-blown egohood. This is the most dangerous of all possible forms of deception. It leads to the belief that we are gods. All claims to enlightenment must be seen as nothing more than a thought emerging out of and returning to the ocean of awareness.

There is no claim to enlightenment. Enlightenment is the death of ego, and as Chogyam Trungpa said, “You cannot attend your own funeral.” In enlightenment there is no one left to make the claim.”

-Benjamin Riggs

 

YOUR GHOSTLY THOUGHTS. New MJ Awakening Blog
May 19, 2019

hungry ghost

(Painting of “The Hungry Ghost” from The Buddhist Wheel of Life… always craving, never fulfilled. It represents your mind.)
 
YOUR GHOSTLY THOUGHTS
 
If you look for the Source of your thoughts, but do not find an actual thinker, what then?
 
Yes, thoughts seem to arise, but what is making that happen?
 
If you look, you won’t find anything.
 
Thus, are not all thoughts that of a ghost?
 
Nothing is bringing them about.
 
1. The generator of my thoughts cannot be found.
 
2. Who/what hears/reacts to a thought?
 
Can that one actually be found?
 
Have a look.
 
No thought generator can be found,
 
and no thought receiver can be found…
 
 
Michael Jeffreys

IMPERMANENCE: Why trying to hold on to anything creates suffering. New MJ Awakening Blog
May 3, 2019

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IMPERMANENCE: WHY TRYING TO HOLD ON TO ANYTHING CREATES SUFFERING

Trying to hold on to anything, good or bad, creates suffering. Why? Because everything that arises is impermanent. It’s temporary. Like a cloud in the sky or a soap bubble. There’s nothing there but an impermanent image that soon transforms/morphs into a different impermanent image all by itself.

What do all images, thoughts, feelings, sensations, in fact every object that appears in our Consciousness have in common? They’re empty. They have no inherent existence. No core. No solidity.

Which means that the thought/image is as real as you believe it to be, because you are what’s feeding it, giving it power, illuminating it. Like a neon sign needs power to illuminate, your thoughts need you attention to seem real.

You could just as easily lose interest in the thought /image and it will literally disappear/dissolve away. How can it do that? Because it was never really there as a reality, as a real thing. It was only ever an imagine in your mind.

Michael Jeffreys

“And once you look inside and see that you’re empty…” New MJ Awakening Blog
January 31, 2019

buddhacandle

From last night’s West LA Satsang:

“And once you look inside and see that you’re empty, that there is no one there, you realize it’s the same in every body.”

-Tracey Schuster Petrakis

It’s like you are pure SPACE… New MJ Awakening Blog
April 9, 2018

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It’s like you are pure SPACE, and all of existence is spontaneously appearing and disappearing within you. Including ALL thoughts, feelings, memories, sensations, your body, other bodies, the sky, the ocean, air, rocks, trees, everything… the SPACE always IS to such an extent that it’s not noticed… until it IS. 

Michael Jeffreys

Being totally Empty is what allows you to be totally Full. New MJ Awakening Blog
January 16, 2018

lao tzu empty bowl

Being totally Empty is what allows you to be totally Full.

-Michael Jeffreys

Q: Do you recommend watching the news? New MJ Awakening Blog
January 13, 2018

news

Q: Do you recommend watching the news?

MICHAEL: No. It may seem innocent on the surface, but you are taking in all those images/vibrations and negativity into your mind. Other peoples’ stories based on fear, worry, anxiety, limitation, uncertainty and insecurity. Once taken into mind, they do not lie dormant. They will sprout spin-off fear thoughts like, “Oh this is bad, if X happens that will affect me negatively, etc.” And so more worries are added to the mind’s confusion. More beliefs on top of the spider web of beliefs that are already there.

There is no freedom in any of this. This is why it’s so important to be clear on what it is you truly want. If your heart’s desire is peace, freedom, liberation, etc. above all else, it’s obvious the news does not provide this.

The mind will come up with reasons why it’s not a good idea to stop watching the news, i.e., “I’ve got to stay informed.” But is this true? What happens when you actually make the break from watching the news? I haven’t watched the news (not tv or internet or radio) for the past 10 years and I can tell you that not only have I not missed anything, but I’ve truly never been happier.

At first, like any addiction, you will go through withdrawals. For me, they lasted about 3 days. By the fourth day I began to enjoy the lightness of not being weighted down by the “problems of the world.” Instead, I just began to follow my heart and let it guide me. This has a much different feel than the mind. The mind is logic based and its medium are words. The heart is silence based and its medium are feelings.

A good place to start is by observing your thoughts. Just silently watch them. At first, since we are not used to doing this, it may seem difficult. But the more time you spend just witnessing your thoughts, without getting involved with them one way or another, the easier and more natural it becomes.

And yet, everything that “needs” to get done gets done only without all the stress, worry and fear. It turns out that Emptiness has it’s own way of moving naturally, spontaneously, intelligently, harmoniously and lovingly that the mind knows nothing about.

And Emptiness, the Now, the Self, doesn’t require anything from the news (or anything else) to be what it already IS.

Lisa Cairns & Everything Happening Nowhere… new MJ Awakening Blog
June 9, 2015

you-are-here2

Lisa Cairns: There can be thoughts appearing, but if there’s nothing that holds onto the thoughts, then where are ‘things’? Where is the ‘you’ that is in relationship to ‘things’?

Questioner: I don’t know where I am, that’s the problem.

Lisa: No, that’s the beauty. The problem has always been ‘you’ thinking you know where you are. The beauty of not knowing where you are is then there is simply everything for no one.

Michael: For example, I ‘know’ I am in Los Angeles. And ‘I know’ LA is in CA. And ‘I know’ CA is in the USA. And ‘I know’ USA is on planet Earth, and ‘I know’ the Earth is in our solar system with the sun and 8 other planets, which is located in the milky way galaxy, which is one of many galaxies which make up the Universe.

But where is the Universe located?? Where are its borders? And if borders are claimed to be found, what’s beyond that? So, if I don’t know where the Universe is located, then how can I know where anything else appearing within it is located??

Everything is happening nowhere.

-Michael Jeffreys

The Space You See From Never Changes Regardless of the Body’s Location – new MJ Awakening Blog
May 3, 2015

That-which-is-looking
Following a nice lunch with my friend Tom, as we were standing on the sidewalk saying good-bye, we took a moment to notice/become aware of that which is always present and never goes anywhere, regardless of where the body may be located in time-space. Says Tom:

“Michael and I had a nice lunch on my brief visit back to LA and when we left he stopped me on the street and turned to me and said: 

“I’m going to ask you a question but I don’t want you to answer. Just take it in…
So now you’re in the familiar surroundings of West LA and tomorrow you will be back in your new home in Las Vegas. What will be the same?”

My mind searched for a label or response but I remembered his admonition and the depth of the mystery hit me. Very nice moment.” – Tom Bunzel

-Michael Jeffreys

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