The “me” is noise and noise will never find… New MJ Awakening Blog
July 12, 2019

candle-and-buddha

The “me” is noise and noise will never find Silence.

-Michael Jeffreys

The story is always old. The Silence is always brand new.

-Jeff Foster

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Noticing how THOUGHTS are forever trying to “fix” the Moment. New MJ Awakening Blog
July 9, 2019

autumn-leaves

My thoughts claim (and I believe them) that this moment is not enough.

That it is insufficient simply as it is.

And so I set about trying to “fix” the moment, over and over and over, endlessly, ceaselessly.

And suddenly, 50 years have gone by.

Exhausted, I give up.

And lo and behold, a great discovery is made.

That it’s in the total and unconditional surrendering to the freshness of this spontaneous moment that real magic happens…

And the wind blowing across my face is more than enough.

Michael Jeffreys

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.

 

 

Form is Emptiness, Emptiness is Form. New MJ Awakening Blog
July 1, 2019

1770773-Buddha-Quote-Form-is-emptiness-emptiness-is-form

“When we talk about ‘Form is Emptiness, Emptiness is Form’, it doesn’t say the form doesn’t exist. Emptiness is the nature of the form.
Emptiness is not a state of non-existence here. Emptiness is the state of Existence, it’s the nature of Existence. So the idea isn’t that nothing exists. No.
Everything exists, it just doesn’t exist in the way that it appears to. There are more dimensions to Existence, and the essence of its existence is different from the way you view it.”

-Ivan’s Shady Existence

 

The importance of EXAMINING vs. BELIEVING your THOUGHTS. New MJ Awakening Blog
May 30, 2019

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

tibetan-singing-bowl

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

-Michael Jeffreys

The Middle Way… New MJ Awakening Blog
May 22, 2019

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

 

The 3 components to PERCEIVING ANYTHING. New MJ Awakening Blog
May 22, 2019

bird on branch

“Now in order for any perception to happen or any aspect of consciousness to take place there are three main components that must come together, the object of perception, the presence of the sense faculty and the presence of that particular aspect of consciousness. When these three components are present at the same time the perception can take place, can operate.”

-Topga Rinpoche

MICHAEL: So for example, when we hear the sound of a bird chirping, although we may not be aware of it, in order for the experience to take place there must be a bird, the capacity to hear the bird chirps (a working ear) and the awareness that both holds and “connects” the two, as well as understands what is apparently happening, i.e., a bird chirp is registered and what that means.

Suddenly, a process that we’ve always taken for granted is realized to be much more (profoundly more) complex than we first thought. And these three components of one seamless process applies to all 6 of our senses (5 senses + thinking = 6 gates with which we perceive content.)

 

DEPENDENT OCCURRENCE means that one thing relies upon another thing for its existence. New MJ Awakening Blog
May 20, 2019

moon rice buddha

THE RICE SEEDLING SUTRA

“Maitreya, today while looking at a seedling of rice, the Buddha, the Bhagawan said to the monks, O monks, he who completely understands the process of dependent occurrence, understands what is the dharma. He who understands what is the dharma, understands what is Buddha, the enlightened state. Having spoken thus, the Buddha, the Bhagawan fell silent.”

-Sariputra

MICHAEL: Dependent Occurrence means that one thing relies upon another thing for its existence. For example, a window depends on glass for its existence. Glass depends on sand for its existence, etc.

The Buddha is saying that if this is truly realized, then one’s own empty Buddha nature will also be realized.

And so now you know the answer to the famous riddle: “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” The Answer is neither (or both), because you can’t have one without the other. Hence they depend upon each other to exist.

 

 

 

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
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