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

 

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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

IGNORANCE is why I keep grasping at the MIND’S EMPTY IMAGES. New MJ Awakening Blog
May 8, 2019

car mirror reflection

IGNORANCE IS WHY I KEEP GRASPING AT THE MIND’S EMPTY IMAGES

Grasping at the empty images of the mind is like grasping at the images in a mirror. They may look real, or funny or scary or boring, or upsetting or lovable, but what do they all have in common? They are all, without exception, empty. You can’t hold on to them despite your repeated best efforts.

Suffering is when I try to hold on to these empty mind images as if they are graspable, as if I could really get hold of one. But like images in the mirror, they are there, yet not there. They appear to be there, but when I reach toward/into the mirror, I can never actually get hold of anything. And the harder I try, the more suffering I experience. Why? Because what I thought was real was only ever an appearance.

Seeking can only take place as long as I believe the transient images in the mirror/mind are real. Meaning I have yet to see clearly their inherent emptiness, which includes the “me” object, that is no different from any other object reflecting off/in the empty mirror/mind. This is called ignorance. I am ignorant of the inherent emptiness of all appearances.

Michael Jeffreys

 

I would rather explore the moon, anything, than myself. New MJ Awakening Blog
January 6, 2019

golden meditating buddha

“We would rather explore the far side of the moon or the bottom of the ocean than the hidden depths within ourselves.

Unless we investigate the world within we can never know reality–we will only know our beliefs about it, or our conceptions of it.”

-William Hart, from The Art of Living Vipassana Meditation

VIPASSANA means ‘insight’ in the ancient Pali language of India. It is the essence of the teaching of the Buddha, the actual experience of the truths of which he spoke.”

LOVING YOUR TRIGGERS: “No way is the way.” New MJ Awakening Blog
December 5, 2018

heart-in-a-circle

LOVING YOUR TRIGGERS
 
“No way is the way.” -Zen proverb
 
My friend Jim Dreaver suggested the theme, “Loving your triggers” for a satsang and I really like it! Because it’s exactly what no one is doing and thus staying stuck for decades, even a lifetime!! It’s our triggers that we see as separate from us, e.g., anger, fear, frustration, confusion, unworthiness, etc. and so we try to push them away/get them to change as quickly as possible.
 
Why? Because I fear them. I am afraid to look at all of me. And if I won’t look at something, won’t even acknowledge it for however long it appears to be showing up, how on earth am I going to be genuinely present with it??
 
But this ruse can only go on for so many lifetimes. Eventually it begins to dawn on you that you have been completely wrong about everything and everyone, including yourself. That the way you thought/imagined believed it was, is in truth not the way it actually is, because it isn’t any way. Or in Zen it’s said, “No way is the way.”
 
It takes humbleness to meet your pain. Because you have to first stop pretending you know what pain is. Or anything else. Which means starting from 0, and not 1. If I am a 1, I already know something. But what does a 0 know? Nothing.
 
Michael Jeffreys

What is always looking out your eyes is not a “me”… new MJ Awakening pic quote
February 13, 2017

mj-a-me-is-not-seeing-pic-quote

And then, in a moment of clarity, it hits you… that which is always looking

out my eyes is not a “me.” “Me” is a thought. A thought is not what is seeing.  

Michael Jeffreys

Stop identifying with what is endlessly changing and “stay put”… new MJ Awakening Blog
August 8, 2016

wave

Awakening is NOT making the personality “you” disappear or change. It’s seeing clearly that it’s not inherently You. Is not the “personal you” constantly changing? One moment up, the next down, the next bored, etc.

As soon as you say you are the “up” one, then you are saying you are not the “down” or “bored” one. And as soon as you claim to be the “down” one, then you are saying you are not the “up” or “bored” one. And as soon as you claim to be the “bored” one, you are saying you are not the “up” or “down” one.

The persona/mood of the jiva is always changing. But that which notices ALL changes doesn’t come or go or change. In other words, you begin to be AWARE of the mind, rather then being the mind. You stop identifying with what is endlessly changing and “stay put.”

This takes practice! We have become so habitually conditioned to believe our thoughts, that the idea of “staying put” takes a re-orientation of sorts. Left to its own device, the jiva will go to thoughts because that’s what its been programmed to do. See this, notice this, become aware of it, observe it… as it’s all that’s going on every moment.

Michael Jeffreys

What is always silently looking… new MJ Awakening pic quote
July 24, 2016

mj looking out your eyes monk watching bird pic quote

What is always silently looking out your eyes is not a thought. A thought can’t see.

Michael Jeffreys

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