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15188Re: [Meditation Society of America] Re: Mindfullness meditation

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  • Marc Moss
    Jan 26, 2007
      A perfect example of how the definition of enlightenment has been mistranslated into some Keith Carradine Kung Foo idea that all you have to do is be in the moment and that's the goal. But, that is just a means. This is not pontification, my friends. This is truth. Truth that requires much more depth of investigation.
      So, let's start with your idea that all you need is to be in the moment. Fabulous, a great start. But, after a while, and suffering is still bombarding you and you have yet to meet with your own Dharmakaya expression, maybe you'll be led to investigate what the "moment" is.
      In the Mulamadhyamika, Nagarjuna tells us that there are 65 moments of consciousness per second. The Mulamadhyamika is a text that I know Zen uses. So, I'm not out of context here. In every moment after the first instant, there are opportunities of karma. Film makers in recent years found that anything past 60 frames per second in movie making is undetectable by the human mind. By the end of a day you have 5, 616,000 moments of consciousness, all capable of producing negative karma. Anything without a correct understanding of emptiness creates karma, bad or what is called "dirty" good karma (brings an attractive result but does not necessarily lead to buddhahood).
      In the action of perception, the sense organ makes contact with a sense object: let's say the eye sees the computer. The eye is incapable of anything other than collecting the data of shapes and colors. The process of conceptualization (what that thing is) is within the following moments, though they happen very rapidly, they are not instantaneous. The messages in the brain are then collected and organized into mental images of this thing out there that fits the characteristics of the quality called "computerness". The image is formed and then is inseparable with the object we previously made contact with. BUT, if the computer is changing, it is doing so moment by moment, within the same rapidity of time as the process of perception/conception. Therefore, if you have created the mental image in the third or fourth millisecond, the computer is now in the third or fourth millisecond as well. You have a gap, one to which you cannot in this waking and observing and discriminating frame of mind can ever close. Mindfulness of what?? The past. You will always be in the past with observations, and that is not, by definition the "moment" that can be freeing.
      If you follow one of Master Dignaga's proofs, you trace the mind back to the "first" moment of consciousness...in so doing, you are following the gaps between contact and conception. The mind has dominion over body, not the other way around. We can see this in our gross observations, obvious effects of body from mind. But, on a subtle level: follow the moments of consciousness back to the point where sperm and egg meet, and if you have a previous moment, you would have past lives...even a millisecond.
      Milliseconds can be an eternity for some things: leptons, muons.
      As you see, the mind still moving is not in "the moment". If you have not reached the ninth level of meditative absorption, have all the Kung Foo analogies that you like, pour all the tea that you want, but you are still using an active mind. If the discriminative part of mind is at work, you are not in the moment, just a flash in the past. You cannot have an experience of "I" am "meditating" on "this". The senses will shut down at this deepest level...and it is very interesting to see scientifically what has happened to the parietal lobe, a part of the brain formerly believed to be always active.
      Mindfulness practice is wonderful, and having respect and faith in your teacher is best! I applaud you, but careful on the criticisms. If you are still experiencing suffering, you are probably not enlightened. If you are criticizing someone else's words that were intended to help someone out of samsara, you should REALLY review your practice. It would seem that mindfulness meditation has not sufficed to prevent these criticisms, which were motivated by what? Since emptiness truly cannot be described perfectly in words, words will only help eliminate all that it is not. So, perhaps there is even a little bit of information that these postings could help. But you aren't criticising me, you are criticising teachings from enlightened Masters that have achieved the results that Shakyamuni claimed his followers would experience for themselves.

      As long as space remains, as long as living beings remain, until then - may I too remain to dispel the sufferings of the world. - Master Shantideva

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