The Dalai Lama on NonDuality
- A question was put to to His Holiness Dalai Lama:
"How does one go from inferential knowledge
to nonconceptual knowledge? Since analysis is used
to arrive at total inferential knowledge any more
analysis would still be inferential."
His Holiness' answer:
"Among meditations there are many different
types and in special situations such as certain
levels of Highest Yoga Tantra for example, analysis
is discouraged. The general mode of procedure on
the Buddhist path is that through constant reflection
on the knowledge which is initially inferential,
through various stages of familiarisation, reflection
and contemplation, that knowledge which is initially
inferential could eventually become nonconceptual.
The engagement of that knowledge in relation to the
object becomes subtler and subtler, eventually the
knowledge becomes direct and unveiled.
Generally speaking it is very true that there must
be a correlation between cause and its effects. Any
cause can not give rise to any effect. There must be
some causal relationship and connection but that does
not mean that every effect must have completely similar
causes. Take for instance the omnisicent mind of the
Buddha; if we insist that its cause must be completely
similar in characteristics with its effect which is
omniscient mind, then we will have to maintain that
within us we possess the seed for attaining Buddha's
omniscient mind and wisdom. Then we must possess within
us, even to a slight degree some form of Buddha's omniscient
mind which cannot be maintained. As far as non-conceptual
awareness or wisdom of Arya beings is concerned, the
causes need not be such high states of realisation.
Therefore regarding the non-dualistic awareness or wisdom
of Arya beings, their causes can be said to exist even
within ordinary beings.
If we examine our mind, as long as we remain in an
ordinary state of existence, our mind is characterized
by dualistic perceptions, dualistic experiences. Within
this dualistic experience and perception we must be able
to seek some kind of seed which would give rise to
non-dual wisdom and awareness. Therefore in the initial
stage of knowledge, it is inferential, dualistic and
characterized by duality between subject and object.
As you train your mind and constantly reflect and cultivate
your familiarity with that object, then that subject
and object duality will gradually diminish in its
intensity. Gradually it will lead you to realization.
Your knowledge of the object becomes direct, intuitive
When we talk of non-dual awareness in the context
of dualistic appearances or dualism, one must bear in
mind that there are many different meanings of the term.
Dualistic experience could be understood in terms of a
multitude of ways: conventional appearance as dualistic
appearance, subject and object duality or separateness
as being dualistic appearance; or as a generated image
through which we can conceive as object, that image can
be seen as dualistic appearance. Similarly when we come
across the term non-conceptuality we do not have the
notion that there is only a single meaning which is
universal in every single context. Non-conceptuality
will have different meanings in different contexts."
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