Exploring Consciousness and Realizing Wisdom

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Exploring consciousness with the aid of Buddha's teachings is a path to discovering and realizing deep, liberating Wisdom. Consciousness may be experienced as confining and confusing; at the same time it offers opportunities for learning skills and making discoveries.

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It's recorded in your bodies, thank you. Lots of recording devices. Now we have another recording device, which has been added to the group. So, in the process of studying consciousness, the thought arose, the idea arose that I don't have anything to teach. And there was kindness towards that thought, and then it wasn't necessarily replaced by the opposite, I do have something to teach, it wasn't replaced by that, it was replaced


more by, there is an abundance of teachings that are coming up now, so many teachings. Are you following this? So there was a thought, I, in consciousness, I'm here and I don't have anything to teach, and then there could be a subsidiary thought, that's not a good thing today, because these people are here, they want some teachings, so if I don't have any, maybe that's a problem. I didn't get into that very much, I just thought, well, I don't have anything to teach, and then I just relaxed with that, and now there's this sense that there's just so much teachings about consciousness, and how to work with it, and I'm just sort of like, now I have the thought, be careful, because there's so much teachings now, not that I have them, but they're just... Then there's another thought. When I open to that I don't have any teachings, generally speaking, what follows, I've noticed,


is an abundance of teachings. When I think I have some teachings, that's fine, but then I don't get this, then it's like the boundless abundance isn't so present as when I don't have anything. So I should say not so much when I don't have anything, but when the thought of I don't have anything arises, and I'm okay with that. It's not just the thought, and then being in terror that I don't have anything, and feeling sorry for you that I don't have anything, sorry, it's not so much that, it's the openness to I don't have anything, and that openness, there's unlimited teachings about unlimited teachings and so on. So that's the situation, and at the same time, in consciousness there's the idea that maybe


your blood sugar levels need some lunch or something, so I don't know how much longer to talk. How are you doing? Hungry? How much longer can you go before lunch? Two minutes? Ten? Fifteen? Ten, okay. You're sure ten's okay? Eight. Okay. Anybody less than eight? Do I hear seven? Eight? Seven? I'm sure I hear six. Of course, if we keep talking we will just get five. We already are. You look like it anyway. Anyway, lunch is coming. So, in this abundance, what would be good to bring up in the abundance? Well, I'll just say that in the story I told about Guishan and Yangshan, the teacher


as a student, you know, concerning this teaching about consciousness, how would you test it in experience with somebody? So he tested it. You can work on this without testing people, right? But they were doing a testing thing. So here's a parallel story, which appears in the commentary to this main story. There was a Zen teacher, I think a Zen teacher, his name was Nan Yan, Nan Yan, and one of the students said to him, in the flower adornment scripture it says that the fundamental affliction of ignorance is itself the immutable knowledge of all the Buddhas. I don't get that. How could that be so? This seems really either deep or abstruse.


And Nan Yan said, oh, I think it's kind of simple, let me show you. And there was a boy sweeping nearby, and Nan Yan said to the boy, hey you, and the boy turned his head, and Nan Yan said, is this not the immutable knowledge of all Buddhas? And then he said, what's Buddha? And the boy hesitated, and wandered off in confusion. And he said, is this not the fundamental affliction of ignorance? So, when we reconvene after lunch, I'd like to talk about how the fundamental affliction of ignorance and the immutable knowledge of all Buddhas, how they're not separate, and


how they completely include each other, and how we can live there with that, that non-separation. Sometimes we might feel, okay, I've got the fundamental affliction of ignorance, or at least I've got ignorance, I don't know if I've got the fundamental affliction of ignorance, but I've got that part, and I don't need any more, thanks. I'd like to get over to the immutable knowledge of Buddha's part, or some people might feel like, if I was over in the immutable knowledge of Buddha's part, I would just be over there, and stay over there, and stay away from the other one, but they're very intimate, there's no separation. That non-separation is expressed and heard in karmic consciousness, and that teaching


is coming from the immutable knowledge of all Buddhas, but the immutable knowledge of all Buddhas can appear in karmic consciousness, where there seems to be things existing on their own, and so on. The fundamental affliction is there, but the teaching actually is appearing in the realm of fundamental affliction. So I'd like to look at that more this afternoon, I mean, it's already afternoon, after lunch, and I'm not sure exactly how much time you need for lunch, what do you think, forty-five minutes, is that enough? Let's put it this way. Is forty-five minutes not enough? Huh? You want an hour?


Okay. So, wait a second. How are you doing? I'm fine, thank you. Thirty seconds more? Let's put it this way. When I first said, let's put it this way, I was going to put it this way, but I actually switched it the other way, now I'm going back to this way. Let's put it this way, come back whenever you want, and sit here in your seat, and when most of us are back, we'll go to town. Thank you.