The Seeds and Fruits of True Awakening 

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I'd like to give a review and also go into something new. I said earlier that this course is called Zen Meditation, Seeds and Fruits of Enlightenment, something like that. And then I also suggested towards the beginning that you could say Zen Meditation is the Seed and Fruit of Enlightenment. This is the last class in this series, but the next class will also be called probably Zen Meditation. So the next class will be about the same thing. It will be about the nurturing and fruiting of enlightenment, but there's infinite flowers or infinite seeds


and fruits. So the next series of classes will be completely different and it will be about the same thing. Zen Meditation, Zen practice, or the Buddha way. During this series, I started by saying that the seed of the process, the seed of Zen Meditation, the seed is aspiration. And then the way to take care of the aspiration is by various practices. And some practices that take care of the aspiration, bring the aspiration to flowering, in the sense of awakening to wisdom. And then the wisdom comes to fruit in the


same practices which led to the wisdom. So you can imagine the seed, which is this aspiration. And then the fruit is the same practices which take care of the aspiration and bring the aspiration to flowering, as awakening to wisdom. And then this wisdom, this flowering of wisdom, then fruits as the same practices which led to the wisdom. Except that now these practices are emerging from wisdom, whereas previously they were emerging, in a sense, from delusion. Deluded beings can aspire to wake up in or from delusion. Apparently, deluded beings do aspire to


true awakening and then aspire to the fruits of true awakening. It seems that deluded beings can do that. That can happen to deluded beings. And then they can also do the practices which lead to wisdom. Prior to realizing wisdom, they can do practices which lead to wisdom. Prior to wisdom, they did not correctly understand the practices they're doing. After they wake up, they basically understand the practices that they've been doing. And now the process goes on, but it's a wisdom process. It's a transcendent process, whereas before it was a worldly process, a purification of worldly states to bring the worldly states to a point of readiness to enter wisdom. Afterwards, these wisdom states continue the same practice.


So the source of the aspiration and the source of the practices which take care of the aspiration is the wisdom which the aspiration is yearning for. Deluded beings do not think up the aspiration for wisdom on their own. The aspiration comes because deluded living beings somehow are touched, somehow have a communion with wisdom or the fruits of wisdom. So the wisdom can fruit as the practices of the bodhisattvas. So a living being can see a bodhisattva practicing.


They can see the practices that are coming from, that are the fruits of wisdom and when they see them, somehow they wish to practice those practices. So the source of the aspiration is the wisdom which the aspiration comes to flower as. So the first part of the process, from the seeds to the flowering, is a mundane process of purifying the mundane states to the point where they enter wisdom. From then on the same practices with the same names, and they are basically the same practices, now don't just purify the mundane states, they liberate the mundane states. This is the fruit of enlightenment, is to transform the mundane states into transcendent states of freedom and peace, which will then


become the source to inspire other living beings to aspire to the same process. Which is now fruiting in the form of these perfections. Same practices, but after awakening. In a sense, the practices leading to the worldly purification, which comes from the wisdom comes to flower as wisdom, those practices are intra-psychic and inter-personal. So for example, giving is something you do intra-psychically, you practice generosity towards your own states, your own feelings, your own judgments, your own pain, your own


pleasure, your own intentions, you practice giving and ethics and patience and diligence and concentration with your own states, leading to wisdom about your own states, and also these are practice giving and ethics and patience inter-personally. So it's the practice of leading to awakening to wisdom is intra-psychic and inter-personal. Tonight I want to talk a little about the state of awakening, the state of wisdom. The state of wisdom, in a sense, is not really inter-personal. It's more intra-psychic, or it's not even intra-psychic, it's inter-wisdom. It's the realm of entering reality where there


isn't exactly inter-personal possibilities, because there's nobody else, and there's not even you. They're just the way things are, and the way things are is that it's to say that there aren't any people isn't right, and to say that there's nobody else isn't right, and to say that there is somebody else isn't right either. So now I want to talk about this state, the state that's entered, the state of awakening, and it's an awakening, you could say, it's awakening from within. It's an awakening from a dream in a dream, or you could say, it's an awakening from a dream in a dream, or it's


an awakening to a dream in a dream. So, the early teachings of the Buddha taught that all phenomena are impermanent, ill, and not-self, or maybe I should say, ill, impermanent, and not-self. And when people, when people did the practices, they could come to see that that's the way things were. Most people imagine that things are permanent, even though they see suffering, they think that some things are actually in themselves going to give them happiness, and they think that things and beings have an independent existence. And these are the three characteristics of all


phenomena that were taught in early Buddhism. In the Bodhisattva path, in Mahayana, the great vehicle, one of the basic teachings about all phenomena is that they are only conscious constructions, that things only exist as conscious construction. This is not an ontological statement, this is an epistemological statement. And when we say that things only exist as conscious construction, it doesn't really mean that they really exist, it's just that when they do exist, that's the way they exist. Things don't exist on their own. They only exist through conscious construction. Without conscious construction, things don't exist. But it's


not that things really don't exist, because by conscious construction, they do. So the middle way of the Buddha is that things don't really not exist, because by conscious construction they do. But also things don't really exist, because they only exist, they do exist, but they only exist as conscious constructions. That's the only way they exist. But that's not a real existence, that's just a dream existence. It's a deceptive existence, because conscious construction is not the only way that things exist, but the conscious construction is such that things look like they exist, really. So things exist, but they don't exist with the way of telling you, they don't come by saying, okay, I'm just a conscious construction.


They're constructed in such a way that they give the impression that they're real, that the existence is a real existence. Because if they didn't look like a real existence, then they wouldn't look like they exist. But they do look like they exist, and that's false, because they look like they exist more than just as conscious construction, but somehow they can't show themselves, otherwise uneducated people would not be able to see them. It would look like almost a person, somewhere in the neighborhood, but not really. A phantom person we wouldn't think was a real person, but that's actually the way people are, is that they're phantoms. But they're phantoms that wear a little badge saying, I'm not a phantom, I'm


a real person. They're insubstantial beings because they're thought constructions, but they say, I'm substantial. They have a mask on, a persona that looks solid. Now, there are some other things that don't look solid, but they look actually very clearly not solid. That's a little introduction, and now I'd like to say something else which might help. That is, the first wisdom that we enter is wisdom with images. The next wisdom is wisdom without images, and the next wisdom is wisdom with images. So, the first wisdom which wakes up to the teachings that I just said, the first wisdom


which understands, actually gets it. Not just the way you get it, like when you first heard about conscious construction, some of you thought, maybe, that's cool. I kind of get it. Some people may say, I don't get it. The ones who said, I don't get it, in some ways they have an easier time because after hearing it quite a few times and saying, I don't get it, it might happen to them that suddenly they go, oh, I get it. In other words, when you hear the teaching that all phenomena are just mind constructed, are just images, are just concepts, and not just that they're concepts, but they're constructed concepts. They're not just like really concepts, they're mind constructed concepts. When you hear that teaching enough, and you do these practices that we've been talking about enough, a time comes when you


understand it in a way that you never understood before, in a new way. And the way you understand is such that your understanding is infallible, irrefutable, and is the basis for wisdom. And the way you understand it first is that you have images about this teaching that all phenomena are just thought constructions. You actually receive the teachings through images, through word images, over and over and over, along with your other practices that take care of your aspiration to understand this teaching, to have the wisdom which understands this teaching. And so when you first understand this teaching, you understand it with images.


You have images, you have word images, which have been telling you that all the images you're looking at are just thought constructions, and that when you first understand it, you have the teaching which you understand, and you understand the teaching is the way things are. The way things are is now the teaching which you have been given. But the way they are is the understanding which wakes you up from your belief that things are substantial, which you now realize you have had. You now see how much you didn't believe the teaching before when you heard it. And you did believe the illusion of substantiality, and now you don't anymore. When you first have that, it's not exactly an imaginary, well, it's kind of an imaginary, but maybe better, it's a thought constructed, it's a phenomena, it's


a wisdom which is also thought construction, which understands thought construction and understands that that's the way things really are, and that this happens to be the teaching which you've heard, which you received with images, with word images, and with the word images you now understand it. And then, with that understanding, you continue the practice and you come to the point where you're ready to now give up the images that you used to understand that everything is thought construction. And then you have what's called non-imaginative or non-conceptual wisdom. You understand concepts, you understand the concepts, in other words, you understand every phenomena. For you, it's just concept. You


see that, but you have no concept by which you see that all you're looking at all day long is concepts. But you have no concept of that. You just have an understanding that what you're looking at is a concept, and nothing more than a concept. In other words, you understand that you're always looking at your mind, and not just your mind, but you're looking at your mental construction. But you understand this now, non-conceptually. Before you understood it, but you had concepts by which you understood it, and that's a correct understanding. But there's still a concept intervening your understanding of concepts. Now you understand directly, which is more profound and pure. However, this non-conceptual way doesn't purify all the states of mental construction which will follow the flow of


the flowering. So in order to continue to transform the results of past karma, which have not been completely transformed, you have to go back to conceptual wisdom, because the conceptual wisdom can interact with these conceptual states. The non-conceptual wisdom doesn't interact with them. So, the amount of transformation of our psychophysical being, which is necessary for wisdom, is not the same as the amount of transformation of our psychophysical being, our psychophysical evolutionary process, that's necessary for what we call unsurpassed, complete, perfect enlightenment, which is the fruit of practicing after-wisdom. It's bringing these same practices


which led to wisdom to complete fulfillment, which is Buddhahood. So there's an initiatory wisdom, which still has concepts, which leads to a deeper wisdom, which doesn't have concepts, which doesn't lead to a deeper wisdom exactly, but in some sense leads to a more shallow wisdom, not exactly less shallow, but a more workable, a wisdom that can more engage with the purification process again. The non-conceptual wisdom is realized, but has to be purified to allow to go back to conceptual wisdom in order to continue the process of transforming the psychophysical karmic continuum to the point of unsurpassed, final, complete, unsurpassable perfect enlightenment, which then becomes the most effective source to inspire others


to aspire to the process. The entry into this non-conceptual wisdom in a sense is what's kind of famous in Zen. It looks like sudden awakening, because one moment you've been studying and you've been doing quite well in your practice, because you've gotten to a place where you're in the threshold of awakening. You've been doing all these wonderful practices. Your wisdom practice now is ready to be realized. So there's been a lot of transformation by doing these practices, these six practices. The sixth one, however, has not really been fully realized yet, or not even been realized enough to awaken from the dream. You still believe that things are a little bit more than just your idea. You still believe that some things are not conscious constructions only. You think they're


a little bit more than that. Well, yeah, they're a little bit conscious construction, but they're also a little bit more than that. I know that my idea that Christian is a really nice person is just my idea, but she's a little bit more than that. It's not just that potentially she's a little bit more than that, but I know she's a little bit more than that. In other words, I don't really believe this teaching, that what I know is just conscious construction. I don't really believe it. I haven't been believing it for quite a while, but by practicing these five perfections, we get ready for the sixth one, where you actually now realize that you do really believe it now completely. You're now convinced, and it's the first time you were convinced like this. You were a little bit convinced or a lot convinced before, and now you're much more convinced. It happens suddenly and for the first time, and you have


much more confidence in the teaching and your understanding of it than you did before, and you're much more aware that you didn't believe it before and you didn't see it before. So there has been a lot of change leading to this. Now we have the six perfections are working. Wisdom has been initiated, and then again, you're much more aware that you didn't believe it before. We go into the non-conceptual wisdom, but in non-conceptual wisdom, it's not possible to interact and transform other states of thought construction, which will still keep arising. But with the conceptual wisdom, all these states that were met, each one, these states will still arise, and it's kind of like puff the magic dragon. They'll


come up, they'll be dealt with with the wisdom, and they'll be resolved as conscious construction only. Here comes another one, conscious construction only. Every time that happens, the residual evolutionary background of the living being which produces it is transformed and produces another one, but eventually all these states will be exhausted, and you come to a state of awakening where there's no more production of karmic consciousness, and there's no more world. However, you also still can see all the living beings through their eyes and teach the same teaching that you were taught and that you've been practicing with all along. I just thought I'd mention this example. There's two examples. I'll just say one now,


and then maybe I'll bring up the other one after you ask questions. I'll start with the example of a magician or a magic show. The traditional example is that a magician uses some materials to perform a magical feat such that people see an elephant, and that people see this appearance of an elephant, and that people think that it's actually an elephant, not just an appearance of an elephant. The magician sees the appearance of the elephant, which the magician has successfully conjured with magical skill, but the magician knows it's not a real elephant. The audience sees the appearance and thinks it's real. But also


the magician knows that the appearance actually is a conjuring, and it isn't really there. What's there are the materials that she used to make this elephant appearance, but she does not see the elephant appearance. So the awakened and the unawakened both see the elephant appearance, but the unawakened do not see the materials making up the elephant, and they also think the elephant's a real elephant. But the awakened, they do not see the real elephant. They do not see it. They know that some people do see it, but they don't see it. They know it's just a phantom, it's just totally imaginary. But the appearance of the elephant is also a phantom, but it's a phantom which the magician knows is a phantom. But the magician does


see the phantom, so the enlightened person sees the phantom, knows it's a phantom, and doesn't see the real elephant, the non-phantom element, and nobody sees that. They just imagine they do, because there is no such thing as the real elephant in this story. And the magician also can see the materials that make the phantom elephant appear. However, when they look at the appearance of the elephant, they don't see the materials. And when they look at the materials, they don't see the elephant. They see the materials. By looking at the materials and not seeing the elephant, the appearance of the elephant, the appearance of the elephant is recovered. The magician looks at the materials and then recovers the


appearance which is conjured by the materials. So from the materials that make the elephant the magician gets the appearance of the elephant. And from looking at the appearance of the elephant without the idea that it's real you get the materials. And the appearance of the elephant which is conjured in which the enlightened person, the magician, and the audience, the unenlightened, they both see that. But the magician sees that this conjuring is free of the real elephant. And seeing that it's free of the real elephant


the magician continues to understand the absence of that real elephant in the appearance of the elephant. They understand the materials that make the appearance. So that's the first kind of example to use and now I open for responses. Who conjures up the materials? Who conjures up the materials? Who conjures up the materials?


I think past conjuring conjures the materials because the materials are really just the thing that makes the appearance of the elephant. So the elephant conjures up the materials the elephant once it's conjured it implies the things that make it. And so the things that make it, they are in a sense also conjured by the conjuring of the elephant. And even the materials that make the conjuring in a sense are also dependent on the false elephant


because the false elephant or the imagination of a real elephant is what the materials that make the conjuring of the appearance of the elephant have a function. No, the phantom elephant does not conjure itself. The phantom elephant is conjured by things other than itself, namely these materials. It is conjured by many things other than itself. It's not made by itself. As a matter of fact, in technical terms the conjured elephant is called the other dependent. So all that really exists in the world, all that really exists in our life, are other dependent phenomena. That's the only way things exist.


Which is another way to say all that exists is thought constructions. But thought constructions do not make themselves. They are constructed of other material, like past thought constructions. So this thought construction, this phantom elephant, is made of materials that are made past phantom elephants, which is why there is no real elephant. But there is a thought construction elephant that doesn't make itself. So there isn't a who that makes, unless you want to call a piece of wood, who. It's great. It is great. It's called the great vehicle.


This is the great vehicle, this teaching, and this reality. Yes? We made this distinction of the magician seeing the elephant, but not the materials. And I'm just wondering, in this other dependent situation, you also said that the magician sees... Can I say something right there? Do you remember where you are? So I said the magician sees the appearance, which he's trying to conjure, but doesn't see the materials. Even though before he conjured, he just saw the materials. So he's got the materials and he conjures with them and suddenly he has the appearance. At that time, he's looking at the appearance, he doesn't see the materials anymore. It's like figure ground switches. And I want to say that the materials by which the conjuring happens is the absence of the


reality of the appearance. The fact that you use something to make the appearance, to make the magic, is why this magic lacks real existence. The stuff you use to create stuff is the reason why the stuff created is not real. It's smoke and mirrors, yeah. But I'm just saying that the smoke, or I don't know which is which, but anyway, the materials you use to create the illusion of something existing, those materials, again, when the existence comes into play, you lose track of the materials. But still, those materials are really the absence of the reality of what's been conjured. And the materials are actually what you, if


you understand that this thing is lacking reality, you get to find out the materials. So you discover the materials when you watch the show and aren't fooled by it anymore. That's like being a magician's apprentice. You watch the show and your teacher, the magician, shows you the appearance by which you used to think was real and shows you that it's not real. And when he shows you it's not real, you suddenly realize the materials that make it, which are the absence of the reality. So the absence of a real elephant and the appearance of the elephant is represented by maybe some pieces of wood and some oil or smoke, you know. Isn't that great? It is. Yes, Vera? I was wondering, looking at a painting of abstract art or modern art, using Picasso as an example,


a face where the nose is in a totally different place than most noses. And everything is turned around. And is this the artist's real way of seeing it? And projecting to us that we can see it this way or another way? Because it's all an illusion anyway and it's not substantial. It might be the artist's way of saying to us, all phenomena are conscious construction only. And saying that to us in a way, hopefully, that would encourage us to look at the picture again and again, until we actually see that our ordinary life is like that painting.


I have a question about something you said before. Can you give an example of what doesn't look solid, but really is? You're asking me, can I give an example of something that doesn't look solid, but really is? That does not look solid, but really is. But really is solid? What? Are you asking me to give you an example of something that does not look solid, but really is? Because you were saying that things look solid, but really aren't. I also said, if you see something that you think is insubstantial or vague, like sort of a person, at that moment you might possibly think, well, that's sort of a person, but that really is sort of a person, and it's definitely not a regular solid person. And you actually kind of think it's substantially not a regular person.


You see something, like you think there's fog, and you think, this is a foggy day, these aren't clear skies. That didn't quite work for you, it looks like. I don't see the bells going off. Yeah, so I'm just saying, if you say something is not solid, when people think that something is not solid, they think that that's substantially not solid. That's what most people think. They actually think, that's not solid, and this is solid. That's not. That really is not solid. And they think that's actually that way. And if I say it is solid, we can have an argument about it, perhaps. And it doesn't mean that, even if you understand, it doesn't mean you can't have arguments. Now, I'd like to go back to John, because we stopped half in the middle. Can you still remember? Yes. Okay, great. Wow. So, my question is about the relationship of the other dependent here with the magician.


And I'm curious if, in one way, I recall you saying that the magician sees other beings through their own eyes at this point. So, in a sense... Not the magician. This is the magician who's been a magician a long time. And this magician now can't do magic anymore. This is a magician that's gone beyond being able to do magic anymore. And now can only do magic through the minds of beings who have not yet got to the point of being retired magicians. Okay, so I'll back up on the magician in a few stages. Okay. Now we've got... I'm just curious if, in the middle way, there's sort of a dual relationship with the other dependent. One is that the magician is entering into a codependent relationship with the


other being who has the image of the elephant. So, past images of the element of the elephant for the magician are coming up because of that other dependent. But there's also another dependent relationship with wisdom, which is what brings up the materials for the magician. And these two codependent arisings are occurring. First, the image with the being. When you say the being, do you mean the audience? Yes, the audience. And then this other codependent arising which is occurring with wisdom itself, which is the materials, the scene, the materials. And is that the relationship that somebody is in a way, at this point, the magician is experiencing? Well, probably. I couldn't quite follow it, but you probably got it. Now let's...


I'll accept that. Now we can go back and look at it more carefully and see. Try again. You can basically say the same thing and maybe I'll catch it the second time. So, at this third level... By the way, what we're doing right now is an example. We're both trying to be magicians right now. We can do this together. We won't be rigid about who's the magician and who's the apprentice. Whether you're teaching me to see your conjuring or I'm helping you teach my conjuring, we may have to cooperate here for us both to see this phantom idea here. So, go ahead. So, the kernel of what I'm trying to look at... I'm really intrigued by the magician seeing first the image, but not the materials, and then the materials, but not the image. This is a distinction you made. No. When I say the magician sees the image first, in practical situations,


probably the magician grew up and saw magic shows, and then was initiated into seeing that the substantial aspect of it was not there by somebody showing them how it was a phantom. So, they got initiated into that by somebody showing them, it actually is this, see, oh my God. Now, watch how I use this and now you see it? Between the magician and the apprentice, they don't need to have the audience anymore because they both have had some experience in themselves of being the audience. So, the magician takes an apprentice who is really an audience person and shows the audience person the trick. So, then that person has been awakened. The apprentice has now been awakened into the illusoriness of the substantiality. The way that they're awakened is by showing them the stuff that they use to make this appearance.


When they see the stuff, they see the absence of what they saw before disappears when they see the stuff that makes the appearance. Now, they're initiated. So, now we're together, right? Now, what's the next part of your question? So, I'm just trying to understand how that functions when the magician is with the audience. Well, he does these shows maybe for his apprentice and then he does it for the audience and he watches if the audience are enjoying. If they're not fooled, then he's got to try it another way that not only works for him and his apprentice, but works for the audience. Because actually there might be some apprentices or magicians in the audience. He actually wants to see if he can actually trick magicians too. Because everybody out there is actually a magician but doesn't know it. Or I shouldn't say, a lot of the people, everybody out there is a magician and some of them don't know it and the ones who do know it, the magician actually wants, that person is not going to come back again


unless the magician can fool them too. So, at that point the magician is somewhat sensitive to his audience to actually make an appearance that would fool the audience too. And this magician is, as Stephen says, who is running it? Past karma. Past conjuring of images and past believing that they're real makes it possible for us to both make conjurings that are believed as real and also discover that actually these conjurings lack reality. So, when the teaching interacts with our semi-conscious magical activity we start to gradually open up to the process and we become magicians. And we've been magicians all along, we just didn't understand it. And because we didn't understand it we were fooled by the magic of our karma. Right, so my original question was simply asking,


and maybe this is just too abstract, whether the phenomenon of codependent arising for the magician has two functions. One is co-arising with the audience's karmic perception of the elephant and his or her own karmic remembering of the elephant. And then there's other codependent arising which shows the mechanics of the elephant. The difference is that the bodhisattva magician is not worried about losing the audience and having no income. They've already got a huge audience, no problem. Now, if they start telling people about this, how can they tell people about this and have people still be willing to pay attention to learn this process? Well, the way they do it is that somebody, maybe more advanced than them,


has inspired these people to want to be awakened to the process of the magic because they understand, they've got the message somehow, that if they don't understand this process they will suffer. So the magician has come to understand this process by doing practices and the magician can tell people how they can do practices so they will also be initiated to this and become free of suffering and be able to actually help others. So somebody other than the magician actually got the magician going. The karmic process has made the magic and beings who have understood this magic and been completely transformed are sending messages of practices of how to learn this magic and become free of it. And part of the apprentice training is, in this case,


to practice all these compassion practices and also want to be somebody who understands the magical show. Not to make a living fooling people, but make a living getting people to want to join the magician camp. Wanting to learn how to tune into the magic and become free of it and not fooled by it anymore, for the sake of helping other people who are fooled. So we, in some sense, want to make everybody in the audience into magicians and then have people actually graduate from being magicians. And then inspire everybody else who is not yet a magician to become a magician and, again, graduate from that. Marjorie and then Timo? Pardon? Okay, you're retired from your question?


Okay. Timo? I just wonder what you would say is the difference between the conscious construction of the phantom element and the conscious construction of what's called in this story the real element. Let's see. Do you mean like the difference in the process of construction of the two? They're both conscious constructions. Yeah, so the first one, we'll just say that again, maybe we'll get to the key point. The conscious construction of the appearance of the elephant the awakened person sees and the unawakened person sees and the unawakened person, then, in addition, there's a conscious construction that it's a real elephant.


And the awakened person does not have the conscious construction that it's a real elephant. So your question is, what's the difference between the way an unawakened person... I think I got the answer to your question, okay? The conscious construction of the real elephant depends on the ability of sentient beings to project essences on appearances. And we have this tendency to project essences on appearances because based on these projections of essences we can make conventional designations. So because the dependent co-arising of the attribution of real elephant on the appearance comes from using language, because we have trouble using language unless we have put an essence on an appearance.


So that would be the story of how a living being would project the reality or substance on the appearance, which is a conjuring. So you have more questions about that? Yes. One more. Or many more. Let's say there's a room with a magician who creates a phantom of an elephant. And in the same room there's an elephant. Some people would say it's a real elephant. Just to make that picture. Is there a difference in this? The people who see the phantom of an elephant as a real elephant, they see it as real as the real elephant. So both are conscious construction of a real elephant. Excuse me, but that's a possible scenario.


Usually when magicians actually have what we call real elephants, what they do is they have the real elephant there on the stage, but nobody can see it. And then they use conjuring to get people to look at something else, which is really a trick. But they think it's a real thing. They don't understand that it's just an illusion that the magician is putting up there to get them to look at that, so that the real elephant can come on the stage and then they can see it. But the magician's magic then is not to make the elephant, it's to get them to look at something else because they can't see the elephant. So what they do is they make this thing happen here that people think is not a trick to distract them, and they believe that. They don't see that the magician says, I'm going to trick you now to look over here, and then they bring the elephant on,


and no one can see the elephant come onto the stage. So that's actually the way they do it, when they have a real elephant that you can go and touch. But it's all based on something other than what appears, which is the absence of reality. Go ahead, you have more questions, I can see. I understand that part, that's what that model was made for, but then there is, in this world, we distinguish between phantoms of the appearance of something and the appearance of something real. Yeah, we distinguish. But at the moment where we, where the audience believes this is real, there is not really a difference between being a phantom or not.


I mean, both cases are phantoms, a real elephant is a phantom, and the magician's construction of the phantom elephant is a phantom. And I wonder, is there any difference in what we call reality of an elephant to the projection of an elephant which we think is real? I couldn't quite follow that, but... It is essentially, again, another wording of my question, is there a difference of a dream of an elephant and a real elephant? Is there a difference between a dream of an elephant and a real elephant? If I have a dream of an elephant, I might not believe that that was a real elephant,


I might think that was a dream of an elephant, right? Are you talking about a case where I have a dream of an elephant and I think there's a real elephant, too? And he doesn't think it's a real elephant. In that case, what's your question? Is there a difference of the essence of the phenomena of a real elephant? The way that the phantom is made,


the way that the appearance is constructed, how that's constructed, is because it's constructed by various things. And that doesn't have an essence either. However, that's not... And that's a thought, that's a conscious construction, too. The way that this appearance occurs is a conscious construction also. And when you see how that is, you realize that the first one is non-existent, the substantial elephant doesn't exist at all. You can see that it's absent, it's gone, it's not there in the phantom. But each one of them are conscious constructions. But there are different types of conscious construction. Yes? I sometimes find myself in a similar position. I help people make recordings,


and sometimes we use a real piano, and sometimes we use a keyboard that sounds like a piano. And I ask myself, does it matter? Some people really don't want to use a fake piano on their album. You mean some people don't want to use a keyboard. Exactly. Which could be called a fake piano. Yes. But you don't have to call it a fake piano, you can just call it a keyboard. Right. But they call it a fake piano because they don't like it. Some people call it a fake piano, okay. And they ask themselves, does it matter? They ask me, does it matter? Or I even try to talk to them about whether or not it matters whether we use a real piano, which is just sitting right there, or the keyboard, which is easy to plug in. And my conclusion has been, it kind of goes back and forth, because on the one hand, if the listener can't tell the difference, then it's a piano to them. And that's the whole story. But also I think that there's a subtle difference,


I know there's a subtle difference. An experienced pianist, for example, can almost always hear the difference between a real piano recording and a keyboard recording. And I think even non-experienced pianists can sense, maybe you might say subconsciously, that it's not the recording of a live acoustic piano, that there's something synthetic about it. And I think there's something like that in this elephant example that I think Timo, it sounds to me like Timo's fishing for, is there something to the experience of really seeing an elephant that's different from the experience of seeing something that's tricked you into thinking consciously that you're seeing an elephant. But it's the magician's conjuring of it. Okay, this situation is, as you can see, it's rather subtle and delicate. This is a good example. Each phantom is different because each phantom is made from different stuff.


The phantom that arises when the magician is using a keyboard to make the music is a different phantom from the phantom that arises when a person uses a piano to make the phantom. So pianos make phantoms and keyboards make phantoms. And different things are making those two things. And then you have people in the audience who believe that there's a real piano and a real keyboard. Most people think there's a real piano and a real keyboard. Because they believe that, it's more difficult for them to actually hear and see the two appearances which have different materials making these appearances. If they can actually disabuse themselves of real piano and real keyboard or real piano and fake piano,


if they can somehow stop seeing that there's a substantial thing called real piano, then they will be actually able to hear that these are two different things made from two different things. And then they will actually, as you say, sense, you can say subconscious, but also maybe some subtle wisdom. But that subtle wisdom comes from the initiation, is from hearing the teaching of conscious construction only. Which they don't necessarily need to hear the words, but there's something about the art process which might initiate them into that understanding so that they can actually hear and see the difference in those two phantoms and realize that both those phantoms lack substantial existence, that they're both just conjurations. And then they still may prefer to use a real piano rather than a keyboard.


They still may wish to work with that material to make the appearances of this type of music, or they may choose to do the other one. So I think what matters is that they actually can experience the music aside from thinking that this is a real piano, a real music, a real beauty, a real meaning, aside from conjuring of music, conjuring of beauty, conjuring of art. But most people think there's a real art, that there's real music, that there's real beauty, rather than there is only consciously constructed beauty and only consciously constructed ugliness. Otherwise, if you've got consciously constructed beauty, you're going to hold on to it, and then you're going to suffer with that consciously constructed beauty


and that suffering. You've got the suffering. But it's not just you've got the suffering, but you don't have the consciously constructed phenomena of the actual... The only way the music really is, is that it's consciously constructed, and you're out of touch with that, because you're obscuring it with this is real music, or this is really better music. This is something other than the conscious construction of better music. It's possible that some people, some artists, actually tune in to being able to look at the appearance, free for a while, because of their devotion to their work, they open to the reality of the art, of the music, which is free of the attribution of something other than conscious construction. And then they actually see what makes it, and then they're in touch with the creative process,


but the creative process is really the absence of substance in their art. So, somebody told me that he thinks if you ask artists, are you... how do you put it? He said, maybe most artists do not go around telling people that what they're into is like liberating beings from suffering. But then he thought of another way that you could ask them, that they would say, well, sure, that's what I'm into. I forgot how he put it, but I think a lot of artists are not saying that that's what they're up to, to liberate people from suffering, or to liberate beings from being fooled by appearances. But whether they say so or not, I mean, whether he says so or not, I think that's what Bach was doing. Whether he knew it or not,


I think when he got in there, in the middle of that form, that something happened, and nobody ever understands what happened, including him. Nobody understands how that music could happen. It's inconceivable how that music could happen. And Bach didn't know either. But somehow he got in a position where he somehow could let it alone while he was working with this form so diligently. So diligence is based on patience and ethics and generosity, and aspiration to make true beauty, or make truth, or to meet God, in his case. But then you have to be diligent and concentrated, and then you're open to what? Open to the things that are just conscious constructions only. Nothing more. And if you're working with an organ


and a highly trained mind, it could be this music. And everybody's looking at it. How could it happen? Nobody knows. And he didn't know either. How could this happen? In that space, miracles happen. Things are created, and they're created by materials, and the materials are the absence of substance. But absence of substance doesn't mean there's nothing there. What's there is conscious construction. So this is a good example. Yes, Lynn? Beginningless time?


Beginningless time? Not time beginning, beginningless time. I didn't say beginning of time. I said beginningless. Beginningless, it comes from beginningless time. It's a type of time that doesn't have a beginning. But it wasn't thought out. It was discovered. You said the six perfections were discovered. They weren't originated by a person. Right. I don't think they're originated by a person. I think the six perfections come from the complete transformation of a person. If you completely transform a person, you get the six perfections. And then the six perfections are offered to persons who aren't completely transformed.


And the completely transformed person has become transformed out of time that has beginning and end. The completely transformed person has no beginning and no end. No beginning, no end, no place. The materials for understanding in such a way as to become free of suffering come from the no beginning, no end place. And the no beginning, no end place is the result of the practices applied to beings who live in beginnings and endings, like us. We live in the realm of beginnings and endings. These teachings come from a place of no beginning and no ending. They're for people in beginnings and endings to do practices, to enter into the insubstantiality of beginning and endings,


to enter into the totally thought-constructed, consciously constructed nature of beginnings and endings. By entering into them, we realize freedom from the substantiality of beginnings and endings. And the first entering into freedom from beginnings and endings has a beginning. But after you enter into no beginning and no ending, there's no ending to it, but there is a beginning. And the thing that gets us to start in the process, the thing that gets us going into the practices which will take us to a place of beginning to understand the place of no beginning and ending, that has a beginning. And an ending. The messages that come to us to teach us how to enter for the first time the realm of no beginning and ending, those things have beginnings and endings. Those are the teachings which come in the form of images,


and images have a front end and a back end. Like a sentence comes in and it comes to the beginning and then it stops. The teachings have beginnings and endings when we first meet them. The Buddha has a beginning and an ending when we first meet the Buddha. And we use this beginning and ending teaching to initiate us into the realm, and at the initiation there's a beginning, enter into the realm that doesn't have an end or a beginning. And after we enter, we don't have an end anymore. But we have not yet realized the realm of no beginning at the beginning of that. But the materials also exist only in this process of conjuring. That's right. It enters the world of magicians, so to speak, or of conjuring, but it's not something other than the conjuring process.


That's right. However, you can't see the materials that conjure unless you see the absence of the reality in the conjured. Again, when you see the materials that are involved in the conjuring, you're relieved of the substantiality of the conjured. You realize that the conjured isn't in the reality or substance. The non-conjured aspect of the conjured is absent when you see how it's made. And the things that you use to make this particular thing, they're also conjured. And you can see what makes them, if you don't see that they're real. Right? It makes you look at lineage in a whole different way. It doesn't make you, it allows you to. It allows you to. It allows you to. Once again, I've said that in this realm of understanding


that things are just conscious construction, it has these three qualities. One is a quality of unity. Next it has a quality of duality. And next it has a quality of multiplicity. The unity is, you understand that everything is conscious construction. So everything is just conscious construction. All things are conscious construction. All things are one. Mind and what it knows are completely identical. Then also there's duality, because the mind and the knowing and known are two. And there's multiplicity, in that there's endless varieties of conjured things. I feel like moments are really important for this. Moments are important. Moments are our opportunity.


Moments is where we practice presence. Moments is where we practice generosity. Moments is where we do all these practices in order to enter into the conscious construction only. Is that where conscious construction occurs? In moments? In moments. I can share the conscious construction that that's where they happen. Only? That's only a conscious construction, that that's where they happen only. Is there another conscious construction that they happen somewhere else? There could be, but you and I aren't interested in that one, right? I'm not particularly into that one, but if you want to go there, I'll join you. We can say, actually, moments aren't the best place for conscious construction only. Well, I think we have to stop right here


right here in the middle of this amazing situation. I really don't have to stop. We're just going to go out of the room and continue forever. Thank you very much. You're welcome. And thank you for your great service at the door. It makes it a very high quality event. Thank you.