Closely Watched Mind 2

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#starts-short #duplicate of 02752


Thank you very much. So now we are recording. And what I was saying is that, that in the case, what Thich Nhat Hanh says, in the case of pure sensation, where the discrimination of subject and object do not exist, the world of reality is revealed. And these afflicted states of mind become wisdoms. So these wisdoms, I want to just, you know, I want to just briefly outline what they are. The Sanskrit term for this transformation at the base is Paravritti, which I always feel sounds a lot like Pavarotti, but but they're very different.


One's an opera singer and the other is a Sanskrit Buddhist term. Parvriti in Zen is turning around the light of awareness from the place where we're caught in our own misconceptions. And we see the nature of reality we see directly into one's own nature. And so, um, we'll talk about this with each of the each of the realms of consciousness. Uh, the first to the fifth consciousness, which are the sense consciousness is, uh, become the perfection of action or the wisdom of all performing. So it's It's the wisdom of how things unfold on the basis of real activity in the world.


The sixth consciousness becomes the profound observing wisdom, which is the wisdom by which we take a step back from our activities, from our feelings, from all from all of those evaluative states of mind and just watch how that's unfolding, watch how that process is unfolding and see that all of our perceptions are the unfolding of this process of perception, which we talked about last week, which is the process of having an organ, say an eye, having an object, in this case, I'm looking at this cup, which also has an eye in it, and the consciousness mental function, which processes what I perceive in my organ, it's transmitted through the optic nerve to my brain.


And then it is, uh, it becomes, we turn it into something based on our, our experience. Uh, so based on, on what's in our storehouse consciousness. So in this case, um, if you didn't know that this was a cup and you didn't know that it was, uh, constructed in such a way that could hold the water that I'm drinking. You wouldn't know what the hell it is. I think to some extent, we had a wonderful talk this morning by by Yoni. And he was talking about some of his some of his conscious experiences. And in my own time, which was considerably earlier, probably many of you, I had similar chemically induced experiences.


And what I recall, I've told this often, what I recall on one such experience, which was happened to be very strong. I was out, my friends were sort of, carrying shepherding me around because I needed somebody to be my caretaker because I wasn't functioning so well. And they bought me an ice cream cone. And they put it in my hand. And for about 30 seconds, I did not know what the hell this thing was. I really, I had no idea. It was like this cone shaped thing with a mound on top. And I didn't know what you were supposed to do with it, or what it was. And it's like, that was perception before the interposition of consciousness of a liar. Does it does that make sense to you?


You know what I'm talking about? So, we have to, the liar is constantly arising to tell us, what is this thing that we're dealing with? And, you know, to some degree, it's accurate. And to some degree, it's really inaccurate. And I think that we're experiencing this very much in this moment when we're really looking at issues of racial justice. because I may perceive somebody of a different color, different skin color, different size, whatever, and think that I know something about that person. That's the power of alaya and the power of what I'm calling imputation. And it's in this form, in its diluted form, it continues and deepens the delusion.


So I think I know something about this person who's approaching me on the street, but really, I absolutely know nothing. Lori and I have been talking about this in the course of the last couple of weeks. And something she drew from Ibram Kendi's work, you know, is you know nothing. about a person on the basis of their skin color. And I've tried to, I've explored that because I have some, I noticed that I have some resistance to that idea. But the more I explore it, the more I realize that that's completely true. On the basis of skin color, I know nothing. I start to put together a story on the basis of all kinds of other cues. And it's not to say that that story is accurate. But the story on the basis of skin color, the story on the basis of any one factor that you see, in looking at something is, is delusional, you have to, what the alaya is doing is putting together, it's making a compendium of our different experiences.


And melding it all together and throwing up both a concept and a word. So, you know, like this, this cup is so wonderful. I think it's from, it's from some cartoon character and I'm blocking the name of the movie. Monsters Inc. Monsters Inc. Thank you. That's what it is. And, you know, I could say, oh, this thing is a green painting of Monsters, Inc. And then I look at it, you know, I look at examine it all around, I see, oh, it's a cup with the Monsters, Inc. face painted on it, which functions just as well as a cup and has absolutely nothing to do with the Monsters, Inc. is extra, you know, and it's kind of amusing. So This is when we get to the sixth consciousness, the sixth conscious, the seventh conscious.


I'm sorry. I'm sorry. The seventh consciousness, which is transformed. The seventh consciousness is the consciousness by which we create our sense of me and mine and I. And that is Manas. And when that is transformed at the base, it becomes the wisdom of equality. So instead of it, it shifts the ground from instead of the entire world being centered in me, which is mostly how we usually think, we realize that everyone and everything that we see has an equal place in the universe. and we have to take those things as we take those things on the ground of equality. And then this eighth consciousness was which is a liar.


The wonderful quality of a liar is that it includes everything that we experience. And when that is included, and when it's transformed, then it becomes the great mirror wisdom. So it reflects, when it's transformed, instead of reflecting things in their individual nature, it's just reflecting everything, again, equally, as shaped through the seventh consciousness. But it's like a mirror. A mirror holds up, it's like a pure mirror. So a pure mirror has no distortions, it has no curves, You know, it just reflects everything that is held up in front of it. It does not discriminate. And it does not differentiate. It just reflects. So that is what happens. This is a long answer to Ross's inquiry.


So it's not just that things are deconstructed. It's also that things are transformed into these four wisdoms. So that brings me to the second question that that I had this week. Uh, I talked to, uh, Catherine cascade to some of, you know, in, in Oregon, who's a Zen teacher, uh, and a wonderful friend of many of ours. And she wanted to know why was I teaching this now? Why was I teaching about yoga chara? And I feel like it, um, At our senior student meeting last Friday, the question came up, what are you studying now? And that's a really good thing to ask all of you. Think about what it is you're studying in the pandemic and why. So why am I studying this?


Why am I teaching this? Well, first of all, I'm teaching it so that I can actually understand it and absorb it in greater detail. Um, because this way of looking at my mind has increasingly appealed to me in recent years. Uh, and as I said last week, it appeals to me as a, as a map of the mind, not as a model of the mind, not as a full scale model, but just as the general sense as the way things work. And more closely, what I feel like I'm looking at here is the way that our senses and mind perceive and think and even feel things with reference to or through the lens of experience. And that lens of experience, that experience is what we actually call karma.


And so without exception, based on karma, based on our past experience, we construct or impute meaning to our thoughts and our perceptions. Based on our experience, we think we know what things are. And what we can begin to do by using this method which is an analytical method. We see, we begin to see what's distorted by those experiences and what's distorted by the way those experiences are filtered through our ego or our self-centeredness. And of course the goal is the transformation of these senses, the transformation of our mind leading to a so-called pure seeing, and we're gonna leave time to discuss what that might be as well.


At the same time, the question that comes to me about learning this, Buddhism, as we understand it, is a path. And it's a path that, presumably leads from delusion to awakening. And the steps on the path are points of cultivation. And of course we have a, we have a tension in the Zen tradition because it talks about sudden awakening, no steps, no stages. And yet We also encourage people to cultivate the virtues, cultivate the precepts, cultivate the wholesome states of mind. So one way of looking at it is the beneficial actions that we do lead others towards


beneficial action themselves and through and to the, the healing of circumstances of their lives. And it does the same for ourselves. And so along the path, what we're doing by really looking at ourselves is we're gradually removing the veils that, that sit in front of our eyes. Uh, so that's why I'm studying this, you know, myself see more clearly through the delusion of self, through self-centeredness, and thereby to help serve people more effectively. Now this path, you can think of, you can think of as if you were learning a musical instrument. When you learn a musical instrument, you may play exercises or scales or passages and you go over them over and over again.


You may do them slowly and gradually bring them up to speed until you actually can play that passage. Uh, and gradually you put those, you put those skills and abilities together and you can play the whole piece of music and playing the whole piece of music is, is the point, but practicing is the method. Uh, so, uh, and practicing this really different, this is why what Thich Nhat Hanh says, he says, Zen is not the study of Zen, Zen is life. Just very much what Suzuki Roshi says, very much what Hozon, Hozon, that's me, what Sojin says. And these doctrinal teachings like Yogacara,


are wonderful analytical methods, but they're not necessarily life itself. We have to translate this. It's like playing scales. And so when you play scales, the goal is not to play the scale really well. And so the method is not just to be a great analyst, but actually to apply this to our lives. In other words, the goal in the end is to be able to play a piece of music in a way that is really thoroughly encompassed by your body, that you put your heart and your feeling into, and that you're free with. You break it down into these elements, and you look at it again and again, but in the end, what you're looking for is something that expresses beauty and continuity.


And that's the point. In one of Thich Nhat Hanh's book, he quotes one of his Vietnamese teachers, Thuy Truong Thong Si said, This marvelous piece must be played. What is the good of discussing a masterpiece? It is the performance that counts. And I would say it's the performance, having done a lot of performance, and some of you there, I'm sure, have similar experiences in various arts, that performance includes the mistakes, the hesitations, All of that is included. And when you're playing a piece of music, you don't stop. You just go on. When we make a mistake in our life, we don't stop. We just go on. We acknowledge the mistake. But if we stop on the mistake, then we're missing the rest of our life.


So, um, That's why I'm teaching it. That's why I'm teaching this. Let me stop there and to see if there are any questions based on this kind of rant that I've just laid out. If you have a question, you can raise your hand. You can raise your hand manually or electronically. Sarah. I see Sarah Lou, you can unmute yourself. Sorry, forgot. I have seizures which breaks the process of perception, breaks the link between mind and the senses. And there are a variety of types of seizures, sometimes


I'm really not at all present. And it's only in retrospect that I haven't lost consciousness, but only in hindsight am I aware that I've just had a seizure. At other times, if you show me a cup, I won't be able to recognize it despite my experience and knowing the word and things like that. And I've seen this, first of all, it's sort of debilitating in terms of daily life, including zazen, if I'm having a seizure while I'm sitting. I'm not sure how this fits in to the Yogacara. First of all, it's not continuous. Right.


But when you were talking about the ice cream cone, that sounds familiar, only this is a sort of, well, medically it's defined, as an illness, not as a part of a path towards achieving a greater awareness. So you want me to say something? Well, I'm just not sure how to interpret. Right. So actually, one of the things that's really interesting about this system is that in an indirect way, the system, this whole doctrine was created to account for that in a certain way. The problem with earlier Buddhist


uh, psychological systems is that they implied continuity. And so with the creation of, uh, yoga Chara, it was a way to account for the fact that even if there's a break in continuity, we can renew continuity. So the break for all of us, and this is one of the dharmas, which I'll mention in a few minutes. There's a, rubric of dharmas called uncategorized factors. And the first one of them is drowsiness, which is really, sometimes it's called sleep.


And it's a way to account for how it is that when we're asleep, there's a discontinuity in our consciousness. If we faint, there's a discontinuity in our consciousness. If we have a seizure, there's a discontinuity in our consciousness. And yet, because there is the Alaya Vishniana, the storehouse consciousness, when we awaken from that, when we return to what we think of as our ordinary consciousness, we have right away access to that, to that whole store. So, you know, when we, when we awaken, when we arise from fainting or we come out of a coma in a general sense, uh, we're able to renew our perceptions. Now, of course, there are also, there are organic injuries,


which might block us from doing that. But the system was really designed to provide continuity in the face of apparent discontinuity. So I would say that. The other thing I would say is, please take care of yourself. That's most important, to be able to take care of yourself, to be in a safe place when you feel a seizure coming on, and to be kind to yourself as you're coming out of that, because that's a big deal. It's a real powerful thing. So does that speak to your... Yes, very much so. Thank you very much. Yeah, it's really, it's great the system was designed to account for just that, because the previous Abhidharma didn't, but Mahayana Abhidharma does.


So, thank you. Thank you very much. I see Kika's hand. Oh yeah, you know, I always draw things back to the Four Noble Truths, and I always say, okay, so how does this relate to the cessation, you know, of suffering? And I know that alive in Yana, we can water certain seeds and not water those seeds. But can you say a little bit about how we can activate this model toward the cessation of suffering? Well, for me, I activate this model by Again, coming back to my bumper sticker philosophy, don't believe everything you think. So if I look at a situation, I will ask myself, what is it that I'm thinking? What is it that I'm feeling right now? And in a very practical way, my practice


You know, if you say something to me that really pisses me off, uh, I will, I will feel that in an immediate way, right? We all do. Sometimes some people are quick, some people are less quick. Um, but that emotion, and that's just one of the strong emotions. Those emotions are very strong. That's an afflictive emotion. That's an afflictive dharma. And so, As I proceed in practice, I can recognize, okay, this is an afflictive dharma, and I'm really feeling it strongly right now, and I literally ask myself, and I encourage you to do this, this feels very real right now, how's it going to feel in two hours? How is it going to feel tonight or tomorrow morning?


The thing that, you know, when the first impact of it arrives, it feels like it's the whole world, right? And it subsumes everything. But several hours later, maybe not. you know, and, uh, you know, it's like the inner news cycle has moved on and, uh, then I can step back. I can take a step back. So I take a step back and say, okay, is this, how am I feeling now? What's, what is my, what's going on in my body right now? And then in a more, In a less triggered way, I can decide, is this something I need to explore? Is there someone I need to talk with? Or was this a passing storm?


And I feel like this method, the Yogacara method has allowed me a way to step back from the immediacy of reactivity and recognizing that the reactivity is a habitual pattern. And that's how, that's one way I think it's useful. Can I ask also like, so the six levels of consciousness are the senses and the mind, and those are just, pardon me? They're eight, right? Yeah, the first six are the senses and the mind, and those do not discriminate. But then when we get to Manas, that's the ego, and that's where we get feeling and surges. Let me get to that in about five minutes. Now, discrimination happens in the mind. And anyway,


Let me come back to that because that's actually the point that I am meandering towards. Kabir. Hey Hossan, thank you. So going back to your ice cream cone, it sort of reminds me of this one phrase that everything is just a mere name. So I wanted to know if you have anything to... Yeah, I don't, I don't think that everything is a mere name. I think everything has a name. We give everything, let me say this, we give everything a name and without a name, uh, we, that's what I said without, without knowing the phrase ice cream cone, uh, I don't know what this thing is, but, you know, probably animals have their own kinds of names based on their experience, uh, that are, that are probably not contingent on language.


Once we learn language, we can't step back from language, right? It, it shapes what we, it shapes how we think. and what we think about things. So we can't get rid of the names once we have them, but this is what they're talking about in terms of pure seeing, is seeing things somehow independent of their name. And I think I want to return to this later in the series because I have a big question about that. Do we live in that place? You know, and can we actually, I don't think we can live that way for very long, but we all of us have moments of that pure seeing. We have that now. It's not, it's supposedly an enlightened state, but really all of us have moments of that.


I would eliminate the word mere because just using that word has a reductive force. It's like it disempowers the thing that we're perceiving. And in the wisdom of equality, everything has equal value. Okay. Thank you. Okay. I'd like to move on if that's okay. So to review, there are eight kinds of knowledge in overall what we're calling the mind. And in some of the Yogacara texts, that global mind is called the Mind King.


In Sanskrit, it's called citta, C-I-T-T-A. And so there are eight kinds of knowledge in three categories. The first category is the consciousness of objects, And that concerns sight, touch, hearing, taste, smell, and mind, which we will, mental activity, which we will discuss in a couple minutes. The second category is what's called manas, which is basically it's the consciousness of, it's self-consciousness. It's the consciousness by which we impose this idea of me and I on everything that we perceive and that we separate, by which we separate me from you or me from this cup.


which is an interesting process because when I hold the cup up to my lips and I drink from it, then somehow the water in this cup is no longer separate from I, it becomes incorporated in me. Um, so that's a very particular activity. This is I creation, this self creation and everything that we, everything that we perceive is flavored by colored by that, that self, that self-perception. And then the third category is what's called a lie of vision, IANA or storehouse consciousness. And this is the base of all of our, not all of our knowledge. It's the base of all of our experience. Uh, everything that we have done exists as a, uh, a seed in the Alaya Vishnayana.


And so the, the mental process that, that goes on is say, I see something and that runs through the mechanism of Manas or let's put it another way. They're seeing something. which runs through the mechanism of Manas that says, I am seeing something, that then goes down to the storehouse consciousness and quite amazingly sorts through the entire universe of my experience and puts together every likely relevant experience, or every likely relevant perception, and brings that up to consciousness. And so it tells me what I think I'm seeing. And of course, we can be deluded about this.


There's the ancient probably pre-Buddhist story about mistaking a rope and a snake. You know, a rope that's kind of winding around on the ground has many of the characteristics that our mind might recognize as a snake or vice versa. And so we can, We can be deluded by these experiences. We can misidentify what it is that we're seeing and we can take it for real. We can see a rope and scream and jump. Or we can see a snake and think that that's rope and just try to step over it and get bitten.


And we see all these things in peculiar proportion. What is it, and I've done this too, what is it that makes me yell when I see a mouse? Totally harmless, minuscule little animal, but somehow it induces fear in me. And there's some culturally programmed response, I think. So that's really the quick review of the mind king, of these categories of mind. Now, mono-vijnana, which is the mind function that's the sixth sense, is very interesting in that it has two functions.


One function is it has a coordinating function that it takes the information that comes in through our sense organs and it kind of shunts it to the various areas of our brain by which we can discern things. And it does it generally very effectively. Usually, we don't mistake a sight for a smell or something we feel for something we hear. So it takes the the sense impulses that are coming in through my eye, looking at an object, and it directs it towards the visual part of my brain, and then back down to the, to the Elyia Viviana, and it, you know, it says, oh, this is a cup, and it's green, and it has a picture of a character from Monsters, Inc., and I'm taking all that information, and then bringing it back up and sorting it,


in a way that has some clarity and some specificity, whether it is accurate or not. And so, that's one function of mind. The other function of mind, which is very interesting, is that for the mind, the mind itself is a sense organ. And so, the way the external objects are for the function of our senses, our thoughts are the objects of our mind. Does that make sense? Do you follow me? So our thoughts are, I'll explain it a little further. So let me go over it again.


The mono-vijnana, mind consciousness, has kind of the widest range of functioning. It functions in a way that it gathers and discriminates all the sense data coming from the five consciousness. And it also works with past and future objects. So it's going back and looking at the past and comparing what my present perception is to something that happened in the past and it can project into the future like, oh, I see I'm almost out of water in this and so when this class is over, I'll go down and get some more. I can think about the future. So apart from this kind of sorting and coordinating function.


The mind is also the home to. All of our perceptions, our emotional feelings, our thinking and our intention. And so it. It is the the host or the home of all these operations of consciousness. It's all taking place in the mind, wherever it is. I point to my head, but there's some question about where it is. It also may be in all the synapses of my body in different places. And so it also is the home to all of our afflictions, our misperceptions, it's where wrong views arise and those arising views come up through the distortion of this self-centered part of the mind, manas.


So what we're dealing with, because manas is essentially an unconscious function, what we're dealing with in terms of mind consciousness is that this is the way we can work with our afflictions and our wholesome perceptions. And so One way that you can think of it is that the mind king, which includes the six senses, it includes manas, it includes alaya-vijnana. One analogy is that alaya dances like a dancer, and manas resembles a jester who is constantly trying to distract and fool the dancer, and that the senses and the mind are the stage on which all of this is taking place.


And when we get into the dharmas next, the mind is like, you could also think of it as the mind, this monovision is like a screen. And all of the mental factors, the dharmas, which I'm about to delineate, are like images that are projected on the screen. And so, as Suzuki Roshi talked about, and other people talk about, you know, usually, if we're at the movies, we're not really seeing the screen, we're seeing the image, but the screen is there all the time. And it's a necessary, without the screen, there are no images. So, that analogy works as well. Let me just stop for, and just, before I go into the dharmas, which would be the last part of this presentation, let me just see if there are any immediate questions.


Yeah, Kabir. You're muted. Still muted, I think. No, there you go, Kabir. Go ahead. I can hear you. Do you have a question? Let me move on to Chris Evans for the moment. Thank you, Hosan. So it's pretty clear that the first six senses somewhere in the mind body, whether at the toe or the hairs or in the brain, you know, the whole holistic. But the 7th Banahs, 8th Aliyah, how do you pronounce that?


Yeah, perhaps even also the 9th. Is there any indication on where they reside? Those are all part of mind. Okay. Yeah, where that is. We can discuss but they, they, in the entirety, they comprise mind. All of it is mind. That's what I'm talking about is mind game is what is what comprises those, those three. dimensions of mind. Okay, that includes the Amala, the ninth as well? Yes, it does. Not the ninth, the eighth. Okay, but not the ninth. Just to say, because I haven't got, I'll get to this in the last class, some Yogacara systems project a ninth consciousness, which is basically Buddha consciousness. But let's forget about that for the moment. Other questions? Yoni? I'm not sure this question will make sense, but I'm having a hard time understanding where will, in like the sort of Schopenhauer sense of will, and what volition, what part of mind and consciousness does desire come from?


Great. Okay. Let me just take one more from Joel, and then I will answer that question precisely according to Mahayana Abhidharma. Fortunately, I mean, I can't tell you myself, but the Abhidharma, the doctrine tells you. Joel. Yeah. Okay. I'm confused about the relation of Manas and Mano, I guess it is. And that's always confused me when you said that Manas is unconscious. That was very helpful. But anyway, if you can talk about the relation between seventh and sixth consciousness. I've always been vague about it. Simply, everything in the six consciousnesses, the five senses and mind consciousness, is accessible to us in a conscious way.


Manas is like a filter that we can't see that makes us look at everything in the context of me. And we tend not to see that. You can see it once it's been transformed. Then you can see and we can see it. If we look at our senses, If we look at our perceptions, which I'm just about to lay out, as we look at them carefully and in the process of our meditation, then we can, we begin to see how we filter, how we make everything, everything's about Joel, you know? How you make Joel the center of the world. I don't make Joel the center of the world, I make Alan the center of the world. And as we look, we can only find that out by actually looking at our thinking and beginning to see the ways in which that is a distortion.


And that's the purpose of this. Right, well it sounds like practice itself is that seeing, bringing to some degree of consciousness and deconstructing monos. That's true. And for some of us, whatever we call practice may or may not be enough. I understand. This is in many ways a psychological system and some of us need to look at this through a psychological lens. Just sitting may or may not bring us to this awareness. So I'm aware of the time. I'd like to just very briefly lay out these these categories of dormers and I put them in the chat so you can all see it. And this gets to, um, uh, to Yoni's question.


Um, can you see the chat guys? It's not in there. So if you joined after the chat was posted, it won't be visible. So, oh, there it is. How about now? Is it there now? Yes. Okay. Maybe I didn't, I wrote, put it in, but I didn't send it or something. So Yoni was asking, where does will come from? And, you know, this is basically, this is a, the Abhidharma, there's a number of Abhidharma systems in Buddhism. And this is a Mahayana Abhidharma. Abhidharma is basically sort of the Buddhist analytical commentary. And we're not gonna go through this step by step. But what it does is it breaks down all of our mental functions


into categories. And so here you have omnipresent factors, which are factors that are just their qualities. These are qualities of awareness or mind that are true for everybody. Everybody's got them. And so it's contact, which just means as soon as you touch yourself, you feel something and sensation, which is the next stage of evaluating whether something is pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral. And perception is where you begin to discern what the quality of that touch might be. And intention is where, so that's, I think, related to the function of will that Yoni was asking about. Intention is, okay, where do I go with this? What do I make of this perception?


And we all have this, these are all capacities of our mind. You then have, The object contingent factors, which here, desire is actually a positive, the way it's framed here, it's generally a positive quality. It is the, what draws us to an object, something that attracts us, like I have the desire to have a sip of water. and that's very refreshing. It's not desire in the negative form of craving, but you have these object-contingent factors. All these factors only arise in relationship to things that we perceive. The third category are wholesome mental factors.


And these are very, these are parallel. You'll see a lot of overlap. If we were really going into this, you'd see a lot of overlap with the Eightfold Path, with the factors of enlightenment, with the Paramitas. And so we, you know, we see things like faith and, you know, lack of anger, flexibility, not harming. These are also in line with the precepts. So there's a lot of overlap there. These are wholesome factors. Then we have the afflictions, which have, you know, they have, there's six of the kind of overarching ones, craving, ill will, pride, ignorance, doubt, and incorrect views.


And that's a broad category that is then further broken down into these secondary afflictions, which are, there's 20 of those. And if you look at that list, it's like, well, these don't sound so good. And then you have six uncategorized factors, which are not particularly karmic, drowsiness, regret, discovery, and scrutiny. Now, ideally, we should really look at all of these one by one, but we don't have time for that. But I want you to think about that. When I was talking before about dharmas are sometimes translated in some Buddhist texts, dharma gets translated as things or as objects. So when I was talking about the dharmas are to the functioning of mind as external objects are to the functioning of our five senses.


This is what I mean, does that make sense? This is what we are looking at. And everything, basically everything that comes up through the senses then gets sorted and referenced by way of one or more of these dharmas. So when we're doing meditation, one of the activities of meditation, if you're doing this kind of meditation, is actually looking at these states of mind. So for example, when I was saying a while ago that when I get triggered by anger, the first thing, you know, the habitual thing is to maybe lash out at the person I think who's to blame. I think that the Buddhistic approach to it is to recognize, oh, I'm really angry, and to look at the qualities of that anger.


I would look at, where is it in my body? What are its characteristics? Does it burn? Does it ache? Does it stick? and looking at it very carefully both in a physical and a mental way and seeing how by bringing the light of awareness to it, it changes. The anger itself, not the cause, not the person, not the event, but the anger itself is located in my mind. It's part of my subjectivity rather than projecting it externally, which is what I want to do. I really want to do it. I might really want to lash out at the person who made me angry. But if I can step, if I can take one step back or a half step back, I can see, oh, this is, let me see how my mind is working now.


And to examine it by making that emotion, whether it's anger or joy, whether it's anxiety, any of these afflictive emotions or any of the positive emotions to make them the object of my awareness. So that's like a quick view of the 51 dharmas. And 51 dharmas, this is why I was saying this is a map. You can make your own system. And you might come up with more or less than 51. You might see where they seem to be overlapping or whatever. But this is just, I'm not giving this to you as finished doctrine. I'm giving this to you as a way to look so that you can actually do your own investigation and, you know, be creative, find your own systems. So I'm aware of the time.


I see two more questions, which I'd like to take before we finish. I see John Ryder. John, are you there? Hi, Osam. I want to try to get back to the crux of the problem and how it's presented here. And for me, it seems that it's at Manas. It's what? It's at the level of Manas. It's at the consciousness that is asserting the conceit of I am. Yeah, I think that's right. And that it's like in the center of this, it makes the storehouse something small, small in the sense of my view, view of my assertion, it makes that infinitude of the storehouse very small, small insofar as reflecting the conceit of I am.


And it also makes on the other side, all of the contact experience through the senses, once again, back to this conceit of I am. It's really right there for me, the monist is really bringing everything down into what Suzuki Roshi calls small mind. And these two others, these wings, whether it's the storehouse or whether it's your senses in the direct, the directness of the senses has an infinitude to it, an absolute openness to it that the Manas does not, is desperately, desperately trying to keep that page so to assert itself. Yes, I completely agree with you. I think that Manas is also, we could think of it, we're going to focus on Manas next week, but Manas is the five clinging skandhas. It's the delusion of self and it's the pivot point for all of this.


So we'll come back to that. Thank you. Yeah, I mean, that's a really good point to bring out for everyone. I see Jonathan. Thank you. So I know that you said that you didn't intend to proceed one by one through the 51 dharmas, so if this is too in the weeds, please feel free to put me off. But I was surprised to see that the 11 wholesome factors list indifference as one of those factors. I think it's a bad translation. I think indifference is like equanimity, taking everything as it comes. I'm not in love with all the translations. This comes from Tagawa, which is very good, but I don't always think the English is so good. I mean, I think indifference is really taking everything as it comes.


It's what the fourth answer just said. The great way is not difficult for those who only can avoid picking and choosing. That's what indifference means. Thank you. OK. Susan had your hand up. I don't know if you do anymore. Well, can you hear me? Yes. This will be the last question. I put it down because I saw the time, but when you were talking about this investigation that you were talking about, and you're using anger as an example, it seemed like what that is, is curiosity, developing curiosity. Well, it's one of them. So, you know, we have all these overlapping systems, right? One of the first things that, when I first came to BCC, this is like 35 years ago, Sogyal Roshi was talking a lot about these early Buddhist Dharma systems.


And he was talking about the hindrances, he was talking about the factors of enlightenment, he was talking about the Eightfold Path. And one of the factors of enlightenment is investigating the dharmas. And I think that's what you're talking about. Well, I mean, what struck me when you were talking, and actually earlier when you said we need to see things independent of their name, in order to do that, our practice cultivates curiosity. Yes. And, you know, some kind of spaciousness that allows the cultivation of curiosity. But I didn't see those words there. And maybe those are considered wholesome factors. Or they're just not in this system. I'm looking.


I will investigate this for next week, but I feel like it's included in there. I don't know to which – when you look at these commentaries, the commentaries are kind of endless. So they keep breaking stuff down, but I will look and see if that investigation or that inquiry is actually interpreted located in one of the... It's the sixth dharma, the neither this nor that dharma. Discovery is how I see it there. It might be, it might be, yeah. It also seems to me, particularly at the beginning of your talk, when you were talking about race and recognizing, you know, thinking that there's some idea related to race, skin color, that these are really important factors, curiosity and spaciousness, that allow us to take time to see that what we see is maybe not what we see.


Right. And what gets in the way is our kind of clutching at the notion of I. and the fear of what we might lose, what might be taken away from us. And we're gonna go into that in much greater depth next week when we talk about Manas. Thank you. Thank you. Let's chant the four vows and say goodnight.