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From Mind to Liberation

This week on Integral Spiritual Center....

The Self-Liberating Nature of Reality - Ken Wilber

The Mirror of Mind - Patrick Sweeney

The Self-Liberating Nature of Reality (audio)

Nondual traditions the world over contain formulations which lead practitioners from a conventional way of seeing things to a deeper, subtler experience of that which is.  Consider the following summary of the spiritual journey, quoted by Father Thomas Keating, in the documentary film One: The Movie: 

    There is an Other;
    Become the Other;
    Realize that there is no Other.

In this week’s featured audio, Ken Wilber quotes a similar formula from the Mahamudra Buddhist tradition: 

    all is mind
    mind is empty
    empty is freely manifesting
    freely manifesting is self liberating

To say that all is mind is to know that everything that can be seen as an object is arising in your awareness.  All of Gaia, the entire Kosmos, all objects—gross, subtle, causal—are arising no place else but within your own awareness.  In fact, your awareness is the very space in which all things arise.  You are all space; infinite space is your real mind.  You are Big Mind.  And Big Mind is listening…. 

You have attention and you have focused awareness.  Focused awareness, when directed upon gross, subtle, and causal objects, causes a contraction around them, an identification with them.  When you place your awareness on what you believe to be your self, you contract around that self, and it feels very much like a subject.  But it’s not the self; it's not even a real subject!  It’s the object of your awareness.  The sum total of what you know about yourself is precisely not your self. 

To say that mind is empty is to know that awareness itself has no qualities.  It cannot be seen.  It is the vast expanse of all space, the space in which all things arise.  Mind is empty; in fact, in can be concentrated upon until objects simply cease to arise. 

To say that empty is freely manifesting is to recognize that the phenomena which arise are spontaneously present.  Emptiness is freely spilling out of itself, as form. 

To say that freely manifesting is self liberating is the final nondual recognition.  It means that manifestation arises in your awareness, and yet you remain somehow unattached; your awareness doesn’t seize onto its objects.  The wind blows through the trees, and continues to blow; it doesn’t stop and drip from the leaves.  Freely manifesting is self liberating as long as you aren’t there. 

But if there is an awareness of you, simply let it be.  You can’t possibly get it wrong.  The secret, in both the Western Neoplatonic and Eastern Dzogchen traditions, is too close to get, too simple to believe.  It’s simpler than can be imagined, and always already the case.  It cannot be missed, no matter how hard you try. 

In this place is found the proof of the omnipresence of God.  No human being is God, but every human being is one with God.  Every person intersects God in the Supreme Identity.  And God arises in 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-person perspectives; look all the way up through any of these perspectives, and you shall see God.  God arises, now as IAMness, now as your Divine Beloved, now as the Great Web of Life.  And God sees through the eyes, hears through the ears, speaks through the voices, touches with the hands, loves with the hearts of sentient beings, and nowhere else.  There is no other way for the Infinite to enter the finite world....

The Mirror of Mind (video)

Patrick Sweeney discusses the purpose of practice in the Mahamudra Buddhist tradition, and the purpose of the Mandala of Awakening seminar:  to show the mind.  Whatever the practitioner's reaction—good, bad, indifferent—that is the mind.  Mirroring the mind, practice can help to point it out, and to point out confusions and projections that take place in the mind.

Published Friday, August 15, 2008 9:00 PM by rollie


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