Episode 65

December 23, 2023


Consciousness | Ajahn Brahm

Consciousness | Ajahn Brahm
Ajahn Brahm Podcast
Consciousness | Ajahn Brahm

Dec 23 2023 | 01:04:15


Show Notes

Ajahn Brahm talks about the nature of consciousness, the ‘colours of consciousness’ - meaning the emotions - and how different states of consciousness can lead to being reborn in different realms of existence.

This dhamma talk was originally recorded using a low quality MP3 to save on file size (because internet connections were slow back then – remember dialup?) on 6th February 2004. It has now been remastered and published by the Everyday Dhamma Network, and will be of interest to his many fans.

These talks by Ajahn Brahm have been recorded and made available for free distribution by the Buddhist Society of Western Australia under the Creative Commons licence. You can support the Buddhist Society of Western Australia by pledging your support via their Patreon page.

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Episode Transcript

Consciousness by Ajahn Brahm (NOTE: Robot generated transcription – expect errors!) So tonight's talk again, as usual. I haven't got a clue what I was going to speak about when I came in here, but I don't know that before I come in here, it's always people come up and ask a few questions, and someone asks a question on consciousness, and some other people ask the question on different states of be. And of course, here we don't want to make it sort of too theoretical because we want to put these teachings into a real life. So I'm going to see if I can weave a talk about nature of consciousness and the colors of consciousness, which are called emotions, and this how they can lead to rebirth in different planes of existence, a whole lot going basically on the nature of consciousness itself. So let's see just how this talk will work, because, uh, consciousness, the knowing is one of the fundamental parts of our being. We all know that we know. Otherwise you wouldn't be here. You'd be in Calcutta or Fairmount or somewhere. So to be conscious as to be alive, we know that much. But very often we get very confused about what this consciousness is. And especially religions go around talking about a soul or in Buddhism, stream of consciousness. Some science says that it's only just a manifestation of the brain does not really there. And it's very interesting to look deeply about what this thing consciousness is. You all know it is. You all know that you are knowing you're hearing this, but exactly what is it? So this is what we're going to investigate today. And it's fascinating that in Buddhism, 26 centuries ago in India, they always had these six types of consciousnesses. We call them the six senses of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and physical touch. But in India, they always had the sixth sense, the mind. And I was doing a little bit of research, a bit of historical research. You know, in ancient Greece, I used to have six senses as well, the same six, even Aristotle, I found out recently he called that sixth sense that which actually can take all of the objects of the other five senses, of what's seen, what's heard, what's smell tasted, what's touched. We can actually know each one of those. He called it the common sense. And that's actually that's where we get the idea of common sense from in the English language. But it's actually started off as a sixth sense, like the mind. And somewhere along the progression of history, I don't know how it happened in Western culture. We're supposed to have started from Greece. Somehow we lost that sixth sense. I say the West lost its mind. It lost its common sense. And that's why we're here. We've already got five senses left, so that's a problem. And you can see when all we have is what's seen, heard, smell, taste and touched. That's a problem of materialism, isn't it? That's the world of objects and things. Sights, sounds, smells, tastes and physical touches. But it neglects what? Certainly I think what certainly Buddhism says and what most spirituality says. The most important of the senses is number six, the mind, a consciousness that not so much which is hearing as smelling. Well, what knows that you're doing all of this and that is called this sixth sense. Now it is one of the jobs of meditation to actually investigate this sixth sense, the mind. What actually is this knowing? Because when you meditate what you're supposed to be doing, it's not going to sleep. I did hear somebody snoring over there. But we're also compassionate. So, you know, we don't really mind that so much because sometimes people are snore because they're tired. And remember that one occasion you probably one of my favorite stories I was teaching in Canning Vale, the child, I think they call it Casuarina. And it was a high security jail. And so I always had to have a prison officer with me when I was giving this talk. And we did a meditation. And so we're doing the meditation. I heard someone snoring. I thought it was one of the prisoners. But when I opened my eyes, it wasn't a prisoner. It was the the prison officer, the guard. And when I open my eyes already all the other prisoners had their eyes wide open. And they weren't looking at me. They were looking at this bunch of keys. The police officer fell asleep and there were the keys to fate of their. And I remember this very carefully because they looked at me. They looked at the keys. They said afterwards as a very, very close thing. It was, I said, because they thought I'd get into trouble. But sometimes that happens when you sort of meditate, you fall asleep, actually, you lose your consciousness. And that's not what meditation is all about. It's actually being even more aware than usual. And this is actually what happens because as one let's go, let's go, let's go, let's go, let's go. What is one actually letting go off? There are two parts to this thing which we call the mind. And I've often thought about this because is fundamental towards understanding of meditation. Also understanding about who you are. The two parts of the mind is what I call the knowing how each knows. And the other one is the doer, that which does things. One is the passive part which can actually receive all the information from the world. And the other one is the reactive part which responds to what you see, what you hear, what you smell, what you taste, what you touch even responds to what you know. The responder. So one is the active part, the other one which just knows. And what is consciousness is, is just that knowing the passive part of the mind. Now in order to know that they understand what this is, we've got these two parts of the mind and they're so, um, interconnected. And you know this from your daily life, whatever. You know, you tend to get involved in and very often you tend to control and change. So, you know, you go into somebody's house and then they give a mortar fire some sort of howto they should have, shouldn't have painted the walls that kind of painted something else. You go to a person's garden and say, no, you shouldn't have planted. I should plant something else. Some people even come to our Buddhist center and tell me what I should be teaching, what I shouldn't be teaching. Why do you always get so involved when it's not our business? Now see, the point here is, when we know something, when we experience it, we always think we should get control of it. We should do something. Just like when you marry a husband. You just know him, that's all. You don't try and control him. But why? Is that where we get involved in things? We always tend to want to control. We always want to do things. And that is a big problem in life. And too much control, control, control the control freak syndrome. And every one of you is a little bit of a control freak. Now, in order when we meditate, we're going into the opposite direction of being control freaks for half an hour. We're letting go. We're letting go of being a control freak. And that is one of the problems. It's very difficult to do this because whatever we know, we tend to want to control. We've got the present moment, the first stage of meditation, want to control the present moment. I don't have it this way. I want to be that way. I do this sort of be. I want it to be cool. I don't be cold. I want it to be hot. I don't want it to be noisy. I want it to be quiet. I always want to control the content of now, which is fine in ordinary life, but not in meditation. In meditation, we accept this moment as it is. We just know it. Instead of getting involved. Now I see the problem here that too often we get involved when it is none of our business. When it's much better, we just leave things alone. In fact, I think most of the Western problem is we always get involved. We always want to control things and change things and mess things around. If we could only leave it alone, I think life would go much better. I know that this was a story which was told me hasn't been validated yet. I don't know where this person got this, but this still came from a monk. He said that he read in the journal that in Israel there was a strike of doctors. I think for about 2 or 3 weeks. And during that period of 2 or 3 weeks, the death rate in all the hospitals in Israel went down dramatically. Now, is that saying something? I don't know, and I won't get to trouble for that if there's any doctors here. But sometimes we try and control things. Sometimes it gets worse and you know that sometimes it's time just to let go, to leave it alone. There is a great skill of spirituality, but that way to be able to do this is actually know the difference between the know and the doer. Because when they're both together, whatever we know we want to control, it's as if whatever we know, we think we own. Though we own the world. Therefore, because we know the world, we want to change it. If you think you own your partner in life, your wife, you want to change them. If you own your house, you want to change it. If you just rent it. Suppose you had like a like a home's west house, then you wouldn't be so concerned about changing it. If it's your house, my house and you're very concerned with it. This is why in our monastery, we always changed the monks huts around every 2 or 3 years. So I'd never think they owned these places. I even my heart gets changed around. I went overseas for a couple of weeks. When I came back, the mouse had moved all my stuff somewhere else. I thought it was a coup, but it was noticed teaching me that I should also be attached to my little room. Either there's only a next door, but it's still being moved. That isn't a wonderful thing to actually to realize. You don't only things, then you don't control them. You can accept them as they are. Be more peace with them. So the controller and the door at the door is the main problem, not the knower. So in our meditation, what we're actually doing, what meditation truly is, is calming down the doer. Calming it down until it completely disappears. And so we just know without reacting at all. So it is sitting here. And whatever we hear is just a noise, that's all. We don't react. This is my teacher, actually, and I used to say, the noise never disturbs you. It's you who disturb the noise. A pain in your body never disturbs your peace. You disturb the pain. The pain is part of nature. The noise is part of nature. The heat and the cold is part of nature. What do you expect out of life? We try and change most of the time with meditation. Just try and leave it alone. And that way what happens is doing things, controlling disappears and all we're left with is the knowing bear consciousness. We want to know what consciousness actually is. This is how we find out by isolating it. Just like in chemistry, if you want to know the nature of, you know, of silicon or whatever, you're going to make pure silicon without any other ingredients, other, um, trace elements in to just that one pure thing, then you can really know it. In the same way, we want to really just know what consciousness is, what this knowing is. This is what we do in meditation. All they're doing aside. We just know. We know, we know. And that way we gather the information of what consciousness truly is. One of the things which you find out with consciousness has different grades to it. Sometimes here we're we're actually mingling or actually smoothing over the word mindfulness as well, which many of you heard in, in, um, in Buddhism and mindfulness is almost like pure consciousness, which is not adulterated with, with any doing. It's just pure knowing, full awareness. And a strange thing happens when you're to start putting all your attention in just to knowing and taking away from this doing business, you find that you get energized, the consciousness becomes bright. When I mean bright. Sometimes it's literally that's how you experience it. Like the mind becomes almost brilliant, as if you're seeing a light inside. This is just a strengthening of that consciousness. Because what's happening again, the energies which you have so often all those energies get wasted in doing things and controlling and striving. You're nothing left, which is why people go asleep. Sometimes they just got nothing left for knowing. So when they start to quieten down. They fall asleep are poor things. So you can wake up again eventually. So don't have to worry about that. But what especially is that when you actually allow the energies to go into just the consciousness, into pure consciousness and knowing strange thing happens, you become more alert, more awake, more alive. You get energy in your mind. And that energy in your mind becomes happiness. This is one of the great insights which comes from this tradition that real happiness is mental energy. The energy of knowing. And that's why you realize why a lot of people get depressed in this day and age. Because they've got no energy left for their consciousness. It all goes into doing this. Strive so hard in this life, the old rat race instead of the human race. And this is one of the problems that I know we're doing so much even to get here. We have to strive so much. Even as a monk, I have to do so much. But I just said, we don't. Two weeks holiday, two weeks holiday. My heart on retreat. Oh, that's really nice. Not doing anything at all. Just sitting there eating, sleeping, sitting and walking. That's all I did for two weeks. Isn't that very nice to do? Could you do that? Could you sometimes say, oh, wouldn't it be nice to have nothing to do? Give you ten minutes of nothing to do and say, I want to do something. You get bored out of your skulls because you just don't know how to say to do nothing. So this is what I was doing. And when you do nothing, you get bright. You get energized. And I've noticed this so often. Where did all that energy come from? Is the energy of your being. It's not wasted in sort of striving and doing. You're taking time off. You re-energize yourself and then consciousness becomes bright. And when it becomes bright and powerful not only gives you great happiness, but it also gives you great insight into seeing deeply. It's as if you realize that if consciousness is like using a metaphor, looking through the window of your car, sometimes that windscreen is just so dirty. It really needs a good wash to get all the rubbish off all the oil and dust. And once you give it a good wash, you can actually see the road clearly and you realise it wasn't the road which was dull. It was your screen with star. That's what you need to do to clean the screen. But once you've cleaned that screen up as if you've cleaned the mind of all this doing and worrying and being afraid or and being planning and all that sort of stuff, all the doing stuff, you find your mind becomes very, very bright and you see very deeply and see very happily as well. I mentioned this maybe last time. That is a strange thing. Whenever you go on a retreat like I just did. It's amazing. You you tend to not want to eat less, but you find out sometimes you eat more because the food gets more delicious. I noticed that even the first time I went on a retreat. Why is it when I retreats, the food gets very delicious? This is ordinary food. But when you meditate, when you stop all this doing business to mine gets very bright. You find because of the alertness there, you can pick up more of the taste. So watch what I say. If any of you ever go out to a restaurant at night, meditate for half an hour beforehand and you'll enjoy your food much, much more, you'll get your money's worth. It's just like you're cleaning up your minds and preparing your palate so you could really enjoy what you're going to going to eat. So what are you doing? Getting happiness and clarity. Why don't you get that happiness and clarity? Especially you start to notice the nature of consciousness. It's not just one thing. It's six things. Just like the Buddha said, six different types of consciousness. Seeing is not the same as hearing. Hearing is not the same as smelling or tasting or touching, but there is something similar there, isn't there? When you hear me. When you see me. There's something similar, though, which is why we all call this a type of consciousness. But really, what's happening there? And you see this very clearly when your mind becomes very strong and alert, what's actually happening? You're healing something. And then the mind knows it heard. The mind takes up what's heard as its own object. It's like the hearing sense comes up first, and the mind sense comes up second right afterwards. Or when you you feel something in your body, you feel it. And then the mind knows it felt something. The mind comes up next. You see that in the way that our conscious process happens, the six types of consciousness. This is actually what it is. It's a sequence of discrete moments of knowing. First the eye knows, then the mind knows or the body knows, and then the mind nurse. And this is actually how knowing happens. This mind consciousness follows on the other five senses. That's why even Aristotle called it the common sense. It arrives afterwards. Whatever you feel, then you know you felt it. Whatever you smell, you know you smell to whatever you hear. I know that lady coughed. I heard it, and then my mind knew it. And either what you know and the mind knows that you knew. This is a sequence of conscious activity. What it is. In one of my talks, I once described it as looking on a beach, a strand of sand. When you look, if you go down this road, you see that beach. So you think that it's continuous. But if you look more closely, you find that that continuous beach of sand is actually made up of individual particles, and those individual particles are actually separated. There's a space between them. If you look very closely with a microscope, you see those pieces of sand aren't even touching. Between them is space. In this simile, those grains of sand, like the moments of consciousness, sight, hearing, mind, consciousness, any of those six, you find their sequential. They're not continuous. If you look very carefully, you'll find there's a space between them. The emptiness of existence. Now I actually start to know what actually consciousness is. You also start to see again using the simile of the beach of sand. You see that sometimes the waves wash in and they bring all this flotsam and jetsam. I think the word is all this pollution sometimes by oil on the beach. And that covers the sand in this grime, or sometimes another wave may come up and clean up that sand. Sometimes these moments of consciousness are polluted by the stuff swirling in the ocean. These conscious moments have what we call color. I call those colors the emotions. Everything you see, hear, smell, taste, touch, even now is influenced by the state of mind. The emotions. These are. These are the things which will wash up onto the the shore. Which is your mind. When these cells wash up, you see they color the consciousness. And it's interesting when you do this because you start to see that what you hear is not really what is really pure that you're hearing also what you've been conditioned to hear. It is something which you really don't like to hear some type of music which you really hate. Then whenever you hear that, it comes out, that negativity that's not really just in the music, that's just what you add to it. The pollution which covers the pure particles of sand of your consciousness. And there's other emotions which come up since emotions of kindness and love, which are beautiful emotions. It's just like we just washed pure and lovely body, the beautiful sand. Now, this is actually interesting to actually to see this because you find that consciousness is not pure consciousness always has his emotions with it. And sometimes people wonder about what is the place of those emotions or where they come from, because it's the emotional world which eventually causes us happiness or suffering in this world. The states of consciousness. And somebody was actually asking me just to get this white comes out. I asked him about lunch time today. He said all of these emotions which come up that they said they were doing some chanting and they've got all this happiness and said, is this normal? If you're doing like Buddhist chanting, you get happiness coming up and this is good. Should I be carrying on doing this? So this is just like those waves which must be washing over your consciousness and the beautiful waves, because you know that he feels good. It's pure. It's lovely when you have emotions of inspiration, of joy and happiness, whenever you have kindness in your heart and you do an act of kindness, it brings this wonderful sense of beauty in the heart. These are the emotions of positive emotions. I told this lady that when you talk about the conscious world, it can be colored either way with the positive emotions of like um, selflessness, compassion, kindness, inspiration. Peace is a positive emotion and these are ones which we encourage. And you know this because you feel this inside yourself. The negative emotions like jealousy. Now, why did she become enlightened rather than me? I've been coming to this Buddhist center much longer than she has, and she became a lion on her first night. It's not fair. Whatever is a jealousies or whatever or fears or the anger, those are the negative emotions. And this is where we come into the real life, because these are the things which really affect the way we live our lives. We have to know those emotions. No the coloring of consciousness and understand exactly where they come from. And what benefit they are, where they lead to, where they come or where they go to go. Why don't you see where they go to? You, first of all know the difference between us. Call the positive emotions and the negative emotions. It's what they what they result in makes them good or bad. You know, that's this whole, this idea of like good or bad, positive or negative is not something which you learn from a monk. It's not something which is written in a book. Buddhism is not a scripture based religion. It's got its own scriptures. And you can go to the library and get all the books out. But those are only pointers. That's not the truth. It's the menu. It's not the food. The food is what you're experiencing now. And that's why they're just whatever you actually read or whatever you hear from monks like me, they're not to be taken as absolute truths, because a signpost is never absolutely absolute. Proof is pointing to absolute proof, and the absolute proof is known for yourself in your heart. So you're feeding this consciousness. You're knowing you're coming much closer to what we call dharma, to truth, to reality through your knowing. And this is why you know what those consciousnesses feel like. First of all, to get to real knowing of what the emotions are, stop giving them names because names are purgative. All the names have got like carry these, these meanings. Oh, this must be bad. This must be good. You don't give it a name. You just know it. You feel it. You come much closer to the truth of it. This is why in meditation, to really get to know you, give up all the names. So you can truly know how you feel. When it's inspirational things, which is close to inspiration. You can't actually just give it a name because sometimes it's inspiration. It's also love. Sometimes it's this brightness is happiness, it's joy, it's bliss or whatever. Just the names are just makeshift. And that's what it does. It makes you shift. It moves you from the experience. And so we leave the names alone. So we just know we talk about love. Do we really need to know what the name is? We can feel it in our heart. So this is what the purpose of this knowing and clear mind from this is to know for ourselves as a feeling, as an emotion inside of ourselves. You don't need to give it a name. That's why all the books can sometimes be misleading. The greatest point is they're very useful. But don't stop at the books. We don't argue over menus. In Buddhism, we eat the food. And so we actually start to know what these emotions are. You start to feel which emotion is really good, which is really bad. It's very strange that sometimes this means a person has to trust themselves rather than trust the teacher. And I said too many times before that any good teacher, any good guru, is supposed to be trying to get rid of their disciples. I've been trying for years to get rid of some of you and you still keep coming back. I want an easy life. I want Friday evenings off. But what do you mean by getting rid of people? It means that. So you know for yourself. So you don't need the signposts because you've gone to the destination. You don't need the books. The books are there for you to read, so you can know yourself not to be carrying the books on your head all the time. That's why they put together a simile of the raft. He said, like a person wants a cross on one side of the of the stream, or one side of a body of water for another to the other side. When you cross, you can make a raft to cross, but the raft is only for crossing it. Only use it to carry. After you've crossed, you don't carry it on your head afterwards the same way the books are there for knowing. For yourself. Your own experience. And this is actually, you say that all wise teachers eventually give up the books because they go to the experience. In fact, the real book, the real Scripture, is written inside of you in your heart. You are experience. And through this knowing we actually come to that experience, the experience of what these emotions truly are and you'll know intuitively which to the good ones to which the bad ones, because you see where they result. If you have like anger, sometimes we have this strange expression in the West, righteous anger. It's one of these and other oxymorons. I write the word moron because, you know, this is really moronic to actually to say such things. Say it's right to say needed to be told off. It didn't need to be told off, just they needed to change their way. I needed to actually see their thoughts, but to telegraph, do they really need to be told off? Do you need to be told off? So what's it like when you're told off? When you're the victim of anger? Does anybody help you? Every time that someone got angry at me, I just didn't respect them anymore. Number one. And number two. I did not try to avoid them. I didn't trust them anymore. A real good teacher writes for me anyway. Once we were kind, I realized that they had my interests at heart. You don't need to be angry to get the best out of another person to change them. So, you know anger. Whenever I look to, I can never see any point to it, basically. That's my experience anyway. Don't trust me. Then find out for yourself in a way that anger actually works in your life. Someone's hurt you. They've done the wrong thing. You get angry at them. That emotion. What does it lead to? Would it leads to his divorces? Would it leads to his guilt? Would it leads to his loneliness eventually leads to depression. If you get angry at somebody else, you eventually get angry yourself for your faults, and you can't live with yourself anymore. And you can get divorced from the husband or wife he can get. No leave home, get rid of your parents and leave your children. But you can never get rid of yourself. Wherever you go, you take you with you. So you're stuck with you. And I think when you die, you're going to escape. We believe in reincarnation. You're stuck with you after death as well. You start with your all the way, all the way to enlightenment. And so you try all sorts of strategies to try and escape from yourself. Even. You go and get drunk or get stoned on drugs. You're there afterwards and you have to face yourself. You are with you. And so anger eventually gets too angry for oneself. And it's just a stupid thing to do. Why would anybody angry with wanting to hurt someone else? Why would anybody want to hurt themselves? It doesn't this complete stupidity. But a lot of people do that. The even. Why would anyone not allow themselves to be happy? A lot of people do that. A lot of people just would not allow themselves to enjoy themselves, to be really happy and stupid. What's wrong with being happy? It's not against the law. You'd have to pay a tax, a happiness tax, when you're happy. Every time you smile, that's another $0.10. The government, thank you very much, is free. So what we're saying here, you can actually know what the emotions are and their benefit for you. And everyone knows that any moment of happiness, the smile or laugh. So is good for your health, improves your immune system, makes you more attractive. Have you think? So I think I gave a talk over in I think was actually over in Armadale the other day. I said, look, these talks which you give here because you make you laugh and make you sort of happy and make you smile, number one, it makes you beautiful. So this is a beauty parlour. This is not a beauty parlour. Number two increases your life. So it's a health clinic as well. All the other other things too. Number three sort of it makes you have more energy in life. So you create more wealth. So wealth creation seminar here because they say actually that happiness, contentment is the highest wealth that's put in saying so. These are wealth creation seminars. There's so many good things. And you know, it's pretty good. When you are happy with yourself. You can be happy with that as it's good for your relationships. You don't have so much problem finding a partner in life and keeping that partner and keeping harmony in your in your home. Don't you like to be with happy people instead of misery? Misery, guts always sort of complaining all the time. And so this is actually great for everything. So actually you can notice just an example of like happiness or inspiration. Just what a great benefit that is to you, to your family, to your career, to your business or whatever else you're doing in life. So. It certainly is a great benefit for being a monk, being happy and smiling and making people laugh during talks. And people keep coming here and they keep giving more donations. Without that, I'll be in big trouble. They keep feeding me. So it's been a great benefit to me. But anyway, that that happiness, it's it's positive benefit. And you can see the negative benefit of the negative emotions. That's why we call them negative. You don't need to read that in a book. You don't need to hear that. You need to trust that in yourself. But my goodness, people don't trust themselves. That's why they keep coming to places like this to get it confirmed. So you know for yourself. That's basic Buddhism. I'd even say in Pali, Pat your tongue ready to bow when you hear. That's what you just chanted. Those who were within the chanting before to be known each wise person for themselves. To know these things. When you know the things, you know the different types of emotions. When he knows different types of emotions, you know these ones should be cultivated. These ones should be let go of. How do you let go of those colors of the consciousness and negative emotions, and how do you cultivate the positive ones? Now, instead of looking at the results, you look at their causes. Where do these things come from? Why do I get angry? Why do I get jealous? But don't just look at the negative ones. Why do I get happy? Why do I feel good? We start to look at the causes. The effects. Tell us what's good, what's bad, what's positive, what's negative. The causes shows where these things come from. As you start to see where other things come from there, you get some idea of how to let go. Through wisdom. To understanding the causes. When I understand the causes, you can actually stop and avoid the causes for, say, getting angry. One of the ways to stop getting angry is to rest a bit more. Don't be so hard upon yourself physically. We run around so much we don't give ourselves enough time to rest. Not even enough time to play. It's a big thing in my monastery or when I have meditation retreats. I always encourage people to have playtime. You know, meditation retreats can be so serious and some monasteries can be so serious, and they're not fun. When there's no fun, you find the mind doesn't leap towards a task and you find the meditation doesn't go well, the monastery doesn't. So survive. Everyone gets just two tents and upset. So I always like to have playtime. As it would be great in every corporation, every business, whether you're a secretary or a CEO, just like you did when you were at school, to five minutes in the morning or five minutes in the afternoon of playtime, we can go on the swings a bit, have a bit of a lark around, and then afterwards you find out that you do much, much better in your sort of corporate dealings or being a nurse or whatever, if you have a bit of playtime. Do you understand what I mean? You're letting go. You're just relaxing, putting a bit of brightness in the day. Bit of playtime. You find out that if you don't have playtime, that a bit of fun and joy you find. You get angry, you get bitter, you get negative. You even get depressed because there's no fun in your workplace. There's no fun in your home. There's no fun in your monastery. There's no fun in your life. Also be careful of having a bit of playtime every now and again. Sometimes when I first became a monk, I thought monks were going to be really, really serious. But some of the sort of stuff he goes on in the monastery, I wouldn't sort of be embarrassed to sometimes tell you about, you know, when I tell you about our library, in our library, in our monastery, we've got all these books. You've got the Buddhist to particular or his other great treatises on Buddhist psychology. But in the cupboard around the back it's got a sign in it. Monks. Only if you open the cover at the back. They've got all the comic books. Calvin and Hobbes is a favorite. What's the other one? You've got the ludic cartoon book. Great stuff. Max, read into that. And then why do they do this? Why does Sirius and monks celebrate eating once a day? Just, you know, being so severe that we do need to play time. You need to play time too. So when you have a bit of playtime, what it is doing is creating that bit of happiness and joy in the life. It's a positive emotion. You get that less seriousness that this anger, that less. I'll be calling it like Finding Mind. It's one of his other great names in Buddhism. Fault finding mine. Sometimes we develop a mind which always looks for force in things. No, you're not sitting right. You know, you should be more alert. You should sort of be, you know, making that noise. You shouldn't be doing this. You shouldn't be doing that. That fall on me. I shouldn't be speaking like this either. I should be giving a much better talk than this. Why am I giving the same old talk again? I'm really hoping until I've given up that fortified in mind a long time, I couldn't stand myself having that fortified. You might. So we give up that thought. Finding mind. So we see the causes of these emotions. That's the way of consciousness which makes that consciousness move in that direction. And once we see those courses, we can actually stop them because they aren't getting default funding again. What should you do when you get into fault finding? The opposite of finding is metta loving kindness. It's unconditional. Which means you're not actually judging at all. You're letting go of all of that. It's interesting that judging business, the measuring, which is what part of their finding mind. We are great measures and this is that what we've been taught even by science. Imagine what it's like if we gave up measuring for a little while, because that's also what we do in meditation. When you stop the words, you stop all the measuring. Very few people can do this, but it's a very easy way into deep meditation just to sit there and stop all the measuring. Good meditation or bad meditation? It's measuring. Shut up. Even shut up or talking about measuring. Imagine having no measurements at all. You can't find fault anymore when you're not judging and measuring. Imagine what would happen. The mind would stop. Instead of the mind going off into doing things, it wouldn't be able to do anything at all. This is actually actually came from a question which somebody gave a year or two ago during the Saturday afternoon meditation when you had a science background. And so they quoted this scientist, Lord Kelvin. And Lord Kelvin, one of the founders of modern science, especially, um, he's into thermodynamics and especially technology. He said in order to control, you have to first of all, learn how to measure accurately. And that science we've learned how to measure accurately everything. And that's called technology. But I turned it around. What happened if you did it the other way round? Said. In order to control, you have to measure first of all, what happened if you didn't measure at all? He wouldn't be able to control. You'd let go. You'd have no choice. Imagine if you didn't measure. Your husband. Your wife. You stop measuring them. You wouldn't be able to control them anymore. You will be unmeasured, or what we sometimes called unconditional loving kindness. The door of my heart is open to you no matter who you are. I'm not going to measure you. I'm not going to find fault. Find a place. I'm not going to judge you at all. Unmeasured love. That's why those of you who know a bit about Buddhism know that the Buddha called those states the immeasurable state. The immeasurable attainments, the upper states, because we're not measuring anymore. We don't measure. You don't control. You let go. You're free. And this is actually one way of developing these beautiful, positive emotions. You're actually coloring consciousness in a beautiful way. And after all, all these measurements, where do they all come from anyway? Who made all these measuring scales? Hold a view about, you know, I'm peaceful. I'm not peaceful. What is that anyway? Who says you have that scale, then you're not peaceful. If as soon as you start measuring your meditation, it's never good enough. It never reached the sort of top of the scale. There's always another peak, something more. It might, if you start measuring it. Well, you actually say, is this is good enough? Is that this is good enough meditation? My husband, he is good enough for that. Come on. He is good in that. Okay, so you got a full body, right? My wife is good enough. My bunk is good enough. I am good enough. Can you say that to yourself? Stop measuring yourself. Unconditional loving kindness. Then you are not carrying your consciousness with full training anymore. You're finding that this thing we call consciousness is now being freed. When it gets free. If realizes peace and peace becomes happiness. As I said earlier, when all of the energy goes away from doing just into knowing to pure consciousness. Pure mind. Pure knowing without doing anything. Then you're sweet. Then you're very, very happy. When you don't do anything, because there's. If there's nothing to do as if, hey, the world is perfect and I'm perfect. Whenever there's imperfection, there's always something to do. Whenever it's perfect, there's nothing to do. When do you like to do nothing? Now and again. Would you like to have a holiday? Wouldn't you like to be free and have a good rest? Why is it that we can't have a rest when we go home? Because it's always something to do. While your spiritual life can't ever become enlightened because there's always something to do, why is there always having to do? Because you always say you're not perfect enough. It's not good enough. My house isn't good enough. I'm not rich enough. How many of you are rich enough? Text. Are you rich enough yet? How much more do you want? Ha ha. Is your house big enough yet? How many of you are contemplating extensions? Have you had enough children yet? How much more do you want? So that's all because of discontent for finding. And that Carla's consciousness. Imagine carrying consciousness with the sense of freedom. This is good enough. Maybe out there in the world, you've got to still do things in stride. But in your spiritual life, in your home, in your mind, imagine not having consciousness at all. It means you've taken away from this one the doer. And when you take that away, you find how a bit of peace. You're not disturbing the world to accepting it as it is. It's perfect. It's good enough. You're not measuring it. You're free. That's why we meditate. To experience this beautiful sense of freedom, even though there's still things to be done. Not now. This is good enough. When you look at it. This life, this life of yours. How much have you already done? How hard have you worked? You've really strived. Each one of you. When are you going to take a day off? Not a day off. Where are you going? To take a moment off. A moment of peace. Say, this is good enough. I worked hard enough. Now I have to sit down and be at peace with myself. Instead of always being on a journey. Always being on a journey somewhere. Sometimes a life long journey. No relationship. In our career, in our search for wealth. Sometimes you come in here and you start on a journey. On a spiritual journey. But why is it so many people on a journey and never anyone is actually sitting down and taking a rest? When you sit down and take a rest. Not on the journey anymore. You're at the goal. What is the result of a spiritual journey? Skeptics. There's no way you're coming here for for peace and people working so hard for peace. Working so hard for peace. You never find it to stop working hard. In your spiritual life. Start working. Stop. And you find all the peace you could ever want in the world. I'm going to finish off with one of my favorite stories, the story of the donkey and the carrot. I tell this story jointly during the meditation retreat since you are at the very end. This is a very, very strange thing that many times that this is actually in the old books, many times that people, even in the time of the Buddha was strive so hard to get enlightened. They never get enlightened and they give up. Just like the Buddha's attendant Ananda. This tries so hard to get in mind because the story was there just after Buddha passed away. They can have this big meeting. To try and actually get all the teachings together, like a big conference. 500 months met together. 499 of those monks were fully enlightened. All our hearts. Perfect beings. And there was one left out. And that was unknown. Imagine if that was you. Imagine if there was maybe 300 people in this room. And I say one of you is not in line. That's you. How do you feel? Oh, this is really hard. And he was actually going to be at the conference the next morning. And so he decided, right, this is tonight, enlightenment or bust. He really worked hard at night, trying so hard to become enlightened. And this was the famous Ananda, the Buddha's chief attendant, now being with the great teacher next to him, looking after him, getting all these secret teachings, special attention. About 25 years he held out post. And with all he knew, at the end of the night, when the dawn came, he was still far from being enlightened. He wasn't getting anywhere at all. You know how it's sometimes those people who've been on retreats, but it's like meditate, meditate. You try so hard to get nowhere. Becoming here year after year thinking, what am I getting out of this? Getting nowhere. That's how he felt. But he decided, okay, that's it. 108 girl. He decided to have a quick rest for the meeting. And according to the story, before his head hit the pillow, he was the 500th enlightened monk. He became enlightened. Another story. There was a nun in the time of the Buddha, and she is the name was see her. And she again been a nun. I think seven years, and never got a moment's peace trying really hard. So she thought, I don't want to go and disrobe. I don't want to go back to that life. But then I can't stay as a nun anymore. Just getting no peace at all. So. She took a rope. She went into the wood. She climbed a tree, tied one end of the rope to a branch of the tree, and tied another around her neck. And she was just about to jump off. She let go. And she became another enlightened being. Just in time. Now that is not a meditation method we recommend to this place. Being thrilled to not try otherwise. To put this aside to West, Australia will be suitable for sports without work. Now those are two fascinating stories. Why did they happen? And to explain it, it's a simile of the donkey and the carrot, because many of you may have been to like southern Europe, where they used to have donkey carts. And these donkey carts, they'll be arranged like this. Have a cart. And this was actually before they had motor cars. And so they'd use these donkey carts to actually to pull people and to pull, um, you know, produce from one place to another. But, you know, no donkeys are very, very stubborn animals. And even if you hit them, they sometimes won't move. So they have to be, you know, be smart. So what you used to do is they tie a stick to the cart and it would be longer than the, the, the donkey's head. And just at the end of the stick, they tie a rope on the other end of the road would be a carrot, about as no foot or two foot in front of the the donkeys mouth. Nice big juicy carrot. So the donkey would see that carrot would move towards the carrot. Need to eat it. No greed desire. But because it was tied to the cart as a donkey move, the cart would move. Did it matter how fast the donkey went? The cart would also move in front of it. And that's how they got the stupid donkeys to catch to pull the carts. However, they don't have donkey carts in south of Europe now, because now there's many Buddhists who have gone to south of Europe, and they've taught the donkeys how to catch the carrot. Because the Buddhist donkey. Knows how to catch carrots because I know what enlightenment is. Know how to let go. What a Buddhist donkey does. They see that carrion found that they tried it before they walked towards it. The carrot moves away. They run towards it. Doesn't matter how fast they run. The carrot runs the same speed in front of them. So the Buddhist donkey sees that carrot. And runs like hell after it, putting absolute full effort into running after that carrot. And of course, no matter how fast the Buddhist donkey runs, the carrot goes the same speed in front. But this is what makes it a Buddhist donkey. The Buddhist donkey knows how to stop. How do they go? And so suddenly the donkey stops. Now, of course you need faith, because the sooner you stop, that carrot goes even further away and you think that's not working? The meditation doesn't work. It's not for me. Something wrong? I'm doing it wrong. You see, enlightenment goes even further away from your patient. That's one of the great things with spiritual people. They're not patient enough. They want to get enlightened. Now, if this place don't get enlightened this evening, go to some other place. See? And so. But he's got patience. This donkey. Because the Buddhist, he's wise, he's smart. He's heard the talk before and. It goes as far as any cow has ever been away from this donkey. Huge. You think it's getting no effect, getting much worse. But you're patient and then you get so far away, starts coming back again. First. Very slowly. But it picks up. You don't do anything. You just sit there and watch. And this donkey, this side carrot starts to come towards you. And a short while, this bat with no position, about two feet in front of you. But this time it's not standing still. It's not moving away. This time it's moving towards you. And all you need to do is just to the right moment. Open your mouth. You don't even need to grab the carrot. The carrot comes into you. Now that's how the Buddhist donkeys catch the carrots. And that's why. Because there's so much Buddhism in southern Europe now. They don't have donkey carts anymore. They sussed it all out. Now, how do these carrots. Now that's how you catch the carrots. A little lighter mint. You stop. You've already been running so hard this last week. How much? Many things you've been doing. You've been running so hard in life to get your happiness, to get your wealth, to do your jobs, do responsibilities. Now you'll learn how to stop. Consciousness to. And the carrot of happiness comes towards you. Craving the Buddha said desire wanting. It's always running after the carrot. Running off the carrot of life. Nice relationship and a nice beautiful husband. A nice beautiful wife, a nice kids, a nice house. Well, the carrots of life. You've been riding so hard after those things all your life. Have you ever got that carrot? It's always just that little piece in front of you, isn't it? Happiness is almost there, but it's always in front of you, like the coward in front of the donkey. You've been running so hard already. Now you learn how to stop. When you really stop. When you start doing this, the carrot goes further away saying, oh, it's getting worse and worse, but you got a face. You let go and you stay letting go. And after a while the carrot of happiness comes towards you. You realize you don't have to do anything in life to sit here. Like as monks. I don't go out and work. I don't even cook. I just open my mouth. And I don't know how people put food in. My mouth over my bowl. You know, people focus every day in the monastery. Just throw the ball away. It's set up. Guys looking for food. Food comes to me. And this is why, in line with us, we're happy to see us. So you can actually understand the way to get those beautiful emotions, how to color conscious consciousness and the beautiful way and the different realms of existence. This is what makes the different realms because consciousness goes to its place. It fits into certain places. Those negative consciousnesses, consciousness of anger, always go into hellish realms. The beautiful consciousness of love go into heavenly realms. No fear of gluttony goes to the realms of the hungry, ghosts, and love goes since the Brahma heavens. You can see this age of consciousness goes into a different place. And that if I told it as somebody asked me to tell this story a week or two ago, maybe a nice place to put this in. Now, you know the beautiful story of the home of the samurai who went to ask the monk whether is heaven or hell. Do you believe in heaven or hell? And after life going to hell or going up to heaven. And this samurai, many years ago came up to this monk and said, monk, sort of. I know that you won't lie. You're very, very wise. You know, you've got all these, uh, precepts you keep, and one of them is always going to be honest. I'm going to ask you straight now, I want to answer this straight. Is there heaven or is there hell? Some other people. I may say these things. I can't believe them. But maybe you are. My belief is that heaven or hell? And this monk said, look, you're too stupid to even understand the meaning of those words. And courting a samurai. So I am very proud of noble warriors. Calling them stupid is the wrong thing to say. So this summer I got very upset and offended. They said, look, you should talk to a noble samurai like me. And the monk looked at him and said, yeah, you're just probably just a peasant farmer. Now you can't see yourself as a samurai. It's a noble profession. People like you can become samurais. And that was an insult. And so the samurai said, see this sword here? He started putting it out of his sheath. This is so sharp. Just with a quick swish, I could cut off your head. Then the monk said, you couldn't even cut butter with that rusty old blade. And that was it. The sub I got out, his sword was about to cut off the monk's head. He's in, the monk said. Now that's hell. And the samurai understood the anger inside of him. Just the bee feeling insulted. He realized that's what hell feels like. And he realized that there was a trick of the monk to teach him what the real meaning of how it is not in words, but an experience. That's an experience of hell. Every time you get angry at someone, you are in hell. When it feels like. And so this monk realized, sorry, this samurai realized he'd actually found a real monk at last. Someone who could really teach him. Not just all this jargon and mumbo jumbo, but teaching through experience. And so was so grateful. He put away his sword, he started bowing this monk. So thank goodness at last I met a wise person. I understand what hell is, and the monk smiled at him and said, now you're in heaven. And that's why I actually have to help me. That's a conscious state. So if a person died when they're angry, you probably go down to a hell realm because that's where you belong. If you're greedy, you go to the realms of the hungry ghosts because that's where your consciousness belongs. If you die when you have enough in your heart, you go to the heavenly realm because that's where your consciousness belongs. You have peace in your heart. You go to the peaceful house because that's where your consciousness belongs. So all these different realms of existence in Buddhism, all suited for the different types of consciousness, which you can have the different levels of consciousness. And that's how you get reborn in those places you go to where you belong. I sometimes wonder that when I was young in London, because sometimes, you know, if you follow something, you go out with my friends. Sometimes you go out to a pub. No, I'd always tend to go to the quiet pubs. Sometimes people go to these pubs and, you know, they'd always be a fight every night. People go and get drunk and they always have sort of a fight. I wonder why on earth do people go to such places? They go to this place because they want to, because they like fighting different types of consciousnesses go to different places. This evening a lot of people have gone to to Northbridge for a fire, but your consciousness have come to the Buddhist center in on Amara for some dharma, you see. So you're already very close to heaven. So you see different consciousnesses go to different places. And it's the same as after death. What? You know what that consciousness is. You can actually see that the mind consciousness is different than the other five. Consciousness is not depend upon your body. Sight seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching is dependent on the body. Mind consciousness is independent. That's why when your body dies, your mind consciousness is still there afterwards. Why don't you see that? Your meditation. You know what rebirth is as a fact. The sixth house of consciousness is because the West lost its common sense, lost its mind, its sixth sense. That's why they stopped believing in reincarnation or rebirth. Why don't you understand what the mind is? You include that sixth sense. Then you know what rebirth is. You know how you birth in different realms of existence. You know what consciousness is, and you also know how you kind of consciousness with your wisdom. None of the results of kindness. Inspiration. That's good. Cultivate it as happiness, as beauty cultivates it. So the negativity, fighting, anger sort of being mean, being selfish. You know what? That hurts. So find its causes and do away with those causes. So you become a person with a beautiful consciousness. Then you know what happened. You know what it is. So that is my talk this evening on consciousness and everything else. So that's just, again off the cuff once again. So any questions about the talk this evening? Any questions?

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