the excluded middle way

Huang po speaks of BigMind

Huang po:

“Only awake to the One Mind and there is nothing whatever to be attained. This pure Mind, the source of everything, shines forever and on all with the brilliance of its own perfection. But the people of the world do not awake to it, regarding only that which sees, hears, feels and knows as mind…. If they would only eliminate all conceptual thought in a flash, that source-substance would manifest itself like a sun…”


“The Master said to me: All the Buddhas and all sentient beings are nothing but the One Mind, beside which nothing exists. This Mind, which is without beginning, is unborn and indestructible. It is not green nor yellow, and has neither form nor appearance. It does not belong to the categories of things which exist or do not exist, nor can it be thought of in terms of new or old. It is neither long nor short, big nor small, for it transcends all limits, measure, names, traces and comparisons. It is that which you see before you – begin to reason about it and you at once fall into error. It is like the boundless void which cannot be fathomed or measured. The One Mind alone is the Buddha, and there is no distinction between the Buddha and sentient things, but that sentient beings are attached to forms and so seek externally for Buddhahood. By their very seeking they lose it, for that is using the Buddha to seek for the Buddha and using mind to grasp Mind. Even though they do their utmost for a full aeon, they will not be able to attain it. They do not know that, if they put a stop to conceptual thought and forget their anxiety, the Buddha will appear before them, for this Mind is the Buddha and the Buddha is all living beings. It is not the less for being manifested in ordinary beings, nor is it greater for being manifest in the Buddhas.”

Filed under: emptiness, form, inspiration, meditation, Mind, non conceptual mind, practice, Understanding the Mind, very subtle mind

Identifying our own mind

To identify our our mind we must meditate upon its nature, its function and its location:

  1. The nature of the mind is clarity
  2. The mind functions to cognize
  3. The mind is located at the heart, inside the heart channel wheel, within the central channel.

When we can attain a rough generic image of our mind, based upon the above pointing-out instructions, and hold it for 5 mins, we have completed the first stage, Identifying our own mind.

Filed under: conceptual mind, non conceptual mind, subtle mind, Understanding the Mind

Six Stages of Training in Mahamudra

Geshe-la describes six stations on the “journey to the city of enlightenment”:

  1. Identifying our own mind
  2. Realizing our mind directly
  3. Identifying our subtle mind
  4. Realizing our subtle mind directly
  5. Identifying very subtle mind
  6. Realizing our very subtle mind directly.

This progression from gross to subtle to very subtle (causal) is repeated in many traditions and paths. I’d like to learn more about other stage models in order to be able to correlate them with the Kadampa ‘Oral Lineage’ teachings on Mahamudra.

For the time being, I’d like describe these stations (and the methods for attaining them) in a bit more detail.

Stay tuned.

Filed under: dharma, gross mind, Integral, meditation, Mind, non conceptual mind, subtle mind, very subtle mind

The Excluded Middle Way

My good friend and fellow traveller, Joty, has recently started a new blog and his first post – a review of some of the themes in Thich Nhat Hanh’s ‘ Call Me By My True Name‘ – is well worth a read.

“Gentlemen, I am from the Centre!” is a wonderful statement and is exactly what Both/And (the excluded middle way) is all about…

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: both/and, conceptual mind, dharma, emptiness, form, Madhyamaka, Madhyamaka Prāsaṅgika, Middle Way, non conceptual mind, the excluded middle, Thich Nhat Hanh

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