In this week’s slogan we will be exploring the nature of mind – Examine the Nature of Unborn Awareness. According to Chogyam Trungpa, “the reason our mind is known as ‘unborn awareness’ is that we have no idea of its history. We have no idea where this mind, our crazy mind, began in the beginning. It has no shape, no color, no particular portrait or characteristics. It usually flickers on and off, off and on, all the time. Sometimes it is hibernating, sometimes it is all over the place. Look at your mind.” And “when you look at your own mind (which you cannot actually do, but you can pretend to do) you find that there is nothing there.”
Mind is both empty and awareness. Mind is made up of neurons and pathways of habitual responses and yet “we” are also aware of all sorts of things – designs, memories, concepts, beliefs. Things that make up experience – past, present and future. Mind makes everything about us seems permanent, solid and absolute. I know who I am because I know where I came from. I know where I am going because I know where I am now. From this thinking – the mind can create permanent, solid, absolute characteristics of self, facts, projections, dangers, etc – that we live trapped within.
Last week’s slogan was about softening around the mind’s absolutes and this week we look at the nature of mind as empty. This softening and examining the nature of mind allows us to become malleable. Loving-kindness requires an ability to bend, to shift our focus from ourselves to others. That is why loving-kindness is so important. It’s not just about being nice. It’s about living in reality – we are all in relationship with each other. It doesn’t matter whether people are kind or cruel; loving or hateful; generous or selfish; protective or dangerous – we all live together and we cannot get rid of or change the people we don’t like. We have to learn to live with the very thing we don’t want to live with!
We are preparing ourselves to be able to do this. Just like when you prepare for a marathon – we are warming up. We are stretching our understanding. We’re getting comfortable with bending, twisting, and reaching. This Thursday we will explore what this means to you. What does it mean to you to be bendable? How bendable do you want to be? What if you are the only one bending – do you still want to do it? What would the world look like if no one bends?