Mental projections way outnumber the dust motes you see in the sunlight;
A great yogi knows what appears for what it is.
At bottom, the nature of things isn’t a product of causes, nor of conditions
A great yogi cuts to the core of the issue.
Even a hundred men with spears couldn’t stop the thought-bubbles of consciousness;
A great yogi knows not to get hung up on them.
You can’t lock up the flow of mind in an iron box;
A great yogi knows mind to be intrinsically empty.
Wisdom gods and goddesses don’t say no to sensory pleasures;
A great yogi knows this full well.
The Buddha’s own hands couldn’t block the appearance of objects to the consciousness;
A great yogi knows there is no object behind the appearance.
Translated by Nicole Riggs.
from 'Milarepa: Songs on the Spot.'
"Mental projections way outnumber the dust motes you see in the sunlight;
A great yogi knows what appears for what it is."
How often do I not know appearances for what they are? How much easier it is to know them as mere appearances, the magical display of mind whilst meditating? How much harder to know this whilst in between meditations (post meditation)? Clearly I only have experience, not realisation, otherwise what is so very clear in meditation would persist more outside of it. There's certainly spaciousness there rather than solidity, but when anger arises on occasion, it all goes very solid in comparison.
Interestingly, I noted the other day that I couldn't remember how old I was. It took me nearly 5 minutes to work it out. It struck me that part of that is a very real loosening of conventions. I just don't seem to have quite such a strong hidden assumption around time and space as in yesteryear. Hmm .. that seems hard for others to understand, sometimes.
Funny thing about appearances - they are numberless, as Milarepa says. And conventionally we tend to want to understand them all, and follow them up, and arrange them just so. And yet, knowing the nature of one means you know the nature of them all, and fascination, no, entrancement by them all drops away ... little by little.
"At bottom, the nature of things isn’t a product of causes, nor of conditions
A great yogi cuts to the core of the issue."
I smile now at how I used to think my way round how causality relates to emptiness, how the unconditioned relates to the conditioned, how the so called mundane relates to the transcendental. How wonderful now to have some basis in experience to know these things. Not realisation, but some experience, so that thought no longer proliferates around these notions, and I can glimpse unfabricated experience as it appears, and how it truly is.
"Even a hundred men with spears couldn’t stop the thought-bubbles of consciousness;
A great yogi knows not to get hung up on them."
I used to try to push thoughts and emotions away. After that, I used to apply antidotes to them. Then I tried to transform them. Now, they just self-liberate, and I have to do .... nothing! How wonderful to let go. How wonderful the simplicity. How wonderful to let go, just a little, of trying to get somewhere, and to be, just a little right where I am, right here and now!
"You can’t lock up the flow of mind in an iron box;
A great yogi knows mind to be intrinsically empty."
Unobstructed are thoughts and appearances, which appear as they wish, and disappear again as they choose. Empty is the mind through which they appear to appear, yet nowhere can this mind be found, and nowhere can these appearances be found. You can't stop thoughts coming. In fact, letting go of trying allows them to subside all of themselves. The mind settles when no effort is made to calm it down. Just rest the mind in its own nature, and flow and stillness, just what they are ... are just what they are ...
"Wisdom gods and goddesses don’t say no to sensory pleasures;
A great yogi knows this full well."
Heheheheh .... I had to laugh at this. Why say 'no' to what self-liberates? Why push and pull at experience, when it's all same-taste? Well, because we are habituated to do so ... thinking it will bring us happiness. We think that happiness comes from sensory experience, from lining up an unending string of pleasurable experiences. Yet happiness comes from being at ease with however things are ... without the push and pull, allowing wisdom and compassion to flow forth!
"The Buddha’s own hands couldn’t block the appearance of objects to the consciousness;
A great yogi knows there is no object behind the appearance."
Block the appearances of objects to consciousness - you can't block them. But you can see appearances as what they are ... and know that there is no object behind or within them ... so empty illusions, magical projections, playing, flickering, touching us with their fragrance, yet nothing more than what they are .... so why get caught up with them ... why try to stop them ... why try to force them to not have what they didn't have in the first place?
Beautiful teaching ...
"may I come to know that which I only understand ... and may all beings be free from afflictions and struggle"