A student asked when cleaning the toilet was he not killing bacteria? The teacher asked, are you cleaning the toilet to kill bacteria, or to clean the toilet?
We live in questions and answers, and this cycle is unlimited; it has no end.
What is reality?
Buddha mind is the end of this cycle. There will always be new answers arriving. It is only when your knowledge mind disappears that you have freedom. You must see your own Buddha nature, and you must come face to face with your own software. Only then will your knowledge mind become calm. We live in an information driven society, but this kind of knowledge seeking is endless, and so is the knowledge seeking mind.
Instead we must investigate the ‘I’ that seeks this information. We will then realize that we come from language, knowledge and software. Then we will know who we really are. In the end, the enlightened mind is us; without beginning and without end.
In the world then, who are ‘we?’ Knowledge mind is ‘us,’ and software is ‘us.’ All of our opinions come from external sources. Our names are given to us by our parents’ choices, not ours.
Our opinion mind leads us to make decisions, such as what movies to watch. This mind is influenced by our background, or our previous experiences.
Where does our troubled mind come from?
We do not need to know why Bodhi-Dharma left for the East. That is his problem.
Is death karma or nature? Karma is used too readily to explain everything. This language comes from before the time of Shakyamuni Buddha. Many people had awakened before Buddha.
Our troubled mind comes from our karma. If you know where your karma came from, then this knowledge is karma. Karma is easier to investigate than nature. There are two kinds of functions in our body. The first is natural: eating, sleeping, sex, feelings of hunger, and so on. The second is our unnatural mind, our decisions and our comparisons of good and bad.
How do we keep our necessary knowledge mind and still achieve enlightenment?
We need our memory for mundane things. However it is important to investigate our six senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, body and mind. We must also know which of these is the best tool to use in order to realize our potential for enlightenment. Investigate the mind first, and then empty it during meditation.
With our knowledge mind and ‘I,’ we make decisions based on past experience. This is a win win situation. We need to organize our lives, and we need safe and healthy information to support our meditation, and to ensure we do not incur risk or cost. We need to be careful that we are not cheated. We may make right or wrong decisions, so we need a dharma protector to support us
How should we organize our mind?
Do I control my knowledge or does my knowledge mind control me? It is necessary to reduce this ‘I’ and to become less egoistic. It is necessary to reduce ‘I’ from occupying 100 % of our mind to say, below 50% of our mind. We cannot forget our self entirely. We must remember our name or else we become mentally ill and lose our mind. We shouldn’t forget our name or where we live.
But how do we reduce our troubled mind? We do our best to become less egoistic. Then our information mind does not control us. Then only our body controls us. When this body is dead we don’t need to worry about anything.
From time to time this enlightened mind is ‘I.’ This mind is better than the body or knowledge minds. The latter always disturbs us. However, sometimes this troubled mind offers us happy things. So both happiness and unhappiness live in our knowledge minds.
Therefore, we also have to reduce our untroubled mind, because this compares with our troubled mind. It is important not to strive for a peaceful mind because it is soon followed by its unpeaceful brother. If we go on retreat looking for a peaceful mind then we will become unpeaceful. We still need to look for food, and our mobile phones will ring. Always we need to take care of something, and so retreat in your mind.
We retreat into our mind as if a scientist has walked back into his or her laboratory. We are like scientists who have gone to investigate. We are not retreating to a peaceful mind, because this will be followed by the disturbances of an external environment. This is karma.
Carry and chew your karma, taste it, dissolve your karma in your stomach. Then investigate what happened. What is inside? Carry your attachment, and your suffering. Chew it and taste it. Don’t avoid it. This is investigation; to see where this karma has come from, and where it is going. Karma is not always a bad thing. For example our choice of society and friends can provide enjoyment and good feedback. Once you have enjoyed your good food you must also investigate this inside of yourself. Students often forget their good karma.
This is observation. Don’t seek and keep an answer and use it to avoid your troubled mind. You must make your awakened mind return, and you pay for this with your troubled mind. No longer will our knowledge mind take over our head. We live with this brother, this poison, this karma of an attached and unhappy mind. These are our brothers. We are happy to live with them because attachment becomes our treasure. Then we will not forget the people who need to awaken, and so attachment becomes compassion. Bodhisattvas like attachment.