LIBERTARIAN INSIGHT

 

                Truth and Consequences

Dharma

      "Dharma" is a Sanskrit term used by buddhists and others to signify truth, natural law, the teachings of the Buddha, and related concepts.  In the context of this website, the word is shorthand for "philosophy" or "right thinking."  The Dharma page of MICHAELSWOLF.COM is a resource for persons interested in philosophy, metaphysics, or deeper understanding of the experiences of life.


      This page will eventually contain links to other sites and internet resources in the subject area.  For now, it presents a few items written by MIchael Wolf that express his interpretation of buddhist philosophy and his interpretation of the deeper dimensions of consciousness.


      Presented below are:


1.  A Summary of Buddhadharma (2011).  This is the original manuscript for the text of the book of the same title that was    published in August, 2015.  The book, A Summary of Buddhadharma by Michael S. Wolf, was published by Worldwinds Communications of Baton Rouge, Louisiana through the CreateSpace service of Amazon.com.  The book can be obtained from Amazon.  The published edition includes a little more textual information as well as several beautiful and meaningful illustrations drawn by Luisa Restrepo. 


2.  Notes on Meditation for Prisoners (2007)


3.  Images of Inner Aging (2009)


         

2.                       NOTES ON MEDITATION FOR PRISONERS

    Most of what we experience can be described as thoughts and sense impressions.  Taken together, they can be called appearances.  Although they’re usually all we notice, appearances are not all that exists.  There is also consciousness, the awareness that experiences appearances.

    Thoughts and the sense of self (the appearance of a feeling and thinking being) happen in what can be called the outer mind, or the thinking mind.  There is really no self.  It is an illusion caused by the thoughts and experiences of the mind.  What seems to be a self is just a series of changing experiences.

    Bare consciousness is the inner or fundamental mind.  It is like a light that never goes out.  It is not a self or personality or memory.  It is deeper and impersonal.  It is the unchanging light of awareness that experiences thoughts and sense impressions.  It is the most permanent and the most powerful thing that we can know.

    The consciousness of the inner mind is always present for every person, no matter what the outer mind and the body are experiencing; but it is obscured by the activity of thoughts and other appearances.  Because of the intensity of mental experiences, we usually do not distinguish the inner consciousness from the thinking and other appearances of which it is aware.

    Speaking of the outer and the inner mind is just a convenient way of distinguishing thoughts from consciousness.  The way our minds work, we cannot really separate the outer mind of thoughts from the inner mind of pure consciousness.  The thinking mind can be called the mind in motion, and the inner mind the mind at rest.  It is much easier to notice the inner consciousness when the mind is still and not filled with many thoughts and appearances.

    If you relax the body and mind but maintain mental alertness, you can experience the inner consciousness apart from appearances.  To do this, you must put your mind in a neutral position in which it is not distracted by thoughts and sensations, and concentrate your attention on the mind’s inner awareness.

    To be able to do this, it helps to begin by concentrating on your breath, following it with your mind as you inhale and, especially, as you exhale.  Following the breath naturally causes you to relax and withdraw attention from the ordinary stream of thoughts.  

    As you follow your breath, you become aware of the arising and ending of your thoughts and sensations.  Little by little, your thoughts will subside and you will become more aware of the state of consciousness without thoughts.

    The key practice is to remain attentive to what is happening in your mind, yet not engage in verbal thinking about it.  You have to hold your attention open to whatever is happening in your mind, yet try to do it without analyzing or conceptualizing what you experience.

    Even though you are being attentive to your thoughts and feelings, you will not come to rest in the inner mind unless your attention moves from the content of your thoughts to the silent background that surrounds them.

    The inner consciousness appears when the mind focuses on the present moment.  The mind can be experienced directly only in the present moment.  Concentrating on the present instant pulls you away from following your thinking stories and allows you to know the inner mind.  Watching your mind both at rest and in motion, getting to know your inner mind, can help you handle any situation.

    Meditation sessions in which one follows the breath or looks directly at the nature of the mind need only last about fifteen minutes.  It is more important that the sessions be repeated often (daily, if possible), than that they be carried out for a long period of meditation.

                                                                     April 30, 2007                                                                                           


3.         IMAGES OF INNER AGING

      Lasting longer and longer,
      mind knows more and more.
      Patterns of growth and movement
      press on, stopless.
      Actions march from start to end.
      Forms transform.
      What grows, decays.
      Every pattern finally ends somewhere.

      Always moving, never stopping,
      atoms rush from place to place.
      Motion creates time and age,
      endless folds of old and new,
      confounding swarms of watching humans
      hungry for relief.

      Endless changing worlds collide
      causing endless transformations,
      endless hopes of new beginnings
      moving through the minds.
      While the trails of flashing motion
      break the bonds of watching senses,
      hoping humans wonder
      what remains the same.

      Underunning every moment,
      present in each sense perception,
      known in every mind conception,
      something universal seems to stand
      unchanging.

      Careful watching slowly shows it –
      clearest when the mind is quiet,
      looming silent when mind is moving –
      something vast and neverending:
      shimmering, formless, bare awareness
      hidden in the inmost silence,
      undiminished in wildest action,
      holding all the cosmic changes
      manifest forevermore.

                                                                   February 7, 2009
                                                                   (For Lessie)