keskiviikko 9. maaliskuuta 2016

Morals of awareness

Morals of awareness

I recently came across this quote by the honoured Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche:

"If we lose nonduality, and if buddhism really puts the importance to morality, it will become very dangerous, because then the value of a practitioner will be judged by who is morally good or right, and this is very dangerous. Somebody could be very good with morality, but they may have no compassion. They may not have the understanding of the truth. And because there is no understanding of the truth, there is no compassion. Morality actually becomes sort of pillar of our pride and arrogance. So the whole purpose of morality is again defeated. Therefore, the morality of buddhism has to accompany with nonduality." 

I would like to present a simple exercise for the reader in order for you to discover the source of common morals and ethics of man. 

If you are not famililar with the idea of selflessness of awareness before, read this for orientation.

1. First, sit down in a good relaxed posture. Close your eyes. Take a few deeper breaths if you feel like it. Then let the breath be on it's own. Scan the inside of the physical body. Be alert to notice any tentions. As you notice tensions, allow them to be released. When a tension releases, what is found from the place of the released tension? Look carefully to find that out... What you find is open space. Good. Continue releasing other tensions by going through the whole body space. No hurry, do it carefully with time and everytime a tension is released notice that open space in the place of the former tension. As you keep doing this for a couple of minutes the small areas of open space begins to feel like one unified field of open space that is both in and out of the physical body. Check if this is so. Make notice of this and marinate in that space. Rest in that with time with some sharpness of mind so that you don't become drowsy or distracted.

2. As the open space of awareness is revealed, let's investigate it in the context of common morals. As you go through each of these questions, see, sense and perceive if what is suggested seems true or not. Do not investigate these questions in your mind on the level of thought. Rather, see if these questions can be answered on the level of direct experience, on the level of open and clear awareness.

  • Honesty. If open awareness could think, talk and act, would it act honestly or dishonestly? Would it deceive others? How does the idea of dishonesty resonate in the space of open awareness? Does it match with it? See which idea is in line with the morals of open awareness itself.
  • Non-violence. If open awareness could think, talk and act, would it act non-violently or violently? Would it harm oneself or others in any way? If it had one, would it ever raise it's fist to hurt others from the motive of violence? Would it kill? Does the idea of self-centered violence match with open awareness? See which idea is in line with the morals of open awareness itself.
  • Kindness. If open awareness could think, talk and act, would it act kindly or unkindly? Would it offer kindness to others when it is needed? See which idea is in line with the morals of open awareness itself.
  • Greed. If open awareness could think, talk and act, would it act from greed or  generosity? If it could act, would it try to get more, possibly with the expense of others? Or would it generously give to those who are in need without holding back? See which idea is in line with the morals of open awareness itself.

Through this experiment it becomes clear that awareness itself, which is without a self and is nondual, is the source of common morals. This experiment shows you within your own mind that morals and nonduality are inseparable already. Through this experiment you probably discovered that throughout your life, you've had the same moral values as awareness does, even though you might not have been able to act according to them because of your mental and emotional confusion. 

Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche, a dzogchen-master:

"In fact, all those things that we uncover slowly on the sutra path are actually inherent qualities of pure awareness. The Great Perfection is an effortless path in which you accomplish everything without doing anything. Recognizing the empty essence of awareness perfects the accumulation of wisdom, while recognizing its spontaneously present clarity perfects the accumulation of merit. The union of this emptiness and clarity is the union of the two accumulations. Moreover, this approach is also the union of the development and completion stages that we practice in deity yoga, and of skillful means and knowledge. Once you realize the nature of mind, compassion spontaneously manifests. Seeing the potential that all beings possess, you will naturallyfeel respect for them and want to help them to realize this true nature for themselves. You will also experience genuine devotion for the teachers who introduced you to pure awareness and fully appreciate their accomplishment. So you see, all the qualities of enlightenment are right here with us. We don’t need to look anywhere outside of the present moment."

There you have it. Awake awareness is where the common morals originate from and why they are emphasized by most spiritual and religious traditions. However, how morals are taught, should be direct in helping people to understand the origin of it. Morals are not something from "outside" of us. In essence, morals are not something that we could learn or have to carry with us, although it can be helpful to remind oneself of one's morals when life gets rough. Rather, morals are something that we are already, beneath all the conditioned deluded dualistic mess that has been piled into our minds and carved into our subtle nervous system.

Thank you for reading,

- Baba Kim Katami

 Open Heart,

Read also "Loving kindness of awareness":