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Adi & Praja 151

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Adi and Praja

Chapter 9

Issue 151: Kill your mind

And whoever reaches the Self – knows that there is no Self. A permanent Self is an illusion created by the mind.


(“kill your mind”)

So. To summarize this lesson:

We ourselves are a hierarchy: the highest Self, our assumed inner hierarch, rules all and experiences all and enjoys all – it uses all the so-called lower vehicles for its own progress, and helps the elements or beings of which these lower are made to progress to a step higher. You now understand the importance of a responsible mind for us humans: a mind that governs our psychology, but at the same time obeys the spiritual. It rules – at least it should, but often doesn’t with average people – over the emotions, over our life forces, over the body. Isn’t that what Socrates and Plato tried to emphasize more than two thousand years ago? More will be taught in the next lesson, hinting to some practical implication of this teaching.

When Shano walked back from the lesson to his own room, he met the ‘permanence teacher’ in the corridor, with whom he and the other had been drinking tea yesterday. The monk looked rather gruffly. He merely said to Shano, while walking by: “Shano, kill your mind! Going on in this way you will never understand anything really.” Shano was shocked. What did that man mean with “Kill your mind.” Shano had been so relieved yesterday, when he had solved the paradox of permanence versus impermanence. And he had solved that with his mind. ‘His mind was his most valuable possession. What would he be without a mind? Certainly not a monk, not even a monkey. He was his mind. He owed everything to his mind. His whole life he had been training his mind. He was a philosopher because if his mind.’ This is what Shano thought, using that same mind. This paradox was even greater than that of permanence and impermanence, or existence and non-existence. Had the teacher just been in a bad mood? But he had never seen the teacher in a bad mood ever!

It was three days before he met the teacher again. Now, to Shano’s relief, he was smiling, as normally. Shano went to him and asked: “Venerable teacher, would you please explain me what you meant when you said to me: ‘Kill your mind’” And he added: “I have had three sleepless nights because of these three words” The teacher answered kindly: “Just what I said: slay your mind. The mind is the great slayer of the real. That’s all I want to say. Not one word more.” Shano slept okay that night – but without an answer to the problem. Next morning he stood up with a sigh, and said to himself: ‘Patience, Shano, patience … patience.’ Patience was indeed what he needed. Unruffled patience. Perhaps for lifetimes: ‘Slay your mind. The mind is the great slayer of the real.’? What the hell did that teacher mean?

There were, besides intellectual lessons, also practical lessons which didn’t consist of intellectual information, but in exercises to develop the student’s inner faculties. Concentration was one of them. The students had to sit still for hours, just watching what was going on within them: they saw their thoughts coming and going, there feelings coming and going, and little things like an itching nose coming and going. But they just watched all of these things: if they had a thought, they watched its arising, and looked on to what was its origin and development. But they just watched, and didn’t ‘go into’ that thought. The never allowed themselves to be captured by any thought, however strong or attractive the thought was. The students themselves, their hearts, were not the identified by their thoughts. The thoughts, and feelings, etc. were just entities, beings, coming and going. Normally people immediately jump into a thought or feeling if they like it, or try to run away from it or get angry when they don’t like it – even if they know it tells the sheer truth. And if the thought poses a riddle, they will immediately jump to conclusions. The students learned to see all these things as temporary guests. If the thoughts were, from an ethical point of view, not good, they would not feed them, and pay no attention. If the thought and feelings were good, they just watched them smilingly, but didn’t follow them at that moment. No doubt they would come back, and could then be fed after this meditation practice. In this way they learned to become aware and concentrate on the fact that their deeper being was the thoughtless perceiver of the thoughts and feelings. In this way they understood what actually went on in their moods and with their formation of ideas, and they gained, in time, complete control over them. After some training they could no longer be destabilized by ideas and feelings coming to them from other people, and certainly not by the loudness with which such ideas would be put on the foreground. Everything they could clearly see, watch it, and take it or leave it, reject it or accept it, or leave it on the shelf if it contained something what they could not fully understand at that moment, but everything they did with their thoughts was without personal attachment or personal or religious dogmas. This was a daily practice, and the silence inside the monastery and outside in nature was very conducive for this practice. This is how every student learned to know himself – and naturally he became more and more tolerant for the weak points and unpleasant habits of others – seeing that he himself still had so many points to work on. There were many other concentration exercises also. But let’s now go back to the lessons. We want to know the rest of what happens after death and before rebirth, and how and why reincarnation takes place. This was the subject of Shano’s next lesson.

Now follows a series of Shano’s lessons about the processes of dying and what happens after dying from a scientific point of view.

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