Living more free from Delusion

The world is messier than we would like, so we live in delusion, trying to make it the way we would like it to be. We tend to interact with our ideas about people and things, rather than with people and things as they really are. This leads to alienation and to suffering.

In Part 2 of his talk “Establishing and Trusting Awareness” Mark Nunberg provides six simple instructions or clues to help us develop our own Buddha-nature. This enables us to enjoy liberation and freedom while we dwell in the present moment. Jeff facilitated our meeting this week, building on our previous exploration of this topic.

You can listen to the talk here:

I found the six simple instructions or practice clues which Mark provides to be helpful. These clues include:

• Here and now
• Timeless
• Encourages investigation naturally (energizing)
• Leading to liberation and freedom (the release of the heart)
• To be done by oneself
• Realizable by the wise
• It is hard to be open to the present moment in a really fresh way
• There is an arrogant and deluded presumption that we already know the people, other beings and things around us
• We are having a relationship with our idea of someone or something
• We develop distance rather than intimacy
• Our thoughts are more orderly than reality, so we dwell in thought
• This leads to alienation

Some key insights from the talk and our discussion:

  • Our thoughts about people and things are more orderly than the wild reality, and so we cling to them and mis relating to the world as it is.
  • “The mind does not belong to you but you are responsible for it.”
  • Practice isn’t about fixing the mind, it’s about seeing the way things are.
  • Desire is an intrinsic part of life of any kind, but suffering happens when we take that desire as interwoven with an idea of “me” or “mine”, devoting ourself to it. Instead, we can see it as just desire (or aversion if we are pushing something away) and we get to decide if our reaction is skillful or not.
  • Don’t try to hard to be a good human being, partner, friend, parent, etc., because that creates tension; instead, work on becoming present to the chaos (and beauty) of reality just as it is.