This article presents the whole content of the public talk Cico gave on January 10 2022.
If the mind is quite busy, it might be good to stay silent for a while to empty the mind first. (Silent audio guides)
This moment let's truly meet each other to look, observe, and gather all the energy to understand the self, life—this highly complex world.
To inquire to understand, both of us must be humble. Without this humility, we couldn't go very far. The mind is trapped in the known, in all kinds of knowledge, ideas, theories, views, opinions, conclusions, gossip.
For such a mind, speculation becomes extremely important. Being broadened by knowledge, by all kinds of thoughts, the mind is never humble, and this world is never humble.
Where there is no humility, there's only self-deception. So, we keep deceiving ourselves continuously. And all kinds of illusion and delusion bloat the mind with all sorts of issues and problems.
So, in this space and time, the speaker invites you to look inward and at yourself, which requires a tremendous amount of humility. That is also to set aside all the things you have known you have accumulated about yourself.
Throwing away all the burdens is the starting point of this humility. The mind stays unknown to look at ourselves without any judgment, theories, or conclusions. Just look at things as they are. See the reactions, see the emotions. Can you just watch and observe without doing anything?
This humble and authentic inquiry requires tremendous energy. The energy is used to empty everything. Or else the energy is being used to continue the ego stuff, to build up more and more ego things.
That's why this moment, let's gather energy together, really use all the energy to observe with this intensity, with care.
So, we can start this journey together. And the very doing so is already part of meditation.
Observing life, the mind, and the world objectively is meditation, but this objectivity never comes easy. Where there is me, there's no objectivity. Everything becomes so subjective.
Look at this world -- all kinds of opinions, views, ideas, ongoing discussions and arguments, almost everybody is so personal.
Being personal means being subjective. Almost everyone is trapped in their own world -- subjective world, but to understand is to observe objectively.
And in this individualistic world, being objective is more and more challenging than ever. The mind is confused because everyone is so personal, so individual, so subjective, so judgmental, creating all kinds of contradicting views that border on nonsense, still those views keep being spread all over the place.
The mind is confused, deeply confused, with all kinds of suffering, uncertainty, anxiety, fear, anger, loneliness – all sorts of things that result from this confusion.
To clear the confusion is not to resort to new theories, ideas or philosophies, which is futile.
To clear the confusion, one must understand the confusion. The answer is in confusion itself, not somewhere else, which means one must understand the confusion.
People tend to run away from confusion into entertainment and pleasure-seeking things, but the confusion is there until we observe directly, which must be very objective.
Without confusion, there's only clarity. When the mind is clear, sane and sharp, there are no issues.
I understand life. I know how to live. I know how dangerous it is to live in such a chaotic and turbulent world, but the mind is clear. I have no issues. Therefore, I can handle all the issues.
Or else the mind is confused, and the mind is full of issues. How can a mind with issues confront issues? The result is not surprising; such a mind creates more issues because the mind with issues handles the issues through its own issues, only creating more issues. That is obvious.
So, can the mind have no issues? Can I set aside everything else so I can investigate the confusion -- why am I confused?
Understanding this confusion deeply requires very diligent observation, and you have to be objective.
But when the ego is there, you can't observe objectively because the self, the ego is translating. The self is very cunning, always wanting to escape. That's why, while translating according to its own conditioning, the mind simply can't observe.
To be objective, I have to understand myself and understand the ego. I must deal with it first because I realize that I can't be objective when the ego is there.
So to clear the confusion is to understand the confusion, that is to observe objectively, but where there's me, there's no objectivity.
Therefore, the mind must study itself first, then me, the ego, the self. Or else the mind cannot be objective.
To understand why I can't be objective, I need to watch myself -- watch my reaction to everything, observe the total movement of thoughts -- observe my response to words, thoughts, and images.
Why does the mind react so quickly? I need to watch closely, that is, to give full attention to the mind without any judgment or condemnation. I don't say it's right or wrong, but I need to observe my reaction.
So, with full attention, everything becomes slow. Observe the reaction, observe the relation between the reaction and fear.
When I see when the mind doesn't react, there's no fear at all. Fear is a mere reaction to thoughts. In that very observation, there is understanding.
So in my life, at each moment, the mind observes all the reactions in each word it says and hears in each thing it does. The mind observes with full attention.
There is no observer because the observer is still me, the self. Where there is the observer, which is me, there's only self-deception. Of course, the mind couldn't observe objectively.
There's only observation without this sense of me. You can do it now, to feel it: just look and observe without any sense of me. Just observe the mind, observe how the reaction brings about this sense of me.
When the mind doesn't react, there's no space for me at all, so the “me” is out of the reaction to thoughts, ideas, opinions, conclusions, prejudgment, concepts, possession, ownership - this is my place, my work, my house.
All those thoughts with their reaction to them bring such a sense of me, and that very sense of me makes the mind unable to observe objectively.
So, can I think and look without this sense of me? Can you do that? Yes, you can, 100%. You begin to be very alert to all thoughts and thinking when you do that.
You know that thinking and thoughts can easily bring about a sense of me. So the mind is very alert, very sensitive.
I must think carefully, with care, because thoughts can easily go crazy and easily bring such things for me, which means that at each moment of life, I must be very careful in thinking --- I must observe and watch the thought.
That is, the mind is observing the thinking.
From each word I say, I must be very careful to speak in a way without triggering the sense of me.
For every word I hear, I must be very cautious not to react to the words – the reactions can easily bring about a sense of me.
And when you are doing so, life becomes very careful, and you become more and more sensitive, not only to the thoughts inside the mind but also to everything around you.
And that sensitivity is the starting point of intelligence and wisdom.
Thoughts are incredibly cunning and deceptive, so we must be very careful about every word we say, every sentence we speak, and every thought we use.
And such care brings a very different energy to life, and such care demolishes the wall created by the self, and the mind is beginning to be able to observe life objectively.
I don't need to follow anybody else; I, the ego, and the self is a book I can learn and study.
Without this boundary between you and me, the mind can observe freely, to understand why this society becomes so ugly, so degenerate, so immoral, it begins to understand why nonsense is all over the place, and it begins to find out my own issues are not my issues at all.
They are not unique. Everybody suffers from the ego, the self.
This self-discovery brings more insight than anything being inquired about now through words. You have to do it in person to look -- look beyond yourself.
In this very individualistic world, we only look at ourselves, but doing so is a trap because we are subjective, and the analysis is only limited to myself, which is a fragmented view.
Unless I let go of the self and demolish the wall, I can observe everything totally -- to have this totality.
Only when the mind is really objective, where me is totally absent, the mind comes upon with totality.
Objectivity and totality always go hand in hand. Without totality, the general notion of objectivity is a self-deception.
When the mind is no longer limited to a corner, no longer limited to a fragment -- the fragment is me, the self, the thoughts, the mind can go through all the fragments to stay one.
But when the “me” is here, there is no totality but fragments. Any analysis within the fragment is never complete, only creating more confusion and issues, and the mind is so chattering.
The truth of living is something sacred or eternal that human beings have been searching for for thousands of years; it is not something there in a faraway place, but only here in the brain.
To come upon that truth, what one actually needs to do is to give full attention, observe, learn, stay in totality, and stay objective.
And the mind is very sharp, very clear. And you must test it out by yourself, and life starts from there. The mind stays as a whole -- no fragments; therefore, there is no conflict or confusion.
The mind is free of all issues, and such a mind has a vast space. There's freedom there, and the mind is innocent.
With such a mind, you can handle all the life challenges and really meet issues afresh. Issues can only be solved when they are met afresh.
We enquire together, but we don't use any new theory -- no theories at all. To make sense of what the speaker has said, you need to observe yourself, no need to agree or disagree with the verbal things, which is meaningless, but you are observing yourself to find out for yourself.
All of those that one has gone through point to true meditation. It's neither a religion nor a path.
It's not a way of living. It is living -- the authentic life, the essence of life.