This article presents the whole content of the public talk Cico gave on February 14 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)
Life is a journey, it is a long journey, complicated, full of all kinds of stories, narratives, confusion, and all kinds of immediate issues.
Most of us are busy with all kinds of immediate issues. Every day there are new issues that keep popping up all the time. The mind is always looking for solutions to immediate issues, but all these issues are endless, incessant.
And the mind is trapped in the loop of seeking solutions to all those endless immediate issues, therefore there is no energy left for self-enquiry to understand the greater questions, the great issues.
In the greater the lesser is not, but in the lesser, we cannot meet the greater.
So this moment, can one set aside all the things, to get old energy at this moment, to inquire, to understand ourselves?
Without seeing clearly, we are always creating new issues. The mere seeking solutions to the immediate issues we are creating is futile.
And most people do not really turn inward, they always depend -- depend on authority, depend on experts to tell them how.
But when the mind sees clearly, the mind won't ask how, the very seeing clearly reveals all the answers. Seeing clearly all the questions is the answer. The answer and question are one.
But without seeing clearly, the mind is always looking for solutions outwardly, keeping creating more dualities, more divisions, more conflicts, more confusion.
What is love? Love has almost become a cliché, platitude. In this world, people endlessly talk about love, and there are some holidays, and festivals, like Valentine's Day.
Verbally, we talk tremendously about love, but what is love? If we really know what is love, we perhaps wouldn't have talked about love so much. Would we?
This continuous verbal discussion or talk about love is the manifestation of our deep level of confusion about it.
In this utterly individualistic and selfish world, love is a very confusing term. Do we really love somebody else? Is it a slogan or a fact?
In this utterly selfish, commercial individualistic world, obviously what one loves most is oneself. This only brings about this utter confusion about love. If I love myself most, what is the point of talking about love?
Perhaps we can put the question in this way: if one loves oneself most, does one really have love?
In this world, everyone loves themselves most, if everybody is in love, in love with themselves, that's perfect, right? This world is lovely. But what's the reality? What's the truth about it?
The very loving oneself creates the vacancy of love, vacancy of compassion. Even in some societies, there's no such word that means compassion at all.
Obviously, there's tremendous suffering when one loves oneself most. So, talking about love or talking about the idea of love can bring some pleasure to escape from the suffering that results from this utter selfishness.
When one loves oneself most, there's no love at all, to inquire into ourselves today, we have to inquire into what love is.
Is love a concept, an idea? Or is love something totally different?
If love is an idea, we can create different types of love -- romantic love, this love that love. We always associate love with some images or concepts; There are all kinds of narcissism -- loving oneself most. That's not love at all, obviously.
If love is some images, some thoughts, some ideas, confusion is inevitable.
Talking about love, we must talk about relationships -- the relationship between the husband and wife, between two friends, between parents and children, and between anyone.
What is the relationship? Is relationship some idea, thoughts, concept? Or is it something totally beyond?
For most of us, the mind is always generating images and accumulating images. I have an image about you and I keep accumulating those images about you through my judgment, my preferences, and my tendencies. And you do the same to me. And we do not see each other at all.
We see each other through these images. I don't look at you at all, because I always see you through those images I have accumulated in my memory and you do the same. And this world is doing this thing.
And we have the question: do we have a relationship at all? It seems that there is a relationship between the images I hold and those you hold, but there is no relationship between you and me.
And this relationship between those images implies that for most people on this planet, the relationship is a thought, an idea, and a concept, which have no reality at all.
This relationship between those images implies that for most people on this planet, the relationship is a thought, an idea and a concept. which have no reality at all.
And the love people have been talking about is born out of that. And this love is kind of hypocrisy, isn't it? I say I love you, but actually, I love myself most, I always care about myself most, always me first.
When I say I love myself most. I ask the question who am I?
When I see myself – me, mine, I, it immediately triggers a lot of images -- my position, my house, my car, my wife, my money, my salary, my title, my education. So the self -- the "me" is also thoughts, ideas, concepts.
“I love myself most” is naturally a thought process. Being utterly selfish, and utterly egocentric, the whole movement of thoughts is running around the centre, which is me. And actually, I'm totally isolated by myself.
When I say I love you, isn't it very hypocritical and self-deceptive? I don't even see you at all. And the phrase “I love you” only brings pleasure to "me".
This concept of love is being exploited by the commercial world – buy, buy, buy, please buy it for the one you love, to express your love through the things you buy.
So the mind is attached to a form to express love and this form brings a sense of love, but actually, it's not love, it is just a sense of pleasure arising from this form of buying, which is still a thought process.
The form covers up what is really going on beneath it. So, this commercial world is so utterly superficial, it stimulates you to buy things for somebody else as a form of love, and you take that form as love. And everybody is deceiving themselves.
So what is love? To love is to care, when the mind is full of me, the mind has no space to care; where there is self, the love is not. A mind that is capable of loving is a mind that has vast space.
But look around this world, the mind is occupied by me, there's no space at all for love. When the mind is full of me, the mind creates this self-isolation, which only further distances each other.
And people are living in abstractions, ideas, and thoughts, all those things keep the mind occupied, and this makes it a challenge to physically contact people because this physical connection is not in thought or ideas.
But when the mind is living in isolation created by itself – me, thoughts, illusions, we can't meet each other, let alone love.
All the things we are thinking about are based on self-projection. It is always according to what I think because ”me” is so deep-seated. And this self-projection means that there is no care.
Care means that there is no self-protection, self-protection means that the mind has an image of others, and this image is from my judgment, my evaluation, and my comparison. When the mind is trapped by this self-projection and self-isolation, there is no space for love.
And only a mind which has a vast space where “me” is totally absent can really observe and learn, therefore can really care.
Love is care. Care is love.
When the mind has no occupation by “me”, the self, the mind is in a state of caring.
A caring mind never talks about love. Talking about love implies there is no love. When the mind is in a caring state, there are no thoughts about love.
The thought about love implies there is a desire for love, which also implies there is no love or a lack of love.
When there is care, there is care, not care about whom, there is care. To have care, we have to empty ourselves. Can the mind empty itself? Empty the content of this consciousness, which is me.
This emptying is not an idea or theory, but it is the sheerly acting now, at each moment.
When we inquired together, we set aside everything, also “me”. Or else we can't inquire.
When “me” is there, there is no inquiry. “Me” is always translating, always evaluating, comparing, judging, always dividing. In doing that, the moment has been turbulent already, occupied by all those divisions, dualities, contradictions, and conclusions. There's no space to inquire.
Can one live life with care? Care also means responsibility. When one is caring, one is responsible NOT for oneself, which is the egocentric concept and view, but one is responsible totally.
Can one live a life with total responsibility as a human being? When one sees that one is totally responsible for this utter selfish society, one sees the utter selfishness in oneself.
Can one sheerly act to transform, to change? To live a totally different life where “me”, the self is totally absent. The very doing so is being responsible, and care is born of that.
A totally responsible life is a life with care, and such a life never lacks love. And such a life is really capable of giving love. And such a state of mind is always loving.
It's like spring, the water keeps coming out. And this life is fully alive. It's full of energy.
And the very doing so is meditation. And living such a life is true meditation.
When the mind is in full attention, the mind looks, listens, observes, and learns. There's no space for “me” for the self, for the ego at all.
And in full attention, the mind empties itself. And only such a mind is capable of loving. When the mind really loves, really cares, loving whom and caring about whom is no longer relevant, the struggle between loving this, loving that, you, me or whatever -- all kinds of dualities and divisions also ends.