This article presents the whole content of the public talk Cico gave on May 17 2021.
If the mind is quite busy, it might be good to stay silent for a while to empty the mind first. (Silent audio guides)
The mind is the world. The world is the mind. The world we are perceiving is the inner projection of the mind. It's all from the neural paths, the neural activities.
When neurons don't function harmoniously, which means that there is a disorder in the mind. Such disorder distorts the perception. So, the inner projection goes wrong, the world goes wrong -- all kinds of mental challenges, all kinds of issues, problems conflicts, contradictions. Such a mind is confused.
So, to understand this world is to really solve all kinds of issues on this planet, which are all human issues. This earth, this planet is being destroyed by the self, by the ego, and by all kinds of self-centred activities.
When something is wrong with the mind, the world has also gone wrong. The inner world, the world, the planet -- they are so connected. But when the mind is in disorder, when the neurons can't function harmoniously, all kinds of inner conflicts abound, such a mind is isolated by itself, losing the touch, the connection with nature.
So such a mind is indifferent to other people suffering, to the problem of the Earth, because the mind is isolated by the self, only caring about itself. But such self-concern, and self-indulgence only leads to self-destruction.
To turn inward is to meditate. It's really to see this clearly in our life, see the consequence, see the tremendous issues created by the self – it is incessant, not stopping.
To be able to see it clearly, we must have a very clear mind, a lucid mind, whose perception is free from pollution, free from distortion from thoughts.
To have such a mind is the prerequisite of meditation, and also such a mind is the end of meditation.
This world is full of noise -- all kinds of talking, chattering, not only outwardly but also inwardly.
For most people on this planet, the mind is the words, the words are the mind. The mind is totally trapped in words, in the reaction to words, and in the imagination triggered by words. Such a mind has been totally enslaved to the language, the words and the expressions, It is a “marvellous” sight to see that many people keep talking, talking, chatting, chatting all the time, but they don't listen.
For them, speaking is an outlet to air their issues, cravings and anger, There are all kinds of emotional conflicts, but they rarely listen.
For a mind which cannot listen or see, the mind is full of issues and conflicts. The mind is confused; therefore, it cannot see or hear. At the same time, the mind that cannot see or listen is confused.
To be able to listen, to see is an art -- the art of living. Listening is not superficial listening -- the mind only reacts to words, that's not listening at all. Because that kind of thing is mechanical, the mind is trained to learn a language, to speak, to react to the words. This whole process is very, very mechanical. A mind which is stuck in words is very mechanical, dull.
Listen means listening attentively, the true listening must go beyond the words, so the mind can really understand what those words are pointing to.
To be able to listen requires a very quiet mind. The mind is not caught up in the reaction to words.
We have abused the language to such an extent for all kinds of self-expression, for all kinds of egocentric ends. The words and the expression trigger a lot of thoughts and images. If the mind is caught up in that, the mind can't really see or listen.
Seeing is listening, listening is seeing.
To have a very quiet mind that can enable the listening attentively, the mind must be able to make discriminations, make subtle distinctions between the words, between the images it triggers, so that the mind can observe their reaction to the words without being caught up in the reaction. Then it is possible to listen attentively.
To listen to your friends, people around you, to listen to the speaker, to be able to verify whether it is right or wrong, to really see the correctness or the falsification behind the statement, the mind must be very quiet -- very, very quiet.
To be able to verify whether it's right or wrong, whether it's true or false, the mind must be able to examine itself, understand itself, and observe itself. Then such a mind doesn't rely on any external standards criterion to judge.
For many people, probably most people on this planet, they rarely probably never turn inward, they speak, they judge based on the standards they inherit from the culture, from the ideology, from the environment, which they never examine carefully.
So these people have spoken a lot of nonsense. Their content is totally empty, meaningless, judgmental, biased and also very influential, polluting other people's minds when other people couldn't listen attentively.
When one really listens attentively, one can listen without being caught up in words, one can examine one’s mind to verify whether it is true or not. This means that attentive listening can free the mind from all kinds of influences, because the mind is listening, is observing, is really investigating, and is able to see the real issues behind the words. So the mind can take wise actions.
Such a mind has no issues.
A mind that is listening attentively is a clear mind. The confusion comes out of listening inattentively, out of the reactions to the words, the thoughts.
When the thoughts pop up, when the mind is trapped in all kinds of narratives, the mind can't listen. The mind translates what it hears according to its conditioning, its assumption, its conclusion, its preference, and its idiosyncrasies. Everything has been distorted by this filter and screen.
So, to be able to listen attentively, the mind must make no judgment, no justification, no contamination, just observe, just see.
The mind stays with the problem, stays with the suffering -- remains with it. Never escape, never avoid it, never run away from it, just remain with it, (only then it is possible for the mind) to really see the problem clearly, to end the confusion.
When the confusion is gone, the problem is also gone.
For a mind which is able to listen attentively, the mind can use the language, the words carefully, with care.
To strike a real conversation between people, both sides must listen and speak with attention with care to inquire into the mind together, inquire into life together.
To be able to listen attentively -- the very essence of a simple and beautiful living -- is to have a humble mind. The mind must be humble, which means that the mind stays unknown.
When the mind stays unknown, the mind is fresh, it's free of the burden of all kinds of knowledge and thoughts. Such a mind is eager to learn and listen without any translation or interpretation.
So, a humble mind is a mind that can listen attentively, and humble life is a life that is eager to learn, and to observe, and such life is a simple, beautiful, intelligent and compassionate life.
To meditate, in the real sense, is to have this mind that can listen attentively, can listen to the birds outside, can listen to the walk on the floor, can see the beauty of the virtue of a good man, to appreciate the inner beauty of life, where the self, the ego is absent.
And only such a mind can touch upon the beauty, can touch upon the truth of life, and such a mind itself is the meaning of life.
Some people may ask. How can one end the confusion of life? How can one get a clear mind about everything?
When one asks how-to -- how to have this, how to get rid of that, this asking how-to is part of the confusion, isn't it?
Asking how to implies asking for a method, for a path, so we can follow to get something done. But for the truth of mind, for the truth of life, it is pathless, there's no path to the truth.
It doesn't mean it is hopeless, but it means that one has to observe, listen attentively, to see it clearly in your life, The very listening, the very seeing is the process of ending the confusion of life, is also the process of having a quiet mind, a peaceful mind. It is one process.
But if you ask how, you begin to rely on other people to give you an answer, then the other people become the authority.
As long as there is a psychological authority, the mind stops learning.
To meditate is to listen attentively, and to inquire independently without following any authority.
In the psychological world, there is no authority at all. You have to be free to inquire, ree to understand, free to question. In that very doing so, the mind becomes quiet, alert, peaceful, and clear. The self ends, the ego ends, and life is totally transformed.
So one has to live that way, to verify this (these statements) in person and this whole journey (of living) is real meditation in the authentic sense.
That's also the true message of life that connects you and me as human beings.