This article presents the whole content of the public talk Cico gave on May 30 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)
For most of us, such an occasion to understand, learn and inquire is rare. This whole life is buried totally in these superficialities. The mind keeps escaping from one thing to another, constantly scratching the surface but rarely going deep.
What is behind this escape, this constant escape, is the deep fear running through the mind.
Outwardly, life has been good enough, but there is always a kind of deep anxiety, despair, and hopelessness running through life.
The mind is always escaping and avoiding this issue, but this issue is abiding, always there.
As one grows older, the mind is more and more conforming to this mental construct of society. The pattern of this society more and more shapes life. The mind becomes duller and duller, losing this vitality.
But this sense of deep anxiety, fear, and despair is always there, and the mind is always depressed in one way or another, though the mind craves all kinds of pleasure.
Outwardly, one can look very excited, but one can be deeply depressed inwardly. Life is full of all kinds of hypocrisy and contradictions. The mind is conforming to the etiquette of the society to show this kind of decency, but what is behind this superficial decency is all kinds of unbelievable, shocking and ugly behaviours.
The mind is controlling to behave normally, but what is behind it is abnormal.
All kinds of distortions and deformed living are behind this superficial, fragile decency. And this mental escape is the response to the deeper issues that are never examined.
Going deep means the mind remains with the issue, studies it carefully, and clears all the confusion and illusion around the issue. And this requires tremendous energy.
The energy must be gathered from thought activities, egocentric thinking, ambition, desire, and all the rest-- the energy wasted by all kinds of escape.
With the energy gathered, the mind can give full attention to the issues without judging or condemning; it just gives full attention to learn, to look at the problems as they are.
The very doing so brings a different quality mind with vitality with excellent pliability – a mind with vast space, but this is not a theory or an idea created by the speaker; it is a fact.
One must find out for oneself to see the truth of it, or also what is being said here is always an idea (to one) because the mind is trapped in words, but the words are not the thing; one must find out the thing, not the words.
To find out the thing demands energy, but for most people, the energy is being wasted and dissipated by the pleasure-seeking, its ambition, derived from the illusion, and all kinds of desires -- the mind is trapped there with all the energy absorbed by those things.
So the mind is simply crippled and disabled to act, to find out. So to meditate is to get the energy to find out the truth for oneself.
The truth is the thing, but the words are not the thing.
Listening to some words is fairly straightforward. This world, as we see it now, is verbal. From the political world to the commercial world, everything is so verbal.
The mind is lazy, getting its satisfaction from the words, unwilling to go further to find out for oneself what is true.
To meditate is to stop this mental laziness and end any mental dependence. A clear mind never takes any drugs, never letting the drug or medicine alter the consciousness.
Because a clear mind sees that it is very dangerous, a life with mental dependence is the danger.
So to meditate is to end any mental dependence; the mind is looking, observing, learning and finding out what is true for oneself.
In other words, to meditate is to be a light to oneself.
The mind keeps accumulating all kinds of things. As the mind becomes older, the mind is trapped in all sorts of burdens. The burden comes from the reaction to the thoughts accumulated all the time.
The mind is seeking, achieving and wanting, and this is most people’s mental activities in one’s daily living.
The media propaganda is full of success stories to be successful, famous, and more respectable.
This mind is being influenced by all kinds of influences, from the media, from the books, from the casual talks of the neighbours, from one’s viewpoints, and conclusions created by oneself based on one’s own experience mixed with all kinds of subtle influences from other places.
Such a living is confusing. A mind that keeps accumulating must encounter all kinds of contradictions and conflicts. Therefore it must be confused.
A mind that is being influenced by all kinds of influences to be successful, famous, and respectable is constantly cultivating this urge from the mind, so the mind is always seeking.
A mind that is seeking is trapped in fear. There's a fear of not being successful in wanting to be successful. There's a fear of not being respected in wanting to be respected. In wanting to achieve this, the mind fears not achieving, not reaching, not becoming.
So a mind that is seeking inevitably encounters fear.
Being influenced by mass media, culture, and propaganda, the mind is conditioned to this way of thinking -- seeking fame, position, power, seeking success in any form, feeling that this is normal to live this way.
But the very seeking itself creates numerous fear. Though many people have achieved the so-called success -- having more money, a better house, and better cars, the mind is still anxious and in fear.
The mind doesn't really feel safe and secure; this fear is still there in a deeper sense. And the mind is escaping into pleasure-seeking activities to find its gratification, satisfaction, and fulfilment to keep the fear and anxiety out for a moment.
When the mind is seeking pleasure, the mind is concentrating. Therefore, the thoughts that bring about pleasure block out the issues for a moment, but the problems are still there, so the mind keeps seeking pleasure and escaping; at the same time, the mind keeps creating new problems.
Because seeking pleasure is still seeking, and seeking must bring about fear. This immediate satisfaction, immediate gratification, and fulfilment are deceiving the mind.
And such a mind is never patient because this immediate thing --- pleasure is the most important. “I don't care about anything else; I just want immediate satisfaction, fulfilment.”
But this life is in panic, more and more issues are being created, and the mind is merely into the pleasure of all kinds of superficial things.
And as fear mounts, pleasure-seeking becomes more and more toxic and difficult.
Life is in great crisis.
To end fear is to stop creating new fear. That must be the first step. Or else fear is being made all the time.
To stop creating fear is to stop seeking. When the mind sees the danger of seeking success in any form, and all the rest of it, and also seeking pleasure, when the mind sees the danger of it actually, just like one encounters a hungry bear, the mind must take action immediately.
That is, to stop seeking totally. When the mind doesn't seek, there is no fear at all.
But to end seeking demands one’s tremendous and diligent observation because this seeking has become extremely subtle in its utterly individualistic and egocentric world.
The ego is created based on numerous and various subtle seeking activities; the ego is the seeking to the bone. The egocentric way of thinking and living is full of very subtle and numerous seeking.
Can one end it totally? Which means that can one do it now, observe oneself? Observe all the seeking activities. Whether seeking success or seeking something else, it is still seeking.
Can one observe that totally now? No matter how subtle it is, seeking is seeking.
One may say, OK, “I see that I'm seeking success. So now I stop seeking success”, but stopping seeking success is different from stopping seeking.
Stop seeking success might bring slight modification, but issues are still there because the mind is still seeking.
So when the mind realises these great issues of seeking, one must put all the energy into the observation, to observe carefully all the seeking activities on the mind, not the details; not the seeking one by one (which means that the mind is not dealing with seeking at all), but the seeking behind all kinds of things.
If the mind is merely dealing with seeking success, one is not serious at all because success is only a tiny part of the content of the thoughts, but the mind must be dealing with the seeking itself.
Stop any seeking.
When the mind becomes hesitant, it doesn't mean that the mind can't do it, but the mind has fear because all one's existing living is based on all kinds of pleasure, which is also out of the seeking activities.
And the mind doesn't want to let go of the pleasure; that's why the mind can't end the seeking totally because of this vested interest in pleasure.
So that's why this self-enquiry is so challenging, not because it is difficult, but the mind doesn't want to let go of the pleasure because the pleasure is also out of these seeking activities, the mental seeking.
And such a mind has never tasted what is life like without pleasure-seeking. So the mind only knows its own pleasure and holds onto the known, the very limited known -- the knowledge it has about itself.
And the mind won't let go of the knowledge to find out what it's like when the mind does not seek pleasure whatsoever.
So the mind generates a new image about this scenario, which brings about the fear of losing pleasure.
Still, the mind seeks security, so the thinking is still there, and the pattern is still there.
So that's why if one is merely dealing with the seeking partially, one is not dealing at all.
“Partially” means that the mind is making a choice. It's calculating, evaluating, and it is still seeking. Only a seeking mind is doing things partially. Either the issue can be totally solved, or the issue is there.
Being partial is just part of this self-deception, which doesn't lead to any result.
So can one live life without any seeking whatsoever? This also means that can one live a life that ends this self-centred way of living which is full of all kinds of seeking?
To answer this question is not to use words but to find out for yourself, live in truth, live a life without any seeking, and see what will happen to the mind, to the life?
And taking such sheer action is the beginning of true meditation.
Can one observe the total movement of thoughts?
In that observation, the mind observes all the seeking, which means that it is giving full attention to its own thoughts at each moment, moment by moment, to be aware.
And only in that state of mind the seeking can be totally eradicated.
Without seeking, the mind is free of any illusions, any traps. And the mind is free.
But as long as the mind is seeking, the mind is trapped, and there's no freedom at all, with all the fear and anxiety there.
So it's up to you to take action, to really observe yourself without being the observer, being able to see the total movement of thoughts.
And the wisdom is out of there.