This article presents the whole content of the public talk Cico gave on October 18 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)
Meditation is to get a total understanding of life, really understand ourselves thoroughly and see the disorder running everywhere clearly. And this can be only done by being alone, or else the mind it's being influenced by all kinds of views, thoughts, ideas.
For most people, the mind functions with other things as background, and such a mind is never alone, therefore it can never understand life totally.
This understanding is not a theoretical or intellectual discussion, but the mind perceives what is in actuality. Compared to actual understanding, mere intellectual understanding is almost nothing and actually very deceptive. Understanding ideas is rather easy, but to live upon truth, it's a different step. It's the first step, the mind must take, or else there's no understanding at all. “I think I understand” is different from “I understand.”
Thoughts are always playing tricks, mixing ideas with actualities. Therefore, the mind is confused, unable to differentiate what is really true and what is an idea. Such a mind is not alone, it is being influenced by the media, by the government, by all kinds of things running through the world. Such a mind is chaotic and confused, and such life is confusing and turbulent.
To really meditate is really understand this in person, by yourself, and to see the tremendous value of being alone, which doesn't mean that you have nobody around, but mentally you are alone to observe freely, to understand, to see all those chaos, all those nonsenses clearly. You stand alone to find out how to live life properly - a life free from all disorders, and this can be only done by you in person.
Life has to be lived carefully and seriously. Look around this world, thoughts are everywhere. This civilization is merely some thoughts, ideas, egos, all kinds of confrontation and conflict. Those make people less and less serious about life, therefore life is becoming super meaningless, empty, shallow, shoddy.
Life needs a very serious attitude. It doesn't mean that you don't smile. Instead, only a serious person smiles most. Such a person lives life carefully with wisdom, with intelligence. That's the seriousness and only such a life can be really joyful, never lacks humour or smile. In opposite those people who are living a life in a very unserious way, their life is chaotic, the mind is seeking all kinds of pleasure, all kinds of fulfilment and achievements, but the face doesn't smile. The face looks grim and serious, but actually, life is not serious at all.
To meditate is not only about sitting meditation, that's a very small part -- almost nothing compared to this total understanding of life carefully. This requires each of us at this moment to give full attention to what is going on on the mind. The speaker has nothing to teach you. It's you yourself that find out what is really true by seeing the false -- all kinds of false things in life. In the false one touches upon the truth.
The mind needs security, to function properly. So, this sense of security is very important, very essential for a healthy mind to survive and function, to handle all kinds of daily challenges. But what is security?
Without understanding what is security, the mind is trapped in all kinds of ways of seeking security, wanting to be secure to be safe. In that trapping, the mind feels more and more insecure, becoming more and more violent. So, in this session, let's inquire together to look at ourselves slowly and carefully, to really understand what is security, and to understand how this modern way of life is destroying this security.
Physically, human beings are in great need of shelter food and clothing, making life continue. The shelter keeps the body safe and warm together with clothing. All those physical needs are necessary to make the mind feel secure physically. Or else the mind is trapped in survival mode, seeking food, seeking shelter, seeking this absolutely necessary security.
Besides the physical needs, this psychological world is really complicated. Human beings are always craving more than they really need in their daily life. They want better things, better houses, better clothes, better food, a better job and a better car. So, the mind is always looking for something more. Looking around this world, society is merely based on this psychological world. The shelter has been part of the market, to sell and buy houses; food and clothes are also in the same way, we don't condemn it, but when the life is being taken over by the market, the mind is trapped in this marketing thinking or commercial thinking.
In that trapping, the mind is confused. Everything goes around the money. With money. I can have a larger house, a better car and more food. I can enjoy food in a very good restaurant. So, all my security is based on this way of life, this way of thinking – money-minded life. The money can be used to buy anything to satisfy my desire and wanting, therefore I want to have money to be secure, and this psychological process of seeking security starts: the mind wants to make as much money as possible to be secure.
However, the mind doesn't really feel secure. after a moment of fulfilment and achievement, the mind feels insecure again, stuck in the same loop of seeking security by making more money and craving for more things, but the loop stays.
The mind that is seeking security is different from a mind that feels secure.
Seeking security means that the mind is seeking a thought, an idea, an image that can bring a sense of security, which is actually a form of pleasure, but the name is called security -- a pleasure whose name is called security.
“Oh, if I have more money. I will feel safe.” That idea brings about pleasure, but the mind mistakes that pleasure for security. So, the mind is striving for it. When the image (target/dream/ambition and so on) is achieved, there is a moment of fulfilment, which only stay for a moment. Then the mind feels insecure again, wanting to have a new image, a new target that can bring security, which is still the pleasure.
And in this whole process, the mind doesn't really feel safe, secure. So, the mind keeps seeking and craving. This world becomes more and more efficient outwardly, but inwardly, it is the sense of being insecure that drives the mind to be more and more “productive” (which actually means the mind is more and more burdened). Still, in actuality, the mind feels unsafe, unless the mind sees clearly, these mistakes. Pleasure is not security. You can give a name to the pleasure that is “security”, but that is not security at all.
To live life peacefully, which means that the mind feels secure, we have to find out in actuality: what is to be secure? When the mind sees clearly this life of seeking pleasure never brings about security, one will inevitably ask oneself a question “can I live life without seeking pleasure or craving for things?”
Because of that kind of way of life, no matter what I crave or seek, I never really get that thing called security at all. Can I live a life without you seeking or craving? Because I see that craving or seeking only makes the mind turbulent. A turbulent mind never feels secure. A secure mind is never turbulent.
So, I have to question my way of life of seeking and craving something. Can I have a life that is not turbulent? Can I find out how to live a life without seeking or craving in actuality? When the mind doesn't seek or crave something, the mind is naturally peaceful, and the mind doesn't feel insecure. Everything is naturally secure.
This seeking or craving is the disorder of life. Can one see this disorder in one’s life clearly and sheerly act to clear this disorder?
Can the mind inwardly not depend on anything else for security? Except for the necessary physical need – the fundamental need of living life.
Can the mind see this clearly -- the danger of this disorder that has already spread over the world? That's why to be secure is to be alone mentally. Only a mind that is alone can really live peacefully, can really see things as they are, see the disorder clearly and stay away from disorder.
So that's why we inquire, turn inward to understand this thoroughly, to see how the disorder affects everyone, to see how dangerous it is to be in disorder.
Other people’s egocentric life and thinking can easily bring turbulence to this mind, by dragging the mind out of full attention. The mind sees the danger of it. So, the mind must act to properly handle the interaction with these egos, those self-centred ways of thinking, which are all disorders. And only a life that is free from disorder is a real secure life.
Some friend said. “I find I need emotional security in order to function wholeheartedly.”
We have to be very careful with this emotional stuff. When the mind is in conflict, the emotion can easily be challenged. Even sometimes when we really inquire into the mind, the mind can feel some temporarily turbulent (because the conditioning has been shaken), which may also bring about the emotional challenge for a moment, but can the mind not seek this emotional security?
Without seeking means that the mind understands what leads to the challenge? what brings about emotions? -- to see that clearly. In that very seeing, the mind feels secure. Or else the mind is attached to this emotional security, only making life more and more vulnerable.
Emotion is part of our life, but our life for most people has been hijacked by thoughts. All kinds of reactions to thoughts and ideas bring about an unnecessary emotional challenge.
Can we see this clearly? Can we live a life without being attached to thoughts? So, the emotion can really stay in the right place. Then there's no such thing called “emotional security”. The mind feels secure. That's it.
So, all these we have inquired into today are not a theory or a fancy idea or philosophy and none of those. It is a fact that one has to come upon in actuality, which is to really transform oneself so that the mind is free from all those disorders. And all of those need one's sheer action to break up the continuation of thoughts, to really empty the disordered consciousness, then the emotions, thoughts will stay in the right place. The intelligence of the neural system functions.