This article presents the whole content of the public talk Cico gave on November 15 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)
To live a peaceful life requires a thorough inquiry into ourselves. We can't rely on anyone else to point out the issue. It is only possible for one to see the issue clearly in oneself. This inquiry is not entertainment, but a very serious journey of turning inward.
To be able to see the problem, the mind must end its problem first, or else the mind is conditioned to it. Therefore, it's incapable of seeing that clearly.
To understand this society. It's not to read books or listen to other people's opinions or other researchers’ ideas and views. They have no actual value at all for the psychological world. The society is not outside, but in here -- the inside. The mental construct of the society is running in the head of each individual in this society. I can only find out by myself. How can I rely on anyone else to tell me?
That's why this self-enquiry is a total understanding of life -- the total field of life, to see the disorder in oneself, the me, the self, the self-concern, the individualistic thinking. The very seeing of the disorder in myself is to see the false in life. The very seeing the false touches upon the truth of living -- a peaceful, joyful and meaningful life. The very way of clearing the disorder in me is to see the disorder in me clearly and gather all the energy to live a life without the disorder.
The truth of living is living in truth. Or else the truth becomes an idea. It can be pleasurable, but in many moments, it can be difficult to swallow. Idea is idea, which has nothing to do with actuality.
To come upon the truth, one has to live in truth. Truth is about actuality. If one doesn't live in that way, one’s life has nothing to do with truth, even if one can follow different gurus, listen to different lectures or practice different methods, but if one doesn't really behave in the living, truth is only an idea, it's meaningless.
This self-enquiry is not about a theory or idea. It's to find out whether I can really live with the truth. When living in truth, my life is in truth, which is not an idea, but actuality.
That's why this journey is always serious by its nature, because it is concerned about one's total living, how to live life properly. This demands one’s full attention to observe and learn at each moment, observing the total movement of thoughts. In that total observation, the mind transformed itself. Please do test it in your life.
Living in truth demands all your energy, which means that your energy mustn't be wasted in all kinds of ideas, thoughts, gossip, pleasures or ruminations. If the energy is wasted in that, there's no energy left to live in truth. So, the very self-enquiry is the way to gather the energy.
The energy is gathered in this thorough and true understanding of the self. One has to observe arduously and diligently how the energy is being wasted in all kinds of things in the consciousness, where there's always a centre, which is me -- the self, the ego.
Inquiring into the self seriously is to observe, at each moment, the total movement of thoughts. To be able to observe, the me must be totally absent. Or else the me is translating everything into an idea, seeing things through his own opinions, assumptions. And out of fear, the me couldn't really see things as they are.
Where there’s me, there's only self-deception. As long as there's self-deception, the mind couldn't really observe because the mind is deceiving itself. What is the point of deceiving oneself? For what? Isn't it because the mind - the me always wants pleasure craving for pleasure as an escape?
In that pursuit of pleasure, the mind inevitably deceives itself. To understand the self thoroughly is also to understand this total dynamics of me.
Is it possible for one to put aside the me to really observe oneself truly? which means that one must put aside all the pleasure -- we don't deny pleasure, but put aside all the pleasure to look objectively.
If there is either pleasure or fear, the mind couldn't observe objectively. Unless the pleasure and fear, it's totally irrelevant, then the mind can really observe what is actually going on on the mind.
This whole world, this whole society, this whole civilization is based on this consciousness, the centre of which is me the self, the ego. “Me first” creates all kinds of self-importance, all kinds of narratives in this consciousness.
What is the content of the consciousness? Isn't it gossip?
This content of the consciousness centring around me is all about gossip -- economical gossip, political gossip. medical gossip, scientific gossip, religious gossip, historical gossip. All those gossips are centred around me. There are all kinds of stories, news reports -- they are all gossip.
Even in the science and medical field, there is a lot of technological progress, but when one really looks at all these theories, ideas, assumptions in these fields, most of them are gossip.
And such a world is trapped in all kinds of gossip because the protagonist of all gossip is “me”.
Everyone living with me is creating all kinds of gossip, all kinds of influences, all kinds of noises. And privacy becomes very important. If one looks closely much of the privacy is also about this gossip.
Why is the mind so into gossip in all kinds of ways? The literature, the novels are also gossip, strictly speaking, isn't it?
Why is the mind so interested in it? Does the gossip bring about pleasure, also deception? So, the mind can escape from what is actually.
To inquire to find out whether I can live a life in truth is to inquire whether I can live a life without gossip, which further means can I live life with an empty mind, a mind which is free of all gossip?
When the mind is trapped in the gossip, the mind simply can't really distinguish what is really true. All kinds of things are running in the head, bringing about conclusions, fantasies. And the mind is seeking comfort, security, pleasure in that. Therefore, those gossips become extremely important, and in that misperception, the mind simply loses the connection with this moment.
Only at this moment, there's no gossip, isn't it? If I really live life fully at this moment, my life is free of all gossip. Or else life is dragged into the river of the gossips about me and others -- all kinds of things.
If all the energy is wasted in those things, there is no energy left to gather and live this moment fully. To live life fully at this moment is to empty this old consciousness -- very shortly, very petty, very divisive, full of conflicts and problems.
Emptying that consciousness is emptying all the gossip. And energy is saved and can be immediately used to live this moment fully. And this whole process is one process. You can't hold onto both.
On the one hand, I still enjoy reading gossip, taking pleasure from it; on the other hand, I tell myself I'm still meditating every day. Obviously, that's self-deception.
If I can't live my life fully at this moment, meditation has no meaning at all. Meditation is not a tool. Meditation covers the total field of life.
Life must be transformed now: either live fully at this moment or be carried away by the river of the consciousness -- the gossip creator, the story maker, the narrative generator, the me.
When the mind is really able to empty this consciousness -- the me, frees the mind from all the gossip, ideas, theories and opinions, there is peace and joy there. You can't imagine it. The joy of living fully at this moment cannot be invited. created and fabricated.
One can only come upon it when one is really living -- living in goodness long enough, not force yourself to live at this moment for one minute and say “tell me, where's the joy?” Then it is still self-deception.
It is only when one really devotes oneself to this moment fully, without knowing or seeking, only then, the mind can come upon what is joy.
Meditation is not a tool or end. Meditation covers the whole field of life. It concerns how to live life simply beautifully and innocently. It's to really empty the me not to make the me feel calm.
When the me is there, there's no real calm at all. The me is always seeking a solution to all kinds of immediate issues, but without really solving the issue of “me”, the me keeps creating issues, keeps finding solutions to the issues and the me is busy all the time.
You see, all the energy is wasted on that. The very gathering the energy from all those wastes is the same process of ending the me. In other words, the activities of “me” is the energy being wasted in a very conflicted way.
Meditation is all about acting at this moment -- sheerly act to break up with continuous consciousness, where all kinds of stories and gossip are being created.
And in the actual acting, when the mind is perceiving, there's no space for the me. The perceiving is acting. Or else the me becomes the middleman between the perception and the action, and perception is distorted by “me”. And from there the action becomes a reaction, out of the control from “me”. Life is gets trapped again in the me.
Can one really live truly at this moment? With all the energy to live. The very living at this moment fully is the foundation of reasoning for an authentic living. It is immovable because life is purely based on this moment -- the very actuality, not thoughts, ideas, gossip, which are never stable or reliable by its nature.
And life, which is purely moment by moment, is very true, very reliable, very stable. And living such a life, the mind never seeks security because this life, by its nature, is the security -- the real security of living.