Is your ‘inner self’ mind or heart or heart-mind?

EXPLANATION OF ‘HEART-MIND’ – OUR INTERIORITY – EXTRACT FROM DOCTORAL THESIS

My answer is the human spirit – her own and her pupils. How might we construe that spirit? My answer is as the flow of ‘spirit-as-the-life-force’ (chi?)

One analogy for the ‘flow of spirit-as-the-life-force’ is water flowing. Another analogy lies in the flow of energy as dancer dances. Another metaphor for ‘the flow of spirit-as-the-life-force’ is that of white light. These metaphors are the opposite of the mechanistic ‘human-as-computers’ or the older ‘humans-as-machines’ metaphors.

Since I see teachers as ‘developers of consciousness’ I here am focusing on the idea of the life-force, in a normal person, culminating in (raised) consciousness. I also use the term interiority to refer to consciousness. By interiority I mean ‘affective awareness’ and ‘moral awareness’ as well as ‘cognitive awareness’ – hence my preference for ‘heart-mind’ as a term for interiority.

I am grateful to Martin Cortazzi for pointing out that a unitive presentation of heart-mind has a long history. He tells me that heart-mind corresponds to ‘xin’ in Chinese, (sometimes transcribed as ‘hsin’). (Professor Peter Harvey of the University of Sunderland also points out that ‘citta’ in Sanskrit, as used in Indian Buddhism, has the same meaning)

Hansen (1989 p. 97) explains that ‘We use ‘heart-mind’ to translate xin. This is because the philosophical psychology of ancient China did not use a cognitive/affective contrast in their talk of well-honed human performance…’

He also points out (1992 p. 20) that ‘The common translation of xin as heart-mind reflects the blending of belief and desire (thought and feeling, ideas and emotions) into a single complex dispositional potential.’
Tu ( 1985 p. 32) provides further evidence in saying:

…the Confucian hsin [xin] must be glossed as ‘heart-mind’ because it involves both cognitive & affective dimensions of human relations. This ‘fruitful ambiguity’ is perhaps the result of a deliberate refusal rather than an unintended failure to make a sharp distinction between conscience & consciousness. To Yang-Ming [Wang Yang-Ming, neo-Confucian philosopher 1477-1529] consciousness as cognition & conscience as affection are not two separable functions of the mind. Rather, they are integral aspects of a dynamic process whereby man becomes aware of himself as a moral being. Indeed, the source of morality depends on their inseparability in a pre-reflective faculty.

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Bill Carey: The Cornerstone of Reality is Consciousness & the Zen Gateless Gate

I came across an interesting insight by Bill carey on consciousness. Consciousness is a synonym for awareness for some writers on spirituality. My simple distinction is between the physical consciousness and the spiritual awareness. Awareness can be difficult to explain in a Nondual context. “Rupert Spira says;

“By ‘Awareness’ I mean whatever it is that is aware of our experience. By ‘mind’ I mean thoughts and images (although in a wider context I sometimes use the term to include feelings, sensations and perceptions as well.)”

The Bill Carey piece;

“Finally, I came to understand the nature of reality, whose cornerstone
is consciousness:

(a) it is created by the delimitation of perceptual chaos through agreement;

(b) it is unique to each individual; and

(c) we create a cultural consensus regarding the content of “reality”
using language as our tool.

Language is our willed abstraction of our experience, just as identity
is our willed abstraction of what some call “the ground of being.” A
visceral understanding and utilization of these insights constitutes,
in a real sense, the abandonment of all paradigms; at that instant,
one steps through what Zen calls “the gateless gate” (a one-way
passage, by the way.)

But everybody’s got to do it by themselves, because it isn’t teachable
in any current sense of the word, since language merely abstracts the
experience rather than describes it. Yet the experience is available
to everyone. Once again, Zen:

“It is too clear, and so it is hard to see. A dunce once searched for
a fire with a lighted lantern.

Had he known what fire was, he could have cooked his rice much
sooner.” ”

http://www.firedocs.com/carey/happen.html

“Who Is The Experiencer?” asks Echart Tolle

Who Is The Experiencer?

‘What you see and hear, taste, touch, and smell are, of course, sense objects. They are what you experience. But who is the subject, the experiencer?

If you now say, for example, “Well, of course, I, Jane Smith, senior accountant, forty-five years old, divorced, mother of two, American, am the subject, the experiencer,” you are mistaken. Jane Smith and whatever else becomes identified with the mental concept of Jane Smith are all objects of experience, not the experiencing subject.

Every experience has three possible ingredients: sense perceptions, thoughts or mental images, and emotions. Jane Smith, senior accountant, forty-five years old, mother of two, divorced, American — these are all thoughts and therefore part of what you experience the moment you have these thoughts. They and whatever else you can say and think about yourself are objects, not the subject. They are experience, not the experiencer.

You can add a thousand more definitions (thoughts) of who you are and by doing so will certainly increase the complexity of the experience of yourself (as well as your psychiatrist’s income) but, in this way, you will not end up with the subject, the experiencer who is prior to all experience but without whom there would be no experience.

So who is the experiencer? You are. And who are you? Consciousness. And what is Consciousness? This question cannot be answered. The moment you answer it, you have falsified it, made it into another object.

Consciousness, the traditional word for which is Spirit, cannot be known in the normal sense of the word, and seeking it is futile. All knowing is within the realm of duality — subject and object, the knower and the known. The subject, the I, the knower without which nothing could be known, perceived, thought, or felt, must remain forever unknowable.

This is because the I has no form. Only forms can be known, and yet without the formless dimension, the world of form could not be. It is the luminous space in which the world arises and subsides.

That space is the life that I Am. It is timeless. I Am timeless, eternal. What happens in that space is relative and temporary: pleasure and pain, gain and loss, birth and death.

The greatest impediment to the discovery of inner space, the greatest impediment to finding the experiencer, is to become so enthralled by the experience that you lose yourself in it. It means consciousness is lost in its own dream. You get taken in by every thought, every emotion, and every experience to such a degree that you are in fact in a dreamlike state. This has been the normal state of humanity for thousands of years.

Although you cannot know consciousness, you can become conscious of it as yourself. You can sense it directly in any situation, no matter where you are. You can sense it here and now as your very Presence, the inner space in which the words on this page are perceived and become thoughts. It is the underlying I Am.

The words you are reading and thinking are the foreground, and the I Am is the substratum, the underlying background to every experience, thought, feeling.’

by Eckhart Tolle – From his book, A New Earth, Page 241.

Rupert Spira: a beautiful, kind piece of teaching on awareness, presence and our true Self – and simplicity.

Tommy: Do you think that I should begin with a more concrete practice such as “following the breath” or yoga in order to develop more clarity and presence in order to carry out these more subtle practices/explorations?

Rupert No. You are already Presence. You cannot develop that. It is your birthright. It is You. As regards more clarity, what will help is simple looking and simple seeing.

If you are feeling depressed do whatever is necessary in your case to bring yourself to a more neutral place. Be gentle with yourself. Go for a walk. See a friend….whatever helps you.

When you are feeling stable enquire into your true nature and see that you are this Knowing Presence that is experiencing whatever appearances of the mind, body and world are present. Be that knowingly. Rest as that. Be very loving, as this Presence, with all appearances, especially your own feelings of resistance. Be yourself and allow them to be.

Your subconscious mind and meditation using a mantra

Federico Racchi has an interesting blog and an article entitled ‘How to Train your Subconscious Mind’.

In the section concerning training the subconscious mind via meditation he says;

“Meditation is one of the best ways to learn to focus your mind while increasing your awareness. Meditation is not only an effective way of training your subconscious mind it also has excellent health and stress relieving benefits. Practising meditation does not require you to undergo special training or acquiring complex skills. It is a simple practice that can be performed in the comfort of your own home in as little as ten minutes a day.

There are many different ways to perform meditation but one of the easiest is to simply find a comfortable, quiet place where you will not be disturbed.Start by simply observing your breathing and allowing your body to relax. Then repeat either in your mind or out loud what is called a mantra. This is a single word or phrase, one of the most popular mantra’s being either “Ohm” or “One”.

Keep repeating your mantra for between 5 – 10 minutes. If thoughts enter your mind, note them, and then allow them to drift away. Over time try to increase your meditation training so that you are practising for at least 15 – 20 minutes each day. As you continue to practice meditation you should find that you have an increased sense of both yourself and your surroundings. This is part of the process of you becoming more attuned to your subconscious.”

In addition to mantra meditation Frederico suggests a combination with creative expression of some kind.

To read the rest of Frederico’s article go here – http://selfhelprobot.com/how-to-train-your-subconscious-mind

JOAN TOLLIFSON: on ‘radical simplicity’ – religion as simple attention, awareness, healing and presence

Joan Tollifson Simplicity of what is

In the three quotations below we have a view of religion, or at least of its essential spirituality, that is radically simple. It seems to me that together they express the healing heart of the universally mystical that is essential to our discovery of our true Self via healing at-one-ment.

They also constitute pointers to the essential mystical core of all of the great Traditions, now so often buried or banished beneath Churchianity. (Make up your own term for each of the other great Traditions. ‘Churchianity’ refers to the usurpation of the essential Christ story and teachings in which like the mystics we are asked to Awaken more, Detach from egotistic self more and Serve others better. Just that.)

For Joan, and others, meditation, brilliantly, is; “moment-to-moment presence that excludes nothing and sticks to nothing”. ‘Bare-Bones Meditation: Waking up from the Story of My Life’.

“Maybe that is the purest and most radical kind of religion – simple attention. Present-moment awareness. Instead of a belief system, awareness sees through all beliefs.”
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“….we maintain awareness, whether we know it or not, healing is taking place… a door that has been shut begins to open…. As the door opens, we see that the present is absolute and that, in a sense, the whole universe begins right now, in each second. And the healing of life is in that second of simple awareness…. Healing is always just being here, with a simple mind. ‌—‌Charlotte Joko Beck” ― Joan Tollifson, Nothing to Grasp
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“In simple presence with what is right here now, be it joyful or painful, an amazing freedom reveals itself. It cannot be described or explained in words. It is the freedom to be totally, effortlessly the way things are at this moment. ‌—‌Toni Packer” ― Joan Tollifson, Nothing to Grasp

BUT 24/7 NONDUAL EXPERIENCE IS NOT THE (ONLY?) GOAL IN THIS WORLD – BELIEFS and THE DUAL ARE ALSO VITAL
We are citizens of two realms as taught us by Rebbe Abraham Heschel.

This is by design not by mistake. It wasn’t God having an ‘off-day’! In these teachings we ordinary mortals share the life of the mystic.

SEE: http://www.satyana.org/pdf/SongoftheEartheBook.pdf 1

JOAN TOLLIFSON, religion, simple attention, awareness, nonduality, consciousness, advaita, healing, presence, attention, Charlotte Joko Beck, Toni Packer,

Juxtaposition: light from Sufi, Buddhist & Jewish sources

Juxtaposition:

The first quotation is by from Sufi teacher Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee;

SUFI:
“If we can allow ourselves to live an ordinary life while also staying awake to the great void at the center of all that is, then we can be this intermediary place between that intoxicating, mystical bliss of oblivion and the wonder of how the Divine creates and reveals Itself in all the forms of life. Our lives are the expression of this bridge – ordinary and extraordinary, all things in their place, everything free to be as it is, and our consciousness, our heart, free to be used as needed.”
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BUDDHIST:
The great Master Dogen said, “To study the Buddha Way is to study the self, to study the self is to forget the self, and to forget the self is to be enlightened by the ten thousand things.” To be enlightened by the ten thousand things is to recognize the unity of the self and the ten thousand things.
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JEWISH:
The search for reason ends at the shore of the known;
on the immense expanse beyond it
only the sense of the ineffable can glide.
It alone knows the route to that
which is remote from experience and understanding.

Neither is amphibious:
reason cannot go beyond the shore,
and the sense of the ineffable
is out of place where we measure, where we weigh…….

Citizens of two realms, we must all sustain dual allegiance:
we sense the ineffable in one realm;
we name and exploit reality in another.
Between the two we set up a system of references,
but can never fill the gap. – A J Heschel
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NB The Sufi quote is from a book review on the wonderful ‘Spirituality & Practice site by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat here;

http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/book-reviews/excerpts/view/28020/for-love-of-the-real

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee – his site is here – http://www.goldensufi.org/about_lvl.html