Making Space for Wisdom (Audio and Unedited Transcript)

By Lama Thubten Yeshe
Melbourne, Australia, 1975 (Archive #329 004)

An audio recording and unedited transcript of a teaching given by Lama Yeshe at a five-day meditation retreat in Australia in 1975. The edited version of this talk has been published as Chapter One in the book Ego, Attachment and Liberation.

…the prostration, doing prostration, this kind of action, is so simple, prostration is so simple. The purpose of prostration is beating ego little bit up, down! That’s all. Ego proud is only looking superficial this way and not looking reality nature. So, therefore, the prostration, is taking prostration true wisdom, understanding wisdom, not this atoms, those things. I think, you people know. I think, I’m talk about new people. I’m sure old people they hear, all the time hear, they understand. Therefore, is not just customatic; you see, this not customatic. This just, even I come there, I do this, make sure I try as much possible not the ego-trip, what I ‘m doing to talk to you. Therefore, first of all as much possible I try to beat up my ego down. And same thing, we both, we both beat up a little bit ego down. More earth, more seeing reality, rather than too much proud. There is no space, space, to grow anything. Only desert, cannot grow anything, isn’t it. Oh, like that—so therefore, very useful, those kind of things. That’s all, only reason taking prostration; very good.

Also, the object is, prostration, the normally we always take prostration, we didn’t say words, but we take something not worthwhile. Perhaps we prostration to ego, or proud, perhaps, if I interpreted Western terms. But instead of taking your own proud and ego, the prostration you take to the wisdom, understanding wisdom. Tibetan connotation, prostration, we call chag, chag-tsel. Chag means, if translate into Sanskrit, is mudra. The real mudra is wisdom. Therefore chag is to wisdom, understanding wisdom, knowledge wisdom. Tsel means, you bow or whatever you call, you bow. So, therefore, it makes sense, isn’t it? Good, very good; it’s very simple.

So, therefore, psychological mental attitude, something different way, into recognizing ego proud nature and sincerely taking prostration, understanding knowledge wisdom is only guide, that is mudra. So, therefore, “I take bow” sort of, is worthwhile. Mmm Hm, very good, it’s very simple. Otherwise better, is not necessarily physically you bow. If the mind not bow prostration, not necessarily physically the customatic; it’s not important any more, customatic is. Very good. OK. If you understand, you feel worthwhile, by recognize the function of your own ego proud nature, then so effective, that is so worthwhile. This also, sort of, part of training mind; prostration is part of training mind.

So, the meditation course, what we doing five days, is worthwhile or not is individuality; depend your own mind. It’s not the Lama’s things; Lama make you to become enlightened such a short time. It’s not like that. And when you also, at least, you should have, somehow, pure motivation rather than too much expectation from Lama. The Lama’s point of view, expectation from Lama, or from your friend, or from you parents, or…sometimes cause problem, mental problem. Rather than positive it becomes negative for you. Reaction, that’s all. So, no expectation but dedicating, dedicate, “Such five days investigating such my own human nature, trying to understand, or try to discover my own nature, and recognize my own false conception and false action, since I born in this earth, up to now, with dissatisfactory mind, which is so conditional, only condition makes up and down, cannot keep freely continuity enjoyment, although I have so much desire. So the unenjoyment, uncontrol powerful mind [op]presses me, almost I have no free, although my fickle arrogant ego mind saying, ‘I am free, I’m happy,’ pretending. I discover it is so temporal. Even normal, my life, somebody persecute me and presses, I don’t like, even one day I don’t like someone persecute and control me, but if I check up deeper, since I am born up till now, my uncontrolled mind not giving chance freely joyful; it is so condition."

By recognize this condition, your own nature, such five days meditation is so worthwhile. Therefore, you dedicate your action for discover inner freedom, by discovering unpleasant, your own uncontrolled mind. [silence]

“Anyway, such five days, no matter Lama talk or not talk, anyway, my life completely dedicating for discover inner peaceful, and not for myself also; five days my life is I donated to universal living beings, by recognizing since you born up to now always I am first place, always want win, I, and lose others, with such ridiculous attachment philosophy or conception, which is totally unrealistic mind. Therefore so worthwhile, such 5 days, I donated my life for others, nothing for me, no expectation for myself.

“So therefore, the pure motivation means wise mind, rather than narrow. All the psychological mental defilement mind is narrow mind, obsessed mind, concerning too much oneself, I. So life donated completely for others is so effective, internal world. It’s not an emotional thing, if I dedicate others, I take all my clothes and give others, sort of, not emotional thing. The mind, wise mind, totally want give, not the emotional. By discovering such attachment mind is polluted, and accumulated and occupied the countless lives.”

The meditation course is not for receiving something information. This is the training mind school, you understand; if you call “school.” Meditation course is school which is particular training mind, training mind. The meditation course all the actions becomes wisdom, universal conscious, sort of, rather than narrow mind, is so worthwhile, so worthwhile.[silence]

If the mind is occupied by the expectation, wanting such higher realization and wanting something power trip, spiritual power trip, cannot be relaxed, and calm; therefore cannot grow, cannot reveal universal wisdom, wise wisdom. Therefore, should not expecting something big, or even though you think spiritual something realization, do not expecting. Just be simultaneously as much possible, be wise mind. But the same time, with pure wise motivation, having enthusiastic feeling, “So worthwhile. I’m such twenty or thirty years old, I dedicate my life to attachment, only oneself, I, but five days, five days, just flashlight coming in the darkness, sort of, I dedicate my life to others, nothing for me, it’s so worthwhile, so lucky, that’s all. So that much satisfied, that’s all. I’m surprised, such twenty or thirty years, one day my life is I’m not dedicating to universal living beings, sort of totally darkness, occupied attachment character, I myself surprised. Suddenly, five days I’m dedicating my life, sort of, flashlight, that’s enough for me, I’m satisfied, that’s all. This is my meditation, this is my meditation course. At the same time, intensively I observing how attachment character coming in my mind. [silence] Like soldier is waiting enemy with point gun intensively, same thing, my wisdom soldier intensively observing or investigating how my attachment is coming, by totally conscious every minute.” [silence]

Therefore, our normal mind, such gross levels, conception or perception or discriminating mind, is unintegrated mind, unintegrated mind. It means, the character is split mind rather than integrated. So, how this mind treatment to release, for that purpose, instead of your mind completely preoccupied by such mundane gross levels mind, and making impossible to relax and to making space grow wise mind, we have to do breathing exercise. How to do is, with right position, lotus position, as you sit right now, it’s OK. And same thing….

Of course, your body is here, but your mind is left into your home in Melbourne, body cannot take meditation course. Meditation take by the mind; mind should take meditation. So, your mind should be with you, present time rather than obsessed somebody else, object. So, to be able your mind attention and totally present time with you, the method or process is, mind concentrate your own breath movement into your own nervous system. It is so helpful. Not only that; there is so many reasons, benefits. Even somebody is physically ill, sort of some nervous system is dead body, some stroke, and not feeling and not functioning, the breathing exercise is intensive concentration into your nervous system, your nervous system is again becomes alive and is functioning. It is the experience, not just I am talking.

I think better the new people—old people, maybe students, not necessary—new people better this way, this position, so simple, here. This finger is holding here, little bit press here, breath is sending from the left side nostril; slow concentration on breathing, slowly sending, naturally sending; no rush. And, also completely, completely sent out. Then go left side, the finger is putting on left side, and bring [air in through the] right nostril, slowly, completely. And then again send left side, slow, natural, gentle, completely out. Then again bring [air in through the] right nostril; slowly, completely. Then again send left nostril, slowly, gently, and completely. And bring right nostril. So, three times, sending, anyway, three times, sending left side and bring three times right side. And then, right side, three times sending, and bring left side three times. Same time the body is straight, body straight, body nervous system straight. Then the breath energy goes all your nervous system, all your body. If your position is not straight and breathing also energy is difficult to spread into nervous system. But should be very natural, very natural; don’t be force. When you bring, you feel your nervous system, all your body, is sort of when you bring completely fulfilled sort of. And sending out and all energy, breathing energy is out, totally, completely, with natural, without force. Mind not necessarily occupied, “I am doing breathing exercise”; it is not necessarily, “I am doing”; you just do it. Be as much as possible, mind concentrated on breathing energy movement into system.

Do not think this is so simple meditation. The people who are emotionally, mental disturbing, if you are sensitive enough, they can breathe differently; and people who are depressed, their breathing is differently than normal people. That shows breathing movement energy into your nervous system is true indicated with your mind; too much connected, so connected; closely connected with your own mind. You know, when you’re angry, your breath is not nature! You know. Sometimes that causes disease. Your understand, with your own experience.

I am sure you people know, scientific measurement, how many breaths in one day for one person; breath movement. We have calculation, in Buddhist terms, one day, how much breathing going. How many out, how many going. You see, if you have this kind of training, your breathing, your breath you bring sloooow out, sloooow bring inside. If you do all the time your life, your life is longer, you live long life, also, if you approach these kind of things. The breathing disorder into nervous system cause mental disorder. So, we prove, even scientifically, if your breath movement is so natural, going slow, completely, and bring slow, completely, like watch, like watch. Your life is, the breathing movement is like your internal watch. The watch is the movement going slow, slow, slow. Like old watch goes chug, chug, chug, chug, chug, chug…. Same thing; same thing.

Then, together, together bring, breathing together bring into nervous system, slowly, gentle and natural; and completely. And then send slow, gently, completely. If your belt is so tight, you can make loose; it makes more comfortable, when you do this kind of breath exercise. [silence]

So, not necessary emphasize, “I am doing breathing exercise, right, left…,” not necessary. The mind is putting on the concentration. Perhaps you can do, perhaps twenty times, to bring slowly both, completely, and sending this twenty times. [long silence]

Then slight change, concentration object is, when you are breathing inside from two nostril, and concentrated sensation feeling of body; from the nose, and energy going from the neck chakra, neck sensation, and heart sensation, and the lung, all the way going down, so you feel sensation of the body, with awareness. Each breath movement, the sensation feeling of body is change, change; you should aware that change. Just feel the nature of sensation feeling, rather than intellect.

So you can realize, the changing sensation feeling is not the intellectual things and not the believing things. It is automatic.

If your knees is feeling sensation pain, instead of gross levels mind occupied by the pain, and observe and searching, what is this pain nature? Perhaps you send joyful feeling, joyful feeling from your heart into knee, and pain disappears. Anyway, the any pain comes, uncomfortable feeling comes, there’s no permanent; minute there, minute gone; minute coming, minute go. So transitory, never lasting, this physical feeling. Just relax, watching how reacting physical body, feeling. Or, how reacting mind when the physical movement feeling comes. As much possible, just be conscious, aware. Same time, you relax; don’t intellect. Don’t intellect. Relax. Just let go. Same time aware: how? when? [silence]

OK. This is the session, meditation session, you trying put energy, sort of put together, but when the session finishes go you outside, if you go same thing, your old mind, being unconscious and preoccupied by the sense object, it wastes time, then. So, therefore, in Tibet, lamas, session and break-time, very strong, very strong conscious, conscious. Keep similarity, similarity session discipline, sort of, be conscious. Eating, drinking, conversation—everything should be totally awareness, be conscious. Of course, should be better, silently, silently go, and come, and drinking and eating, and observing and sensation movement, the nature. So purpose is to discover the true nature of sensation feeling, body and mind. Therefore, this meditation is not easy; we understand. But worthwhile.

So, even you’re drinking tea, consciously drinking. And the same thing, when the drinking feeling on the tongue, and through going, through the neck, and going through the chest and going stomach, be conscious, be conscious, totally be conscious.

Better silently, as much possible. Of course, when the discussion time, you talk about it; real worthwhile. Serious, very serious, investigate and help yourself, worthwhile, help this meditation course, your Dharma friend, people. Sort of, totally, this, each other, you people, totally dedicating each other. So, this is training mind, too.

When the discussion time, anything you have logical, and wisdom, skillful wisdom function, whatever you want, you talk each other, with much compassion, and discovering inner nature of human ability. So worthwhile. That’s much more worthwhile than since we were born up till now we discuss with sense pleasure and these things. So, they no solid, they no useful, they no lasting. Although we do, it so waste. So this time worthwhile, discussion time, Dharma discuss.

I think OK, now, OK, thank you so much. And now time we breaking, and then, after this, you have meditation, no lecture. I think today that is enough. Thank you so much. Thank you very much. Thank you.