Your Mental Bureaucracy (Audio and Unedited Transcript)

By Lama Thubten Yeshe
Melbourne, Australia 1975 (Archive #329 007)

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 Four in the book Ego, Attachment and Liberation.

Lama Yeshe teaching at Lake Arrowhead, California, 1975. Photo by Carol Royce-Wilder.

In the way, you people very strong intellectual. It is good, because Buddhism also very strong; like the knife putting into your ego. So that when you meditate, ego is come out. So, way of Lama say, approach for your mind is not the simple things. I agree. Not simple thing; very hard thing. Lama make you work you very hard, isn’t it? You know. So when you work, when you dealing with your own problem and recognize ego’s reaction, so worthwhile, really worthwhile. Otherwise, of course, Lama can make you, sort of, diplomatic religion aspect, Lama can explain, sort of sweet words, all sweet. Like you going nightclub, and Lama make little bit dancing, nice words, nice words. Explain you, you laughing, and we can go. We can go five days too, like that; possible, possible. Can make easy, for sure. But that not point.

You people come here meditation course. I mean, you people not come for nightclub, isn’t it? You know what is nightclub means, therefore you come here. You know. And also, Lama don’t want joke. Just joke; joking trip again. Countless lives or since you born up to now, your life is joking, and play and game, and then here come with Lama, again joke, we both joke—it’s not worthwhile. You know what I mean? You understand, you people understand. I’m sure you people understand. Yes. Therefore, worthwhile you work. That is your thing, not the Lama’s thing. “I’m working; meditation course, I’m working; I’m not sluggishness, sleeping.” If you feel that way, so worthwhile, so worthwhile.

You understand, the external nightclub, which makes you tired and conflict and agitated reaction, that’s all. But by knowing that situation, and you searching, inner nightclub, everlastingly joyful state, for discovering, and you come for meditation course, it’s so worthwhile. Instead of ignore ego’s activity in your mind, familiar, your mental attitude, inner world, what is going on, for you, familiar, and you can examine your psychological aspect, mental attitude every day. You, that is you become psychologist, you become lama. That’s all. You are lama, it means.

And you people also skeptical; the Lord Buddha teaching also skeptical. So, two skeptical meeting together, mind, very good. You understand, skeptical, isn’t it? I think you understand. Not easily believing; not easily accepting. Checking, experimenting; working, OK; not working, still checking, checking, checking. The using your brain or mind or wisdom and growing. That all path of liberation, or path of inner freedom or enlightenment. No understanding, just believing, emotional, is nothing to do with any religion. Although we pretend, “I’m such, such, such”—label or ego-trip, still. So therefore, very good.

So, I’m sure, you understand, the association, ego department and attachment department, together, two departments working together in your mind—ego and attachment. Ego mind, attachment mind is working together. As long they active, these two departments, into your mind or brain, whatever you call, doesn’t matter words, or energy or matter, doesn’t matter, any pleasure of sense world, any place you have been, any friend you meet, everything is never last. There no lasting. Ego interpreted, ego mind interpreted, and giving projection, wrong projection on the object, and attachment following without hesitation, and sticking, sticking, tied with the object. Makes so split reaction in the mind, so agitated reaction bring in the mind.

You see, I’m sure, your philosophy, intellectual philosophy, you could say, “Oh, it’s impermanent.” But you check up how ego interpreted, ego mind interpreted, giving projection, is expecting last, last; expecting last, that is. So, two couple, two couple, two marriage couple, ego want interpreted, sort of, interpreted, and live earth together, and die, want together, something like that. So exaggerated. Impossible making, you make decision. It is karmic energy, karmic energy uncontrollably make decision, one dies or one lives. So the one died, one is so much missing, so much suffering—you know, isn’t it? You know. That missing, worry, the memory, tears coming from eye, it comes from the two department mind. Not knowing the impermanent nature before, and expecting as ego interpreted attachment and sort of everlasting. So that reaction it is now miserable. That is karmic result or effect(ive). If you know the nature of impermanent, there no upset, miserable reaction. It is natural things; accept, and also expecting, expecting, expecting, that’s all, with understanding; not just worry. It the natural things.

So, you understand, instead of the attachment, grasping, following as ego’s interpretation, better renounce. Renounce things, perhaps you interpreted, “Oh! Lama says ‘renounce’; I should give up.” Not the things give up physically. Renounce means mental thing, mental thing. Not the amount, value of the phenomena. It’s the mental thing, you making value, you think so important, so important; so much, sort of overestimating nature you putting on object, rather than object reality nature. Reality.

You see, when you knowing it nature is transitory, impermanent and changeable, you expecting, you expecting, “I’m in contact with such a trans…I myself is transitory, this body.” You just intellectual, you experience, remember, yesterday? When you checking your sensation body or mind, automatically changing is not the intellectual philosophy; it the experience, isn’t it? So, same thing, same thing, the object of your friend, your biggest attachment object, your friend, or your wife, or your husband, or your children, or your property, or material possessions, or…everything is so transitory, so momentary; nothing is last. We think it helps for us, so we clinging. Make sure those material possessions, those things, helping or harming for your mind; disturbing your peaceful mind. You check up that.

Of course, depend your own mind. More attachment object surround you, more mind is disorder and split and agitated. So natural, it’s so natural—you check up. As long these two departments, you understand, two departments association, is occupied in your mind, and who is happy, who is happy? You check up. Who is richest man in this earth, as long as he has these two departments occupied in this mind, miserable; not he’s happy. You check up that. So, do not too much grasping in future, imagine, “Oh, this, this, this, this, happy. Oh! I wish I have this kind of things, life.” It not true.

You understand now; you never sure. It really means, in the ego’s interpretation is, having a friend or husband or wife, or whatever, whatever we think, so concentrated mind; help, help, I want help, somebody, ego grasping, for my life. Yeah, simple example, two couple stay maybe like that and life is twenty years, maybe ten years stay together, with up and down, up and down, up and down. Still so much attachment, attachment, attachment. So ten years later she or he dies, ten years, ten years after, he dies. So ten years her life was so miserable, so much worry about. Every time worry about. So then, what is worthwhile? Ten years building attachment, attachment, building, building, and thinking, ego pretending happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy. After ten years stop, that object. So much worry about. So miserable. So, you understand that. Before, you think, “Oh! this is my life, helping for me.” So, helping for miserable or helping for what? What?

When helping, and happy time, maybe, pretending happy time, you think happy. Maybe one day…example, ten years spent together, ten years spent together, half life is maybe happy, half life is down, unhappy. Plus going ten years with the miserable. You understand this? This psychological things; it’s not the reality this, outside. It’s psychological thing. It’s attachment, two department working in your mind. That makes difficult, that’s all. Even scientifically we check up, so simple, isn’t it? So, anyway, you realize, these two department is absolutely unrealistic and silly. Then you can realize, if you follow this two department association, then you can see, you are also silly, isn’t it? Silly. “I am silly!” OK. You understand. It’s a psychological thing. It’s not things I give up, “I have attachment, I give up this.” No, no, not this. Lama renounce does not mean this way. It’s the mind, it’s the mind. Don’t worry when Lama say renounce. You should realize it’s the psychological thing, renunciation. Lord Buddha talking is psychological thing.

Lord Buddha himself said, in Mahayana words, when he taught Mahayana student, “If you do not have”—even monk—“if you do not have attachment, your equipment body, speech and mind, whatever you have is dedicating for other sentient beings’ pleasure, you can have five hundred house,” he says. Five hundred, or thousand, you can have. Anyway, you know that is not belongs. He talking about psychology. Therefore, you should not do, after the meditation course, go back Melbourne and take furniture, throw in the street (LL) “Oh! Lama says so much attachment; too much this!” OK. So, very dangerous. If we no really realize what really Lama talk about, if we don’t understand, so dangerous, so dangerous.

So therefore, as much possible, so simple, try to understand psychological aspect mental attitude, OK, how, how two department occupied in your mind.

You see, if you have this kind of understanding, even surround you, your family, your boyfriend, your girlfriend, your wife or husband or whatever, you [not] too much, not too much grasping like that. It’s the natural. If too much you holding here, this going die.(LL) Not anymore vibrating. If you too much sticking here, anyway, like that [strangling flower]. Not anymore beautiful, can’t understand this. Same thing, same thing, when you are more natural, yeah, I think, perhaps wives are more natural, no clinging, sort of liberated action, maybe husband see beauty. And same thing, men; too much clinging, too much squeezing their wife, like that, she can’t stand anymore, so she freak out. And she can’t see handsome man, and quality, because you squeezing too much. So attached. She can’t walk any more, even street, you know, because your attachment. You understand, this is psychology. So be natural. Perhaps you love each other, instead of attachment levels, too much squeezing loving, grasping, more understanding levels, more understanding, psychological up and down nature each other, and helping for that support, mind, helping. More beautiful warm feeling. More last that way. More last. Even relationship.

Anyway, since we born up to now, we dedicating our body, speech and mind energy into materialistic effort, pleasure, and putting much effort, and with this craving attachment conception; it is so unrealistic. Not knowing what reaction coming in your mind. Only see superficial front; not seeing back, what happening. So limited mind. Attachment and the ego mind is so narrow mind; so limited mind. Can’t see whole thing; only partial.

Even this time, your body is here, and some man thinking, “I stay here, listening silly lama’s words, and perhaps, in Melbourne my wife is somebody take, and lose during this time.” And not only that! “And perhaps I lose my job. My boss maybe thinks that way.” So much worry. That all comes from also attachment, attachment. So much fear. Fear, fantasy. Fantasy. So much fantasy. Perhaps you go back, you beat your wife, and perhaps you beat your husband. “I’m sure you do something…(LL)…which is against my mind.” True. Maybe checking big eye like that, like that; because experience, previous fantasy! So unrealistic, isn’t it. So, all this fantasy and worry about, “Perhaps have this happen, perhaps I lose this, perhaps I lose.” So much expectation, superstition. You understand? So this all cause suffering, mentally suffering. It is so strong, it stays long accumulated. But somebody beating you like that, seems you freak out, like that. But this short time, you see, but that worry mind stays hour, hour, day, day week, week month, month, year, year, life, life, life, life lifetime. So control you, like that. OK. So you are not freedom now, you understand now; you think freedom; not freedom. [pause]

So, so you have to determinate, Dharma wisdom is the only solution, and cause to brings, or vehicle, to bring or to carry you into everlasting state, lasting state, realization. And can support my mind from the dangerous. Possible, such short time, I can freak out; it is there, it is right now there. One minute my thinking is wrong, I’m becomes unconscious and mad. It’s possible. The cause is there. But as long wisdom, the, understanding psychological aspect nature, understanding the nature of mind, what we call Dharma—words, doesn’t matter words, words Dharma—anyway, it means understanding the psychological nature. That mind, that wisdom supports me, to brings up. That is always with me. If I have this kind of mind, always with me coming. But material is like, like example, wife here, and husband is somewhere else. So much worry. And husband here and wife is somewhere else; so much worry about, not with you. So brings reaction agitation, unsecure feeling, fear. But wisdom is with you.

Understanding, the wisdom makes you happy. Always with you. But all the material, what you consider build up this life, is, when you need, not there. It’s there, it’s not there. Almost, almost, they becomes enemy you, all material things, they becomes enemy you, psychologically. When the time the death comes, so miserable. Whatever, how much you have possession, it makes more miserable. You check up now. When you watching, your good experience attachment comes, the mind is drawing in that path. You see, going that path, sort of like that. You check up, when you meditation. So, so when the impermanent death, time the impermanent death comes, you know you losing all this. Each object of, amount of whatever you have, it brings more agitated. It completely, almost that worry mind kill you, that’s all. Before the element, is itself against into your nervous system. So shocked mind; shocked mind kill.

Therefore, in Tibet, when the lamas, they, before they die, months before or years before, they say, “Now time I have to die,” and they make exactly, completely, they all their whatever they have, whatever they have, even books, whatever they have, they give monastery, they give donations, they give, charity poor peoples. Everything, they completely out. No material object attachment. Completely. They doing this, I mean, experience. They doing. Because they know if the attachment is sort of sticking into that object, time the death, not free, not free…which makes suffering.

But of course, their attachment is not just among the more valuable, things are more valuable. Not like that. Attachment, big attachment is, big amount material, you have big attachment. And if nothing, you have small attachment. Not like that. Not like that. Even one have this piece of paper, have attachment, same thing. If you have big attachment, same thing. The material means nothing. But attachment make value. There no absolutely something outside, “This is big value, this is small value”; outside, itself. There no existent. The mind attachment, ego make value, “Oh, this is this, oh, this value”, something like that. I hope you understand.

Otherwise you people think maybe, this, why I say this one? Perhaps you people think who are poor people, have no attachment. Perhaps you think Himalaya mountain people has nothing, maybe one cow, and they don’t have attachment as you Australia people; you have so much material, therefore you have attachment. That not true. I saying, the attachment is not just outside things, the value of material. It’s the mind. Like chicken; chicken so much attachment where they live their place, where you put chicken; so attachment. Chicken mind thinking that is the best house in the world. His ego think, chicken ego’s mind think that way. True; it’s the mind.

You see, perhaps Lama, you think that is Lama exaggerating. Not exaggerating. Remember, I told you, the attachment experience, what you doing, ego doing things, not the intellectual things, not the intellectual things. Of course, you ask chicken, something like that, chicken not intellect. But, intuitively he feels, he’s so happy, he’s here, everything his surrounding, he’s so happy. So happy. And other something coming he’s so angry; other is coming, bother is there, round chicken, his place—he’s so angry. You can see that. You understand? It’s so simple. So, if we not do better, if not realize, much higher than chicken, we’re like acting chicken. Somebody’s coming near your house, you go like that (LL)…yeah…It’s same thing, what different? What different? Chicken is collecting day. You check up how chicken is skillful. He collected how many things? Maybe every day he eat, hundred other animal, he eat. You check up that. It’s not exaggerating. Insects he eating, eating; so much; every day. Because he using his ego’s power.

So, the same thing, we using our ego’s power, as much possible to others, and taking advantage of other sentient beings, as much as possible. This is all attachment attitude. Attachment attitude, not the, your own basic human nature. No. The human basic nature is can, absolutely, purely can develop, infinitely can develop.

So therefore, remember, our meditation, our meditation, you meditate, concentrate the sensation feeling, the body and mind. Observing when the distraction, attachment experience comes.

This is method, or approach, to see psychological true nature of your own mind.

Even not happy, perfect concentration, agitated, distracted mind, is reaction of attachment, following ego’s interpretation, ego mind interpretation.

So, we say, “Oh, he’s so rich, she’s so rich, she lucky, so good!” If you understand psychological, the true nature, and reaction of attachment, if you understand, who cares? Who cares, really? External rich. Real satisfactory mind is rich. If Lama interpreted, what is really truly rich, satisfactory mind is rich. That you can have always. That comes from wisdom.

So real satisfactory rich is, is comes from understanding wisdom, knowledge wisdom. It not come from external things.

And we eating, we drinking so expensive things with dissatisfactory mind. Sometimes chicken eating horrible things. When his stomach is full, the chicken is so satisfied, he sleeps…he sleep…you understand? The satisfactory comes from mind, mind. You couldn’t believe, “Oh, chicken eat this, he satisfied that. He can sleep with this kind of food?” We think impossible, sort of; he eating such poor quality, poor quality, poor quality dirt, which is, we eat, it is sick, going sick, but chicken eat and his stomach is full, he is satisfied; he sleep. His satisfaction comes from his mind. It’s not just this here [rubbing stomach], this is make satisfactory; not outside thing. I saying, satisfaction is come from mind.

Otherwise, where is such super nature satisfactory, beauty and good, handsome. Where is now? You show me, where is in this earth? Super satisfactory, and beauty and handsome and pleasure; where is now? You show me, where is? In Australia? In Melbourne? In Sydney? Where is? New York?—Impossible! (LL) So, where is now? There is no existent. Impossible! There no existent. There is no super satisfactory beauty. Where is that? There no outside. There is no color, there is no shape, there is no form, in this earth.

Perhaps you think, “Oh, supermarket.” Super, word “super” comes from, you know? Supermarket! That doesn’t mean, supermarket giving super satisfactory. (LL) That doesn’t mean (LL)…perhaps brings more dissatisfactory!

Excuse me, maybe perhaps this time break-time. Time breaking. So, thank you so much. And you checking, observing, what really satisfactory? Not just joking. Very seriously checking. Not just say, “Oh,…” not make…very seriously checking. After the checking, you make PAM! decision, like that. Determinate, not like, “Maybe, maybe, maybe…” Not like, watery. Checking, checking. Look it, first you checking, checking, checking, checking, checking, checking, checking, checking, checking, checking, checking, checking, checking, PAM! OK. Determination. Conclusion is this, conclusion: every thought checking wisdom, checking, first as much as possible you explain, expand. Then after that you make sort of to integrate, “This is conclusion.” So necessary, conclusion. Conclusion make integrate mind. The watery, like that, spilt nature. So, make, each meditation, you checking, make there decision, conclusion, when you realize. Good. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you.


So, you have to have determination: “I’m not going any more servant for ego; ego is king in my mind. My life is servant for big ego. Although ego make so much trouble me. Continuously, continuously. There no time resting. My mind is restless because I servant for ego. So, now not any more.”

Simple example: we like beauty, beauty body. Ego want beauty body. And attachment following, sneaky, grasping. But one way, same time, we eat more than we need, our body. So, body becomes fat and heavy. That agitation, the psychologically bother you, it comes from these two departments. Just simple example, it life, it life, it common.

Check out. Perhaps your body need very little, and grasping, the attached eating-over, and so your, your body is very heavy, and, uncomfortable; it’s fat, and one way you worry about, to lose beauty. So, so, two conflict, two things. So what do you choose, two things, what do you choose? Two attachment, ego, the attachment, you discussing [those depts. discussing with each other], what you are going to choose? Check up mind is, which is more clinging. One mind want beauty, grasping beauty, handsome. One mind, is consciously knowing, eating too much, it makes beauty destroy, but still can’t stop. This two, how you choose this one. That two mind make between, there body like that, they agitate you. It not beating, but psychologically beating. Mashing. Still you say yes, yes, yes; you accept. So funny.

So funny. Completely. Human mind is so funny. So silly, if you check up. The idea fat is not beauty, thin is beauty, comes from the mind; it comes from mind, actually. I agree, if you are too fat, unhealthy physical, that’s OK. But the idea, the desire, attachment making, what is beauty means, you making idea, picture; so silly, isn’t it? It’s not the reality fat; the idea, idea bother you, because you are clinging reputation, the idea. So silly; in this earth, mother sentient beings are. One say, one country think this is good, one country think this is bad; one people think this is pretty, and one people think this is ugly. And one people think this is handsome, one people think this is ugly. With different speak making different things beauty? Some groups making this is beauty, some making this is beauty. And all make up, idea make up. Beauty is.

Otherwise, I saying, what is, there is outside, permanent, sort of, and absolutely beauty? It only depends on interpretation of ego mind, makes beauty and makes ugly. You check up—so simple isn’t it? Remember? When Lama told you breathing meditation, sensation, your mind is on the breathing sensation, concentrated, go your mind travel from this up to here, all the way down, all the way. Everywhere you travel. Check up: where’s beauty? Which place you clinging? Check up. So superficial interpretation, which is beauty, which is ugly; so superficial, ego’s projection; make you so confused. You’re confused now. You don’t know anymore, what is good, what is bad. Really.

When you go in bathroom, you don’t like to see any more, isn’t it? When you see such ego’s projection beauty, you just so much, sticking there. Sticking there, sticking; so intensively. Same time, simultaneously, if you go your mind travel into beautiful object from the nose, and all the way you check up, where is beautiful, exactly same thing as bathroom; exactly. You know; you don’t need just believe. It’s so reality, so scientific. So which, ego’s giving projection, clinging object beauty is only superficial, levels you judging. Just fickle mind judging, fickle mind judging.

You see, I mean, so simple, isn’t it? Everyday life, such confused girl, and running another man, another man, another, man, another man, another man: trouble, so much trouble; so much trouble experience. But same time expecting, “Maybe this is good for me, maybe this good for me.” So superficial experience. And all mental projection, ego’s projection, painted, “Maybe this, maybe this,” with expectation, “Maybe this, maybe this, maybe this, maybe this”? No satisfaction; always trouble.

Perhaps you think, “Oh, Lama too much putting girls down.” Same thing, man; man same thing, you know. Such deluded man, he change his wife, change, change, change, change…and so superficial, he discriminate, “Good, good, good, good”; each time he “good” then he put “bad.” Then “good.” Then sometimes “bad.” Then change. Then good, then bad. Then change. Good. Bad. So, these things, so superficial his judgment, good and bad, and beauty or ugly; so superficial, completely superficial. Nothing soever to do with reality: insidely, outly. No understanding. No understanding. No communication. So unsecure feeling, much fear, because attachment ego.

This all comes from the mind.

So superficial, and faith so, faith is, and sense perception and mind is, ego is only occupied this superficial, the ego’s projection. And, sitting back, sitting back, back side to the reality. So therefore, no good communication with any living being; so confused. That all comes from, that all comes from big ego.

So, those many reasons, many reasons, so worthwhile to change attachment mental attitude; instead of saying “I, I.” And purely dedicating your life to others. Remember, beginning meditation course, the motivation, your five days, is dedicating for others, to gaining knowledge wisdom by recognizing so many years, years, only building attachment, end up with nothingness. That situation knowing, so worthwhile. When your life dedicate to others, you can see, the human beauty is not the outside, what your ego’s giving projection on skin. Human ability is inside, inside; the beauty is inside, rather than outside, skin. When you see the human inner nature, or inner beauty, you respect other sentient beings, rather than only respect yourself, to build ego up, to develop the two departments, develop. And have better relationship, all surround you, wherever you go. You go East or West, or sky, or earth, or underneath earth, or wherever you go, you involved with human being, sentient being. Your pure, the motivation, which dedicating life to others, by recognize false conception of attachment and ego, so, worthwhile; life becomes worthwhile. There is meaning to live life. Otherwise what? By realize, changing such foolish, negative motivation.

Note: The recording was too poor to be fully transcribed. The three remaining paragraphs from this chapter were reconstructed using the partial recording and students' notes.