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Towards the Deathless

What does it mean to “direct the mind to the Deathless?” 

One neither obsesses nor feels enslaved to various mind states, whether shallow or deep, happy or unhappy. This gives the opportunity to focus on the Deathless, no matter how abstract, vague or intellectual, it may first seem. It would not be a waste of time to spend hours, days, months or years directing the mind regularly to a deathless liberation with unwavering interest. If you are deeply interested in a liberating and insightful way of life, then you could consider the following.

Twenty Questions pointing to a liberated way of life (In alphabetical order):

  1. Are you taking steps to get out of certain habits?

  2. Are you willing to keep turning your attention to liberation?

  3. Do you draw insights from important experiences - joyful or painful?

  4. Do you experience a daily sense of liberation or is it occasional, or not at all?

  5. Do you have an authentic sense of not being bound to past, present or future?

  6. Do you have an authentic sense of the timeless?

  7. Do you have any practice that points you towards the resolution of suffering?

  8. Do you know how to squeeze the honey out of experiences, even if a long time ago?

  9. Do you meditate, reflect, read and inquire into truth that wakes you up?

  10. Have you had a transcendent experience?

  11. Have you had any experiences of not feeling bound up with self and other?

  12. Have you made your primary interest the exploration of reality?

  13. How do you experience the benefits of profound spiritual experiences in daily life?

  14. What are ways to free oneself up from self-preoccupation?

  15. What does the bigger picture tell you?

  16. What is revealed?

  17. What is uncovered?

  18. What shows the significance of a challenging experience?

  19. What words seem suitable for profound experiences? Reality? God? Nirvana? etc.

  20. Why are deep experiences important?

Doubt in the ultimate teachings of the Buddha ends when the practitioner has seen and known for herself or himself the Deathless element. It is as obvious as ‘light is to a person with good eyesight’ - to use an analogy of the Buddha. The Buddha does not make a condition to realise the unconditioned, the gradual and systematic dissolution of all the fetters. The remaining five fetters out of ten consist of clinging to forms, formless, restlessness, conceit and ignorance (of conditions).

Below are a handful of quotes on ultimate truth. The Buddha encouraged the entire assembly of practitioners to incline towards Nirvana - just as the River Ganges inclines towards the sea. (MN. 73.14). Quotes from the Buddha have a significance as far too many practising Buddhists spend far too much time working on themselves, cultivating the path and listening to teachings on the practices. The practitioner loses sight of the nature of the goal. To put it another way, the ultimate truth dissolves the practitioner and the practice which does not function as a cause to the ultimate truth. Human beings have the capacity to know and experience a profound resonance that makes the ultimate truth immediate and accessible.

We never know the time and place when the Buddha’s remarkable resonance enables a realisation of the Deep. A reflection and meditation on ultimate truth cannot cause its uncovering but may contribute directly or indirectly to a totally different sense of things not bound to the usual conventions of the mind of I, me and mine, of self and other.

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