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Eight-Fold Path Explained: Interaction with Reality

The Buddha said:

Those who have passions are never able to perceive the way, for it is like stirring up clear water with hands. People may come there wishing to find a reflection of their faces, which, however, they will never see. A mind troubled and vexed with passions is impure, and on that account it never sees the way.

O monks, do away with passions. When the dirt of passion is removed the way will manifest itself.

The world is reflected poorly in your eyes. There is a distortion of reality in your mind. The Buddha would compare consciousness to a lake, reflecting the moon and the sky. The world reflects onto it, showing itself to you in all it’s perfection. If you’ve ever seen a still lake you will see the beauty of what is above reflected perfectly on it’s glass-like surface. However the moment the surface of the lake becomes rippled, becomes disturbed, the image is broken. The reflection becomes distorted. You can no longer see the perfect beauty of what is above. The Buddha says that thoughts are the waves that disrupt the image of perfect reflection.

Your mind is constantly disturbing the surface of your consciousness. Thoughts of the past and the present and the future create waves on the surface, preventing you ever from taking in the still and serene reflection of reality. Each second reality exposes you to it’s beauty and each second the image is distorted in your mind. Because of this you never find reality, you never find happiness, you never find beauty, you never find truth.

WIth every interaction you have with reality you must begin to slow the waves. Allow the waves to become only a ripple. Eventually allow the ripples to clear and expose a clear reflection.

When you read this book, when you read any book, your mind is diturbed. The past and your opinions have collected in your mind like dust. When you listen, you must put aside the past, put aside the opinions, and simply listen. Simply take in what is new. It is Einstein that says you cannot solve your problems with the same mind that you used when you created the problem.

However this is all you are doing. Using the same thinking mind that created your unhappiness to solve the problem of your unhappiness. The mind must be stopped. The assumptions and opinions must be stopped. Look at the world anew in every moment. Your memory is of your mind. It tells you I have seen this before, no need to look. You have never truly seen before. Not with all the waves that you have created in the reflection. Maybe as a child you saw clearly, but it is too long ago to even remember. Look at the world with new eyes, hear with new ears. The mind that created the problem must be destroyed. This is right view. To see the world with new eyes.

It is simpler than you think. The mind seems to be a solid thing, an appendage to the body. This is a trick. The mind is merely a process. A process is not a solid thing. When you stop walking, where does the walking go? 

You might say, “that’s stupid walking is just a process, when I am done walking there is no more walking”. The same is with thinking. It is just a process. However the process for you never stops, therefore you believe that it is permanent like a part of the body. 

Thinking can stop. Once thinking has stopped, even for a moment the process disappears, like walking. The process may start again, but once you have realized that the thinking can stop you realize that it is no longer a solid mass but an intangible phenomenon. For that moment the waves will begin to settle and you will for the first time feel undisturbed and you will see clearly. 

FInally, at this time you will take in what you need. The old process of thinking that has created your misery will be stopped. 

The Buddha says:

“Just as when a sugar cane seed, a rice grain, or a grape seed is placed in moist soil, whatever nutriment it takes from the soil & the water, all conduces to its sweetness, tastiness, & unalloyed delectability. Why is that? Because the seed is auspicious. In the same way, when a person has right view…”

The Buddha says that like a seed, with this right view, you will become auspicious. You will be free to take in what is pleasing and profitable. Now what you take in will only lead to the sweetness of the flower blooming inside you.

Without the disturbance of the reflection, you will see what is true. What is the truth? It can be told but to be felt it must be experienced. In explaining you can only be persuaded to drop the mind, still the reflection, and experience the beauty for your own self.

The truth can be experienced as awe, as boundarylessness, as bliss, as desirelessness. The truth is not an answer to why. It does not tell you what purpose you have. The truth is the reality that we are all without division from every aspect of reality all around us. Whatever existed in the universe before man, before earth, and before stars is the origin of all current existence. Without the corruption of any religion it is clear to see that creation is a constant phenomenon, present within everything, and is a part of everything. The same phenomenon creating life in the womb creates life in the tree. The same substance that created the earth creates the man and the stars and the earth and every molecule that inhabits the earth. 

The truth is that we search for God whether we mean to or not, however God is within every particle. God is within you in every fiber of you. It is magnificent, and it is a mystery. It is a mystery why this world has such beauty. Beauty that you can feel and see with new eyes. With right view you can see this.

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