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The problem of the subconscious

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Re: The problem of the subconscious

Postby skyblue on Tue May 03, 2016 7:01 am

Buddhism does deal with the subconscious mind. It deals with it by getting you to stay on top of it. Meditation is seldom described as something dangerous to do or get involved with. It is usually described as a cure all for what ails you. I don't know how things got to be that way. The big problem with meditation overall is the simple fact that you are basically trying to deal with the human ego (subconscious) and the ego does not like to be dealt with.
What Buddhism is renowned for is it's ability to glide you over the rough spots as smoothly as possible. A lot of the koans and stories you read about are talking about things that are actually quite dangerous. The trick is the way in which they present the material . It is presented in a way that the average person can look at safely. That is why the koans and a lot of the stories in zen sound so nonsensical. They are speaking to your subconscious mind and attempting to guide it in a way that is safe and also in a way that will bring understanding when insight into what is going on down there in the murky tunnels of the subconscious comes to light.
One of the greatest thrills in training is to see how amazing the masters are at explaining the unexplained.
Buddhism understands the subconscious mind very well. It is smart. You may have to fight with it. What Buddhism wants you to do is learn where the fight is and how to win. Fighting a battle you can't win is a bad strategy. Buddhism says there is a way to win and a way to understand.
So don't think that a system of meditation that claims to understand reality has somehow forgotten about the subconscious. That is dangerous territory to be in.
Like a child who has to be disciplined for their own safety because they are not aware of all the dangers out there in the everyday world, the world of meditation has unseen dangers for people. The great gift of the people that came before us
is their ability to explain the information in a way that is safe to look at and understand. Life itself is an explanation.
Last edited by skyblue on Tue May 03, 2016 7:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The problem of the subconscious

Postby Pemako on Tue May 03, 2016 10:35 am

TonyD wrote: Could that cause a problem?

Gassho


A problem for who?
"The victorious ones have said
That emptiness is the relinquishing of all views.
For whomever emptiness is a view,
That one has accomplished nothing."
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Re: The problem of the subconscious

Postby desert_woodworker on Fri May 06, 2016 12:54 am

Hi, Tony,

TonyD wrote:How does Buddhism deal with the subconscious mind, especially the hidden nasty, negative, egocentric urges and desires that may lurk there?

If you're interested, there is a school of Buddhist practice and philosophy which has been very influential on other schools and deals very directly with your question. This is the school "Yogacara" (Yo-ga-CHA-ra), also called "Mind-Only", or "Consciousness-Only" Buddhism.

The school teaches about a model of mind, in which there is a multitude of "consciousnesses", each of a particular character, and all going together to comprise "Mind", or Consciousness.

Two of the "consciousnesses" in the Yogacara model are "deep consciousnesses". The two deep layers of mind are "manas" and "Alaya-vijnana" (Storehouse-Consciousness). The surface layers of mind are the five sense-consciousnesses, and the thinking mind.

The Yogacarins' real innovation was the discovery or assignment of manas and alaya-vijnana as two layers underlying the surface mind.

Yogacara has not quite died-out as a school, and it still has living adherents in Japan, for example.

A fine book which introduces Yogacara is written by a living exponent of the school, the abbot of the head temple of the school called in Japan the Hosso school of Japanese Buddhism. This is Tagawa Shun'ei (b. 1947), and his book is entitled, LIVING YOGACARA.

I am touched by the title, because it shows a master's effort to inform the world that his tradition is indeed still alive, as well as having enormous historical importance in Buddhism's development.

The book is translated to English from Japanese by Charles Muller, and published by Wisdom Publications (2009).

all best,

--Joe
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Re: The problem of the subconscious

Postby Nothing on Tue May 10, 2016 8:02 pm

TonyD wrote:Hi there,

Okay, this proves that I am actually clueless about Buddhism. How does Buddhism deal with the subconscious mind, especially the hidden nasty, negative, egocentric urges and desires that may lurk there? Sure, you can meditate regularly for hours each day, and be completely aware all the time of what is going on in the conscious mind. But there is still the whole murky subconscious that is not readily visible or accessible during waking life. Could that cause a problem?

Gassho


You can't deal with that which has not arisen yet, so why worry until then?

:Namaste:
"There is no vestige of a beginning, no prospect of an end" - James Hutton
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Re: The problem of the subconscious

Postby lobster on Thu May 12, 2016 11:53 pm

TonyD wrote:Hi there,

Okay, this proves that I am actually clueless about Buddhism.


Keep up the good work of being something or other ... or not ... preferably.

How does Buddhism deal with the subconscious mind, especially the hidden nasty, negative, egocentric urges and desires that may lurk there?


Holy Submarines! Not only do we have to realise the emptiness of self but also the emptiness of other minds. We might dissapear up our own nether regions :<.<:

Sure, you can meditate regularly for hours each day, and be completely aware all the time of what is going on in the conscious mind.


No mind. No meditation. Know meditation. Know Mind.
Sounds like a plan.

But there is still the whole murky subconscious that is not readily visible or accessible during waking life. Could that cause a problem?


Yes. Hooray. :dance:
More dancing available till No-Dancing. :lool:

:rbow:
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Re: The problem of the subconscious

Postby dennis on Fri May 20, 2016 7:08 pm

fukasetsu wrote:
dennis wrote:Your subconscious mind is YOU.


Depends on what you mean with "YOU"

Anyways, the only thing worth contemplating is the source of consciousness, and that source is what I'd call one's true nature, not the manifested (consciousness, waking, dreaming, sleeping) the subconscious, the unconscious, which are just names given, is also in the realm of consciousness, it's just a matter (as Tiger said) of where attention is focussed.

All consciousness is movement, only in 'non-movement' will the source be revealed.
So no philosophy or psychology is sufficient to make one realize what it actually is that makes one conscious.

Consciousness is play, nothing to get too serious about, especially not philosophically.
In any case things are never the way we think they are.

Joe made an excellent observation when he said;
I'd say that having ANY model of "mind" can cause problems, yes. Better to clutch no models.


Depends on what you mean with "YOU" I suppose I must mean: Your consciousness is your subconscious. Where do the thoughts you visualize in your conscious mind arise from? Do you have "conscious" control over which thoughts are arising?
Your subconscious mind is born when you are. It begins collecting information which is coded chemically in your brain and which is secondary to your underlying autonomous (heartbeat, breathing, etc.) memory and Instinctive (fright/flight, etc.) memory.

Modern science has shown us (through brain scans, MRIs, etc.) thoughts arising seconds before they are registered by the ""conscious" mind. Your "conscious" memory is closely related to exterior stimuli such as hearing and vision and is used to interpret things around you; a very handy tool.

Your subconscious mind is not a "one way street" by any means. It constantly receives information and manipulates this information into useful form and action. (Hmmmm...Starting to sound like Yogacara here?) As an example I'll ask if you have ever gone to sleep agonizing over a "knotty" question, and woken up with the answer, without using conscious thought? So it's obvious (if your answer is "Yes") when you learn you're "using" your subconscious.......except it's not clear who is "using" who. Your conscious mind also calls on your SC mind for memories and to store conscious decisions.

Personally I believe our Subconscious is our "greater" consciousness. And that what we normally call our "conscious" mind then is actually more of a tool of our true consciousness.

I also feel our mind, when likened to a modern computer, can similarly run the programs and sub-routines of our lives. And this "mind" can be programmed using various skills, such as Buddhism.
One day as Manjusri stood outside the gate, the Buddha called to him:
"Manjusri, Manjusri, why do you not enter?"
Manjusri replied:
"I do not see myself as outside. Why enter?"
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Re: The problem of the subconscious

Postby fukasetsu on Sat May 21, 2016 6:04 pm

You still didn't say on what it does depend :heya:
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Re: The problem of the subconscious

Postby dennis on Sat May 21, 2016 9:04 pm

fukasetsu wrote:You still didn't say on what it does depend :heya:


When you, and I, were "rug rats" our instincts sent us on belly, hands, and knees to learn about our environment.

At this time there was no "you" only awareness, memory, and an urge to learn/explore. I have saved memories of this period.

But I have no memory of the coming of interior identification. What could cause this? I'm guessing it's parents teaching words
with something along the lines of: Yes...this is for YOU...yes YOU! ....and etc. And further re-enforcement through the years,
content dependent upon parents and their teaching.

When Masters co-mingle and have children do these children develop an ego? Do we know how to raise children? Does
this require a village?
One day as Manjusri stood outside the gate, the Buddha called to him:
"Manjusri, Manjusri, why do you not enter?"
Manjusri replied:
"I do not see myself as outside. Why enter?"
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Location: Chico California

Re: The problem of the subconscious

Postby macdougdoug on Sun May 22, 2016 9:07 am

The more concepts we adopt, the more questions arise.
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Re: The problem of the subconscious

Postby fukasetsu on Mon May 23, 2016 4:35 pm

dennis wrote:
fukasetsu wrote:You still didn't say on what it does depend :heya:


When you, and I, were "rug rats" our instincts sent us on belly, hands, and knees to learn about our environment.

At this time there was no "you" only awareness, memory, and an urge to learn/explore. I have saved memories of this period.

But I have no memory of the coming of interior identification. What could cause this? I'm guessing it's parents teaching words
with something along the lines of: Yes...this is for YOU...yes YOU! ....and etc. And further re-enforcement through the years,
content dependent upon parents and their teaching.

When Masters co-mingle and have children do these children develop an ego? Do we know how to raise children? Does
this require a village?


As Mac says a lot of concepts but you seemed to have missed the simple question of 'on what does it depend"

Take a step back and observe instead of allowing that train of thoughts, on what does that very narrative depend?
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Re: The problem of the subconscious

Postby dennis on Wed Jun 08, 2016 6:44 pm

fukasetsu wrote:
dennis wrote:
fukasetsu wrote:You still didn't say on what it does depend :heya:


When you, and I, were "rug rats" our instincts sent us on belly, hands, and knees to learn about our environment.

At this time there was no "you" only awareness, memory, and an urge to learn/explore. I have saved memories of this period.

But I have no memory of the coming of interior identification. What could cause this? I'm guessing it's parents teaching words
with something along the lines of: Yes...this is for YOU...yes YOU! ....and etc. And further re-enforcement through the years,
content dependent upon parents and their teaching.

When Masters co-mingle and have children do these children develop an ego? Do we know how to raise children? Does
this require a village?


As Mac says a lot of concepts but you seemed to have missed the simple question of 'on what does it depend"

Take a step back and observe instead of allowing that train of thoughts, on what does that very narrative depend?


If your meaning of "depend" means something like: "het hangt ervan af" then I would say: An observer/recorder and something (I like)
but can't quite put a name to, although I've tried, (this "thing" seems quite "bright" (?) and......) and don't have words......

(Now that sounded foolish)
One day as Manjusri stood outside the gate, the Buddha called to him:
"Manjusri, Manjusri, why do you not enter?"
Manjusri replied:
"I do not see myself as outside. Why enter?"
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Location: Chico California

Re: The problem of the subconscious

Postby macdougdoug on Wed Jun 08, 2016 10:54 pm

At least we are less likely to be fooled by the foolish sounding stuff. Its when we come up with the clever sounding stuff that things get dangerous. :heya:
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Re: The problem of the subconscious

Postby dennis on Sat Jun 11, 2016 11:15 pm

OK. :heya:

But even though this sounds beyond clever I'd like to post it anyway:

More important than
opening my heart
it is what broke my
head. Because it was
only my head that
was keeping my heart
from being open.

Dr. Larry Brilliant

and this:

The source of love is deep within us
and we can help others realize a lot
of happiness. One word, one action,
one thought can reduce another person's
suffering and bring that person joy.

And I thought: "So that's what was happening today :) "

Just thought I'd share. :dance:
One day as Manjusri stood outside the gate, the Buddha called to him:
"Manjusri, Manjusri, why do you not enter?"
Manjusri replied:
"I do not see myself as outside. Why enter?"
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Location: Chico California

Re: The problem of the subconscious

Postby dennis on Mon Jun 13, 2016 5:23 pm

A foolish question, if I might impose?

If one wishes to speak of dreams such as "walking about as though in a golden cloud",

or a dream of viewing and interacting with others through this "cloud of love",

(as you experience a source of Love within you), or such thoughts/delusions,

where would it be best to take such experiences to learn what they truly mean, if anything?

Or in what source would I find words that speak of this?

Thanks :Namaste:
One day as Manjusri stood outside the gate, the Buddha called to him:
"Manjusri, Manjusri, why do you not enter?"
Manjusri replied:
"I do not see myself as outside. Why enter?"
dennis
 
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Location: Chico California

Re: The problem of the subconscious

Postby desert_woodworker on Mon Jun 13, 2016 5:49 pm

Dennis,

This won't be easy work (as a koan case is not resolved just by reading), but your question reminds me of a situation posed in The Blue Cliff Record, Case 40, within a brief interchange (discussion) between Zen Master Nansen and Minister Rikuko.

The case is also included in The Book of Equanimity, as Case 91 there.

The minister says to the master:

"“Dharma-teacher Jô is wonderful. He truly knows what he is talking about [when he says]: 'Heaven and earth [and I] have one and the same root; all things [and I] are one single body.'

And the Master erupts:

"Minister, people of the present day see these flowers as in a dream!".

(to work on a koan or gong'an, one must do it with a teacher, closely. That said, there may be something in such practice to address your question).

best,

--Joe
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Re: The problem of the subconscious

Postby dennis on Fri Jun 17, 2016 5:41 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:Dennis,

This won't be easy work (as a koan case is not resolved just by reading), but your question reminds me of a situation posed in The Blue Cliff Record, Case 40, within a brief interchange (discussion) between Zen Master Nansen and Minister Rikuko.

The case is also included in The Book of Equanimity, as Case 91 there.

The minister says to the master:

"“Dharma-teacher Jô is wonderful. He truly knows what he is talking about [when he says]: 'Heaven and earth [and I] have one and the same root; all things [and I] are one single body.'

And the Master erupts:

"Minister, people of the present day see these flowers as in a dream!".

(to work on a koan or gong'an, one must do it with a teacher, closely. That said, there may be something in such practice to address your question).

best,

--Joe


Wow Joe. Good exercise for this feeble one. Would you say Nansen's "state of mind" included love?
One day as Manjusri stood outside the gate, the Buddha called to him:
"Manjusri, Manjusri, why do you not enter?"
Manjusri replied:
"I do not see myself as outside. Why enter?"
dennis
 
Posts: 106
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:43 pm
Location: Chico California

Re: The problem of the subconscious

Postby dennis on Fri Jun 17, 2016 6:07 pm

fukasetsu wrote:
dennis wrote:
fukasetsu wrote:You still didn't say on what it does depend :heya:


When you, and I, were "rug rats" our instincts sent us on belly, hands, and knees to learn about our environment.

At this time there was no "you" only awareness, memory, and an urge to learn/explore. I have saved memories of this period.

But I have no memory of the coming of interior identification. What could cause this? I'm guessing it's parents teaching words
with something along the lines of: Yes...this is for YOU...yes YOU! ....and etc. And further re-enforcement through the years,
content dependent upon parents and their teaching.

When Masters co-mingle and have children do these children develop an ego? Do we know how to raise children? Does
this require a village?


As Mac says a lot of concepts but you seemed to have missed the simple question of 'on what does it depend"

Take a step back and observe instead of allowing that train of thoughts, on what does that very narrative depend?


After reading your words I first thought of 3D stereograms, the type of jumbled picture that, if you do not concentrate and
instead relax, and "un-focus" you can view the "hidden" picture that was really there all the time. In this situation each eye
must be focused independently, which is not a natural phenomenon.

So I un-focused my mind the best I could and slowly I began to view/imagine something. If you ask me what it was I won't
have words to describe. Perhaps "that hidden light from which love is born?" I have a caution however: That beautiful gifts,
freely offered often have deeper agendas. So I viewed from afar and didn't dare go further.

But, regardless, for the rest of the day "I wasn't myself." I normally don't engage others, but Saturday I couldn't "help myself(?)"
It seemed my persona was taken over by "Loving Kindness", that's the best I can describe it; everywhere and everyone I met.

Soooooo, as Joe just mentioned/inferred...work harder at finding a Teacher?
One day as Manjusri stood outside the gate, the Buddha called to him:
"Manjusri, Manjusri, why do you not enter?"
Manjusri replied:
"I do not see myself as outside. Why enter?"
dennis
 
Posts: 106
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:43 pm
Location: Chico California

Re: The problem of the subconscious

Postby desert_woodworker on Fri Jun 17, 2016 8:14 pm

dennis wrote:Wow Joe. Good exercise for this feeble one.

Well I don't know if that's so, since I don't know you at all.

But I know that a person is a student and practitioner of Zen Buddhism, or else is not. There's no middle ground. And if one thinks that there is middle ground, then that's just what there is about it, all that there is about it... : thinking. And thinking counts for very little, when it comes to preparing to drop all blinders and supports. If one is seriously interested, one must make a stand, and stand for oneself and all beings. Of course, a teacher is necessary, because there are some things that "one" cannot do for oneself. We all begin by reading, discussing, etc. But practice is the only way to make a start on the path. And practice is learned from a Dharma-friend, and practiced with a community of others. This is not only traditional, but traditional for good and exacting reasons.

Of course, there are other Buddhist practice-schools, and not just Zen Buddhist ones. And other ways that are not Buddhist. One is free to associate ...freely. ;) (good not to mix elements from different traditions, however).

Would you say Nansen's "state of mind" included love?

Why do you ask that? If you feel love, you don't need Nansen's sanction or permission for it.

What's certain about Nansen is that true Wisdom (prajna) and true Compassion (karuna) arose for him, because he had realized he had no self, and no mind. Hence, he lived according to the functions of the true mind, the Buddha mind.

True Compassion is not love, but people who do not know true Compassion or true Wisdom can only suppose that true Compassion has something to do with love. But the two are completely different, and arise in different minds, one awakened to true nature, and one deluded.

I think that perhaps Nansen (and others who are well-practiced) could expediently "affect" love (put it on expediently as a skilful-means), and/but I believe too that any occasional examples of this were genuinely motivated and driven instead by the arising of true Compassion and true Wisdom in him, and not by an arising of dualistic-love itself (which would not, as such, arise in such an awake person).

But, there's no evidence of Nansen having anything to do with love, by the way, no. Plus, as a monastic, he would not have associated with it, as it's one of the things left behind when one leaves-home, in order to discover and uncover our original human inheritances and endowments.

When one leaves-home, one has only Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, and no attachments are encouraged. Worldly things, house-holder things, and dualistic things (love/hate, etc.) are eschewed, in favor of Dharmic practice which leads to awakening to true nature, and then to living fully in accord with true nature, and not in accord with previous illusions of separateness.

Well, just basic background, then and now.

Thanks for the chance to chat,

rgds,

--Joe
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Re: The problem of the subconscious

Postby dennis on Sat Jun 18, 2016 11:17 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:
dennis wrote:Wow Joe. Good exercise for this feeble one.

Well I don't know if that's so, since I don't know you at all.

But I know that a person is a student and practitioner of Zen Buddhism, or else is not. There's no middle ground. And if one thinks that there is middle ground, then that's just what there is about it, all that there is about it... : thinking. And thinking counts for very little, when it comes to preparing to drop all blinders and supports. If one is seriously interested, one must make a stand, and stand for oneself and all beings. Of course, a teacher is necessary, because there are some things that "one" cannot do for oneself. We all begin by reading, discussing, etc. But practice is the only way to make a start on the path. And practice is learned from a Dharma-friend, and practiced with a community of others. This is not only traditional, but traditional for good and exacting reasons.

Of course, there are other Buddhist practice-schools, and not just Zen Buddhist ones. And other ways that are not Buddhist. One is free to associate ...freely. ;) (good not to mix elements from different traditions, however).

Would you say Nansen's "state of mind" included love?

Why do you ask that? If you feel love, you don't need Nansen's sanction or permission for it.

What's certain about Nansen is that true Wisdom (prajna) and true Compassion (karuna) arose for him, because he had realized he had no self, and no mind. Hence, he lived according to the functions of the true mind, the Buddha mind.

True Compassion is not love, but people who do not know true Compassion or true Wisdom can only suppose that true Compassion has something to do with love. But the two are completely different, and arise in different minds, one awakened to true nature, and one deluded.

I think that perhaps Nansen (and others who are well-practiced) could expediently "affect" love (put it on expediently as a skilful-means), and/but I believe too that any occasional examples of this were genuinely motivated and driven instead by the arising of true Compassion and true Wisdom in him, and not by an arising of dualistic-love itself (which would not, as such, arise in such an awake person).

But, there's no evidence of Nansen having anything to do with love, by the way, no. Plus, as a monastic, he would not have associated with it, as it's one of the things left behind when one leaves-home, in order to discover and uncover our original human inheritances and endowments.

When one leaves-home, one has only Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, and no attachments are encouraged. Worldly things, house-holder things, and dualistic things (love/hate, etc.) are eschewed, in favor of Dharmic practice which leads to awakening to true nature, and then to living fully in accord with true nature, and not in accord with previous illusions of separateness.

Well, just basic background, then and now.

Thanks for the chance to chat,

rgds,

--Joe


Thanks Joe, for all of your concern; It's really appreciated. :)

A funny thing happened when I posted this morning (irrelevant). The post wasn't there though this P.M. ssso,
having thought I was waaay too wordy (and feeble), I thought I'd try again...................

I thought I had been clear in some posts above, but I guess not. Duh.

My son gave me a button that says: </evil> Which I understand is to mean: "Do no evil" Computer geeks, what can I tell you?

So my thought was to stay between the button and Nirvana, and choose to be, if not a Buddhist Bodhisattva then just a Bodhisattva.
If I use the wrong term, please forgive.

What do you think of this Joe? Does this sound practical?

"The source of love is deep within us
and we can help others realize a lot
of happiness. One word, one action,
one thought can reduce another person's
suffering and bring that person joy."

Thich Nhat Hanh

I must have forgotten the author's name in my earlier post...mea culpa. :blush:

Or perhaps this is not Zen? If not please disregard. I might replace "love" with
Compassion and Wisdom; I understood your comment, I believe.
One day as Manjusri stood outside the gate, the Buddha called to him:
"Manjusri, Manjusri, why do you not enter?"
Manjusri replied:
"I do not see myself as outside. Why enter?"
dennis
 
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Location: Chico California

Re: The problem of the subconscious

Postby macdougdoug on Sun Jun 19, 2016 8:48 am

Context is everything. The truth is like yoghurt, it has already curdled.

:>.>: Om mani padme Aummmm
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