Vipashyana on the Origin, Location, and Destination of Thoughts

Vipashyana on the Origin, Location, and Destination of Thoughts


Guided Nondual Meditation with Michael Taft

Streamed live on November 11, 2021

So let’s begin our meditation now. What I’d like you to do is to set up your posture and remember that in these meditations, the way we’re doing this, you’re welcome to meditate standing up if that makes it easier to remain alert and to keep you present with your meditation. You’re also welcome to meditate lying down. For some people lying down meditation actually increases their ability to relax. Now, we don’t want to increase your ability to relax so much that you fall asleep. But assuming you can stay awake, then for many folks laying on your back often with your knees up, is a very very powerful way to meditate. As I’ve mentioned in the past if you’re going to meditate with your knees up you either want to have a bolster like a strong pillow underneath them so that you’re not holding them up with your leg muscles. You’re just allowing them to rest on a pillow. Or a very traditional yogic way to do it is; you take a belt–like a yoga strap or even a belt like a from your pants–and you just put them put it around your knees gently so that the knees can’t separate and then that will hold your legs together again without you having to use your muscle power to do it. And so that’s how we lay on our back with our legs. And that, again, can allow us to relax much more deeply than we might be able to otherwise.

So set up your posture, whatever that is. As usual in this meditation–I’m going to sneeze–you can (thank god for the mute button) There. In these guided meditations, I’m going to do mine sitting up and with my glasses on because I’m watching the computer, but for you, you want to do it sitting. If you want to do it sitting up or laying down or even standing up you probably want glasses off, if you have glasses. 

And for sitting make sure that your back feels really nice. Your back is upright. Your lower back is curving in, and your back is nice and erect, not tense, not like you’re a soldier sitting up, but still nice and upright. And the top of your head will have this interesting feeling that it’s being pulled in this very gentle pleasant way and that causes your chin to tuck just a little bit. And there’ll be this sense that your back, now your spine, is just right. It’s in this perfect spot in the middle where it’s not too much effort. It doesn’t take too much effort to keep it upright, feels perfectly balanced, and really relaxed and nice. That’s what we want. So set that all up and make sure that your face is relaxed, and your neck and throat are relaxed, and your shoulders are relaxed. Okay, so the spine is upright but the rest of the body is really loose, really open, really relaxed, really gentle, feels good, right? 

And then, from there, we’re going to start out with a metaphor tonight. We like to meditate with metaphors. And tonight–remember recently we did the metaphor of being like a mountain, and then before that we were doing it like being fire, we were using the element fire–tonight we’re going to meditate like we sometimes do using the element space. 

Okay, so in the traditional Indian system there are not four elements; earth, air, fire, water, there are five. There is fire, water, and space and so that’s the quintessence, right? The fifth element. So in this case the fifth element is not Leeloo Multipass but in fact is space, right? And we are just pretending or taking on the metaphor of being space, right? So I want you to sit as if you are vast space. We’re not imagining space in the sense of picturing the sky in our mind or something. But in a way sky is another way to say the element space. The real word for it is akash in sanskrit like if you’ve ever heard Akashic records that’s what they’re talking about the records that are stored in space and that’s coming from the theosophy tradition which is kind of funny. But akash is just the word for the tattva or the element of space. So, we’re being space right now. 

You often hear me talk about vast spacious awareness when we’re talking about pristine awareness right? Rigpa, or awake awareness, or pristine awareness–the mind with no conceptualization of any kind. The mind of the Buddha that I’m always talking about. The mind of a fully awakened being, that’s rigpa, that’s awake awareness, that’s pristine awareness. The closest metaphor to pristine awareness, it’s a metaphor but the very closest one, is space. It’s just spacious, there’s room because there’s no conceptualization, there’s no reification of self and world, and therefore it just feels…it has this feeling of expansiveness and openness. 

Why is space just a metaphor for awake awareness? Well, because when we think of space as an element it’s dead. It’s just; there’s nobody, there’s nothing and nobody there, right? But when we’re talking about the mind of a Buddha, when we’re talking about Rigpa, when we’re talking about awake awareness, it’s like space but it’s got one additional important feature that’s different than space and that is what? It’s cognizant. It is knowing. It’s having an experience, right? It is awake. It’s not just dead space. It’s alive space. It’s space with knowing, in other words, it’s conscious, right? So I want you to just settle in right now to feeling like awake space or conscious space or we could just say vast spacious awareness as I always do, right? 

So we’re meditating like we’re a vast sky, right? A vast endless open sky with no clouds, no obstructions, no boundaries. It’s bigger than the actual sky, right? Because the actual sky has boundaries but this has no boundaries of any kind. It’s just space and so get that feeling of being awake, aware space, vast spacious awareness and just settle into that and just feel that now.

And tonight we’re going to–again–we’re going to visualize our own buddhanature, our own already existing awakened mind, our already existing pristine awareness, which is already there. The only reason you’re not noticing it if you’re not in this very moment is just called not noticing. The technical term would be avidya, it’s like ignorance, but it’s not like ignorance in English, which has a kind of a negative connotation, it just means you’re not aware of it. And so we make ourselves aware of it. We make ourselves aware of our already existing, fully perfect and pure Buddha awareness right in this moment, and oftentimes we will picture a particular deity in Buddhism, or whatever. 

Tonight we’re going to do–I’m going to leave it up to you–I’m going to say I want you to picture a mother deity, a mother goddess, or some kind of mother archetype that is very positive.This can be the Virgin Mary, it can be Green Tara, it could be Kuan Yin, it could be many many other female deities. But it could also just be kind of the idea of mother, but not a human mother, it’s a fully enlightened, fully awake, or I should say not just a normal human mother, but a normal human mother, or a deity mother manifesting full pristine awareness, manifesting even beyond that full liberation, full Buddhahood with all its powers. And so picture this loving being before you now. And maybe that’s a–when I say picture I mean maybe it is really an image in your mind–but it might also just be a feeling or a mood or whatever. 

So there’s this mother archetype in front of you now and I want you to really settle in with this mother archetype. She is in front of you now, beaming a sense of total unconditional love and acceptance. You are fine just exactly the way you are. You are loved exactly the way you are. She’s beaming right now to you tremendous wisdom and clarity, right? She is wise, like a million years wise, a billion years wise, and that’s coming into your mind now, and she has perfect clarity, nothing is foggy, or muddy, or sleepy, or fuzzy, or dark. It’s crystal clear, right? That’s the wakefulness property of Buddhahood. That’s in fact what the word Buddha means, it doesn’t mean a god or something. It means awake. So when people said to the Buddha–when he first got enlightened, they were like, “are you a god? What are you? And he just said, “I’m awake,” and when you say that in his language which was something like Mahdi but close to Pali he said, “I am Buddha, I am awake.” So it’s just the word that means awake. So this archetypal mother is awake, perfect clarity, perfect wisdom, that’s that Buddha nature fully awake and that’s beaming into your mind right now together with what? The most important property; confidence, confidence in yourself, confidence in your practice, confidence in your ability to notice and recognize your own enlightened nature, your own Buddha mind. So just take that into your being really clearly now.

Good, and now what I’d like you to notice next is, of course, the divine mother has a heart like dripping honey, is full of love, and full of kindness, and compassion, and caring, and not just that; it’s joyous, so happy, so joyful and joyful for you all the good things that happen for you cause this mother archetype to feel mudita, like that honey-like sweetness, that joyfulness in your joy. And so feel this mother deity beaming love to you, beaming kindness and caring, gentleness beaming joy, tremendous joy, and joy in your joy, right? The things that bring you true joy make her happy for you. That’s mudita, right? So these qualities of karuna-compassion, mudita that joy in your joy, and maitri the quality of friendliness, and caring, and kindness, right? So this is just beautiful energy coming from her heart into your heart, melting your heart, opening your heart, allowing you to beam with kindness and caring, but also with great joy, tremendous joy. So feel that now.

Good, and then again we’ll go down to the belly, the belly of the great mother and from this tremendous belly that births the whole world–right? It gives birth to the entire universe moment by moment–the belly of the great mother is beaming to you health and strength. It’s beaming to you energy, life force, life-giving life force energy, and it’s beaming to you what comes with all that health and life force, which is this sense of play, playfulness, right? When we have spare energy, when we feel really healthy and joyous, we become playful, we become spontaneous, we become loose and open and free, right? So, beaming from the belly of the great mother, which gives life to the entire universe, you feel life coming in, health and strength coming in, life force energy coming in, and that’s bringing up this sense of playfulness and spontaneity. So, tune into that now.

Good, now as usual I want you to breathe in that image of the great mother and take it into your heart so that she is your heart, and allow the energy of wisdom and clarity in the head to come into the heart. And let this energy of spontaneity and playfulness and health and strength and life force come into your heart. So, it’s all one big ball of awake awareness shining in your heart, tremendously bright, tremendously soft and kind, tremendously wise, deep, and clear, tremendously, of course, just radiating love, radiating joy, radiating kindness, and friendliness. And just sit with that now. We’re going to sit with that for a few minutes together. I want you to just allow that tremendous enlightened mother energy to just radiate in your heart and radiate out. Let’s do that now together.

Feeling all that beautiful energy radiating within you, remember the confidence. Notice that this is coming from your own Buddha nature, your own already existing, fully enlightened nature, and so feel that confidence. Understand that you are a Buddha and so meditating is, in the long run no problem, awakening in the long run no problem, full of liberation in the long run no problem. Why? Because even in the short run, even in this very moment, it’s already here and all we’re doing is learning to recognize it, learning to see it more clearly. So, feel that, feel that confidence, feel that clarity, and really tune into that.

Okay. Good. Now let’s do our Shamatha with an object. It means, of course, we’re going to get nice and stable. And with an object means we’re going to use some external, or apparently external, or apparently not-our-mind, type object to stabilize our mind with. And so let’s do that on the breath. So, I want you to notice as your breath is coming in–we’re feeling it, feeling it, feeling it, feeling it all the way to the bottom of the breath, and notice the end of the in-breath. Really notice that moment when the in-breath ends, and then feeling the breath going out, out, breath out, breath out, breath out, breath going out, and then feeling it all the way, and then notice the very end of the out-breath. And make sure you notice the very end of the out breath. Don’t miss it. Then we’re taking the breath in again, and feeling, waiting, waiting, noticing, noticing, noticing, until we mark the end of the in-breath. Breathing out again, breathing out, breathing out, breathing out, breathing out, until we notice the end of that out-breath. Don’t miss those. 

And as long as we stay with those you’re gonna get more and more focused on the breath. So don’t lose those two moments; end of the in-breath, into the out-breath. And if you want to you can label while you’re breathing; breathing in, breathing in, breathing in, breathing in, breathing out, breathing out, breathing out, breathing out, like that, in a very gentle tone, maybe even more gentle than I just did it. Breathing in, breathing in, breathing in, breathing out, breathing out, breathing out. And staying with it very very clearly and continuously. Don’t miss a second, and if you do, just come right back, staying right with that breath. We don’t have to stay with it like with tight focus but we want to get continuously involved with the breath, noticing every moment of the in-breath, and every moment of the out-breath. And it’s really helpful to notice the end of the in-breath and the end of the out-breath because that’ll just make sure you’re staying with it, you’re staying with it, you’re staying with it. So, get as involved as possible with that breath’s sensation.

Okay. Good. Now, if that’s working for you and you’re getting nice and focused on that breath then just stay with that. If the next move is too difficult then just stay with the breath, that’s fine. The next move we’re going to do is Shamatha still, but Shamatha without an object. So, we drop the breath now, and it’s just there in the background but we’re not focusing on it, and instead we’re just being space. We allow the awareness to just be its natural vastness, its natural spaciousness. We’re not making the awareness spacious. We’re not somehow pushing it or whatever we’re just allowing awareness to be naturally spacious. And then in that space, way in the background, we might feel the breath coming and going, but all we’re really doing is allowing that vast spacious awareness to be aware of itself. It just rests in itself. It’s naturally very still, and so this wakeful space is just aware of itself, and then and that takes no effort. That’s not some strong doing, it’s just–you’re already aware, right? You’re not doing anything to be aware and so that awareness is just aware that it’s aware. That’s it, and it’s resting like that while the breath comes and goes in the background. If thoughts come up we’re just not engaging those at all, emotions come up we’re just not engaging those at all, even the sense of the exterior world, the sights and sounds, or any kind of body sensations, we’re just not engaging those at all. They’re there but no engagement, instead we’re just allowing this vast spacious awareness to rest perfectly still in itself. So let’s do that now together. I usually do this with my eyes open, by the way.

Again, awareness is just resting in itself, engaging with nothing, so if thoughts come up–let’s just let that happen, but if you find yourself involved in the thought at all just drop that. If emotions come up and you find yourself involved in that at all just drop that. Where awareness is only aware of itself; vast, spacious, still, bright, clear, cognizant, and just completely motionless, completely at rest, uninvolved with anything. 

Again, if this is too hard, feel free to go back to focusing on the breath. Sometimes since that gives you a more solid seeming object, something a little more concrete-seeming to focus on. But if you can do this, there’s the sense of awareness just resting, and it doesn’t go out to anything, it doesn’t go out and grab a thought. If you feel it go out and grabbing a thought you just drop that and allow it to come back to resting. If you feel it going out to grab anything just let go of that come back to resting, over and over again. Just allow awareness to just be still and clear without doing anything, right? It doesn’t need to do anything at all. It’s already bright, clear, still, perfect, pretty, clear, bright. Notice how still that vast spacious awareness can be. Awareness is perfectly still but you also notice that things come up sometimes, and perhaps sometimes you get involved with them, particularly thoughts, but thoughts are not our enemy. We just have to learn to work with them properly.

So, let’s switch now from shamatha without an object to some Vipashyana. Vipashyana means insight, right? So we’re going to get insight into the nature of thought. Hint–thoughts are empty, just like emotions are empty, just like the exterior world is empty, just like personality is empty. All empty, right? And so, what I want you to do now is maintain that skylike awareness and remember the sky, the vast spacious sky of awareness is still. It’s perfectly still, perfectly cognizant, bright, clear knowing. And then notice how–now we’re going to look at something now, this is engagement–notice how thoughts come into that sky of the mind, and they’re moving just like birds through the sky, or something, clouds through the sky. So the sky itself is perfectly still, and then there’s thoughts that move through the sky, and I want you to just look at that now. 

Just allow this awareness to effortlessly notice that thoughts move through it. You don’t need to focus tightly, don’t use attention on the thoughts, just allow this vast awareness–because it is aware–to just notice the thoughts moving through. It’s remaining uninvolved in the thoughts, but now actually noticing them moving, noticing them moving. Let’s do this for a few minutes. The thoughts are moving. The mind is still.

Remain completely uninvolved in the content of the thought. Just allowing awareness to notice that thoughts are moving like birds in the sky. They’re just moving, moving. We’re not attaching to them. We’re not getting involved. We’re not going for a ride with the bird. We’re just noticing that it’s movement in the still sky of mind.

Okay. Good. Now, continuing to rest in this vast spacious awareness, the sky-like mind. I want you to notice now; where are these thoughts occurring? These moving thoughts, where are they occurring? And I don’t mean in your head, I mean in the sky of awareness is there any actual location that we can pinpoint and say they’re there? In a real physical location? As thoughts just sail through the sky of the mind, where is that even occurring? Look into that, and if you think you found a location, ask yourself; where is that location in reality? What spot in the world is that? Hint–there isn’t one. So interesting, in the vast sky of the mind, the vast sky of awareness, thoughts come and go, moving against the still background of awareness, and yet you cannot actually locate them in a place. But maybe they’re coming from somewhere. So, now allow awareness to simply investigate where thoughts come from. What is their source? Is there like a hole they come out of? Is there a particular spot they arise from? Can you find that spot? Allow awareness to look very clearly, very carefully now and keep looking. Keep looking. Where do these thoughts come from? In terms of space, what is their origin? Hint–you can’t find an origin but keep looking.

Good. So, notice that not only is there no location of thought, there’s no origin of thought. It’s just appearing. It just appears in awareness somewhere, moving. A moving thought appears from nowhere, dances in awareness for a few moments, and then what happens? It disappears. But maybe, even though we don’t know where they’re coming from, and we don’t know where they are while they’re there, maybe there’s a particular spot they disappear to. So, I want you to watch, or to put it more clearly, I want awareness to just be aware of the place where thoughts disappear to. And see if you can find such a place. Allow awareness to look with tremendous clarity now.

So, thoughts disappear, but they don’t disappear to anywhere. So we have this interesting situation where thoughts have no origin, they just appear out of nowhere, and they have no location when they appear out of nowhere. They’re not located anywhere. They’re just in awareness, whatever that means. We’re aware of them. They’re somewhere flying in the vast sky of awareness but that’s not really a location and then when they disappear. They disappear again to somewhere we know not. We don’t know where they go. So, we don’t know the origin, destination, or location of thought, and that means thoughts are empty. It doesn’t mean there’s no content. It doesn’t mean there isn’t a thought but it means it’s empty. And so now just allow yourself, allow awareness to just rest in itself again, uninvolved with thought resting. Awareness resting on its lotus, not reaching out for anything, divinely in divine repose, completely relaxed, completely open, completely bright, and vivid, and clear, and sharp, uninvolved with anything, especially thought. 

Okay. Good. Now let’s notice again this sun of full enlightenment radiating in the heart. It’s like the sun in the vast sky of awareness. So we have this vast, vast infinite awareness sky, and the sun in the heart of it is radiating wisdom and clarity out to the whole universe, and it’s radiating love and joy and kindness and caring to the whole universe, and it’s radiating health and strength and life and vitality and playfulness and spontaneity to the whole universe. And feel the sun of awareness in the sky, and the vast sky, the sun of enlightenment in the vast sky of awareness radiating out, radiating out, radiating out now, shining and flowing with all these buddha properties all these enlightened mother properties. Feel that just spilling out, overflowing in all directions, this exquisite sun of full pristine utterly complete liberation buddhahood shining in this vast vast sky of awareness, touching all beings everywhere.

 Okay. Good. Okay, let’s end that there. Now allow yourself to move and stretch. Stretch like a little kitty cat, oh, nice big cat stretch. Feel good, that feels…maybe a different cat stretch. Allow your body to feel loose, and free, and open, and very, very, very gentle and soft. Have a drink of water. Adjust in whatever way you need to adjust to feel comfy. 

I want to talk for a little bit about what we looked at when we did Vipashyana, right? Which is clear seeing, that’s what it means; clear seeing, or insight. And what were we getting insight into there? We were looking at thoughts. We were allowing awareness to just notice thoughts, thoughts coming and going. Fascinating thing about thoughts is what we looked at you can’t–you’re having a thought and you can have a thought so strongly you get completely involved in it, right? So it’s not that there’s no thought there. There are thoughts there but the interesting question is; where is that happening? Of course, the modern way we’re taught to think is–oh, that’s happening in my head–but I don’t mean it that way because that’s an idea about where it’s happening. I mean in experience. In awareness where are the thoughts happening? When you look at it like that from inside the experience, not referring to ideas about thought but rather just the moment-by-moment experience of thought. They’re not happening anywhere in particular. They’re just, we could say, in awareness. But awareness–where’s that? It’s a vast sky. Can’t locate that either. To even talk about a location is absurd. Awareness is just aware. It’s vast and boundless. 

And so notice that even though these thoughts that are happening–you can tell another person the content of it, you know there’s a thought there–you can’t really determine a location. Furthermore, you can’t determine a source. They just seem to come from nowhere. They pop into awareness and where are they popping into awareness? Again, in a way, the question doesn’t even make sense. They’re just popping into awareness, wherever that is. And that’s really interesting. So, they’re just popping into awareness and from somewhere, from nowhere really, and they’re located somewhere, or we could say nowhere, really. And then when you watch them disappear, awareness can see the thought come to an end, or hear it blah blah blah blah blah blah blah, it’s coming to an end but where does it go? Where does it go when it ends? Well, again the answer is clear at this point. But awareness looks closely, awareness looks closely and what does awareness find? The thoughts don’t go anywhere, they’re just gone. And so what kind of thing in the world–we think about our experience in the world–what kind of thing comes from nowhere, and isn’t located anywhere, and then goes to nowhere? Right, this is really odd, right? 

It’s like normally we would just say that’s something that doesn’t exist if it didn’t come from anywhere, and even when it’s here it’s not located anywhere, and then when it finally goes away from being here, which is nowhere, it goes to nowhere. In our normal way of talking about that we’d say that doesn’t exist. It doesn’t exist. That’s not a thing! But it’s funny because, of course, it does exist in the sense that a thought is happening; there’s words there, and concepts, and you can experience it, right? You can experience it. The awareness experienced a thought there. So, it’s both not there in any way that we can determine and at the same time it’s there as an experience. And so there’s a technical term for that in Buddhism and that’s called emptiness. That’s emptiness there–but not there, right? 

Another way to talk about it is, well, what’s emptiness? Empty, this is just the English translation of the word Shunyata. Shunya is Sanskrit for empty or zero. It’s also the number zero. Shunya. Ta means zeroness or emptiness, and it has the connotation of a hollow reed, like what you would make into a flute, like a bamboo flute, like a hollow reed that you could put holes in and use as a flute. So, it’s hollow in the way it’s like there, but it’s hollow it’s there, but not there, right? It seems to be there, but if you poked it you couldn’t even find it to poke, but if you could poke it your finger’d go right through it. It’s just not there.

So, a couple images that come to mind for me when I think about emptiness. One is when I was a kid I would go out into the fields in Michigan, there’s a lot more fields back then, you would go out into the field in the summer and you would find these big grasshopper husks, right? So, a grasshopper is an insect that has an exoskeleton and it sheds that exoskeleton in order to grow, right? It’s gotta get out of its old suit of armor and then it bulks up and then grows a new hard suit of armor around that bigger bulk, right? So it’s molting, or whatever, but what you find–just like a snake skin or whatever–you find a grasshopper exoskeleton hanging on a reed. It grabbed onto the reed when it broke out and it’s just this–it looks exactly like a grasshopper except it’s like an empty shell. You can see right through it, and it’s cracked open, and there’s nothing inside, but it’s still the shape of a grasshopper. There’s not absolutely nothing there but it’s totally hollow, totally empty, right? There–but not there. Another image that comes to mind is a movie. So, let’s say you have a movie of a horse, and you’re watching this movie of a horse, and I asked you where– okay you’re seeing a horse on a screen–and if I said where is that horse located? Again, from memory you could say–well, that horse that they’re filming was in Montana, or whatever. But that’s not my question, the horse you’re seeing right now, where is it? And you could say–well, it’s on a screen, it’s on a screen. But really is there a horse on that screen? Is that horse located on the screen? Or are photons hitting a screen, and they’re bouncing off the screen, and they’re hitting your eyes. And so, you could say–well, maybe the horse is located in my eyes. But here’s the answer; you can’t find where that horse is located. And is it even a horse? It’s just an image like “n’est pas une pipe” right? It’s it’s not a pipe. This is not a pipe. It’s not a bomb. It’s not a horse. It’s just an image of a horse, so even asking—where’s the horse?—is like, bizarre. 

It’s an unanswerable question. That’s emptiness. That’s emptiness. And it turns out that everything is like that. Everything. The computer on your desktop is empty in that special way, your best friend is empty like that in that special way, even you, your deepest innermost stuff. Remember your thoughts are empty like that. Well, same thing with your feelings, same thing with your sense of history, all that is there–but not there. It’s empty in this very interesting way and this is what we’re trying to notice when we do the Vipashyana section of the meditation.

It’s very important to notice that anything that we try to congeal around, anything that we try to make a self around, anything that we try to make an other around, anything that we try to concretize, or solidify, or give a definite place, or give a definite time, is–we’re actually just making that up, right? It doesn’t have any of those properties. It’s there in the sense of an experience but that experience is arising in awareness, and it has no location, no origin, no destination. It is empty. So, even the experience you’re having of being you right now, if you look carefully, it’s just arising in awareness. That’s why I’m always saying, “you’re not in the world, the world is in you” meaning; the world is arising in the vast sky of your own awareness and that is not located anywhere. So when we say insight this is the insight I want you–the fundamental insight–I want you to really grock. Grock emptiness. Grock that a thought that you’re involved with is really just empty, a feeling you’re involved with–empty, even the sense of involvement, who’s involved, that’s empty. Where are you while you’re meditating? That’s empty. Who is meditating? That’s empty. All of it is empty. Again, that doesn’t mean it’s not there, it just means the way it’s there is completely fundamentally unknowable. It’s a crazy mystery. It’s not a thing in the way that we typically imagine things to be things. 

So this is emptiness and it’s a core concept that we must understand, and furthermore, it’s what helps us to stabilize the awareness of awareness. So, when we allow awareness to rest in itself and I’m like–okay, here come the thoughts, here come the thoughts, and don’t be involved with them. Notice that that’s hard to do. If you think the thoughts are things they become fascinating, and you can climb onto them and get all involved. Getting involved in a thought is like curling up inside a little dream. “Oh, I’m going to get inside another little dream. Oh, I’m going to get inside another little dream.” That’s what being fused with thoughts is, you’re just getting sucked into a little mini dream, and that’s why the awakened mind is called awake, right? They use the word awake for a reason, because you’re coming out of that little dream and just noticing.

One of the things that can help us come out of the dream of thought is to get that thoughts are empty. They’re totally empty, and so is the thinker, so is the whole sense of why the thoughts would be important, so is the sense of emotion around the importance of the thought. It’s all got this crazy, nebulous, fog-like emptiness that is very beautiful and very empowering, right? So, everything, the fullness of the entire world, comes from this tremendous emptiness. 



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