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Buddhadharma : Summer 2011
winter 2005| 60 |buddhadharma There is rising, there is the awareness of rising; then rising stops and falling begins. When there is falling, there is another mind that is aware of falling. At the moments of rising and falling, there is noting as rising and falling. You see these two things going on. At the moment of rising, there is rising, which is matter, and there is awareness, or noting, which is mind. Mind and matter go in pairs. At every moment, what you see is just these two things: mind and matter. We could also call these the subject and the object – that which notes and that which is noted. You do not see a “person” or a “being.” We are so used to thinking in terms of beings and persons that it is very difficult to get rid of this notion. But when you see for your- self through practice that there are only these two things at this moment and no other thing, you come to realize that what we call a being or a person is just the combination of these two things, mind and matter. Apart from mind and matter, there is noth- ing we can call a person or a being. It is like a car. You talk about driving a car. But in reality a car does not exist; only the parts exist. If you take the parts one by one, you lose the car, although there are still parts. If you put the parts in their respective places again, you get a car. What we call a car is nonexistent; what is truly existent is the parts. In the same way, we call ourselves a being or a person, but in the ultimate analysis there is no person or being, just mind and matter. We see this through our own experience, not because we have read a book or attended a lecture, not because we sat down and speculated. We see for ourselves through the practice of vipas- sana meditation that in every moment there are only two things going on: mind and matter. Sometimes the one that is noted is also mind. Sometimes mind is noting the other mind. Sometimes mind is noting matter. What is noted may be different at different moments. For exam- ple, when you are making notes of rising and fall- ing, you are noting the matter. Then your mind goes out and you see “going out, going out.” Now you are noting the mind. The thing that is noted can be either matter or mind. But the thing that notes is always mind. Even when your one mind is making note of another mind, there is always the physical base, which is dependent upon the mind. Mind can arise only in dependence upon our body. Mind in human beings, in animals, and in some forms of celestial beings always depends on a physical base. If there is no physical base, mind cannot exist by itself. When one mind is noting another mind, that means they are depending upon a physical base, which is matter. When you walk, you make note of lifting, pushing forward, and putting down. Lifting the foot is matter and noting is mind. Pushing forward is matter and not- ing is mind. Putting down is matter and noting is mind. You see clearly at each of those moments that there are just two things going on: mind and matter, mind and matter, mind and matter. When you see mind and matter in this way, you do not see anything over and above mind and matter. Then you have gained right view, an under- standing of the objects as they are. You can only gain this through practice. And when you have gained right view, you are able to abandon the wrong notion that you are a “person,” a “being,” or an “individual.” When we talk, we cannot avoid using these terms – “I,” “you,” “person,” or “being” – because we live in the conventional world. We have to use conventional terms for ease of communication. But in the ultimate sense there is no man, no woman, no being, no person – just mind and matter. Or if We are so used to thinking in terms of beings and persons that it is very difficult to get rid of this notion. But apart from mind and matter, there is nothing we can call a person or a being.