Deep stuff – Associating/Disassociating our body with our mind…

18 Jun

Tsem Rinpoche came over to Manjushri Hill (my office) and did some stuff with a few of us here. Then he shared an amazing Dharma talk with us. It was quite an extensive teaching on associating our mind with our bodies that creates our suffering. Rinpoche began by uttering something really profound, he said that to have depression is not very much different from being extremely happy. They are basically two sides of the same coin and if we are extremely happy, we can equally be extremely unhappy or depressed and vice-versa. Our suffering comes when our minds continually flip back and forth, back and forth like a pendulum. The extremities of our emotional flipping shows how strong our attachment or ego is.


Then Rinpoche delved deeper into why our minds are so flippant and he landed his point squarely on the statement that we associate our body with our mind. All us are fixated one way or another upon labels and names we or others call ourselves. I am a man and that’s why I am like that. I am a woman and that’s why I feel this way. I am gay and that’s why my lifestyle is like that. I am lazy… I am quick-tempered…so on and so on. Intellectually, we know our minds and bodies are separate entities but our behavior and habituations reflect otherwise. We are engrossed by labels that we impose upon ourselves and that is why over years, our habituations grow stronger, we suffer, become unhappy because we suffer the consequences and we take similar patterns into future lives. Rinpoche said that whatever we do gets imprinted into our subtle mind and our subtle mind according to Tantra, resides on the central channel that runs from the crown of head to the tip of our secret organ.


When we die, our gross mind dissolves and only the subtle mind remains and that will be the one that gets ejected out of the body at death. If you die thinking of our Lama, yidam or protector, your subtle mind will rise and exit through the crown of our heads. That means you will take a good rebirth by the positive throwing karma of that last virtuous thought, which awakens the store of merit that have been accumulated throughout that lifetime. Hence, one should always remember the kindness of our Lama and be loyal, listen to his advice and always strive to put into practice the advice and teachings he has given because that would help us at the time of death. On the other hand, if we die worrying about our family, our money, assets and so forth, the subtle mind will descend downwards and exit through the lower regions. That means that person would take a lower rebirth. Apparently, when we die, we go though a process that corresponds to the dissolution of the 4 elements. Fire – sight, wind – sound, water – taste and earth – tactile feeling. It goes in that order and if we encounter sudden deaths like in an accident, we still go through this process except that it will be faster.

Therefore, in order to avoid suffering, do we stop ourselves for feeling? No, that is not possible. It would be better to understand the source of our suffering and that is our association of our mind and body. It is this view that makes our minds go up and down and it is this view that holds us tight to a limited vision of how we view ourselves and the world around us. Ultimately, our salvation lies in changing our view towards a larger more expansive view of the Dharma. There are those that have an open, larger and more expansive view who practice the Tantras and at death and the bardo, do not see their future parents as just copulating organs but a sacred vision of Heruka and Vajrayogini or Yamantaka and Rolungma or Guhyasamaja and consort or any yidam of the higher Tantras. That means that these great beings have developed control over their death and rebirth. Thus, Rinpoche enjoins us to change our view and experience the same fruit.


2 Responses to “Deep stuff – Associating/Disassociating our body with our mind…”

  1. grace June 19, 2013 at 8:27 am #

    are our minds and bodies SEPERATE ENTITIES or interdependant? can/do they exist without the other?

    • Pastor David Lai June 19, 2013 at 12:13 pm #

      Hi Grace,
      The mind and the body are separate entities but because of our deep-seated view, they have become intimately connected. Our bodies get sick, grow old and eventually die but our minds do not. Hence, if we can gain sufficient control over our minds, we can gain liberation especially at the point of death.

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