The Way It Is
The sound of silence
As you calm down you can experience the sound of silence in the mind. You hear it as a kind of high frequency sound, a ringing sound that's always there. It is just normally never noticed. Now when you begin to hear that sound of silence, it's a sign of emptiness - of silence of the mind. It's something you can always turn to. As you concentrate on it and turn to it, it can make you quite peaceful, blissful. Meditating on that, you have a way of letting the conditions of the mind cease without just supressing them with another condition. Otherwise you just end up putting one condition over another.
This process is what is meant by making 'kamma'. For example,
if you're feeling angry, then you start thinking of something else to
get away from the anger. This is just putting one condition on top of
another. You don't like what is going on over here, so you look over there,
you just run away. But if you have a way of turning from conditioned phenomena
to the unconditioned, then there is no kind of kamma being made, and the
conditioned habits can fade away and cease. It's like a 'safety hatch'
in the mind, the way out, so your kammic formations,
One problem with meditation is that many people find it
But when you begin to listen and understand the mind better it's a very realisable possibility for all of us. After many years of practice, gross kammic formations fade away, while the more subtle ones also start to fade away. The mind becomes increasingly more empty and clear. But it takes a lot of patience, endurance and willingness to keep practising under all conditions, and to let go even of one's most treasured little habits.
One can believe that the sound of silence
I'm not giving you any kind of identity - there is nothing to attach to. Some people want to know, when they hear that sound, 'Is that stream entry?' or 'Do we have a soul?' We are so attached to the concepts. All we can know is that we want to know something, we want to have a label for our 'self'. If there is a doubt about something, doubt arises and then there is desire for something. But the practice is one of letting go. We keep with what is, recognising conditions as conditions and the unconditioned as the unconditioned. It's as simple as that.
Even religious aspiration is seen as a condition! It doesn't
mean that you shouldn't aspire, but it just means that you should recognise
aspiration in itself as being limited. And emptiness is not-self either
- attachment to the idea of emptiness is
We have memories of what we have done in the past, don't
we? They come up in consciousness when the conditions are there for them
to come. That is the resultant kamma of having done something in the past,
having acted out of ignorance and having done things out of greed, hatred
and delusion, and so forth.
The two ways we can create kamma are with following it or trying to get rid of it. When we stop doing these, the cycles of kamma have an opportunity to cease. The resultant kamma that has arisen has a way out, an 'escape hatch' to cessation.