Intelligence, mind and consciousness

Intelligence, mind and consciousness
Recently the book «Intelligence, mind and consciousness. Hand, Citta, Viññana» from the Buddhist monk and teacher Dhiravamsa, ed. Kairos. It is a translation book of the main sutras in which the Buddha deals with this triad that forms what we understand as the mental body. The truth is that it is a dense book, which honors jñaña yoga, or the yoga of study and introspection. It is to return to the origin of the sacred texts or of the Buddhist philosophy initiated by the Buddha himself, as the author proclaims in other words “Just as the Buddha taught it”. Dhiravamsa does translation work for Western minds and provides commentary on the sutras from his long experience as a Buddhist teacher. It breaks down detail by detail as Buddha through logical thinking and the experience of this physical life, he concludes that suffering arises from the desires that create consciousness and bind us to the cycle of the wheel of birth and death. Intelligence, mind and consciousness are three concepts that are also repeated in darshana or the philosophical path of yoga. Mano, intelligence, is what we understand as intellectual process; citta or mind, is our subjective mind, which adds color to what we see, with its fluctuations; while viññana or consciousness, is this source of superior, clear and objective knowledge. Still, Buddhist philosophy differs from yoga philosophy not so much in the goals but above all in the method of reaching them. In these texts we see how Buddha, instructed in the philosophy of Hinduism as a bhraman or the ruling caste, speaks directly to them, so that they break with their beliefs, so that they free themselves from their identification with the mind.

complexity or simplicity

Meditation can be seen as something very complex. Many people, when approaching our meditation classes for the first time, repeat the phrase: "I don't know how to meditate." Or in conscious breathing classes, "I don't know how to breathe." Nothing is further from reality. Sit for a few minutes, observe the physical body, observe the breath and finally observe the mental processes. There's no need for much more. Sometimes we get complicated in something that is a very simple process. It is the mind, perfectionism, competitiveness, wanting more and more, thinking and doing before feeling and being. It is true that some people, including myself, with very active minds, need all this intellectualization of the process. We seek, as the Greeks did, the truth. A unique truth that resonates with us. As a result, knowledge brings us closer to our true selves.

Identify or disidentify

In reading the book, one of the themes that has resonated with me the most is about identification. Buddha narrates and thus it comes to us through the author that the one who identifies with the physical body is as far from the truth as the one who identifies with his mind.
If these dull uninstructed people were to imagine that this physical body composed of the four elements is their "true self," that would be better than apprehending citta, mano, or viññana and regarding it as a self. […] The reason is that the physical body may exist for a year, or two years, or even a hundred years, but what is known as “citta”, “hand” or “viññana” arises and ceases every moment, everything time (day and night).
The mind that fluctuates, the mind that dominates and is dominated at the same time by the senses, the body and takes us away again and again from our center.

Yoga practice for the mind

Yoga helps us recognize and observe the mind. To do this, we do not practice only with the physical body, but rather breath and mind are aligned in each asana. Consequently, through the attention and observation present, we will be able to recognize and observe these more internal and subtle fields or layers. Do you identify with your physical body? With your muscles? With your ailments, tensions, illnesses? Each posture or asana is a mirror of the internal, we reflect and observe. The most important thing or the key to disidentifying ourselves from the physical body and beginning to recognize the different layers that make up our being is breathing. Breathe to transcend the physical body. Breathe to access more subtle levels of consciousness. Breathe because the prana, the vital energy, will circulate through all your bodies, nourishing and revitalizing them. Breathe and feel. The breathing in one of the bhavanas, supports for practice that help us focus, more important and used in all kinds of meditation techniques. Yet beyond meditation, when we merge into the object of observation and are no longer body, mind, or emotions, when we transcend the body; Only then does the fusion occur. Then we approach the causal body. That is to say to our true being.

Intelligence, mind and consciousness

The three are part according to the yoga of the suti body, sūkṣmaśarīra, deeper, higher and difficult to access, is made up of two layers related to the mind and its processes (manomayakośa and vijñānamayakośa). The first mental layer: Hand either manas, refers to intelligence, thought, the mental intellect, also to the subject who thinks and desires, who has the capacity to attention. It is about our most rational mind, with its thoughts and mental processes. I think and therefore I exist. This mental activity governs our day to day, our sleep and also our practice. It includes expressed thoughts (speech), unexpressed thoughts, emotions, dreams, and any activity of our minds that generates conscious action. The mind, quote, would be the receptacle of said hand. It is the one that alters, the one that fluctuates, the one that changes. The one that by reason of the ignorance of being makes us suffer and generate suffering to others. the next layer, vijñānamayakośa, is the sheath of discernment. Another mental layer, this time made up of more subtle and intuitive knowledge and less of mental processes. Vijna it is knowledge, discernment, understanding, intellect, in other words sacred or intuitive knowledge, but it is still part of the mind and the physical world, it is one of the 5 aggregates of the ego and the third cause of suffering.

If I am not my mind, who am I?

There is something beyond your thought. Something beyond your identification with intelligence, mind and consciousness. Do you become too abstracted from what surrounds you and are unable to be present? Or on the contrary, do you not get the way that external stimuli do not influence you? Very somatic people will carry part of this mental activity, especially that referring to our emotions (expressed or not) towards the physical body. Consequently, ailments, tensions, postural changes that lead to injury, etc. will appear in our physical body. The most important thing we can understand is this inner empowerment. Wisdom or knowledge is something of ours, it is not imposed from outside. You know, you know. There is something in you that tastes better than any other. Yoga gives us access to this layer of intuition to this wisdom beyond ordinary thought and mathematical knowledge. So I invite you to observe yourself in each practice, in each breath, observe the mind, observe the conscience and do not identify with it.

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