Lorig: Way of Knowing Mind – Session 4


Two divisions of mind: direct perceivers and conceptual thoughts.
Five sense consciousness and meaning generality.



Hello  and ‘tashi delek’ to everyone. Very nice to be back here in this class. 

Two divisions of mind: direct perceivers and conceptual thoughts.
Five sense consciousness and meaning generality’.

This will be our topics, quite a bit of small topics, but these all topics are related to each other. Of course, remind me if I miss because too many of them. But each linked to each other so it’s easier  to remember. You might wonder, like “Oh this is too many kinds of minds now, what’s the point of understanding?” 

The point of understanding is that we basically rely on the mind, but we react based on how we feel, we react based on how we think, we react based on what we understand or what we think we   understand. If we react based on that, so to follow those minds to which we always react for our whole life, it is good to understand which of them are nice and which of them are not nice. It’s more like the way we react as the actor, we and our body and our speech just an actor, and our mind is like a director. We have too many kind of directors, so it is good to know which director is what?

If you think that you are a president of your own world and then these minds are like advisors. There are too many advisors, when you get angry, there is an advisor says like “Say something bad to that person!” Now there is a mind which acts as an advisor advising you to say something bad. There is a mind which advises you that “OK, you just listen to some sad songs or go and talk to someone”. There is a mind which is being an advisor and telling you to OK cry. 

So any decision that you make there is a mind which says to do, there is a mind which says don’t do, there is a mind which says “OK, rebel, rebel”. There are different minds, all these minds are being our advisors. So now we have to understand which advisor is reliable, and that we can follow, and which advisors are not reliable and we should not follow. 

So we are here to know those advisors which always are there to advise us like “do this, do that”, which always push us to engage in activities with physical or verbal. Sometimes the advisors are not good, it let us engage in some wrong activity, and then we suffer. Many of the prisoners in prison, many of them might be a good person in general, many of them are like they did a crime just once, it’s not like they used to do it all the time. There might be some people who always used to do  bad things, then they are different. But there are some people who are like sort of innocent in some sense, but at that time, the situation pushes the person to do something bad or a person doesn’t intend to do something bad, but it happened because at that time one of the advisors advised the person to do such things. 


So if I repeat the points that you go through today, it will be the mind we classify those advisors into two categories: one is ‘direct perceivers’, another is ‘conceptual thoughts’, I’m going to explain  these things a bit later. And in direct perceivers, there will be like ‘five sense consciousness’, so we will talk a bit about five sense consciousness. Conceptual thought has this ‘meaning generality’. There is something called meaning generality, it just an image that appears in our mind when we think of something, so there is pretty much the objects of the conceptual thought. 

So basically these are the two things that we’re going to talk, in the direct perceivers there will be a few categories we’re going to talk, but generally direct perceivers and  conceptual thoughts: 

  • In direct perceivers, we will divide the direct perceivers into four divisions, but basically we will also touch on the five sense consciousness. 
  • On the conceptual thought, we’re gonna go what the meaning generality is and what is the conceptual thought, of course. And at the end we’re gonna make a bit of conclusion which is reliable and which is not reliable.

If you are listening to these things for the first time, it might sound too much complex or too many things, but in fact it is very simple, it’s not like you are knowing the names, but the actual things that I’m talking you experience it every day. So I’m talking something which you have been dealing with your whole life, basically it’s very  easy, you just feel, try to know from your own experience “Uh, it is that, this is that, this is that”. It’s more like you already know the person, but I’m just introducing the names of those persons, it’s quite easy. 

1. Direct perceivers – Five sense consciousness.

So first, direct perceivers, these are quite interesting because these are all our friends we are with it forever. So direct perceivers, we’re calling direct perceivers, these are those minds which object the phenomena directly, there is nothing in between. There are some minds we see the objects through a sort of a curtain, those are not clear, I will telling about this later on. Direct, it means there’s no sort of curtain, there is nothing which as in hindrance in between, and you object the phenomena directly. 

In short, when you remember something, when you close your eyes, you think of your mother, then the image appears, for instand, our mind see that image as our mother, we think that “Oh that’s my mother’s house, that’s my house,  that’s my car, this my mother’s face, mother’s hairs, etc., so when you  think that, actually what appears in your mind is not the actual mother, it’s just some images of mother, but then you often confuse that image to the mother and you think “Ah that’s mother, that’s  my car”. So you go through a curtain between your mind and your mother, there is an image or a sort of a curtain in between while direct perceiver are those minds which object the phenomena directly, there is no curtain in between, there is no image that has to go through. For example, you  all see the screen right now, so there is nothing that you go through, basically your eye consciousness, the eye consciousness that see the screen is direct perceiver, you are objecting the phenomena directly, it’s quite simple.

Basically direct perceiver, it not only has to be something which object the phenomena directly, but it also has to be non mistaken. Because there are some eye consciousness which are mistaken, it’s more like when you put your finger below your eyes and then look at the moon then you might see two moons, that eye is not direct perceiver, it’s mistaken because you see two moons, but two moons doesn’t exist, so that is mistaken. 

And likewise, when you are in a boat, or maybe you are in a train, and then there is a train next to your train, but then when the other train runs, you’re gonna feel like your train is going through; or maybe sometimes the other train is not moving, but your train is like very fast running and then you’re gonna see like the other train is running back. So those you see directly, but these are mistaken. There are lots like all the mirages, these you see directly, there is nothing in between but it is mistaken, so that’s why there’s those are not direct perceivers. 

I think you got like kind of clear idea of direct perceivers, if somebody asks how many types of direct perceivers are there? Basically, there are four: sense direct perceivers, sense like five senses, sense direct perceivers, mental direct perceivers, self-knowing direct perceivers – This is an interesting one, I’m going to explain a bit later, selfknowing direct perceiver basically is a mind which knows itself and which knows just the mind, our eyes know the outer phenomena, there are certain minds which only know the mind – and then the 4th one is yogic direct perceivers – The yogic direct perceivers are direct perceivers of those people who reach or a very high level practitioner. So yogic direct perceiver has lots of abilities, I’m going to talk a bit later – So first let’s go to the first one, I’m gonna repeat once again: sense direct perceivers, mental direct perceivers, self-knowing direct perceivers and yogic direct perceivers. I’m not giving too many examples, because once you understand the phenomena, it’s quite easy.

Sense direct perceivers or direct and unmistaken sense consciousness.

The sense direct perceiver has five kinds, these you all know. The eye consciousness is direct perceiver which knows the form, sense direct perceivers are those direct perceivers which rely on the sense powers. Remember we have been through the four conditions for a mind to generate, among those there is a dominant condition and that is the power, for the five senses we have the five sense powers, so those consciousness that is being induced by the five sense powers are all five sense consciousness, if these are direct and unmistaken then these are sense direct perceivers. 

To make it very simple, eye sense direct perceivers, ear sense direct perceivers, nose sense direct perceivers, tongue sense direct perceivers and then the physical sense direct perceivers. The eye consciousness is direct perceiver objects the form. When we talk about the form, there is nothing that we can see besides the colour and the shape, the eye just sees the color and the shape, that’s all. 

You might say that “Oh, I can see my mother”, but in fact what you see is that shape of the mother and the color of the mother, there’s nothing more. You might say that “Oh, I can see that fire”, but what  you see is the shape and the color. If the fires don’t have a shape or the color, you won’t be able to see. Anything that has no shape or no color, your eyes cannot see. You might think that “Uh I can see everything”, but not everything, you just can see the color and shape because many people think that and said “Oh I can see everything”, but it is just very limited. But then we are mostly driven by the color and shape, so a lot of issues, because what people see just color and shape and, of course, based on those colors and shapes, the attachment arrives. It’s quite funny! Because attachment towards phenomena, attachment towards anything, whether is a car, whether is a truck, whether is a house, whether is a bag, whether is a chair, whether is sofa, whether is a person or whether is a food or a drink. 

We always try to feed these five senses, we always try to feed the greed, or attachment of these five senses by hoping that this will bring happiness. But the five senses just give us a very temporary sense of pleasure, very temporary. Suppose you like a nice food, it can be any food, let’s say it is a fruit, mangosteen, you like mangosteen or you like mango or any, you like mango let’s say, you eat mango, you have attachment to mangosteen or mango and then you eat, eat, eat. For first short period of time you will be happy, you will enjoy it, after a while, slowly that pleasure or that happiness you do achieve from eating that slowly fades away and after a while, you don’t enjoy it anymore and if you still continue eating that, it starts to give you pain and problems and suffering. 

Kids eat lots of candies or sweets, slowly they give up their own teeth and then slowly then they are a terrible pain again and again. It’s not just kids, even the teenagers or even the adults, they like to watch movie or  the cinema or scenarios, this continuing movie, it goes on for like months and months, they really like it and they watch then they can’t control, they watch it more because usually these scenarios, they make it a bit exciting at the end like surprising factors then not completed something, so then you have this  desire to see what happen next, what happen next, then you watch more and more, and there are some people who even give up their own eyes, they give  up their vision and then for their whole life, they regret like “Oh I did that”. And nowadays there are lots of kids or maybe others young adults would play a lot of games, that again, it’s very dangerous for the eyes, there are many people who lost the vision because of that.

So this is the nature, these five senses: the eye consciousness see the form, the ear consciousness hear the sound and the nose consciousness can sense the smell or odor – or what we call maybe   smell is, order it has both like bad and good right? So odor – and then the taste by the tongue consciousness, and then the tangibe object by the physical sense consciousness very temporary, not lasting at all because these five sense consciousness, they are for very short period of time and they change again and again, so it’s not reliable at all but basically these five sense consciousness when they object something directly without mistaking, those are called five direct sense consciousness. Sense consciousness that are direct perceivers.

Mental direct perceivers.

The second one is the mental direct perceivers, we’re finished five senses, now mental direct perceiver is actually the mind. Mental direct perceiver in us, in an ordinary person, is for a very short period of time, it is such a short period of time that you are not able to object the phenomena. There are some mental direct perceivers like those who have a clairvoyance through meditation, through calm abiding and specially inside, you can see other’s mind, you see what happened in the past,… those are all through meditation. You see what happen in the future, you can hear the sound  like miles away, you can see the things miles away, you can see the past life or future life and all these things. So these are not in all many persons, these are mental direct perceivers but not those which are not cultivated. So these are something that has to be cultivated through meditation, but the mental direct perceiver that we all have for a millisecond is a very short that it is not able to know its object. It’s much shorter than a second, the duration of this snap, if you divide the duration of this snap into 65, then the mental direct perceiver is just for one part, so it’s extremely very short. 

So when it happens, when it comes to exist, suppose when you see a car, the first moment your eye consciousness see the car, then your eye consciousness gives a message, sort of giving a message induces a mental direct perceiver. When you see the car, the first moment, a very short period of time, you can see the car very clearly in your mind, even if you close your eyes, you can see very clear in your mind, that is direct perceiver but it is very short. The very first moment you see very clear, then after this direct perceiver then comes up conceptual thoughts, that conceptual thoughts don’t see it clear as you see from eyes. 

But for a very short period of time, five senses,  you hear something, for a very short period of time you have this mental direct perceiver which remember a sound very clearly after that, no. I’m gonna tell the sequence a bit later, but just for you to know that the mental direct perceiver is those consciousness which is being induced by mental sense power which is been conditioned by the mental sense, of course, and in us it is a very short period of time, but those who have clairvoyance they have it for longer period of time, so this is basically the second, mental direct perceiver. 

Self-knowing direct perceivers.

The third one is interesting one, self-knowing direct perceiver. Your eye consciousness can only sees outside, you can see a car, in short you can see a color or you can see a shape. The reason why ‘I’m seeing the color and shape again and again’, is that next time if you see something and then if you feel like “I get attached to this”, you can just think of like “Whether is the color that I’m attached to, whether is the shape that I’m attracted to?”. 

I saw a short movie 10-15 minutes, it was a brief explanation of movie few days back, I forgot the name. It’s about a person who likes to go shopping and buy new clothes, it’s more like addicted to buy new things in the showroom or this and that. It’s a short explanation of a movie, basically either one attaches to the color of the clothes or the shape of the clothes. So there is nothing much out there and when you see this color and shape then your mental projections, they project a lot of  things, you see too well, too beautiful, too nice, this and that and at the end of the day it is only color or the shape. If you look very closer in details then it can also help you to reduce the attachment towards the phenomena in one sense. There are some other ways that I won’t go through too many things. 

But still the eye consciousness just see outside phenomena, but who, what sees the eye conscious-ness? Which consciousness objects the eye consciousness? Outside, our eye consciousness sees, our eye consciousness also exist, but how we can say that eye consciousness exists? It has to have a mental mind which knows it, otherwise we can’t say that it exists. Outside, car in the color and shape are seeing, objects by eye consciousness. Our eye consciousness objects by self-knowing, that is a big eye consciousness. There is another consciousness called self-knowing with the eye consciousness, there’s another consciousness which is called self-knowing with the ear consciousness, with the nose consciousness, tongue consciousness and mental consciousness. 

Basically, this is been known as a consciousness that hasn’t expected of an apprehender, so self-knowing are the aspect of an apprehender, meaning it only objects the mind, it doesn’t object the outer phenomena, it only objects the mind, how we don’t know? When you sleep, you might have a dream of an elephant. Sometimes you can dream basically anything, sometimes you dream that you are just carrying the elephant on your back, and then going in the water and then make a fire inside the water and cook something so that you and the elephant both can eat in the water. 

So in the dream, you can see pretty much everything, you can see that you are able to carry the elephant, you can see that you can make a fire in the water. In the dream, you can see everything and then the dream mind is so stupid that it doesn’t know what is possible and what is not? Dream mind sees whatever, it sees as in real, so all those dream minds are mistaken. I’m repeating here again, the dream mind is always mistaken with the phenomena that it objects. Whatever the dream mind sees, dream mind sees as it is the real, the dream mind doesn’t know that it is just an illusion, but the dream mind always thinks that it is something is real. 

When I say ‘that object the object’, I’m talking about ‘perceiving the object’, so when the dream mind objects the phenomena or perceives phenomena or whatever the dream mind sees, it sees as it is something real. The dream minds don’t know that it is a dream, so then the dream minds don’t  know anything at the time, but when we wake up, we remember the dream. To remember something, you have to know it before. If you don’t know something before, you cannot remember.

If you remember something, it means you know that before. When we wake up, we remember the dream, we remember whatever we see in the dream. How can we remember? Because the dream mind is mistaken, dream mind does not know, so which mind helps us to remember? Was there any mind that realized that you were dreaming at that time of dream? Yes. That is why we have the self-knowing direct perceiver which was with the dream mind. The dream mind was mistaken, but the self-knowing objects, sees that dream mind and what the dream mind sees. 

If your eye consciousness sees the car, that direct self-knowing mind, the self-knowing conscious-ness perceives that your eyes see the car, then later you see that you  could remember that “Ah, I see the car yesterday.” It was not because of your eye seen the car, but it was because of the  self-knowing, it saw that the eye perceived the car, that’s why you remember that yesterday my eyes perceived a car. 

Some expressions say that you understand, anyways I’m gonna repeat once again. In the dream, your dream mind is so stupid, it doesn’t know anything. The dream mind sees elephant, but it doesn’t know, so you cannot remember because it doesn’t know. But since you remember your dream, it means that someone knows that the dream mind sees elephant. You ask me which one, which consciousness works that we see the dream mind sees elephant? That is the self-knowing direct perceiver. So with every mind there is a self-knowing direct perceiver which knows the mind. 

Yogic direct perceivers.

The fourth one is yogic direct perceiver. Now this fourth comes in the group, so that’s why I’m explaining it, otherwise I’m not sure how it is much useful to understand for a very big enough. Yogic direct perceiver is basically a mental consciousness which realizes the impermanence, the nature of phenomena, it realizes the past in future life, it realizes the emptiness directly without any hindrance in between. 

One of the problems that we all have in our life is that we can’t accept the change. Change is something that it’s hard to accept. We have this sense of permanence, we want to see things permanently and then we  are afraid of change or we don’t see that change or we see everything as it is permanent. We see a car in the morning, we see the car in the evening “Oh this is  the  car that I left here in the morning”. No, it changes!

It is kind of hard, when you buy something new, then you can’t feel like “Oh, tomorrow I’m gonna do with this, tomorrow.” You have this permanent feeling of this thing, this thing changes, you don’t know whether it is functionable tomorrow or day after tomorrow, but we can’t make plan like “OK tomorrow I’ll do with this”, “OK tomorrow I’m going to drive my car to Arizona”. You really don’t know whether your car is there tomorrow morning, maybe somebody takes it away tomorrow morning. When we lose someone, it’s kind of hard to accept, we have this, the sense of permanence in phenomena. 

We don’t see everything that we see with our eyes or hear or taste or feel tangible objects, we don’t see that those are momentarily change. Electrons, protons,  this is what the scientists says that it always changes in the atom. Diamond might be the thing that people say that ‘there is very less change in the time, …”, but it also changes momentarily, each and every millisecond. The change that you see in one month took place every day, it is not like the 29 days there was no change, in the last day, it turns to change. No! nothing happens like that! The change that you get to see in a year, took place each and every 12 months. The change you see in month took place each and every day. The change that takes place in one day took place in every hour of the day, gradually, slowly change. Then the change that you see in an hour took place every minute and that every second and that every millisecond and that microsecond. 

I don’t know what is lesser than a microsecond, but in Buddhism this moment, the moment that you blink your eyes, it takes like what? Less than a second to the blink of the eyes. So that the duration of the blink of eyes can be divided into 65, or there are some texts, Buddhist texts which divided into more than 200. So these yogic direct perceivers see  that one moment of that 65, in a blink of eyes. If we divide the duration of a blink of eye into 65, the yogic direct perceiver sees the change  or thing of that one moment, that is kind of hard for us. And of course, the nature of phenomena, when we see thing outside, we always feel that thing exists out there by its own. We never able to see that it is just our projection, nothing else out there, we can’t see that. Yogic direct perceiver will see, then that time you get a sort of a power, when you have yogic direct perceiver, then these walls will not avoid you, you can go through the wall, you will have a power of pretty much everything then that gravity make no sense to you. 

In one of the previous class that I was talking about emptiness, I told that people who walk in sleep, this is really interesting. In Tibet some areas, the dogs usually bark and literally bite, then some people come around the dogs, they train the dogs like really some serious training, these are like nomad dogs, they might eat the person like they’re pretty much close to tigers or something like that. They’re really serious, they bite or they easily kill something, even if the person goes around the dog in the daytime, the dogs are literally gonna bite, at least bark. But when a person walks in a sleep, the dogs don’t do anything, I’m not saying that the dog don’t see, I don’t know. 

There was this story in one part of Tibet and not very long ago when a person was having a nap and there were some people who came to his house to help, and then he literally walked through the electric pole, and he walked like this way and then the wife knew that he was walking in sleeping, the wife told others not to make any sound, because if he wake up in the middle of that he might fall down, so the wife told everyone to keep quiet, then after a while he came back. 

One of the small monks, one of my small students, he walks in the night, this kind is interesting, I didn’t see, but some his roommates saw that, he walked, he went outside and then he knocked, and then that roommates told like “Oh going in sleeping”. And he went and knocked the first door, and then he went, he didn’t go back to his room, he went to the next room, he knocked, his eye was closed, but he could see that door is here and then the next door is here, he saw exactly. Oh these are quite interesting. 

The reason I’m saying here is that there is nothing out there, everything is projected by the mind. The mind is what projects everything. When you understand the real nature of phenomena then you have pretty much control of everything. People make a big story about “Oh this can fly, this can walk on this,…” when you achieve these yogic direct perceivers. And then all of these are sort of the jokes, and  like our dream, we get happy, excited, cried, sad in a dream by seeing everything as a real. 

From Buddhist perspective, now it is a bigger dream, 24 hours that’s believed a day it is also a dream. You might think and say that “Oh come on master, like, what you mean? Thing exists by its own. It’s not just mind, but the thing exists, look, thing exists”. But then you can think, just imagine how would you see if somebody tell you that it is a dream while you’re dreaming? You’re gonna say like “Oh, come on, forget”. Because in the dream, you see exactly the same thing as now, in the dream you feel exactly as it now, you see so real, but this is also a bigger dream. 

So there is basically what a person can see or understand when the person achieves the yogic direct perceivers and all of these, the same direct perceivers, mental, self-knowing, yogic direct perceivers, the first moment of it is a valid consciousness, the second moment of it is a subsequent consciousness and for the first three, there is another part to which the object appears without its existence, I will explain later on, not to worry. So this is the first part ‘direct perceivers’.

2. Conceptual thoughts – Meaning generality.

Conceptual thoughts.

Another one is ‘conceptual thought’. ‘Conceptual thought’ is when you see something directly, the second moment it gives a message to the mind. When you see, the first moment, a very short period of time, you see very clearly, after that you don’t see thing clearly but you remember, like you have these in your mind “Ah, I see the car”, even if you close the eyes, you know that “Oh, I see the car”, but it is sort of remembrance. That is conceptual thought, so that conceptual thought  is again mistaken. It is mistaken, it knows the object at the same time it is mistaken because it confuses the image with the reality. 

You close your eyes and you think of your mother, when the image of mother appears to your mind and you don’t see that image separated from your mother, you see the image and the mother as one, that’s how the conceptual thoughts are mistaken. “Uh, you know, he said something bad to me last time, I remember that”, when you remember it means that you’re not very clear, because these conceptual thoughts are always not clear. 

Meaning generality.

So there is always a second thought or a reason behind, or a reason that you have to look after. “Ah, I think that he’s trying to say this or I think that she’s trying to say this”. No, when you think, then again, it is mistaken, there’s a big chance that it is being a bad advisor. Go through the logics, but don’t go through ‘ Uh I think’, ‘I thought…’ then you do a lot of issues, but in this conceptual  thought, it goes to the meaning generality, meaning generality is basically seeing the image one as the reality. 


So there’s basically the two classifications of the mind that we have been through today:

  • Direct perceiversand 
  • Conceptual 

Conceptual thought is quite easy: the five senses, after the five senses, when we stop the five senses, we remember:

  • The first momentis very clear, these are mental perceivers. 
  • The second moment, the third moment, and afterwards is basically the conceptual thoughts and conceptual thoughts are always So the conceptual thought, it knows its object but still it confuses the image with the reality, it sees the image and reality as one.

That’s a point. Besides that, basically we have been through is like direct perceivers and conceptual thoughts. Direct perceivers can be divided into four: sense direct perceivers, mental direct perceivers, self-knowing direct perceivers and then yogic direct perceivers. 

  • Sense direct perceivers are of five types of five senses. 
  • Mental direct perceiver is in very short period of time or the clairvoyance which we don’t have in us, in general people.
  • The self-knowing direct perceiver is something that is with all the mind, but its function is to know the mind, not outside,it is like in us. 
  • The yogic direct perceiveris those perceivers which is only in the high extraordinary beings: visualize impermanence and life after death or life before this life or the impermanence, selflessness and all these things. 

The seconds last of class we’re going to make some conclusions: How this all can help us? We can use all these things, but today I just want all of you to understand and to know that all these minds, some of them are good advisors and some of them are not good advisors. Some of them are reliable and some of  them are not reliable. 

To understand which is valuable and which is not, which is good and which is bad, at  first I want you all to know what are those minds that has been controlled your whole life: The five sense consciousness – The five objects: form, sound, odor, taste, tangible objects. These five are the ones which try to  control us and drag us into the materialistic world by luring us in a way that it can give us happiness, the real genuine happiness. This is just illusion! 

We just enjoy the first moment, the first few minutes. We eat a candy, enjoy first few minutes, we eat  a chocolate just for a few minutes. We drink, in India many people drank (I don’t mean water, liquor,…). So the five objects of the five senses are pretty much sort of an illusion that we always think that these are the ones to give us happiness, etc… but none of these give us happiness, it’s just a temporary pleasures. The real happiness is when you start to feel satisfied with whatever you have. Because happiness is not achieving them, happiness is not in having them, happiness is just the state of satisfaction that you can have without anything. 

But we are so used to outer these  five phenomena: sound, form, odor, taste and tangible object, we’re so attached to it, and we’re so used to that we think that all this is the happiness. But no! As I talked in some of the previous classes, happiness is just satisfaction. You didn’t activate the sense of satisfaction with or without anything. Basically, you can achieve happiness with and without anything.