Reading the Mind

When what is taught only happens in the mind and considering that what one experiences can not be reproduced in another, to communicate it we can only conceptualize it by associating it with labels associated with previous experiences shared with the receiver; Only then can it be done.

For example, if I speak of the Amazon and the listener does not know what it is, I define it as a river, a label that names watercourses, which is very large, and we refer to something that carries a lot of water, or quantity of water, thus the receiver imagines that the Amazon is a flow with a lot of water. Then we can talk about trees, jungle, animals …

All these labels relate to experiences that both share. If, for example, we say that the Amazon is the reverse, it is a label that the recipient can not associate with a watercourse unless it is contrary to something or something else. This needs clarification and is done with new common concepts.

That is, the transmission is done through complex or simple concepts, the first being composed of simple ones. An explanation requires that the concepts of both the sender and receiver point to similar experiences.

But when what happens both on the side of the transmitter and the receiver only happens in the mind, it can not be shown, the association is not possible, so that the explanations of the sender can not be understood by the receiver, unless the receiver have already had those experiences. And vice versa.

The learning process needs a receiver who understands what the sender is communicating and the sender of the information has a feedback from the receiver to know that it has been understood.

If a person wants to transmit to another a knowledge about something that only happens in the mind, previously he must have experienced it. If you have just read it or have been told, you can not know what it is and you can only get a vague idea of what it could be about . The next thing is to give a broad explanation to the listener so he can understand it and, finally, confirm that he has found out.

To be able to teach this kind of objects it is essential to use one of the abhiññās : to know how to read the mind of the listener. Reading the mind does not consist in “hearing” your thoughts, but in what state your mind is, if it is confused, if it is concentrated, if it is scattered, etc. Being next to him you can check if he has really understood, and not only that. In addition, you know if you are doing the proposed exercises correctly, second by second, just by looking at your bodily responses.

Similarly, you can also know what the state of a mind is when reading what you have written at the time of writing. This is useful, for example, to know if the author of a text has really experienced what it says or is simply expressing vagueness or inaccuracy. It serves as well to examine texts in the same way that any teacher of mathematics knows if his student knows or does not know mathematics when reading the resolution of an exercise. Because in the teaching of Dhamma the classroom is the mind of the listener, the exercise books and the books are there. If the teacher, however qualified, can not enter the classroom, in the classroom, there is no teaching.

A Buddha has both qualities, he experiences the Dhamma while he can read the mind.

When someone claims that the Buddha is their teacher, it is impossible to imagine in what way the Buddha is at his side, seeing him and explaining to him that he understands or is useless, that the mind of the disciple is closed to receive teaching. or simply that he will never make it.

A dead Buddha is no one’s teacher. It can not, because it does not exist.

It is as absurd as praying to God to save him.

And no less absurd than seeing an unenlightened person, who has never experienced the Dhamma, trying to teach it.

And what touches the most ridiculous is trying to teach the Dhamma without knowing it and without knowing how to read in the mind of the disciple, like so many “masters”.

The good thing about ridicule is that it enchants the ignorant, only the ignorant;but since there are so many …

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