Main Pages

By Region



Mind (No Mind)

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Mind (No Mind)?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Mind (No Mind)

Being has No Mind

Being has no mind. When you are the Being, Being is not experienced as your own being. There is no American Being or Russian Being. There is no earth’s Being separate from the sun’s Being. There isn’t this galaxy’s Being and then the rest of the universe’s Being. Being is One all the way through. The Being acts in unity in one action; and the action of Being, because it comes from Being, takes into consideration the whole of existence in an instant. So mind is not involved. Such action is called instinctual because it acts the way it is supposed to act. When the tiger acts, it acts. It’s not thinking of other tigers. It’s not thinking about whether there will be war or peace. The action is complete, and it’s the right action. Such action is beyond mind. Even if there is preference, the preference itself is an action initiated by Being. When there is a need for action, Being responds, it does not react. Being responds by manifesting a state, a quality that is needed objectively at the moment. To understand will in relation to Being is a very subtle thing. It’s happening all the time. When you move your hand, it’s the action of Being. If you bat your eyelashes, it’s Being. The actions that we have no emotional conflicts with are done with great ease and fluidity by Being. Your mind does not need to be involved with them. We take these actions of Being for granted, and never notice that Being is acting. This acting of Being is also the expression of will.

Being in Repose

The true identity arises when there is a need for an essential action. When there is no need for a response, there is no essential identity, there is just Being in repose: no activity, no mind, no body, no nothing, just stillness. When a tiger is not acting, just lying there, it doesn’t know anything, it doesn’t think of itself as tiger. It is just Being. When it acts, it becomes one-pointed, and that one-pointedness is at that moment the identity of the tiger. True action is the boundless Being becoming one-pointed, and that will be a personal action. But that Being, that universal Being, is always acting everywhere. The creation of one point, which is your own action, which is your own self, is one of the manifestations of Being. Everyone is in action in the Being all the time. That is why it is said that if you are willing to be aligned to the supreme will, there is no end to the plenitude that you can achieve in your life. This is because your action is the most correct action, the action that goes with all the rest of existence, and it can only benefit everything and everybody involved including you at all levels. It is the most unifying action.

Being with No Mind

So, as you see, understanding is very curious. If you use it correctly, it will take you through the whole unfoldment process, one layer after another, until you reach a place where understanding can’t go. And if you’re faithful to understanding, then you cannot but reach its end. Understanding is complete when it annihilates itself. When it dies, then the mind dies, too. There is just Being, Being with no mind. You become like an animal but with the understanding that you are not understandable and the knowledge that you are that which is unknowable. The moment you change, there is a shift from one state to another, and implicit in this is the possibility of understanding and differentiation, which are at the beginning of mind. But if this understanding can lead you to the unknowable, which is the undying and the unchangeable, then you are free to live life without fear.

Even the State of Stillness, where there is No Mind, Can Have an Inquiring Quality to It

There can be inquiry even with stillness, when the mind is completely gone. We assume that there is no possibility of inquiry in this state, but that is not true, because inquiry does not have to be verbal. You may think that you have to ask questions with words, but if you say that, you have already put a boundary on how inquiry can proceed. Maybe inquiry can proceed in other ways. Maybe there is curiosity without words, without mind. So even the state of stillness, where there is no mind, can have an inquiring quality to it. There are no limitations. The fact that experience continues shows that there is an infinite possibility for inquiring. Regardless of how deep and enlightened one’s experience is, it is possible to go further, to have experience open up more. When we appreciate this fact, inquiry can bring us an intrinsic energy that has a sense of deep and thrilling freshness, as if your blood were nuclear energy that is moving and bursting with aliveness, bursting with drive. The drive here is not effort but movement—an inexorable, powerful movement, an unfolding. Being is then always opening up with power, with energy, with strength, with intelligence, with gentleness. Sometimes the opening is delicate, sometimes slow, sometimes fast, sometimes bursting, sometimes quiet.

Experience that is the Entrance to the Beyond

Living one's life and the work on oneself become one thing: It is “His Endlessness,” unfolding as a creative discovery. The shift of identity from personality to essence is nothing but the realization of the true self, the high self of essence. This experience of timelessness, spacelessness, and no-mind is also the entrance to the Beyond, to the Universal Impersonal, the Absolute that is the ground of all existence. This is the Ultimate that is beyond personality, mind, time, and even essence. Realization then becomes more and more expressed in living, in action. Practical action becomes the action of the true being. There is efficiency, economy, simplicity, directness. One fully lives in the world but is constantly connected to the Beyond, the Supreme Reality.

Inner Psychological Activity is the Primary Barrier to Simply Being

From this perspective, we come to understand that we may support ourselves to simply be not by doing anything, but by letting go of all inner activities towards that aim. The dimension of the Diamond Will provides guidance about the various barriers to this wisdom. It reveals, by its mere presence, how inner psychological activity is the primary barrier to simply being. It challenges all the false supports, all the activities and mechanisms that the self utilizes to gain support. The understanding that arises as we integrate this dimension of experience attains great subtlety and profundity. It includes the understanding of mental functioning and no-mind, timelessness, surrender and nondoing, and the ending of the search.

No Mind - No Knowing

The first level of pure perception, prior to these two steps, is the level of perception with no discernment, no discrimination at all, simply pure consciousness aware of awareness itself and nothing else. This ground of pure awareness is the fundamental ground spoken of in many spiritual traditions, and is the medium in which all levels of knowing appear. The capacity to discern differences in the field of our awareness is a fundamental element of our consciousness. But here we need to make a difficult and subtle distinction: in describing this capacity, we want to discriminate it from the capacity to actually recognize the forms that arise. So in what we are calling pure perception, associated with what is traditionally called nonconceptual awareness, there is the perception of differences within a field without recognition of those differences. There is awareness that there are different forms, but in pure perception these forms are not discriminated in such a way that they can be recognized or named. This is consciousness with no mind involved, awareness with no knowing of any kind. There is merely the awareness of shapes, colors, movements, qualities; there is no recognition, knowing, or understanding of what one is perceiving. There is differentiation but not discrimination.

Only When Your Mind Becomes as Innocent as a Newborn Baby is it Possible to See What is Here

You cannot go about looking for reality by looking for something you know, because what you know is a memory of what you perceived in the past. A memory is already something dead. And since you are remembering it, even if you are remembering some experience of reality, the memory is not the reality. The reality cannot be remembered because it cannot be put into words, images, or concepts. The reality itself is the very explosion, the very incineration of those ideas and concepts, so how could you remember it? You can only learn to forget. You can forget what you know, forget what you want, and continue forgetting until you have no mind whatsoever—until you become like a newborn baby. Only when your mind becomes as innocent as that of a newborn baby is it possible to see what is here, what you actually are, and what reality is. When you see it, you do not really know it; it is more like you smell it, you taste it, but you can never say what it is. The moment you are about to know it, it is old. So what we really know of the world we live in is a continuation of the past, which means it is in the mind. It is completely in the mind.

Perceiving Without Concepts

The conceptualizing mind is of its very nature conducive to suffering. A world created of good and bad entities encourages comparison, preference, judgment, and attachment. The concept of a separate self is nothing but a collection of these sensations and feelings that have been lumped together and labeled in a certain way. But what if we don’t look at things this way? What if we stop labeling things, stop saying this is different from that, and simply experience what is there without concepts? When we perceive without concepts, we realize that there isn’t a separate self, an essence, an I, an other. There is only consciousness, the presence of consciousness. All these things are differentiations of the same field of consciousness. When you experience yourself in such a way, you realize there is just one consciousness. There is no body, no mind, no essence, no personality, no love, and no hate. There is simply one consciousness, one cloud with thicker or thinner parts, green or red parts. Consciousness is one unbounded cloud. There isn’t anything else. You are not many things: essence, personality, mind, body, this or that feeling. You are one consciousness with different qualities, with various differentiated regions.

Simplicity that is the Purity of Presence with No Memory and No Mind

The experience now is a field of sadness, loneliness and emptiness, combined with the memory of the simplicity of presence, all opening up to the scintillatingly alive presence of the nous. Insights begin to radiate out from the scintillating consciousness. Perceptually, the operation of the nous appears as a multi-coloured glittering radiance; affectively, it is a delicate and pleasant expansive clarity; cognitively, it is the spontaneous arising of insight. The understanding unfolds: the sense of simplicity in the experience of presence is finding myself as the presence of Being, totally and purely, without thoughts or feelings about it. There is simplicity because there remains only the purity of presence, with no memory and no mind. This absence of mind, in the completeness of being presence, is tantamount to the absence of everything that mind carries. During the experience of the last few days I saw how the mind creates and carries the sense of familiar identity of the self, which it accomplishes through memory and self-reflection. What I did not see then, but was implicit in the experience, is that the mind carries also the sense of the other—of another person—again by using memory.

The State of No Mind Means No Discrimination

Our perspective today reveals how our subtle conceptualizations create beliefs that cause us to suffer. The most fundamental conceptualization is the duality between existence and nonexistence. Within that fundamental conceptualization we make further differentiations: pleasure and pain, individual and cosmic, past and future, space and time. We differentiate still further: love and hate, happiness and misery, physical and spiritual, mental and physical, and so on. The final outcome of all these differentiations is what we call our mind, our personality. The resolution of suffering is to eliminate false ideas, to abandon the belief in those differentiations. Some traditions teach that we need to free ourselves of the discriminating mind and go to the state of no-mind. The state of no-mind means no discrimination. The moment there is discrimination, the moment there are two things, the possibility of preference arises. The moment there is preference, there is attachment. The moment there is attachment, there is suffering.

The State of No-Mind

If you love truth for its own sake, the truth will free you. But if you hope the truth will free you, you cannot be free. You must love the truth for its own sake, without hope. Then there’s no question of freedom/no freedom, no question of essence/no essence, no question of enlightenment/no enlightenment. It’s just love of truth, and that’s it. Nothing else is there. Anything else will bring discord. Accepting what is, understanding what is there, loving the truth that is happening at every second is the natural state, the state without personality, the state of no-mind, is the state of no-division. It is the state of hanging loose.

There is No Mind Without Conceptualization

Our ordinary emotions and feelings are nothing but collections of sensations that we wrap with a concept or idea. When we wrap them with that idea they become a particular feeling. The moment we do that, the mind is born. There is no mind without that conceptualizing. The mind is nothing but taking different sensations, inseparable from what we experience in the heart expanse, and wrapping them in different colors. We call the collection of these sensations feelings. So we see here that there is no mind without conceptualization. There is nothing without conceptualization. The mind constructs everything, all the differentiated and conceptualized experiences, inner or outer.

When there is No Mind You are Not Thinking, Not Conceptualizing, Not Remembering

To be completely you means being alone. When this is experienced, it will bring very deep grief and sadness. You have to learn to say good-bye to everything you have loved—not just your Mommy and Daddy, your boyfriend and your cat, but to your feelings, your mind, your ideas. You are in love with all of these. Letting go of them will feel like a great loss, even a death. It is not you who dies. What dies is everyone else. In the experience of ego death, you don’t feel you are dying; you feel everybody else is dead. You feel you’re all alone, totally alone. You have lost a boundary which was constructed from past experiences. But this boundary never really existed! It was just a belief. When you experience reality as it is, there is no sense of boundaries or of being separate, of inside or outside. These are concepts you learned at a very early age in order to protect yourself. As a six-month old baby, when you felt some negativity, or discomfort, you pushed the bad feelings outside so that you wouldn’t feel overwhelmed. That was the original need for the separateness. When there is no mind, you are not thinking, not conceptualizing, not remembering. When you are in the now, there is no feeling of a you separate from something else. There is no sense in the first place that there is a me. There is One.

Subscribe to the Diamond Approach