It's easy to cast around for wording when there's an experience to describe.
The description does not come from a reliance on first-principles (dictionary look-up exercises), but words fall to place where they fit the actual experience. There's an "isomorphism" (it's a bit like "measurement", in Science). Without the pragmatic experience to populate words into the description most properly, there is just a cloud of uninformed guesses, and no collapsing of the wave-function at all, so to speak.
And, yes, thanks, I'd say "metaphor" is the right "description-of-the-description" (although not all descriptions are metaphors, and the description or map is not here the same as the actual experience, or thing). Where uninformed (inexperienced) readers or listeners go reliably and characteristically wrong is in analyzing immediately, and not synthesizing. It's their insecurity, and inexperience. Forgivable! We all start somewhere; or, don't.
Sure, one can use this metaphor to advantage in the way one likes (provided it still works). But the intended meaning or use here is to state that when there is no mind, i.e., with mind dropped-away, there are no states of mind, and the condition of the, let's say 'person', or 'being' is that of living and dwelling in emptiness, which condition admits of no "states". (And, perhaps interesting to others also, I mentioned too that the look of the world is very different in that condition, and can be the source of rather different Art, if one is inclined even toward the most faithful and congruent representationalism).Relating to your metaphor I would say that a state is indeed like a personal prison for instance "I am lonely, I am angry/sad" etc while freedom from any particular state then whatever appears has no place to land and doesn't obstruct, so one is not bound by appearances that it becomes a state/prison (of mind) or an identification.
It's good, I think. I'd say that non-dwelling does not mean "having no home", but means not being stuck to a leading idea, which leads to a proliferation of mental constructs (papañca, in Pali). Diamond Sutra says: "Abiding nowhere, let this Mind work!" But sticking nowhere and to nothing is a result of practice, not willfulness or direct suppression in a moment.This is what I call "non-dwelling"
Fuki, as an example, Meido called you and I out for planting and growing a branching-tree of mostly irrelevancies in his thread about the coming Solstice training period at his and his sangha's new dojo. This (contribution there of ours) is papañca ("pa-PAN-cha").
An elegant and entertaining talk on 'papañca' is given by Christina Feldman, available free in two forms at the following places:
- Written (English) transcript of the talk given on retreat:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/39710312/Chri ... f-Thoughts
- Here you can download the retreat talk as an audio mp3 file for listening on your machine (53 minutes audio)