The Mind Illuminated archive

TCMC – 18 November 2010


TCMC 18 November 2010 Part I – Q & A is first audio below
TCMC 18 November 2010 Part II is the second audio below

Automated transcription

In the morning or evening? Both. But I client my, especially between. Afternoons, a harris. For many different reasons. Really hard to meditate right after I wake up? Even. But also once I, you know, have my tea and take shower and all that, I start to get worried about all that. Sorry getting into the mode. Yeah. You you might see if you can find the the place between those two. Yeah have trouble meditating when you first get up because it takes a little while just to fully right down. Mh. You.

So So... I'm try and get a little exercise in morning to that's why and show you her time. Finding enough to to get up early. Meditate or exercise first and get ready preference. Get said. So have you tried doing your exercise first thing when you get it and then navigating? No. But I think that's what I need to turn out. Yeah. I I think, you know, if if the reason that it's difficult to meditate when you first get up is, to some lingering sleep, the exercise probably get that right handle make.

And at the same time, I doubt you'll start. Processing the stuff of the upcoming day or you're exercising. So that might that might be your point for. Do your exercise and then sit down and. Yeah. I I have had instructors in several different traditions. Mh. Here in tucson, I'm learning about insulin meditation, which appears to be hitting the cushion and paying attention. And yet, the earliest that I learned was called transcend meditation and I was assigned a mantra and pretty much taught to let the outside world pass through me and returned the focus.

They seem different. They seem not a opposed to one another, but I'm having a really hard time deciding which one works better for me, and I can't get around this feeling that when I'm doing one, I should be doing the other And, you know, there's this... I won't exactly call it guilt, but I will call it incredibly painful laugh. U. Yeah. And and I just... And I can't just say Oh hush do it this way. Get over it. You know, there there should be a way to settle, but there is this lingering doubt that somehow I'm doing it wrong, whichever one.

Yeah. Well, that's we should do something about that. Yes, please. Okay. First. Transcend meditation is more of a a concentration. Emphasis all on call your mind. Most forms of buddhist meditation I would say our mindfulness meditation, even though their concentration meditation. You don't have to choose one of the other. You can do both. And I I think I think the best meditation methods are those that where you are developing both mindfulness and concentration at the same time. And do you recognize that you are so that you can do it effectively.

You can't really practice mindfulness with our concentration. So then somebody introduces you to a practice and they call it mindfulness, and it made no reference to concentration. You're still learning to concentrate. You can't do it until you can stabilize your attention. As otherwise you just sitting there day training and mind wandering and every now and then saying, oh, yeah. It was supposed to be mine. K? Yeah. They have that the concentration. They two go together. And has a matter fact they're described in the in the sutra is being like, two wings.

You can't fly at one point. You need to have both. And so when you think of it that way, then you know, you that should go a long way right there towards resolving the kind of conflict like that comes from thinking that they're two different things and it's an either or which one should I do? When I am being mindful, i feel as though I am being open Mh. And when am focusing on a mantra or even my breath. You're getting ne. As though... I'm kind of... Yes. Narrowing exactly. That's much better. And it feels I can feel more Happening, you know, if if if it were...

If if if someone we're watching, I could I feel like the the mantra is is is is is doing anymore. But I also feel like if I'm if I say, okay, fine. Just do that then. I feel like I'm missing my homework. Well, the... What I teach is called Means tranquility and spite. And so what you're doing is your your developing concentration and mindfulness at the same time. You're using mindfulness to help you be able to concentrate. And of course, as I said before you need a certain degree of concentration in order to e mindful.

So who focus on one thing, to brass, but not trying to exclude everything else. Just keep the attention focused on the breath and let the rest... Whatever else it happens to be. Going on. I mean, in terms of physical sensations and sounds, are things like that, just let it be. And of course there's thoughts coming up. Let them be too. Anytime you find the your attention that the focus of your attention has gone away from the graphic and god is nothing else. And you bring it back. But you don't try you're not trying to get rid of other stuff.

You're just... Mh. I'll let it go on while you stay focused. Focusing and mindfulness they risk together. That's right. And this is the way it normally is. You go through your life you have simultaneously this broader awareness of everything around you, but you are focusing on one thing or another? The mindfulness is isn't trying to pay attention to the complete environment. No... No. If you develop this sufficiently powerful mindfulness, then you can take in enormously more with a very high level of clarity than you otherwise could.

But I you need to get there by stages. And so as I say, normally, you have both mindful awareness and focused awareness. These two kinds of awareness is the same client. But the difference is that your focused awareness is jumping all over the place. And the other difference is that when something really captures your attention and you focus in on it, you're mindful awareness just kinda shrinks. Right? Certain space. How might describe. But you know what I'm mean, Right? It's you zeroed in on one thing and everything else time to disappears.

When you're say in meditating, you're going to be aware of everything and you're gonna practice focusing on your mind. And just letting the other stuff be without focusing on it. So you have both the elements of mind mindful awareness and the elements of a focused awareness president at the same time. And you're you're you making your goal to gain control over this over your attention over the focused aspect of things. So stops jumping all over the place. It calms down settles down. What you'll find is when your attention does remain focused for a longer period of time, you are actually more aware of everything else.

Right? Well, It's certainly if if you... If you fix your eyes on one thing, kinda stops moving around, then your peripheral vision, begins to take on a a clearer aspect at the same time. Now where it really... Where we really work the two together and as an effective way. Is how we use the mindfulness us? Because to have mindful awareness of all of the things going on around you. It's good practice, but it doesn't really do a lot for you. But if while you're focusing on the breath, you are aware of what's going on in your mind, which is really not such a different thing because If you are paying attention to what's going on in your mind, you'll see well these sounds are registering these sensations or registering stocks are coming going.

And they're staying in the background. But if you're paying attention to what's happening in your mind, you're also saying oh my attention being drawn to that. Or oh my attention has been caught by that, and you recognize it and you bring it back. So now at that point, your mindful awareness because it is turned back and you're really examining the mind itself, rather know examining things out there. It's now a really powerful aid to developing your concentration. Because now you realize much more quickly, and much more clearly, when you when your attention is drifting or when you when your awareness of breath has been lost.

As a matter of if Fact... Everybody has the experience of they completely forget with their day in their mine wander. And what most important about that experience is what happens when it ends the way it ends. Is you suddenly have that experience of waking up realizing it, Oh, This isn't what I meant to be doing. And that's what's really important. That is at a subconscious level. Intros awareness has looked at, oh, this is the intention. This is what's happening, hey the two don't match. And brought it into your conscious awareness.

That's intros mindful awareness right there. But it's been operating at a sub subconscious level. You wanna bring that up to the level where it's there all the time so that you you know as I say, you know not after you've forgotten in your mind as wandered for several minutes. But you know right away. Oh, I lost the breath. Let me go back to it. Or even sooner than that, you know, Oh, The breath is slipped into the background and I'm really paying more attention to the slot, then you just simply refocus.

Or has it becomes more refined, you're still focused on the breath and you realize, oh, my attention is being pulled towards that thought. And so then you just refocus and you never lose it. So that's how mindfulness helps you develop concentration. But yes, develop both at once. Don't feel like you have to do one one the other. The experience that you would have had with dental meditation, did you do it for for quite some time. About two years before I got distracted. Yeah. Yeah. Well, that was I've I've gone back and forth.

I started meditating when I was about nineteen, and I would have two year intervals with different styles. Mh. And then sometimes two years without any at all that I call graduate school. And on a not like that. But yeah, I have... I had... Seem to have a two year attention span. Pretty good. Be certainly minutes. Okay. Or fifteen seconds. Okay. Well, with trans dental meditation, what you develop is a really strong focus. And disagree. You succeed in that. You feel not only calm relaxed, but but happy.

Mh. And the same thing will happen if you cultivate your concentration in the way that I'm describing. There is one difference. There's a strong tendency doing a chance in dental meditation that you get to this really warm soft fuzzy pleasant place and your mind is really losing its its sharpness and it's edge. And and what I'm talking about that doesn't happen. You get to the same happy pleasant serene state, but you're fully alert, fully aware, totally present. And of course, When your mind's in that state, and if you are intros aware what's going on in your mind, that's when you begin to have insights.

Because in that focused and clear state, you are aware of what's going on in your mind. It gives you the capacity to have to penetrate a little deeper understand more what's going on in your mind. Or just the process of watching it every now and then something will crystallize out. And you'll you'll see you'll see the nature of yourself, your mind, your personality more clearly. And so that's what you want to do. Thank you. You're welcome. I hope you... I hope you find us helpful and continue with it.

And for anyone that's not already aware of it, if you go to the treasury dot com website. Somewhere in there, I think it's under writings, but somewhere in there is... I think it's called meditation manual or something like that. I need to go on that site and clean things up. But anyway, it's a detailed description of the ten stages and it has... Let, you know, you can see how the things that Describing here fit into bats. Well, thank you for your question. Good evening think? Those of you that came down a little later.

Yes. You before the meditation. It's sometimes meditating me be a second ledger shock. Yeah. Experience said. It was... I'm not sure exactly what it was. It started at the talking my head and just went fall through my body. Nice thing. It is a kind of energy. Actually, what it's what it's called is is t i t i. And Pt literally means joy. And what you had was was a many experience of the changes that take place before you you into into a rather ecstatic stated of joy. As as your mind, calls and utilize as a different parts of your mind like to function more coherent.

There are these energy experiences. And a lot of those are all experience. It varies for one person turn out some people see brilliant lights and colors and some people here sounds. And most people will feel unusual sensations and Very common to some dealing of energy movements on the audio. What this is... You we've heard p and wind and chi and things like that. That's this this is what all of those different things are referring to. It is this sensation of energy movement. That happens when your life starts to become very very collected.

That's what Sam samadhi needs is drawn together. So so to to develop with strong samadhi, you'll have those experiences. And they are the herald of entering into a state of t, which is characterized by profound sense of joy and usually accompanied by effortless concentration and and very alert awareness. And it's a very important stage to arrive that in your meditation practice. But you don't get there all at once. And usually, what happens is you'll have these occasional unpredictable brief experiences of lights or tingling or energy movements, or that feeling and that's a classic one you describe.

It feels like just talk your her head just goes down over their body. Yeah. When they when they're brief and unpredictable and kind of isolated, they're called minor gt. There's four different grades of incomplete pt. And then the fifth grade is fully developed So you have minor Gt, and then Pt is stronger and usually involves. More of a combination of these things, but it doesn't last very long. And then Let's see there's minor moment military wave like or showering and it's actually... The the the third kind is sometimes described as showering because it very often involves feeling of that movement down over your body.

Although when you do it consistently when you're able to bring yourself to that place where it happened, Well, you that'll often be preceded by the feeling of energy arising from, you know, rising up your spine. And if it's like it works its way through all the blocks and I guess the top of your head and then you have that showering experience. It's also called wave lights because sometime, you know, last longer, but it increases in intensity and decreases and any increases again. And then the force incomplete form is called uplifting and often people will have some energy jerks come right up off the cushion in the air and and their bodies twitch and junk it.

That it... Yeah. But it's all, you know, it's all signs of of it is an indication that your practice is is succeeding that you're you're bringing about a unification and monitoring your face is strong. You need to learn what the conditions are in other words what you do in your practice that brings you to that particular state of focused concentration so that you can intentionally repeat it. And bring yourself back to to the rising at pt. Until you get to the a point where you have a full complete right pt.

And and at first, that's very amazing. And wonderful, but it does get old after a while. So and that's where the next stage is the subs subside of Pt. And there's a the subs subside of the intensity of this accompanied by physical pleasure as well as joint. It's a subside of these of tranquility e. That's that's really where you wanna go. The exciting stuff is was really just stuff along way. Yes. Do you know much about mapping medication Do I know much about it? Think it's a wonderful idea, but I don't know anything about.

No. Do you? Well, I've read a little bit about it and anyway... I think it may be... My husband been was kinda interested in them. And so I was wondering if do you had any recommendations in terms of what to seek more information. Not. I'd like to... I'd like to know more about it. I don't really know much about it the really feels. Yeah. I follow on the previous question, which is actually what I was thinking about logging in the door and and you would often about it, which is that In meditation, we talk about just about everything is being permanent.

But the enlightenment is supposed to be permanent chance to which you don't go back. Is p sort of... Is that on the way? You know is that like a a step? Before something is not a different experience. No. It's it's very much on the way. It is very much on the way. It's it is it's permanent. It's a state. It's... And you have that kind of experience because through the meditation practice through the training. You learned to bring your mind into a particular state that is very conducive to the arising of insight and the process of awake or enlightenment.

But it's just it's just a stage on the way. It's... One of the things about Pt that... It's a little bit notorious in some circles. Because... And and that's because you get this, you know, the the strong pleasure your happiness e, and you can believe it. Well, this is it. I've made it, You know, I right. I I like But it's not. It's a it's a state and enough bond causes and conditions and we're most surely passive right. And it it isn't the goal the practice. But it feels like it. And if you're sufficiently convinced you can go out and convince everybody else, see but a happy guy.

Am now I'm I love so. But is it's just it it's just another conditioned state, but it's a good one in this one way. That to address the question? So is it sort of a a harbinger of this for permanent change? Well, What we're... you know, we talk about enlightenment or there's Anna. Nevada Nevada is not imp. It's not suffering, and it's not self. So if it's not imp, but it's not a state. It's not a permanent minute state. It's not a state at all. It's really... It is a temporary cessation of states it would be that closer way to describe it.

And it produces changes in the way your mind works. So that you're so that after you experience a... The states that your mind is is are much more wholesome states. As you go back to being in state. And that's why, you know, enlightenment isn't a one step process the buddha broke it down into four stages. But you could it could be even divided into more subs stages in the mah tradition. There are a number of different levels various from ten to I think, sixteen or something like that. Different systems sub divide more fine into different Boom or levels.

So it it is even within enlightenment, it remains a process and And it have more refined and more wholesome more more satisfying and and fulfilling to be in the states so they resulted having have these experiences of different levels so that we can And in comparison with the stage that enlightenment, Pt should be... you know, it's it's pretty far down the scale in the description called the progress of insight. Just in a condition. In the whole series of knowledge that lead up to the first experience at Nirvana, the attainment that of the theory first and lowest level of awakening or stream entry.

There's a series of knowledge elite to that. And Pt arises in the stage called the knowledge of what is and is not the path. For exactly they're even I described a little little while it it's very easy to say oh this is finished. But in terms of that series of knowledge is, out of sixteen of them, that's number four. So and it's number four out of the sixteen that take you to the very first stage in enlightenment. That's why I say you know, in in terms of of the whole path, it's it's pretty far down to list.

But it's so much more remarkable compared to our ordinary experience is. Mh. Pretty amazing.

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