Thanksgiving Retreat 2010
26 November is first audio below
27 November is the second audio below
28 November is the third audio below
Does anyone have any questions about the practice? Anything that you experienced during the course to the afternoon that you would like to explore further? And I'd especially invite two view that or this is the first time your practice here with me to make your comments. So when I do my daily practice. I do check in that taught. I think there's seven are seven steps. Yeah. And I was just wondering when we're going to be sitting, so all of them through the day. If you still suggest do that, they.
I I would do that once a date. Yeah. Yeah. That's a preparation for practice. Yes. Practice is limited. So nice success is limited. Yes. But I'm thankful that you stressed making it joyous not beating yourself up for not being great and yeah. Okay. So so that's that's should be finding that helpful in this working for you. That's good. That that's very good. Yeah. Because it's The nature of the mind is that is not one thing. It's a collection and many processes. And the way that we learn anything is by having these various metal processes respond to some combination of positive and negative feedback.
And just in general, positive reinforcement is what works the best. And unfortunately, anytime we have negative feelings about the quality of our meditation and how well we're doing you know, whether it was feel like our minds behaving and whatever or we when we identify ourselves or performing well or not or have appropriate discipline all of those things. Unfortunately, all of those are negative thoughts arise not that point where even as negative reinforcement of the behaviors where the behaviors of mind actually reacting to.
Their timing is not right. You know, so that if we if we if we thought that we were punishing those mental processes for not behaving private properly, they've already done this thing and gone by to get around the point of feeling bad about them. So the message doesn't good across. So So the positive reinforcement is powerfully effective in bringing about the training of your mind that you want to. Has happened. And of course, when you feel good and you're and you're enjoying what you're doing, you do it much better and you're much happier it all just works out really well.
That way. Glad you're having success with. Yes. I just kinda of wanted it to say. I think it's probably true. I just kinda wanted to get make sure our long track us. I was thinking and sitting, I guess I hadn't had that out like you had to do something, you know? Or accomplish something, and it's like... Maybe it's more like you just like You just pay attention and the rest of it does it itself? I'm not sure that's really true or that. I would say that it's really true. Yeah. You know, we have a lot of illusion of what we're capable of doing, you know, as the doe you know, has some kind of self that's in charge.
Whereas what we're really capable is doing it's fairly simple. And it's not a whole lot. But if... And it basically consists just simply following the instructions for the practice, But if you do that, which is really all you can do, then everything else will take care of itself. It'll know what happen. So rather than feeling that you have to accomplish nothing just get yourself in the right battle space to be pleasantly surprised by what gets accomplished. Guess. That's. Just a a watch, I guess.
See what happened? Yes. Just... That's right. And and that's a good attitude. He's just sort a curious kind of expectancy rather than expectation of something in particular, so sort of Oh, okay. No it's sitting down to meditate. We'll see what happens now. See what the mine does next. Will it be the same as what it was last time or will it be different? They've been going to burn sometimes. That's what happened. I what's the ground thing. Boredom. There's are some different subtle things that we call for, but There's the desire to have certain kinds of things happen.
This. It's not nothing at the right time at all. It. Has it been off all day? Someone. What been doing with this bell going off at all their around times zone. That right. Feel good until gone. I apologize earlier. I got been writing the bell because I knew it wasn't right, and I apologize that through anyone off. Of respect. Be sitting. Okay. Just got pressured completely wrong times. I'll have to get this fixed. Okay. Very will we'll need to have it working the rest of the night. Okay. But would we'll just use this as a clock for the moment.
Not that fun. Danny is do little timing. Okay. Alright. Where were we? We're for somebody else to ask me a question? Definitely. Early this afternoon when you were talking about technique and you said something along the lines that just focusing on a breath is not. Not. Mh. And I wonder if you could comment a little bit about that. Because I think I'm at the point where I I focus on that a lot so I can get my mind clear. So it's not wandering all over the place? Yes. So how do I know okay, well, you've been doing that long enough, and your mind pretty still and it's really not wondering then what do I do?
Okay. Next, I'm afraid to get stuck. Yeah. I'll don't worry about getting stuck. The focusing on the breath will move you along white quite steadily and, you know, if you go about it right quite rapidly. When you get to the point, where you can put your attention on the breath. To the exclusion of everything else. Focus so... So so fully focused on the breath that you are essentially unaware of anything else. There may be the occasional sound or sensation that you become passionately aware of, but or there maybe some thought that comes and just passes through some somewhere often hit edge of your conscious awareness so to speak.
But to to use an analogy, it's like walking down walking down a sidewalk, talking to a friend, how where you are of the car is driving on just on the street. You know, When you get to that point and when it's effortless, when it takes no effort at all to maintain your concentration. Then that's the point at which you can you really no longer need an object focus single pointed off. And you can now start working with a number of methods. So do you feel like you're at that point yeah? No. So until it's so long has So long as your mind has a tendency to spontaneously move your attention to move and pursue certain thoughts or sensations or out of boredom That's what we were talking about.
Mh. Anyway, adam out of boredom to look for something that's pleasant and entertaining. As long as that tendency is still operating in your mind in a fairly strong way. Then you want you want to continue using. And likewise, as long as the subconscious parts of your mind which are processing everything from this Monday mundane in detail, the director daily life. To things that your mind is held on for years. And in the piece of meditation is trusting those, those thoughts strongly into your awareness.
As long as that's still occurring, then you still have the the need and the usefulness that's using a an object anchor for your attention. What you need in addition to that. It's not enough in the sense that you also need to develop a strong mind awareness. And the walking meditation is that's a lot of what we're doing in the locking meditation. You're using you're you're using the sensations of walking to anchor your awareness the same way to use the sensations of the breath when you're doing sitting.
But you're also exercising being aware of much more at the same time. And and the course of walking meditation, walking meditation has many forms that can take. I think I probably talked about that some in the last retreat you were at. Okay. But that's something I could talk about more too. Here. There are a lot of different things that you can do while doing walking meditation which are basically exercising the power of your mind. To do to in particular to go into a more expansive mode and to be highly conscious, but not highly conscious of something that's narrowly focused, but highly conscious have a larger a larger scope of the reality that makes up for present.
Ex. And of course, the most important aspect of that is that is being aware of what's going on in your own mind. So if during walking meditation, you are practicing having a stronger and more refined awareness of sites and sounds and sensations while remaining with the locking. I lost the right of what I was gonna say. Oh, yes. Okay. You're experiencing these what are essentially external events. But if you're aware of your mind as you're doing this, then you're aware of how these different sounds and sensations and thoughts and things like that appear in the wine.
And even more importantly, how the mind responds to their appearance and how the mind reacts. In the terms of being drawn towards some or being put off by others or long and so for. What you're starting to do then is you're starting to experience an enlarged awareness with a with a I fuller consciousness of the content of that enlarged awareness. But you're starting to experience it from the from the perspective of all of this is happening in my mind. It's a arising in my mind. A bird makes the noise in a tree, but the experience the in the most genuine sense, the experience is sound to the sense organs and the mind interpreting the sound and reacting to the sound and so forth.
And so you start to you start to develop this very powerful mindful awareness that is taking in a lot, but taking it in from that perspective of the mind itself in the nature of the bottom. And so walking meditation is in terms of the practice you're doing on this weekend the walking meditation to eating meditation and and they're just doing the activities of daily life meditation. That's the important component that complements what you're doing in the sitting practice. And the two work together.
They're not they're not in either or kind of saying and they're not. They're both they're both developing the same faculties of mind. But with a difference in the emphasis, the sitting is is more emphasis and more emphasis on the focus, on the stability on training the mind to behave in certain ways like being responsive to intention, to always return to the object to become aware of things that interfere with sustaining that. But you still are developing that intros awareness, you have to watch your own mind in order to be effective at stabilizing attention.
When you're doing walking meditation, you're just using this... You you're you're developing the same faculties of mine. But the emphasis now is a little different because you're not as you're not as tightly focused. And it is a step closer to what it's like in daily life. And the practice you do in walking meditation helps super prepare you more for being mindful and daily life. If you are fully mindful in your daily life, then you are more fully aware of the how the of all of the different factors and make up the present moment.
But most especially you're more fully aware of the processes going on in your own mind. And when you begin to try practicing mindfulness in day life, you discover how difficult that can be that here I am going along being mindful staying aware of everything and then something comes. And backed me into it, and I completely forget about being mindful instead I become narrowly focused and carried away emotionally and otherwise by whatever gonna focus on. And so you recognize that well, the skills and abilities that I'm developing by walking meditation using the walking as an anchor while practicing being aware of all of the other sensory information and and thoughts.
And at the same time, being aware of them, from the perspective. This is my mind. And this is this is how this is how my experience is unfolding moment by moment. So that's exactly the ability that you need more of in your daily right in order to remain more fully mindful. Under all of the different circumstances that tend to the deprive over our mindfulness us and make it pretty challenging. So that's the sense in which it's a complement to the sitting practice. The last time was here in practicing walking meditation, it it really helps me.
Mh. And I'm supposing this is okay, but a lot of times, I have to at least out and I have to say step in my head every. Step to kinda keep focus. Yeah. That's okay. Yes. That's okay. Yeah. Not the whole time, but some of it sometimes I have to lean on it to to keep keep the focus. Yeah. So you what you do is you you use things like that too? To help you to focus until you start to get sort of a training effect and you realize what you don't need to do that anymore. And when you're walking, You can say to yourself step step or you can do it in a more find way and say lifting, moving, placing, shifting rate lifting moving placing.
But in either case, those verbal visualizations, they're merely aids to get you to the point where you have that kind of stability of your attention at the same time you have the grip, that can take him everything else. And you don't need to use those fields. I was gonna say a little something about Word. Boredom, if you if you reflect on it a little bit, it's a it's a form of desire. It's a desire for something more stimulating, more interesting we're distracting. And one of the best things that you can do is learn to take more interest in the practice.
And more pleasure and enjoyment in the practice so that there's less a less of an inclination for the mind to want to go somewhere else to find those things. And what i do achieve and consistency and he's staying focused on my breath? There's a layer s suggestion or tranquility. Imagine this is the dull that you were talking talking about. The well? The... It it question? Yes. Yes. As matter I wasn't sure that I heard the first part of what you said. But I I think what you said is when you're when you're focusing on your breath successfully for a period of time.
You experience a sense of s civilization was there where you used. And you're thinking that that was the dull that I was referring to. And there's a good chance that it is. You see? When When you succeed in keeping the mind from doing this cost and moving looking for something interesting you know, moving around from object to object, the way it does. There is a calm, a quiet of mine. And that calm isn't necessarily dull. The mine can become still and still be. Laser sharp. And so they you're still experiencing a high level of and intensity of your experience the sensations of or if anything else that you may happen to direct your attention to?
But there is a tendency when the mine starts to get a calm like that. For the energy level of the mind to fall, and so you begin to enter into a state of dull. And there's an interesting synergy between these because through during the practice, you call the constant movement of a mine. And then the dull sets in. And as the mind loses energy, it tends to move less. And so those two start to work together and you can come to a place where you feel like you're very single pointed, but you're also very dull.
What you have to do then is to raise the energy level of the mine. And first when that happens, you won't you know, your mom, your mind won't be as still as it was. But that's that's what you have to work with is to raise raise the energy level the line and then achieve the same degree of stillness with a higher energy level. Otherwise, what will happen is that well, in the earlier stages, what we'll happen to take this sink deeper and deeper into dull until mister housing when you fall asleep. But actually you've been practicing for a while, you come to a point where you you've practiced overcoming the strong dull of least dr part.
And you've gotten really good at that, or I shouldn't say you've gotten really good at it because that's not really describing me rather you you're you've trained your mind not to descend into that strong. But the subtle dull will still Villa, and you can spend a lot of time sitting in a state of subtle and congratulating yourself with the end of it about how good your concentration has become. But that's actually a dead hint. The only way that you can keep improving your concentration and your mindful awareness is to raise the energy level of the mind, and work with a mind that now has more of a tendency to move and continue training it to to remain stable.
You follow what I'm saying? As what is the. What's that? How was one i see? A good question. Normally what keeps your mind energized is all of the sensory information coming in. And the internal activity of your mind. So when you... When the when you start to meditate, of course, it's very in many ways similar what you do when you go to sleep and the energy level the mine tends to fall. So in order to energize the mind. One of the simplest way is just to expand the scope of your awareness. Become more aware of sounds and sensations, maybe follow the sensations of the breath, not just sit the nose, but maybe the no the chest the abdomen or maybe in the whole body.
This will tend to raise the energy level the mind. Unless you've already got a lot of illness happening. As you've got a lot of doughnuts that's happening, you'll have to do something that that more directly physiological stimulates the brain and my, which you can do by taking deep breaths and letting them out very slowly. Or clutch your muscles and holding them for several seconds and then releasing them all at once. Things like that. So it's a... It basically, it's a process where you you learn to recognize the presence of dull, you learned to estimate the strength of the dull and you learn to apply and appropriate antidote and antidote is strong enough to dispel the dull for a few minutes.
And then you just repeat that if the dull comes back again, you just keep repeating that. If if the dull comes back too quickly, then the anti you avoid wasn't strong enough for example, if you felt some dull, you decided to expand your awareness to include your whole body for a little while. You did that, then you went back to the breath and the dull came back right away, then that wasn't a strong and antidote go. So you try something a little stronger. The next time. What's that? Good stand up.
Well, if illness is really... It's really strong, there there is a whole series of interventions of different a different potency. The mild have all is to suggest refocus your attention on the sensations of the breath. And intentionally, experience those as vividly as possible. You know, if if you if in the process of if you've been practicing long enough that in the process of following the sensations of the breath, you can see some number of different sensations that make up the end in the out.
Then focusing in closely enough so that you can bring those into awareness. Mean, the mild this form of dull, that's all you need to do. Stronger and do things like what I suggested before. Or or meditating with your eyes half open is another way of of helping to decrease dull. Then there's the muscle punching or the d breathing. But when when the dull is so strong that no matter what he do, you've produces a feeling of sinking. It's like as soon as you've ro your mind within a very short time with just dancing within just you know, ten or fifteen seconds, you feel yourself sinking back in.
Sort of like you're in quick sand and you can't quite pull yourself out of it. Then you need to do something a lot stronger. So then you might stand up and meditate standing up for a little while. Or if you're in a situation that permits where you're not leaving a meditation hole in the middle of a sit, you might switch and do walking meditation for a little while. Things like that. And I I have my own little a to things, which I usually describe to people in which I've sort of gone over just now.
But feel free to invent your own. If you find something that wakes you up And and your goal, your goal is to always to Aroused around the mine to the degree that you feel alert in a way for at least several minutes. And if you haven't done that, if it it if it doesn't last that long, then it wasn't strong enough. But it is a repetition of that to trains the mind, and then you'll come to a place where you don't have dull anymore because you you've succeeded in training, training the mind. You can't make yourself not become dull by an active will.
But by repeating that process at every time you start thinking to all you around yourself back out of it After a while, your mind stops behaving in that way. That was a good question. Thank you. You anyone have anything? That's wondering Is it the b when your breath gets really do really slow. When you hit? And your breath gets real slow, right? When you're reading in it gets real slow. Well it just happens by itself seems like. Mh. It's very normal for that to happen on in regards of meditation.
Of first, as your body relaxes it's using less energy, you don't need... You don't need to breathe it strongly to provide enough oxygen. But also as your mind columns and and you begin to be more successful at concentration. Your breath will become a lot slower a a lot shallower as well. Mh. So it's it's a normal response to both the decreased energy requirements of a completely still body and also of the stillness and clad of. And the advantage of it is that you it's not... The the sensations of the grill aren't as strongly apparent when the breath becomes very shallow and slow.
And so you need to be more alert than you previously were in order to continue to be able to follow them. And sometimes it will seem to so the that you can't detect the breath as any of you had the experience there... Yeah, sometimes it seems like you just can't find the. But You know it's there. And as long as you keep looking for it as long as you keep identifying the sensations that are present, and you know, it will... It will rei reimburse our... And maybe that parts of the breath will still be that's usually what happens.
There will be a part of the breath that you can still clearly perceive, but other parts are are quiet that, you know, there's just kind of a gap before you get to the part of the breath cycle where you can you can observe it clearly again. But that's why. You just keep during those periods, you just keep looking. Something I have a lot of trouble with. It's not so much thoughts it's the demand attention, but it's other sensations in my body. Sensations got be. It feels like they just kinda grab my focus.
Mh. Did you speak to that? Yes. You okay. Missed you. Happy too. Okay. So you're you're asking about sensations that arise in your body that is strong enough that they grab your focus. And I think I did talk about this a little bit. Earlier this afternoon then it was just... I was just talking to you i'm John. But I was referring to things like painful sensation and itch. But the same principle applies to any sensation. If it is so strong, that you can't let it be in the in the background of your awareness and keep your focus on the meditation logic object, if it keeps pulling your focus away and holding it so that you have to pull it back again.
Then at that point, just take the sensation as your new meditation object for the time being. For long as the sensation is strong enough to pull your attention away. Because essentially, through meditating, we're trying to do to accomplish two things. We're trying to to develop stability of attention. So the attention stops moving all over the place. And also stability of attention so that the attention doesn't keep you expanding and contracting and expanding and contracting. These are the two different ways tension moves.
Yes goes here and then there and then there and then there. The other way is, even while you're more or less steady, it's kind of expanding and contracting you taking more in, less than and so for. So these are movements of attention. If you follow what I'm saying, you can lead it to your own personal opinion. What are the two things you try and do in meditation? Is to develop some stability of attention. So wherever you direct it your risk there, and that you can also through your intention control how much you take in or how little you take in and you can zoom in, and be just pinpoint focus on something or you can zoom out take in quite a bit.
But whichever you do, if you zoom in, it's stays zoomed in. It does just keep going on its own or if you... If you poke out it does that as well. So that's one of the things. And the other thing you're trying to do is to increase the power of the consciousness that you bring to the process of awareness. So these are the two things that all all of this practices is intended to do is to bring about these two things. Then and we have to do... We have to do both of them together. The dull that dealing with dull we've talking about a few minutes ago is dealing with the tendency to lose the power of consciousness who awareness.
And once we get over the tendency to lose conscious awareness, then we start working on on increasing the power so that we have more consciousness. Of more capacity for consciousness available. The other part of it is dealing with with the stability of attention. Now When you're in a situation where you're trying to stay in the breath, but there's something else in the background. And you do want you wanna let all this other stuff stay in the background. You're not trying... It'll go away by itself if you practice properly.
There is really no point of which you're trying to suppress or push your away or make the background stock disappear. You're just trying to get to place where it disappears right Itself. But when you're in a situation where something in the background just won't stay in the background. It keeps taking over the focus. It could be a sensation. Could be a painful sensation or some other sensation. I think that's what you're talking about it. Right? So the essence of the training is is that you want to keep the focus of attention on what you have intentionally chosen.
And so when you intentionally choose the breath, but you start having trouble being continuously successful with that because there's some one other thing that keeps pulling you away. Then you finesse this situation. You say, okay. I'm not gonna meditate on the breath anymore. I'm wanna meditate on that sensation. And I'll let you drawing power make it easy for me to stay focused on there. You're still training the money. You haven't interrupted the process of training the line. So you're were still deliberately and intentionally directing your attention at a particular place, and then sustaining your attention on that particular culture.
And as long as you're doing that, you're doing the training. So that's how you deal with sensations that are strong enough that they do succeed and for new way. And you use that as an object. But only so long as you feel like you need to. When you become aware that you could probably disregard it and let it stay in the background. That's the time to go back to the graph, at least until it becomes so strong or another sensation becomes so strong. That you need to employ this tactic to again. And as you do this, and I know a lot of you are already experience is.
You find... You know that the training has succeeded when even when your attention is pulled away, and even before you generate the intention to bring it back. It starts to come back by itself. Right? You know, what I'm talking about. It starts it's... you know, that's then you know that your your training is succeeding. Now parts of the mind other than the ones that that are being motivated through the generation of specific deliberate intention are now beginning to respond to the larger tasks that you find yourself and are supporting that task.
And you don't happen to limit hear yourself to meditation or related questions. Doing that? What's that? It's totally to asymptomatic. Now only where the neuro backstop stuff is happening really. This issue having already picked up on it. Energy levels pretty low tonight. Cool. I can respond to you, but we don't know that actually necessarily coming here and charge you up. So for I'm not quite sure how long it's been several weeks or maybe it's been a couple months now. I'm having more service spontaneous movement that happens when I'm doing city meditation.
Mh. And I had... I've had other types of sensations that arrive, such as colors, sometimes different sensations of more maybe evening. But this is this is becoming a little bit more specific, and I'm I can describe if you want me to new more. Mh. But I'm just generally wondering if I mean, my... What I've been doing is just being aware of it, and it doesn't last for a real long time. And and it actually seems to help me settle and feel a little bit deeper and expanded. In my consciousness while I'm sitting, but it's...
Since it's a little bit new, I just wondered if there was anything I should be more aware and specifically movements? Yeah. It's it's actually... It's sort of circular no mh. Mainly in the in my trunk Mh. And it seems to go in one direction. And sometimes it just goes in one direction. And then other times, it seems to sort of reverse itself. Mh. And then once that Once that's happened and and sometimes it sort of goes up and down and goes it's wider and and more contracted. And then it seems like when math has happened then I experience almost, like circle shiver or tingling.
And then I feel more relaxed. Yep. To my city. That's really... You've given a really good description a phenomenon that is completely normal. It's a very good sign of your practice reaching a particular stage. They... What it is is the is the arising of Pt, which is a joyful energy and it always takes the form of some variety of unusual sensations. And you mentioned colors and that's colors and lights are very classical one. Sensations like warmth, are cool tingling, things like this are very normal.
And the... In addition to sensations, the other thing that happens is largely movement. And the bodily movements themselves maybe be stronger or or less noticeable in in some people. But as a part of those at some point you began to experience, a feeling of energy, often like electrical current it's moving through your body. This is because as the mine becomes unified, which is the prerequisite to the arising of Pt. And there there is... There are these currents they've been classically described as p or chi or inner rims.
That took people Ex experience. And when the movements occur, it's because it's because as his energy moves, it begins to move the body so the body may rock. Part of the body may, you know, you said talk about spiral movement. But when when there's less of a physical movement and you start experiencing the energy it's itself moving, then other two things that you mentioned are very typical. One is is as though there's some flow from the corner of your body out to the periphery expanding and contracting, and the other is going up and rising up right through the center of your body out to up to your head region.
So there's such classical descriptions, that I really appreciate hearing probably, it's wonderful. They're completely normal. They're sign your practice being successful and the and and you're you're it's definitely a positive of thing. It can it can become disturbing and annoying. If the energy sensations and movements become too strong. Then they can become disruptive. In which case i what I would recommend is that you do some sort of energy movement practice, anything from tai chi or Chi gong or or yoga or know, something to actually work with the movement of the energy or front on another one people like to use.
But if they're not so strong, that that there a problem and you have to do something about them, If you can just let them continue to develop the other experience you'll have is that as they develop, although there seems to be a kind of act activity at the superficial level, both sensory, and energy and movement At at a sort of deeper level in your mind, your mind is feeling calmer or more stable, more clear, more listed. And that's exactly what you want. So in your situation, since it's not disturbing you, then you just let it develop on its own, and you focus on the experience of that becoming more more centered more calm, more clear and than keep working with that.
That is actually with producing all of those stuff we've got. And, you know, when that when that metaphor energy starts moving very freely without any obstruction, daniel experience, then ben means kind of effortless concentration. Let we talked to them. You're welcome. Stress my life. Come here. That there seems to be sort of a type of fact. In which I'm either buried and great deal velocity. Mh. And then great yellow expectation in the mind and back to the great deal accident other month. It seems like it's only matter of time before that.
Becomes centered and calm. Is there some way to speed that process up or sets Well. Be waiting yourself? Yes. To... Yeah. I repeat what patricia said. That you... You're you're finding you're swinging back and forth between a lot of lax, including dull, and i'm much more energetic, but agitated state. Right? So It's like you you deal with one and you're working with that and then I'm I'm... Guessing a little bit here and projecting. But... Say it's the agitation that you're dealing with. And just about the time you feel like I'm getting a handle on it.
All sudden you swinging over and you're starting experience lax in the darkness. Right. Yeah. Yeah. That's... I I I know that went well In terms of how to get through it faster, I just have... I have think about that for a moment. Because really what you're looking for is you're looking for that balance point between us. If if I'm if it's really like, it takes me several days, if it's not too bad. It takes to me several hours, and that's really good. And of course, once you find that balance point, you try to stay there.
And I think you probably know if that's like once you got the balance point when you sense the mind starting to move towards agitation, then need you call them down when you sense some mine might be starting to say towards all then you bring it back up again. When you're when you're in one of the extremes or the other, keep in mind that when you're starting to feel like you're succeeding and dealing with Alan, that's also the point, at which you are either over en or over d en the mind. And so probably the best way to keep from heading for the others extreme is to back off at that point.
That's that's that would be my suggestion. Of course the likes citation to back off it. Yeah. Requires subtle. I understanding which i by definition you almost don't Well, and and but you need to acquire that. It's like when, you know, the distinction between subtle dull and strong donors. When there's agitation, you can you can actually not just tolerate, but make use of some of illness to overcome the agitation. You back off a bit from the intensity of your observation of the meditation object.
You let it become a little more relaxed softer focus and an easier feeling. But that's exactly the point that you need to be aware that this can go too far. I mean you can start see into into dull. The same thing when you're when you're your working against the dull and you're doing various things to energize the mine. And I think. I think what Fred talking about here, probably doesn't need to do a lot of muscle cl and do breathing, but rather and correct me if I'm wrong, but it's more at the level of expanding your awareness focusing in more closely on the meditation object, intentionally brightening up your perception.
And when you're doing that, that is that's exactly the point that you need to have that intros awareness of how let's use that like a kind of mental picture here. You you got the spotlight of your mind on your meditation object. Because there's been some dull. The proof... What's in the periphery and the a number this this spotlight light has kind of shrunk down. When when through your intros awareness, you realize that that's starting to expand and take in more, and it's starting to be a little busier there.
That's the point at which you know, that to continue to focus so intently or to continue to expand your awareness. Intentionally, is going to lead to thoughts coming that are able to drag you away. It's the whole... It's the whole balancing act. I I know that probably most of you have heard the classic example of the... It would given in the sutra situation so I of the loop player that the string can't be too tight and it can't be too loose. And this is exactly what you're working with. There is.
Can you offer some advice or maybe methods of encouragement for maintaining its successful daily practice? Well, there's a few basic things that people usually find very helpful, which is to have a regular time place as opposed to waiting for when you can get around to it. Nope that's a big one. Meditating with other people. And There is a most of the time, if you don't have a daily practice, it's going to be either because you have other things that are competing for your time. And you will... You will need to examine what you do with your time and prioritize it.
And unless you are giving the meditation sufficient priority, it's gonna get booked by other things that you've given more priority to So you do. You do have to look at things in that way. The other thing gives said, you can end up not meditating because you have some degree of a aversion developing. And usually, when that happens, it's because you maybe you're generating expectations that are not named yet, and so you're experiencing disappointment. Frustration Or you're just simply not making the effort to to find the pleasure and enjoyment that is present.
And you know... Just a simple act of sitting down for the next whatever period of time. I don't have to worry about anything else. The whole rest of the world and go on by itself. And that produces a good feeling you, which could help to counteract any sort of a version that may may develop. But that... That's just some very, very general statements on Maybe if you said more about the specific kind of problem you having I could get you a or specific suggestion. Thing has to do with peggy and time sticking with it.
Yeah. It's taking a time and checking maybe. And most people find that early in the morning not too long after they gotten out of bed. His is a really good time. And, you know, and and the average person schedule, that is the part of the day when it's easiest to make time that is not going to be encouraged upon for the simple reason that you can always get up the half an hour earlier, things like that. Which though, like I said, you have to look at everything that helps in in the rest of your day because as you're already going to bed at midnight getting up at six thirty, getting up a half an hour early and they may not work unless you go to bed earlier, you know, taking a time, taking a time that they're least likely to have something else come along that's, you know...
Well, you know what I need. Something comes out there... I I just can't ignore this. So I gotta do this. So they put your meditation a time of day where that's least likely to happen. And then you protected it.