The Mind Illuminated archive

TCMC – 9 December 2010


TCMC 09 December 2010 Part I – Q & A is first audio below
TCMC 09 December 2010 Part II is the second audio below

Automated transcription

Anyone has anything on that mind, Please feel free to speak up. Yes. So we be talking about mine this Mh. Says. Yes. During my, like, in on a day to day basis. Would you recommend something like so become lines where aware in the moment? Like, different techniques to maintain that mindfulness, something like, you know, during meditation he's talking about, you know, sort on the brett to the nose, and then still having that awareness around that. But you recommend try to get some sort of breath focus as kind of anchor in the moment or saying, like, labeling practice in the moment to duration and monitor, or something got choose one fixed in the moment.

So see those in attractive. Yes. Happy something that brings you back to the present moment is it's a very good idea. Know, when you do walking meditation, your your awareness and your intention or encompassing, quite a agree. But you're using the sensations of walking as an anchor it keeps you in the present and and so do you always have something to come back to if your buying bake off? So you can do that. You can you can use the breath and absolutely use the breath. But you don't need to always use the breath you can use other things as well.

In general, what I have always found works really well. Is the physical sensations that you're experiencing. Because they... you know, they happen they're gone. They're in so. And and even a sound that continues. Is really a whole lot of small sounds that just happened and then pass through away. Same thing physical sensations and things like that. So when you... Whenever whenever you're... You're not sure whether you're present or not or whether you're you you're trying to find that route, your your physical sensations are gonna bring you right to here to now.

You can use that. And then from there you can, you know, expand your awareness to and and what's happening my mind. What am I feeling right now you know what I what are my motive motivations for whatever it is that i'm doing feel, like both over and pills. So... Yeah. And feel free to improvise. Whatever you find works for you to bring you into the into this present moment to help you recognize whether you're in or not? Also, since a part of mindfulness is learning to have an awareness, it's not too constrict and not to contract it.

You know, having something that you are aware even while you're your attending to something that you must attend to. So... And that can be the breath. Please just practice have it and being aware of as you're anchor, whatever it is at the same time you're getting mindful of what's going on around you and listening. Is this is this addressing the issues that you were... Okay good evening That's a good question. How how mindfulness story? Are you mindful right now? Good. It makes go a lot more lines more on Thursday nights.

That's great. Okay. Yes. So I really appreciated what you said last week about not being able to be mindful of their. So oftentimes I would sort of think that That as being my that I would realized that this... What what thing was happening, but I was completely oblivious. Mh mh. And oh, it wasn't mindful at all. So there there was, you know, the certain sense of grace that I was like with something. Maybe not this huge thing. A very important aspect of the present moment. And one that is constantly changing from Moment to is they the overall field of what it is that you have some degree of conscious awareness.

And that is that's gonna be contracting and expanding and shifting. Actually when your attention shifts, so does this field of all the background stuff that you're where? Tend to ship. When you become more focused on one thing, that background field of awareness tends to contract and then you sort of rely. We're all the time doing this right resuming in zooming out. To just simply to become aware of what what's actually happening in the line. It's a very important aspect of mine influence. And the fact is that he cannot take care get everything.

You know, you just simply can't. And it's very interesting. You know, when you have no other demands on your attention for a few minutes to just say, just remind yourself of that and experience that. And also to see if if through your practice, you're you're able to take in maybe more or take in the same amount, but with greater clarity and and of perception than before. Because this is something that really does change as you practice is you will find... You know, if you take those moments to say, okay, how much of this incredible world of events that I merge that.

No on. How much it it can Of take can And to notice that sometimes you have the ability to take in more than other times. And and also really important measure of that is is that clarity and it's something to observe, you know, but... Okay. I... The things Are my peripheral vision and there's sounds in a way... I, i I do this. In a anyway, it's kind of a... It's a funny game. I I have never found quite to right way to describe it. Although water he reminds me I was a dog chasing his tail. If you wanna see what it is, that you're aware of, I'm not aware of, course naturally your attention moves to explore.

And wherever your attention goes, well you're really aware of that But then you you could know that... Well, yeah. Wasn't really aware of that at all those. Then go until I and I've had started looking around. So And just to play around relax your instance to open up and see how much you can take yet. And then focusing in on something and see what happens to everything that you were able to take in a moment ago. Just performing tasks that sometimes sure where I'm aware at some point that I've been totally under there.

Yes. Of self of where I am, and it's not in a creative way. That's helpful other thing. But just doing stuff. Yes. Well, there are... They are those things that we do that they really require all of our attention. We just don't really have anything. That don't have dream much left over. And then there's those times that we don't need to be so immersed in it, but we are anyway, just largely have happened. Yeah. So or were you speaking more of the first or the second? Absolutely. Yes. I'm just. I'm...

That's right. And we all have those, you know, this that we need to do that takes the all attention and as soon as that done there's the next thing they as that done is the next game. And there are certain kinds of tasks like one that I've been doing a lot of lately is writing. And it's... It would when you write, you really get you have to get a immersed at it. And there's just no way around it. But you can you can still keep practicing some degree of mindful awareness. Where I'm writing, I know that I'm absorbed.

And I'm aware of the flickering into and out of my awareness how people coming and going or birds outside of the window or things like that. And so I do I do try to always keep that thread. And when I say thread, I mean, there's a continuity to that. It's it's And it's very much like when you're doing meditation practice, you know, the thread can be broken. You get as in my example of writing, I have a sentence and it's not working and and he find, you know, rearrange it this way. Rearrange it that way, what makes it flow.

And That's a point at which I'm at the greatest danger of losing the thread out of being aware of that. But the one thread that I can keep is I know that this is happening. I know that I'm becoming absorbed to that degree. And so that the interesting thing about that kind of awareness is in those moments, it's extremely clear that So there's one kind of mental process that thoughts in the concepts. That And and that's the part that's focused on the arranging the structure of the sentence. But this...

It makes it the contrast with the other kind of awareness makes it really super apparent. The other kind of awareness is really it's it's... Non specific, even involves no thought. It's really... I I can't say it's concept free, but it's It's largely non conceptual. It is just an awareness. And when I hold those two in my mind and the same time. I I'm really aware of the contrast. And and this is why I I can tell you with certainty there are two different ways our minds note. And they both function at the same time.

And it's in those instances that that the contrast between them makes that so very very apparent. And then you can carry that awareness over into other situations where things that are not so totally embarrassing and you're aware that you have this more global holistic bottom up. Doesn't involve thinking not very conceptual. Kind of this larger awareness, and it's an awareness that whatever is in it is taken as kind of a whole and moment. And and the other kind is it's zero in and it's focused and it takes things apart and, you know, and it's top down.

It's... you know, if it's locked down and in two different senses of the word. One is that it's often driven by intention. You know, you intend to focus on something, or you intend to do this particular task. And so the movements of your attention moment i moment over a period of half an hour it takes to complete the task are directed by this overriding intention to do the task. So so this other kind of focused top down awareness is intentional. In that regard, the other way in which it is... It it it is intentionally directed.

Is it? It has to do with you and your mind as a focal point. You know, this is somewhere in this is where our sense of self is that other awareness. Doesn't really you know, that open awareness, it doesn't have a lot of self. It's just... It just is. It's there. You know, the the background I'm looking at you, I'm I'm I'm listening to my own words as I speak. But this awareness of the other people in the room and the colors of the floor and the feeling of the air and the sounds from the other room.

You know, it's only when I turn my attention to them. It's only when the dog starts chasing his tail that they separate from each other and maybe become sounds or colors or something like that. When I'm not doing, they have this remarkable wholeness too. It's a best way I can describe it. So your question just to backtrack a little bit. Your question is, how did you maintain some of that awareness when you have so much focused attention and you have to... And I'm saying that the very least you can do is know that in this moment, what is happening is focus.

And that's different than letting go of what you're focusing on and shifting your attention and saying, I'm really focused on this thing right now, because that's at same top down kind of thing. It's that background awareness. So this is what's happening. This is the of this moment. You know, the the en is it's a part of the whole and it may be the part of hell you're focused on. But it it's still... They're still a whole. That's is that helpful? And practicing mindfulness us in your day life. Because it it's very rewarding.

It's very satisfying. It's fulfilling. It makes It makes your life feel really full. And satisfying. Them are really present that you are at a more fully have lived. And and to sustain that is as is its own reward. Everybody else yesterday tonight. Just That's it. Now I think when it was a lot colder than it is tonight They're all Christmas shock. Oh, that's right. Yeah. Yeah. Two different thoughts. But Trevor. What you're just saying about the satisfy one thing that I have there is kind of on the flow side.

It's it'd being mindful I will wear all these, like, very strange and my new negative things. Mh. I got walking through everything see a certain light grain of wood. That's. I just have this really strange like, you know, suddenly despair. That do i I catch a lot of this. Yeah. And and I mean, that's it is interesting. And I guess it opens me after to those and... No. It's just something that struck me. I guess, the other more of a question thing that I have was in meditation. In that moment of...

U, I haven't been where you often talk about you know, bringing certain appreciation and just kind of an awareness of that and doing so. I'm kinda of really exploring. What is that what is the feeling what is the experience of that that that moment material awakening One of the things that increasingly stood out, it means almost a sense of when I kind of entered into that that awareness. I mean, there's a certain opening and feels kind of, like an opening into that more global awareness that you talked about.

And there's almost a sense of like, like a majesty or regal this about it. Like, like, almost like i'm feel like on of through And and part of it is is just the sense of just... I don't know. Maybe the courier of that of that little awakening. But part of it is also that I'm dedicated so much effort to maintaining my focus. That when I'm in that place, I have so much more ability to keep that focus. You know And so it's... There is an element of, like, of out of control. You know? Like, I can could I have better control of myself when I'm in this moment.

I I can catch all at rising. I can... I can redirect my attention back to why over my focus is. And and so and then there's a there's a power that arises through that. And I just... I guess, I'm wondering how the i that it does feel good. And I'm wondering if it's also a potential trap if there's a problem there because we often can talk about dangers of control and... Yes. Well, it's big. They There is a a feeling of power there. And there is a very important element of control in list two. It's only It's only potentially a a trap or can only be a approached from and on hold viewpoint.

When you construct it in terms of of an eye Let me let me try something out on here. Okay. Because this this is what these experiences are to make. When I'm more absorbed one thing to the exclusion of others. It's, like there's one part of my mind with its priority that is dominating the collective of my mind. And when I come into presents, it's like, we are all together now. And so who is it has the power? It's not it's not an eye. It's not an eye in the sense that we would tend to to to think that some one part of a collective that is our mind is the true high, the executive.

But it's rather... Oh, we're all together now. We... you know, it's the same thing as I think we experienced with other human beings sometimes even with one but sometimes with larger groups. When we feel that cohesive, like, we're all on the same track together, know and and that's the quality that that's quality that I find in these moments have becoming fully present and fully aware. And that's the terms that I like to think of it in. Because it it it's not necessarily so healthy if you think of it in turn...

Oh, i, I the king of my mind. And now just this mis hating mine, I've i may control of it now for a few minutes, because it's not really that. It's Now the mind for a moment is is come into to kind of synchronous harmony. We're all following. We're all on the same age of the symphony playing our different parts. That's that's that's my comment that. You said there was something else? No. That me. Oh, i was. Chase was just out the mindfulness and all does negative. Oh yes. Settled. Yes. It that is has you become more mindful, your...

This is part of the richness that mindfulness is brains experiences is your experience is this inter woven tapestry, you know, the the, you know, a like in weaving with two sets of threads going out of the directions. One set of threads is is the those external phenomenon, they en upon your senses and under are delivered in the conscious has And the other set of threads going the other way, because is each row with them. It are all of the lines reaction to it. You, from from the including the bare perception, the lighting or display you know, and the stronger emotional reactions that come from that.

And and this is every moment is may pop up. In your body in this moment, there are exquisite pleasant sensations and rather would comfortable sensations, and they're all there at the same time. And you are simultaneously experiencing getting that more global awareness that I was talking about... Those are present. Those are present at the same time and they make a single fabric. But you can focus in on each one of them, they can say Oh, there's the there's the sort sort place in my elbow and and there's a nice feeling of air on my scanner.

Hits about time first.

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