The Mind Illuminated archive

Stronghold 16 January 2011


Sunday 01/16/2011

Automated transcription

have a few minutes available to talk about things. Anybody has anything that would like to talk about? Just I have probably an easy question. It just came up, which is what is the pre about sexual misconduct actually meet What doesn't mean? Yeah. Basically, all of the pre are about not doing anything that causes harm to oneself or to others. And so any kind of sexual conduct, I mean, there's obvious kind our abusive, exploit violence and things like that. But course of in way, manipulative, using sexuality to serve some other Engaging in sexual activities that are going to cause unnecessary suffering to third parties, So like that.

Engaging in sexual activity in such a way that you reinforce your own predisposition to compulsive lust sexual behaviors. Would be harmful to you so It does not this does not include a list of things like not unless you're married not this kind of sex not that kind of thing. That's not that is about. It in but that looks. Well, yeah. And and the v vanessa took val of ce and that preset is not present instead the preset that they take is to remain all it. And so in the nay the rules of the an denial Buddha had to to define exactly what Sal was because human nature being what it is.

You know, people kept finding ways say, well, I'm still really solid. Yeah. Let you give some examples. What. Of sexual misconduct besides, you know, I mean, you were giving the overall thing. I think in lot of young people and and older people. Even old people. It's such a powerful person in the in the body and the spirit that it seems like it. Mh. It's really worst discussing even a, you know, even further. Yeah. Well, I... No. Oh, okay. There are a lot of things that really obvious. So maybe, I've have...

I mean it's obvious that if somebody in a committed relationship of Some sort, you don't try to citizen. And rape is obviously out and using some position of power of either is economic power as a boss or as a teacher or anything like that to the person into having sex with you? And also using sex for the sake of manipulation that somebody else will give you advantages or money years something the. I these are all kinds of obvious examples. So easiest way to maybe meaningfully respond to your request.

This says put it out. Is there anything anybody has in mind that they're not sure exactly how this preset applies to. All multiple lovers. As long as there is no harm done to any anyone and no coercion involved and no exploitation. It's... you know, there's there's nothing inherently about and I think inherent in having multiple lovers that would constitute sexual misconduct. But The real realize situation though is a person might have two or three partners and there might be amongst those partners one who goes along with it, but it causes them intent suffering, but they can't say have a lot of attachment.

And to knowing permit that situation to continue would be sexual misconduct. But it has nothing to do with the numbers partners, but rather that the activity knowing allowing a situation to continue and engaging activities so are contributing to the ongoing suffering or somebody. During not in a situation once a person became aware of it, there's a need to to stop and work towards some resolution of one kind another. K? The think there is nothing in this preset. That defines a specific situation that's being on wholesome.

I I guess something I've been thinking about with that is that You know, a lot of committed relationships end at some point. And that, you know, both parties get very upset when it ends. And so it seems like even entering into committed relationship, even entering into a marriage, like there's this excellent chance that it's going to cause suffering Mh. At some point. Mh. When forest, and I split... I asked sharon in Sal, she think it was crazy for a lay person to try to be and she said, yes, it's crazy.

But it's just is crazy for a lead person engage sexual activities. What you say is absolutely true. To... I mean life is filled with suffering. And and to the extent he you do bulls underweight people, it's pretty much inevitable that some suffering is is going to come out of that one or the other. And so anytime you enter into a relationship, you're planning the seeds both in your own mind and any other persons for future suffering when attachment develops and then eventually the relationship. Dissolve.

So it's it is helpful to know that. And the idea behind the preset isn't that knowing that you don't engage in relationships. The whole idea is that engaging what while engaging in relationship. You you keep this pre in mind and you continue to examine well how exactly does this apply? What are the implications of this and that and the other thing in terms of... You know, all of these pre are met to serve as tools. Not not as rules. And so you've touched fast on think that is very, very truth. Good morning.

Good morning, Adam. Not a long time since you've been out here. Is. Was it that retreat? The last I six? Or I understand. Yeah. Yeah. And seems Jordan. Thank you for help me. Totally. Long way to be here. We were just having a little discussion rose following. Doing the russian pre. And just there was, a wish for a little more on the freeze to yes. Sexual misconduct. And just before you came in, we came around to the point that having dollars at the purpose of the pre presynaptic to is to... Well, well first of all, the the underlying message of the pre just don't do anything that causes hard to yourself and others.

And then when you think about it engaging in any kind of relationship with anybody has a potential to later to cause. Alright. So Lots of opportunity... Look at jealousy. An attachment. Mh. But did you enter into her relationship? With the pre sector in mind with the intention in your mind and in your heart that you're going to do everything in your that and your power here the ability to to make this relationship rewarding for for both the other christ and yourself and avoid any any unavoidable cause of suffering for either one?

Then then it become then into a relationship at that point becomes a very powerful spiritual tool. And relationships are very powerful You live by yourself in isolation and none of your off edges get rubbed off against somebody she's they wanna get polish. That have. Also gives you the opportunity to examine the nature of self and selfish and and practice exchanging himself for another putting what's off in the place of another. Lot of great things relationship. Sid. Just might be in the topic? It might be give a shot.

But it might be something to bring up those things instead you Is something a it's a question that I've been trying to formulate late before I asked him. But one like, angle coming at the question is, I thought of this that this in part just, like, briefly mentioning this idea that almost anything You do can potentially beat the harm. And so... And so part of what I've noticed last, especially the last year it seems like is this tendency to take to take this extreme view on on or something like that, like that kind of this kind of sense of detachment from kind of emotional engagement with people and relationship.

Mh. And and And one of the thoughts that I had are a had. It's coming back to me this morning is so i do that what's really happening is that I'm thinking there's like a sense of a applying mindfulness to relationship and kind of whatever emotional story and narrative comes up around that. And As supposed to really apply mindfulness to that and I mean perspective on it. It's kind of like been catching from that and then going to this conceptual that's really like, not mindfulness. It's like an idea about being separated from that.

So it's almost like a worse extreme where it's, like... It never else feels that I'm not really engaging. Emotionally. Acting by dis engaging and conceptual socializing, taking that to be kind of identity or transcend or something like some attitude like that. And I feel like i've part about something like this as a trap like the this that spiritual is to separates from the world than this kind of darn ideal or something like that. That's a real trap. And I I feel like I've been noticing especially, like, with my last romantic relationship where there was a feeling like never actually really being engaged.

And in part because I didn't wanna go into the story, but I don't know. So it's pretty broad. It's is Broad. But it's it's a really good question that touches on a number of different things. It's just to restate. Thinking in terms of relationship yeah. And practicing mindfulness. That practice and mindfulness gives you a more objective perspective, but it also there's a danger of becoming detached and not really involved and perhaps overly conceptual and analyzing and so forth. So it's some very good things there.

The nature of mindfulness is that it provides a considerably more objective perspective than our ordinary was thinking about things, and that's a very positive thing. But if we examine this a little closer, that doesn't mean that we become detached in that we d ourselves, From a situation in such way that normal emotional responses don't arise. Because that is that's still a form of suppressing or avoiding or are hiding from our emotions. The objectivity that Mindfulness brings is to allow you to see your own emotions see the circumstances that triggered them see the thoughts and words and actions that flow out of them.

And understand them in a larger context. So There is a tendency as you practice mindfulness for your emotional reactions to become less less pronounced less overwhelming. And that's a natural thing. But they don't necessarily disappear as as a matter of fact this shouldn't disappear unless there's no longer a basis in your mind for them. Like when you become an r hud that might disappear. But until then, they're probably there to something to degree or another. And if you're truly being mindful, you'll be aware that those emotions are here.

So a state of detachment that deals extreme or fields can try almost certainly is. To understand mindfulness and its objectivity, mindfulness is about seeing things as they are, which means that part of your mind that tends to conceptualize and process and elaborate on what you're experiencing. Create a whole story about it. Is that satisfied perhaps suspended, but at least not bought into your mind likes making up the story and mindfulness tells you, okay, here's what's happening and here's the story that my nice making up about it.

They're not the same thing. Lack of mindfulness is getting lost in story. Right? Mindfulness is is saying the story for what it is. And saying the circumstance getting price of the story as much as you're capable as it is. If you you know, you've heard me talk about awareness versus attachment. Awareness is that way of knowing that we have that is broader and open. It's less conceptual less personal less. And as a matter of fact, if you examine cares, you see the mind doesn't categorize things the way it normally does.

And if anything, there's more of a perception of the relationships that make up the whole rather than there are single parts. Attention is the opposite. Can't zero in on something. It is somewhat divorced from its context. It becomes personalized because and paying attention to something as soon as we pay attention, there's a huge amount of conceptual commercialization and analysis and interpretation based on our past experience. So basically, when you pay attention to something, the natural tendency of the mind is to interpret whatever you're paying attention to entirely in terms of you, your your Ego, your experience, your karma, whatever.

Now it isn't this that doesn't necessarily have to happen. I, of course we can pay attention to things in an objective way where and retain some objectivity. And we can... And and so it's possible to separate all of this ego centric interpretation and still pay attention to things. But awareness, you know, this broader thing. Can they have very little of that in it anyway. And so that's why when you're you know, when people talk about practicing mindfulness, mindfulness sort of us a very productive, merging and combination of attention and awareness.

And it happens in such a way that you leave out some of the more problematic aspects. I I the way each of these normally functions. So the result is that you're practicing to saying mindfulness less you are naturally more objective more in the sense of the way that your contextual perception of, you know, no matter how focused you are on something here or where that you are where you are of the world around you how of the passion. I'll i'll at a non a non non analytical level, but it's creating context.

You have more of that perception and that's more of a perception of things as They are, and that's what you wanna have in mindfulness for. So in your relationship, you wanna have this enhanced awareness? And when you pay attention to things, you want to be able to do so in a a less personal and more objectively. Other had really important thing about night on this his where mindfulness is most effective is when it's when you're being mindful of what's happening in your own mind, your own emotions and your actions, your motivations that your desires and your conversions and all of this kind of stuff.

You know, it's not mindfulness of everything going on out there. Because this matter minds are too limited to even begin to encompass everything that's going on out there. You could practice being mindfulness of what mindful is what's out there, and you could become a kind of person that, you know, is is sort of, like the ideal the samurai who without thought, that's an important part of it, you know, is there's a no thought state is highly aware of everything and around. I can't respond to. But the ideal I samurai does not as a result of that state, acquire any insight or understanding.

And doesn't necessarily not necessarily modify their behaviors and reactions in any particular positive way. This they're just really effective in doing their here in the world. So it's really important about mindfulness and especially relationships is that it be turned so that you're observing yourself. You're observing you're observing your mind and this. Open non judgmental way and you're allowing whatever emotions are present to arise. The suppressing of emotions, if you pack this mindfulness and you find that there is an abnormal detachment taking place.

Then the appropriate thing to do is to focus more mindfulness us on that detachment and see where it comes from. Because what are the real reasons that you entered in a relationship and you maintain some kind of reserve? Fear? You know, i you in relationship to somebody other well, and, i people with that person. You know, and that's so far you just Yeah. And you probably won't be next week. So they're not too involved. I. If that's the basis of your attachment mode, then the positive thing is to recognize that and be able enter into that and understand the better.

There can be all kinds of other causes of detachment, you know, see wants they have kids and it's one thing I decided I never wanna do all kinds of other things like that. So... But the mind then will try to protect itself in the future by creating a distance, creating or the famous thing. How I'll i'll all men tend to be characterized to some degree or another by this has seed and may my pain relationships, you know, and not that it's really true of all them, but it is a characteristic that is present in males.

It's a he reluctance to make commitment. And first all have to do is watch some popular movies and things like that, which do a really good job of showing you how a person who has that kind of hesitation guards themselves against being genuinely present with the other person because they'll lose that protective barrier that keeps them from you know, making that kind of combat commitment in the in the classic love story movies. Something happens towards two thirds or eight three and move begins to start eroding.

This barrier and then they open up to they you know... But anyway So when there is... When there this kind of detached... When you sense the your own mind, is somehow doing something that is preventing you from fully engaging with this other person. You know, really making connection, then that should become the object of your mindfulness. Rather than letting your mind trick you by saying, say you're being really mindful, you're not getting all. You're you're you're staying nice and objectively and detached in this.

And sure s. This isn't really normal. That helpful him? Think so. Yeah. Yeah. Part of it, it's it's... The attachment is, like, it comes from... It was... Or feels like he comes from in place. I gotta to be like I lost just slip know it's kinda nih. Call the sec. And so I think it comes from that too. Okay. And I... So I I I mean, I think there might be, you know, something like depression on... Like, that... That's kind of you know, mas. Mh. As as that as a healthy object. Mh. And so it it doesn't feel so much like a choice.

Like a... Then I'm I'm going out of my way to be mindful, which is maybe probably I was presenting it. But when I look at it more, it feels more like a kind of a natural reaction, Mh. But but I don't think the modem is right, but that's that seems to be where it's coming from. It's a sense like, nothing feels real. I guess I actually had. That's that... That's that's wonderful that you have better awareness in. And it may take a long time before you under and the things that are in your mind that are creating that kind of separation.

Kinda may turn out that that they're not just one that there there are a number of things interacting. But in order to either Truly, be present for another person in a relationship or to be completely true to yourself when you declined it that i'm involved in a relationship, you'd have to see through those things first three. One thing one thing I thought so I've been doing a little meta with every sit every day. And it seems like actually one of the anecdotes and at least to they be more hard centered.

Yeah. Just all my relationships. And I find that's that seems to be the most useful thing right now since I I don't have a I don't have much clarity exactly on where it's coming from or what the... Yeah. Everything that's feeding into it like you're saying it's probably several things. So that's That's very good. So Very good thing to do very good practice. That's the first of, you know, it's says actually a set of four factor. So The other is in addition to the net Lewis love kindness for people that you know and people that you don't know is just compassion where you actually reflect on the suffering of people that, you know, including people that you may just like or have problems with so that you can understand that, you know, they too are suffering and grade compassion.

So compassion all those loving kindness, there's next in that status of for. And the one after that is also very good is where you reflect on the happiness of others. And you join... You know, you said in your meditation and you call it to mine, and then you you join in that re for their causes of their happiness minutes. But before it is, and he can't push that when you gotta work on the other three and know it kinda develop this so. Yet. Now totally, I guess it's the is the more of the suffering.

I mean, just as a practice. Yep. The the Time is is it's a form of meditation that accomplish more of these. In the way to Buddha taught this, he talked before divine a abiding and bra. Which are loving kind compassion, joy and e. And he taught them as a practice, And, yeah, in in this country, what we mostly get exposed to is is the first of the bra har. Because high enough severe started incorporating that into their inside meditation practice but it only enhances the power of that practice to go ahead and start having other in compassion into Synthetic joy.

I just want thank you. So much. Feel in there for your question, so beautiful and I I wanna mention that what what brought up for you for me was i also just finished reading book called about spiritual bypassing. And in that book is psycho psychotherapy to who wrote that talks about how in in in not seeing spiritual claims the way that John is describing that that you trying to make yourself so spiritual that you don't express what you're really feeling. And and you pull back and think that you're just being very spiritual, but you're actually cutting yourself off from the connection.

I mean, just what you were talking there. And how important it was to feel which feeling and say what you feel to the other person. So, you know, even if it's scary, it makes a true connection. So what what Sharon taught me about the the problem me hardest is that each of them has what they call a a far enemy in a near enemy me. And the enemy is something that's very similar. It's hard to describe the difference, but it's, like essentially the opposite. And so she said that as you practice cultivating each the bra of horrors, you generally have to get stuck for a while in this near enemy.

Mh. So, like, for, the near enemy is apa. And you kinda have to go through an apa phase in order to figure out, like, what the difference is, and how to move move away from one towards the other Well for me, I wonder for myself, like comes up in the layers and what I wanna self protect if I resist being engaged with someone or something that the layers for me are when am I protecting inside of myself? Is it know, I've been taking some truth, there's some illusion about myself. The story that make up about myself.

And for fun, I'll make up another story. Make and another understand. That helps me because of light. That's actually a very a very good technique woman named byron Katie that teachers investment don't work, you know. And so you ask yourself what your story is and his a true is it really true and all those kind of stuff. But then the real planter, you turn it around, which is exactly how you make up a story It's just the opposite.

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