The Mind Illuminated archive

TCMC 6 January 2011

TCMC 06 January 2011 Part I – Q & A is first audio below
TCMC 06 January 2011 Part II is the second audio below

Automated transcription

Okay. So you made a lot of rules for yourself and we started getting you now. Yeah. This is over what time. A decade. Maybe maybe rude for yourself. But they when you wrapped up. It wasn't like that sat he made lips s. Yeah. Well I I think that what are you saying said? You know, order be try to change the rates your life was, and determining a happier krishna. You were have saying things that if played different if if if you may change the the way you've get type, better things on track there that this would achieve that goal.

But ten the up. You I I I didn't actually think about having models say terms of facilitating the goal. I guess that was... Where that's it's moderate i'd fell away permitting just because they they were. They were just how it was supposed to be. Oh, oh, yeah okay. Yeah. Because of what I thought you were saying is they were making rules to facilitate all you that. So kind of the rules to. Started with the goal. Right. Yep. Partly that. But part of just got really caught up and the rules. Well, it seems like if I wasn't following the rules, then I've had to feel guilty about that.

And and and I didn't wanna feel guilty about that. So I didn't do anything any practice because if you don't do it. Then you don't do it wrong. That's true. God. And Good. Right either. Yeah. Yep. Oh, yeah. Details. But... Yeah. And I I... It was a big moment for me. I think it was the night before last that I said, wait a minute. If you make rules to help you do things, and all I do is stop your order. That's kinda dim. Mh. And and I I I guess that was kind of... I've been reading spooked by Steve H again.

I think it's his name. It's Buddhism without weeks. Oh, steve. That's better. Oh, Yes. Yeah. Sorry. No. He doesn't mind. I agree. And I i just kinda where we got me the at the difference between... Do it this way and doing it for the reason. Mh. Well, that's a really important thing. That is what Steven Bachelor is all about these days. And if you find buddhist to buddhism without beliefs, Helpful that accurate. Highly recommend concessions of the blue acs. Which is his more recent bar. Yeah. And I believe it's it's in library very care.

Last somebody is reading it. But yep to become again. And I suppose in a way, you are discovering perhaps those good consistent. What? What he discovered himself. He spent many first as a to that lead us mom. I believe in the book you're read he doesn't give too much our reference patients. But he spent many years as a as a monk hand, that tradition. And following that, he went to Korea and spent number more years practicing him three and Zen, tradition, also as a full. And then he's gave Probes entirely.

And he went through this whole process of finding that they really did religious aspect of buddha follow these and it's that's beliefs it starved things like that. Weighed him down and felt like he felt like he was not really conducive to the whole reason. Or these sense of buddhism which is to become wake. So it's really a much parallel to what you're describing you found you're making on you're making the rules for yourself rather than going into to institutional that system. Man. Getting a whole bunch of ready made rules.

Well, that's an important thing to look at because it's easy to lose sight take goals. And it is very helpful to have guidelines for ask things that we can easily remember. When this happens to do this Or... Don't do jack. Things like that. And that helps us to create positive habits and also helps to direct our attention to. Things that we need to examine and understand more fully. But they are only needs. They are not in hand. And as a matter they're not even very effective. Means unless you're able to keep the end in mind on and following.

Yeah. Can it's kinda fuzzy on me about that ends part, not being there yet. Well, that's talk us. You know, are there any your specific rules that you could suggest that we could just use as a basis for looking at how how you might do this creditor? Tape that someone told me it was, you know, really useful. Listen to this tape and not have silence. And I had always had silence. Mh. And so I started using this tape and then finding it was really kind of annoying. And feeling really bad about being annoyed and That's really.

Was the soundtrack then. Where the where the rules part kinda? It that it would... It was good to have a very bounded practice. If you start, you got this long. Gonna to finish here, you you're being in the moment, and this is keep helping keeping you track a it sort of like you use your. But... Guided meditation to help bring me back. To the present model Yes. Mh. Yes. And and and the part of me that wanted to say hush. Was was that a hot that? Yeah. That was that was my specific. It's really all about the difference between silence and sound practice.

It seems trivial, but I got caught. Well... Okay. I I'm... I what what this brings to mind mind, and I don't know whether it relates to what you're talking about or not. Right. In terms of names and goals. The goal of all of our meditation factors is to learn to be fully present. To stop escaping. Escaping into our fantasy future or our past, which is so poorly remembered that it's essentially fantasy as well. Oriented abstract thought processes that are they're really fun place to hide from reality.

So meditation, every time the organization is ultimately out learn to be present and then learning to be fully present. And it's it takes a while to do it. Mean sounds really simple. I'll just be here now. But it takes a while even to understand what now is. And in terms of means, guided medications can be really helpful. Sometimes i do guide medications. And what I try to do is I I know how easy it is or people's minds to slip off somewhere else. And so I try to guide them and such situated to keep bringing them back to the present.

But There's look a limit how far you can go with that. You're not really press. If my voice in my advice is what's whispering you back. All that is is a means that get you close in. So that with any luck, i'll leave to shout out. Fourth, you will choose to meditate on your own silently and start really getting to that place. Right? So, yeah. Listening to guided medications, it's it's great for a little while. But then it becomes just like everything else you do is no different than watching Tv and It becomes a thing that your mind can get used to doing instead of being real.

So then she just bless Tv. Okay. Well, like that's the other side of it. You can actually watch Tv and be totally present in the moment. Except takes a lot of skill. You have to have a lot of practice of being present at the moment in in order to do that. But that's he side guy that if you if she learned to be fully present, then you can be fully present under. All kinds of circumstances. And really back to the goal that's one of the places we wanna get to. We want to get to a place where we're very mindful all the time.

We're mindful when we're engaged in a discussion with somebody. We're mindful when we're doing things that occupy so much of our attention that but until we reach a certain degree of expertise and training it would be impossible to be mindful, lose yourself in that activity and we lose ourselves in that process. So our goal is that get to the place. Where we can foley present be fully mindful. So is there any is saying, okay. It's really hard to watch Tv and be present. I'll challenge myself in this way.

They're might at some at some point in things, but Just kind goes back to another thing. You should always You should always do something that you can succeed at, but takes your... But takes everything you have. To succeed. You've gotta find that point where you'd have to be fully totally engaged to to your your your fullest capacity. But in doing something that is completely within your ability to do, So the right time to try to be to remain fully present or watching Tv is when you've developed enough skill.

In being fully present in much simpler situations that is a challenge you have a really good chance of succeeding at And then if you get into the flow of the moment, then it's bold silent home, still here. Still here. Still here. Still beer. Occasionally interrupted, and then you come back and you're still here again. I don't know if we you know, somehow it sounds like we've got no from where you originally started talking. Rules. Actually, it helps. Okay actually, it helps because the the rules were keeping me from attempt.

Mh. Tell what you just said about did something we become reasonable chance of succeeding at? That's like, Yeah. And and that is super super important. Really yes. Isn't wonder. Yes. On that note, I always, you know, when you shouldn't meditate, like, half an hour or forty five minutes forty five minutes is like Mh. Top. And then yesterday that I would sit for an hour, which I know to do by myself usually, it's, like got a retreat or something. And when I was done, you know, I felt like, wow. Was do home.

I shouldn't have jobs that extra fifteen minutes. So And then, you know, I I really had a really interesting sleep. And I felt like, even though I kinda evaluate my meditation is not being the best and maybe it was too long and I had too much time for my mind to get distracted, but I also kept pulling it back. It was just like a lot of... Felt like a lot of will work. Not like I had done a lot of hard work when I was done. So then when I slapped i had this really interesting experience of just being slightly detached from...

Like, I would wake up, and I would be all. I don't know. Like, now I wasn't in my personality anymore. Like, I was more somehow separate from this need. Mh. And so then I thought oh, well, maybe that was good because I just find myself kind of push this extra time which what you were saying before, maybe I didn't really feel with a doable challenge but I just did it anyway. Yeah. So do you think that's good, I just throw an extra hold for minutes in or do you think maybe I should go forty six minutes.

I I think that I think that that really is. That is good. And and going from forty five minutes know now is. Is it's a pretty manageable Job. I mean, you go from forty five minutes to fifty five minutes. But it has to be enough... I mean, the normal sort of variability and and her persons stability of brian is enough from day to day that it almost takes something like that to be sure that you're gonna really push yourself a little bit. So no that's really good. Then it it sounds like it yet was very successful.

That's really good. This is what this is what you want to do in your practice all the time. And that's well it's really helpful to understand how the practice unfolds because I you can look at what. What you're able to do, and you can you can push yourself but not so much so that it creates a situation you order you're going to feel like you've you failed or you're disappointed or or something like that? And in that case, you continue to improve the quality of of your meditation quality of your mindfulness the depths of your concentration and so forth.

It's really important team did you Yes. It is meditation and reading necessary. Yeah. Well in in an absolute sense, no. It's not. And there's people who are big and enlightened who have never meditate. And one of my absolutely favorite all time sayings, right some great say to if I appreciate this much. I should've a number who said it. But don't is that meditation or or enlightenment is an accident and practice meditation practice makes us accident prone. So there are very very few people. Awaken without some kind of practice.

And the the kind of practice that has the greatest success rate are these particular meditation practices and that's that's what that's what really sets at least in my mind, Buddhism isn't apart from many other spiritual task. Is it consists of Some very systematic clearly described clearly defined methods for cultivating the kind of mind and the states of mine that are conducive to this very special accident happening. But in absolute sense, no. Yeah. It's so easy to get into the to the idea that vitamins is the goal of meditation.

No, they're like they're connected. Mh. And would you say about accident? About it being an accident? Well, It's an accident in the sense it's not something that you can do. Another wonderful saying is that is that There's no such thing as an enlightened in person only in writing behavior. So what will keep for enlightenment to take place. You have to not be there. And this is completely beyond the capacity of our mind to to do. Therefore we train the mind in such a way that we increase the likelihood this accident is going to happen.

And the the accident is one where our usual way of experiencing and processing experiencing is interrupted interrupt long enough, for that very same mind that can't do this to discover something completely new. Which alters the way that line works thereafter. So in that sense, it can only happen as an accident. Because any... What you can do deliberately is to create the conditions or to move in the right direction for the conditions. Right. It it is not something that that you can do or that you can make a make happen.

It must always be an accent. I experienced meditation in the past, but The emotional stuff comes up. I can't. I get annoyed frustrated instructor excuse of why i should this. Anger test to fill up that pain. Before I really had understood it all that was what was happening with those was like here. Did you like the what hat next. Right. Saying Yeah. I I stuck with it only because I said I was gonna stick with it, and then coming up to the end, I felt like like, a different person. And so much been cleaned out.

My next beautiful experience and I'm still not the same person I was our treat. You know, there was some real tangible change capacities. So Ten several years since so meditate it together now I've been out it for two months every day. Mh. And I'm finding that at about forty five minutes, something kinda goes off, and I like, okay. I I'm done. I need to go now. And if I past that the full hour is I committed to an hour, then all kinds of crazy stuff starts to happen. Really good, all emotional stuff the experience start to get really loud, and it's like a real moments of a effort so to just choose to stay on cushion for the rest of the hour.

Which I'm willing to do But Noticed to that the more I do it, the more version I'm creating to even. Mh. And so one where you suggest the boundary between pushing it in order to get the cleansing versus being gentle with my myself so I don't create version where rare, would you ideally see that balance struck? Okay. The balance is is not one of... Of time so much says it is how you approach what's happening. You call us a cleansing very good. It's called certification of mind. And and I know if you seen my land on the ten stages.

And download from garmin treasure dot org gets available there. But starting in the four stage and continuing through the seven stage, but mostly in the fourth and so stages. There's a huge clarification of mine that takes place. And he really isn't a cleansing. There's got a lot of stuff that begins to come up at that point. Because we finally we finally got all the trivial everyday stuff. Quiet it down out of the way enough that these deeper inks can come up. And one of the things is very characteristic as you'll experience.

Pain in your body, which gives you examined carefully, you'll realize it. Some of it's not even physical and origin and that which is is it's something that your mind is a exaggerating is because your mind is resisting going to this point. And the other thing is there's a lot of psychological stuff comes up. You know Nobody gets very far in life without accumulating a lot of psychic trauma. And some of it we get reconciled with, but there's always parts of it that we don't and maybe it's stash away the back line.

And they tend to create a lot of havoc in our lives. But in these stages of meditation, this stuff comes up and it has to come up. You can't actually progress. It's impossible to progress. To the advanced stages of meditation practice and el until you undergo this purification process. You've gotta get enough of the garbage out of the way for it to happen. So you need to regard it as a good thing. You need to practice in a way, involving time and intensity. And. You egypt practice such way that he gets good place.

Where these things that need deep to come to the surface, so that you can't accept them and so you can let, go of them actually start coming up. And you have to... You have to have in order for that to happen in the way it needs to you have to be open to this. You'd have to really flight this stuff cannot If you start resisting it, well, your resistance is gonna push it back down in suppress that. And it's gonna have to come up again i time. It's only when you let it. Just let it come up and fully accept it and let it be there and don't resist better at all.

You can get to the place where you can let go of it and be free of it once and for all. So what I'm saying is It's not about how hard you push yourself for this to begin to happen. You know? Yes. He wanted push yourself to where it it begins to happen. But then you need to have the right attitude. You need to you need to welcome it. Knowing I it's gonna be somewhat uncomfortable. But part of the purification of mind is realizing that the only reason any of these things make you suffer is because you're resisting and when you just surrender that resistance and just come to that place so accept i and openness.

That's the point at which those things not only count up. But then they go and when they go there gone forever. So that... That's what's important. If you find yourself getting to a place, where there's a lot of resistance and a lot of soft green and after afterwards you're feeling a version to doing this again. Then it's not that you pushed yourself too far. Noticed that you slipped into resistance. You stopped inviting and being open. Maybe you did go too long or or take on too much. Maybe you exceeded the the resilience that you have cultivated up to this point, the that you've been able to develop.

You might have exceeded that. But that's the problem. It's not that there's too much stuff. It's that you've lost the ability to be opened and and accepting towards it. And that's that's where you wanna find about. It's as I said, before it's another version of the same thing. You challenge yourself, but you don't challenge yourself beyond what you can succeed in dealing with? Is if you do, yeah. You'll feel the version. Reluctance. You'll you'll not want to practice or you'll not want to back to the extent that it brings same so.

I think that I'm over and near, lots of seventh stage. I I do understand meeting then descriptions that you had. I've got up two four five. Okay. Okay. Be three times. Do you think that maybe that it sounds like that may be why I and feeling a little well try this stuff rather than than quarters. Got it. Well, but when you get to the fourth stage, that's where you can. Where you don't ever forget the meditation object. You have other things that'll will be the focus of your attention, but the meditation objects still there.

Somewhere in your mind in the back. Mh. You're forgetting all the time. Okay. So then you may not actually be where you're really tapping into a lot of the deep kind of stuff that you need to release. Maybe your back acres is just playing ordinary back because, you know, I've used to say for so long, In which case, you should meditate on the pain in your back and find a better way to sit that doesn't cause some much back and things like that. And the emotional stuff. There can be depending on on individual circumstances.

They the superficial level of distraction that we experience can be highly emotional and can can be disturbed. So there's a difference between getting stuff long, deep buried stuff that's been getting in your way that you thought was history and you never think about that's always been there having that stuff make its way to the surface. And then having what you might call habits of mind that are really packed of all the time come up, you know, and and and now I'm not necessarily saying anything about you.

Personally. But if if you have conditioned yourself, to be a person of little patients short term quick to judge things like that, and you sit down to meditate, even in the very early stages, is that's what you're gonna experience? You're going to be you're going to begin patient with the meditation, You're gonna be quick to judge, the quality of your practice, you're going to feel frustration and anger and things like that. So that's the level of the everyday ordinary everyday stuff. So But and that's just that's just an example.

So we'd have to talk more in specific detail about what it is at you're you're experiencing. That's a kind of cleansing too. I thought were talking about a a deeper sort of purification, but It's all necessary. It's all necessary and same thing as true with all of it. That But I need the what's again are we talking about means and gold. The goal is to as to become fully present so that he can't awaken. And the goal is to reach the canvas of suffering. That's essentially what it's all about those those things right there.

But the cause of suffering is our resistance to what yes. And we need to learn to let go with that. And then when we can learn to eliminate the very scores of the craving for things to be others than what they are then there's no more infrastructure at all. And so The very... If you sit down to practice and you have these experiences, it's putting you face to face. With the whole point of the real practice that this is a concentrated version of what your entire life is about. It's filled with this dissatisfaction.

And it's filled with suffering. Filled with wanting pains to be different way they are. It's filled with not wanting to have this kind of pain and that kind of problem or filled with wanting to have this good thing or this source of satisfaction. And so the practice is working if it brings you to that place of experiencing that and knowing that, But for the practice to to do what it needs to do, you need to be in the place where you recognize that. But... Yeah. That's right. This is what my whole life about.

This is this is what I have to work on.

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