Stronghold 13 March 2011
is there any changes we should talk about this morning? I've been going back over there on... I is it Larry Rosenberg book by. And one of the things in there that really has been striking me again, but at a deeper level is in the chapter on silence, and he speaks about the importance of Not trying. Not not trying. Not right. Not Even thinking about the direction you're trying to take in meditations in, not to thinking about technique. Just simply sitting with the blast. And when I first read out, I didn't understand it.
I didn't I couldn't identify with what he was saying. And then I read in the back of the book more of the anna Honey sutra, they can probably saying that now. Where the buddha talks about, you know, the awareness of the breath. Breathing in and knowing that I'm breathing breathing out knowing that I else. Breathing in and knowing It's long breaths, maybe not people. And then Larry sort of takes that and it speaks about that in more detailed terms. And i've I found it's so interesting. This more comment.
And I'd like you to maybe expand on it. About they're not trying. Being absolutely with the way things are absolutely in a moment. Life being what it is right now. And that that is the that is the that's the portal. And the no technique is a very interesting part of that. You speak to that, please? Because seems to be and that's where my have been going and and are and and I'm finding that that that brings you to a profound state of peace of tranquility quality in that community. But it's the no technique piece and no direction.
They're not wanting they're not trying. Well, there's some some subtle feeds to that. Because actually you could interpret this in a way, that would be very... It wouldn't work. Gonna be unproductive. You have to have There has to be a sense of direction willingness to. Make the appropriate effort for meditation to succeed. By the most appropriate time for that is when you... It's just before you begin your sit, when you sit yourself down on the cushion you collect your why. That's actually a very good time to reflect on how your notations going and what direction you would like to go recognizing the thing too you need to work on.
So forth. If you do that, it creates a certain mindset. And that's very valuable and that's very very useful. So we're not saying that you're approach to meditation it should be totally without. Direction and effort the desire to make progress eventually achieve the fruits of meditation because that should all be there. But I shouldn't be there. When you when you start to do the practice, you want to be fully present with no expectations and no judgments. Just say a reading. I'm observing the breath.
And mind wander, as you bring it back but you don't judge. You don't get involved in. How It's supposed to do this. So what, you know, the way you'd like it to be? To mean anything like that. Same previously experienced installments, you don't you just do what's appropriate. Just be in the moment and and do what is appropriate because... Yeah. There's a couple any insertion expectations and desires as to the quality your meditation is actually going to ag your mind and impair that lead to restless.
In patients frustration. And even in very subtle forms, these can really disrupt meditation. That creating that subtly growing sensor patients with the way your mind is behaving. If you can let go of that. That's the problem itself. The problems that are you're having will take care themselves. So that's one sense. The other thing is that in all of this that we were naturally thinking is there is there is self who's in charge. My mind, I should be able to make nine to what I wanted to do? Mh. Or There is a self that has goals and directions and still and celebrate forth.
And that's the very illusion that you're trying to get beyond in your practice. And so if you're sitting there having those kinds of high thoughts part my the you know, that's counterproductive to the practice as well. You're trying to sit there and the as you really are, and there isn't... There isn't this self that's in charge making the decisions. So you want to get away from that. As far as what it says in the on on side t sutra trip. What? What those words resonate in terms of my experience?
Is that there is a stage in a person's meditation practice where to focus the attention on the cycle of the drug. Is a an active process. It's of involves sort of thinking and we'll pay people often and use and be encouraged to use verbal labels and things like that to help them to all over the ground. But over time, a certain familiarity develops. So that it's totally unnecessary to think about the breath cycle. It's... You you watch so many thousands of breaths that... you know, when you look at a human being, you don't think to yourself.
Well, that's his head. Yeah. Oh knows there's hands. Right? You don't have to do that? It's instantaneous. It's immediate. It's with A lot, without evaluation it's just it's just you're fully present awareness. You reach that same point in your meditation. And as you too, there's a certain two things like, you know that this rep is wondering the last. You don't have to think of. It's it's not a thought process, like, no. Yeah. This seems finds little longer than that that's happening. It's just you know.
And I think that's what found upon sac sutra is speaking to. It's speaking to that level of familiarity, that level, you know, mind speak out really calm, and really clear and you're fully present. Just you know what's happening in and all that you're is fully present that. On that let i speak clarity mind is also the the the quality of your conscious awareness. Is reflection and that clarity. So that they degree an extent of you're the knowing of what's happening in the present moment. Is significantly greater than it is in our ordinary daily lives.
And that's that's what was that's the my we're in i. Might agree. Actually read out. She in the long back. You know you read in a along day. And mean you'd be a little longer. You know you agreed out or. Price for sure That's what that's do. Yes sitting there. It's it's pointing the direction that you wanna Yeah. So you get that direction and you're mind clear when you read those words and before you sit down united. Now when you know that you know where you that it take care of. Since interesting saying there's a lot of subtlety key to these instructions you know, very recent voting right and music branch buttons.
All these different people right? In book. We all out, phrases and statements. That we made... We're were trying to convey something of it. Essence business. And It's for something that is so simple, it's amazing how difficult it can be. For someone to truly grasp spreads the studied music someone has been meditating with me for years. I know you've heard me say many times. You sound distraction. Realize. Potentially. You're very gently bring your attention back. There's a person that's been meditating and it says I never really got it.
I'd always been forcefully, but my attention So even though and it's a matter of fact he's going meditation instruction itself. And it wouldn't be an all surprised to find just exactly those statements words gently bring your attention back. But he never really got the subtlety of it until quite recently. You're telling me about that. And encouraging me to make sure that other people are gonna sit that. So when you... you know, what's happening is you're reading ver Rosenberg bert, and there's something that you you really appreciate it.
Subtlety of the instruction. It might be something you'd already read even two or three times before no. But you didn't quite get it the first few times. And now all of a sudden not. Yeah. It's like it's hard to What's like almost like a brain phenomenon like that ra, the r system and i certainly to a particular activating system. You don't recognize something till you've ingested it, and then even give incorporated it's become part of you. Mh. And then as soon as you hear it, you see it. Mh. So the first time I read the on suit, I didn't get it.
Yeah. Not really. I felt I started to experience then going back, the words are living. They're living now. Mh. And I again, was so struck by... So you're saying then that it's almost... I may not still understand it. You're saying that prior to sitting on the cushion, so to speak that you're forming an intention, you're getting a sense of your direction. And you're going to concentrate on the grass. But then once you're really on the cushion, then you're just really right here. Better in the moment becomes very vivid.
Okay. And, you know, it it it's really very simple. Any other kind, natural activity that involves judging or craving or anything else like that? Is is not what you wanna do and way. But those things happen at a very subtle level on our mind. And just getting to the place of recognizing to help how truly present... What it needs to be really true present and to not be doing those extraneous too he's judging. And you know, back to another theme of mine that might not that we're trying to bring about a unification of mine and what doesn't it mean that the mind is not unified?
Well it agreed that you're sitting there and a large part of your mental pass is to go to following a breath. But some other part of your metal capacity is sitting there in the background and and judging criticizing pain because you're reminded it because your mind just wondering, well, that's another part in mind doing something different still. Now that's the degree to which our mine is not unify. Mh. And it's went all of these parts start to function together. And then that that brings you to an experience that you holding described as powerful because it has the power of all of these different aspects of your mind working together.
It seems like the tricky part but that for me is that when I... When pardon of me notices that there are a bunch of parts in my mind doing something other than watching breath I can I can bring it back to the brand, and I can, like, really try. Yeah yeah like, really put effort into not. Mh. And and that that works for a time, you know, Yeah. And and I can I can even get, like, physical phenomena, like that sort of point to the fact that I'm succeeding, you know, that I am pretty unified in for several months or whatever Right.
But it seems that doing it with that kind of effort is ultimately held counterproductive to really long sustained periods of true location of my old So so finding a way to bring my attention back gently. You know. And and without that that real effort of trying is what I'm still working on figuring out. That's what's really tricky. Yes. That kinda takes some time. And and it takes being in a place of acceptance that. Well, yes, this is the way my mind tends to work to a certain degree everybody's mine tends to work this.
Right. The one. The one one part of your mind will try to use force power and coercion to make the other parts of your line. Behave. So you're not going to be able to... You're you're not going be a little bit make that stop happening like that. That's accept that it's happening. But at the same time, this is... You have the intention that you're going to get beyond that. And you're going to be as now was possible. Mean you realize your mind who's being drawn off into or something else. You you it's you don't need to do that forceful abrupt, you know, yank your attention back.
You you can just take a brief moment and just together with what's happening, dis disengaged, you gently disengaged. Be bringing the attention back. And gently make that effort to stay with the. And as you repeat that it gets easier and you more natural. On the other hand and that's the conditioning. The more often you do that, the more natural app becomes. And the more you allow the sort of normal tendency we have to forcefully reader attention then the more likely that's is to happen the next time.
Whatever you do repeatedly, conditions and itself. And you may even find initially right find that using on willpower, you feel like well, at least my mind stays on the object longer and here in trying to be gentle and it goes wait. But I was suggest that you don't worry about that, Because what you're gonna find is even though your attention goes to away. You're going... You're going to be aware of the center, you're know make the correction and eventually, it's gonna all work it's right out. So just patients creating the right conditions.
And hey you know, i I I think it's easy to imagine your mind is consisting of a sort of executive boss function, and all these poorly behaved subsidiary functions. But there's really no boss. That's the part that's the the illusion. And what you have to do, tam the line gets means getting all these different parts of your mind to start working together. In harmony. It's like achieving a consensus. It's not even a... It's not even a democratic majority or rule situation. You got you guys have a consensus in your mind.
From the conceptual dichotomy that you're talking about of. Then with a super superintendent manager and then those sort of subsidiary start doing versus consensus. Seems like, the internal, like, micro cosmic expression of the the worldwide paradigm shifts that's going on right now, moving from this higher call, cage where. This is the right way. That's the long way. Sort of god fearing thing to a much more gentle like, letting go kind of surrendering to the larger picture or equality between people, like, all less stuff like like fostering this inside and fostering outside will teach.
Yes. Has has human beings with spiritually than the manifests and the change in their behavior. Into even though even though society and a humans society as a whole. It's been undergoing a very gradual process of this. Maturation individuals within it. I've been achieving the most profound degrees of this for thousands of years. But in each of us, the more we come to be kept with ourselves in our own mind, down the more natural areas ideas could be a piece with everyone else in the rest of the group.
The more loving and accepting we are. All those different aspects of ourselves, the more willing we are to treat other people in that way to be more forgiving or understanding. And even looking at how you how you treat yourself when your mine wander away from the meditation object you know, when somebody breaks the law then emperor commands the captain or regard to compared that person flo in. Know. But Although, we have reached the point in society react on this. We reached point society where we see that all human beings that do things that are are destructive to society have the potential to know, rather than being punished and locked up have potential that have those tendencies correct it.
That's what we have to do with myself. Just about being. The desktop and just like in real life to one person's the desktop until he gets over returned by somebody else. And that other one so that's... They think same thing happens in our lines. Fine part of our mind. Is wearing the hat that says it's the self fits me, i. I'm in charge. No, Not a few hours later, it's changed and it's completely different. But then there's no logic. Yes. That's the interesting thing that behind all of us. There is this this continuity of conscious ex experience, something much much deeper and more wonderful taking place.
And you know, when when all of the noise upfront quiet down, then you start to become where that will the wisdom of that watcher starts to come forward. And really what we're talking about. How does anyone ever describe the nature of their mind? Not through these different parts that your mind that are struggling for a ascend and trying to assert their theory of what's the best best thing that this entity should be doing. It's because behind us, there is this process of conscious awareness. And and they the wisdom that that the watcher acquire.
It's when that comes forward, but we start to understand our nature and see where the possibilities are for changing the way we experience the verb. And ourselves. That it becomes possible to become truly happy and to stop engaging and the more constructive aspects. The witness. There is one of the... One of the things that that We can all experience, we discover that quiet the mind, we start to discover this still playing. They realize that there really is like a still playing like that's the center of the vortex everything else moves around.
Everything, you know, mental activities and motions are external activities everything is you constant motion. But there is this still point that's like the center of the door. And in that still point. There he is this. Consciousness that is just watching it all unfold. And That's that's the place that we want to get to being able to experience. When you do that, then the wisdom just starts to unfold other that. Stop being attached to all this stuff. Because really that the experience that you'd have of that and you have that is is that.
The self that I thought I was all along isn't really my true self at all. But if there's... If there's anything about me that deserves to be regarded as the truth fill. It is this this watcher from the still point that has this with them and those better than to get involved and all the stuff going on around. Then you have from that place standing you look at are the people and you realize, well they're all exactly the same. And the watcher and the still point and you're irvine in yard and airline, it's really absolutely in indistinguishable trying.
From that myself. So all the differences between us are just the superficial stuff that when I on around somewhere. Think that watchers the place so we need we connect with each other. It's the place that we can... Assign I to place it. We can most clearly recognize and understand that we're all of one single nature. Because you realize when you experience that place, it's not it's it's not determined by or conditioned by any of this other stuff going on around it. And in that sense. The consciousness that experiences from my perspective, is totally indistinguishable than the from the consciousness that experienced this from anybody else's.
It's only this the superficial stuff that's different in essence that's exactly the same. When we when we realize, however we come to realize it won't realize, you know, it won't when we find a way to apply the words that ultimately we're all the same. That that that causes a shift in all of our perceptions and the way we think can act. Well, I say yes. We are old. And is a matter of fact like can the analogy of the interest. Yeah. That watcher in the still point. Is, like, it's that's like every single jewel and it's all part of the same thing.
And everything reflects everything else. And that it is as that it it is even a separate you know, they're still... When you have the experience to the washer, there's still the sense of there being a separation. That's the loser too. And you eventually go beyond that. So that's the point at which you realized that all these other parts of the illusion that you see separate really can't be really aren't. But that that we're all the same that. You know, and even something, you know, we we all we all plead heard the same.
Right? When you get down to it. There there are many different ways that we can recognize. Processing does. But when you can actually have the experience up that says this is more truly what I have than any other things that I know not think. And the this that I am is obviously the same thing. But everyone else got understand. Can it hasn't more and even more profound in x. Than the discovery, I don't know how recent it was along perhaps neurologists about these mirror cells. Yeah. Could be the mechanism that we human beings seemed to have in other beings probably would as well to one degree or another.
That we're able to see this connection that we have, and it may also perhaps might it be what What is the watcher then? Because not only... Because we're watching ourselves. I mean, we're mirroring to ourselves. That's kind of an interesting thing. And I... When whenever you see a image of Net, like it will go on the internet explore it and it'll have these juncture points and they're like jewel stare diamonds or jewels. And they're reflecting every other same. Totally reflecting. So i mean I guess it's not a question, but it's an interesting phenomenon that we have within our ourselves this watcher.
This this intrinsic ability to watch not only ourselves but to watch how we connect to everything else. It's pretty beautiful. I know. Every... Is everyone else know about mirror neurons airlines because she's talking me about that? No. That's it's a really the interesting thing. Hold we we take it for granted that we understand to say degree what other people feel, I think what it's like to be them, we do that all the time. Another question how. Neurologists discovered an interesting thing. That, just neurons in the brain that if I see...
If I watch you do something, then exactly the same neurons that would be activated in my brain. If I did it or activated when I see you to it. Okay. One that this led to that you probably are familiar because athletes couldn't watch tapes or athletes performing things. And just by watching that, and their own performance improved. And that's a result of mirror neurons that are nearing motor activity. Muscle likely entities and and things like that. But time they found is there's beer neurons associated with other parts of the brain that that hard involved with natural functions.
And so if you see somebody else frown, we're crying, it activates neurons in mirror neurons in your brain that are the same ones that are activated when you're experiencing certain emotions that would cause you to f for you to cry. And which the neuroscientist suggest is how we have that emphatic, we see somebody very frown and we know how they feel. Right And it usually goes through where we see somebody engaging in complex activities. There's a a a whole little dance neurons in our brain different parts of our brain.
That are mirroring what we're watching. And suggestion is when we have that sense, you know what somebody is thinking what they're planning to do, you know, why they're doing what they're you doing? This is how you know that it's been mirrored and in your own brain. And so when you do that? You know what it means. And so when the same pair activate, if you know what somebody else's thinking. The neuroscientist have started they they call it mind reading. They they say that you're in neurons or what allow us to read other people's minds.
Because they refer they refer to mind reading as that sense we have what other people are feeling what other people are thinking, what their intentions are. And we all know how much we always do that. Right? We interpret with the body language, the before all. But we're up very wrong. You well. That's true. We're off wrong. Good. But usually we're wrong in the sense that we may be... We may be very accurate. About interpreting what the person's doing where we go wrong it's when we interpret why they're doing it.
And what kind of a person they are they're doing this because... And then motivation comes up, and then we... And and they are this bad evil person for doing that. But all seems to go back to a panel saying that we can't recognize something outside of us unless we felt it inside ourselves to be here. So if you see somebody from then you associate how you felt when you were referring exactly terms of the conclusion that they feel it for the same reason they you Exactly. Yeah. So there's limitation on that.
When you think oh, they all like me? That's right. Yeah all they really love well. That's the interpretation. You know, that's where when we pay attention to something, we tend to interpret what we're paying attention to. In terms of how it impacts us very subjective. And although there's many possible explanations for why somebody might allen, and you even know that. Your mind is gonna gravitate towards the one the impact you the most. Right. Makes me the the... That's right. So you just naturally assume they're frown because they And it was really young.
So that maybe needs we have a refined it well enough. About your for our connections mh. I just not finding out and and perhaps if we move out of this place of the self or feeling she said the center in the universe Mean would move to a more universal way of understanding things. Yes. And that seems to be the the best way that we have to do that is to make that change. Is to work on, you know, recognize how self centered we are. To recognize, if you can even say... Well, there's my mind making me center of the university again.
But I wonder what's really going on. Okay or even better yet. Putting yourself in the place for the other person in a way then instead of oh she's growing must meet she just disappears at me, instead, She's. Obviously, something bothers her.