The Mind Illuminated archive

Stronghold 3 April 2011

Automated transcription

just talking about an experience she have. What we started talking about. Being being mindful folder during daily life. She's was talking about experience that she have. Of everything of being as I would describe fully present and more fully. Being aware think so much more aware of everything than normal. She was preparing to trade things up just all of the salads and colors and everything very busy. And that's that's we're that's what we are trying to cultivate because we go around and our lives most of the time.

Just in terms of our potential for consciousness, somewhere somewhere you they I consider to be, like, half conscious at valves. In in terms of what we're capable at more we know we're capable lot because of those kinds when we are more fully conscious. So obviously, they would like to be in that place all. You also mentioned that it's time to you sometimes when you're you're enjoying nature and just slip at that place would being more fully conscious than a rear. When we were having the treat here when I was doing walking meditation right very, very slowly along here.

I suddenly noticed things that I've never seen before patterns in that rusty Saying it and the payment... So that the rust didn't show through on that hand railings release back there. And all the sudden... All kinds of things came to my attention that I've never seen before. But I I realized that most of the time, it's it's hard to even just be aware I'm thinking mister I'm thinking that or I'm doing this or I'm doing that, but to get to that particular place where everything just comes like this is is is, I guess, what we're trying to get to.

Yep. And it it seems like it takes really, really slowing down and not having anything shouldn't to feel like we have two. Yep. But there's two things involved in us. One is as I said, be more fully awake and fully conscious than you usually are because we usually go around only half conscious. The other one is they're very often. I have consciousness that we're operating on gets totally absorbed into thinking about something that's going to have that happened in the past gonna happens as teacher worrying about something, and that's what I think.

And so the agree to which we're actually present in the moment becomes, you know, minimal. Basically just enough to keep us from falling over ourselves. So, you know, So do you think of in way, then the two things that you would like to learn to do is you would relate to learn to? Be able to be in that place of of exercising and experiencing more of your and a capacity for consciousness. And the other is that you would like. The way you use your consciousness to be more more appropriate, useful conducive to being happy wholesome being.

Which isn't what it happens when we utilize our consciousness by being preoccupied with worries and concerns and most wishes stuff that never happened. Most of the stuff we think about on an ordinary daily basis, is stuff that does not deserve more a fraction of the amount of of time we spent thinking about it and intentionally paid to it. So where we'd like to be is we're we we pay attention to things to is useful and appropriate. And we aren't more fully in the present. We really get a chance to live our lives.

I would than wonder where all the years met. When they were lost and worrying about things that never happened then trading about things that went weren't worth giving a second thought. And was doing the retreat, you said something that was so has been so helpful to me this week. Said yourself. What am I doing? I can't. Why am I doing Mh And what will life would be the results? And that's been very helpful because a lot of times I find myself doing something that... I just doing this because I had that habit doing that.

Like okay. Oh just sitting down and starting to read something, looking at a magazine or something which I don't even have magazines, but if there's anything around just doing things without thinking what what what am I doing? Why am I doing? And what's gonna be the result i Seems like back to the time mind just unconscious just, like, you whatever in of my face. That's called that's called clear comprehension is the way it's usually translated is to to know what you're doing Why you're doing it?

Whether it's appropriate. And of course, if if you have that clear comprehension that you me stop doing think something that doesn't make anything. Tried deleting a box shop something. So. And you thinking about what likely be the results. And later you'll say, why did I do that? Alright. That's a good example because if you look at what happens, why are you eating your body box of child? Why are you eating in chocolate? You enjoy the taste of sweetness? Produces this sense of pleasure and satisfaction and you want the pleasure inside satisfaction.

But if you look at how most people eat at marshal of chocolate, you know, they they don't take the time to chew and say her and get the maximum join that how of he chocolate so the result is he. Arrangement penny and enjoy that arrangement for little. If you deep solve that. Yeah Because ma'am chocolates are all gone there's not for later. Well, no. No I have big too. Belly and for me you worry about your rate or you were you got help you're account feeding all that sugar inception. Well, I thought that quote what what is the probable result was an important part of the question?

When I started thinking about that. K. But the problem always comes it's still like. It it's a lot easier to talk about where you would like to be and to recall the experiences that you've had. That that helps you know where you like to be. If it's easy to do that it's a lot harder to figure out. How do i count the person I like see, how do I become a person? He is more fully conscious. He is more fully present. As has my programs. That's that's really that's a we're challenging part of. That's what we should should talk about rather than just enjoy emphasizing about whether it would be like to be fully wait.

I know. And it's a good for how you make yourself more fully? Yeah. How do? Okay. I I like to hear you but it's thoughts trying to how you make yourself from fully conscious. And you know either the cable both thing are fully conscious because i've there many times with the circumstances. So when comes to my mind is if we're here to fully experience our experience while we're experiencing you. Mh. Sale will falling down, going down, and we're watching ourselves because down, And when we're out of consciousness and we're going out of consciousness, we've got more times when we're aware they we're calling out of consciousness and they gradually mh.

The space are falling out consciousness becomes available for a minimum. I guess my question is that observing that mechanism of falling unconscious, is it important to also understand what the drivers are the thought patterns addicted behaviors that we have the things that bring has found in the out consciousness and we lose the witness mentality around that. Is an important scan those not behavior and where they the cycle period where it's not necessary in all the conscious. To to examine all those things at psycho therapeutic way.

Yeah. To understand that patterns and so. For the most part occasionally, there is something that you know, is deeply embedded as complex is... And it has far reaching effects in your psyche. And to unravel that, you might need to you might need to focus some attention on it and and come to a place of understanding and acceptance of whatever what so that it's... So it's no longer gonna be driving your behavior. Sometimes that's true. But most of the time, it's not. Most of the time, I if you can't bring some genuine awareness like what you're doing.

What's happening what kind of the effect that's producing. That's going to be and do that more often you do that. And the tendencies that you have to to basically get lost our our lines speech diminished. But they comes back the same thing and how how do you do how do you bring yourself to that state. We're in a... And I like to distinguish between, you know, when we're conscious. To be conscious is to be conscious in two different ways. We're conscious of what we focus our attention on. And that's a very concentrated kind of consciousness.

And we're also conscious in the form of everything else that were simultaneously aware of. And it's awareness is what gives what you put your attention on its context and it's meeting. And awareness is also what guides to us us. It's is even an ordinary circumstances you're paying attention to one thing but aware of other things. And your awareness, what alert you to think that you need to pay attention to that you're not so you'll shift your attention to something far like. Right? So this this is the way awareness and attention normally work together.

It's the function of awareness to create that contact. And to have to bring into your consciousness. Any information that allows you to use your attention effectively. But you pay attention to eight to to to things are in first. So you need to have... You you need to cultivate both of these ways of being conscious. But if you think about what happens, most of the time, we very easily attention kind focus and we lose word. You know what I mean there. So attention upon the bigger specific process or the piece of where it is what the experience is.

And what you're what's going on and and didn't make sensory around and. That's right. The way the awareness naturally naturally takes the form of being aware of either got other sensory realms here here where sounds and you're rear of vehicle things outside of what you might be focusing in your eyes on. Feelings in your body so forth. But should also aware of awareness includes the emotional feelings and mental space, better arising. Why you're doing what you're doing All the social stuff is part of awareness.

So if you think of what happens, and and our lives, will be become be focused on something like, for example, a thought that might not be a very wholesome thought. Making... Somebody's done something that that bothers us right out. And we'll focusing on that and we'll do the awareness. If we have more awareness, then well for one thing we would lose where who we are and where we are and what we're doing in moment, which we automatically do and we're certainly focused on so thought process and some motion that's captivated us.

But if you have more awareness, you'd also have some realization that continuing to to run the date on this keep processing the same thing over whatever isn't serving any purpose. Awareness would bring that to you. Whereas as long as you just focus on it, you're still lost in it and never occurs. And like likewise consequence. Get our interactions with other people. We think and do things because we we become really focused and we lose awareness of what the effects and the consequences are of what we do and say, and then we have guided rates.

But if we had more awareness in the moment, we would already no where this was going. And we could recognize that the source of what we're doing and saying, we could recognize it as as something that's being inappropriate un untold center undesirable. Which at least gives us the opportunity to make the choice not to continue. But when there's no awareness, and there's only attention to what whatever is and triggering the state that you're in. Then the words and the actions just flow out of that.

And it's not until later or on when you're not so captivated why i that you would start to wish she hadn't done that. So... So there's... There's different ways. I a lot of our behavior is automatic And having more awareness gives us the option to not flying on of automatic in pilot. All i mean. That's the first very first thing it does. And then it's a lot of the things that we do in the way we spend our time is a result of flying on not automatic pilot. Looking at that by recognizing that, you know, this isn't...

This isn't the optimal way to spend. The pre period of life consciousness that I have. That will make us less likely should engaged in those kinds of automatic behaviors in the future. That's what I was kinda of talking about and moment just being just being aware of what you're doing will change your behaviors. You don't need to analyze it. You just need to recognize if hey this this isn't. This isn't very big big. All you need inside of grand, that's why I'm doing right now isn't sort of here what I'm feeling right now.

Yourself angry or irritable or depressed or guilty or self blaming or something like that. To realize it. I have the awareness if this isn't serving here and to hold that awareness and to see the. When I left this when i entertain this emotion. This is this is the way my chest feels and this is right my charlotte feels and. Right or had deals, and that's not much fine. Just knowing that just being aware that is going to mitigate likelihood that you keep doing that time you're aware of it, it will mitigate it further until you'll become a person the longer.

Has the tendency engagement that behavior. No need for analysis. But there are things. You know, out our license everyone accumulates a certain amount of of emotional trauma, the situations that we never resolved internally. And those things are beneath the surface. We have think about them like kind of forgotten them. I think they're all over past. But whenever the right circumstances arises, it will trigger a response that comes directly out of that. It really has nothing to do with what's happening now.

It's just the what's happening now. Resembles something that happened in the past and such a way that it serves as a trigger for this this response. And this response is coming out of something that just really doesn't make any sense. Now when that's the case, you need to see need to come contact put the that. And that's the more psycho therapeutic kind of thing. And that's what I think, you know, psychotherapy in all those different forms is about that's helping. And even talking to a friend. You go talk to to a friend, what are you doing?

Your you're bringing your conscious attention out awareness to something that is a problem in sunset and to speak it to a friend, you have to verbal otherwise you have to put into the form that. They can understand. And of course in the process of doing that, you'll keep... You keep refining it because you want the other person to understand what you need. So first thing is to, you know, you qualify with your next statement then you elaborate a little bit And on the whole process, you start getting really good on it.

And I think that's really what psychotherapy is getting age hundred dollars an hour whatever is killing is to to help you bring this stuff into your consciousness study, you can see it, and so you can understand it. And so... But natural wisdom in your mind can look at it, and say, i yes. It's really silly that I keep being driven by this thing that happened when I was a child that doesn't happening. But yeah. She'll come back there hang. It's great to be able to do that. But how did you do that?

We can all go for. Well, we don't we don't need to accept maybe sometimes from things are really hard to to deal with on her. But the real trick is how do we be more fully conscious And how do we keep the element of awareness have as a part of our consciousness? So that we're not constantly getting lost and whatever is we're paying attention to. That is problem. And there may be other answers, but the one that is based on practice is it pretty straightforward and and cuts right to the nature what it is you're trying to accomplish.

First of all, if you want to not be lost and the focus of your attention. You just practice sustaining awareness, while you are focusing your attention on something and that's saying charge right whether you focus your attention on your bill and you're aware of what you're doing stop all your everybody's conditions. Or whether you focus your attention on each action and the sensations associated with question questions. The important thing is that you the sustain at awareness at the same time. He's just practice, allowing that natural process to the occur of being aware of everything else externally and also being aware of what's going on the I didn't she without washing inhibition.

And I get feel about this particular dish. Know. Is is the act is the sensations of of the water on your hands present or unpleasant. Hit you if you cultivate awareness, yeah it's going to be a more more. Ordinary time. So the answer how you avoid getting easily so easily lost. And when we say we lose mindfulness, that's exactly what happens to lose bypass people and his identical. Accounting. So I was absorbed in some particular thing that we lose all of awareness. That's what is. So you practice not doing that, but it's easy when you're washing dishes, or when you're sitting in meditation.

And and as often as you can, they never to follow the rest of the time. And the more few call to have it not losing your mind that's not losing. Then the more you start to realize that gifts they. And the other part of it is how do we become more fully conscious? How do we make our mind our brain? Produce more of the power conscious of consciousness that it's capable rather than going around. You know, half conscious just all of the time or part not too small time. How we do that. And you you can...

Would you you know that when you pay attention to something, that you can become more conscious of what you're paying attention to. You can see it more clearly more vividly, in more detail if it's something is changing over time, You can follow its process of change more closely. Right? We can i'll do that we do that a lot. Time. We do that whenever it's that's to necessary. That's it's not necessarily. We don't do that. But this is where we can deliberately and intentionally. Employ more of our capacity for consciousness.

You you can't enrich your awareness quite as easily. But if whenever you are focusing your attention on something, you have the intention between maintain as much awareness as you can. Then that's gonna force your mind. And for year brain. Do employ more of its in a conscious capacity than it otherwise would. So it comes down once again. To the same process is actually gonna make you their conscious. Does that make sense mean? Because the only way you can focus your attention more closely and take in more detail with more vivid or intensive The only way you can do that and still be aware of other things is if you're lying.

Utilizes more and expansion our consciousness to experience. So it's on the one hand, it's a skill and on the one hand they're cultivating and capacity or a functional capacity that you have. And both are the result of practice, which you do be can do this city practice and you do and sites begun. Really valuable effective when start doing that in your daily practices in your daily life as well. Practice my. And talking about since you... This kind of affects that A later mentioned to experience.

This is this is something that happens in meditation. That it's a assigned you're doing the right thing. Did you say in meditation? And you focus on your breath and see the details of the graph really, really clearly. But at the same time you're aware what's going on in your buying and catering that Peace, restless patients. Anything else that there. You are aware in the background of sounds, things like that. Here where in the background of stations in your body. Did you sit and you'd have that kind of meditation sometimes you can practice focusing really single pointed lay on something sometimes.

That requires more. Sometimes you can practice a more open awareness kind of meditation. That also is gonna be require. Or conscious. If you've been practicing you in a good way, sometimes you're gonna have that experience that you got a out for the meditation it's just like everything is so vibrant and clear. It's because you're you're farm more conscious than you normally are and you notice the difference. Interesting thing that happens that you get used to that. And as you meditate regularly, you'll get used to being or fully conscious.

And it won't be so noticeable until you think back to many kind used to be house. Less alert less gotcha. It's a you reason to kind of state of me. But as long as you continue to practice, you're still going to have those those periods when when you're you are sufficiently more awake. And then you usually are that you notice the difference. And this this is positive feedback that tells you you you're going in the right direction. And not only that really reinforcing as it's encouraging because it's wonderful.

It's like, well, I'd like to be this like this long time and so gives you the motivation patch. Right? No walking meditation, my when like first started doing it. I guess. Oh it's... Had thirty minutes of blocking and so long. Boring. Boring. I don't we have a jerk fifteen minutes january been six something. But when I discovered during the three that's I was really going attention to my feet into how I was lifting and placing my feet and i really paying intention that when I to do that and I could also hear the birds and I could also see what was A new net that thing to birth there for me then then citi for expanding the the awareness of around the attention.

That's right. City meditation. Is is especially affected in developing concentration but that is also effective and developing money program. Walking meditation as the the way around it's especially affected and developing line for awareness. Although it's also effective in developing concentration. So... And if you think about it, what you're doing in walking meditation is closer to and better practice for your daily life. You're you're active you're out in the world old do you have all your senses out in j.

And when you're practicing other sitting or walking, a really important thing is that you call awareness out your mind and what's happening in your life? Because we naturally have wear, but the awareness that we naturally have is predominantly awareness of external things. By external things that also include your body, what's happening by kind of external right? Okay. So the natural content of awareness is predominantly sized sounds, barley sensations all this. For very good reason. The the function of the awareness for you as as as a biological creature as an animal in the world is to alert you to important things that you need to pay attention to and maybe need to do something about so we tend to be rather minimally where of what's going on in our own mind.

But, of course, we're capable of going to, you know, we are aware of our feelings and we are aware of our thoughts and we are very very intentions. That's relatively undeveloped aspect of awareness compared to external awareness. And so a very important thing to cultivate along with this awareness itself is awareness of your own mind, mental state. Feelings a pleasant president, judicial mental states and joy peace, happiness. Anchor desire operation annoy, all of these different natural space, the things that we call we generally...

There is virtue opportunity to think of some options or moods, sadness happy that. Depression and things like that. These mental to become aware the right state is in the enrollment. That kind aware of the the a pleasant unpleasant individual experience, that you have to to whatever is like a response you have to whatever it is your experience. Should be aware, not just a contents of your flaws. But the nature of your thoughts. Because somebody wants to really booked as a man they could right and i made your thoughts.

And then don part of the buddha and says that, you know, your response what makes you right learn. But if you're always lost the content in your thoughts, you have... You have no perspective i would by which to. Evaluate the quality or thoughts and if some are better, than others just lifetime some actions are written than others and some speech is better than Others just... Some thoughts are or everything useful another. As you think about when you've ever been angry or depressed or something like that, how your going gets cert thought pattern it just runs it over and over again and all kinds variations.

You become aware of that anyone? Oh, if I can just stop this. Mh. For. But But first, the reason that you can't stop it is that before you got into such an intense pattern, you have ever practice being aware of the different kinds of thought you have when it was easier to let go of an undesirable and wholesome thought and the replace but. As you already spent a lot of time practicing, recognizing the quality response and cultivating the ultimate ones, that had a state of anger or depression or something like that.

Would would be a lot easier to deal with them. So Called the awareness and cultivate intros of awareness extent to the... What's happening in internally right. And you have more fully conscious so. And your life will change. And the person that you are will change? Else. Well, sometimes when you're so absorbed, like, you've been looking at losing yourself is something that is so sorry that you have those that peripheral awareness. Okay. That it. Sometimes that you actually treat surgeon projects like you're names something.

I know working fernando you can become so sorry in that and try to can be like my social. Yeah. Even though you're not so aware of in... It well it's going on around too, but it's just like, really fix on that. Yes. And absorption tend to be they they... Absorption can be great pleasant. Well we or your absorbs into to creative a process. It's very very pleasant. But Why isn't it fine patience What makes it is that. All of the different parts that line are engaged in the same thing at the same time.

And it's true you lose awareness of everything else. Dates if you're absorbed and something, then somebody can call your name and i I he even hear it. Get call to dinner then have to call in through the four times but get you hear and forget because you so sort of The pleasure comes from the fact that your mind is working coherent as a cohesive. And in meditation when you achieve unification of my it's the same joy, happiness pleasure, that. But although that's for becoming absorbed is the easiest way to achieve a state of joy.

It's not necessary. It's even while being aware of everything else. The underlying source of the joy is the unification of mine. So you unify your case your mind is unify. And you can exercise your capacities for awareness and attention. You can't even, you know, your attention can even be moving from another and the joy will be there. Because the joy, the the absorption produces the joy because again finds the mind. So if you can unified the line, then absorption becomes entirely optional. This is every...

This is what people do to make themselves have they find hobbies that are observing. Sex is absorbing movies they're absorbing. Books are observing and anytime you get absorbed, you enjoy this this this peaceful happiness that fits the result of interchange you know five mine. So everybody does that. Everybody sees it one bad. So you can bypass the external names by which we induce the absorption. To to bring about the joy. Then your that your step further again. Do you any answer? So how got. But how so how do that.

Search. How you bypass? But i unifying the line, which is another one of the reasonably medicaid that bring about investigation line use and meditate there's a constant stream of distractions coming up trying to take your away meditation. These are other parts of your mind. Your mind is not you. Right. These are other parts of you mind but think you shouldn't be doing something else. And so there's this inner conflict going on between all different parts of here. So as you meditate and as as you run to cultivate, hit pace, the interface you're cultivating, reinforces.

You see the part your mind that wants the the the parts it's usually thorough multiple. The parts in your line that wanna do something else and are kind of competing with meditation for what's actually happening. The only reason they're doing that is that they think there will be more satisfaction and happiness to derived from doing from following their agenda rather than following the medication of agenda. So as you cultivate peace and happiness and meditation and these other parts of your mind sort of, you know, they say, oh, if this works then I'll go along than the client.

Practicing absorption and meditation, which is a little bit of an advanced practice. What you do there is you become totally absorbed in the meditation object and they know you have this wonderful feeling of joy when you're happiness. But you don't wanna do that too... You don't wanna try to do that too soon. Somebody who who hasn't developed enough skill in concentration things like that. It's say become too. Sorry. And they have the with because of the absorption, they have no retrospective awareness and they don't even know when something some other thought comes along you takes some way.

So if you become those are too quickly, and you think I'm really prone to mind learning because you don't have the awareness student or even the fact they not doing by intent to do. Or the other thing that can happen you become to absorbed as you think into state of of dol we use i honestly Well so is the is an absorption in and and setting that higher than the absorption that one we had and say body. Well, and in a sense depending on how you use the word higher there's a couple of ways. One is that the absorption with something external is dependent on externally circumstance.

You you you have to have a holiday of it you have to have materials for the hobby. You know, have or project. Yeah. I know. I mean you have to have the opportunity and you'd have to have a out distractions to allow you to become sort of intuit. So it really depend a lot of that things that are much more difficult to control. If you if you can learn to do a medi absorption, that's something is happening totally within the line totally under your control. So in sense you burn that as as superior or higher because it's much more under your control, not only that.

As you master the ability you do that, you can achieve a state of absorption, much more easily and much more often. So there's it advantage to that. The other thing too is that the degree joy and and happiness that results depends upon the degree of unification mine, which depends on the depth of insertion. And you can achieve much greater depth of absorption and identification in mine. Therefore much more intense joy through meditation than you can with external pre preoccupation. So... That's another sense which maybe regarding as superior.

Because they... you know, the medi absorption, there are very light levels that was door then they're are deeper learning speech absorption. The deeper levels of absorption are are actually quite amazing and and intensity experience. So in a sense you realize that everybody and the world seeking joy and happiness is seeking opportunities because to be absorbent and particular right. And meditation is some sound. It's like parallel have. Right achieves the same thing. It's more internally in independent.

Anyone else have any?

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