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Stronghold 8 May 2011


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Well, You have anything to talk about? So I guess so At this point now, like my practice where is like, a lot of days where I feel like I really haven't like things just passing through me and I'm very happy and not how bring any of the you know, negative things that I that I would have before. And then there's other days where it is just not like that. And, you know, it can go on for a long time. I guess... And and it gets, you know, frustrating when, there's like, like now, quite a few days where, you know, it feels like I've never meditate in my life.

Is that kind of a normal progression where it, like, vas that way? Yes. And wouldn't do you expect that too. What's the... So so Is is there any technique besides like, if you've gotten to this point of what you've been doing has been working. So so keep doing that. Or is it, like you know, if you're on a a... An enlightened day versus a mir and in Mayan day. Different different approaches. The the my are the important rights to be mindful Just sitting and meditating on most days is isn't... I'm not obviously, because you get a meditation that your mind still goes into those old rights that you were hoping we're god.

So that's those are the days that you really need to be aware i find on that. That the essence of that is not somebody trying to change the state of your mind as being aware of the state of your mind and the causes of it in me i not it. Open it. Okay. So I'll at this time. So yeah. That's that's completely normal for that to happen as much as we'd like it to be Just make this transition. Never a problem again. John You've talked about the balance between focus and awareness. And sometimes when I'm meditating.

I'll be... I guess I'm on the focused side of things. And then I I'm trying to balance it by going to the. Looking more at awareness general awareness. And sometimes to get this funny feeling that the awareness It's almost detrimental. Kind. Maybe I'm out of balance. So the the awareness seems to almost increase the feeling of ego centered this. As opposed to to the focus, which seems to be going in the other direction. That when I come back to awareness i you like sometimes i'm I mean more aware the go are strengthen with the you go, or maybe it's all.

Not sure what's happening. Well, what what sense of ego are you needing? It seems like when I'm focused on the breath. That the breath is taking taking up a lot of consciousness when I'm step back and I'm more aware I feel like that awareness includes more of or my body more of my other thought processes which I guess is the definition of awareness. Yeah. It it's supposed to It it's supposed to include more of your mind. I the ordinary trained worldwide, most of its awareness is directed outward.

So it's awareness of the body and its awareness of external evidence events. So But in the process of cultivating that you want to... You want to have more intros you want to be aware the mind, the thoughts rising and passing a rate and the state open in mind and can't motivations and intentions have. You want that to become the part company whereas. So if that's what you mean by Ego, then that's a desirable thing. And even in the most focused states of Congress, entering and the food vagina. Where all external awareness and awareness of the body disappears.

Their remains and awareness have the state of the line feelings. Generally, there's not there's not any thought processes going on, but there's still, you know, see the definition of genres which are the most focused states that are possible is that in the first this directed and sustained attention to object. Plus there is awareness of the mental state of Joy us is awareness of feeling. Attacking at. And then and the second time, you let go of the directed and sustained attention of an object. But you're still aware that would say, i still aware of feeling.

And and this is the kind of progression that goes there So getting there from ordinary consciousness involved first learning not to lose awareness when you become progress. They're training yourself that the awareness the awareness that you reach at least in the meditation setting. They're wearing the sit here you take. Is that intros of awareness? Of the events happening paying in your online stated line gee and so forth. That how time to keep going. So that's that's the direction in the training box the like So to describe it his ego is through recognize.

This this is... I think I am, like I think I have my mind that my thoughts in my feeling. Have my body. And and so in that regard. But what? Hopefully, it's happening is that there's a that there is a change in the way that you're perceiving that. So that Yes. Yes. My thought, it's a thoughts rising and passing right. Because not that I feel this. I I am restless I am Annoyed. But rather there is the feeling of restless right. So you're doing from what? And in I was gonna stay in the technical sense but could this in other ways of defining the terms, ego centric is where everything that Tape is your object of attention.

Is related back to the cell. And the opposite of that is a more objective perspective where There is the witness saying that's, but the not the ego centric identification technique but. So that's also the direction. And that's that is one of the things you wanna be aware when you find yourself identifying with your your emotions and your vehicle the so forth. Just to realize that, okay. That that is the ego centric aspect. Right too. Wanna move towards being the hip witness of mental and physical home arising changing.

That's it. Then far that relate to the practice of was the i talking about looking something in the face. Yeah. How is that related and you when you we read something up home until look at it. Yeah. Right. In your face, is that is that nine or pressing that awareness or is that natural finance something like? I was that fast What you doing when you look something the faces, you take something that's a reason in awareness. And now you bring to the focus of your attention. And you want your attention as I just described, do you don't want your attention to functioning in ego centric way.

Like oh here's this memory of this bad thing happened me yesterday, but rather i'll hear these images here been patient practice. So you're controlling it Your the essence of the confrontation is that you're not you know, bracing it and getting lost in it, nor are you saying, oh, don't wanna think about that. Trying to push it right. You're just going face to face with. Yeah events. Got. Yeah. Mh. You just say there it is. That's right. Got. There it is. And you you done the perspective how the the impartial, non judgmental observer, know witness us.

Here is the on this the mental phenomena horizon. And I don't need to be afraid of and. I don't need to be captured by it. I can with it right in the face. No i necessarily had a question, but what George was talking, and I I think I had a little bit of And I know before we've talked about how decisions are made, but really by a committee the line committee. And I really struggle a lot but that committee and probably not making the best choices for this practice that I can And when I do make more mindful choices, I I know for a fact that I get a benefit out of it on the like.

How year and I i think that if I would just stop struggling with it, and you know, practice as when should. I think things would progress for me rather quickly. And I don't know if that's ego talking. I just I know in the past things have and it just feels that way to me. And then I I just realized that I really pretty which surprised be. That you're really... Did I have fear. I feel fear. Yeah. And that... I I don't think that ever factored into what I thought was my decision making process before because I I normally don't identify what letting fear get in way with any thing in life.

I feel that. Now. So does not that it wasn't there all the time. It's just... You weren't really aware? Yeah. I don't think I was aware of. I think in the back of my mind knew when I could Like, know, you know, cognizant that my life will change and relationship from change and these things will change, but that's okay. But I just really got that feeling beer then that's what is some of it is. Interesting. One of the things that that happens quite often is device really tricky and we could be identifying with an innovation without knowing it while we're focusing on some other emotion.

You know, so we can i can play this I say you're experiencing anger, you're aware of the anger, know, okay. I got. I kinda confront the anchor and going to be mindful of anger. So on and so forth, but the main meantime reminds made this shift where where you're really identifying with is that her new fill that caused the anger to arise. So now your mind can play this line game with the hanger while your still you're still the being and the place of being hurt. You're wondering, how come I can't deal with this anger effectively?

You know, with us or or how tone not dealing with it has effectively. Maybe you can keep yourself for saying something or giving something, but you're still feeling really miserable about it. All, the miserable that's you're feeling isn't really county for anger, his county problem. Acknowledged hurt we gave rights for the angry. And if you can catch that, then turn your attention to heard Then then you can get to a much nicer place. More yet Pain goes away. When you look for anchor or you look for herd, What are you're looking for Are looking for renewed feeling feelings of arise, I guess they're often verbal lives or take a durable form.

And a gross sort thing way. So you can you can see them, then you try to look we'll load the verbal level that may be bodily stealing. So of how it feels to body. Yep. And then where do you go? And then if if you kinda look at it in the body, is there point where you look at it at an even deeper level like when you actually you'll or see something from the mind, or it seems seems like it's kind of hard to to trace it back to to where it's coming. Well, do you often find that your first awareness of the new emotion is when you become aware that you're speaking, we're acting or having thoughts that are reflections of that emotion state.

And this is what I find too. This is really... This is really the first thing that mindfulness can detect is is that your behavior, including. What's actually happening is a reflection of an emotion. Did you turn your awareness to your body, this often gives you the clue as to the kind of emotion areas. How does my body feel and then you're gonna get hold that's the motion. That's that's the feeling associated with the motion of angered for sentiment. Or sometimes. Makes cash. But and which we we probably should try not to restrict our mindfulness practice negative things.

But anyway, they're the ones in love this. So, yeah, your body awareness helps you to identify the emotion that's there. And this is essentially a universal thing that you know, William James is considered the father modern einstein psychology. Went so far as to propose a theory that emotions were only the physical states that arose. In response to activity in the limbic system. Which as it turns out if you examine yourself carefully it is not correct. But it is how we often come to know what our emotions are.

Because we associated it june yeah. But then, once we recognize the emotion, then we're capable of recognizing it the mental component of it. And not just the sensations in previous of the body. And at that point, once once we know, you know, I am angry for example, then you either get lost in that ego centric identification with it. I am angry Personally I angry because of this. Right when I would be and you're going. Next thing, you know, you're you are and saying you're thinking pretty a voice.

So we're it's at this point where you recognize your mindfulness says tweet to as tweak due to the fact that there's an emotion going on. You've looked in your at your body and you looked in your mind and you'd come. Face face with it. Now that's a question of of saying in and objective and non judgmental relationship not identifying rather than lost. I think what you described if I understood you correctly is pretty much the normal progression. We rely on on our body sensations. Understand and make sure our our.

Okay Maybe I was looking too far, maybe I thought I'm gonna feel it in my body. Yep. But I there was a feeling there was the intention to to try to say, okay. Well, that feeling in the body has to be traced back further. I'm aware that I'm, you know, dealing this emotion. But how how do deep do do I have to trace it? Or... I guess what you're saying is I just need to hold it in awareness. And be mindful of it. Not get identified with it. And do that as long as necessary. That wouldn't either passes.

The you're referring is the mental aspect of the emotion. Yeah. The mental on physical landscape. Yep. The met and vi. But. Getting to that mental aspect code, That's that's what the physical helps is to do. And if you look at the physical, it's way how company face to face with the emotion. It's a lot easier to do without mo than if you go directly to the mental aspect. There's a mental aspect of our is totally fraught with this guy high identification and justification, you know, I couldn't feel.

Couldn't possibly feel any other way is the only reason we could be. Maybe we're all now. It's quite alright So I I do because no is a So you you you you think your meditation i'll pick it. And when you sit down you, you go with your object. But then they're they're I i think this leaks in the d like emotional stuff company. Sometimes the things going on besides the meditation object. Certain set will be kinda too loud to really, like, get much on the object. And and I guess I was wondering if there was a a a good way to tell what which sits, you know, it's really time to drop the object and go to what's going on that's making it.

So loud versus when it's better to, you know, not give any... Not giving any attention to which loud you see focus on the object we'll call the mud. Could you like, give me an example make something up or something you remember? Yeah. I guess like, right now, my mind is just kinda like embracing, like, just trying to be mindful while. You're talking feeling like, a million different things going on at once and It's... I always get the emotions physically first, Like guess especially in chakra so feel like blockages.

And so there's like, just kind of a lot going on. Yeah. And so so on this when that's occurring, you know, I can't really focus on a meditation object very well because I keep getting drawn into the emotional the physical, whatever happening. So it's not that one particular thing is drawing your away, but rather it's anything's briefly drawing your way and disrupting your focus. I guess more commonly would be one, like a group thing. Well, What I would suggest that these are two different kinds of situations.

If it's one particular thing. Can... Keeps drawing your attention to right. Then, you know, there is a judgment call. Okay. It's time too if i go over the object. Let's take this distraction as an object for for night. And so That's... You were saying is there some way to tell. Well, if it if it's is persistent coming back and drawing your attention away. And if it's doing, so more strongly, rather you know, it it's either decreasing and frequency and an intensity of its ability to distract you see they're increasing your decrease.

If it's increasing that's an indication that it's it's time to take care about the object. It's like the example that most commonly talked about is either a physical pain in the body. Keeps drawing your attention to wait more and more often. So then you take the pain on. Or it could be a a memory or an emotion. Something on a tenth app that happened good recently, it just keeps coming in life. So when when it keeps coming back, or and more strongly, than it's time to take it see. The opposite situation is where you got focused on something.

And your mind keeps starting off in different directions. And so you focus more tightly and now your mind just gets more risks starting off temporarily to more different things all time. And and in that case, it's probably a good idea to back off a little bit and not try to be so intensely focused. So keep the keep the focus of your attention on your medication object. But not so intensely so and allow that other stuff to just be there so that instead of it you said of it your attention keeps moving towards a your attention stable, and you're just laying it be there in the background.

That's that's the agitated one. If you focus too strongly, your mind can become agitated as a result. So we back off a little bit and it becomes easier to just save tension. That's why I asked for the example, i was supposed wasn't sure which was happening english. Yeah. So usually, it's the one thing, but today of the general education. Right. So if you get today, it's gives a lot of different things. Then just take a more relaxed approach to your focus and let all out be there and see if you can't.

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