Stronghold: 3 Jan 2010

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Culadasa: [00:00:00] I'd like to know if anyone has anything on their mind, the question about the Dharma or it should be about practice, but anything we might have,

Student: I like to ask about purification. It said, sit in there something about purifying your virtue. And I understand from. From different things. I've heard recently that the earth is going through a great purification and and we are part of the earth.

So I think we're all going through this purification. So I w I would like to ask you if there are some methods that we should use. Some things that you would recommend we do as a way to purify ourselves and thereby purify the air?

Culadasa: There certainly is living according to those precepts is a very profound way doing that.

All of those precepts, the first five or about the same. We can refrain from doing the cause harm to ourselves and to others. And the second five go beyond that. But as you think about purifying virtue as jerky becomes purify, it actually transforms into wisdom. And and say the earth is going through a period of purification.

The biosphere, the human veins have impacted so incredibly is definitely going in the process of going through a very dramatic shift

Student: to,

Culadasa: to it's is very much out of balance and it's going to have to shift towards being in balance

Student: and.

Culadasa: We as human beings and as individuals that are part of society are not only responsible for the situation that pertains now, but will have a tremendous role to play in how that rebalancing process plays out and the impact that it has speaking from a very worldly point of view.

What is that? Risk is not the planet and not life. What is that? Risk is human existence. That is what is in danger. Whether humanity can purify her attitudes and behaviors. And represent the forefront of the next major stage of evolution as a spiritual evolution, maybe goes beyond biological evolution.

That is the question. And I think if humanity cannot than this planet will be purified of human beings, making way for something else. But that is really the talent, And I don't know that everybody realizes that people think about the changes in the atmosphere and the changes in the ocean and things like that.

And we say, oh, there's, isn't. But if we look at the history of the physical planet has gone through far more dramatic changes in the past, Dennis represent the question is whether human beings can survive. And we see all of the different forms of life that are being negatively impacted by human activities.

Many of them destroy all whole ecosystems destroyed and all the different kinds of organisms that live there and uncountable, theses becoming and think. And in terms of life, things like that had happened many times before. So it's not life on the planet, that's in danger, but we. Are, and so what did we do about that?

We need to have a completely different attitude and approach to everything, and we have evolved to be self centered. And to attempt to gratify ourselves and avoid our suffering. We experienced the desire and aversion and we experienced craving as a result and we engage in actions and that's, what's brought us to this point.

It's all, everything that we see that we regard as a problem is a result of those basic animals. Instincts that are now in the hands of an incredibly intelligent and [00:05:00] powerful species. And they continued untempered, with a species like ourselves and look what we were talking about it.

So that's the very root of it is that we have to out of a completely different shoe. And our attitude and approach to things we have to learn to act out of a loving, kindness, compassion, generosity, patience, and understanding rather than out of desire and aversion and greed and hatred. And we need to cultivate wisdom rather than remaining in ignorance.

And very important part of that wisdom is at the root of this whole thing. Now, when the first biological molecules assembled them together into fender protos bell, at that point, the mechanism that makes possible something like ourselves, of being like ourselves came into being, and those very first cells, what they represent that cell membrane that.

The inside of the cell from the rest of the world generated this notion of a self hood to be taken care of. And that's been a good thing. It's been a good thing up to this point, but now, you couldn't expect an ant or lizard per bird Hershey, or to comprehend that, that selfhood, that.

Experience and motivates them to take care of themselves and to protect their young and so forth is an illusion. But we're capable of understanding that's an illusion and that the kind of self, the kind of individual that we think we are is simply doesn't exist. That each of us is a part of the totality of the whole, and we should shift our identity.

Away from our separateness, which is the cause of our desire and aversion and brings about all of these behaviors, these very natural behaviors but they bring us to the condition that we are now. So

we need to overcome. Patterns of behavior, but we need to recognize they are rooted in the illusion that we are somehow separate from rather than a part of their reasoning. And we need to shift our identity away from that separateness to that wholeness, which will make the rest of it very easy, but it is a difficult to very difficult.

Thing to do because you have a lifetime of habituation and you have, you were born with a brain that part of it serves a function of identifying the, and I, and mine because, it serves the needs of survival. And so far we can go beyond that. We don't need that, but we're born with it and we have to we will have to deal with.

Instinctive identification with the separate self. But when we do that, Dan we don't lose anything, but we gain everything and then I totally transforms. How will you relate to the world? How we behave in the world and what we're capable of doing the people on this planet? There could be. Some significant shift away from the values that are held now, I thank you all.

I was anybody have any question about the values that are held on the planet now in every country and every culture and in every individual, except for those few who, relatively few, who've been able to transcend it, but the values are really in the primacy of the self and the needs of the self over other, and this directs behavior that.

In its mildest form allows us to meet our own bodily and psychological needs and survive, but in its most pervasive and virulent foreign leads to always wanting to have. And always wanting to dry out at anything that seems to threaten in any way, physically, psychologically, emotionally, or whatever, our sense of self.

That's the problem I've been world. And if a significant number of people can come to see themselves as a part of the whole, if they can identify with. With humanity as a whole of life, as a whole, with the planet as a whole, with the universe as a whole,

And change their behavior accordingly [00:10:00] so that they see every other as themselves.

And they act accordingly and they act with loving kindness and compassion. And with patience, with understanding, we have the intelligence and we have the abilities to solve everything. Problem. That is a part of this crisis that we say that the world is in. There's nothing at this point. At some point we'll probably reach a point of no return and that may not be very far away.

We're like an, a boat cause a huge waterfall and we're all in the same boat and we're getting closer, closer to the some point of no return, but we're not there yet. And we need to live in a different kind of world where the different kinds of attitudes so that we put all the same energies that now goes into creating wealth and destroying enemies to put all that same energy and to benefit.

Mankind lifeforms of every kind and making this a sacred planet to be a comfortable and hospitable place for human evolution to continue. First, one of the things we'll have to do is restrain our an enormous population growth. There's a whole lot of dramatic chains have to take place, but it's possible.

So if it's the. If the world we live in is undergoing a purification, then like it or not, we're either going to be purified from it or we're going to be purified as a part of it. So that's our choice and it all starts with us as individuals. Another part of the ignorance that we need to overcome.

Is the belief that, and this is very closely related to the same thing, but it is the way we normally see things. Not only am I a separate self, but the world out there is a separate, independent. And to some degree immutable thing, that's careening the longer its own track with. There's only a limited amount that I can do about it.

And one of the most amazing things. And my reflection is that the Buddha or anybody was able to realize so long ago is that we're incapable of knowing reality the way it really is. All we can ever know is. What is produced in our mind, we live in a world yesterday. I saw a video by a neuroscientist who was discussing this and described it.

He said, the brain creates this bubble around it. It's perceived universe. And it can never really know what's beyond that bubble. And so this hampers us enormously because, we can. We can look at the world we live in not realizing that it's a projected world that. There is far more to it than what we see.

All that we see is the limitations. The is a reflection of the limitations of our own mind. We are not seeing reality. We are not grasping even a tiny fraction of a potential of what reality is. What we are seeing is a projection of our. To account for a reality that cannot be grasped. And it is a reflection that is severely limited.

It's limited by our conditioning and our mind's ability to create that projection. And while we don't know that it can be very discouraging, as a matter of fact, one of the worst consequences is that people can. See themselves as a separate self, see the world as something that is independent Lee real, or their perception of it, and then let the same desires and aversions and the fears and everything else operate.

And so react to the kind of crisis that they perceive and the world they live in. Absolutely the wrong way and make everything much. Now people start feeling desperate and start throwing nuclear weapons at each other to sign right and improve the situation. But even if people do as a RSA as it's true that, things are getting worse, [00:15:00] but I'm not going to give up my comfort and my lifestyle and my health.

And because this is how they see it, continue to do the same things that they're doing. I don't cooperate. And this was, this is the problem. But for those of us that can realize that. There are as many different versions of this world out there as there are minds to conceive of them. And the reality that lies beyond that has a potential that is inconceivable to any of these minds when we know that.

And then we began to work according to some very clear, very sensible, very easily understood, very easily implemented. Rules, which we call virtue. As we start doing that, then we can progress using the practice of virtue as a starting point to actually the virtue becomes wisdom. And we began to know in a much more profound way, the reality, the potential, the reality that we're dealing with begins to reveal it.

When we make that step of starting to see everyone else as you would see your beloved, your child, your parents, or yourself, and you begin to behave in that way. Now that actually is a movement towards a more genuine understanding of reality. But we do that by not harming, not stealing, not using any of the forms of wrongs, be a nine in engaging in not just sexual misconduct, but all of the different ways we can manipulate.

Other people and their psychology and their psyches to our own benefit. We ceased to do that. We cease to abuse our own senses and our minds and our bodies when we began to practice loving kindness and generosity and

Student: no.

Culadasa: Everyone already has this in it. I, in us, it's not that we're asking to change our nature because this is a part of our nature. This is just as much an inherent part of our nature as the tendency to self identify. And we can see that because people see themselves and those that they love.

People are capable of sacrificing their own lives for the sake of those that they love. It's an inherent natural. There is some part of us that already knows these things and applies them in a limited sense. So we just need to promote that, let that grow on. We began to you, if you practice patience and loving kindness and generosity.

With everyone that you meet,

Daniel, you'll be already acting as, so you have the wisdom that you would like to have. And in the process, you will be bringing yourself closer to having that wisdom. And the time will come. And this is what happens when somebody becomes. On our hot, when somebody becomes a Buddha, is that whole sense of being separate completely disappears once and for all.

So then they become,

Student: they

Culadasa: become a part of the ultimate reality. The dharmakaya, the Buddha-nature and whatever nice label you want to put in, but there he is. And ultimate that's beyond the appearances. And when the binds division a separation from that is overcome, then the mind and the body done the five aggregates of a Buddha does no longer perceives itself as separate but presented, but dwells in the Dharma.

Yeah. Those terms and you know what it means, this is the change that takes place. And this is where this is what as individuals we're working towards. And there's many stages along the way, but it's such a profound transformation actually begins with keeping a precept of not using false speech, harsh speech, divisive, speech gossip with not deliberately causing harm to other things.

But not taking things that are not freely given, but those are just the beginning baby step, and as you do [00:20:00] that, and as you penetrate more deeply into why this makes sense to them, the true wisdom begins to rise. That's the short answer?

Student: No, I was thinking about the methods for getting there and I. It seems like meditation is the major myth.

Culadasa: Meditation is so important because being trapped in an illusion, we need who we need to achieve the clarification and the ability to see beyond the illusion. And that's what makes meditation, so crucially important in this.

Because as, as soon as anybody sits down and meditate, they will discover that their mind never stays any place long enough to really know what's taken place. That's the reason that nobody ever realizes that the world that they live in exists only in their mind, because they're so busy, their mind is it moves quickly and the same ideas as a movie projector.

If the pictures go by fast enough, it looks real. And it's the same thing as your mind keeps moving fast enough within it. Delusion. It can go on for a whole lifetime without ever seeing between the cracks. Actually. I love that Leonard Cohen song, where he says that there's air, there's a crack in everything.

That's how the light gets in. So we meditate so that we can see the cracks and the burning about mental clarity, because. We mental clarity means that we bring the full power of our mindful awareness of those things that we examine. But it also means that we set aside our preconceived expectations so that we have a greater chance of saying what's really in front of us.

And Normally we see what we expect to see and psychologists, who've done so many fascinating experiments, to show this, that people see what they expect to see. They don't see what to really hear. And that's what we're all doing all the time. Meditation also gives us that kind of clarity, where we're able to see what.

Really in front of us instead of your region. Yep. Good question. How do you incorporate the meditative practice and make it part of not just a 30 minute time in the morning, but as really part of your life? Because I noticed that there are,

Student: I've talked to many people, meditate

Culadasa: or are friends with people who meditate, who nothing has really changed in their lives as a result of doing the meditation.

It's it's become a. Okay, this is what I meditate. And then they go back to doing, it's like their life and their patterns and ways of being haven't actually altered because that's become just like another thing to do on their, to do list, and it's oh, I get up. And then I spend my 15 minutes and check that off.

Let's go do the next thing, and it doesn't actually become like part of a transformation in their

Student: lives. So I'm curious as to

Culadasa: how you make that shift and really taking like that practice as not just a practice,

Student: that's like a select

Culadasa: period of time in the morning, but it practices like a life process practice, or it becomes like

Student: something that influences your

Culadasa: interactions and every way possible.

And your entire

Student: B

Culadasa: that's a very good question. A very important one that, okay. That's just temporary. The question is

Student: How do we bring.

Culadasa: Meditation and into our life, rather than it being a separate saying that we do for a certain period of time each day, which doesn't really change much, very much in the rest of our lives.

We're pretty some changes, but yeah, not the kind of dramatic changes we're talking about. And that's a very big problem because it's so easy to do that meditation, it's it's going to the gym or going jogging, or it's not something else you do because it's beneficial and helpful. And people do get benefit from it. Even if they don't bring meditation into their lives, they will have improved concentration and awareness that benefits them. And they will have. The peace of mind that comes from sitting for a certain amount of day and a time each day, but it won't make any big changes in their lives, but as long as it's separate, and the first thing that's necessary is to recognize how important that is.

And this has to do with people. Understanding what meditation is and why you do it. And their reasons for dying. If somebody comes to meditation, because they want [00:25:00] to reduce stress in their life and have lower blood pressure and be a little happier and stuff like that, they won't realize the importance of this.

If somebody understands that the purpose of meditation is to bring about. A profound transformation in them that will make them much, much happier, much more compassionate, a much wiser person. Then they will be, they will have more recognition and more motivation for the need to bring it into their daily life.

We come to the how of it. Once again, It also relates to the understanding of what you're doing when you're meditating. I really how you, something Gretchen wrap your Shea said a couple of different occasions and I think it captures the essence of it. Every kind of meditation, no matter what kind of meditation you do, every kind of meditation the meditation object to some.

Whether you're meditating on the breath or doing visualizations or doing work in kindness, meditation, or whatever, you're doing your real meditation object. It is your own mind. If you don't understand that, then you'll do great visualizations or you'll channel the monitors, or you'll become really good at keeping your breath, your mind centered on your breath, but you all this the whole.

Mr. Sit down and to do a practice in the process of doing a practice, to begin to discover the nature of mind, the nature of experience, the nature of consciousness. So if you understand, but that is what the purpose of meditation is. And no matter what method it is a process of discovery of what's going on, then.

The way that it translates into daily life becomes more obvious because sitting down is a way of being quiet and. Reducing the amount of activity that's going on in a particular period of time so that you can see more clearly, but that's so that when you get up, you can carry that same ability to see and understand with you.

And you began to be aware of, and how's the way your mind reacts to. The events that happened, the things that people say, the thoughts that pass through your mind and so on and so forth, then you're bringing the meditation into your daily life. You're practicing mindfulness in your daily life. The things that you discover in meditation, you sit down and if you are practicing any kind of concentration where you're trying to keep your attention on one thing, rather than your mind moving around to everything.

You're going to see it in your mind does move around and you may discover that well, everything kind of divides into sensation and metal objects that arise in response to sensation. That's the beginning of insight right there. As you look more closely at these things, you acquire more and more insights into the condition nature.

Of your mind, the impermanent, so that you began to see because of the nature of the spells that you always thought you were, you began to see that. It's part idea, and it's part of feeling, but it's all smoke and mirrors. When these insights come and meditation. Than immediately what you want to do is to take them out of the meditation and see them in the world.

And one of the Buddha's most famous suture is a poor application of mindfulness, where he talks about this process in detail. He repeats some 22 times with regard to all of these different things. You see it in yourself, which is what you're doing. Meditation. You see it in others. And then you see it in yourself and others.

And you take what you learn in meditation and even bring it into your life in that way. And it starts to bring about the transformation. You start thinking yourself and others. The other has been your thoughts. You understand your self better your mind and your motivations. Then you're doing.

And you, of course, you see it in yourself. You see it naturally gives rise to loving kindness, compassion to understanding. So it is only when you meditate in such a way that insight arises. And then when you bring that insight and to your wife that you will [00:30:00] really get the results sort of meditation, and it really begins to work.

And it begins with the concentration and the mindful awareness that you develop in meditation. You bring those into your daily life. So it's some simple ways of dealing that are, just to get started. You can, if you do something like meditating on the breath 30 are hundreds of opportunities during the day to just bring your attention to the breath.

It can be. While there's nothing else to do. You're waiting for something to happen, or it can be while you're doing something or something else is going on, but it doesn't require your entire attention so that you can watch the breath at the same time. And you can see how that clarifies your mind wonderfully on for years I medicated and then I attended their most tedious staff meetings and, Whenever I could feel inpatients that are annoyance arising.

I just put my attention on library, author and still listened to, but the other people were saying everything even out. Okay. Instead of reacting, there was somebody who was saying, which was the first tendency, I decided the Buddhist said about speech, the right speech is about, is it true?

Is it helpful and isn't necessary you on mine to get cleared my reaction. Okay. Do I really need to say this? Is it helpful? Sometimes there was, or sometimes very, yeah, most of the time I'd say something different than my purse grandpa, but I tried to say something. It was helpful assuming, providing that it seemed like it was necessary.

Let's see, you can bring this into your life in so many ways. Some people spend a lot of time in traffic and they're prone to road rage and impatience and cutting other drivers off and raising their own blood pressure and all kinds of things like that. If when you pop it pop lights to put your attention on your graph for a few minutes, you're far more likely to react with equanimity patients than, and understanding when somebody cuts you off for the driver in front of you is talking on a cell phone or.

2030 miles an hour in a 40 mile, an hour zone, you relate printed point. Things like that. The mindful awareness was the other part of it in meditation. You're always trying to be fully alert, fully aware, completely present. And of course you can bring that and to your daily life, man, an extremely powerful and positive, right?

Student: Your

Culadasa: goal. As soon as you're able to manage it is to have as much mindfulness as you can all of the time. But as a technique for starting the process, pick some things that are really important to you that you re need to be mindful about. You may still have some habitual behaviors or some emotional tendencies that you recognize.

I'd wholesome an undesirable and you can make them your target and you can say, oh, Hey, I'm going to try, I always use the example of anger because it's the least threatening and the most familiar and most people, anger and patients, things like that. But that's a problem for it. You say, okay, I'm going to start using my mindfulness to work on being mindfully aware, Gagne time.

I become impatient and tend to become angry. And of course, it's just like meditating. You sit down and say, okay, I know to be mindful my graft. And next thing we became about something else. The same thing will happen, you'll realize that you lost your temper three times already today and weren't mindful once.

That's all right. That's not the problem with, but because you're going to change that is what happens. You have to develop a habit of being mindful. When you find yourself, you're finding. What you can do is

Student: Each

Culadasa: time you meditate, you can reflect and our numbers of times, but you entered into that natural state and we're buying.

Yes, sir. We're nanny. And you can make sure that you gave yourself a really good pat on the back for that a lot of positive reinforcement review, then you can move to thinking about how you could have been even more mindful on those times that you weren't mindful of what was going on. And maybe in the beginning, we would've have been batting zero, but if you can recollect those times that you could have been mindful that you wanted to be mindful on the failed.

This is going to have the effect of making much more [00:35:00] likely to be mindful of those events. The next day and a day after very similar to a daily reflection and meditation is the is stunting like the six times book method. If you wanted to focus on one thing like that, and you are, you have the discipline.

I admire anybody who a discipline to keep up with six times a day. But if you do, it's absolutely wonderful and you'll enjoy even more success because that's six times a day. You'll get to check in and say, all right since the last time I did this, how mindful was I? And it becomes, as you develop the capacity for mindful awareness in your meditation, you'll develop the habit of mindful awareness and your.

As you developed a skill, then it becomes a question of remembering to invoke the skill that you're developing and to put it to use. Then your meditation really does become a part of your daily life. And there's a point meditation develops over many men stages, but there is a point where meditation and daily life, the distinction between them.

Much less gross and obvious that when you sit down, you go into much deeper states of meditation than you do when you're out in the world. But the basic quality of the state remains the same home.

But in answer to your question, the first thing is you have to understand what we're really trying to do in meditation, or you won't have the interest and motivation, or even realize that you need to connect meditation to very light.

All of these things that we talk about, at least in my mind are so interconnected. Religious kind of separate load. In fact about virtue, you turned around meditation and you talked about, becoming enlightened, no matter what it is, no matter what aspect of a Dharma, they're all connected to each other, each one leads to the other.

And this is reflected as you look in there in the original teachings of the Buddha in the searchers, everything is included in everything else. And

It's woven together interconnected. So that any particular, if you look at the four noble truths you'll get to to the eightfold path and you'll see that it includes the definitions of John aid includes the practice of When replacing unwholesome mental states who have wholesome mental states, but the most interesting thing at all is it is the force truth.

The eightfold path includes the four noble truths and everything is like that. It, it's like a snake fall on his tail. Everything you look at. You try to understand the nature of the individual as described in terms of the five aggregates. And so then you look at dependent origin nation, and what is there's a conduit consciousness as a call as Nana and Rupa arises.

What's not on Rupert, what's the five aggregates. So everything keeps getting included in itself. Everything links together, everything fits together eventually as. And so the same with meditation and every aspect of Dharma practicing their life. That at first they'll see white do different things, but after a while, or does it just become all party?

Student: Thank you for that question.

Sure. I brought the answers, probably just go back to the breath but it seems to me I'm really good at multitasking. So my brain's got all those processes doing. I can easily start counting and then my brain will go thinking somewhere else while it's contained. And I tried labeling the parts of the breath that works for one or two sessions.

And then again, that goes on by itself and I go back to wherever I'm going. And so I'm just wondering. It just seems like it's been years in terms of going, keeping, going back. He progressed. So I'm not exactly sure if there's any other little tricks I can do to try to get my mind unified and all on the same

Culadasa: target, primarily having an experience that you're still aware of the breath, but you're doing something else as well.


Student: It sometimes feels like that. Cause sometimes it's like I started. It's the breath. And then it goes down to it's still there like 20%, maybe 10%. And I'm like but I'm most mostly on something else. Yeah. So yeah, it's in the background.

Culadasa: Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So that's good.

You've made great progress. You've reached this [00:40:00] well, you reach the stage where there's uninterrupted continuity or nearly uninterrupted continuity of the meditation object. But your problem is now that your mind is divided amongst several different. And what doesn't work too well is to try to stop those other things.

What works very well is to let them be, but keep the primary focus on the meditation object, so that what you work towards instead of those times, when it gets to 20% breath and 80% other stuff, make your goal to get 80% breath awareness. 20% out of stuff because you can't stop.

There is a stage in the process where you can cause those other mental processes to, to cease, to quiet down, or to at least go to a subconscious level so that you're no longer consciously aware of them, but you can't force it. You've got to, you've got to move there gently and Probably what's been holding you back is trying to foresight.

Do you think so

Student: say let's find that highway breath more vivid

Culadasa: as you. How do you bring it back as you just redirect it, but you can, there's various things you can do to. To help make it more vivid. And I'll talk about that. And just second, but I just want to make sure it doesn't want to tell you what usually what most likely happens in a kind of situation that you've described and make sure that we're talking about the right thing to do is the price to be okay.

So you're trying to. Pay attention to the breath and your mind finds other more interesting things. And it doesn't really quite let go of the breath, but you're just barely aware of it. And when you become aware of this, there is a sense of annoyance dissatisfaction failure. It may be subtle, but it's definitely, there is this, I don't know this is happening against

Student: right.


Culadasa: Okay. So that's what I mean by by forcing it, by having expectation. And usually the mind reacts. If you were thinking about something, it's like your mind crushes that thought and then goes back to the breath, but it doesn't last very long. Okay. So if you can just. Try to recognize the inpatients or the expectations or whatever it is that comes up.

And instead of reacting to that just very deep, gently, very gently bring the focus and your attention back to the breath while basically giving permission. So that other thought to be there, if it needs to be there, but just you choose. And this is the important part of it. You are making the choice to pay attention preference solely to the meditation object, but allowing the other thought to be.

And not worrying about how often that happens, how often you need to bring it back. Think of it as though there's some finite number. You don't know what it is, but it is already in existence, a finite number of times, this is going to happen. So each time he recognize it and bring it back out. That's one more cross off the numbers.

Now down from 5,387 to 5,386. Ready to go.

Student: You can copy and paste it.

Culadasa: But then when you're bringing your pants from back to the bra on. There are a variety of ways to engage with the situation you're in. Is that some part of it, one part of your mind has created the intention that we are going to observe the graph. And there is another part of your mind that says to heck with that.

This is much more interesting.

Student: Yeah, we already did this. We don't need

Culadasa: to do legally, at this is more interesting.

You need to find some ways to engage more fully with the breath so that it's easier to develop that [00:45:00]concentration. And at the same time you want to develop some good, clear awareness.

I don't know when you verbs of grass right now, how much detail you bring to that observation, but you can, I, in the course of an in-breath you can identify three or four or five or six, or, there's some number of distinct sensations that make up. That can breath, that you can recognize that repeat themselves more or less consistently every time.

And likewise with the opera. And we usually start with a sensation of the beginning and the sensation of the end, and because that gives us a lot to work on because the end of the graph is usually subtle enough where you have to work at it for a while, but you can come to know and recognize all of these senses.

But that helps in terms of that part of your mind, that,

Goes where it's directed, but deals like it only needs three that, that only needs to stay there long enough to be able to say, okay, we've done that you give it or did you do, but then there's another really important part of your mind that you want to be called today.

And that is the awareness of what's happening in your mind.

Student: If you bring your

Culadasa: attention back to the breath, as you get lost in it, immerse that absorbed in it, it'll stay there for a short period of time. And you'll suddenly realize that something else has come up and has been entertaining you for some period of time.

And. That happened, because if you became too focused on the sensation of the breath, you didn't notice to distraction or rising. You didn't notice the mind, the attention moving towards the distraction and away from the breath. See what I'm saying? So what you want to do is to start cultivating that introspective awareness that while the mind is about one part of the mind is observing.

Another part of the mind is observing the mind itself. Man, maybe even doing a running commentary is okay, really good. We're still with it. Haven't lost it. Close on it. Oops. There's that thought keeps, you see the thought you get to the place where you could see the variety of thoughts and sensations that are present in your mind at the same time.

Deep Utana sorrow gave an example of if you wanted to watch clouds, it's easiest to watch clouds. If you've got a flag pole in front of you, cause then you can see how they're moving around. You let your breath where awareness be the flagpole so that you can be aware not only of a flagpole, but of what else is going on.

And the mind's sky skylight that word. This will allow you then to see that,

There are several different ways and several different kinds of distractions that come yet. You'll see that there's a sensation, a sound or a bodily sensation, which gives rise to a thought and you'll see the sequence taking place.

And at some point. It may generate a feeling of a thought may be attractive or the feeling, but something is going to start drawing you away. So you'll be able to see one of the ways that distractions come about or become distractions like. But as long as they are in the background, as long as they're 20%, they're subtle distractions, but they become gross distractions because they exert and attraction and the attention keeps wanting to go over there and goes and comes back and goes and stays longer.

And, you actually can see this happening, the part of your introspective awareness part of your mind and allows you to say, oh I can see my attention, keep trying to go towards that. The only way it'll happen is that there's certain kinds of thoughts and feelings. They sneak up on you.

They, they say you're paying attention to the breath and that thoughts there, and it acts like it's going to hate itself and stay in the background and starts creeping up and gets closer and closer to it. Standing there side by side. And you're paying just as much attention to that as your rep.

When you can get the kind of introspective awareness where you can recognize what's going on in your mind, you have made enormous progress and it'll be so much easier to stay with your GRA. But then any time you find yourself, just barely aware of the breath, don't get upset. Don't let it bother you.

Just, you know what to do. Let it be there to give it permission to be there, timed back, refocus on the breath, try to get the mind busy with the breath. Whatever you have to do is this breath longer or shorter than the last breath? Like the Buddhist said he spent a breeze and a [00:50:00] long breath.

He nosy breeze and a long breath. When he breeze out a short Bertino's do whatever you need to do to get to mind interested, but keep an eye on what's happening in the mind. If you get food powerfully focused on the breath too soon, you'll get ambushed.

Okay. There's just some things that work and that doesn't work well.

Student: Okay. I think it's time

Culadasa: to let your thread and take a brief break and then we'll come back.

Added at Sept. 26, 2020
Recording date Jan. 3, 2010
Original file name CS-01-03-10.mp3

* Audio files are processed to reduce background noise, and provide (much) better compression. The original files are still accessible through the "original" links above.