The Mind Illuminated archive

TCMC 14 Jan 2010 part 1


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Culadasa: [00:00:00] Good evening once again, and thank you for coming. I hope you're all well, this in January evening.

So does anyone have any anything to. Speak about meditation practice.

Student: Yes.

English. Yes. Ma'am this.

Culadasa: Okay there's the top four different tendons that we're mentioning here. So you're using probably nearly a breath to help you to stay on sonnet. And that's a good technique. And is it working for you for long periods of

Student: shine?

Culadasa: Yeah. And so usually the way it is because. After a certain point, the county becomes automatic and then it's not really contributing that much to helping you to keep your attention, but it certainly can be useful, and especially if you're having trouble standing on the grass for a significant period of time can help.

So it's a good technique, but I usually to. That you tried to count and consecutive threats starting over as often as you need to, but then once you reach 10, then follow the rest of us. How Karen, and then at first, if you lose Griff again for a long period of time, you might or might want to do another period of bounty.

But rather than just counting continuously, whenever you've done 10, it's good to start. Paul on the graph looks after. And I'm not even sure if you're asking about that or just telling me that's what you're doing, but then you also mentioned it. The breath becomes very quiet and deaths that is normal, that spirit period it's a good sign.

It does happen when. When the mind starts to, if I'm called and the grasp becomes calm as well, holiday, it reflects that. What does happen is that as the breath becomes more and more faint, it can become more difficult to continue to observe the sensations. And that's what you're finding. Yeah.

There are there are a few different things we can do about that.

Are you using the sensations of graphic tenders?

Okay. So what are you predominantly doing? What tends to have denied the abdomen? Okay if you were using the sensations of their backsides and nose I would have suggested that you might find the Sussex. Sensations of the abdomen might be a little stronger incarcerated and easier to follow since you are using those.

The other thing that you can do is is to perhaps the combination of the abdomen and the chest and the nose, you might be able to sense the breath more clearly, but it, there is one very useful thing to do. Is, if you find that your mind doesn't have a really strong tendency to, to wander or to go into tons of soft pasta says is tape.

Just continue to continue to try to detect the sensations that are produced by. Whether you do or not. And this is usually best when it's not completely gone. You maybe can still detect some part as a wrist sensation, British parts that you can't. And is that part of what your experiences? Yeah.

Then if your breath is that fine and it's in fact due to good concentration and not wandering a lot, then what you might do is you. Not be concerned with whether we do, you actually can detect every parts out of the grass sidewalk, but continue to observe everything that you can and in the spaces where you can't to continue to search for the sensations that are there and see if if your mind, at some point isn't able to sharpen up enough, picked up subtle sensate things.[00:05:00]

So these are some things to do. Now, when the breath has become very fine, that is there to call me in among the concentration. The other thing you have to watch out for is when the mind starts leading that call, there's a tendency for slipping. It's a dullness and that by itself makes it more difficult to perceive those sensations for.

So do be watched. Whether or not, that's part of what's happening. And if it is, you may need to do something to sharpen, we awareness the mind more alert.

Student: Okay. You're welcome. Yes.

Yes. I think Bob actually is here today. He had a similar space. It says. I've been finding that I've been able to get back to this place that I used to be able to get to a little more concentrated where I can it feels like I'm dropping into a next level, as far as the decisions of the breath feeling like they're really present large and in front of me pushing everything out to the periphery, but what I've found really helps with that.

And I think part of that is ignorance away from that was that if I bring an awareness, I visual. It feels like there's a stable context for the breadth and that, for some reason, that's like a gateway to getting to that point. And I don't know. It's not just using dispensation and it's not using body sensation.

You, if you don't really talk a lot about using visuals. It's not really interactive. It's just a kind that a sense of the visual field. But for whatever reason, it makes everything more stable. It seems to be the way I get into that. And I was wondering

Culadasa: about that. Are you, is it as though you are looking at the correct?

No, it's

Student: not. They're almost two separate sensations. Are there it's like, where are the visual things? And I'm feeling the breath. And they're close enough spatially in my mind that they be together, but it's not a visual experience, the breath. So

Culadasa: is there any content to visual fields at all?

No, not really well. So let's see,

Most people find it helpful. When they're trying to focus on the sensations of the breath, if you are, for example, focusing on the sensations or the graphic and knows that you are, imagine that you were looking at the point where they are and that's not happening. And and of course your eyes don't actually go across and look at the end of the nose.

But you have that feeling as though you're looking at that both. Okay. Now, if that's what you're doing, then that's really good. That's Sorry, I didn't suggest that to the center.

Student: I don't know if I intentionally dropped the, but does it also the other concern, it feels like I'm putting a lot of effort into it to get to that.

It's almost like I have to really knuckle down and then I drop into that and then I can let go of it. And he's fall out of it now, but like after retreat I could stay in it, but it feels much more stable, but it feels sensors is that I'm getting to it through a visual sense to describe it.

Like I'm bringing vision in, but I'm not doing any emasculating or anything like that.

Culadasa: It sounds like what you're doing is very good. So yeah, even if there's a little extra effort. Yeah. That's that's fine. Especially if it's just some effort in the beginning and then you're able to do relax, but that sounds very good.

So by all means, continue with that.

Must be smart questions you hear?

What are we going to talk about Kim?

Student: Okay here. You said the dullness versus sharpening your mind, like you said, you mentioned

How do you tell a different side? Yeah, I can understand it, but just how would you be able to attack yourself, like with volumes to that place? Dullness distinguish what are some places that would distinguish that issue of awareness button realized? This also feels I see this as well.

So what is that?

Culadasa: Okay. That's a very good question. Okay. Being. [00:10:00] When you're relaxed, but alert than they does. The subject of stated your mind is one of ease, reflecting the relaxed that's. And of course, you'd probably find that also that your body's also a very relaxed. The state of ease though, that I'm talking about will not have any effect on the clarity of your perception and the sense of presence that you'd have with the with the meditation object, with the sensations that you're trying to.

When a dullness comes in, there's a feeling of distance and separation and looseness of you don't feel like you're really close and you're really fully present with the sensations. It's a speech Gilbert for vine. You don't feel as if you're really fully present and then on top and on top of and have a very clear grasp of of the object or the sensations, there's more a sense of distance and looseness and vagueness.

And that's an indication that they're installing this present. So to the word, it's the opposite. Of dullness is to have vividness, intensity clarity. Now, even though the sensations might become so so faint that sometimes they're there to indistinct for you quite to clearly discern If your mind is bright and alert, you'll have the sense that it's due to the faintness of the sensation of it's not due to any lack of sharpness of your mind.

Okay. So that's how you tell if it's very subtle now and. What we're talking about right here is dullness. That is subtle. And that's what it's doing is it's robbing you of some of that initial vividness and clarity. Usually what happens is if, when dullness begins to develop, it becomes stronger and stronger, so that at some time you start to find yourself a.

W at some point you likely to find yourself to sleep you out to me. But even before that, you might find that even though you're able, even when you're able to stay with the breath and follow it, if it just distorted and it's on characteristics that really do not belong to the sensation.

So the grant has founded a dream or call. Okay. So if you find yourself flipping again to stronger states, a dullness sleepiness, drowsiness, Jane, white quality, Dan, for sure that initial loss of parody you had was done by us. And that is what today's that progression doesn't happen 100% of the time.

And especially after people have been meditating, sometime they can they can stay in a fairly moderate dullness for a long period of time. But most of the time there is a progression there's other little cues that will help if you find that. Easily farm-to-table to, if there's a noise or something like that tastes plugs, and your body jerks and you have a startle reaction that too is another indication that you're probably experiencing dullness.

A person has to learn to recognize stop most of the time. When you, until you asked in our experience with recognizing most of the time on meditators, first clear perception that they're in dullness is going to be the jazzy mess of either something or the body and so forth. And to identify earlier is it's actually skill a little practice.

Whenever you find that there is stillness, then what you want to do is to re-energize the mind and whatever way you can. And there are a number of different ways of doing that. The, in the most subtle forms of dullness can be counteracted by just sharp, coming up, intentionally sharp. And after you're aware, breath intentionally.

Pursuing an awareness of detail. I'm trying to bring the sensations that he perceived out more vividly, but often something stronger [00:15:00] than that is needed. Part of what takes us into dullness is loss of energy. If the. Is the fact that we would come very focused and sometime becoming expanding the scope of our awareness.

And for a period of time, just expanding your awareness to other bodily sensations or even embargo natural sounds and things like this will, will bring your mind back up to a state of alertness. And then you can refocus on things like opening your eyes, maybe meditating with your eyes open for awhile can be very.

And when when it becomes very fun, then you can do things that are much more thanks to the third being for the stance of stillness in your mind, like clenching your muscles and releasing them and taking deep breaths and letting them out slowly, things like that. Okay. But your objective is just to, to reawaken the mind, reenergize them on brand new.

To a stable state of alertness and do whatever you need to do to bring yourself back to that level of alertness, such that it stays there for several minutes. If you find you're immediately sinking back down into that panic Thomas, then you haven't really, you know how to take on a strong enough to intervention.

At that point, you need to do something a little more vigorous

Student: pair.

Yes on their side of that agitation. Like sometimes I am meditating on the graph and, or honor the observation of my mind, which is quite still, it's not going out to different. Movements, but there's like this kind of energy that's like surging and it's almost there's almost like a feeling of I I should just get up and do something like not, and I should really do that, but it, agitation, but it's not agitation.

Like my mind is going to a million places. It's like more energetic. It's not peaceful death.

Culadasa: Yes. Exciting and an energy rising. And if I followed you correctly, this is happening when your mind is actually quite still. And your concentration is very good. Okay. This, that what you're experiencing.

There is there is a lot of energy that's generated when the mine, they spoke to us and it manifests, it can manifest physically in a variety of ways, including feeling like surges of energy you're taking place in your body. Some people will start jerking and twitching they're trembling or things like that.

But it also manifests at the act, a mental level in terms of a feeling of exciting. I a restlessness or just, the building up of an energy. This is all very good. So let that magnet go ahead and keep practicing the way you are and let that energy build up. I'd say there's a very good chance.

You're going to start feeling current set of energy, moving in your body, sort of Kundalini rising sort of experience. T circulating kind of experience. And if that happens just let it go, just ride with it and keep practicing and let it intensify. It's a very good sign and it leads to the development.

I ended up picky, which is often ancillary to rapture, severely wonderful, energetic joyful feeling it's fully developed. So this is a very good. Don't be concerned about it D be persistent in your practice and just let it develop and don't let it distract here.

Student: Okay.

Lately this lights or

Culadasa: something? Like light visually. Yeah. This is a very, that PTA has its physical component is a mental component. It also has a visual component which can take to a variety of forms. One of which is like flashes. For other people, they might see, floating dots of color or hours the, expand the contract with on bragger.

But. Lashes as though there was a lightning storm going on outside, you've kept your eyelids closed. That's a condom, no station. That too is part of the arising of TT. And it's the same way. Just let it happen.[00:20:00] You will naturally feel curious about it, but try not to let it distract you. Paint it as a positive.

But back then to allow yourself to become attached, to just know, knowing, okay, this is a sign of my improving concentration, but it happened. That's good. I'm pleased to hear that some, wherever you are at that point, I was developing a PT and it's a wonderful thing. You have sun by very nice meditation experience system with 42.

I don't get attached to, it just

Student: leads me. Yeah.

Culadasa: If you it's it's time for us to begin our sit now.


Automated transcription

Good evening once again, and thank you for coming. I hope you're all as well. Yes. Or January evening. So does anyone have any anything to speak about? That's really regard to? Meditation practice and process? Yes. Okay. Well, there's a a a couple of different things through mentioning here. So Mh you're using counting breath help. Help to state focused on it. And that... You know, that's a good technique. And is it working for you for long periods of time? Sure Sure periods. Yeah. That's usually the way it is because after after a certain point, the county becomes automatic and then it's not really contributing that much to talking to keep your attention but it it certainly can be useful.

You know, and especially as you're having trouble staying on the grass for a significant period of time can can perhaps. Such a good news. But I usually suggest that you try to count in consecutive breaths. Starting over as often as you need to. But then once you reach ten, dan followed address Out karen, and then of course be lose risk again for a long period of time, invited Mike. To do another period now. But rather than just counting continuously, whenever new on ten it's good to start all on the graph out here.

Okay? And I'm not even sure if you're asking about that or just telling it that's what you're doing. But then you also mentioned that the dress becomes very hard. And That's that is normal. That's very good. It's a good sign. It does happen when when the mine starts to if I'm call the graph becomes calm as well it reflects that. What does happen is that as the breath becomes more and more faint, it can become more difficult to continue to observe the sensations. And that's what you're finding? Yeah.

Well, there are they're a few different things that we can do about that. One are are you using the sensations and graphic ten those? Okay. So what are you predominantly doing what tend abdomen done on? On the abdomen? Okay. Well, if you were using the sensations out of the the nose, I wrote have suggest that you might find this success sensation okay abdomen might be a little stronger recourse are and easier to follow since you're are using this. The other thing that you can do is to Perhaps the combination of the abdomen in the chest and the nose you might be able to sense the breath.

More clearly. But if there is... One very useful thing to do is if you find that you're your mind doesn't have a really strong tendency city to to wander or to go to a kinds of thought processes. Is to just continue to continue to try to detect the sensations that produced by the breath. Whether you do or not and This is usually best when it's not completely gone, You may be can still to detect some part of the sensation person that you can. And is that part of what your experience is? Yeah. Then if if your breath is that fine, and it's in fact, due to good concentration and i i wondering a lot.

Then what he might do is to just not be concerned with whether you you actually and detect any part of the breast cycle but continue to observe everything that you can and in the spaces where you can't to continue to search for the sensation so there. And see if if if your mind, at some point isn't able to sharpen up enough picked up subtle sensations things. So this this is things do. Now when the breath has become very very fine That is due to calling the on concentration. The other thing you have to watch out for is when the mine starts being that call, there's a tendency slip at all.

And and that right itself makes and we're difficult to perceive those sensations for So do be watchful whether or not that that's what's happening? And if it is, you may need to do something to sharpen Connect rear awareness shape they might more alert. K. You're welcome? Yes. Yes I think bothers actually he said... He had a similar experiences but on. I've been finding that been able to get back to this place is to be able to get to a little concentrated concentrating. Where I can kinda... Feels like I'm dropping into to, like, a nice level as far as...

Decisions of the breath building that they're really present large in front of me. Mh pushing everything out to the periphery. But what I found really helps with that. And I think part moved away from that. Was that if I if I bring kind awareness my visual field, it feels like there's a stable context for the breath, and that for some reason that's like, kind of like a gateway to get into that point. Mh. And I don't know... I mean, It's not just using digitization of the then it's not easy quality sensation.

You you don't really talk a lot about using vision, but it's not really interactive. It's just can a sense of the visual field, but for whatever reason, it makes everything more stable. It it seems to be the way I get into that. And I was running Yes it. Are you... Is is it as seo you are looking at Correct? Looking there. No. It's not. And there almost two separate sensations. But they're guys what thing is it's like, where the initial feeling? And i'm feeling the breath. And they're gross enough spatial in my mind that didn't kinda be together, but it's it's not a visual experience of the breath.

So is there any content to individual exams at all No. Not really. Well. No. So let's see. You know, most people find it helpful when they're trying to focus on the sensations of the breath. That if you are for example, focusing on the sensations of the graphic and those that you Imagine that you were looking at the point where there next non cash. And And of course, your eyes actually go across and work fifty knows, but you have the feeling and so you're looking at that okay. So now if that's what you're doing i, then that's...

That's for you care. That's that's that's Sorry, here. I didn't suggest that terry center. Well, I can before. I know i intentionally dropped it. Yeah. It does it's also the other. It feels like I'm putting kind of a lot of effort into it to get to that, like, it's almost like I have to really not go down, and then I kind of drop into that, and then I can let go of it. Yeah. And you should shall pull out of it now. But after a tree, I could stay in it. But feels much more stable but it feels like sense is that I'm getting to it through kind of a visual sense australian.

Like, I'm bringing vision in, but I'm not doing any I anything need like that. Well, it sounds like what you're doing is is very good. So Even if there's a little extra. You're gonna... Yeah. That's... That's fine. Especially yeah. It's just some effort in the beginning and then you're able to do relax some door. That that sounds very good. So how these continue with that. Must be some smart questions either. Okay. Here. You said the dull versus sharpen? You mind like. Like let me you can't... I didn't let scared it.

But just why told you be able to take yourself like lying to that place of. Talk on? Dallas. Yeah. We're i even distinguish, Like, what are some issues That would just wish that? This like the huge awareness, but lastly, at least. Because the i and also feels. Right. You know, I need piece as loud sec. Like, what is the Okay. That's a very good question. If okay. Being when you relax but a alerts, then there just the subjective state of your mind? Is one of ease reflecting the relaxed. And of course, you probably find that also then your bodies also very relaxed as well.

The state of ease, though that I'm talking about will not have any effect. On the clarity of your perception and the sense of presence that you'd have. With the with the meditation object what the sensations are you're trying to follow. When the dull comes in there's a feeling of distance and and separation and loosen of, you know, you don't feel like you're really close and you're really fully present what the sensations. It's doesn't yogurt wine here. You you you don't you don't feel as if you're really fully present and on top and on top of and have a a very clear grasp though of the object other sensations.

There's more a sense of of distance and loosen and and vague. And that's an indication that they stalin this present. So the the words that the opposite of of Dull is to have vivid vivid intensity, clarity. Now even though the sensations might become so so faint that sometimes they're they're too in distinct for you quite to clearly discern. If your mind is is bright, and alert. You'll have the sense that it's due to the faint of the sensation. It's not due to any lack of sharpness of your line.

Okay. So that's that's how tell if it's very subtle. Now... And and what we're talking about right here is Dull that is subtle and that's what it's doing is it it's robin you of some of that initial and clarity. Usually, what happens is if when Donald being said at all it being becomes stronger and stronger so that at some time you start to find yourself well, some you like find yourself to kind sleep to reach out. But even before that, you might find it even though you're able we even when you're able to stay with the breath and follow, it becomes distorted and it's on characteristics that really do not belong the sensations of graph.

Has time dream more quality. K. So if you find yourself flipping into stronger stronger states of dull sleep and str dream wide quality. Then you know for sure, that that initial loss priority you had was done us and that is slur these. That progression doesn't happen one hundred percent of the time. And especially after people been meditating sometimes, they can. They can stay in a fairly moderate state of dull for a long period of time. But most the time, there is that kind progression. There's other little cues that will help peter.

If you find that easily start to foods and noise or or something like that, taste plates and you know, your body jerks and you you have a start reaction. That too is another indication that you're probably experiencing dull. A person has to learn to be recognize all. Most of the time when you and until you've had some experience with recognizing most of the time on medi first clear perception that they're dull is going to be the jo in So either there's something of the body and so forth. And to identify it earlier is it's actually a skill takes level practice.

Whenever you find that to is s, then what you want to do is to re energize the mind in whatever way you can. And there are a number of different ways of doing that. The Most subtle forms of dull can be counteract by just sharpening up, you know, intentionally sharp after your awareness so breath. Intentionally pursuing an awareness of of of detail and trying to bring the sensations that he perceive out more vividly, but often something stronger than that is needed. Part of what takes us into dull, this loss of energy if the mine is the fact become very focused.

And sometime becoming expanding the scope with our awareness and for a period of time just expanding your awareness to other bodily sensations or even environmental metal sounds and things like this. Will bring your mind back up to a state of alertness, and then you can refocus. Things like opening your eyes. And maybe meditating was your eyes open for a while can be very helpful. And when when it becomes very you you can do things that are much more... Basically third for the extensive of stillness in your mind.

Like, cl your muscles on releasing them and taking deep and breaths and loading them out slowly and things like that. Okay. But your your objective is just to to re the on. Re energize on bringing yourself back to. A stable state of the and do whatever you need to do to bring yourself back to that level of alertness, such that, it stays there for several minutes. If you find your immediately sinking back down into of illness, then you haven't really eating now taken a strong enough to reaction at that point.

And you do do something. A little more. Yes. Side of the agitation. Yeah Mh. Like sometimes, I'm am meditating and on the graph Mh. And or on the observation of my mind, mh. Which is quite still. It's not going out to different movements, but there's like, this kind of energy that's owned, like, surging and it's almost like it's almost like a feeling and like, like be honest she just get up and. Something like Not that I should really do that. But yeah. And it... I guess, agitation, but it's not education like my mind just going two million places.

Like more energetic education is not peaceful. That's. I'm on exciting. Yes, Exciting and an energy rising. And if I followed correctly this is happening when your mind is actually quite still and your concentration is very good. Okay. Just that What you're experiencing is there is there is a lot of energy that's generated when the line really returns focus and it manifests. It can manifest physically variety words including feeling like surges of energy or taking place in your body. Some people will start jerk and twitch their tremble or things like that.

But it also manifests at the mental level in terms of achieving your excitement. A kind restless or just, you know, the building act of energy. This is all very, very good. So let that go ahead and keep practicing the way you, then let the energy build up. I'd say there's a very good chance you're gonna start feeling currency of energy moving in your blood. Sort of. Could lean rising sort of experience or teeth circulating kind of experience. And if that happens, just just let it go just ride with it and keep practicing and let it intensify.

It's it's a very good sign. And it leads to the development it, which is often ancillary rapture. It's a very wonderful energetic joyful feeling. Right it's fully developed. So this is a very good time. Don't be concerned about it the be persistent in your practice and just let it develop and don't let it distract here. Okay? Yes. Like lights or so. Like like light visually as... Yeah. This is... This is... The the T head has its physical component it's mental component, it also has a visual component which can take to a variety of forms.

One of which is light flashes. For people, they might see, you know, floating dots of color or or that, you know, expand their contract look un brighter. But lashes as so there's a lightning storm going on outside and your have your eyelids closed. That's that is a common modernization. That too. Is part of the the rising of Pt. And it's the same way just let it happen you will naturally feel serious about it, but try not to let distract you paint data as of as opposed to sign. But nothing to allow yourself to kind attach to just, you know, knowing that okay.

This is this is a sign about mind improving, concentration. That it happened. Well that's good. I'm I'm pleased did you hear the that some you are at at point as I developing It and it's a wonderful thing. I didn't you have done very nice meditation experience just we look forward to. Don't get attached to it.

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