GMMP Mar 25, Class Two of Ten, Wilcox ‘B’, Legacy Good Sam. Hospital
Take ONE Raisin – Hold it in your hand, like you’ve never seen one before, smell it, feel it. Observe any ideas that enter your mind, memories.
Be aware of the attention you bring to this. Be in an inquiry, how can I know what this is? How heavy is it, can you hear it?
Is saliva secreting? (anticipated feeding?) It’s a real mind/body phenomenon. PUT IT IN YOUR MOUTH. Do not chew or swallow. Look at your intention; ideas of what will come next. Be here now. Feel it on your tongue, roll it around. How big is it in there? Is there any taste?
Chew slowly, don’t swallow yet. Swallow and now follow closely the passage of this raisin as it travels to your belly. This was a seed, and then it became a full grown plant. It grew on a vine in a field in Sonoma County, was picked by a man or woman, young or old, put into a heating area, sun dried, trucked to a packing plant then trucked again to the grocer, bought by me and brought to Wilcox Building, now eaten by you. Everything is connected to everything else and it is impermanent. We feed, we eat. We’re tubes walking around, for awhile.
This is Gold Mind Meditation Class No. Two
We will return to that experience we just had in a few minutes. How was reading of the Introduction To Insight Meditation booklet? Did you sit each day? When is the best time for you to sit, you’ve got the whole day.
I’ve suggested that you sit with a group sometimes, that helps and can give useful guidance and structure.
The practice, as we just did with the raisin, is about focusing your undivided attention on ONE object to gain some degree of basic concentration.
The phrase “seeing things as they are” is somewhat ambiguous
>>This is actually seeing that is not clouded by previously set prejudices, greed, misunderstandings.
You want to get rid of psychological annoyances to make your life peaceful and happy, mentally sharp and clear.
MINDFULNESS in Jon Kabat-Zinn’s words is paying attention on purpose in the present moment, non-judgmentally. MINDFULNESS IS about ATTENTION and AWARENESS!
This comes from a Buddhist tradition for sake of clarity we’ll continue focusing using the term ‘mindfulness’, an empirical approach.
It’s about mind and states of mind – being aware
Stabilize the mind – see his book, Full Catastrophe Living by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn.
The adventure of a lifetime starts in the present moment with clear seeing. I contrast this with looking through a tangle or cloud of false ideas in the mind.
It is useful to bring an attitude of affectionate and kind observation to your practice, harsh isn’t pleasant. Pleasant will last.
I often say ‘seeing’, but the opportunity here is fully embodying our lives using ALL of our SENSES! We start with the main five:
Seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling and touching. Also to this we add a sixth – Mind. The whole world is created and lives in the mind, composed of conscious and sub-conscious.
In mindfulness practice the focus is on AWARENESS, rather than thinking. So, there are no experts in mindfulness, except you. It is known best to you, about your experience of your life. It’s a way of being.
Can you question who you are? Can you live without a hard answer? Live without knowing or tagging into a box?
Walt Whitman said, “I am large, I contain multitudes.”
Not knowing is not bad, it’s honest, not holding the liquid of life experience in false containers of ideas.
When you begin to meditate, instead of telling people about meditation – go meditate. Wait a few years.
Ethics, Why mention ethics? This will keep us out of trouble.
There are five precepts and I will mention
Greed is our wants, grasping at things
Hatred is don’t want, critical of, anger, rage
Delusion is not seeing clearly, the self-fulfilling prophecy of paying attention only to what supports our viewpoint.
In this practice we will see the complex play of mind/body. This comes from awareness, not taken for granted assumptions, rather looking clearly at assumptions, where out viewpoints come from.
There is a lot here and It Matters!
This is a way of Being:
1) Non Judgemental - not assigning the judgments of wrong or bad, rather allowing, getting to know things as they are, explore.
2) Being non-judgmental requires PATIENCE and this means being with things as they are now, not moving on to the next thing to avoid an unpleasant experience. Mindfulness lets you step outta time into the whole NOW.
3) BEGINNERS MIND – This comes from Zen Buddhism teacher Shunryu Suzuki. Again it is an attitude or a stance, saying that in the expert’s mind there are FEW POSSIBILITIES, in the Beginner’s mind is NOTHING BUT POSSIBILITY. You rest in the not knowing, and a childlike energy of finding the possibilities!
4) TRUST – What is worthy of trust? Thinking? Is it Words in books, or from friends? YOUR shining light of awareness can shine on anything you are experiencing directly, NOW. That is trustworthy. Trust your senses!
5) NON STRIVING – take care of yourself, get enough rest. This is tough in America where we redefine ourselves as ‘human doings’
6) ACCEPTANCE – Not ‘just accept it’ passivity. Rather take a moment or longer and look over the entire picture, see the whole.
If there is something to do you will be empowered to do it!
Liberated of the bullshit of delusion, you see the whole catastrophe! Enjoy living moment-to-moment. N0w, NOW, now.
7) Thinking – “The mind has a mind of it’s own” Meditation is not about stopping our thinking. We are so good at thinking that we experience our thinking as FACTS. HA! The Buddha himself said, “Nothing is to be clinged to as my, me or mine. AWARENESS is bigger than thinking, senior to that. AWARENESS is a way of holding all of our lives. We can BE aware, not BE thinking.
Culturally we prize thinking, not awareness. Awareness shines light on all of our thinking. With awareness we inhabit our lives.
My main practice is taught in the Buddha’s Annapanasati Sutra; it is mindfulness of BREATHING. There are many subjects of meditation. To get some basic concentration focus wholly on sensations of the breath in your body. Don’t do anything, breath naturally. At most start with a few full breaths, fully IN then fully OUT so you can see what breath feels like. Feel your entire body, ride the wave of feeling total IN and OUT breath. Where in your body is it felt? Nostrils, abdomen? Awareness is what we’re developing, not breathing and not thoughts about breathing. Rest in awareness of each breath; where do you feel it now? Is it changing? Be fully aware of sensations, this is worth it. The result is a clear and sometimes happy awareness.
Does your attention wander? Thoughts have a life of their own. This is the practice! Notice when mind wanders/thinks
>>>>Bring attention back to breathing. This isn’t bad, sometimes it’s entertaining. It’s just not being on purpose with meditation. Watch the breath with clear focus, calmly. If the mind wanders one hundred times, bring attention back one hundred times.
INTEND to stay with the awareness, now. Stay with breath. Just this moment, this breath.
Initiating concentration and awareness
1) Count up to ten and back down then continue till you’re concentrated, then just attention to the breath.