20 May 2010
This afternoon Alan starts by quite briefly explaining this balance between fluidity and structure in the equanimity practice, and after the instructions we set off in a pretty much rich but silent session.
After the session Alan had two juicy pieces of paper with multi-questions written on them. They cover a lot of practical content, such as the characteristics of the Shamatha stages and how to use them correctly, the characteristics of the different types of exitation and laxity. how to maintain motivation in the practice (dealing with the issue of “progress”), how to be really 100% sure that you are doing “Settling the Mind..” correctly, and more.
The next question deals with conceptual designation, and starts with “how were atoms first conceptually designated” and later turns into an analysis of conceptual designation, appearances, and how we can never actually see the referent of appearances (so yes in a way we never see the “real” world, just appearances that arise from our substrate). The talk was filled with physics, history, several jokes, open questions, laughter... Alan really had us cracking up today. However, (as always) he managed to leave us dazed with brilliant insight, so that we all walk out of the meditation hall absorbed in thoughts and bumping into things (ok maybe not the latter).
Enjoy as we did!
The picture is very much related as we approach the celebrations for the Birth of the Buddha (in several East-Asian countries such as Thailand).
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