20 Sep 2014
The meditation is all about going back to shamatha and Alan’s suggestions are: 1) Do whatever works, 2) As a general recommendation: balance earth and sky, so do mindfulness of breathing but then merge your mind with space. At the beginning of the talk, Alan comes back to the topic of causality, which he addressed in the morning session. He quotes George F. R. Ellis, a brilliant mathematician and cosmologist, who proposed a fourfold model of reality consisting of matter and forces, consciousness, physical and biological possibilities, and mathematical reality. Ellis argues that all of these are ontologically real and, while being distinct from each other, all related through causal links. The question Alan then raises is simply: Well exactly how real are they? He then continues to explain how mereological sums work, that is e. g. that we call the sum of all planets we know, plus the moons, plus the sun, our solar system. However, what happens if you take one planet away? Is it still our solar system? What if just the sun is left? When does it stop being a solar system? The short answer to this question: When we stop calling it that way. This then shows how the basis of designation is never the same as that which you designate upon. Alan then ventures into dream yoga, or what he calls Padmasambhava’s ontological shock therapy and quickly explains that the first step in day-time dream yoga is to recognize that things are not as permanent as they appear to be. Apart from that, Alan points out one major difference between dream yoga and lucid dreaming, namely, that the assumption underlying lucid dreaming is that when you’re awake, you are not deluded, you see things as they are. That is where dream yoga and lucid dreaming fundamentally part ways as in dream yoga as long as you are reifying things and think they are inherently real, you are most definitely dreaming. This is the best and most obvious dream sign you can have. So, wake up, wake up, wake up…
Meditation starts at 6:14
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