25 Sep 2014

In this talk Alan weaves everything that we had a look at in the past weeks together: From Shamatha, Vipashyana, the 4 immeasurables to the Dzogchen perspective. The guiding topic is equanimity and how it manifests in different types. These are: 1) In your Shamatha practice equanimity can be understood as the releasing of action. So when you achieve the 8th stage on the way to Shamatha you can drop introspection altogether, because there no longer is anything to be monitored. In that sense, when you finally achieve Shamatha you release all action. 2) When you achieve the fourth dhyana you experience equanimity in terms of feeling: no pleasure, no pain, no indifference, just flat-out evenness that is peaceful but not pleasant. 3) The equanimity that is cultivated when practicing the 4 immeasurables is again different in that it is imperturbability or even-heartedness. 4) As you continue on your path you will have to back up your samadhi with wisdom and as you develop that you finally slip into meditative equipoise. That is again a type of equanimity as it is absolutely free of conceptuality. 5) Finally, when you reach enlightenment you reach perfect equanimity: You are simultaneously aware of everything and you do not prefer either nirvana to samsara or vice versa.

Alan then continues to elaborate on the two ways of walking towards that goal. Path A: You look outside at the effulgences of rigpa and thereby realize rigpa. This is analog to the situation of being in a dream and becoming lucid by looking at the dream phenomena, seeing an anomaly and thereupon seeing the dream for what it is. What is more, this seems to be the path that Western science chose and e. g. quantum mechanics went astonishingly far and deep - so deep maybe that soon, through being able to explain the role of the observer, even more wisdom can be drawn from it.

Path B: You look within and you realize rigpa by cutting through the emptiness of your own self and all phenomena. This is of course the Dzogchen perspective in which you develop that type of equanimity which lets you view reality from the perspective of rigpa. That approach is comparable to falling asleep lucidly and then being able to watch the dream come into “being”.

Alan ends before the meditation on the note that science as well as contemplative science at their best both look for objectivity.

After the meditation Alan just quickly touches upon Night-Time Dream Yoga as we ran out of time.

Meditation starts at 55:24

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