19 Nov 2010
The deepest level of suffering is caused by the three poisons, particularly the grasping to “I am.” While the “message of modernity” is that suffering is inescapable during life, Buddha’s message is that suffering will in fact cease if we attend to its source. To do this we must face our self-grasping. Lucid dreaming is the closest analogy to abandoning the ignorance of self-grasping.
You may feel a recurrent pressure during this retreat, as if something is holding you back. This is a good sign! It means you are waking up from ignorance. Shamatha pulls off the layers, forcing us to face the clinging to “me,” the “urge to become,” and to our brand new Honda (Alan’s story is quite funny).
Food suggestions and headache remedies: Alan recommends books on Tibetan medicine, “Healing from the Source” (Dhonden) and “The Quintessence Tantras of Tibetan Medicine” (Barry). Alan also discusses a question regarding Shamatha experience within the Dzogchen view.
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