87 The built-in antidotes

15 Oct 2011

In this session Alan reminds us that shamatha is designed to dispel the 5 obscurations and as the imbalances are built-in, the remedies are also built-in. In the same way, among the 4 Immeasurables one naturally arises as the remedy for the near enemy of another one.
For Loving Kindness’ facsimile which is self centered attachment, the remedy is Equanimity
For Compassion’s facsimile which is depression, grief, despair, the remedy is Empathetic Joy
For Empathetic Joy’s facsimile which is frivolous joy or hedonic fixation, the remedy is Loving Kindness
For Equanimity’s facsimile, which is aloof indifference, the remedy is Compassion

Silent meditation starts at 4:08

Questions (29:10):
• How do the 4 immeasurables transform into bodhichitta and into the stages of a bodhisattva. Is there any text you would recommend?
• What happens when one realizes emptiness? Does it happen in meditation? Do your senses go dormant or the opposite? Can you lose it?
• If a being in the bardo chooses parents not only out of karma, but out of wisdom, why would we choose, for instance, to be born in Africa from parents who are starving?
• According to Tibetan culture, to have a few consorts at the same time as some lamas do, is not against ethical values?
• Can you tell a little bit about the range of ways of working with the fear that is holding us back from seeing things the way they are? There is much evidence right in front of us but it seems like our hearts and minds uncontrollably prefer to remain blind and ignorant to it.
• The Dharma has been described as the law of nature or as encompassing the nature of reality. If that is true, then sentient beings are involved in the dharma, whether they are formal students of it or not. For instance, I have met people who show an intuitive understanding of Buddhist concepts without any exposure to the teachings.
• In a sense that we are all bumbling through the universe of our experience, some more skillfully than others, perhaps, just like the early cosmologists bumbling their way through heavens, such reflections help me with humility, with connectedness and with devotion to wellsprings of life itself.

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