22 Settling the mind in its natural state and pristine awarness

14 Sep 2013

Before the final (silent) meditation session on settling the mind in its natural state, Alan compares this mode of Shamatha with Vipassana (four applications of mindfulness). While settling the mind in its natural state has some resemblance of the Vipassana’s close application to the mind and both give rise to insight, what differentiates Vipassana from Shamtha is the degree of inquiry. In Shamatha, the main mode of meditation is simply placing attention on the chosen object (non-judgmentally). In Vipassana, on the other hand, it is close examination of the object. Hence, settling the mind in its natural state is a perfect preamble to Vipassana and a natural Segway toward it.

After the meditation, Alan gives his second commentary to the Atisha’s aphorism: “Examine the unborn nature of awareness.” Alan starts with a quote from Padmasabhava, who said that there is something called mind and different schools of thought point into the common reality, while calling it by different names and starting from a different conceptual framework and modes of investigation. Also, while all the schools have a different degree of insight into this reality, there is a degree of convergence as to the nature of reality they talk about. After that, Alan moves onto explaining the difference between the space of the mind, substrate consciousness, and pristine awareness (Rigpa, primordial consciousness, the ground of being). He also presents an overview of the modern science’s perspective on primordial consciousness, which is equated to the vacuum the universe is made of and shares similarities between Dzogchen teachings and the findings of quantum mechanics.

Meditation starts at: 10:11

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