65 Settling the mind in its natural state and achieving Shamatha

09 Oct 2013

We revisit an important facet of settling the mind in its natural state: to observe not so much the objective appearances to the mind, but the subjective impulses to the mind. This is not as easy as we only become aware after it occurred. But we can observe them and not identifying with them. There are three points: 1) The importance of this practice cannot be over emphasised, we can’t just wish for no mental afflictions and apart from arharts, everyone has them. Now we have the great fortune to see mental afflictions as mental afflictions which is so beneficial. As we do not identify with them, the little violence in our minds does not spew out onto those around you. 2) This is a path of self knowledge, it’s the wrong path if you want to have one pleasant hedonic day after another, release the hedonic evaluation of a good session or a bad session, the proof of the practitioner is how one responds to the various disturbances that occur. Go through the experience, not take a detour around it. Don’t identify with it and keep going anyway. We are not going into some fantasy realm, we are seeing what is happening here and now and getting real, removing the conceptual overlay. 3) Enter the practice by relaxing, being kind gentle and patient, seeking to cultivate genuine happiness. Then as you come off the cushion this sense of loving kindness is brought to the world.

After the meditation Alan talks about achieving Shamatha and what one experiences at the time.

Meditation starts at: A silent meditation session, not recorded. Starts at 25:20

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