21 Aug 2015

The symptom of an unbalanced mind is to feel ill at ease - dissatisfaction when there is no outside stimulus. Shamatha helps you balance the mind so that when you are sitting quietly your mind is ok.

The meditation is on breathing with the vajra recitation - breathe in and think OM, at the pause think AH and when you exhale, think HUNG.

After the meditation, Alan reads from the text - under the heading “The Cultivation of Attention”. He covers a variety of methods from staring at a flower, stick or pebble, visualization of a diety, and viewing one’s own body as a skeleton.

Alan provides commentary on the passage from the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra, “a great being, by dwelling with introspection and with mindfulness, eliminates avarice and disappointment towards the world by means of nonobjectification and he lives observing the body in the body internally.”

Question: What to do when you have been given practices from teachers you respect, that no longer resonate for you, where you feel that you are going through the motions. Alan provides a lengthy response using Tibetan medicine as an example and encourages us to provide feedback on how practices are working so that dharma can grow and flourish in the west.

The meditation starts at 14:04.

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