24 Aug 2015
Alan humorously begins by suggesting that for the contemplative observatory we should develop a Star Trek style virtual reality game of combatting alien abductors and test it scientifically as a metaphor for the practice of shamatha in combatting thoughts. He refers to Mahasidda Maitripa’s instructions (text page 80) on shamatha without a sign by maintaining an absence of thought with a flow of cognizance. However for most of the time our practice is like the analogy of the duel between the swordsman deflecting the archer’s arrows of thoughts.
The guided meditation is on Awareness of Awareness.
Alan then continues his commentary on the shamatha section of the text on page 80 covering the nine steps to attentional balance. He provides a more detailed exposition of these steps than he has done in previous similar retreats. These details are given in the updated Retreat Notes released on 23 August and more fully in his book “The Attention Revolution” (Wisdom Publications, 2006).
The meditation starts at 20:43
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