01 Sep 2015

Alan returned to the cultivation and discovery of equanimity, as a practice that can be launched from settling the mind in its natural state. Appearances of people arise in our minds. Everything we know of someone else is in the space of our own awareness. So what’s the difference between those appearances and looking directly at someone in the room? And if that someone is ‘looking back’, who is that? The exchanges with two students that followed had everyone laughing. Alan then circled back to equanimity, by reminding us that if someone exists over there, I exist over here. Where’s the border? To develop deep equanimity, we need to realise the equal emptiness of all beings. Yet each is in the centre of their own mandala.

The meditation is on equanimity.

After the meditation Alan returned to the debate. To the student who replied he was ‘conceptually designated by mental awareness’, Alan then asked which came first - the designator or the designation? And quoting Santideva, he asked how awareness can be aware of itself if a knife can’t cut itself or a candle illuminate itself. After some more puzzling and very amusing exchanges, Alan left us with the unanswered question to ponder: who designates you when you’re sitting alone in your room?

Meditation starts at 20:51.


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