03 Sep 2015
At the beginning of this session Alan returns to reviewing the progression of the meditations so far. Starting with Shamatha and the space of the mind, the meditations have been gradually built up, firstly by attending to the appearances in the space of the mind, then the emotions, then intervals between these and finally awareness itself. The practice is really being carried out when these are brought together as a whole, leading to the substrate if done long enough. Once the substrate is revealed, he warns us not to lose it! The aim is to fuse Shamatha with Vipashyana when trying to fathom the mind. By softening Vipashyana with Shamatha the notion of the mind becomes ‘wobbly’. Alan points out that the appearances we experience when observing the mind are not the mind, they are merely appearances within it, not awareness itself. Alan refers to an eminent Lama, who explained that if consciousness emerged from physical phenomena then it would have physical properties. Consciousness is a continuum with no beginning or end. There are three focuses in investigating the mind, these are the origin, location and destination. Using these three focuses we first ask if the mind exits and then, if so, what is its nature? This practice is based on the passage by Orgyen Rinpoche (Padmasambhava), reviewed yesterday, and frontloads the guided meditation that follows.
Meditation is on Vipashyana.
Afterwards, Alan returns to the text (p. 94 – 98) and praises this chapter as indispensable as it provides all that is needed for Vipashyana practice. The passage by Drungchen Kün-ga Namgyal dispenses invaluable advice as well as a lot of humour.
Meditation starts at 40:05
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