24 Taking Appearances and Awareness as the Path, Both During and Between Session

12 Apr 2016

The Dharma talks have been so good so far that a bird found us in the field as we were walking over to the meditation hall. He followed us over and hung around outside the hall before the session thinking about coming in to join us. This morning’s session was no less inspiring. Alan continues his strategy of addressing Ultimate Bodhicitta in the morning and Relative Bodhicitta in the afternoons. He discusses the hypothesis from all of Buddha Dharma that the nature of reality has been discovered, that this discovery has been replicated many times, and that this discovery can bring freedom and the fulfillment of our innermost desires. He contrasts this with the most prevalent system of scientific discovery which proves a wealth of knowledge to promote hedonic well-being, yet embraces scientific materialism which leads some of the great minds of our time to draw the conclusions that the mind, consciousness, appearances, and introspection don’t exist. He then gives us the fastest refutations of scientific materialism. (If you don’t get the first two, you are a gradualist and should practice shamatha and vipashyana.)

We are invited to investigate both cognitive deficits (which deny the existence of the mind, appearances, and the like) and cognitive hyperactivity (where we mentally impute onto appearances) and start investigating the indubitable - taking appearances and awareness as the path. Both during sessions and especially between sessions, we are invited to notice the tendency towards cognitive hyperactivity and imputation. He then talks a bit about the connate cognitive hyperactivity that causes us to deny the three marks of existence, where, among other things, he talks about LaSalle and tells us how samsara ends (Spoiler alert: It sucks. It turns out badly.)

The meditation is silent (not recorded) and is at the end of the session.

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