19 Apr 2016

Alan starts off this morning’s session with a story about a delightful interaction between physicist Anton Zeilinger and His Holiness the Dalai Lama that took place at the 1997 Mind and Life Conference. The story culminates a year later with discussion of physics and philosophy and a visit to Anton Zeilinger’s lab, so that Anton could discuss his empirical evidence and show His Holiness how he made his discoveries. Aside from the fact that Alan likes telling stories, Alan loves the fact that Anton took them to his lab and His Holiness lept at the opportunity. Alan would have loved to have had His Holiness be able to say “Anton, would you like to come to our lab, and I’ll show you the yogis... Would you like to see what’s our research? What are our methodologies by which we’ve come to these conclusions...”

Alan then goes through a list of some of the objections and scientific reservations about including introspection in the scientific study of the mind and shows how they are not insurmountable problems, especially with the appropriate mental training.

The meditation is taking the impure mind as the path.

With some guidance regarding making introspection a viable tool for discovery about the mind, we practice observing the mind (thoughts, images, emotions, desires, etc.) from the stillness of awareness, without distraction and without grasping.

After the meditation Alan draws a parallel between this practice, where we are becoming lucid with respect to our minds during the waking state, and sustaining a lucid dream. During a lucid dream one wants to relax, maintain the stability - maintaining lucidity and the continuity of the dream, and eventually enhance the clarity, resolution, vividness and precision of the explorations of the dream reality. In a similar fashion, as we now go into non-formal practice, our practice off the cushion, experiences will arise that may cause excitation, agitation, craving, desire, etc. We should try to maintain the continuity of ease and relaxation without grasping. We should also try to maintain, with clarity and engagement, the flow of cognisance - the awareness of appearances as appearances, and not conflating them with an outside independent reality. So, now we have a full-time job...

Meditation starts at 36:00

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