2. Mindfulness

The Elements of Meditation Practice 2 - Mindfulness
6 minutes
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This is a great way to get into the second practice that we're going to do, which is mindfulness practice of mindfulness, which is really the practice of being more aware of what's going on. In our experience. Mindfulness is the kind of fashionable word for right now. But call it awareness, call it. objectivity call it it's there in every tradition, and every lots of human beings and cultures talk about it in their own ways. It's just being aware of what's going on in your experience.

And it turns out that, that there's layers and layers of stuff going on, and that we're often ping pong around automatically with stuff. So patterns are being activated, and we don't really realize it, we're kind of walking around in a bad mood or walking around per separating on something going around and around. And when we're inside these loops, these loops of behaving and acting and responding. What does it feel like it can feel like fate feels like we're always going to be here. We've always been here. feels it's so sticky.

It's hard to kind of get out of it. And there is truth. The reason it's sticky is because you're deepening A pattern or a groove that you go in that you go in a lot, you're like training your body and mind to continue on and in the that kind of a pattern. So that's the sobering part. mindfulness practice is really a beautiful practice for kind of note working with that understanding and noticing how that works. That is the work of a practice.

So that's it, the worker practices, you have an idea that you want to sit here and meditate and focus on your breath. But you have a life and you're being triggered in your life and you have a shift that's going on and stuff is happening at work and in your relationship and in your family. And you're thinking and worrying about it because you're trying to sort it out. And that's totally fine. So the first thing is to say, this is completely natural to that I have this pattern that I'm inside that this is just how it goes. So you first accept that you're having that experience.

So the concentration way of working with that is just to go back to the breath and let it do your best to lead In the background, eventually get pulled up with it again. But you notice it happens, you go back to the breath, eventually, the breath starts to become richer and fuller, the the real estate of the breath gets larger than the real estate of that sticky pattern. And you can sort of shift ratios that way. But the mindfulness way of working about it, is to say, Okay, well actually, I'm gonna look at this pattern, I'm going to actually go into it, instead of just being automatically inside it, I'm gonna start to explore it. So I'm gonna, when I'm in this thing, well, you can, you can explore it in different ways you can, the most constructive ways is just to kind of see what it's made of.

Like, and generally, you'll find it's made of body sensations. So emotional feelings and tubs like or anger in the jaw or like heartache, chest, or vibrating agitation or whatever it is like the body sensations, really providing the juice of a lot of our emotion and thinking patterns. So you can just stay with the feelings in the body, and we'll kind of do one like that in a moment. Practice like that. You can also work with the the head part of it the thinking part. You can go in and go, Okay, can I actually just notice what images are coming out right now, instead of just being in the images?

Can I kind of have this objective witness a thing, and I just embed from this trance and just notice the images, the face of your disappointed mother, or whatever it is? Or can you notice the talk? So it's another component, the the voice in your head, the narrative that you're telling yourself the criticism, the, you know, the voice of the other person, whatever it is just and you kind of try to it's this weird move of just like the act of noticing it means you're no longer inside it. So this is the single most important thing a human being needs to know in your life. I think, you know, probably, there'll be a few. So as a singer was born, but it's an important one.

And that is that you you're not fated to repeat these patterns. When you can notice the thing is happening. The act of noticing it means you're not inserting You're now outside it. Because the crazy punch line in the contemplative world in the Buddhist world, in the Hindu world, in the Dallas world, but even in talks about different ways in the Abrahamic traditions, the crazy punch line is that you aren't like, that's part of you. That's the process of your personality. But the act of being aware itself, the the knower, is the same Knower and everybody else, it's empty.

It has no material, the act of knowing is this act. It's this expression of your freedom. So it's different than knowing is different than thinking. This is what people people don't really realize. It's like you're thinking about something thinking is tractable, it's images, it's talk, it's a little bit of tension in the face, it's all this stuff. The knowing is just the knowing.

But we think knowing and thinking of the same things, but a mindless practice basically lets you dis embed from the thinking so you can know it. So the knower is here and then the thinking is happening here. Does that make sense? Okay, because it's a it's a kind of a weird thing. To get around, but that is the experience experiences that you can pop out and start to observe the thing from outside. And then guess what?

It turns out that process just keeps going on and on and on. Because the place you're noticing from which it first seems like, Oh, yeah, I'm noticing it as this empty Knower, then gets slowly coagulated into being another thinking process and you got a pop out of the head. So you got to you got to pop out of that there's always another layer to pop out of it just is like turtles all the way down, basically. But that's okay. Because it's like, it's about getting free incrementally, you're continually moving into a more spacious perspective, and then getting caught up again, and more spacious perspective. But over time, that perspective becomes the place to take a stand.

So I want to make that more tangible for you guys. Let's actually try that as a practice now, in a very uncomplicated way. It's just being aware of what's going on in your experience. And as we start to look, it starts out kind of crude, like we can't really detect it sort of murky, but the longer and more patiently. We are We spend investigating, the more subtler qualities begin to get teased out, there's detection and this quality that emerges this quality of clarity. And it's like, we start to become more and more transparent to ourselves.

And, and you can think of it as it's like the conscious mind is starting to seep down into the unconscious or the subconscious, these sort of subterranean levels where all the turbines are and all the machinery like you can start to get down in there and like, you know, walk around on the floor of the factory and, you know, take a look around. So, hopefully that metaphor won't be it will be helpful, not disturbing. So let's try

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