Last week we spoke of practice as a process of purification, refining impurities of mind like a goldsmith refines and purifies gold.
This week we’ll explore how the mind is refined by understanding how to balance three qualities that all need to work together.
When physical or emotional pain is too much, our conditioning is to pull away and avoid direct contact with raw feelings. The result is a trance - we are split off from the wholeness of our aliveness, intelligence and capacity to love. This talk explores how this dissociation shows up in our lives and a powerful way that mindfulness enables us to integrate cut-off parts of our being.
This is the sixth talk in a speaker series titled Ethics, Action and the Five Precepts.The five training precepts are not commandments nor are they a list of “don’t dos.” Instead, they have an over-arching principle of ahimsa, or do no harm. In other words, following the precepts can be seen as a way to stop us from spilling our suffering onto the rest of the world. In addition, the aim of observing the precepts is to allow practioners to be blameless and at ease, thereby preparing their mind for meditation. The fifth precept deals with not taking intoxicants that will lead to heedlessness. This precept is really about seeing clearly; we cannot see clearly and develop our wisdom when we intoxicate our mind.
We can get caught up in speculating on karma which is something the Buddha tells us in not helpful and will make us “mad”. The most helpful way to work with karma is to see it in each moment by noticing the suffering and end of suffering dependent on whether we are grasping or meeting the moment with wisdom.