We explore in this integrative sessions, how a "thick" sense of self appears in various ways, and how we open to experience with progressively "thinner" senses of self. We also look at how anxiety and disorientation may arise at each stage, and how to understand what skillful uses of self are.
We easily habituate to feeling stressed, leaning forward, trying to figure things out and get things done. The undercurrent is we are living reactively--resisting unpleasant experience, seeking out more comfort and ease--perpetually wanting life to be different than it is. In response to this confined way of living, the Buddha invites us to discover our innate capacity for happiness, the well-being that arises in full presence. These two talks explore the ways we get caught in the trance of reactivity and grimness, and the pathways to unconditioned happiness.
As we do the practice of samatha (tranquility) meditation, it is important not to strive towards any particular experience but rather to see the practice as a training of the mind that leads to well being and happiness here and now.