Any review of the fundamentals must go squarely through bare attention. Bare attention is the essence of our practice, and the single tool that nourishes our wisdom and understanding all along the way. "Baring" our attention is why the practice seems to take so long to mature. We are so used to looking to thought for guidance that we overlay a film of thought on our attention to give a familiar tinge to what we see. Without that film of memory there would be the simple essence of emptiness seeing itself. Many of us feel unprepared for that level of reality so we subtly think about what we see, and our thinking makes this great expanse feel safer and more manageable. Cleaning up our attention becomes our work.
We usually think of renunciation as giving up what we cherish, but true renunciation can be a practice that springs from a sense of well being, giving up what no longer serves us to find greater happiness.
Our views, beliefs, and opinions affect our perception of events. To what extent do we assume that we are right and become attached to our opinions? With attachment to views we solidify a sense of self. Mindfulness meditation invites us to observe our relationship to views and opinions and see how it might be distorting perception by reinforcing a fixed sense of self. The term "right view" does not imply a more accurate or factual perspective; rather, right view describes a perspective beyond all attachment to views and opinions.
Suffering can lead to contraction and more suffering or can be a catalyst for awakening. Just why and how some people have the good karma to hear the Dharma and practice is a mysterious blessing and precious opportunity.
This talk explores the different temperaments that fuel practice, known as the Four Iddhipadas.