Our minds have many mixed motivations, and they can be at play in meditation practice. This talk discusses some of the common "ulterior motives" which can be present, how to recognize them and how to re-frame them to make them into skillful supports-not distractions.
It's part of our make up to get lost in the trance of thinking-- to believe our thoughts to be real and to live in the story of a separate, endangered self. It is also our capacity to recognize our trance and choose presence. This talk explores how the practice of pausing and arriving in the aliveness of our senses opens us to our natural compassion and wisdom, and enables us to experience the great mystery we are part of.
We step back to look at how we develop the three meditative path factors separately, and how, as practice deepens, the factors become interwoven, and we move forward a kind of mindful, concentrated, effortless effort.
The Buddha clearly described consciousness as an impermanent part of the mind. Yet many people feel that awareness has some kind of lasting or ongoing nature. How can we understand this seeming contradiction? How can we make awareness itself part of our meditation?
Aversion and desire work together to entrap the mind within its own projections and divide the whole into parts. The opposite of what I desire is feared and visa versa. Because the mind is a single whole, when we pit what we like against what we do not, repetitive aversive and desiring images noisily dance through the mind in opposition to the contentment of the abiding wholeness.