« Making Sense with Sam Harris

#15 — Questions Along the Path

2015-08-11 | 🔗

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris and Joseph Goldstein discuss the practice of meditation and answer questions that came from listeners in response to their first conversation, "The Path and the Goal."

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Today I will speaking with Joseph Goldstein, who was an friend, and quite a distinguished and wonderful teacher irritation, in particular by partner meditation, mindfulness meditation Joseph and I spoke before on podcast about a year ago, and that episode was entitled the path and the goal. And if you haven't listen to that, I recommend you do before listening to this one, because at this one is in fact their response, two listener questions that arose from that. First podcast the key rotation this time round, because it see in Q and a format really does not take any kind of linear path from big, or to expert in terms of its content area and one thing. I'd also point out that I make no effort to discuss. Liabilities of Buddhism as a religion. As most of you know, I don't consider myself a Buddhist. I just find the practice of meditation incredibly useful, Joe certainly considers himself a Buddhist, and he is a quite well known Buddhist teacher
largely responsible for bringing the techniques. Buddhist meditation into more prominent, in the west of the last forty years or so, but we, Buddhist Terminology and while we define these terms from TAT the time, I'm not making any effort in these conversations to divorce this topic from its traditional buddhist contacts, I do more in my book. Waking up just to say that those of who may be uncomfortable with sea in medicine asian and the nature of mind, discussed in an explicitly buddhist framework, will continue to be uncomfortable throughout this conversation. But given Joseph background and his expertise. It would have we been a waste of time to try to translate our terminology for export out of Buddhism into some other non sectarian context. In any case Joseph his a gem. His as I said,
first time around one of the wise as people, I've ever met and at the end of our conversation he and our friend Dan Harris, the ABC News Anchor and author of the New York Times best seller, ten percent happier, designed a short meditation course in the form of an app and where this pain is embedded in my blog. I have a link to the rail on page in the Itunes store, and why can start that course for Ray. I think you get the first three days free. If you choose to buy the whole course. You get a twenty percent discount using the product code waking up all in caps, so, What more information about that? Please check my blog and out further preamble, I give you Joseph costing I'm with Joseph Goldstein. I have him back for round to of more meditation punishment thanks we're going back there uh thanks we're doing us credit they. I thinks, something like a hundred and eighty thousand is that right. People have listened to the first one
it could be the same for people who are just die hard fresh refresh over and over again, but We certainly were more esoteric, then many conversations on this topic become, but I think that was probably strengthening a people appreciate it s getting into the the weeds about mindful lesson and the difference between different types of mindfulness and Zoltan versus the Poznan, but was such an envoy pass here, as the case may be, so Let's get into it again and I we have a bunch of questions that have come in, but first is there anything that Eureka, from our last conversation that you wanted to revisit in. Explore or you want to retract something that I said I didn't come to mind. Nothing really is coming at the mines, the older I get, the less I recall that the less that comes to mind. Ok, we have many questions and maybe that'll just start us off.
So where Jamie Lansford asks, what amount of practice is required before the average practitioner can expect to obtain quotes sufficient concentration, as Joseph puts it to change the quality of her experience? I'm sure various, but more generally, what? If? What? If I never go on a ten day retreat or meters, Oh and master. Can everyday practice still serve me its correct to say that there is no average meditate her. Now the people bring a I'd variety of backgrounds to them station, and so for some people. Concentration comes quite easily and for others it takes quite a systematic training But I would say, is the chilly important, watch the committee into being mindful throughout the day, because concentration actually comes about
through the continuity of mindfulness. So it's not so much. You know an effort for focusing, but rather more equality of being relaxed back into the moment to get right back into the possession of a framework. Is outshine phrase that is used very often in which we might have mentioned. In our less talk phrase, the Tuesday is undistributed non meditation. So the non meditation parties suggests that effortless quality. Settling back into a natural awareness. But often people forget the unrestricted part yeah that that's why it's about. This continuity. Of relaxed awareness and to really there
the question is whether we really considering all our meditation to be the time that was sitting on a cushion however long each day or we are seeing it as practising that quality of undistributed. None meditation throughout the whole day and it's that continuity, which will lead to some stability. But what is this is not with the word non meditation mean to endow asking to be confusing to some people Bring has many levels of meaning, but just in the simplest way understanding it. It can referred to a relaxed awareness, settling back into the simplicity, things being known moment after a moment without without an effort without a striving. I think that's just the simplest way of understanding it. I think it is in this zone contacts. It means abandoning subject, object, focus to that
as implication that you're, not you not trying to fix, attention on anything strategically histories wide open to whatever. In fact you, you notice, I think that could be a further way of of understanding it, but the as you point out the crews a distinction, is between being distracted and unrestricted. If you're distracted than you're just harassed and thought like anyone else, and one of the thing is almost everybody notices is that is not very easy to remain and distracted. The idea is: very nice the idea of non meditation that open effortless awareness, but this something else which is needed in order to staying the unrestricted quality and you could call it recognized You could call it remembering you call it settling back guy met
difference. Where did you call it mindfulness? Wouldn't you call mindfulness the gatekeeper of that? Definitely quality of mine from us is to know when with distracted women were not. Nets took arguing that the great certain master called my from this. The watchman of the mind another is that I like to use, especially when I'm I'm teaching retreats budgets could be useful for anyone practising in the course of Another daily lives is understand. The difference between being casual and being relaxed. In our attention because often those two a confused we hear the suggestion to be relaxed and before we know it, our attention is simply become casual, and in that quality we find our minds getting distracted. Again and again, So it is certain impeccability, that's needed. This brings up a few quick translated actually won one question of mine one thing to explore further,
I have recently said in another podcast and is directly to to my question that I felt like I didn't learn. How to meditate until I sat my first ten day retreat, and I think this comment has given some people cause for despair, because my experience. What I got very intimidation, was sitting Really reliably an hour a day for a full year before I went off on on the first, I think that it was Yucca Valley retreat in view, and it wasn't until may be the fifth day of that retreat somewhere around the mid point where I really connected to the practice way that I hadn't before- and I remember the Epiphany presume ugly, reasonably accurate, that I had just been Thinking with my legs crossed in my daily practice for the previous year or a day was insufficient for me to really
down a level within unmindfulness contacts with continuity and sustained attack and to see what I mean. ASEAN and really clearly see the difference between being lost in thought and and not and I'm sure I was a hard case, Can you come in and that is that a common experience to feel like it was not until you sit intensive retreat that you really know what it is you're supposed to be doing. I think you probably did have a strong propensity for thinking. His health depends on paper. I love that. When do you chose to bring through the practice? I guess a question. I would ask you in I don't know, do you remember back to them? But in that time, before your first tender retreat. You mentioned that he was sitting pretty reliable in our day. The question would be What were you doing? The other twenty three hours a weather
You had enough understanding of what was needed to actually be committed to the practice of mine from this, in just in the course of your daily activities and many people don't appreciate the importance of the power of that. I think the jury is still out, because I think there are not that many people who give that level of attention and of mindfulness to walking down straight road to eating too really making the daily activities part of the practice. So whether the level of concentration in settling this do experience on the retreat would come in the course of daily practice. If you did, that would be an interesting experiment now clearly, if people come to a retreat, their practicing pensively all day long in silence just sitting in Morton. So there is a momentum that more easily built up right now so tat.
Stand the bull that you had that experience. I actually a related experience was to discover, Sir, time later, that the walking meditation practice is every bit as deep as sitting practice. I would imagine people also make that discovery, or rather often late for whatever reason and at an oath. That was in the same retreat or my next one. But at a certain point I just just became very clear that the walking that I had been breeding as kind of a break from the sitting as a way of just rejuvenating the body was some truly profound, and so that. That's something there are layers of discovery of a very simple one. At the beginning, where you, you notice that mindfulness is as available in every context, as in every other contacts that, in principle it is not, it doesn't actually have to be framed by a sitting. Practice, though again that this is the crucial difference between distraction and not distraction is the thing than always one has to
yeah. I think I think that that is a very important inside and many people. It does take time from to realise how profound the working practices b, but anybody who is listening to this podcast might take this understanding and, in the course of their daily practice, actually give more attention to the walking and so one one very helpful thing that softened suggest a people is, if you doing a daily pact, seven hour. However, maybe too perhaps do the first ten minutes of walking meditation and then set, and that does too Things one it settled the mind so that we drop into the sitting in a deeper place from having done the walking and it begins to reveal a fact that the awareness can be as refined in
walking as in the sitting. Once we have that understanding, then in walking anyway, we're walking down the street were walking from one room to another. Once we really have the sense of what it means to feel the sensations of the movement and walking. We realise it takes a very little effort, because we walking anyway does right, there's nothing special to do except to be feeling. Then every step we take through the day can be walking meditation in that gives. That gives a chance for us to. Build the momentum that person whom sent in the question was asking about. There's more chance, you know of building up that level of stability even outside a very treat wrote, although no always its retreat is help
there's no doubt about that. But at a certain point don't you feel that its divorced from the principle of momentum? We seem to be suggesting that, its by day, of momentum that the experience meditate. Her has better daily meditation practice. Then the unexperienced one, oh god, I so I've been here here. This may hawk harking back to our previous conversation I know it's not that I have a bone depict with your life is going to do a thing on rights. I think, given your predilection for the zone, ten per directive which, as you know, I have tremendous appreciation for also I think, be more useful in this conversation, if you simply place, the word momentum with stability, because for me that the same thing right- but I ate like I guess, I'm trying to dig under that- is not so much
I see momentum stability, they both get decisively interrupted and they can be interrupted for so long that any notion of carry over from some previous period it in the day, seems a little far fetched right. So you could have an hour. That's just the wall, to Wall distraction right, you're, watching a movie or your arguing with someone on the telephone or your shopping, MRS something where you ve, linked as many moments of dualistic, confusion and distraction, as you are capable of I would imagine that our has cleared out the Bank of patents. Shall anarchy. You have stored up from all your previous moments of continuity or momentum, our stability, so that you really starting fresh Get me to a moment where you're, starting you, you ve, had a period of total distraction and ages have to start fresh and you're starting fresh with a period of of sitting for the first time in twenty four hours.
Even longer than that, I think that someone who knows what they're doing knows what to look for knows how to pay attention, has has become sensitized to the difference between being lost, the thought and being clearly aware that person can very quickly move through to an experience of clarity and sustained mindfulness. That is. Second, it is like a skill that you ve learned, which you you know what we and once you know, play the piano ones and I had a right to buy. You can actually start doing as I like. Every time you get on the bike, you fall off because you don't have enough momentum. You have your previous writings now living partook here, so it s a skill based conception of what it means to be mindful, rather than a storehouse of Anna.
Gee notion where they are not not denying that the momentum phenomenon is there and that worries inability phenomenon. Yet where the stability that there is a sense of storing up energy when you link enough moments together as something you gotta think, especially retreat, where you the day, at a certain point is really coming along, and it's not something one tends to feel unless one is practice: internet, day. But I couldn't, I agree with what you just said I think there is another dimension in addition to having learned the skill and being able to access what that skill can bring more easily them the more practised one is in the skill. As you say, you don't have to struggle to know how to balance on a bike each time right now. The mind drops topside into it, something I've noticed
over many years of practice now, fifty years that there is a gradual, build up of what I would call the base of concentration or the base of stability in our kind of like him to the scheme when I give the the snow raised report and deep the basis and What I've noticed is that, of course, it will go, up in that down it'll be deeper or shallower at different times, but the slope of that curve overtime I have noticed, is really gone up until the mind drops more easily into a deeper base of stability of concentration, and I think, that's that, not a question of you, nowhere more or less concentrated for any particular sitting. I love you, you could. Probably just this more accurately, but I
the neural pathways in the mind, getting get but another, the right terminology, more deeply power. Turned yeah, you know overtime and is just easy, even if one has been distracted, for it But to go to the movies you totally lost in the movie, you come out and you decide to sit for an hour if we, is well practice. The mind will drop in too. You know that deeper place of stability and that has grown over the years in the more we practise the more stable at becomes. But I think that fits with the skill based model. It is a skill of attention all regulate, in which you get better and better ass and saw it. You just have a facility, the you're, coming back There is moment more decisively and more and more you notice when you're gone earlier. I also find that intense experience
is a kind of mindfulness alarm now and increasingly in away there isn't in the beginning of one's practice that either when you're suffering, you can speak suffer for very long without realising yesterday. This is a problem for which you have a solution and that at that point you're either wilfully not using the solution, an end indulging in some negative mine state or your your cutting through, the suffering and undermining it. Just just as a matter of habit. Yeah you and every moment going yeah, and I think one element of that habit which, for me, has been a huge of energy in the practice to cut through enough,
moments of being caught up or lost in some kind of suffering is the quality of interest. For me, interest has played such a key role in my meditation practice because, when my mind is suffering in whatever way, you know just caught up caught up in summary activity for the most part I get really interested in, what's going on, in my mind, how's my mind getting caught. How am I am I feeding this and that interest? then provokes the attention right, provokes the investigation and interest is I love that word. None of the quality, because interest is very non, judgmental there's a vet visitor. Lindsey in the mind I specially for people, beginning of their practice alone. This could go. For many years
when we were involved in some kind of negativity or some kind of suffering. There can be a tendency to be self judgemental or judgmental about what's a rising, and that, of course, just ties. The not even tighter if this a of interest, it's like we re, moving Matt, judgmental aspect, and it almost becomes undermine, becomes like this puzzle that we're trying to understand that were trying to untie the knots advocates very interesting there to expectations that cover what we ve just been talking about. It, I think, can be unhelpful. One would be the expectation that you need to be on retreat having too many many moments, a mindless together to get down to bed rock. In this moment rights of you, and if you ve been lost for long enough, there's really, nothing good, that's gonna, come of the next moment of mindfulness. Can a radical
gradualism expectation which I think it is false but so soon to some degree self perpetuating so to drop. That is helpful because you really can have as deep as meaningful, unexperienced mindfulness in this moment as at any point in a retreat, you really pay attention. The other is relevant to what you just brought up expectation that certain get of mine states shouldn't or won't come up any longer for you. If you have any kind of mature meditation practice so to feel, as you said, to feel that you really shouldn't be experiencing something and have a self judgment added to the negative experience blocks the door to just becoming interested, and Hiding through it on the basis of just merely paying attention to the arising of this anger or fear, grew it whenever this once you know to expect that you're gonna do that any negative things will keep coming up victory.
Is, in least in my view or middle my stage. Practice victory is in the half life of these things like hell on. Do you? How long are you an asshole form right, the difference between being angry for an hour and for five seconds, then that is huge, Is it it's just a one and a half an hour of sustained anger, given all that your liable to say and do in that space is a life? A truly life disorienting stated fine, whereas five seconds is just again It just be the one who's interested to see this anger arise and pass away while Erika there are a couple of things. One is just like to emphasise the fact that is not enough Hopefully that will go from an hour of anger to five seconds. We could get fired
more seconds firing I have asked, apparently, is the punctual Asia that that it has to be to become sensibly up like the right that those there's one attitude of minus an attitude shift, which was tremendously important. For me in seeing the negative feelings are. Emotions are things that cost suffering arising in my mind, when I went from either feeling bad about myself for having them or judging them being an adverse relationship to them when things shifted and I became delighted to see them, because I would rather see them the Nazi them and there was so there's a certain moment of delight that can happen. You know when we have that frame
anger arises, judgment arises, fear arises what currency jealousy, nor any one of the afflicted emotions when these arrived when these arise now in the moment of seeing them. It's almost like a smile comes, to my mind, picks in the language of the Buddhist. This horses were, the Buddha would often say Omar. I see you, that's the. Quality. In the mind, in a moment of my I see, you am, is theirs enjoy in the fact of the seeing when that shift happens. It changes everything in terms of our relationship to it. Then that becomes the foundation for an investigation missing. Ok, you know what gave rise to it, how my getting cold
How can I be free in this moment? I must say I love to see you get angry Toujours, that's always fun or keep trying so act. There's a few questions related here. We ve covered some of this, but I fully oh good here as asks. Could you speak more the path outside of the meditation cushion how to be mindful and daily interaction with people. How to be mindful, while having an intellectual discussion. We ve covered some of that. But what is your thought on non? How to be mindful if at all, while engaged in intellectual work, there is the difference between thinking and not thinking of or being lost in thought seen thought as thought or just the being busy thinking. This is a question get from people a fair amount that the idea that you can't really be mindful, while doing most of what creative intelligent, productive people need to do. What? How do you view that.
I think there are two two domains to understand this in one of its lending. My first determined energy would say often in addressing that question, because when we are engaged intellectual, even even something as simple as reading a book You know I doing any kind of creative work that involves the intellect and involves thinking nor concept. We can really apply the same kind of mindfulness as we would, for example, in meditation, because otherwise the words would become disconnected Nobody wouldn't we wouldn't be turning into the level of meaning, particularly and manages to talk about what he called a general mindfulness, where we totally engage in what we're doing nothing
gauging the concepts and were using that level of the mind, but there's enough mindfulness present to pick up. If some unwholesome states arise in the process, being engaged in that work. You know we're talking were reading or we're doing, but doing some kind of conceptual work if the mind is in an even place in doing it or or a wholesome place as interest in Vienna, timid in energy, but then, if something unwholesome should arise. There's enough mine from this debate that will pick that up and in tat moment we could can settle back and see what just happened. So that's a kind of mine from this is a protection but the mind. There is one exception which I found to mine from this, with in kind of that conceptual intellectual
realm and the Buddha had an interesting comment about this, not as in giving or speaking the dying, giving Dahmer talks or, even, in speaking, the dominant cup in a dogma conversation that actually for the more into the meditative level, then the level of just conceptual conceptual work? So, even though we using concept to express the content, there's a certain power in terms of speaking the Dama, so it's actually possible the Buddha mention this to get enlightened or speaking or in listening, because in that kind of conversation, if, if we'd doing it with wisdom, would not much lost in our usual evaluation of what, said. Oh, I like this. I don't like it. I agree with it. I don't agree with it, but rather
a conversation or eaten speaking or listening. It's more that were actually doing the word. We are adding than analyzing them, and so this is that's that's why it's such a path that can be such a powerful experience to hear don't talk to me to be in a really engaged on the conversation, as I say, we we were actually experiencing what the words saying seems made it the difference may, even more categorical than that, because I just think listening to some one speak or having a conversation is potentially more amenable to that kind of expansive clarity, then doing things like reading Saigon. Talking to you, I can you very clearly be mindful both while talking and while listening and I can cut through when I'm calling or have called the illusion of the self
in the midst of that and in some ways, is even more clear because social circumstances are usually so self real fine and run. I find that to lose a sense of self. While looking at your face is a clear mirror to that. Experience than just looking at a wall or our son, having your eyes closed, but If I go to read these, could the questions from listeners here there's a I'd have brimming down of my awareness to just dick the sentence, I'm reading, that seems too degree synonymous with delusion. For me, it's like its. It is not the you can't. Reed, and certainly if I was reading about meditation herb emptiness her any these topics, I could bring a special kind of attention to the task of reading, but generally again looking at words on a page and trying to figure out what they mean, at least for me, is a much dull.
Her frame of mind and as is analogous to like we walk into a supermarket, does do in shopping and looking for a different Rand and trying to figure out which, when you want with something so dull about that use of intention dull, not as in boring but dull, as in just do this a kind of a bovine lack of clarity by comparison with other moments. The ultimate example it no longer pertains happily that the world is is free of this spirit Now, but I I recall what it was like to come off retreat decades ago and will go into a ape blockbuster video store. Looking for what videos to rent and There was something excruciating about that experience suggests travel the shelves reading. Oh, your head, cock
the side to read the of the vertical spine of these two set boxes, trying to figure out what you wanted and is going through hundreds of crappy movies, but many what you ve seen and at that point I was very sensitive to the difference between european attention one way or the other, and that is always figured in my mind even more or than experiences of interpersonal contact. As a kind of awareness that is just the antithesis of wisdom and clarity and and mindful us, I can get points to say this. It points to both the deluded and unsatisfying quality.
Of wanting just that that mines state of wanting itself, rape is a kind of Buddhists, the Buddhist terminology Duca, it's just unsatisfying. The the amazing thing is that we us seduce generally into thinking that wanting is enjoyable and we live, is now very often. Wanting to want like, like your experience in this to you, were just waiting to want some execrate, your wanting to want not seeing that the very quality the wanting mind is inherently unsatisfying here and it gets amplify in that case because it's here, you're kind of wanting
on a deadline- because you have you- can get out of this, nor and figure out what you want right as it you're just, is just stay and exercise of focused wanting and dissatisfaction and that the Visa code, the hopelessness of the whole exercise, becomes obvious there, but this hidden here this becomes a very interesting exercising for people to explore in the course of their daily lives, because no one, comes up a lot in a lot of different situations. It would be very interesting for people too, begin to really pick up
become aware of when there is one thing in mind for whatever it may be, and together to get a visceral sense of what it's like to one. What is it feel like to want to have that? Have that quality in the mind and then, if possible, either to contrast that, with other times of not wanting your interest to begin to see the difference in one's experience between wanting and not wanting, and one could do that if, if we're wherever the wanting and then on mindful enough to just wait until it's gone because wanting like everything else is in permanent
And in that moment of transition from going from wanting to not one thing, that's a really powerful moment, because we get a very clear understanding of the difference. In our experience of those to my states and for myself, it always feels. Like I've, been led out of the grip of something as soon as the mind is released from wanting she'd. This kind of relaxation into openness into ease, but this is this- is not something that most people are paying attention to another the kind of wanting mode, so it so much part of our everyday lives. We hardly pay attention to it, and yet it has it offers is. If we are mindful of it, it can offer a very profound understand
of the nature of mind of the cause of a lot of suffering at this point, because I've played with this a lot. I watch for this in my mind, very often out them not always the still quite a bit more to do in this regard, Bud quite often often enough to be noticeable unnoticed wanting for something and then all our consciously say or consciously remind myself. I dont need Qantas. Not the one thing is a choice, wonder the choice on making and if, in those momentarily, see that clearly to this end the mind. Actually, let's go an amazing moment of ease, and it's it's always available to us
just being mindful enough of what our minds are doing and the potential for making wiser choices. Yeah yeah Russia connects to this. The next question. I have here from Matthew Laurel Trinidad. I would appreciate some comments on what Joseph and you think of the role of sealer amoral conduct the development of mindfulness and how to define or arrive upon the essential principles of sealer or to avoid religious, My defining arriving at the same the hugely important rights as this they more about that, but I guess one question to get you started that just occurred to me is
seems to me a certainly reading the the literature on meditation and understanding of the Miss happy in the careers of various gurus and yogi. Is it's possible to being quite an accomplished, meditate her and still be a total schmuck racist or someone who be someone who is not only not impeccable but reliably unethical by our standards? You have Swami moved on to building a hano between his living quarters and the girls dorm at his ashes from where he is essentially.
Raping one presumes. Fourteen year old girls, and ever that just a horrendous stories about specific people who about whom there also stories that really seem to attest to their spiritual athleticism in terms of their meditative attainments and the the kinds of positive effects they managed to have on people. So talk about that. Well, I think that I think this points to a critical distinction between power and wisdom and through meditative skill. The mine can become very powerful in many ways into all kinds of well, what might even see miraculous things and certainly with strong, energetic impact on other people, and so lots of lots of experiences can happen when somebody has developed through whatever petticoat techniques. The strength of power of mine,
That's a very different, then wisdom, you know I'm. It is very possible for people to develop these without wisdom and decent, sustained mindfulness synonymous with a certain component of wisdom. Mere you, Talkin out somewhat. You imagine that some of these teachers have just become concentrated in ways that may be pleasant and giving them given them certain powers of mind or apt up their charisma as teachers, so they have certain influence over their students, but they have just consistently missed the bulls eye of which are calling a right practice. That's one possibility gazette that seemed a little far fetched to me. I would imagine that if you grabbed someone looked nanda in his best, our of meditation and could run that on your brain. You
I find all of the components of what you're calling wisdom and yet it still hasn't inoculated him against bein a sociopath in other circumstances in his life. Now I disagree. I think that just classically speaking, the power of concentration is that it suppresses the fireman's at a particular time. So why you in that concentrated state? It may be that these unskilful, the mine states, are not arising, but as soon as you are out of the concentration, the niece unwholesome states just re emerge because a concentration by itself, it's not a purifying force in
itself self were we're not necessarily seeing into the impermanent empty nature of phenomena. People could be very content, headed and wandered in that state. You hook up to some brained monitoring and their brains might seem very. The peaceful upon was stable, whatever chose, but that's not saying anything about what defilement have been uprooted from the mind. He knows I naturally the function of wisdom, which is a very different kind of practice, so also the function, though, of an explicit conceptual understanding about the importance of ethics in one's life, so that, if, if, if you are teaching people to meditate without
I kind of deeper, sophisticated ethical consideration of just what what life is for and what constitutes a good life, then going to be the edges of the path or not discernible. Uk there's no there's no metric, by which you can then say. Oh, my life has wandered off into so I'm totally on careful and suffering producing direction. This relates to another point I made in other contexts that it often pointed out that boot and can give rise to the same kinds of pathologies as Islam, which frequently criticised and in what is often thrown at me as the phenomenon of the kamikaze pilot in World WAR too, that you can have Buddhist suicide bombers. If they were clearly influenced by Zen wasn't just then it was Shinto and it was japanese Marshall, nationalism and and other constellations of ideas but Anne was definitely involve and you had Zen masters who were advocating for this behaviour and I fear
when we read about that their two books Zen at war. And then war stories that detail that evidence and yet you have the. The modern spectacle of tibetan Buddhists, rather than becoming beside bombers, their practicing self immolation in response to the actions of China, and it seems to me you know this is not there's not really deep scholarship at the bottom of this more periods of Tibetan Buddhism. But insofar as I know, Zan as well, you can read for a very long time in the Zen literature and not find any emphasis on compassion and sealer ethics. The country you can find many analyses that seem to give a kind of martial ethic sort of way
Damn it have. A samurai ethic comes to the fore, often and ends in parables. So there is actually no surprise to me. Did Zinn get under a certain control could have helped animate the kamikaze phenomenon and is also not a surprise to me that Vodrey ANA Buddhists are self emulating, as opposed to become in suicide bombers, given the emphasis on compatible. In that context, I think I have to I disagree with you have, but I should also say that its it also doesn't seem impossible to me that you could get a Marshall and aggressive form of of Tibetan Buddhism because it is theirs. Aim is certainly a Marshall history within Tibet, and it is not a pacifist, Dick religion, I got so it's not it's not that it's impossible, but it seems to me less likely
then in then first. I totally agree with you in terms of the importance of emphasizing from the very beginning of you know, a spiritual path or a meditative path. The importance of the foundation of Sealer of non farming and you could say that gets programmed in from the very beginning and it becomes a reference point. For really highlighting when our actions are becoming harmful justice. Of the simplest example about this, this could be elaborated a lot, but just the basic precept about not lying that being dreadful, if one has repeatedly taken the precepts with commitment and how can not killing? That's dealing not saying that which has
not committing sexual misconduct, no just the basic, the basic lay precepts the living in the world in a non harming way. What I found is from having taken the precept and reflected on them. You know so often if there's a thought in the mind or I'm about to say something that which is untrue. Having taken the precept that acts like a little mind from the spell it has up this It is not true, and very often that's enough. That brings enough mindfulness to enable me to now this madness and refrain from doing that. So having laying the foundation of the precepts in whatever form you know, people understand them and reflecting on them in and really magnet part of. The practice, I think, has a tremendous, fact, no on the way we live in our lives, I think, would lie
For me and others have thought a lot about this and wrote a short book on it. It is not a matter of having taken the precepts. This is a matter of having become attentive enough to the consequences of a lion both in my life and the lives of others, to have a very, Sir, all sense of that's no place worth going, the pain that accrues and and also just the the senses Vice Agnes, that it arises out of use of we're having conversation I feel the impulse to lie to you Already, there's something wrong in the relationship they suffering inherent to the whole project of misrepresenting. Things so as to mislead. You saw it at an hopefully not get caught in the future. The thing is sold at this early toxic to me that that's what sets I the mind, not you. You have given a lot of thought and attention to this, so I think for many people a first
in incoming too. That understanding is having learned about the precepts having taken to them. The abstract, wrong fullness of yeah and and then that triggers a greater mindfulness of everything you saying, but I think many people are not necessarily have that level of awareness of the consequences are how it feels right from the beginning there. So I assume that is just being a spectrum of depth of understanding. Ok, all of that being said, I think that in every spiritual tradition, whether the precepts have been highly leave emphasised or not given certain conditions.
Annette, lightened human mind is going to engage in some pretty armful actions so, whether it's the kamikaze pilots in world war, two, whether in the long history in Tibetan Buddhism, not just the self immolation, with respect to protest in the Chinese, but just they hit the history of Tibet, of of the great monastic traditions, fighting each other and killing each other, for they had they had a middle ages like an We see it in Burma now with many both of the politicians, but also of many of the monastic, with Ruhinga tremendous violence and hatred is a crucial difference for me. There were then, obviously, it's it's horrendous violence and
worthy of condemning like any other violence, but it's important to see that there is no certainly no clear- and I think probably just and not any justification within the teachings of Terawatt Buddhism for that behaviour, that these monks can't point to the suit as well, Buddhist said: oh my followers. Until you eradicate these muslim beasts, though we know peace for you on this earth right now was a suit. I like that, that would be more problematic. They then they would be able to say this is not only justified. This is a sacred obligation of ours to behave this way. Now the problem with, then you have you looked at that those books then it wars outnumber men. I am familiar with this. There aren't passages than you could sort of sea how the raw master could rally that proves that we genuine Zen teaching, it harder and
terawatt Buddhism? To do that? Now, that's not to say that you can't get terawatt Buddhists, as you point out, is happening in Burma who are behaving Like the murderous psychopath on the basis of vat ordinary tribalism, but it's not it's always worse- to- have Mary tribalism xenophobia, racism in group, our group thinking potentially aided by a doctrine that people think is either handed from the creator of the universe or revealed from the enlightened mind of the the greatest spiritual, add up. Anyone ever paid attention to I dont disagree with you, and I know this is your particular here and I will House now Joseph, My only point was that but you see you seem to be dispute in any kind grid of emphasis on seal that I think I was noticing the buddhist tradition. That explains my be why we're not seen Tibetan Buddhist comma causes
and when did see then kamikaze here just seems like an accent of history. More than than any difference in the teeth, Are you saying then emphasizes compassion as much as the other traditions of Buddhism could? If so, I haven't seen that. I don't really know enough about then, in than culture in Japan to know the place you know that compassion plays. I mean I am familiar with the Kuan Yin, the being a major part of that tradition I'm not engaging in the conversation on the level of ok, which are the contributing forces which make things worse or better. It probably is worse. If things are contained right in the scriptures, they justify immoral behaviour, I'm just looking at whatever the conditions are
They know what, whether it's because there's something in the tradition or it's because of the file means that are still remaining in the mind and given given certain situations, they're gonna come up regardless of whether the tradition emphasizes emphasised, Scylla doesn't emphasise sealer, we are talking about people behaving as people yeas. These people are apes, with various degrees of psychological on health. So, however much there practicing or not, you're gonna get all of the yeah aberrant behaviour of unhappy apes, most of the amendments, and so I really really wandered her think wandered quite far from
when I owe it is it's on point, if in so far as sealer, that is, ethics is important. The degree to which its kept in view in a designation or it s eyes, yeah tradition or spelled out. Yes, zeal matters, yes, whether you're gonna grant. This is true of zen or any other tradition within Buddhism or not, we could invent a tradition right now. We could start our own called that didn't emphasise ethics at all, but all the full armament area of esoteric attention, all practices of meditation and- and you could teach mindfulness, but you can either never talk about ethics or or explicitly deny anything useful, very good, Oh, no, it doesn't matter how you behave just matters, whether your mindful well right I've been pillage and not see better. I think he's not here with you. I am totally in agreement about the
why do you sounds are dissatisfied with the key importance of sea. Let me talk about a lot and, and it's something of beauty in one's life was so it is said, tremendously powerful strength. I wouldn t, I guess these canvas the slight started disagreement, but a shift of emphasis, Yo Yo contrasting. That too, system nosey described of will you just being mindful without any reference to sealer and the deficit of that? I think you giving pride of place to mind from this rather than to wisdom,.
Mindfulness is in the service of wisdom. Mine from this is not an end in itself, but the big question is what we learn from being mindful because, as you. The language used mind from us as a training in attention. Ok, so that's that's really important ones were paying attention. What are we learning so? The wisdom component with ultimately leads to the uprooting of those funds in the mind which cause all a harmful actions. And so why do people behave badly in in all these various ways? Because of greed in the mind because of anchor because of fear because of hatred as long as those still in the mind they are going to find expression, my
understanding and seen a limited experience on walking along the path that different of these to farm and actually get weakened and finally uprooted through wisdom. That's the key point with Sea LE ends the mind from this wisdom. Spectrum come together. Who does take us back to our last conversation with this, this model of uprooting and the stages of insight, but whether or not that's true, most of us are in the position of having what you're, calling the defilement, not decisively uprooted, they're gonna continue to arise as we weeps by force a negative mind. States will contain arise, fear and anger and desire, and that I think, there's a separate conversation to be had about just. Whether those minds they are in fact intrinsically negative, and what is someone like a boot?
really without fear, desire, anger or their sort of enlightened analogues of all of those states of mind our enlightened relationship to the state of mind. So just just how unrecognizable is the experience of a quote: enlightened master. That's another question, but leaving that aside, given the situation that most of us are in, which, as you know, that the greatest ahead, sir, I don't wanna, be plain, then the question is How long do they play for and what are the consequences of airplane, given whatever quality of attention you can bring? In the present moment- and they are having a some kind of conceptual framework that sets the that sets, the reasonable behaviour, ethically speaking, is incredibly important. That was completely important to them. I think it's really worth bringing that teaching to the forefront as being made as being the framework
The foundation not only conveys a protection against excessively harmful actions. But it also directly related to the ability to develop mindfulness and concentration, because when we do, and wilful actions and then we're meditating is very common experiences that these come to mind. We start remembering, them often with qualities of remorse now, feeling badly about having done something that was harmful or unskilful, and if we are
continually doing those actions. The mind is in a very unsettled state and its very difficult, then, for the mind, to saddle become concentrated, become more mindful, knowing experienced the deeper places of meditation, this direct link between Scylla and the ability to to enter into meditative states. That's always emphasised in the teaching that debts. If you have a disordered life where you're behaving I ethically you're not gonna, be able to concentrate effectively and in any kind of meditative practice. I guess I am somewhat agnostic as to whether not that's always true back. I can see why one would throw leaving Europe, even if not always true too often, tria yeah yeah, I still think of milk to Nanda, so the existence, proof of spiritual athlete and something approaching
a psychopath, although I guess you could discount slightly for different cultural expectations, will there's another question here from a crush on, but a sharia you never got around to explaining emptiness. Last time you said you would, but you kept getting sidetrack, leave it to us to talk for two and a half hours about emptiness without ever explaining it. Ah, you wanna take that. I give a talk explaining some ways of experiencing emptiness arena life and our practice, so this will just beer. A brief summary of that. So I think the most ordinary experience of emptiness, which reveal felt at different times, could be understood as a laugh.
Of self centeredness, and usually, we think of self centeredness as being a kind of personality problem? If somebody self centered, you know my friends might suggest going to a therapist to become a little less so, but it actually has you know a more profound meaning to be less self centered, have an absence of self centered. This means that, instead of having the notion or idea of self as being the central point around which our lives revolve, as they almost always do, for most people You know are caught up in our wants an undesired, and I fear that our hopes in our and disappearance following around the sense of self, as we practice We move into what I
Well, the Dama realm of experience, which revolves around, but I sometimes referred to as the zero centre of emptiness instead of things revolving around the sense of self, as we become less self centered. In that way, we begin to see that our lives is the unfolding of the Dama. Then zero centre of emptiness becomes the reference point you know for our lives. So how would you distinguish or not the concepts of selflessness, an emptiness in this particular framework? This anonymous and I want to ask site open to one of my burmese teachers in pallaby.
Do you know anything about the word for selflessness, Annetta, an emptiness distributor, and I asked him what what's the difference was in? He said no trouble you're pretty little had about it now. He actually said at least from his understanding that there were the same. So would the which surprised me So this is one way of understanding emptiness to mean that, So another way we experience emptiness again in this is convene a mundane way, but we get a flavour of it is win. Sometimes we just find ourselves in a state of, Flow where things are happening really without any effort and sometimes a could in my The music of sports are some creativity. Are.
When we in the zone- and things are just happening, that doesn't seem to be the sense of self involved and generally things are happening much better for it. Now, because the self the eye is out of the way, and so, let's just another flavour, we will get a flavour of emptiness. Lack of self sentiments
In that regard, another way we can experience, it sometimes has been where, with great teachers, who really seem to be very selfless empty of self. You know I've seen this with various of my teachers and one particular situation comes to mind when I take a deep. You know this wonderful woman, amazing, amazing yoga, and you know it reached eyes, levels of realization and full of methane, compassion and very empty one time. She was in the meditation hall in very authentic, and I just happened to notice when she came in and she bowed to the Buddha, and it was so striking to me.
But she was so she so embodied the teachings. It was like emptiness, bowing to emptiness or love bowing to love. It felt like there was no one there, so sometimes we we can into it just from some very great beings. There's another whole level of understanding emptiness, and this comes from some of the other traditions. It's not so much emphasising the selfless nature emptiness of self in the way that I have been describing, but the empty nature of the mind itself.
And so, for example, in many Tibetan was then teachings in one way or another. The instruction will be look for the mind. Can you find the mind and in them instruction when you actually looking for the mind in that way, they can be the experience of nothing to find and, as took organ were often say, the not finding is the finding that's what's to be found that there is nothing to find, and so that can be a direct experience of the empty nature. Of the mind is nothing to find any
Knowing awareness is still, there is of this, a very famous Suzanne dialogue, which I have actually used a lot in my practice. In Lisbon, body Dama was United vote the teachings to China, but before he started teaching, he was just sitting this cave as it said for nine years, and then this this one follower come some. Please teach me how to prove the disciple had approve his metal, but finally body Dama comes out of his cave ends. The disciple says she know I'm suffering so much. Please, please pacify my mind and body domicile system show me your mind and I'll pacify it. The disciples as I've looked for it everywhere and I can't find it and then body damask,
as there is already pacified, and it's very interesting when I ve often tell the story, you know in a new cheats and very often people hear it in that way they hit the punchline there. It's already pacified people will laugh. Makes its conversion witticism for them. I can't find it bear its already pacified missing the fact that there is a profound teaching men, those your future. Mccarthy pilot, train, notable our often use that very that very dialogue yeah, maybe just engage in my life while taking the walk Sunday ruminating about some difficulty or whatever I seem that my mind is caught up in some kind of suffering and because I'm
very familiar with that little dialogue. All I need to say to myself is already pacified. It's the reminder that the mind is emptying this way, there's nothing to find, and it's amazing just in that remembrance had recollection in that moment, The mind is already pacified here, so all of this, this is like a whole, a smorgasbord, although that will last one at least to my ear in my experience, seems to also focus on a nata or selflessness, because here it when you're looking for the mind you're looking for a thinker, yeah you're, not finding a thinker,
you're finding the next thought arising or not. Where does it go? There's nothing to see and the lack of structure is consciousness around this phenomenon were calling mind, is what comes to the fore and the self seems to imply a structure. Yes, I guess what this question, or maybe also wondering about, is the larger teachings on emptiness within Buddhism. Certainly in a tradition like madam, if I were you there talking not just about the quality of our minds but about the nature of reality ass, it does say either based on in the interdependence of everything where any concept you'd apply to it, Pacific thing under analysis begins to IRAN and you can't find that thing at this famous dialogue, Holly Cannon around M yesterday, the questions of King Belinda, where he's asking you know where the chariot is end, I forget who it is,
the at somebody. Agrafena Nicosia says: is it in the wheels? Is it not stir up? Is it in the pointed to the various parts of the chair Although a stirrup undemocratic replied with a five day, is it Any of one of these pieces, and clearly it's not you, take all the pieces apart that there's no cherry to be found and cherry Agnes, isn't in any one or two pieces, and so it's the concept of chariot is applied to a constellation of chariot parts, if no one of which is a chariot and so that this interdependent arising of any phenomenon. Obviously this consideration can be pointed inwards, you Look at anger say, whereas angers anger, that feeling of energy in your face is the feeling in your chest is at the thought of the person. Your Riyadh arising in passing away. No one,
These things is anger, and yet anger is this name. We give to a constellation of mental phenomenon. I think this is a point here which, which might be worth illumined. Reading, which is about the Union of Appearance and emptiness, and so that the examples that's often use them, and I like what is in it related to your example of the chariot, is that of a rainbow after rain. Sometimes we see rainbow and is really beautiful island. There is often a nice delighted feeling in us, but when we look more carefully received is there anything which is a rainbow. And when we analyze it down a careful ever there's no rainbow. Apart from just as you mentioned, the chariot, this
this water and air and light and the conditions come together in a certain way, and so there's an appearance of rainbow so attention, thing is not to deny the level of appearance the appearances there and we experience it. And yet the rainbow is just a designation foreign appearance, its nodded designation for something that is very in itself and so that's another understanding of emptiness. Just in this regard, there is one little exchange where the tibetan teacher, when somebody asked him you know, is the self real and his response was yes material. But it's not really.
Real you exaggerated, and I love that, because on one level the self is in appear there's an appearance of herself of Salmon Joseph and everybody else. But when we look more carefully, it is just an appearance of conditions coming together and said: that's in that case at a different cell then the self I am recommending and you are recommending that someone lose in the inside of a nata. I would say that referring to the person that they may have, a person is like it. Harriet appoint a programme Arles yet were a human mind. The mind clearly exists. People clearly exist and the other designated upon processes in parts that are once you separate them. Then there there is in some way a paradoxical
there's nothing to find this, but the self it is an illusion that can be cut through that's an illusion in a different sense. That is something that you can not find and still oh all, of the phenomenology of having a mind and being a person and being in a world with curious and rainbows all of that is still present and yet, but the implied centre in consciousness can drop away. So that's as one point that there's gradations to this illusion. Another thing I put in this category is free will free will is a misconceived notion to have to wait awareness. It's not that it's not like a chariot were rainbow. It's actually not there. Yes right, the self is like that. The self that is the ata that that are not, I can source is like that that doesnt cancel the human mind, doesn't cancel the phenomena of thoughts and emotions and bodily nation to that's a difference on pointing to. I haven't quite understood what that comment was in reference to fix. It
What is it that I totally agree with? That is the way we moved from the analogy. Of the chariot and the rainbow to the cell following potentially misleading. Could it could be misleadingly applies to the person it applies to the human mind. It doesn't apply, at least, in my view, to the sense of there being a thinker. Nevertheless, yes, but I think it's just a way of acknowledging the conventional. Designation. You know that here we are the same sitting over there and I'm ring over here and we're talking to another. So in the convey that sort of self yet exists the up, such as the yeah so long as the person exist since just acknowledging that, but the Buddha went much deeper to see that when you look carefully
does it refer to anything in and of itself, it's just a collection of of elements right, yet that what's different about the self those it we seem to experience the self essence as being a centre to consciousness and a thinker thoughtlessness in a way that we don't impute a chariot or rainbow essence when we look closely at them there's another connection. Emptiness of it just occurred to me, which is the experience of selfishness, does when its experienced clearly does change one's experience of the outer world so that there is a an experience of what I would call emptiness when looking at the world. That is
the consequence of this centre. Looseness, which is the concepts one applies to the world, are held much more loosely the until it not. The first is a mountain and there is no more than out well does that help? Is that given the documents on has that, but it also just in the Are you saying it is suggested that we're fine emptiness well or that of Baltic, its it becomes a steady state of that realisation. Whereas one can have one can have a motivation, transforming one of selfishness and so many times still get caught up in identification with one thing or another, so oh yeah, yeah that you are making the deeper
then point of view no longer having to address you, as I too am just just an interesting point. Here is, and it was made both by the gardener and one of are seen as such investors, national kenyan Pitcher, in talking about different kinds of attachment, which said that, attachment to things being solid and real, knowing in some substantial way is very problematic, but even worse and more difficult to uproot is attachment emptiness, because people can get some notion of emptiness and be continually up levelling every conversation even ones dogma practice. O everything is
doing nothing matters young out and they both negligent and near for Canada. Machu were saying for people who are caught in that attachment is extremely difficult to come out of it, because there is no there's no place to take a stand, but it's a conceptual places. It's not a place of actual real, saying. Well, that's what I think we touched on in the last part cast around some liability. Is that more sign in Punta jeez Z in that area, which is, I guess for which vedantic as a tradition, as is also somewhat culpable? This answer
this on the all or nothing quality of the realization? And there is nothing to practise apart from just getting it capital, Eyeglass, it'll tee, and if you ve gotten it there's no reason to practice and if you feel there's a reason to practise, you haven't gotten it having the path articulated that steeply. This leaves a lot of people pretending to have gotten it or having some experience and no conceptual understanding that they can then practice that Acta, as others, left thinking about it and asserting conceptually and becoming incredibly annoying. There's a related question here, I'm seeing on twitter witches from Joseph Kay One of Kafka's characters is eco laws, one state or their various kinds and degrees of eagle laws. If the latter elaborate on the different types is their only one insight into the illusory to sue the self? I think this can be entered in several different ways to
come to mind just at the moment, though, in the classical terawatt a model of the funds being uprooted at the first stage of stream entry first stage of awakening, one of the defiance that's uprooted, is wrong view. So there is a deep enough in transforming enough realisation of emptiness that the view of self the view that there is some self centre to this whole process that uprooted and so once whole view of others. Mind body in the world really is transformed. What's interesting, though, is that there is another defilement of mind which is not uprooted until the last stage of awakening to one is in our hunt, which is called the deferment of conceit, political manner and conceit means?
that sense of I am, and we experienced this. I am in two different ways. We can experience it over time and is when we have the sense of I was in whatever way we were in the past. I am this way now I will be in the future. So it's a more global self concept, a narrative sell for in the autobiographical self yell at answered. That's one way it can be experience. It can also be the this conceit of I am, can also be experienced in terms of Winwood, comparing ourselves with others in one way or another which we do a lot. That's that's a very common pattern. We see ourselves is better or worse or in whatever
way where evaluating more beautiful, less beautiful, smart or not smarter, so that's another manifestation of I am what's interesting is that this pattern is very deeply conditioned. It still Larry. Even after the wrong view of self has been uprooted. We ve had a a realisation that the view of self is incorrect and am really has been uprooted, but the habit pattern of the conceit is so deeply conditions that the habit pattern continues. The difference is that even as we're caught in that happen pattern, the understanding is that the conceit itself is selfless So we don't have the view that that pattern is self, even though the very pattern is constellated, Some sense of I am in that moment, so that part of the gradation of the understanding.
There's one other way of understanding the gradation which I find really useful because it is exceedingly pragmatic. You we can talk about emptiness, we talk about selflessness and some people may resonate with it. Some people it just feels too abstract and see, what's really being talked about here in one way, the most pragmatic experience of self and selflessness really has to do with Whether in any moment of experience, there is an identification with that experience as being I or money, so a thought comes if we're identified with a thought, I'm thinking This is my thought. In that moment, the notion of self is being created. It's not that the self is something that there has to be uprooted. It simply a question.
Do we stop creating a moment at the moment through not identifying with what arising- and I find this just really useful, because then it becomes interesting to what ok, what are the one of the things we most commonly identify with one of the kind of thoughts. Now many thoughts come and go, we're not identified with them. The dislike sounds passing through, but then certain thoughts we will be identified with was certainly motions. There are certain situations in the bodies not being identified with thought, at least in my lexicon. Is synonymous with recognising thoughts as thoughts now better at as already a high level of of mindfulness practice for for someone to be able to do that with any kind of regularity. So we say that are we talking about thoughts that pass through an order Mary persons mind without much consequence, and yet there is still not recognised
not now I'm talking about the first programme- and I would say it's true- that it takes some degree of mine from this, but to go back to your earlier point. I don't think it's a question. I use the inward hunting. It's a question of momentum. I think in his going backwards conversation I think it's more a question interesting if people are interested in watching their minds and understanding their minds. This is a cop. City that we all have it doesn't take any great meditative depth skill we just have to be interested in noticing, you know as they come and many we read it. I will we won't be mindful of rules will be caught up in, but the more interested we are we can. We can see them and noticed the difference between being last night and fight with them, and not so I think this great potential here for getting glimpse,
is of selfishness in the midst of our ordinary lives. I've seen many questions about go Ankara's style of body scanners, verses, the mahogany style of noting or just any other form of mindfulness? I think some of this could be inspired by the last podcast, where you describe your voice the unpleasant experience of striving in a goal oriented way in the context of practicing undergo anchor. So many people are wondering whether you feel that there is a better or worse version of mindfulness practices. May one, and not at all of us, think that, Inter Municipal J, my first injury, he had a very open, curious mine, so he was very non non dogmatic non sectarian after he pressed
this is the most of his practice with Mahars society in Burma, and then he went and he said he studied over fifty different ways of doing for personal in Burma, and he just had this tremendous interest in and I really appreciate. Can what I learned from them in terms of beaten, his non sectarian attitude and having practised in a few of those different modes of personal. I definitely do not see one as being better or worse than another. They're all skilful means at different times for different people, one or another may be more or less effective, and I've been as striving in. The method as in doing go anchors method, I've been striving doing so ten and striving has nothing to do with the fact that you are really doing wrong,
he's doing it wrong in all of unrelated right until June. Rise of all things to say Ivan Ral, exactly well like injuring yourself eating frozen yogurt. The same is true in positive one is striving in that unskilful, since it is not doing it directly by That is a pattern that he's in us the others Does that wanting in the mind, and we have to learn to see it in order to let go of it viewers. Private indulgent again, you can let go of it. I was the consequence of all Europe's Mediterranean. You were trying to exert on we're, trying to figure out how to pass an ice it. I think it's the liability of an liability. I think it is in a way it's part of the path that everybody that
yeah that when the Buddha was talking about the example of a right effort and a million understanding, what that means use the example of tuning the strings of allude to I too loose it's only by watching the mind in these various ways that we say very, that we come to the balance of non striving well in defence of your strive in, and there are all the other things that are. The other practice as you get handed in ocean beyond this insight into emptiness or non dwell bathers that all of the visual stuff that gets emphasise later on and even aside from that even in the zone can practise itself seventy Rinpoche, I had had a beautiful little piece, which I can remember it in detail. Now he was basically talking about the various levels of kind of attachment of striving in
doing so Chen practice as one is learning it that this is not if the mastering it, but in the learning of it very natural tendency of the mind you know maybe to get a glimpse of the empty nature of mind and in wanting to sustain prolong sir, there are so many subtleties, a good analogy that he uses, for that very error is it's like, ringing the bell and then try to prolong the natural continuity of the wreck. I get it your ring the bell ring at once, and then it last his lungs at last. You don't keep bashing the Bell granted so there are many here: each tradition has its own its own particular forms of
you, ve of doing a drunk, but that's all part of the learning. That's if we could do it perfectly from the beginning to we'd all be enlightened masters. I guess I just found out I'm not this. What this is in reference to open it just coming to mind in the momentum in a way for me, it ties together than pass him in his own channels, can vote all the traditions and for me the practice has become so simple integrated at this point and agreeably revolves around the foreign, noble truths. But a a pragmatic way, not in a non anew the radical way, and so in the Buddha talked about Nirvana. Are they the free mind as being the end of craving
and so he says it's in many places very explicit. Does the truth of Duke of the truth, the suffering and the cause of that is. We talked about a little bit before Canada wanting minds itself, one itself itself, state of suffering and the end of Duca is the end of craving and for a long time. I would think of that as being the far off goal now care. If I practice after twenty years, a twenty lifetimes- maybe maybe at some point, I reach the end of grey but in what one point on which I had a kind of realisation that, though we can actually practice the end of craving moment to moment Then it becomes very interesting to watch in all the ways we discuss. The kind of thee
the wrong ways of doing practice, whatever the practices, but the proposals or China different techniques of impossible. That, basically, the wrong ways of doing them involve some kind of craving or other wanting something, and that. The release from craving in the moment the mob let it go about wanting that craving is a settling back. You can take into emptiness, went to self. Listen to certain to open this annoying to be empty nature of mind, is Tagore Game and say: if we do that short moments, many times we see the craving in the release from it and actually pay attention to what that experience is of going from craving a wanting to not wanting, and
recognize the nature of the mind free of craving right, even if it's just for a moment or two, then we get caught again in private. And then again release so in one way that becomes a whole practice in that's that's the practice, essentially of all the traditions, it's the end of craving and it doesn't have to be seen in terms of simply afar off. Go it's actually the practice moment to moment. So I have one final question. I shall close on this and this a m the spirit of the questions. I would imagine one you don't get a lot, because we are in the business of teaching meditation to people who already concede that they want to learn it, but in it my business
I am talking to people who are, as you know, rather radically skeptical of religion in general, has, I think they should be, but by association of any project that has any historical entanglements with religion, in this case Buddhism, and so there's just a the question of why do any of this, and why isn't this? Just no better than thinking happy thoughts or having a whatever reasonably happy life, you can eat out by totally ordinary secular, a scientific and non introspective, slash spiritual pursuits. So there's the fundamental doubt of. Why is this interesting, relevant wisely anything other than one of the variants of confusion that we see religious imbeciles fall into century after century. What would you say to some one who,
doesn't see. The point in any of those are anything we ve talked about thus far, and this work, which we found my people. And talking about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin to some number of people who are listening to us if they ve gotten this far. How would you start the conversation with such a person? I sought the conversation by suggesting that people explore an app then Harris and I just create work at an that's. My job advised. Let me, was about the app it'll friend Dan Harris have just created as some of the lesson is now, then houses is in ABC News Anchor and he wrote this best selling by ten percent happier
after coming on a ten day, retreat and being really turned on to the potential for becoming ten percent happier in one's life, but he came from the perspective of being a total sceptic as book is very funny and engaging both about his professional life, but also about his men state of experience. That's why I want that blow by that's why I recommend his book to people before I reckon my book. I recommend that people read his book. Ten percent happier before mine waking up because it really the perfect introduction for especially for my crowd, because he was so sceptical this and his entrance into this practice is so fraught with.
Consequences of scepticism. Is it's hilarious and very, very useful who he does or of the tremendous humor end, and so we had the idea to create a meditation app for sceptics and it basically addresses the question you know any part of it is dialogue that we're having together in potter just audio guided minute, Patients are very short in five to ten minutes in length, and it really is about both learn. Skills of meditation in the service of first, becoming a little happier knowledge letting go of those patterns in the mind that causes suffering and learning how to do this, and this does not require any belief system and it doesn't require. Any special outfit, it's just becoming interested in what aspects of our minds and our lives are conducive to
happiness and which are not which which does create patterns of suffering over and over again, and it's all very simple, it's very straightforward and there's a way to do this. In a totally non sectarian non religious framework, one of the things that my first teach him and introduced to me when I went india- and I was looking for meditation but he's had something so simple and so pragmatic. He said if you want to understand your mind, set down and observe it, and those who have health is just this, so much common sense to it. How else can we understand the cells except by learning, to pay attention and meet them in a very simple and straightforward way? There's this obvious point? But it's not obvious to many of us, which is your mind, is all you have Michaud me an experience that you're having that isn't mediated by your and show me a relationship that isn't as good or bad
as it is based on the minds involve exist. So if there is some way too the remainder to understand it and actually have a better experience. As a result of that understanding, this, it seems worth looking into lilies in five minute intervals. At some point of view, that I think as an antidote to scepticism. I would say be sceptical as you want one realise that you don't have an argument against paying closer attention to what it's like to be you, if you want to understand yourself in some way and The moment you attempt to pay attention, you encounter the difficulty of that project and that could become interesting to you. Why is it so hard to pay attention to anything for more than one second at a time and then you'll see that there is actually a methodology to get better at that and again it is, you just said it has absolutely nothing to do.
Though historically it has had something to do with believing various things about the nature of the universe that we can call religious. It does not, in principle, have anything to do with that. Yes, your app, who would be a great way for someone who has no experience or ie, or even someone who has experience if they want to formalize as this effort it I'll get you do it in a way that you may not manage on your own and in Europe having someone who, in some of these meditation apps are awful, because what you have is, they clearly someone who's, just reading a script news, not someone who knows, even when the import of the words that their reading, as that's not the case across the board. But I've seen some of those apps too. But in your case, but Great about the marriage between you and dad. As you have some one is really in touch with the sceptical
mind you have someone like yourself whose actual expert on the practice- so that's that's great, there's also a coach involve busy coaching function of this right. Rap Rich can also be a helpful support, there's a problem. I know it depends when we release his podcast, but when I was looking for you happen, the app store it was not easy to find as a problem of just discovery and in apples Appstore. So I will put the link to the relevant spot in the app store so that you guys can find that happened at the APS called temporary on how to ten percent happy. It's ten number right, ten and then the percent sign is there a problem her and yet that, though, it's not written out in words, ok, but if people have overcome greater obstacles to enlighten getting their search terms rather well. Thank you. Joseph has another long instalment and hopefully useful to the home. Now three people followed us for once again a play
to talk to you on this topic always fun to be continued. If you find Comcast viable. There are many ways you can support it you can review it on Itunes or stitches. Whoever happens to listen to it. You can share and on social media. With your friends, you can buy about her discuss it on your own podcast or even supported directly, and you can do this subscribing through my website at SAM Harris, DOT, org and there Fine, subscriber only content which includes my- ask me anything episodes. He also get access to advance tickets to my live events as well streaming. Video of some of these events And he also get to hear the bonus questions from many of these interviews.
Transcript generated on 2020-03-24.