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#364: Getting Over Yourself | Joseph Goldstein

2021-07-14

For the uninitiated, Joseph Goldstein is one of the cofounders of the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) alongside Sharon Salzberg and Jack Kornfield. Since its founding, thousands of people from around the world have come to IMS to learn mindfulness from leaders in the field. 

In this episode Joseph covers strategies for getting over yourself. Every year, Joseph does a three-month retreat by himself at his home in Massachusetts. This year, he emerged with a bunch of thoughts on what’s called “the three proliferating tendencies,” or three “prapancas,” to use the ancient Pali term. 

These are three ways in which we perpetuate a sense of self -- not a healthy sense of self, but an unhealthy sense of self. You can think about the process of going deeper in meditation as a process of lightening up or getting less self-centered. Now, you’re about to get a master class in doing just that. 

Download the Ten Percent Happier app today: https://10percenthappier.app.link/install

Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/joseph-goldstein-364

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
From ABC this is the ten percent happier podcast calm down Harris hello today on the show we ve got some strategies for getting over yourself. Joseph Goldstein is a fan favorite on this It is also a personal favorite of mine. Given that he's been my meditation teacher for more than a decade every year Joseph does it three month retreat by himself at his home. In Massachusetts. This year he emerged with a bunch of thoughts on what are called the three prolific. rating tendencies or three proposed chose to use the ancient Polly term. These are three ways in which we perpetuate a sense of self, not a healthy sense of self, but an unhealthy sense of self. Like the Beatles sang about in that song. I me mine, as Joseph has explained,
to me and many others before you can think about the process of going deeper in meditation as a process of lightening up or getting less self centered you're about to get a master class in doing just that. For the uninitiated. Joseph is one of the co founders of the insight meditation society Berry Massachusetts. He was working at that time alongside to other meditation titans share in Salzburg and Jack Cornfield. Since I am ass was founded. Thousands of people from around the world have come through. To learn about my fulness from many many leaders in the field. I in fact just got back from a little retreat. There myself Joseph, has been a teacher there since the place was founded in the nineteen seventies and he continues to be the resident guiding teacher he's. Also a founding teacher of our campaign.
In meditation app, he created our flagship courses, teaching the basics of meditation, as well as some advance courses on compassion and stress. So if you want to learn directly from Joseph and maybe even put into practice, the insides? He shares in this very interview. You can download the ten percent happier app today, wherever you get your apps ok here we go now with Joseph Goldstein, hello Joseph I then begs for coming back on the show I haven't. The luckily nothing I have done in the last. Whenever twelve months as you ve, been on, the show has efficiently. Alienated you that you ve got the enemy for life. Now it's a pleasure to be here, then so I had the pleasure of watching some talks that you had given recently where you were talking about what are known as the three proliferating factors. I think I have that right
Am I using the terminology correctly proliferating tendencies, what do you mean by that? And then what are they? Ok, so first just out of general interest that I just want to mention the Polly word for that proliferating, tendency policies, the language of the ancient put this tax, because it's it's one of those terms that comes up frequently even in our minds. course on the teachings suggest to familiarize listens to that term. Its puncher- and I like the public because it sort of is on a mile up here, sort of sounds like what are they sat back, I'm sure it's just the mind proliferating any operating from the bare elements of arts, things from the building blocks of our experience. We then build hauled worlds
and then getting meshed in one way or another. In those words, and so there are three the main tendencies which led us in that direction, and it's very helpful to become aware of them to distinguish between them and learn how to free ourselves from them, if not completely at least have more wisdom in relief
and then, when we see them arising till it's basically what poncho of is proliferating tendencies of mind, just it expands in quite a powerful way, just the complexity of our lives, the typically with regard to how sufferance created and how we can become a little more free. When I use the word historically, I must be using the Sanskrit version, because I have often said per hour posture. It sounds like that difference between Pauline Sense groups, which are very close, I love, the term propaganda or puncher were, however, you want to pronounce it or spell it, and I've heard a translated as the imperialistic tendency of mind in the end that you, who you take our data point from the present moment, like you, stub your toe and you colonized, the future,
you're with Ms Hall, I, why am I always? The guy was stubs Neto. You know this is gonna hurt forever and what you are talking about here, these three sort of runaway true- aims of propaganda that are really three of the main contributors to how we suffer as humans yeah. I, like your description of them ringing. stopping imperialists in our minds to print recurred those tender. So let's go through the tendencies yeah yeah. Should we take em one at a time the first one is craving maybe before we do- that just set the larger framework,
behind it, all its expressed in one very succinct teaching of the borders which he actually gave to his son were hula sites. It has a kind of touching aspect, heritage, the Buddhist leading his own son, on this path of liberation and there's a whole story behind it with but in telling him everything should be seeing with perfect wisdom. This is not mine I am not. This is not myself so not mine. Not I not myself. Everything should be seen in that light and saw the three the three proliferating tendencies, connected to the sense of mine- will belong to me or to I am- I am
this or or to the view of self, so that those that's the underlying framework for understanding that proliferating tendencies, not mine, not I not myself sudden, Mine is connected to craving taking things too belong to me so that a million examples of this we do it all the time. So I ll just give one example from a meditative practice. I might begin to see the freeing aspect of it. You have we're doing walking meditation, for example, and weeping pretty mindful of the movement the touch would be quite common to have one might almost say a subliminal or very fast. The overlay of a sense of leg.
You know we walkin leg or fight. So even if we are feeling the sensations of the movement and attach very commonly. A very quiet overlay would be that sense of leg foot, but actually we don't feel the fight. We don't feel like there's no sensation called leg with. We are feeling hardness see. No one with touching me round, or maybe you know movement so leg is the concept. once we already have that concept, leg, v, Mary commonly, we would think of it as my leg, so right there, where Getting involved in this belongs to me. This is mine. And when it's mine we have
kinds of wanting saw cravings about it. I and whatever is mine to be this way or that way or not to change all kinds of things. Come out of that believe that things belong to me. So this is a very simple example just working, but just imagine how many times this play Out in one's life, what's wrong with claiming my own leg is mine what's wrong with it? Is that it's not people living in the whole region Once again, so. For example, if we really deeply embedded in math both the view and sense
being mine, then A couple of things, one is. We are going to suffer when things happen to it, that we don't want it to happen. Let's leave the example of the leg. Berwick just take the whole body, the body to be mine belonging to me well, the more attached we ought to that. How do we feel as the body ages as it gets sick as it dies? That's going to create a lot of suffering, whereas if we see the body you don't just the physical elements which make up the body is being just an aspect of nature, its non personal. It's just these physical elements in Tino certain configuration fulfilling functions subject to the laws of impermanence and change. When we see In that way, we will
claiming to be my hand, then, as through the inevitable changes. This is not like that happens to some people and not the workers and all of our bodies. Go through this process, then we really. It is where, in harmony with nature, rather than creating a punch creating a mental proliferation which adds to the basic experience of what's happening. This idea, this is mine, and you can see that when that strong, then it leads to a lot of craving of how we would like the body to
and just how much of our society is built on advertising things that appeal to our sense of what we would like our bodies to be like, because we take it to be me. We take them to be self, we take it to be mine, so it has a lot of consequences. Here as replay out our lives. So craving is one of these papaya slash propaganda, let's just a puncture: let's use the pall. Ok, let's just do it Joseph says, as It sets a craving epithet, there's no craving that. So that's that's craving. The next is conceit,
so this is really interesting. First, it's to understand that in the Buddhist terminology, conceit mean something else different then I usual understand what I mean in English fixin English generally, use that word to mean a very inflated sense of oneself, someone is conceded. Nepali word for conceit is Mamma. I may say so in this Buddhists usage of that war heard how it's been translated in English has concede is much broader most. Basically, it refers to this deeply deeply felt sense of I am it's fifty I am this which manifest
in a few different ways, it can manifest. I am income Paris into other p, so I'm better, then I'm worse than equal to just some comparing function is all considered conceit. because, even when it's in a negative way no I'm not as good as the person that still solving around that. I am sense that's one way, the conceit manifest in comparing- and it would be interesting to note- is not only the obvious times when that's happening. You know where it really is very, very clear in our minds, my senses that it happens a lot often under the radar, and it might be interesting just to notice when we interacting with people particularly p.
Maybe that we're I don't know that well or perhaps a meeting for the first time just to see if there's any under current in that meeting, come here Maybe comparing personality you're comparing intelligence are comparing looks whatever you can kind of going on in the background that I think is often unnoticed, but still exerting its influence on our minds. So that's one aspect of conceit. Does this comparing and the other aspect is the I am over time. So I was thinking Of how I was in the past or how I am in the future in the present, or how
it will be in the future so that that also is an expression of conceit. So it's pretty pervasive and it's a contraction as soon as we become identified with that for liberation. In the mind the I am it, it's not a pleasant stated sound equality of happiness. It just feels like this contraction of our being as either there are many people listening to the show who you are familiar with
buddhist concept to will completely understand what you're talking about, but there may be others who are certain new to this in our thinking. What is this guy talking only mean I am as across and pain. I, of course I am. I look in the mirror- and I see me so wise at a problem. So first, in order to can come to some full understanding of all this. I think it is helpful to talk about the basic building blocks of our experience. because then the proliferation will become more apparent? So what are the basic building blocks of how we experience ourselves in the world?
Well, it's quite a measuring because it comes down to some very simple things and the Buddha talked about this and he gave one discourse which he called the all. So he described the all, which is everything in six phrases. so decides pretty amazing. Ok! So what is the or? What is the all. The eye invisible objects, the ear.
And sound the nose and spell the tongue and taste the body in sensations and the mind and mind abject thoughts, emotions images, tat are just these six things. Sites and smell taste touch an object of mind and the Buddha challenge Paypal. Does anybody experienced anything outside of the six things, so I find it quite amazing year because very often we think our lives is so complicated and other such confusion, but really its ever happening is one of these six things happen. In some way I see it is our lives everybody's lives. It's like a six peace chamber orchestra
that's playing the music of our lives. So what makes the music De the harmonious and beautiful or discordant are not the first five another site, sound smell taste, What touch there's no problem in any of them, some pleasant summer unpleasant, but that's all fine to come. Laxity in the confusion and the suffering comes in our mental response to these six things how we relating to them and HU. The pointed out, those way of relating that cause suffering and
those ways of relating to these six very simple things in ways that create peace, create happiness for us. So the point in talking about, I am the conceit. I am this an important doorway into freeing ourselves from a lot of suffering side. I just want to read something grasping and cherishing that
does not exist, is the centre of all our suffer. So we have created the sense of self, which is the last of the three points of view of self. We ve created this view of self and made it into something substantial. In our view, and then we cherish and we hold onto it, only do all kinds of things, but, as it says, we're grasping at cherishing that which does not exist because all really exist are those six thinks site smell stays, sensation, indifferent, mind objects. Are we getting clear or more confused? Let me just ask a question: let me guess: channeled do you know they did? the general you sell, get me of your or just to do a service system
Listeners who may have non nude newer to this? Yes, okay, so of its six peace chamber, orchestra and my sense of myself is this- is a beautiful phrase from my friend and colleague, the Buddhist teacher, Michaelson, if my sense of self is born in that blur of these six aspects of them all. And to claim any of it of as mine is as an took hold another buddhist teacher who I first heard of three you is to claim any of it is mine, is misappropriation of public property and causes suffering. Where does that leave me? Because I still you know you need to function in the world as me? Ok, I think before addressing that, specifically And you may have to remind me again of the question I have to finish this little digression.
I'm gonna know then, I think I just like this, and in a minute or two talking about the view of self or what self means pics everything when talking about really rests on that understanding or misunderstanding For example, I like to give in terms of explaining what non self means and this This kind of understanding of non self is absolutely central to the Buddhist teaching of liberation of freedom of greater happiness. So it's a really some central point to begin to explore it's not that easy to understand because its counter intuitive, you know, just as you said when you mean there's no, of course not here. I am
I need that to navigate in the world, so example that I'd like to give special in the last couple of years is that of a river. So we all know what a river is in its sitting of this body of flowing water and lots of rivers and we give the rivers different names, but is there anything that is a river separate from different, then or independent of the flowing water? Now river is simply a designation river is a designation for that process the water flowing in a particular channel. Some river is not a thing in itself. Just it's just a
word. We used to designate that phenomena. Self is just like river self. Is a designation for this changing process of my in body elements. Self is a designation for the all. Which is in constant change, constant flow, just like the water that we call a river in understanding none self, it doesnt mean that something is there that the suddenly disappear from those people who think that badge. feeling? Oh my god, if I really understand no self, what's gonna happen, all disappear in a puff of smoke is certainly an issue. Of course. It's not bad at all. It's him.
The understanding that the word self does not refer to anything substantial in and of itself. It's just a designation for the flow of changing elements. Ok, so once we understand that Then the I am. You know I'm in a river, do you know it Eddie is another. What is. Blowing down stream and then came a hit some obstacle and part of the water flows back you can't go around and around round, so if one is canoeing or rafting or something And you get caught in unity
just go around and around until something get you out of it and you you back in the stream, so the I am the I am is the concede. It's like an Eddie in this in the flow of our experience, we're going along along and then the minds of just the flow of that or the mixing matter, the flow of the river or the six chamber August is playing the music? going along fine, but then we get caught up in some mental fabrication. And we get caught either in that comparing mind or lost in past lost in future revolving around something that actually isn't it revolving around this mental.
creation of I am or self which, as I just said, is really just a designation for the flow ok. So then I do remember your question Have we not if we're not caught in these puncher of mine, I am or view of self. How do we actually navigate being this river of changing a flower Do we navigating away that skilful and, of course all of the buddhist teachings are really about the package is offering US ways: of living in this flow of impermanence of constant change and move and but in a way that brings about harmony where the things about peace, which is really just another way of saying,
How can we live in harmony with the nature of things with nature, and so. here's where another aspect of the teachings comes in, which is really important a minute. This is this is fundamental that actions, whether it Physical actions in our body, earth in speech, or actions of our mind that all our actions have consequences so they're not happening in isolation. Innovation could save it, they're a ripple effects from everything we do and the Buddha just pointed out what kinds of actions bring about suffering to ourselves and others And what kinds of actions bring about peace for ourselves and others? So once we learn that, then that's the blueprint for the template,
for living in the world, not needing the sense of I am the solidification are concerned. action in order to live effectively and happily. In fact with free or we are from that contraction? The happier we will be, how can I be held responsible for the consequences of my action? If I don't exist, you think you're gonna stem right now, we could get into a little a little thing here, then in the very way you asked the question. Forgive me for saying this, but reflects the delusion of the question
because how can I take responsibility for my actions if I don't exist so in the very first part of the question you The positive b, I really didn't exist, you wouldn't be positing it in the first place, but that, having been said, I just add to that of play with you a little bit. It's much more a question. The consequences of one's actions is that simply a conventional way of saying that the floor of our lives, the unfolding of our lives. The flaw is happening lawfully and so the prey and we'll condition in one way or another. What happens in the future
sense of eyes, not at all necessary to understand that actions have consequences. If this, the understanding that a certain action- and this is seizing the buddhist teachings, for example, if it's based in greed, urge basting hatred that the result of that action. he's going to be some kind of suffering down the road either immediately, no, which we feel or perhaps but down the road. It will be a seed for future suffering. So that's on this. No, I know sense of self needed to understand that cause and effect relationship, and so, if there is the desire for
greater peace or happiness rather than the desire for suffering. We should pay attention to the causes behind those different results, and none of that has to do with an eye of herself. civil law of nature you painted an apple seed. You're, not gonna, get a pear tree, so what kind of seeds are replanting? What kinds of seeds are being planted We don't need the eye in there at all and we're gonna get to that. The use of the passive voice, because you ve got a very what I found a very powerful practice
to run that just staying on this question of not self one framing, that's help me. I think I understand this begin to understand. This is talking about things on a relative level. This is these are terms of art here, relative level and its ultimate level. Can you explain those terms of art and and you think I'm onto something here in terms of this being a way that we can kind of grapple with the notion that we are more urgent. run deal that now and then spread, but never before the German, so this understanding of in codes schools of Buddhism, it's called the two levels of truth relative
and my truth. Another word that I like to use instead of relative is just conventional, conventional truth and we retain more. Ultimately, so on the conventional level. We use the term, Self and I knew and this, ordinary way of understanding things and for the purpose of communication. That's totally approach. it is also a matter of suggesting that, as we begin to explore for ourselves- and maybe even have some experience of what non self means, we don't give up conventional language, they are very awkward to say this process of the mental physical elements is feeling hunger, I'm hungry. So it's ones, then that is totally fine and appropriate to use conventional link.
The problem is that for most of us were most of the time we are seduced by that language into believing that is the more ultimate reality. Language is really important in terms of condition it how we experienced things and it it's very, very common, as I just said too, to be seduced by the convention, Lange, which of I mine interval
leaving that that has some substantial reality as opposed to being just stay convenience of communication. Let me give you an example of how understanding the proportion of conceit of understanding that it, how its working in recognising it can free the mind from a lot of unnecessary suffering. So there's just happened to be on a recently treat, but very fresh in my mind, so was on a retreat at home and doing fair amount of sitting in walking, but not super intensively I would be doing quite a lot, but at other times I would be doing little reading or perhaps some writing projects.
but in one afternoon I just found myself frittering away some time I didn't know what I was doing now, but I wasn't doing. anything very mindfully or constructively, and so on. I recognize this. I began to get down and myself a little bit now, a little self judgment came in here on retreat and who does modification teacher protein doing this frittering away this time. I was definitely feeling some kind of suffering involved in their self judgment on, for that short period of time. That feeling great about myself inside I myself coatings, but I'm familiar enough with all his teachings that at a certain point for me at that time, you didn't take battle on I've, seen a medal,
five or ten minutes a wallowing in there in the self judgment, but then, as often happens, when I'm suffering a lot, it peaks my interest- it's going to a wise my mind in this place of suffering. And I realized that it was just a situation of I aiming I'm so bad because wasted all this time, I as soon as recognized, the mindset of concede that particular the fireman- of mind, rather than focusing on the story of you, now spent all his time really waste bridge created that bad feeling. As soon as I reckon I know this is just
conceited work the sums up, what I aiming immediately in the recognition of that the whole mindset just let go. I was back in the present moment because I was recognising the basic element that was causing the suffering. It wasn't it act of furthering the time that was just what it was and is an obvious. They wasn't some great saying, but still it was enough to create that feeling it myself, but as soon as I let go of the self story, the I am story to recognising that this is just conceit working. This is just this particular punch up. The whole thing released is so. This is a very practical application of this. Everything we're talking about is not just about Buddhist.
Theory or buddhist philosophy, it's really about understanding how suffering is created in our lives and how we can be free on a very precise level terms of understanding how our minds is working, at least as nicely to these practices that you ve laid out that can help us get little tastes of third the freedom you're talking about. I believe you ve got three practices which, from what I've heard in your recent public utterances on this subject, three practices that help us deal with the three proliferating factors of craving concern, and wrong view, and the first of these practices you already kind, a reference which is the he's kind of using our language, to kind of reverse,
engineer and insight into our molecules in the linguistic change your suggesting is the passive voice. Can you talk about that? Yeah, just a little sidebar here I just finished listening to a really interesting book, called the code breaker by World Isaacs, and it is all about the fairly recent discoveries of was called crisper, which is basically tool for gene editing. The editing dna, which has tremendous implications for perhaps cure, or preventing disease and yet but to get it I'm just as you said on that sell you le level. You know I'm added something that creates problems is now happening in biology, so I like this is
kind of gene. It we get away getting in there to see. Ok, what's in it any of our understanding and we ended out? Those genes that create suffering so One way of editing one little practice we can do, which could give a sense of that is an application of a linguistic framework of how we are describing the world to ourselves. in language. Now, mostly we used language in the active voice. Does the subjects vermin object,
So I'm walking to town I'm eating some food or just a very simple basic grammatical construction of active voice, a subject performing inaction. The passing voice does something very interesting, and that is the passive voice takes the subject out of it. So, just as an example in the active voice, we might say I'm hearing the sand. I am right there right there with built in the eye Amis we ve built in the sense of self just in language and are ordinary conventional language to begin to play in the passive voice. We would say a sound is being
heard or a sound is being known, and so the passive voice takes the subject I out of the equation, and I have found this to be an extremely valuable frame for meditation. for a whole variety of reasons. One is it lets us more in alignment with the actual state of affairs that we not positing a designation a conventional designation to be an essential element of the experience just what we usually doing just enough What Mary use of language some ways the passive voice, in framing or meditative experience, and then all of our experience
Things are being known, it's a way of really touching into the effortless nature of meditation. If there is an aim that is trying to do something. So then there's an effort being involved for that. I am actually at the beginning of people's factors, but even later on as well, that effort in quality which is different than arousing energy, that that's that's a different thing, I'm talking about a in unskilful effort being or forcing or expect. thing all other rooted in the eye as soon as we drop into the past the voice of things being known. We can merely settled back, we ve taken the eye out of it and new exe,
differences arising by themselves in each moment,. There's no one, there doing anything less than an eye there, the all the other six things I just arising, one after another side of sound smell and so a very simple meditative exercise which, having would give people a aerial, immediate sense of what this means is just to spend five minutes. Ten minutes not along factors. Short period of time, either in sitting or in going for a walk. This can be done it in any time holding the question just holding the frame of the question moment after a moment, what's being none and then,
back then just recognising what is being known moment at the moment, a site, a sand, the sensation, the thought, sound sensation, thought sound So it's all happening by itself. It's all just flowing along by itself and being known, free of set that intention to pay attention in this way be set that frame what's being known and then settled back and see how effort. As it is, and it also really highlights the impermanent nature, because when we settled back now in just a way of, what's being known moment at the moment, without an attempt control it in any way, or even to direct that its immediately obvious how things are just appearing and disappearing moment at the moment. I don't know how much weight this
carry but just to give it some an endorsement here, but I struggled so much in the early stages of my practice and to this day with over everything and The intensity and duration of those struggles had been really reduced by using the passive voice. What is being known just ask myself that question and watch what happens, and it's not- and I am trying so hard to be all over my breath like a rabbit, dog it's more like feeling to breath in dead dead, though the breath is being for health, and it does nothing for me too, it's already happening in yes. Maybe distraction comes up, but I see that and go back to things being known on their own is incredibly helpful and I know of
a couple of other techniques to help us with the top bunch of factors, and I want to take a quick break and we come back we'll talk about those much more about conversation with Joseph Goldstein right after this The hot summer months are here and we need to be proactive to keep our body fuelled up in hydrated. Making hydrogen a priority helps us feel healthier on a day to day basis and feels ass to be our highest potential. That's where liquid ivy comes in one stick of liquid ivy and sixteen ounces of water hydrates, faster and more efficiently than water alone, not only that, but with flavors like watermelon, strawberry and lemon line there built for summer hydrogen. What makes liquid ivy so effective, cellular transport technology via the optimal ratio of glucose sodium and potassium, to deliver water and nutrients into the bloodstream and liquid ideas donating four million servings in response to over nineteen to hospitals, first responders food banks, veterans and active military. How great is add, grab your,
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before we go on something occurred to me in the break that I might be helpful dimension when people both first beginning the practices, but also sometimes well into the practice. it can sometimes feel a little discouragement. Yes, we watch our minds to see you know the Buddhist terminology are called the defilement, Sir Canvas Unskilful patterns of mine, will suffer in one way or another for ourselves or others, and I remember when I first began factors in India, I was seeing my mind the earth with greater clarity I had seen before I started mended trading, and I saw all these unskilful patterns of different manifestations, fire or wanting agreed or version annoyance or whatever, whatever it may be,
I remember nothing to my teacher and energy- have expressed it this way by. Basically, the sense was I'm such a terrible parson up. going to look at all these terrible things that are hitting in my mind, and so it can lead to a lot of self judgement. Your discouragement you know of have to practice. Why do I want to see Was tough but something really interesting happens and it could happen either quicker or slower, depending on how quickly one understands this Boeing get to a place in practice. We were actually delighted to see all this stuff because we, the gravest, see it and not see it. So, for example, now when I see a manifestation of conceit of aiming one way or another,
I am delighted bits like I could see you. I caught you if you're not going to seduce me anymore, so as to actually uplifting encouraging and joyful to be seeing the workings of our mind with clarity and with mindfulness, I just wanted to put out to the listeners. Even though it may be seeing things which occur, a problematic in one way or another, but the very seeing of them is enlightening. It's a way that we get a lighter and lighter and lighter pics. As we see them, we are not so caught by them. If we don't see them then they just run riot and alive. I've heard you mentioned this before in and I've seen,
it play out in my own mind- and I really agree it just got me thinking again did just to get back to these challenging questions. I was asking you before about the idea of the illusion of the self or the not so, doctrine in Buddhism, that that are there. No aspects of the south that are useful. In other words, what if you catch the thought of I Joseph and reach out to a friend who suffering I Joseph I'm, going to write book that might help a lot of people. I Joseph I'm gonna write a dogma, talk that might teach people important concepts that they can use to improve their life. Is there no manner that is good Mona? This goes back to her, Suddenly we were talking about earlier. Using that language can Essentially, this completely fine that that's how we communicate- and you know I could-
Very well say I have said many times. I have this project Emily excited about. I really want to get involved in it all. That's fine, we need to use that kind of language just for ease of communication, because this is how things are conventionally understood. No problem at all. We do that. It's just understand that, even as we using that language, We don't want to be quite by other seduced in the belief or in our minds, construct stand shall reality to what is in itself. Just a designation for peace the process, so the designation is helpful when we use it. But what happens if we take the word? We take the concept,
the designation to be the reality itself instead of saying I have. This is just a short way of saying an idea arose in the mind entered. He came to act. That is, we could describe the same thing without the use of that language, but it's just very awkward cell use of the language is fine. The I am language, but we want on stand that it's just conventional, it doesn't really referred to anything in and of itself, but mostly people don't make that second Step mostly will lost in the world of concept and convention. And we haven't really understood the building blocks of experience.
So it be, for example, in science like just as we look at the physical world, take any simple physical objects like a glass anything now prefer conventionally. We think a glass exists and for a lot of practical purposes, there's no problem with that. We use a glass but I ain't got caught by that they would never have been motivated to look ok, what There were actually calling glass, and developing the tools to investigate that question, what is it we mean by these designations and. a whole new worlds, open up. Imagine the excitement of the first person to accrue a microscope and then nowadays of causes even incredibly more sophisticated
in whole new dimensions of reality open up when we not imprisoned by our attachment to the country. Glass, even though on a conventional level, is a useful designation. Sir, it's the same thing you know, so we use it. But we don't wanna be limited by that concept, and this is really what the Buddhist teaching is all about. It's ok, what's what's underneath it or one of the basic elements of experience and how do they function used? The word elements right there, where, in the middle of going through three little pieces of Joseph Homework, that we can all do it get under the hood here to go beyond these kind of limits that are pretty deepen our wiring in our dna, these poncho factors and said: there's one of the practices is built around a buddhist concept of the air
since you tell us about that UK server. Each of these topics could be our long term route trader abbreviated, all four I just need a little explanation of of the buddhist framework for understanding the elements, because when we think of physical elements, we might think about chemistry class, the periodic table of the different elements, the Buddha, in that time, whether he actually knew all about that or because I don't know, but in those times they used very simple,
framework for describing the elements such as the different designation for the physical elements- and it was dinner fairly common in ancient times to think of the elements in terms of earth there firewater that's how they would describe the elements.
Now this lay there are certain limitations in that in terms of the understanding of chemistry, but they are very practical in terms of having a simple designation for how we experience different physical phenomena. So, for example, the earth element is a designation for just the experience, the sensation of hardness hardness, a softness. So that's an immediate felt experience which we all have somebody just designated. That is that's the earth element or movement.
would be. The air element will want the coolness would be the fire element. So that's what the terms birthday firewater referred to and their helpful because insisted very simple short hand for describing or physical experience, free of punch of desire and craving and seed and wrong view. So this is the way that I was playing with it on retreat, and it was really quite amazing to me damn it points to the power of language, whether it spoken language of the language in our minds as we describing or interpreting to ourselves. What we're experience
The words we use are going to condition how we experience it so again, the something that normally would not paying attention to rethink. Oh you were experiencing the truth of what the hair not realizing that but I have a language refusing to describe it is affecting our experiencing it several, although that is background, I was just outside just doing walking meditation and again this was not in a very slow pace, was just convent, normal pace of work and better. could be done at any speed and, as I said before, when I was skyping me my in belonging to me. You know it walking, even though I was I was being I'm fine! I was feeling the sensations of the movement in touch.
I was noticing that I would say almost subliminal sense of I'm walking Or my leg, it wasn't an explicit statement in my mind, but I could hear. A trains and loosened veneer. I'm the experience hardly noticeable. But, having just read this one particular discourse of the Buddha to his son were Buller from which he was describing Miss Barry Practice as a way of counteracting the proportion of Aimee mine. He said practice seeing the physical experience in terms of the elements,
Ok, so I just read bad so in the walking I just started every time I would move Yom of Black is very lightly. Ogier element, no one. I touched the ground earth element just that. That's all I just changed the language, but connecting those words to the experts It wasn't just kind of words going through my mind unrelated to the walking it's like really connecting the words to the experience. It was amazing what happened just such a simple thing, this simple change of language, moving, how element Kurth element it became so clear,
that the earth element or the environment. Didn't belong to me. the belonging to me like my leg or my foot, comply Italy fell away was just Barthelemy. There was just as important doesn't belong to anybody, and the whole sense of I am fell away, Even though we might say you know, I'm walking I'm walking, Would we ever say I the airlines The change of language. removed that veneer, of Aimee Mine and he dropped the whole experience into simply being the elements being now. That's all I was there
I disappeared, the I M disappeared, the mine disappeared, and even if it's just for a few moments at a time right. So I suggest you have people interested, they might try this and play with it. It doesn't have to be a big project, can be take five minutes to ten minutes. You know of walking and just play with us and see If any of what I have just said resonates with your own experience, but for me it was so striking and so a media to see how the application of the understanding of the elements was the antidote to. I mean mine, despite being just a good chance to give the background story to the Buddhist teaching to his son, in which he described exactly what I just said to use the elements
so they were gone for. Arms ran into a village. He now to go, collect food, and so the border was walking head and rebel. Let his son was walking behind him, and revenue is looking at the beautiful form of the Buddha hours said to embody. Physical perfection is well, is perfection of heart and mind unravel lowest Congo taking pride in the fact that he had a resemblance to the Buddha? He was his son. And, of course, the Buddha through his power of my knew, what was in motherless pipe it. So he stopped.
He turned around and that's when he gave this teaching. Everything should be seen with perfect wisdom. Mrs not mine. This is not by this has not myself. So all the pride that revenue is taking in his physical form. My body looks like person is in this beautiful The brutal saying see everything with perfect was not mine, not about myself, and then he went on to explain one way of accomplishing that is through this meditation on the elements because, as I just said when we that the Amy Mine just falls away. We back just in the basic six elements of experience, that's all let's just those six things being known moment after moment, sets tremendously liberating in freeing.
And even if we are not living in tat space all the time, I think it's very powerful, even if we have brief moments of it, because it s like planting the seeds in our ongoing flung stream, a deeper understanding and those seeds are really important. Big, saying we're not completely captured by the world of conventional and concept, your kind of poking holes in that and the powerful that really begins the process of liberation in the time that remains here, let me proud you to describe the third exercise which, if I recall, has to do with seeing how come clay. Everything that comes up in our mind passes away. We got through different stages in practice, And even at any stage
although we may be at, of course, one of the fundamental insights these are things arise and pass away. Things come into being and vanish. So this is not difficult to understand or to say I think, a good part of the time our minds are focused on what arising for each new arising experience, captures our attention arising rising rising, but we could as well focused on the disappearing side of things because, of course, they doing both. But I think our minds had been no condition in general. To always be kept.
By the newly arising content, but something very different happens when we start to focus on the disappearing aspect, because When we're just focused on the rising aspect, that's very easy. For us to get attached to to have aversion to to claim as being self, we we do all kinds of things in relationship to seeing a new object arise. Something completely different happens when
the focuses on the disappearing so how to do that in a way that its really vivid forget one them. I was just out for a walk with Mary walk being as mindful as I could be ass. You know, but I wasn't. It wasn't like slow meditative workers, just an ordinary walk and the thought came to my mind, but what happened the step of five minutes ago. It's completely got really gotta, because there was nothing of it left. A menace have about one minute ago got but the thirty seconds ago gone, but about one set. ago it's got, and I just brought my mind up. To the very lip of the flow of like what over waterfall
gone gone gone gone, so I brought my mind right to that point of things is disappearing, disappeared, disappeared, disappearing, and it was quite amazing, it's like being in that experience of things disappearing, it's impossible to the thing is guided by the time we could even hold onto it, and so the mind has let go of any kind of grass thing or attachment, leaving want it because things are continually disappearing, and so we get into a kind of free flow. Just a free flow of experience without getting caught up in any of the eddies that I mentioned year of getting caught in
some kind of attachment, a reaction to the present moment experiencing circling around that building up all the poncho about it now has just gone gone, gone gun and the DE felt experience of that is so liberating
and interestingly enough. This I dont really quite understand yet it somehow being in that space activated. What in the Buddhist terminology is called the heart centre, in others, the different energy centres in the body, the only each one has its own Keimer manifestation. So I think we all have an interest in intuitive center, but the heart centre means the felt sense of an open heart interesting. We enough that's what was activated when I was just in that place of the continual disappearing falling away falling away, with its consequent lack of any clinging to anything inciting all of that contribute.
the two that feeling of the heart space of it. It was a very free space, even though in just hearing the words it might feel an outbreak of people here just are falling away falling away fallen. Who I love is the business stability. It might feel a little frightful. That was not the experience of it at that time. This one image that might be helpful also in understand, how we experience this greater awareness of things disappeared, falling away. because we can have different relationships to that. No indifferent felt experiences of that at different times. Somebody once told me of this example in its if somebody free falling out of plane, so young people do this camera for sport
This is not in the sports situation. So just imagine somebody falling have a plain one way or another. The circumstances that I'm not really germane to the example and then perhaps is the first experience of exhilaration the exhilaration of free fall. So this is very much like the first experience. Things are rising and passing quickly. Now, as we continue in imitation factors and deepens at a certain point, the mind really goes from emphasising the content of what are rising in others. This is this. Is this to the process, meaning the process of change
and so instead of the emphasis being on the lot, it really becomes an emphasis on the how it's happening things arising passing arising in passing and that perception that very refined. So we see this process of change very quickly so that the sense of exhilaration then go back to the image of the freefall. Men maybe person realises they don't have a parachute therein. This freefall and there's no parachute, and then they get really frightened out, maybe a little fear haven. Terror arises and the falling falling Fraid of the head, and so the equivalent of that in the meditative process would be after the exhibit.
nation of seeing things arise and pass quickly and then the mind begins to focus on just the disappearing. The rapid disappearance of everything, seven is if the felt sense of there's just no secure, anyplace, there's nothing to hold onto and so back and be. challenging time in meditation. You know have going through that feeling of it, but then again run back to the example of the free fall. So first, as the exhilaration, then is the fear, but then it a certain point, the person realises there's no ground and then they relax into inaccurate the that simply is enjoying the whole experience of fall of change a flower. So this is quite similar to what happens in meditation because after
that can be disturbing period of time when we our highlighting the fact that the insecurity of there's nothing to hold onto other continual disappearance. At a certain point, we realise there's no ground, which is another way of saying or analogous to the understanding of selfishness. This is just a natural process going on and we fall into a place of tremendous. We know today and the echoing remedy is so profound.
It's a very exquisite kind of happiness. That comes. We really come to a place of peace and at that point in practice it said even for those people who are still on the path, but that place of equanimity is said to resemble the mind of a fully enlightened being, it's just being that's not holding on anything in his resting in the piece of that but piece of non clinging. The piece of non grasping at that which is continually changing for the exercise that I mentioned are just going for a walk, and maybe
a short period of time to staying at that disappearing, age of things. Seeing things continually fall away, I think, is very unlikely that you'll be experiencing the unsettling aspect of seeing this process of change. My senses that you'll really begin to understand the liberating aspect of it. It's been great, but I really appreciate this in and I really love the three homework assignment Gazeta things all of us can do so. Thank you. Joseph really appreciate it. You're very welcome. As you know, I love talking about this stuff. It see you
time. Then vs associate next time that I like that, because that implies there will be a next time. I didn't do anything to bad. Is that no this delightful thanks to Joseph always love talking him, as you can tell. I very deeply appreciate him. Coming back on the show as a note of reference, the topics covered here today were covered in deeper detail within two Dharuma talks that Joseph gave on a retreat and online retreat. Those talks are linked within the show notes and are accessible via the. I s website highly recommend You check those out and if you're interested in learning directly from Joseph, he is co leading another online retreat, vs Spirit, rock meditation, retreat centre and that's coming up this very week and registration closes tomorrow July. Fifteenth will put a link to that in the show notes as well The show is made by Samuel Johns Dj. Kashmir can buy Comma Maria Hotel and gent point
We get our audio engineering from the good folks over it, ultraviolet audio and in closing, and as always a big shot out to my ABC news. Colleagues rang Kessler Josh CO hand will soon, on Friday, about us. It was up anybody. This is Elsie Grandison here to tell you about my new pot chasm agency. Audio poured life out loud. This shows all about preserving the history and honouring the contributions of the odes beating you community each week, I'll talk to some of the most fascinating people paving the way towards a more inclusive world. These conversations can get heavy, but this shows also gummy. Bill was so much joy and I mean, after all, we are car gay people, rights of gaddi, some happiness in there somewhere check out life out loud with me, Elsie Grandison, wherever you get your part cast.
Transcript generated on 2021-07-21.