"Pulling the rug from under the Self-View" "How Ajahn came to Buddhist practice this life"
Greetings fellow practitioners,
In this subscriber update I am sharing two talks from a retreat taught recently in the Melbourne area of Australia. The first talk is more along the theme of a focused 'wisdom refelection' where people are asked to have an earnest look at this thing we call my 'self'… to contemplate the drawbacks that come from investing and believing in it completely… and in clearly recognising the drawbacks, we then investigate to see where it actually is? What is it based upon? Is it tenable?
Many people find that in recognising that the 'self view' is actually simply a mental construct, a fabrication or an habitual assumption that is not backed up by a deeper investigation into the truth, that it is possible to experience much more of a sense of space around thoughts and feelings. And also to be less attached to opinions and much less reactive to either praise or criticism. How wonderful! And of course with continued practice the deeper 'insight' into 'not-self' actually lays the foundation to complete liberation from grasping and subsequently all suffering. Although this kind of investigation can seem a little threatening at first, the rewards of less identification and grasping are more and more experiences of serenity, contentment, equipoise and even bliss. This serves to encourage us to be sincere and determined in our honest investigation.
The second talk that I am sharing was offered as more of a reward and an encouragement to the sincere group of yogis on the evening before the retreat ended. Getting a little more personal and sharing a sense of 'process' to mirror back to people the fact that we all have to work with our personalities and circumstances in an honest way along the path to developing wisdom and insight. I hope that these two talks may be somewhat complimentary, and that something contained in them serves as encouragement to you wherever you are now.
Recently I taught an intensive 9 day meditation retreat in the Melbourne area of Australia. After the first three days about one third of the group had to leave and return to work and family commitments. Having already participated in around 15 sitting meditation sessions, 7 walking meditation sessions, 6 chanting sessions and having listened to around 8 Dhamma discourses and readings, before these people departed, it seemed like a good time to give a synopsis of what we had all been doing and to review the positive effect upon our minds. There is nothing quite like meditating a great deal to gain a sense for how the practice works and deepens, and for observing the growth in wholesome and uplifting qualities functioning in the mind. I sincerely hope that some of the sincerity, commitment, joyful love of investigation and of 'truth' shine through in this talk.