2020-04-10: Samadhi (5 of 5) Equanimity to the Fruit Drops
11:23PM Jun 19, 2020
sayadaw Good morning again, very happy to be here with you. And the theme is Samadhi. And this is the fifth of the five part series as part of the longer series and the five faculties. And we have one more faculty to do and next week we'll do wisdom. And I'm going to include another group, I'm starting a retreat tomorrow. I'm gonna include another group into this and, and so because of that, I'm going to actually give another one of these talks Sunday morning. At seven, so those of you who want to do it on the weekend, too, you're welcome to come and maybe it'll be a little bit of a more general introduction to this theme that we're doing.
So somebody I like to think of Samadhi as being our birthright, that it's kind of closer to a natural state than how most people live. I suppose everything we are is natural state, but a natural state in the sense that outside of artifice, or outside of our are the ways in which we interfere or get attached or kind of make things more complicated or more contracted and they need to be that somebody happens when we relax. All the artifice all they are Artificial kinds of ways of constructing and being and protecting and pushing away and holding on. And we just settle into a very relaxed, deep, attentive way of being. And, and that process of settling and discovering this natural way of being state, you know, has there's a path, there's an unfolding that goes from ordinary life for many of us. And so that path little bit has been that journey of this week. That Monday was the process of initiating of concentration, the beginning of at a starting of it, which is often, you know, we're doing over and over again. And so that centering ourselves in our experience, and letting go into it, letting go of things that take us away and keep us scattered and distracted, so that we can begin having an experience of an undistracted mind and undistracted body in mind. And once we begin begin that process, it doesn't have to be so dramatic, we have some capacity to feel what it's like to be centered to feel here and connected and, and, you know, focused will still wonder awful lot. But then we have something like a foundation to begin working with. And then we have this initial and sustained application of our attention or engagement of ourselves with experience that I like into pushing a scooter that one foot pushes, and then we kind of coast for a while until we need to push momentum again. So we, we apply ourselves we connect to our experience, and then we sustain ourselves with experience over time. We kind of ride it or coast along, trying to stay present. And of course we'll wander off and at this stage and That's okay, don't fight it, don't be upset with it. Just come back and give yourself another push on the mindfulness scooter and then to kind of like move along some more. And as we begin to stay more and more into in the present moment in a concentrated way, it kind of builds over time and the length of time we can sustain with concentration from a few seconds to many seconds, two minutes, to longer. Then, at some point, there are this movement of, of being present and coming back supports the minds ability to become collected, to gather together to become unified. And so that all of who we are become somehow included or held or, or open to, in the experience of somebody. And they do have a gathering together is a classic image, but maybe that's kind of implies coming To get grabbing hold of something and pulling it in. Sometimes I think of the unification of Samadhi as being we keep opening up awareness. So the awareness becomes, in a sense, broader and broader. And everything kind of works within that in a harmonious way. One of the reasons I like the city of sense of awareness becoming more open, is that it goes along with the idea that Samadhi is also a gift that we're after, we have to allow something to move through us, we have to allow ourselves to be changed by the practice of mindfulness and concentration. If we're always on top of it, like a mouse or the cat store, cat, the mouse, mouse is door, kind of, you know, trying to wait for something to happen. And then we actually interfere because we have to kind of settle back and allow something to occur. And one of the things that begins happening in this flow and unification in this continuity of practice, and if that's is that there's this wellsprings of well being of good feelings of niceness of pleasantness of joy of happiness, that sometimes can be quite strong. It's
rapture with euphoria can describe some of what could happen in meditation, but eventually moves to a very deep sublime peaceful kind of happiness and contentment. And as we become more content and happy in this kind of just state of being here can feel like another, like a natural state, like more natural than anything else. Then, rather than, you know, leaving the real world we're entering really the real world. This is this is you know, a way of being really integral have integrity and being present. So then we will I believe that so then we come to today. And, and the movement in classically in Buddhism is for concentration practice, to bring us to a quality, a state of peace, or equanimity, a deep abiding sense of evenness and openness and presence and peace with whatever is happening, rather than concentration being moving into some kind of rapture. It's going beyond that into a state of deep equanimity. And, and part of the reason why the value of that is that we're not trying to be developed somebody for its own sake, in Buddhist practice, somebody is the is the foundation for seeing things as they are. And that is one of the goals of mindfulness of concentration or the whole kind of liberating path to Buddhism is to see things as they are to really Be able to connect and have a deep insight, a deep discernment a deep recognition and a very deep way, not only of what what's happening, but how it's happening, how we're attached how we're free, the under the underlying processes of direct experience upon which we build our experience. It's kind of like going down to the foundations and seeing what's really going on. And that takes a lot of subtleness and
deep subtleness and openness and to do that. So, when there's a wonderful there's equanimity, this subtleness is peacefulness. I liken it to an open hand. So we released the fist of the mind, the reaching out to them, the hand wanting or resisting or pushing closing up, and in the hand of the mind of awareness is open, like, you know, flatten can hold things. And, and I like it what's happening now in practice, to the, the ripening of an apple and an apple tree. There's a way of harvesting an apple, if you really want to know when it's really ripe, you don't pull it off the branch, you bring your hand flattened, and you hold it up gently and just kind of just very gently hold it in the hand just so you're taking a little bit of the weight of the, of the apple and, and if it kind of lifted up and down teeny bit and then if it comes loose by itself, then it's ripe. You know pulling it because it's kind of on the edge of the separation of this of the apple stem from the branch is just about fully ripe and useless You're there to catch it just as it kind of releases. And so this idea of being able to have a mind that is not trying to grab or hold on to or pull away or push or it just kind of allows things to be just as they are, and just the right kind of equanimity, peacefulness, just being with it, allow something in the mind to release and to let go in a deep way. And then, with the deep letting go that Samadhi supports, we have the fruit that we have experienced the fruit of practice. And that fruit like an Apple has a lot of wonderful seeds. And even though there's there has to be this letting go for the apple to come free from the from the apple tree. If you only focus on the letting go, you might miss that now there's these wonderful seeds or the seeds that are goodness that had been inside of you always you're the fruit has a chance to germinate and then a whole new plant can grow and maybe the beautiful tree can grow from you and, and the fruit that you've harvested the apple you harvested or that ripen, then you received can grow and become many, many apple trees, fruits that you can give to the other people as well and support others. So to feel to experience to smell to sense, as concentration deepens, how it moves towards greater and greater, letting go a greater and greater settling and harmonizing and peace. Where's the peace? Where's the quiet where's the stillness that allows fruit to fall from the tree. So, thank you. And it is just about the time to stop. And but I thought maybe, as those of you who would like to stay on a little bit longer, I could try to take a few questions on this topic of somebody or something else and have a little bit exchanged back and forth. And, and probably be the I could well imagine there might be more questions and I can answer and I will try to answer two or three or something that come in first. So
Yeah, I love all the places these you are all of Arne there's someone from Berlin. So what readings would you suggest for further study of somebody? Well, I don't mean to be kind of flip or something like that. But maybe really, I do sincerely feel that the best way to study Samadhi is in the book that's in you, that you are the book to read. Part of what we're trying to do and mindfulness and concentration practice is really learn to be present and see what's going on and be able to discern what is healthy and what is not healthy, what is wise and what is not wise. What is produces more stress and what produces more ease and peace. And as we get wiser about this, that's the book we study. And and that's the topic for next week is the faculty of wisdom. And let's see. Yeah, so if oops, let's see. So it's a little bit. I said I would try to do them in order. They come the questions but it's little bit. If I get a lot of chats, it's kind of hard to find them. Let's see. Oh,
maybe there. Let's see. Wow, there's a lot of thank thank yous. Thank you. I thank you all for being part of this. This fantastic
Here we go. Nope. Wow.
Sometimes when I center on the breath, it leads to awareness of a physical trauma experience many years ago, it helps to shift awareness to sound and other things. Can you comment? That's really wise. If it seems like it's too much to be with the sensations experienced the emotions of the trauma, yes. You know, do something else like sound that's very good. Sometimes just kind of staying and being with traumatic experiences just makes it worse and, and can be re traumatizing that's really strong. And so you have to be very, very wise and careful with it. Sometimes, there are trauma therapists who really are skilled at working with this, in mindfulness practice, a lot of it, a lot of mindfulness practices being in the body. And as we cultivate body awareness, with time the body becomes a strong and stable container, in order to be able to feel some of the very difficult emotions and feelings that are kind of embedded there from past experiences. And so not only to feel sound, hear sound, sometimes it's useful to spread the attention more widely in the body, go find someplace else in the body, that where there's some stability or groundedness, or a sense of safety and confidence. And if there is some place like that in the body, that's part of building up the body's capacity to be with the difficult things that can exist. And then it's also useful can be useful to when there's you know, The legacy of trauma within us that we're going to feel as we're being present, and to not see it as a mistake or as a problem to so we don't react more against it, but see it as actually a healthy part of the process of practice and, and, and freeing that goes on. And so one way to do this is to when there's these you know, with the breathing and these difficult experiences, sensations, emotions come up. Imagine that your mindfulness is a soft cotton gauze, hot, soft cotton ball, so very gentle and soft, and just gently come close. Just tap against the places that are really difficult, just for one or two taps just to recognize it to acknowledge it. Just acknowledgement is so important. And then pull away and pull away as far as you need to get rebalanced and feel like you've really asked to go back into sounds and when you feel balanced again, there might be a time when you feel you bring your cotton ball again. To be with it, and over time, you'll feel safer or more secure and more capable to just kind of allow this deeper process of unfolding to happen.
I think that there's all kinds of chats here about Sunday morning. It's not on the IMC calendar. yet. Hopefully I'll put it up on the calendar today or tomorrow. It just realized yesterday that I should do this for the Sunday and so it'll be there but it'll be same time seven o'clock.
okay, so hopefully I'm going the wrong way.
How do you know if you have somebody? There's different kinds of Samadhi. So it's a little hard to know. But you know you have Samadhi. If you're really in the present moment, and you feel very connected to what's happening in the present, you feel like you're really
Yes, there's a whole harness a set on this. And it feels very easy and natural just to be with experience. There's not no forcing with it. No forcefulness. There's no tightness, there's no pressure, no strain. There's a relaxed and open feeling, and you're really there experiencing it. Till maybe almost receptively just being with it, receiving it being settled and relaxed around the experience with the experience and having be able to do that more continuously through time. So thank you very much and, and I'm really delighted in, in being able to share this with you and be with you and, and I look forward to some of you maybe Sunday and maybe others on Monday when we start the faculty of wisdom. Thank you all very much.