2020-04-09: Samadhi (4 of 5) Wellbeing and Joy
11:23PM Jun 19, 2020
So so this is the fourth talk in the series on the faculty of concentration of Samadhi. And there's a as I said, at the first day, there's somebody has two very general meeting meanings as a faculty, which was just, you know, the media topic of consideration. It's a particular functionality of the mind, it's probably maybe a particular place in the brain that is able to be settled focus gathered together. At least that's what the ancient Buddhists thought. Or maybe it's not a particular place, maybe just a combined functioning of different mental faculties that work in harmony, to get us settled into the second meaning of Samadhi, which is a state, a generalized state Of being sometimes people call it a state of mind. And Samadhi is a state in which we're fully present fully engaged in what's happening. There's a long tradition of calling that being absorbed, that's a that involves an absorption. Maybe we should be careful using that word because of the idea that it's when we are absorbed. There's also maybe sometimes a sense of losing yourself in the experience, maybe an excessive merging in the experience where there isn't a clarity of attention and awareness of what's happening. And I think that as concentration deepens in meditation, the way that I understand it for myself and from the ancient teachings of the Buddha, there's a greater and greater clarity of attention. The mindfulness becomes brighter. In fact, the deepest states of us What's usually called absorptions jhana have a very clear form of awareness or mindfulness as part of them. And, and this state of being fully present for fully aware of something with the mind not distracted and not not fragmented by things. And this undistracted presence has a lot to do with what Samadhi is, that's continuous through time. The now what's interesting is that, as we kind of really get present for something and get organized and unified for something, there's a number of things which are not happening and a number of things which begin to happen. What's not happening is that the busy active thinking mind is not perpetuating itself. It's often thought of as a self perpetuating machine, the the mind the thinking mind and and the faster we think Especially if we have negative thoughts, the more stressful it is for the mind, both directly because of the strength of the thinking. But also because of what's being said it can be sometimes be like little daggers we stick each other with ourselves with, with our thoughts. And, and as you know, I've maybe said one of the leading sources of all kinds of psychological problems is the rumination is the regular continuous things we're saying to ourselves. And, and that's a particular function of the mind to say to, to, to think a lot of imagery a lot and just kind of be spinning these stories and ideas keeps going going. And part of what happens in Samadhi is the mind gets settled and quiet and unified. There is a quieting of the thinking mind, and then we're spared from some of the stories and beliefs and criticisms and, and undermining thoughts are, you know, that we have and there's more space In the mind for other things, and, and so, once the kind of the irritating or the, or the stressful kinds of thoughts of quiet, then this unified feeling of being present, starts feeling more and more good to use a non technical word. And, and so one of the things that falls away or gets quiets down are thoughts, feelings of discontent, thoughts of irritation, thoughts of boredom, all of these other these things are, think of them as activities of the mind. Nothing is inherently boring, except for the activities of the mind that evaluates it that way. Nothing is irritating except for the activities, the thoughts, the ideas, that the mind has that kind of interpreted to that way understands it that way. And there's all these things that make us kind of feel You know, kind of dissatisfaction, uncomfortable, irritated,
bored, wanting greedy, wanting something else expectations, all these things that have a kind of stressful effect on our mind and body that as the mind as we allow the mind to settle and get quieter, those begin to quiet as well. And the more concentrated we can become more fully engaged and settled and just allowing particular experience we're focusing on to fill awareness to be the subject we're doing and the mind gets quieter, clear. All this afflictive kind of thoughts and ideas falls away. And if there's no boredom, if there's no irritation, if there's no dissatisfaction going on, then we're just hear in a deeper, deeper, settled way, in a way that can feel We're deeply contented, deeply satisfied, deeply at peace deeply happy. And part of that is not because we're making ourselves happy or making ourselves contented. It's just a goodness and the peace and the relief of not having the, these afflictive kind of thoughts, ideas going on. In the teachings of the Buddha, these are particularly he particularly signals out the five hindrances, that when they quiet down, it just, there's a sense of goodness, he calls a gladness and, or and joy and happiness that can be there just because it's so good to not be afflicted anymore and to end the relief of it or the fullness of it. I also believe that, that as these afflictive kind of overlay of our what's going on, finally considered quiet, not an easy thing to do, but finally get quiet and as we get more concentrate, more settled more unified, and that there's a goodness from within a place of deeper sense of goodness well being that has a chance to bubble up. And the image of the Buddha actually uses for this deeper well being is an underground no underwater in a lake, an underwater fountain of water, that from the bottom of the lake flows up into the water and spreads out the refreshing nice water into the new water into the lake. And this idea that there's this Wellspring, or this spring, found deep inside of us, of well being that can well up and fill us. That's not something we're doing making forcing. It's more like we're getting out of the way. When the hindrances and these afflictive thoughts have finally quieted down and we can learn how to open and be fully present. make space for some To come in space to be influenced by the depths of our, what's good inside of us, then you can sometimes feel this wellspring of, of joy or well being or happiness. That's one way of experiencing it that everyone has little different way. And, and so part of what constant is Samadhi practice and some is, is is a practice of letting go. But I think more profoundly, it's a practice of getting out of the way. Really kind of allowing ourselves to trust something really deep inside and get quiet enough that we begin allowing this to flow. Now, you certainly initially as we begin this movement of trusting something deep inside, some of what happens is the purification process, some of what's been buried deep inside, grief and anger and sorrow and different things. You know, it needs they need to kind of come out and have their time and in the sun of awareness and And kind of empty out. So you know, we have to learn that process and be patient with it and hopefully know not to add afflictive thoughts on top of it, but just feel inspired that it's so good to have this stuff finally come out and so we can kind of dissipate, resolve itself heal itself. But this deeper movement then it's a feeling of some point to goodness that wells up the well being that gladness that wells up that's there that flows that tingles, that is warm, that is soft, that is quiet, that it feels connected, feels like we're home feel cozy.
The image that I kind of like love for getting really settled and feeling the this part of the joy that can happen meditation, I spent a lot of time focusing on the breath. So the breath is kind of like this rhythm. And sometimes I feel like it's like petting the cat and and so You know, I don't just kind of tap the cat I don't just take a fist and kind of press down harder the cat, I gently kind of stroke the cat. And if the cat starts purring if I stop stroking the cat, the cat stops purring I had to start stroking it again the cat purrs and so the same way we stay with the breath and the breathing is like the stroke of stroking the cat or the awareness is like the stroking of the of the of the cat staying with the breathing. And at some point it's not automatic and it's not something you can force. But as we get more and more settled, there can be a sense of, of this whole system of who we are in an in a non technical idea that everyone has experiences differently. But the system our body and mind begins to purr begins to kind of feel good and nice and light and and this recognition of goodness recognition of pleasure recognition. Recognition of which feels beautiful or feels per per full, purring full is, is part of what supports Samadhi practice and without expectation without demand without striving, but being open to start feeling, the goodness, the well being that comes when we settled, and allowing that well being to influence us meaning allows us to get out of the way and let it kind of move through us. The Buddha talked about letting it suffuse us, the whole body. So this is part of Samadhi is this sense of joy and happiness that can come from practice. So thank you. And I hope that you have a wonderful day, wonderful next 24 hours and I hope that you your inner life provides you with nourishment and well being Thank you