2020-03-26: Viriya (4 of 5) Mindfulness and Calm
11:45PM Jun 19, 2020
So Good morning. Thank you for this sitting. And now, continue now, do a series of that we understand that we're doing it so that we can become one. So that we need five different aspects of effort and speaking over about over these five days are somewhat progressive, that as people practice meditation or develop along the Buddhist path, that kind of effort that is needed or kind of effort that appears or changes and develops or grows or evolves, sometimes over time, and sometimes it's more circular or spiral. And so we, you know, grow often, you know, beginning again and again, the initial effort. And so, the today I want to talk about, well, what I've talked about so far is effort that we Put into the practice. So the initiating effort, beginning again, beginning again over and over again. And that can take a lot of work sometimes. Sometimes the forces of that pull us in opposite directions from practice the forces of desire and addiction or hatred or fear so strong, that sometimes takes a lot of work, to really come back and begin again and take our seat, take our place, be mindful. As we're able to be more present, then we contribute our choice. We kind of noticed that the dividing line or the fork in the path between those things that we do mental states thoughts, feelings, emotions, that take us towards greater stress, tension, suffering, and those that lead to a greater ease or happiness or well being wisdom. And there's some choice involved to choose one over the other to let go of one pick up the other, which path we take. And then we make some effort. And sometimes, you know, part of the part of the art of meditation, making effort to be continuous to be persistent. So I talked about relaxed persistent yesterday. But we have to offer something. And, and sometimes that offering of ourselves to be more continuous, is more a continual opening up and not allowing the attention to be there, rather than holding the attention present. And so the balance between how much effort and how much allowing that effort allowing effort we make is part of the art that we find our way with. So these first three days has to do about a lot of what we offer at some point as we settle in and we're continuous have it Enough relaxation. At some point, there's an kind of an effort, momentum movement that happens. That is not. that's being done to us, rather than we're practicing. We're being practiced. And I sometimes think of this as Dharma energy, that Dharma begins to move through us. And this idea of the Dharma moving through us, it's something begins to unfold something, there's momentum, there's the the pieces are the foundations in place, through our practice, for some kind of inner process of healing, inner process of evolving in a process of liberating that can begin to flow and move through us. The Buddha used a lot of languages, a lot of different metaphors to refer to this inner movement. That is not our doing sounds like we make it or effort, but the previous effort puts together the conditions creates the right environment for this plant the seed to grow and become a great plant or for the, the, you know, the boulder that was covering the spring has been taken away and now the water can flow out in the spring. So something begins to flow within us to open and evolve within us and learning to recognize and allow for something which is not us that's within us that begins to operate. The
and this idea that something's not us is kind of like you know, it's not the what the person who we identify the one who has agency, the person who is within us who thinks we're in charge or it's up to us or what we can do that what you know, kind of effort and ideas that we organize ourselves around, which is useful to get around the world oftentimes. But as a practice gets deeper, if we're only stay in this kind of the part of ourselves that we kind of identify with or the part of ourselves that we can identify or has agency or we think is responsible has to do, then we're not going to allow for this deeper Dharma energy to flow and evolve. Sometimes I think of this Dharma energy is being a relative of the idea of key or key that sometimes at some point, we sit enough at some point to this ci or this kind of energy arises up from inside of us to kind of awaken us and lift us and keep us engaged nicely and the practice becomes almost second nature to be alert and present. We have to work at it. We mostly have to keep the boulders away from the spring, most we have to keep The weeds away from the plants so they can grow. We mostly kind of clear the ground let go of the distractions to let this kind of movement of energy or lightness to happen through us. There's movements of compassion that can well up. And I think some of the deepest forms of compassion or love or care are not something that we intentionally create or bring up. But really happens when we make space for it to allow. We might have the intention for it. But the intention is just kind of like opening the door. For a particular room where compassion lives in a conflict can flow forth. We can allow for wisdom, we can allow for greater deeper understanding and intuition about what to find our way. And rather than have to think think everything out and solve it with our minds, it's More like can we relax enough to let the important concerns we have kind of be processed and solutions or ideas or perspectives well up from within some of this Dharma energy that dwells up within us, is you know, after a while they kind of the more we allow it, the more certain things seem like second nature. Meaning that you know, if you, I don't know if it's a good analogy, but if you put your hand on the hot stove, the hand will pull away. it's second nature to pull away and not get burned. At some point, a greater sensitivity that comes with mindfulness for relaxed and calm and mindful, we become more sensitive, and we become sensitive to the slightest little Ouch, slowly, slightest little place that we're hurting ourselves where we get contracted or we get caught in anger or hostility, or were we caught up in some kind of addiction. And we can start we're sensitive to how that hurts in a way that we can be sensitive to the subjective impact of it, if we're caught up and blinded by the object of desire, or the object of our ill will, is out there. But if we relax enough to really settle in and feel what's happening to me, when I'm really caught in the grip of desire, or really caught in the grip of hostility, this hurts. This is and as we start feeling that sensitivity, of course, we take our hands away from the stove. It's not like we even choose to do it. The whole system, the Dharma system that we are, begins to relax and pull pull away. And then we start feeling and sensing sooner or later the benefits of practice the sense of relaxation, more importantly, qualities of Freedom and ease that come along with a practice. And that of course, we lean towards that the whole system is kind of like gravity. If you put a ball on top of a hill, on that slope, it'll roll downhill. Our whole system wants to roll down towards greater and greater freedom, that as we get a sense of freedom and openness and meditation or through Buddhist practice or anything, that, of course, our whole heart and system wants to flow downhill and wants to keep opening it wants to keep opening, partly because it's a lot of work to stay contracted. It's a lot of work to stay
tight. And so, of course it wants to relax Of course it wants to rest. So to start becoming sensitive to aware of That there is something else operating here in this practice. Besides what we do, that we're in charge of, we're in charge of the initiating effort. We're in charge of some of the choices that between what's wholesome and unwholesome, useful or not useful. We're in charge a little bit of trying to support the continuity of awareness through the day. But as these begin to grow, we start becoming sensitive. There's something else operating here, something we can't quite take as being personal. It's, you know, it's in us. So it's part of us in a sense, but it's not what we usually identify as being me, myself and mine. And it's helpful not to identify that way to realize there's something much more here that's supporting us. There's something much more in nature to and there's the wonderful, natural process that we are, has within it tremendous capacity of support. worked and goodness. And so to begin to become sensitive to this deeper things that are operating, and at first maybe it's just a little shy whisper something very shy and maybe hesitant to show itself. And so you know, we want to be very quiet and caring of it and not frightened that or grab a hold of it. But slowly allow it to grow and develop, let it kind of the more we're aware of it, the more we open to it and hold Dharma energy, Dharma momentum, the more space it has to grow. It's kind of like, awareness is the sun and Dharma energy is the plant. And so we bring the sun of awareness. So the Dharma plant can become great. And sooner or later, that plant will grow and develop a wonderful fruit. And one day that fruit like an apple will fall from the tree into the palm of your heart. May all your fruits bring you great freedom as they fall into your heart. So thank you very much for being here today. And tomorrow, we'll do the last of the series on this effort. And then next week, we'll go on to the next of the five faculties, which is mindfulness. And they'll do the same thing, a series of five talks and five different aspects of mindfulness. So thank you all very much.