2019-01-21: Foundations of Mindfulness Part 2 - Breathing
12:58AM May 23, 2020
Good evening and so volume loud enough for you? That me. Good. Okay. So the plan for this beginning of the year is for me to give a series of talks on the Buddhist teachings on the four foundations of mindfulness. And whenever I'm here pick up. It's a particular discourse, a wonderful discourse that is the source for mindfulness teaching and mindfulness practice. So on this Martin Luther King Day, I'm gonna continue with that theme. Normally on mark to the King Day, I like to give a talk that's related to the topic of the day. It's my favorite holiday because of what different represents in Martin Luther King represents his work and what he represents what he focused on. What is it Isabel, you said you lived are quite dear to me. And I would like to believe steer to Buddhism, civil rights and fighting against racism and economic inequality and opposing the amazing tendency humans and countries humans have have to go to war with each other. And it's maybe a little unfortunate that 50 years after he died, that what he represented in what he taught and what he acted on, is just as relevant now than it was back then. So we have to stay but I'm not going to do that topic. And perhaps, the liberation that Buddhism teaches through mindfulness. I don't know if it leads to the same thing, but it it prepared Harris people, to be able to be sensitive and aware and alert to a lot of the suffering of the world and the injustice of the world. And to be able to encounter it and work with it, hopefully and in transformative ways. The teachings, the practice of mindfulness is, can be seen as a preparatory practice or practice that brings us to a preparatory state, a state of preparation, that prepares us to be able to have wisdom and a particular kind of wisdom, wisdom that's liberating. And so it's bringing us to a state of a certain kind of heightened sensitivity, heightened alertness, awareness, that is productive or capable of triggering some deeper insights. So What is this kind of awareness that's not only helps us be present, but more than that helps us to have an open mind helps us to have a receptive mind helps us to have a sharp mind that allows us to kind of take in and be present and experience and see and understand what's happening, so that we can be changed by it. Now, one of the things that requires is a desire to be willingness to be changed, the willingness to take something in the world and take our experience in and be changed by it. In the teachings of the Buddha, that there's many different forms of change that comes from doing mindfulness. And some of it is ethical, that there's something again about this practice of mindfulness, the awareness that comes that is said to uproot or destroy powerful language. Destroy on healthy and ethical behavior, unethical activities that people have. So that's a you know. So it's also a very powerful statement about mindfulness. Mindfulness also is said to be protective in nature. That one of the another function of mindfulness is something about the awareness of mindfulness. That the way we're mindful the way we can notice things. That's also said to be deeply protective, primarily protects us as we go through the world. And it might be that where it protects us most from is ourselves, which is pretty good. The this discourse, the four foundations of mindfulness is, I don't know how many pages it is maybe 20 pages or so in this big book, the middle length discourses. I've been reading it I've translated it studied for many, many years. 30 years now.
And there are times when I've looked at it and been totally bored. Because I've noticed, so well just seems kind of dry. But in the last decade or so looking at it, it's starting to become much more alive and I don't see it as dry anymore. I see it as quite a radiant text, kind of a powerful text that kind of is structured is written in almost in a way that supports the message. It's probably the most constructed, most carefully constructed one of the most carefully constructed texts and in the early Buddhist canon. It's very unlikely that Buddha just sat down and gave the sermon. The evidence that exists suggests that is that was actually put together gradually over time, and different elements were added and constructed. So it was an editorial process, but in that process, it became a text that very orderly. It's, it has a kind of ordered orderly, straightforward kind of message that for me when I read it now kind of brings a certain kind of represents and brings a certain kind of uprightness and certain kind of sense of like, if you go into a very clean room than an ordered room, it tends to make us in the idea in the best sense of that kind of room makes us kind of be a little more alert and present and we care for the things there as opposed to room is totally a mess and chaotic. And maybe it's fine to live that way. But you're less likely to kind of treat the objects there with the same kind of care as you would if, if it was everything was nicely put and cared for and paid attention to. So this text has that feeling to me. And what it does when I read it now, it kind of inspires me to be that way to be a certain kind of way not not orderly exactly, but To organize my inner life so that there's a there's a clarity of purpose and a dedication and a sense of onward leading and a sense of importance of being present in a careful I don't know I'm not quite sure the language but careful, systematic way. Anyway, I has it the very text it's almost like a Texas anyway very carefully constructed. And so in that care, it represents a certain kind of deliberateness and intentionality and purpose that is inspiring for me. And one of the ways is constructed is that it goes from kind of the surface of our life and steadily goes down to more and more subtle areas of our life. Scholars talk about it goes from the grocery Experience civilized course experiences of life to the most subtle. And this momentum of moving to a deeper and deeper areas of our life into our heart and depth of our life is one that could be said, brings us home. When the Buddha taught one way, he's one of the ways that Buddha talked about mindfulness. Or actually, literally, the four foundations of mindfulness was through many analogies. But one analogy is he said that, you know, he wandered around northern India and I guess, there, I think he was referring to someplace on the foothills of the Himalayas, where there are jungles for us. And, and there are some places where, if you go up the mountains, it's so steep and jagged and that it's even too difficult or dangerous from monkeys to live there. But if you come down into the forest, where it's still pretty steep, And jagged and trees. Monkeys can live there quite nicely. But hunters can't go there. So the hunters are safe. But you come further down to where starts getting flat, then the hunters can come. And then the monkeys are no longer safe. And so the Buddha called that middle section where the monkeys are safe. The native land for the monkeys, the native country, their home country. And if the monkeys leave their home country, they're not safe. And so the Buddha said, mindful and the four foundations of mindfulness is our is our native land is our home country. And so the idea of the practice is to come home to that.
So both to the safety that's there, but also to the idea of being home someplace that feels very comfortable, very cozy, very appropriate. We feel kind of we can be ourselves. May be free from dangers and restrictions and all kinds of things. So to and it's a, it's a but you know, the four foundations of mindfulness practice of mindfulness is not a place. So it isn't like you go there, it's more like you bring it with you everywhere you go. So there's a way that you become at home, in your, in your, in your home country, wherever you go. By being somehow grounded and sensitive in your, in your, in your in, in your, these domains, areas of mindfulness. And there are four areas of mindfulness, domains of mindfulness that are emphasized for this purpose. There's mindfulness of the body, mindfulness of what's called feeling, feelings or feeling tone, has a particular meaning, and then mindfulness of the states of our mind, and then mindfulness of the activities of our minds. And as we go through this They're more more subtle and, and also more important activities of the mind are the most important ones that either cause us harm, the very harm we protect ourselves from, or give us freedom. And so, so we're finding our way to that, through these four foundations is this path. The first one, the mindfulness of the body begins with a expression that is very peculiar. And, and, and I, you know, maybe because I've read this so many times, I still find it inspiring. So the description of mindfulness of the body is the kind of kind of the general one sentence description is like this. A practitioner abides observing the body As a body, ardent, fully aware, and mindful, having put away covetousness and grief for the world. So when applied observing, so when the word abides or dwells has connotations of certain kind of ease and relaxation, like you're at ease and resting and from that space, you kind of observe what's going on with some clarity. And we observe the body. Here, he trusted his body as a body, the literal grammar of the ancient language. It's a body in the body. And what most people think this means is to be observe the body, be present, be mindful that the body in and of itself, in reference to itself, without comparisons to other bodies, to ideas, To thoughts to associations to value judgments to all, you know, rather of kind of abstract thoughts we can have about the body, but just a hot, it's almost like to be aware of the body as the body would experience itself. So an example of this that I like to give, especially do this on retreats or sometimes in the intro class to meditation is take some part of your body and often I use a hand and maybe we could do it as an exercise rather than just telling you about it. If you close your eyes and then we'll do it this way. Close your eyes, and then put your hands together, palm to palm. And gently, you know, touch your palms together and feel the temperature, they're the contact. And maybe you can feel the softness of the contact, or the hardness. Maybe there's vibration. If you're, maybe you feel pressure, or maybe you can push just enough so you feel pressure.
And as you feel your hands this way, chances are that your attention of your palms of your hands, probably, to some degree moves around your hands. Sometimes you're aware of the contact of some of the fingers and maybe the bottom of the palm, the top of the palm, you know, different ways. Sometimes it's pressure, sometimes it's warmth, vibration, different things. And so take a few moments more and just feel those sensations that are there. And if sometimes if you're just really just feel the sensations in and of themselves, Even the idea of the concept, and the image of a hand might drop away from the mind. And it's just particular sensations that are floating in space that are in contact there there appear there. So standing this way a little bit longer. Now, you could, you know, feel that the hand here, and then you could start having these kinds of thoughts, the first you might think about that, chances are that most of us have a dominant hand the one we write with. So that means you have a non dominant hand. So, the non dominant hand, you know, it doesn't do a good job writing for most people. And it's kind of a drag to have this hand that doesn't write very well, because you know, something might happen to your dominant hand and then you have to write with your non dominant hand or the type with it. And it's rather unfortunate, you haven't really trained yourself up over the years and, you know, and just not quite up to snuff and what you need to do. So you can start having thoughts like that, and you can get into it and spin out and come up with all kinds of reasons why this non dominant hand this has problems. As you start having these kinds of thoughts, what happens to the contact, the sensations, the feelings, sensations of the hands touching, chances are you started to lose touch with it. If you you know, unless you just, you know, thought I was being too silly and ignored me. So you can put them down and open your eyes. So, that's perhaps a little silly thing to do. I was just trying to make this point that it's possible to have a certain kind of attention, awareness sensitivity, that doesn't rely on a lot of ideas and thoughts and complicated, you know, judgments about what's there. But it's just a hand of sensations in Nova themselves very, very simply. So this expression here, the body as a body or the body, in the body or the body in regard to the body is to learn to develop a new awareness and attention to the experience of the body that is freed up from a lot of the complicated or, or sometimes even painful, even harmful thoughts and ideas that we carry about our body. You know, that, you know, many people spend a inordinate amount of time concerned with their body their looks and and feel bad about their body in some ways, in all kinds of ways. And some people get very depressed. There was a woman who I was speaking to a few classes last week and said that when she was in the house, you think she was 10 and she put on a little bit of a sweater was a little bit tight. I guess. And she had she looked at herself sideways in the mirror, and she saw she had a belly. And that kind of, she started to have tremendous amount of shame. And she grew up then from the age 10 to some point later in life, with this tremendous shame about her body. And it's not uncommon for people to have shame about the body or problems with their body, all kinds of things. And so if we experience our body, through the lens, of the judgments, the stories, the ideas, the internalized messages, we've gotten sick from society, all kinds of things. That's a very different experience, than experiencing the body in and of itself. To have this protective awareness, to have this awareness that's primed for wisdom, to have this awareness that puts us back in our home country we feel at home and centered in ourselves. It's really important to be able to put aside all these complicated thoughts and ideas that we have, and begin tuning in and being sensitive to how the body's actually experienced in and of itself. What's the body's experience of itself independent of all those ideas. So that's
partly what it means this idea of observing the body as a body or a body in the body. And then it goes on to say to do so ardently, with full awareness and mindful. So this idea of ardency is interesting. Many people come to meditation because they want to de stress they want to be calm and be able to quieter and not be agitated so much. And, and so the strong association many times is with relaxing and not doing and that's valuable for people who are overdoing or overstressed. For sure to do that. But at some point, hopefully as we both keep meditating, the issue of using meditation to distress stops happening. And then the meditation can really begin being used for what it was designed to be used for. The Buddha didn't design meditation just to help us de stress in just for that, but rather to have a relaxed body and relaxed mind in order we can go further with a practice. So, so then, the idea of being ardent to be determined or dedicated to actually give some good energy. Like really apply oneself This is important this is what I'm going to do. And then with hear the word is fully aware that the literal meaning of the Earth is caught with comprehension. And some pajama I like the translation to clear comprehension there is a clear understanding What's happening as we do mindfulness, that's an important part of this mindfulness practice. And then the third word in this sequence is mindful. So these are the three kind of elements that are at the heart of applying ourselves to mindfulness practice. there's ardency, there's cultivating clear understanding of what's happening. And there is this awareness itself, the mindful awareness that's present. So that's kind of the goal there. That's the description and then it says one more thing it says, When, when puts away having put away coveted covetousness and grief for the world or distress for the world. And how I understand this is that to covet something, is to want something out there. To have this stress about the world, or grief about the world is to have the stress grief about something that's out there. It's kind of like an object out there something you think about you can see out there, if you close your eyes in a safe, quiet place, if we have, if we get caught up in desire about things in the world that other people have, are caught up in any kind of grief and distress in the world out there, which might be reasonable to experience. But it's a way of being involved with the external world, the mind is being projected outward, as opposed to really centering itself here on itself. And since that's the purpose of mindfulness is to come home and be centered here, be so centered and connected here as a way of finding this coming to this very useful, productive kind of awareness. It really helps, if at least temporarily, we've learned how to turn the attention around to really be here. And so we're no longer focusing on the concerns. We have about the world around us. So I like to think of it as a turning our attention 180 degrees around from being concerned with objects, things out there, and really turning around and being much more intimately connected to the subject to the subjective experience how we actually are. This is not the end of the story. Like we're supposed to be that way all the time. But this is a preparation for being able to then return to the world in a very different way. And hopefully in a more healthy or useful way in the world. So, so do abiding, observing the body as a body, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having put away covetousness and grief, distress for the world. So that's the first foundation of mindfulness And then the text goes on and describes how that's cultivated how you do do such things. And it begins with mindfulness of breathing. And to do that, it describes how one prepares oneself
to meditate on one's breathing. And that is described this way. practitioner, say, and how does a practitioner abide? observing the body as a body. Here, a practitioner, gone to the forest, or to the root of a tree, or to an empty hut sits down. Having folded the legs crosswise sets the body erect, and establishes mindfulness to the forefront. So that's how one prepares oneself and it's kind of a little bit kind of You know, it represents that you kind of get yourself ready for mindfulness. Remember, this text I said, is a very consciously, intentionally composed text, suggesting, perhaps, that when we sit down to meditate, we don't do it casually. But we do that also, kind of intentionally, consciously. And we do it in a way that really kind of supports us that this is what I'm going to this is important. And let's get the conditions right, so that I can really do be here and be centered. So here he describes going to a place that's a quiet, there's not going to be a lot of disturbances, the phone's not gonna ring. The your device is not going to be that someone's not going to come necessarily, maybe it's a little bit isolated. And, you know, back in ancient India, it was to go into the forest or the foot of a tree or an empty hut someplace a little bit away from people. So that a person can really sit and be quiet and be left alone and do this inner work for us, you know, maybe it means going to a quiet room in one's house, or to meditate at a time when you're less likely to be disturbed by other people or the things of the world. So some people like to meditate early in the morning for that purpose. But they go someplace and like, I love this idea of an empty hut. You know, hopefully sit and meditate someplace where the objects in the room are not going to be enticing for you. You know, it's probably not a good idea to set yourself up to meditate with your laptop open right in front of you. You know, every time someone sends you an email that light goes on, you know, you've kind of kind of put things away so you don't have to do this. So again, remember that focus is a turn temporarily away from the world and focus on there and not be distracted by it. So you can really turn inward and be with this whole experience here. And then it goes on to say, this idea of to establish mindfulness to the forefront. And this is kind of peculiar language to establish mindfulness. The most likely meaning for this word Sati, translated as mindfulness is awareness, when establishes awareness. Awareness is not something we do. We don't intentionally do or awareness. Awareness is a natural capacity we have it's always here. We sometimes forget about it, we're distracted from it, we're kind of preoccupied, but to be aware, is, you know, it's a function of consciousness of our sensory apparatus to be aware. And so it's not so much so much that we have to do, but something we have to allow for or reestablish or reconnect to And this idea that we're lying on when you do mindfulness practice is less is, is not that's not a doing activity. But a, a, an allowing, or establishing or, or a connecting to a capacity is always here. But we always we often overlook or often don't recognize in a heightened way we're so caught up in our thoughts and ideas and all that. So this idea of like a, here I am, let me kind of establish myself here and aware, attentive. It's almost as almost to beat to establish awareness. It's almost, it's not a matter of doing something as it is undoing. It's kind of like putting aside thoughts. It's kind of like, almost like it's like listening. interview. So is it fair You're in a quiet, somewhat quiet place and you can try to listen to sounds. You know, it's, it's not hearing, we don't strain to hear to listen, we open and allow and open our sensitivity to listen. So this this to
establish mindfulness is to call upon a natural capacity that's always here, because that's what we're going to build on our use. As we do this practice. It's hard to stay there. Some people can momentarily connect to being aware for a moment. I don't know if this works, and maybe it's silly and you'll forgive me maybe. But sometimes I hear in this teaching this way. I'll suggest to people I'll give people the instructions to stop being aware. You know, stop, cut it out. You know, don't be conscious about stop. And, and most people when they're given that instructions simply can't do it. And it's a little bit of a kind of reverse psychology. thing, because you know, people will try to be aware of meditation, try to be aware and the mind goes off all the time and wanders off. And, you know, they wish they could be aware. And then as soon as someone soon seems to stop, you know, you try to stop it, then you know, you just like it won't go away, you know, like, and, because so. So it's something that's always there that we're relying on. But then to stay there is the art of it stay there is what we're trying to develop, to stay in that field of awareness. So that field of awareness becomes this productive, useful place to be. So, the text then, the first real exercise of the text to begin cultivating this heightened awareness and to keep it present in an ongoing way is done by meditating on breathing, mindfulness of breathing and, and there are four sets of instructions or four steps for how to practice mindfulness of breathing as given here it says. So having established mindfulness to the forefront, ever mindful, one breathes in. mindful one, breathe out. Breathing in a long breath. When understands, I breathe in a long breath or breathing out a long breath, when understands I breathe out a long breath, breathing and a short breath. When understands I breathe in a short breath or breathing out a short breath, winter stands, I breathe out a short breath. So that's the beginning. It's going to go on to a couple more steps. And here, it's the it's talking about a movement. First being aware of coarser breath a long breath and then Becoming aware of a short breath. And what this is describing is going from more ordinary agitated state and becoming calmer. And generally what happens is that breath becomes calmer as well or subtle, the breath becomes shorter and more. You know, and sometimes they get so subtle, you hardly recognize it's there. But if you're agitated, if you're stressed out, if you just did a marathon or something, you're gonna be breathing a lot heavy breaths, big breaths, and all that. And as things calm down, the breath calms down, and it gets shorter and shorter. And so what we're doing is here is we're just beginning to tune into our breathing, being mindful of it, and recognize it and declare comprehension of this being very simple about the breath. The simple quality of whether we're breathing coarsely, or subtly, and we watch the change as we settle in. Part of the reason to do this is this Simply develop a concentration, the steadiness and the breathing. The more you can follow the the rhythm of breathing stay within breath and out breaths, the less energy goes into our thinking. And, and the more we can kind of take the energy that goes into thinking and distractions and preoccupations, and put it over and give it over to our breathing. So there's a there's a fullness of attention of breathing. And that's kind of the art of this mindfulness thing. mindfulness practice, is to discover and experiment find how to have a full awareness on the thing we're paying attention to. I'm quite capable of being on my breathing little bit and be thinking about something I'm, you know, concerned with, and kind of be multitasking. And I met one person who said to me, told me I was kind of amazed. I, I don't know maybe maybe people can do this. Maybe. He said, he claimed that he could think about About seven different topics at the same time
that I said you mean very rapid succession as a no no, like, multi tracking. So that was quite impressive, I thought that he would even think that but even if it's not literally, you know, simultaneously, to be juggling seven things kind of continuously together. That's quite a fragmented mind. And maybe it's productive. But, but the point of mindfulness practice is to gather together or attention. So the full attention is there, on what we're paying attention to. And this is where we come back to this idea of the hands touching. If you take your two palms in touch, you're not to do it now. But to have both hands, touching fully, and really let the fullness of contact be there. As opposed to just taking you know, you're gonna, you know, you're told to put the hands together and just do the fingertips touch likely or you take one One little finger and just touch the palm of the other hand and, you know, and then the hands you know not it's not really full, but to bring our full attention to the experience of breathing is the art. And that's not an easy thing to do. But every time we notice the attention is not with the breathing. That means though, it's not fully on the breath. And slowly we gathered the, the the mind, slowly gather the attention. Slowly we'll learn what it's like to take all the energy of awareness or attention and have it fully there, not split, not multitasking, just with a breathing. So the simplicity of just being with the breath coming and going. Does this some people find just doing that is very calming. Some people find it a tremendous relief if they're able to do that, because it takes them out of the ruminating mind, which has been said now by psychologists that The one of the leading causes of depression is rumination. And, and other, you know, difficult emotional states, and to be able to kind of step away from or turn off the ruminating mind. And just by just really bringing our attention to the breathing. If for some people, it's really health producing, it's very, very helpful. So as So to begin, they're just focusing on the breathing, simplifying our experience, just coming to coming down to the breath, learning to do that, learn to let go of the distractions come back, learning to kind of not just come back in a minute in a light way or half hearted way, but to come back with a full hearted way. So we're fully there's full this weekend. And then we stay with the breath, tuning into the breath, watching it, seeing a change over time. Then it goes on to say is this mindfulness breathing? It says and now the language changes. Now it talks about training, when trains oneself when is when is, training is more than just practice. training has to do with developing something, a skill or capacity. When trains oneself Thus, I shall breathe in experiencing the whole body. When trains Marcel de deus I shall breathe in, I should breathe out experiencing the whole body. And this idea that when at some point as we settle into the breathing, it's not at some point the awareness becomes full, it stays full, but it can become public spread out a little bit more and become aware of this and peripheral awareness, perhaps, become aware of teacher say one of two things, either the more the full body, what's going on the body or the full experience of breathing So for example, you might first become aware of the breathing and the chest. But as you settle into the breath, then the whole experience of breath throughout the body throughout the torso becomes more and more sensitive, more attentive to it, the belly, the front ribcage, the back rib cage, the nose, the you know, to do much more, the fullness of breathing becomes more and more evident. And for some people, it's beyond beyond that, as the mind gets quieter and more focused. There's a heightened sensitivity to more of what's going on in the body. And, and so that we opens opens up to this wider experience of the body, but for a very interesting purpose. And this is the last exercise for mindfulness of breathing. When trains oneself, I shall breathe in relaxing the bodily formations.
When trains when self I showed Breathe out relaxing the bodily formations. And so this expression bodily formations is an interesting one. It means that experience that the experiences we have our body, either connected to your breathing or our whole body that are there because of how the mind is what the mind does. So, it's building work may be clear. If you sit down and you start getting, you know, start be quieting down, becoming aware of what goes on in your body. And you notice that your shoulders are tense and tight and sore. That's there maybe because you've been anxious all day. Those sensations in the shoulders are there because what the mind does the sings anxious thinking anxious and preoccupation. If you're angry and your stomach is hot and tight, those sensations in the stomach are are byproducts are or kind of byproducts or, you know, are there because of what the mind does. It turns out there's a fairly high percentage of sensations in the body that are there because of the momentum of how we've been using our minds. And so that begins to catch up with us as we start meditating. And there can be layers and layers of this kind of physical, mental, physical attention that we carry in the body. They're there because of how we've been living our lives with our mind. That's called the Bhakti formations. And what the Buddha instruction the Buddha gives, as we settle in, after we've kind of settled in getting more fully there with the breathing as we develop a little heightened more sensitivity to goes on the body, and you start noticing this tension in your body. Relax it. So as you breathe in, relax the bodily formations. As you breathe out, relax the bodily formations. So, sit down, establish awareness. With that awareness start becoming aware of your breathing, breathing in and breathing out. Notice in a simple way, the qualities of that breathing long or short course are subtle. And start using the qualities the characteristics, your breathing as a way to gather your attention to be more more fully here in your body with your body breathing. As you do that, at some point you'll start becoming more attentive, more sensitive, more aware of what's going on in your body more widely. Something will be could start aching so you feel attention, something begin happening, and feel that for a while. As you feel after a while and Felton got to know it. Then as you breathe, you're allowed to relax it, soften. Don't do it aggressively. Don't do it rapidly. don't relax rapidly. Don't overdo it and try making a big project out of it. That's counterproductive. But do within reason, try to relax. And you know, you're relaxing just enough just right. If it helps you be more present, if it helps you to be settled into your body more, and helps that awareness thing, the awareness to be a little bit stronger and more present. And, and then you can do that over and over again. I've been doing this for decades. And I find that I just love this practice mindfulness of the breathing. The, you know, you think that you do the same thing, you know, three, four breaths and you kind of figure them out, right? That's it. And but it just it opens up a whole world, a fascinating inner worlds like a door into the into the inner life and to all these different states and all these different healing quality And wisdom qualities that come from mindfulness of breathing. And so to spend time developing and cultivating a stronger and stronger awareness, present moment, awareness, focused awareness, of full awareness, to cultivate the capacity, that ability, with a simplicity of just with the breathing, with the breathing, with the breathing, come back, be with the breathing. If you're bored doing it, your attention is not fully in the breath. If your attention is fully with a breath, it's impossible for you to be bored. Some people get bored when there's a version resistance when they're living little bit too abstractly and their thoughts and ideas and expectations and everything and they're kind of removed from the experience. Boredom as some people say is a sign of being removed from your experience.
So that it is fully present for it, to kind of like when your hands touched together, fully have them touch. When your awareness is with breathing, have the awareness fully touch the experience of breathing, or have the experience of the body breathing, fully touch awareness. Have them be fully there. There's no room for boredom. And so if you do feel bored, what I hope is what I just said inspires you to not believe the boredom, not to be pushed around or ordered around by the boredom, but rather say boredom. You know, I'm going to give myself over more fully. I'm going to really make contact here and really be here more fully, really make the effort be inspired to really have full awareness full contact. And this might be all that's needed. Meditation teachers and teacher in Japan said that everything you need to know about Buddhism can be discovered through mindfulness of breathing. Then the Buddha goes on, and describes, this gives what's called a refrain. that follows every exercise is given here. So as we cultivate this mindfulness of breathing, it brings us to this next level, which includes a kind of bring the mind to a certain kind of aloof state of lucid awareness. And that I'll talk about next time. Because we're another time and this is a no. So what I hope this talk does, because I think this is what it does for me when I read this text is to maybe kind of inspire or evoke an interest to become curious and interested. What is this? This animal This thing, this wonderful capacity of awareness, what is it? And how is it? Can you? How can you use it? How can you make it come alive for yourself? Why is it protective? Why is it? What's it? Why is it bring you to a place of being prepared for wisdom? How is it they can bring you home in some way? How is it that it can becoming unsettling and focusing? What is this thing awareness for you? And what is it to rely on it or settle into it or apply it to something as simple as the breathing, be curious, the fascinating into the world and see what you discover. And then when I come back next time, I'll continue this series of talks and maybe next time I'll talk about the refrain. And, and then the next exercises have to do about bringing the mindfulness into daily life. So that makes it very practical. And that'll be in two weeks. I won't be here next Monday. So, thank you all very much. Enjoy your awareness.