4-8-20: Intro to Mindfulness Meditation (8 of 9)
7:19PM May 10, 2020
Great, thank you.
I'm happy to be back here with you and have the opportunity to continue to share a practice that has become at the center of my life and something that I found invaluable and a great refuge and a great support. And by the trust I have in mindfulness is is I think is unshakable. I. The more challenging situations are, the more I find that Mindfulness will support me through it. And there are times when I don't know what to do or what to say, or, but if I could show up and really be present for it to bring my mindfulness to the situation, the whole situation, which means both what's going on around me in this, but also what's going on inside of me that, that somehow the path opens up somehow I find my way. And it creates this tremendous sense of safety, to keep coming back to the mindfulness mindfulness is, is not the same thing as external safety, of course. But there is a kind of very profound form of safety that can come when we're really resting and awareness and really know how to pay careful attention to what's going on. So thank you for being here. And so what we've done what I've done over these days since the beginning is to for you that basic foundation for mindfulness practice, and the first days, we're talking about mindfulness of breathing, then mindfulness to the body of emotions and then thinking. And, and that sequence often provides a very good, supportive sequence for people because their mind is very busy, we have a lot of agitation. Breathing is for many people a calming, focus for attention, and it creates stability. So that more stable and focused we are more we kind of get calm, the easier it is to be mindful. As we become more mindful. It's useful to open up to the body and continue that process of settling and really learning how to be in the present moment, through the body and body's always in the presence and then emotions are important part of us and so we include that And then thinking is important part of our life and learn how to have this meditative or mindful awareness of thinking that it's freeing and helpful to have rather than being caught in thoughts. This movement towards including more and more expanding outwards, is meant to go out in all directions 360 degrees. So at some point, mindfulness includes our whole life. And it's not so much a technique mindfulness then, but it's a way of being awake, being present for our life as it's lived for a full experience. And I liken it to turning on a light bulb. If you have a light bulb hanging from a ceiling in a, in a dark room, if you turn on the light bulb, it shines on everything on the room, everything gets gets lit up, and gets revealed and they'll and the light from the light bulb doesn't is not selected. doesn't choose one thing or the other. It just whatever the light lands on land puts a light on equally on everything. So the same thing with this capet human capacity of awareness, that to think of awareness, as having that quality of light, where it just lands on or receives whatever is going on in our experience, in and of itself, just like light awareness, the simplest form of knowing we can have the simplest form of recognition of what's happening, receives or sees or recognizes everything equally and without preference or bias or agendas.
That doesn't mean that we are we don't we we've turned off our wisdom and our discernment of what we should say no to what we say yes to and making choices, but it's the foundation for making wise choices. Discover how to have this nonreactive non conflictive awareness turned on and to bring it to all aspects of our life. And in fact, one of the things that I have for me that makes mindfulness or awareness practice sacred is the idea that there's no outside, everything's a lot to be included, everything is included within it. As soon as we have some idea that we're not supposed to pay attention to that that's excluded from any of it has no value and no importance. For the purposes of opening up and being aware, being awake. Then we've lost that sacred or the holistic wholeness of, of life. And so this idea of letting mindfulness become 360 degrees to include everything. And and it tends to come over time if you do the basic practice of mindfulness as I've been teaching, and you'll learn how to be Present and settled and composed on your breathing on your body, your emotions and your thoughts. It tends to translate to starting to bring that kind of presence into the rest of our life. And, and bringing mindfulness and doing the same practice in daily life, as you would do on the cushion is one of the ways to the practice deepens and grows over time. The mindfulness doesn't what I'm teaching you here, it doesn't have to be limited to meditation, it's equally valid in all aspects of our life and kind of kind of another form of this 360 degrees of practice. In fact, what I've taught so far, could also be seen as it as a very helpful way of checking in with yourself in daily life, to really check you know, like almost like a checklist, how am I what's happening here, so you can be wiser and more understanding of what's happening. So, for Example. You might if you find yourself with a few seconds a minute or have some little free time, a little pause and something, standing in line somewhere, sitting on the toilet some further for a little bit. Waiting for something or just you have a little bit of time and you feel frazzled or feel not quite connected or feel upset or challenged in some way to spend a little time checking in and following the check the mindfulness checklist. So, you might start with your breathing. How does your breathing is your breathing contracted? Is it tight? Is it relaxed and easeful? Are you breathing mostly from the chest or mostly from your belly moving in a relaxed way? Or is your belly tight and all the movement is happening, their chest? What's happening where or what's happening with your breathing? And so sometimes just checking in and knowing your breathing and knowing what's out happening, you're breathing fast, you're being slow, smooth is a choppy, start seeing how we are because how we are, can often get translated or get expressed in our breathing. So it could be the first thing to check in with. And one of the reasons to start there, it's kind of like at the center of it all the breathing is and also because if you notice that you're contracted or held and you're breathing, you can relax and soften perhaps, and that will change the whole mood kind of kind of begins a process of resetting or coming into balance.
Then for the next check on the checklist, is check in with your body. What's happening with your physical body? What are the sensations that are active and what's going on? It could be as, as Stark with posture. Are you collapsed? Are you pulling back? Are you leaning forward literally? Are you turning away from how are you with your posture Is this a posture of presence? And there are postures which Express attentiveness and presence and mindfulness more than others. And doesn't mean we it gets tense or, but it's possible to kind of, not collapse, not pull away, not turn away, physically, and just be create a posture of, you know, that's a little bit more balanced. Then, deeper than the posture. Are there tensions in the body are you tight or anywhere, the muscles contracted. And sometimes for me, it's only when I check in with my body and feel that contraction too tight. The swirling energy in different parts of my body that I recognize, oh, I'm actually feeling afraid or angry or I feel really relaxed and happy in this situation. I didn't know so nice to be here. And so it's like through the body. There's a lot of information And then in daily life, the next kind of checkpoint is how are you emotionally? How are you feeling right now. And if you've learned through the mindfulness meditation, how to open to emotions, even difficult ones, with a nonreactive, open awareness, feeling in your body, this is invaluable in daily life to give a little bit of time to really recognize and be with something rather than continuing to react with difficulties. The human tendency to react to uncomfortable emotions is almost subconscious. And, and we find ourselves kind of spiraling out because of the reactivity the that we have, and, but to learn how to bring a non reactive awareness to our emotional life when things are challenging, can make all the difference in the world can bring balance can bring a degree of non reactivity and allows us to be a little bit more choice full about how what we say and what we do. Because we recognize what's compelling us the compulsions we have or the filter the lens through which we're seeing. And then the fourth of these checklists in the checklist is thinking, What's going on with your thoughts? Not only What are you thinking about, but that's important to notice, because sometimes it's a self talk that we do. That's the major source of problems. They say that depression major source of many people's depression is self talk, how we talk to ourselves. Certainly there are other reasons as well. And, but also fear, there can be self talk that gets us into a tizzy around fear. And so just notice, what are we telling ourselves and how accurate is it? Is it true, but more deeply, is not just looking at the story we're telling ourselves but also To bring mindfulness to the process of thinking, the event of thinking independent of the content, is there a lot of energy? Is there a lot of contraction and tightness? Is it? Is there emotions that are kind of fueling the thinking? Is there tightness someplace. So all the instructions I've been giving you and these different domains of mindfulness, all can be done as a checklist and daily life for now, for many people, this is a very stressful time a lot of difficulties in life with Coronavirus and work and maybe blocked down all kinds of issues that come up and, and for some of us, you know, some people it's now it's been a while now that we our life has been turned upside down. And sometimes it's only after a period of time that something inside sometimes it gets alarmed or feels like this is getting can be hard or this is, you know how long it's gonna last. and patience begins to wear thin. So, you know, to have a tool and there they live, to do a good form of check check in for oneself and then maybe be wiser and know how to take care of yourself better and, and conduct yourself better is one of the things that can be done with mindfulness and bringing you this into their into daily life. And
and this doing this kind of learning how to do this checklist and doing it somewhat quickly. It can become second nature can be helpful even in meditation, something comes up, just go through the checklist and just check in to know what's going on and, and more when you know what's happening, then it can be easier to continue with the basic mindfulness of breathing and just settle in, because then there aren't something which is subconscious or something going on inside of us, which is a little bit off to the side that we're not paying attention to influencing, influencing us or pulling us away. We understand what's going on. And so then sometimes it's easier to stay settled and focused in that. So, let's do a meditation. And I'll start by doing this checklist once very quickly at the beginning, and then we'll go through these steps together, not so much as a checklist the second time, but as a way of beginning to open the awareness up, keep opening, it includes inclusive of everything. And so if you could then take a meditative posture, close your eyes
and to do the initial Just checklist just how's your breathing now? And it's we're only doing a check in so do not to fix anything or judge anything but just recognize how's your breathing right now? Is your breathing comfortable or uncomfortable? Is your breathing easy or not so easy.
Are you breathing more from your chest? In the belly or Where's your chest or your torso contracted or tight? Where's the breathing held back restricted
Are you breathing fast or slow? Both are fine. It's nice to recognize how it is. Does your breathing feel deep? Or does it shallow, both are fine. Just recognize how it is
and then check in with your body. You might begin with your posture again and other subtle or not so subtle adjustments in your posture, that your posture will express limit more attentiveness. stronger sense of presence. As if your whole body is calmly alert
and then checking in with how you feeling your emotions, your mood, perhaps whatever it is, having an attitude of It's okay, for now it's okay to be this way. For this kind of check in, it's enough just to know to allow it to know for now
and then to recognize what's happening in your mind with your thinking, to see if you can be relaxed around when What's happening in your mind your concerns your thoughts. But recognize the process the activity of thinking. Is it forceful or is it relaxed? Is it fast and furious? Is it slow and gentle?
Are you in some way gripped by your concerns? Or are you more spacious? noticing your thinking?
Are there any emotions that seem related to your thinking maybe is the fuel for them the factory for them?
So with that check in, maybe a little bit more in touch with yourself than you were before. Now we can begin the meditation.
allowing yourself to be the way you are And in the middle of how you are taking a few long slow, deep breaths, gently, gentle, deep breaths.
Feeling the stretching of the torso and shoulders as you breathe in deeply and then allow yourself to relax the shoulders In the torso as you exhale
and then letting your breathing returned to normal and taking a few moments to soften, relax any obvious places in your body. Often it can be the shoulders.
often enough it might be the bellies.
Sometimes it can be in the face on the eye forehead, jaw.
so relaxing the body. And if it doesn't, things don't relax. Then it's more like a movement of softening around the tension. Recognizing it and making space for it
and then letting your breathing become the center of your experience.
Let there be contact between experience of breathing and your awareness of it being conscious of it
Allowing the awareness to accompany your breathing and your breathing to accompany your your awareness
and then noticing Letting go of the breathing and noticing what is it what is the strongest sensation or most compelling sensation in your body?
bringing meditative awareness to physical sensations
if it's rather intense, perhaps imagining you're breathing through those sensations. So you're they're attending to the sensations, but the breathing somehow is missing. massaging after helping you be present without being preoccupied by it, just being breathing
and then broadening the awareness to in some simple way, that's your way. Become aware of your whole body. Whatever way it appears for you
And then opening up wider to become aware of your emotions and how you're feeling
and maybe doing a little bit of nonreactive mindfulness of emotions
if you perhaps in the middle of it all with a scope in the range of awareness Is your body and emotions in the middle of it all your resting are centered on breathing. Ready to leave the breathing if something else becomes predominant breathing in the middle in the midst of your body in the midst of your emotions, just breathing. Aware
And then becoming aware opening up and including the world of thoughts and thinking
and if they're strong or you feel particularly pulled into your thoughts, to spend a little bit of time turning on the light bulb of attention in the realm of thinking
just at all okay? Just to know when to recognize in a relaxed way
And then do come back to your breathing. And now with breathing at the center and then on the periphery kind of like central vision and peripheral vision. central vision is with your breathing and the peripheral vision is open and relaxed to include, but not focus on your body or emotions, thinking.
If you let go of your thoughts let go of your preoccupation with anything let's go back into breathing.
And then you can also open up the scope of awareness even wider to include the sounds that appear as you're sitting here. We generally don't interfere with sounds. Just allow the sounds to arise and to appear come and go whichever way they want. Some people will even relax more like watching a river go by. By just listening to the sounds go by, come and go. Some say and summarize and pass.
And then kind of at the center of all things with this let yourself rest with the experience of breathing
and relaxing and letting the scope of the mind of awareness be broad and wide and inclusive of everything with a breathing at the center, allow things to be at the periphery without being involved in the other things just you're involved with breathing.
It's not a turning away or rejecting of anything. Giving preferential attention to just breathing in the middle of it. As if breathing is the heart of all things, connected to all things
and then if anything from the periphery enters the center becomes compelling. You can let go of the breathing and let your awareness center itself on this, whatever it is that's compelling. As if this now has become temporarily the home for meditation. It's not a distraction. It's the place to bring a mindful attention.
And then to end this sitting if you can in a relaxed way, as if all things are okay. You can own your own code through the mindful checklist How are you now if you go through breathing, body posture, body, emotions and thoughts, thinking
And then to end this sitting. You can take some gentle deep breaths. Feel your body, feel your chair your cushion and when you're ready, you can open your eyes.
When I started having a regular daily meditation practice many, many years ago at some point as the meditation opened up for me became valuable for me. I had a feeling of, of being settled, being peaceful, having a sense of wholeness or integrity, that I had never really known any consistent way in my life. And I was attracted to go sit in order to settle into that space again. And a lot of it was settling into it. It wasn't like I was trying but it just as I stay present, okay with all things being with my breath, the tensions and the preoccupations and in life slowly begun And to settle. And as it settled, a different kind of vitality and wholeness tended to be present for me as I got calm, something like that. And then one day, I was recognized that what I was valuing in meditation was not present in my daily life. And there was a real divide between having a sense of wholeness, integrity, lightness and meditation. And I thought to myself, and what's happened the rest of my life, and I thought to myself, that the line the divide between meditation and their life, is really an arbitrary line. It just kind of a convention to say that there's two different modes of being. And I said, what why don't I have this wholeness, this integrity, this sense of calm or peacefulness in the rest of my life is Well, why should I limit it just to meditation? And that question became kind of one of the driving questions for many years for practice for me, was how to live this way, how to bring the attention, the mindfulness, the presence, the sense of wholeness to the rest of my life. Or to say it differently, how not to lose fragment, crush, forget the sense of presence and wholeness and daily life. I've been able to maintain it in some way. So what that led to what for me was beginning to pay more attention to my daily life, to pay attention what was happening as I was living my life in the present moment, and bringing more mindfulness to my experience. And that was really kind of that that decision, that movement was really a turning point for me. And it really began to allow this practice To begin fill my life to become relevant in all aspects of my life. So what some people find sooner or later that they become interested in bringing this heightened attention to mindfulness into their regular life. And, and so they started applying after practicing it there as well. It might not be with the same intensity or, or completeness or as within much as much continuity as in meditation, but begin touching in to just being mindful breath. And so that's what's happening. This is what's happening. I see. I see what's happening my body, I see my breath, I see what's happening emotionally. I see that I'm lost in thought. What if I notice what's happening in the situation, maybe I should be listening more to the person who's talking. I drifted away and so to start Waking Up in daily life, and having a present moment awareness that starts to starts becoming richer fills out the picture that brings out the three dimensionality of our lived life for our lived experience. And so it's very satisfying for me when people start asking you, how do you apply this mindfulness in daily life. So there's all kinds of ways in which people learn to bring it into their regular life. And sometimes people will choose daily life activities, to be places where they're training themselves, to be mindful more to experiment with what it's like to be mindful and present and bring a high quality present moment awareness to this activity. So it could be that you have a mundane ordinary chore like sweeping the kitchen floor or somehow involved cleaning the dishes and They're washing them in the sink or putting them in a dishwasher or something.
And maybe those times are times where it's just like, it's kind of like a meditation time, where you decide that this is not the time to think about tomorrow or yesterday or be caught up in concerns. This is a time to have a heightened sense of mindful meditative presence to what we do. You might do it a little bit slower than usual. You might do it at the regular speed. But you've kind of come back whereas the How am I my posture? What's the breathing, what's the what's, what are the emotions, what's going on with my mind, bring yourself back from your bring yourself back from your preoccupations. A very important time for me to do this was when I was living in the monastery, and I was working as a prep cook in the kitchen. And I didn't particularly like chopping vegetables at New a lots and lots of them and they In the monastery, but I was very interested in being present for the experience. And so I started paying attention to how I was and I saw how much my not wanting to do the chopping vegetables made me disconnect and pull away and, and pay to think other things. And I've made the practice of always like coming back to my breathing, coming back to chopping, coming back to chopping. And I learned over time to really just be there with vegetables, vegetables became my teachers, because we just have kind of one pointed just involve just this and that came to love chopping vegetables, so just really great to have to be present for chopping vegetables in the same way in which kind of I was doing for myself in meditation. Some people will do it. If they drive to work if they do drive to work these days. Park maybe you're far away from the store, the factory, the office or wherever you have to go. And do walking meditation walk in a mindful way and have the walking be a place where this meditative awareness is waking up to what's happening the moment becomes more alive. Some people will choose will have a mindfulness bell that reminds them to notice what's happening. Some people will get in like an insight timer an app you can get. You have a bell that goes off every hour on the hour. And when you hear that bell, you take 10 seconds, 15 seconds to check in and be mindful and see what's going on. You can make a world of difference. You could also choose particular activities. Some people have chosen every time they turn on and off a light switch. That's a time to tune in and be attentive. I used going through doors door frames, every time I went through a doors kind of going into a new space make sense to pay attention. I would every time I went to a doorframe was a time to check in. Be mindful, wake up to what's up. In the presence, and I went through sometimes I went through a lot of doorframes every day and, and that was a wonderful way of kind of checking in and developing more momentum and the mindfulness. And, and some people, it's, I don't know how much people do this anymore, or some people do. But every time used to be that every time the telephone rang, I noticed I had a tendency to want to rush to get to the next, you know, somehow get the answer as soon as I can, you know, in the first or second ring, and I learned that people don't hang up that quickly. So I'd let it ring five, six times. And during those rings, I would practice mindfulness in my breathing, I would settle in just very quickly that you know, just show up, wake up to what's happening. And I found that I did that I had a much nicer presence for the phone call than if I ran over to get it as if I was going to lose something important. So bringing mindfulness daily life and letting it develop and grow is a feed back to meditating and in meditation, mindfulness and meditation. The more we become a habit and do it mindfulness in daily life, the more it supports us to do it in meditation. The more we learn it in meditation and do it, the more it supports us in daily life. And this wonderful reciprocity, it builds over time and grows one way of growing the mindfulness. So I said I would take some questions today. And so here in the last 10 minutes or so, and we have one more debt lesson with tomorrow, and I look forward to kind of filling in and talking about how we can go deeper and in the practice, how to you know, it really becomes a path to liberation and takes us much further than me, that's for tomorrow. But now if you have any questions, please
So this person says, I'm Fred from Brazil. Hi. I feel much more prepared for meditation after I practice yoga. What's your view on the preparation for sitting in meditation? If you have time to do preparation to, that's a great thing to do. I did for a long time I would do walking meditation before I would meditate. And then that had a little bit more momentum and more concentration, meditative energy, sit down and really be here. And yoga can that can do that to other things can do it as well. Sometimes taking a little nap is good, rather than falling asleep in meditation, sometimes taking 510 minutes to have a cup of tea and look out the window and just chill and let some of the initial kind of relaxing of the day or relaxing the tension happened before the minutes So you're not relying on meditation for that can be helpful meditation go deeper. The little thing to be cautious around this, I think, especially if someone doing yoga is that it's very easy to have the attitude that you're supposed to be in a special state, in order to do meditation, or meditation is supposed to get you into a special state, like supposed to be particularly calm or concentrated are supposed to turn into something that can happen in meditation. It's nice, but the most radical way of practicing mindfulness, and the way that I think in the long term is most liberating, is not to prioritize any particular way except meditative experience. Allow them to come and go as they do. But learn how to practice a kind of accepting awareness and allowing awareness. Learn how to wake up with whatever experiences. Don't feel like you always have to change your experience in order to be mindful. It's possible to be mindful without anything changing whatsoever. All we change is our attention, not the experience and changing the attention. We learn to be free, even in difficult situations, uncomfortable situations. Thank you. So let's see. I can the first 510 minutes of, Oh, it's a little bit hard to follow these. Let's see if I can.
Okay, the first 510 minutes of sitting are full of agitation and reasons not to meditate suggestions. That's to be expected. And it's not uncommon for many activities, like when I used to do run every day. The first few minutes was, I was My body was screaming stop. And then after a while running, it was effortless, and I loved it. But it was I just knew that not to listen to that voice that says stop when I was doing running. Same thing with meditation. So it might be just have the wisdom to know that you don't listen to those voices, and that are giving you reasons all the lawyers of the mind will come up and say, while you have to stop, and you don't listen to them, the mind has all kinds of tricks to get you to stop meditating. Once a lot, many years ago, someone said they were meditating. And they felt this it they had to was essential. It was like, most important thing to do was to stop to meditate to go and defrost the freezer. So you know, is that really so essential? But you know, there's all these pools. And sometimes all we have to do is for beer sometimes it'd be patient. One of the first lessons of meditation is to learn to be patient with at all and, and not give in to some of these other seasons. So these polls to stop, have agitation the first 10 minutes, it's fine, then the task is to learn how to be relaxed about being agitated. And we do mindfulness vegetation. Do the mindful checklist, not to get rid of the agitation, but just see how agitation really feels and experienced and what's it like and like you're going to become the world class expert and why agitations like, and chances are if you kind of really just have that kind of interest and attention to it, probably agitation will lessen. More sooner than 10 minutes. Here's a beginner's perhaps, foolish question. Generally, there's no fullest questions. When it comes to meditation. Does Nirvana exist? What is it should we look for it is the same thing as enlightenment in our Tradition, the Tera vaada tradition, enlightenment and Nirvana are generally considered to be the same. We call it Nibbana. It's the same thing as Nirvana. And it's a it's a radical, letting go or dissolving, of every form of clinging, attachment and craving a person can have. And that's certainly possible that but it's not a thing. Nirvana is not a thing. So it doesn't exist. It kind of exists. It's a radical absence of clinging, the radical absence of any form of attachment. And so that absence is sup for some people, the most important or the most important and valuable and lightening things they ever experience. It's not exactly a thing. So it does exist does not exist. It's little bit difficult to say is a radical absence, but it counts and it's So for people who have this experience of radical release and freedom from attachment, it's, it's a life changer and brings up a lot of peace and happiness. And since it's a beginner's question, don't look for it. Let it come, let it let it come in its own time. Don't be in a hurry. It's really better to be a tortoise when it comes for the path of this mindfulness. Don't be in a hurry to get anywhere. Don't try to attain something. Don't try to get to Nirvana. Don't try to get enlightened. Just try to really do the practice sincerely. And if you do the mindfulness, practice sincerely, really learn to settle into it and be sincere and how you show up here and now for this experience. For the time being, it'll be almost as good as being enlightened. Sometimes I disappear briefly, is this mindfulness or mindlessness? Should I encourage it? Am I drifting? Yes, sometimes it can be all those things. I don't know why you disappear. Sometimes when the mind becomes very still and quiet, the self talk and the concepts and ideas by which we kind of create their self construct ourselves fall away. And there's a wonderful feeling of absence wonderful feeling of me myself in mind, not here. And generally that can be very refreshing time.
In which case is I'd be happy and let it Let it be instructive and nice and realize that you're safe and it's actually quite wonderful that too, in a certain kind of way to disappear briefly. If you find yourself a tired, distracted, agitated doll, If you don't feel any refreshment, any sense of, kind of wonderfulness of that disappearing, then it could be that you're just lost in thought and daydreaming and, or you've kind of just gone numb or gone blank for a little bit, which can happen sometimes when there's a lot of difficulties and emotional difficulties that are hard to touch into and be with. None of this is wrong. But it's just, it's all just one more thing to be aware of one more thing to be aware of. Okay, let's see. How does mindfulness meditation fit in with grief? Sometimes the grief and sadness feels too overwhelming to sit with. Yes, absolutely. And so, if it feels too overwhelming to sit with, then you have the opposite, always have the option to do something else about it. Sometimes other things are useful. I find going for long walks for me is useful for really these difficult emotions. It allows kind of the moment that I, I find it easier to be mindful in a good way of the difficult emotions and by walking because they kind of give some freedom to the energy, the sensations, the feelings and emotion to course, through my body when I'm walking, and I let my mind just think what it does. But I try to come back and just check in check in make room for it. I try to be present, when I'm walking. It's not like the stakes are not as high as meditation or something. And so it just kind of a freer and easier way to go, the body's helping grounding and supportive. So that's also an option. Another option is in fact to bring more mindfulness to the grief and the sadness. And to see this as an opportunity to learn a different relationship to grief, grief and sadness. Then we normally have have so for example, Sometimes when people feel grief and feel sadness, there can be a very strong identification to it, or very strong attitude with it. That this is unfortunate. For me, this is too much. This is a crisis happening to me. I'll never, I'll never overcome it. This is forever. This is too difficult for me. All these thoughts and attitudes come in, which kind of make it a they're extra. They're not the grief themselves. There's they are how we're relating to the grief. And, and, and this difference between as simple or pure but difficult emotion for what it is in and of itself. Versus however relating to it is one of the really important ways in which we tease apart. I remember the raft similar acronym, we're teasing apart. So that the thoughts about something the attitude towards something is different than the something.
And, and so there is something that, to quote Charlie Brown, good grief, there is good grief, there is a way, grief is a completely normal and even healthy human emotion to have. So as sadness, it's not a mistake to feel these things. It might be part of the hearts movement towards healing, movement back to wholesome also being hosts whole, it might be part of the very important process by which we come to balance we learn, we grow we develop, it might even be important part of how we honor or respect the profundity of what's been lost the profundity of what's happening to us. So grief doesn't have to be a problem, or seen as a problem. And a lot of the way which is seen as a problem tends to be on the side of our relationship to it. What we've learned about grief from our society and our family, people Unless you should be over it by now. And we're embarrassed by it or were frightened by it or, you know, all kinds of wear, you know. So you might kind of use the mindfulness to see if you can distinguish between the simplicity of grief that can be quite strong. versus your relationship to it, your attitude towards your resistance to it, your fear of it. And, and if you can separate those two out, then if it feels okay for you, then if you could come into your body, and just relax and open up and let the grief and the sadness just kind of move through you freely. And if what that means is you start crying, let yourself cry, be mindful of, of tears, but the art of crying and letting the freedom of the grief to be there. That is really interesting to do that invaluable to do it in meditation. Where we take this is where we're taking a good meditation posture when you sit upright and an alert can be invaluable, because the balanced upright posture can help us stay balanced in letting these energies move through us freely. And then we pay attention to our posture, because some of the more unhelpful ways to be with these difficult emotions is to physically collapse to kind of even physically kind of Oh no, and this is so hard and, and kind of physically the posture kind of collapses. To do that is little bit leaning into it, then if that kind of feeds a little bit. There's something very powerful and very respectful of the emotion to not collapse or give into it that way. But keep the posture balanced and open, trusting the body and what's happening in the body as the body goes through it. I'll do one more. And I appreciate very much these questions. It shows me that you're taking what being taught here seriously and engaged? What is the relationship between emotion and compassion? To nice question, and not completely, completely sure how to answer the question. But this is what comes to mind is that compassion is both an emotion, emotion. And it's also a motivation. As an emotion, it involves some feeling of even physical feeling sensation, emotional sensations and feeling within us of empathy, empathy, of warmth, of, of love of care. You know, kind of a tenderness for me, a parental feeling. feeling of wanting to care for a child is parental feeling perhaps that feels kind of emotional because I can feel it, even if they're sometimes in meditation, I can feel a very sense strong sense of compassion. without even having thinking about someone or being in the presence of someone who's suffering. It's just kind of a sweet tenderness.
Generally in Buddhism, we see emotion, as compassion, as an emotion that or a feeling or an attitude. That which does not have suffering as part of it. We're not weighed down by it, we're not constricted by it. It's not exactly, there is a discomfort with feeling the suffering of others. But as we feel that discomfort that we're, you know, the empathy or something, it has, it has a goodness to it, it feels good, it feels kind of nice. And then in addition to that kind of emotional quality, then there's also this motivation, this desire to alleviate that suffering, desire that made that person should not suffer that way, I wish that it could be different. Even if we can't do anything for the person because the situation we're in, we really wish the person become free. The more we open up to our emotional life in meditation, the more we learn that freedom and through mindfulness, to be present and allow our emotions to flow through us, and allow our emotional life to certain have this freedom and within within us. I believe the more will be capable of compassion, both because of the freedom, then my emotions kind of move through us. But also because as we feel more fully, we also feel more fully our compassion when that's there. And certainly my hope and my experience has been, and my hope is that all of us as we do this mindfulness practice, that what will be born and awakened and strengthen in us, is our capacity for compassion and for care. So thank you very much. I appreciate the all of this. And we'll take time tomorrow as well at the end for questions and, and hopefully, I hope I can answer all your questions and tomorrow. So I'll talk a little bit about how we might be able to continue this to the next level of this interaction of course, and, and, and so I'll just do some follow up will be for tomorrow as well. So thank you very much for now.