2019-02-11: Foundations of Mindfulness Part 4 - Mindfulness of Posture and Activities
12:58AM May 23, 2020
I'll pick up where I've left off from last week. So what I'm doing is giving a series of talks on probably one of the most famous or important teachings of the Buddha, about mindfulness practice is kind of like the considered to be the text that from which the my whole mindfulness practice down to the century originates. And it's a somewhat lengthy text that gives a series of exercises for cultivating strong mindfulness. And, and it's divided this different exercises are divided into three different areas of life, of our immediate life with physical life or body life. mindfulness of the body a little bit deeper than that is considered to be what's called feelings, which we'll talk about in a few weeks, which is the ways in which we sense and pick up the planet In the unpleasantness of experience, and deeper in that is the mind states that we live in. And deeper in that there are the deep seated mental processes by which we either get caught into bondage and, or by which we become free and break the chains of mental bondage. And it's a right now we're talking about mindfulness of the body, which is extremely important area of Buddhist practice, and which I didn't see when I first started doing Buddhist practice, the teachings I was given, didn't talk about the body much. And it seemed like if anything was more intellectual and ideas, mind things rather than anything to do with the body. But that was the rhetoric I kind of picked up. But the practice that we did was all about being in the body. It was all these physical things and physical activities and what you did with it. How you carry your body what you did with your body, the, the attention you knew to us through the body and walking and standing and sitting and walking through doors and eating and everything was kind of set up to be aware of what you're doing with your body. And so without being taught to be aware of the body, that became a huge part of my life, it became kind of second nature, to have a mindful presence or present moment awareness, rooted or centered in my body. And it's been a huge gift for my life, and I just love it. It's a wonderful thing. And so the first five exercises in the set of 13 exercises for cultivating mindfulness have to do with the body. And, and to kind of a little bit do a little wordplay to emphasize a little bit to how this works is the word is Sati which we usually translate into English as mindfulness, which I prefer to translate as awareness, the word Sati is related to the ancient Indic word for memory to remember. And if we take that idea in English to remember and you kind of pause between the re and the member, to re member to bring all the members back together and become become whole and many times we are disconnected from ourselves and it's very easy to be disconnected to the body. And, and set this it said that the modern life has done more to disconnect bodies from them so people from their bodies than any previous lifestyle or century or your culture at all. We do so many things which are mental, you know spending. Some people spend hours a day on the screen, which is So much is processed through the, the mind and the eyes. And, you know, the body's kind of, you know, you can always kind of incidental you know, and they don't pay strong attention to it. And and so and some people spend a lot of time preoccupied by things. People who have maybe a good reason for good reason, have a lot of fear can live, swirling around in their imaginings around fear about what they're afraid of thoughts of fear, anxiety, emotions of fear, and they're in some ways very present for the fear, anxiety, but it often keeps people disconnected for themselves. It keeps them in they're also in their thoughts imagination, it keeps them tense and sometimes removed from parts of their body because they are the tightness they live under.
So So People have been taught by their culture or religion to this value the body, the body is not important. And so the body's treated as just a hunk of meat that, you know, is useful because it carries you around. But it's kind of inconvenient that time too. And, and so the body is, you know, not seen as sometimes. But it's so strong that the idea that I'm not my body, there's a real disconnect or separation from the body. A strong Western current of thought, makes a very strong separation between mind and body. And the mind is where it's really at the body is just kind of incidental. And so all these different ways and more that people get disconnected from their body, spending a lot of time thinking about the past, thinking about the future, fantasizing, drifting off into fantasy. And some people don't realize how disconnected they are until they sit down. To meditate, and then they discover how much their mind is swirling and caught up in thoughts and futures and plans and fantasies and, you know, fears and all kinds of things go on that put us up in the head into the imagination. And the body again is is lost touch with sometimes there's so we get this message you know some places that the body is not to be felt. Some people don't want to feel their body because the body is the primary vehicle to really feel fully our emotional life and emotional lives are difficult for people. And some people have had very difficult emotional lives and, and the remnants very powerful remnants of difficult things that happened in the past. They'll live in their body. They'll live inside and so it's too hard sometimes to feel those emotions that are there, and so people disconnect from it when the Body Snatchers To feel so much better not feel anything, shouldn't feel anything below the neck. So some people have and, and so some people's different parts of their body gets shut down or shut off the example of how I remember many years ago, I met this man who was paraplegic, he had been sleeping in a sleeping bag in a farmer's field. And the farmer didn't know he was there and drove his tractor right over him. And he became paraplegic. And, and he told me he was a he was a mindfulness practitioner, very serious about it. And he said that he's always in pain, unless he unless he shuts off the connection between his head and the rest of his body and his ability to completely shut down because to not do that, put him in fire a pain and he was just he couldn't you know, manage that. So You know, the mind has many, many very powerful capacities. So either we're so disconnected because we're distracted from the body. Or we have some people have aversion to the body. And some people just shut down the body because they don't want to feel and feel their life much.
And, and so to sit down and meditate, is to go in the other direction. And that is meditation is a process of reconnecting and remembering bring all the pieces back together, and awakening the body to the degree to which it's falling asleep or gone numb or disconnected. And, and so this is this course in the four foundations of mindfulness begins with mindfulness of the body. And the exercises themselves can some of them could seem kind of a little bit dry or not so inspiring, but to take them on as practices, or practices here to reconnect us and really be Present through our body. And it begins with mindfulness of breathing, which I talked about two weeks ago or two talks ago. And, and that that's explicitly as a process of settling into your breathing. And as you settle in, if the if you relax, the breathing becomes calmer, slower, in a nice way. And as the breathing becomes, calms down as we sit and meditate, that that begins, that means the mind begins to quiet down. And that opens up a heightened sensitivity to the body. And it talks about that it talks about how then become aware of the body in a fuller way the tensions and stuff in the body. And then the Buddha gives you instruction to calm the body down to to relax it further. And as we as we feel the body and relax it, we feel the body more fully, and to really relax and lower all the resistance. We have all the ways disconnected and have the body be relaxed and fully integrated is one of the great pleasures of life. That's a beautiful feeling to really be here and feel it through the body. And to do this in a focused way to really stay, be with the breath, stay focused in this process show up here and cultivate a stronger attention to the present moment. And a more stable steady attention than most people go about their daily life. And the text gives a simile for that kind of attention. And that is a someone who has it laid and they're with their their knife, they're carving something on the laid here that there's Texas called a Turner. And, and, and that person has the kind of attention they would have in order to bring that chisel I guess, up against the whatever word you're turning, shaping, and just hold it there very precisely. And this idea of you know, you hold it very, very precisely. And the more refined it gets, the more you get close to the shape you want. The more more lighter the touch, the more precise you have to be, to get it to just work right to stay smooth and nice. And the kind of focus attention that keeps you right there. As someone doing that kind of work or craft work, is the kind of attention that Buddha i think is trying to encourage us to have for staying on the breath. Really there. It's a beautiful thing that you feel this, if you think of your the cycle of breathing in and out that's being delayed and your attention being the chisel and you want to keep that chisel of attention right there in the full cycle. Because if you take your chisel on and off the bowl that you're making, you're not going to get a smooth round thing. And so, the craftsmen craftsperson keeps their attention honed and focused right there you Can't miss anything. You're just right there. And, and they might be thinking about things, looking at the ball studying it being with it. But they're their primary attention just sitting right there. So we're cultivating this relaxed attention on the breathing, that's also finely honed like a chisel just sitting right there feel it'd be with it. Not only for the purpose of cultivating strong attention, present moment, tension is able to stay in the present moment with something, but also so that refined attention begins to awaken up the body. And we start feeling and becoming aware in the body much more.
And we have many different kinds of perception in the body. And as we know, right, there's, there's a hot and cold and there's pressure and there's perception that can feel the movements of the body. There's a perception that you identify with parts of your body, you look at your hand and you know, it's your hand, which seems obvious to most of us, right? But there can be brain injuries were people that the brain's capacity to identify a part of the body as my own is a particular capacity or function of the brain that can be damaged. And there are people who look at their hand and they don't see it's their hand. It's you know, for those of us who do see our hand by hand, it's kind of inconceivable that you would look at your head and not think it's yours. But the, that's a particular kind of perception or way of relating that there. There's understanding that perception allows us to feel the body and space, location of the body, the movements of the body. There's all these different kinds of perceptions that go on throughout the body, that are constantly feeding us information, what's going on, and all these perceptions, all these that were formed. So perceptions, operating together, contribute to as a Gestalt as a whole to a very full set. feeling of awareness being aware of being present. It's kind of like they they come together and operate in harmony as a whole they get into the impression to whole feels like something very special if he was like awareness Some people say consciousness and it would be kind of like my teacher in Burma he had this example of if your look down on the sidewalk and you see this long black line this continuous looks like so someone you know painted a line there. But if you go close you see its ads and and the answer discontinuous, but from a distance that it just looks like there's going to continue to like a movie right? It's it's a individual miss the old days with you know, eight millimeter film or something. They it's individual still shots on the movie screen. But they happen so quickly. That the mind the brain constructs smoke movement. And so it looks like they're doing something exciting on the screen. But they're not doing anything exciting up there. Hmm, you know, be very boring if you just spent, you know, one minute and one still still shot and then next minute another still shot and, you know, we'll take a long time to get through the movie and it would be very interesting. The movement gives it life and vitality. So we have this mental ability to, to put things together into a kind of a hole. And in part, that's what maybe the generalized sense of awareness can be. All these things of perception operating together. And so we have all these capacities for perception throughout the body, that wake up and start operating well and start kind of vibrating together. And it's a beautiful feeling to feel like awareness radiates from the body, that really awareness is centered in the body that you can't feel, if we're caught up in our thoughts can feel if we're caught up in desire can feel if we're caught up in the future or the past, we can't really feel in a full way. If you know we're in fantasy.
So why do this? Why cultivate the stronger sense of awareness and the strong mindfulness and that's why this topic last week, we talked about the refrain. And the refrain talks about we want to cultivate a strong enough mindfulness. So that the no ordinary concepts we have that we overlay an experience are not operating. And in particular, its concepts about identify identifying with experience. Me, Myself and mine. This is who I am. You know, I can look at my hand and I can say that I have the most beautiful hand in the world and I'm so special and I'm wonderful and don't you really admire me because of my hand. I am like really the best hand person around you know, or It could be the opposite like, wow, that's an ugly hand, how do I get born with that hand, I better not even, you know, I can have my hand right on cut my hand and go overboard with it right? Or I can close my eyes. And I can feel the sensations in my hands. I can feel the pulsing and the vibration, the warmth, the heat, and without the overlay of all these crazy ideas about you know, the value of my hand and what people think of it and all that. So this ability to quiet the mind down from all its busy thoughts and judgments and all that and just experience something in and of itself and its pristine simplicity, just a sensation to the hand before all the overlay of projected ideas on it. So that's that's the direction this practice is going. And so one of the reasons to drop into the body and develop a strong sense of present moment awareness in the body. It drops us out of this being Caught up in the conceptual realm. And as we can relax in there and relax in there and settle down. There's less and less of this. conceptualizing telling yourself stories of what's going on the storytelling mind quiets down, and it gets very peaceful in the mind. But that peacefulness helps us just to see things in the simplicity. Why do we do that? Some people do it because it's just so pleasant. Like, that's one of the best things going hard to believe, if you haven't really experienced it, but for the Buddha if we do that, because when the mind is not caught up in stories and ideas and shoulds and shouldn't send, what I want and what I don't want, and it's quiet, down Calm, then it's gets it's easier for the deep structures of the mind, to relax also to let go. And that relaxing or releasing of the deep structures of attachment is within Buddhism is called liberation or enlightenment. You have to prepare the ground for that, in order for that something deep to be able to let go, it has to be a lot of softening and settling that goes on. And that letting go is described as dwelling independent, not clinging to anything in the world. So that's the direction we're going. And so I review all this because now we can understand the next two exercises in the book for cultivating this awareness. Why they can be seen as being significant, or, or, or what we want to infuse them with, what what they're all about, because you know, they could be seen as being kind of boring. So the first, the first of these is called mindful mindfulness of the four postures. Awareness it uses using the four postures primary postures people take as a vehicle for developing this strong sense of awareness in the four postures. are walking, standing, sitting and lying down. And sometimes they're called the four dignified postures and so on. But I think all the postures in between also account but you know, he's supposed to be aware of your posture but these, you know, for simplicity sake, they call these four. And so when you're standing, it's very simple. And when you're when when a stands, one understands I'm standing, when, when I'm walking by understands, I'm walking, when when is when is sitting when R stands when it's sitting, when when I was laying down when understands when it's laying down. Now,
you know if I didn't bend like four weeks now describing how we get to this, and prepare you all for this, if I just go down downtown Redwood City and walk up to someone say hey, I have something structions for you when you're walking Just know you're walking, when you're standing Just then, you know, they'll probably call the police. So they're probably think think I'm crazy or they're thinking like what is this guy saying it hasn't had them has no meaning whatsoever. You know, it's like this is kind of bizarre you know and said, Let me read you something really important from Buddhist scripture. In fact it might be one of the most important things when you're standing know you're standing what what are these Buddhists up to you know, their way of you know, I have a better religion at home and then something as simple as this. So, it can seem you know, if For the uninitiated, as this is like, you know, silly This is a religion. However, the whole context for this is to live in such a way to, so that this heightened sense of present moment awareness can live in us. So, we can Awaken the body, and the body becomes a vehicle for for enlightenment, the vehicle for peace vehicle for knowledge and understanding of our life. And so in the text says when walking when knows when walks, it means really know it. How many times when you're walking? Are you really knowing that you're walking? Or are you walking and thinking about things? I mean, nowadays, is some reason nowadays you've noticed a lot of people. When they walk, they keep their head down, and they noticed that and their arms up certainly one arm and they're having a relationship. They're having a relationship with their hand in my hand or something, right. And, and so the idea that I'm walking is far from their consciousness. They're not they're not clearly actively aware why I am walking I'm really walking. One of the inspiring moments for me when I was in a Buddhist monastery was seeing one of the more senior practitioners walk across the courtyard. And there was something about the way he walked, where he was purposely going someplace he was going to work in the kitchen. But it was almost as a new that come out. However, the way he was walking the way at least I saw it was he wasn't walking to get anywhere. He was walking just to walk. And he was just in the walking. That's what he was doing. And it was so inspiring was kind of like watching a great athlete and Olympics or something a gymnast or something or dancer do something. And, wow, they're really trained. They're really they're, they're present. They're really, they're in their dance, right. So I was like watching this man walk around, he's really there and his walk. And to see that and to feel that And somehow, the visit Really kind of have something inside of me resonate with that kind of presence was really inspiring for me. He wasn't looking at his cell phone. And I because you know, most people are not inspired by people walking on the street looking at their cell phone. If anything, some people like can you believe what they're doing out there? You know, they're not paying attention and they're not being friendly. They're just absorbed in their, their little world. And then if someone else walks down the street even here, I bet I bet if someone's really walking down in the present way is just walking and present for their experience. It could stand out in some communities, you know, and that this is different. And so and so to really know that you're walking it says, when you're walking really know it. If you're bored because I know it, I know I'm walking with big deal, then we don't understand the value of inhabiting our experience are really big. centered in it, and learning how to put aside the distractions that we have, and having the experience of walking come alive from the inside out. And what we're trying to do is to use the walking as a place where we start moving towards this heightened sense of embodied awareness, present moment awareness. So that so that if you're interested in this path or the goal that the Buddha set setting, if you're interested in, you know,
abiding in deep peace in our experience now, if you're interested in the freedom from clinging that the Buddha teaches, if that's what you're interested in, then use the opportunity of walking for that purpose. really be in the walking. Those of you who've been on retreats know that walking meditation is a very important part of our practice. We do sitting meditation and walking meditation on the residential retreats is equal to about equal time 5050 sitting and walking maybe a little bit more sitting. And, and for some people like it was for me was an acquired taste. Because, you know, what is this walking about? But I would do it and slowly over time, this walking meditation also became a beautiful thing to do, because of the heightened awareness that flows up and is here. And it's so satisfying to really be in the present moment in a relaxed deep way in a way that you can't imagine if you're into the pleasure of desire or the pleasure of hating something or preoccupied and thoughts It seems so important what can be important just being you know, your boss is not going to give you a raise just because you you know really walk in and and bought embodied mindfulness doesn't count right, you know, in the commerce of our life, but it counts A lot spiritually, to wake up. And so when the Buddha says, when we stand, know you're standing, but really know it and keep knowing it. Keep waking up to it until it becomes like second nature. When you sit, really No, you're sitting. In zen, they talk about when you walk, just walk, when you stand, just stand when you sit, just sit, just really just be there and do the thing you're doing. And then when you lie down, no, you're lying down. So this is part of the training for cultivating, establishing this heightened awareness, which is mindfulness. So if you're interested in developing heightened awareness, then you could use these very simple, ordinary tasks that were activities that we're always doing to do that. So then comes the next exercise. That's called I don't know what it's called. But it's a it's it has to do with being clearly comprehending, having clear comprehension, clear knowledge of activities that we're doing. So, you know, sitting, standing, walking in line down or activities, but now we're talking about many of the other kind of ordinary activities we go about with all day. We can do them mindlessly, and not really inhabit them and be in them. Or we can do them in in, in in a habit fully present way in order to cultivate this heightened awareness. And so here's what the Texas when it acts in full awareness when going forward or returning when it acts in full awareness When looking ahead and looking away, when acts in full awareness when flexing and extending one's limbs, when acts in full awareness when wearing one's robes, and caring for one's outer robe and bowl for monastics who acts in full awareness when eating, drinking, consuming food and tasting, who acts in full awareness when defecating and urinating, who acts in full awareness when walking, standing, sitting, falling asleep, waking up, talking and keeping silent. So it's a whole list of very common things that people do. And and, in a sense, we could say that the instructions are to infuse all the ordinary daily activities of life
with your spiritual To make them spiritual, from a Buddhist point of view, that is to infuse them with your awareness. So you're really there and doing it present, you're not distracted, you're not thinking ahead. You're not, you know, doing something to get it over with. So you can go on to the get through your to do list. And while you're thinking about what's on TV tonight, you're really present for the experience and into the training in a number of the Buddhist monasteries where I practice when when was it was explicitly when you do something, you really do it with your whole body. So then was really good for this. You don't just pick up you know, if you're gonna pick up a bowl, you know, you're eating, eating soup or something, you don't just like you know, you know, kind of, you know, looking at, you know, the birds and the things and thinking about lottery numbers and just kind of, you know, grab your bowl and you know, you know and kind of look for your spooling To kind of, you know, shovel it in while you're looking at the news. What you do is you would, you would look at your bowl mindfully, it's see it, you turn towards you take both hands, and you would pick it up as if it's something precious. And you're really there to pick it up and you really hold it in your right there. And then you would take your spoon and you would mindfully eat. really be there and the eating. And you wouldn't be you know, watching TV or listening to the news or whatever you're doing, you would just be there with eating. There's no moral obligation to do this. This is not a moral thing. This is optional. But it's considered one way of using all your ordinary life as placed to cultivate this heightened awareness, which in Buddhist spirituality, It is the source of spiritual life. It's where what infuses spirituality into our life, this heightened sense of awareness that it can be so powerful that to, to kind of either dismay you or inspire you. I occasionally talking to people who believe in God, I created and they asked me, What do you do in your practice and I say I practice the presence of God. Because it's so powerful. The presence of attention of awareness, it's embodied and present in here and really here for it. And, and it's a beautiful thing to live that way. It turns out that if you can really live, present and aware and attentive to what's going on, all this goodness starts flowing out of us. A kind of wisdom and understanding and we're in touch with so much of ourselves that require heightened awareness to be in touch with to be aware of That can't be there when we're distracted and caught up and doing things half heartedly and in distracted way. So all these things, you know, and you know and I love it and even defecating and urinating, even there, you're really be present and talking, I mean, that's the hardest place to do it right. But you try to be present and attentive as you talk. Or when you keep silent it says and then putting on your clothes, wearing your clothes, tasting your food moving your arms it's uh the goal in when you're in these monasteries practicing or people who are really serious about mindfulness practice is to bring mindfulness into all the activities of the day. So it becomes kind of seamless. So you so that is not a separation, compartment compartment mental of our life, between that part of our life which is for meditation or for spirituality, and that which isn't. It all becomes a whole. This remembering, big part of Buddhism Buddhist practice is a remembering into returning everything reconnecting everything into one big hole. And so making our life whole, not living in comfort to mentalize ways. And a lot of this is done through developing this heightened awareness. It's deeply satisfying in and of itself when it's really become strong. And it's a wonderful that it's onward leading. It's the way that leads to the deep, letting go of clinging.
So the beginning of this text, this instructions are settle into your breathing and meditation and outside of meditation, cultivate the same quality of attention in mindfulness in your daily life as you go around doing these simple, ordinary activities. And if you're afraid you won't be able to take care of your ordinary life that way. Chances are, once you get into it, you'll take care of it better. You'll do things more efficiently or wiser or clear, or you'll discover it or you'll discover and this is the, you know, one of these frightening ideas that you'll discover it maybe you don't need to do as much as you think you do. Maybe it's okay to settle in and appreciate and love this life of being aware rather than just filling it with busy activities that keeps you disconnected. So so we have about five minutes before the official end. What do you think of this to seem like a good idea or Bad idea or was this motivating for you or discouraging for you or confusing for you? Or? I'd love to hear Yes. By
the way, the way that I talked, you talked, I talked about
relaxation of the body and calming the mind.
Yes. Meaning more, you know, dropping into the body versus calming the mind. Which one? Is there a rule which one comes first?
Maybe they happen together. Maybe they don't happen separately. Because the way the witness specifically the way the Buddha in this text talks about relaxing the body it's not the he talks about the what's called the bodily formations usually translate into English. And that part of the body that needs to be relaxed is tense because of what happens in the mind. The tension and mental activity, mental tension, physical tension come together. If it wasn't for something going on the mind, generally there would be no physical tension in the body. So there's a very close connection to these after they separate. And so it goes in reverse as well as the tension the body relaxes. There's a there's like little strings, puppet strings that go up to the mind. And so the puppet Here begins to relax to
just the breakdown on the question and you're on your answer. So if if I drop into the body and feel the sensations, I'm not really avoiding the thoughts, but I'm bringing my attention to the body. So you Naturally the mind starts to calm down.
And vice versa.
Yes, naturally is a,
you know, maybe a little.
How about if we say, naturally eventually.
That sounds good. Thank you.
Because you know, I don't want to say you know, it's automatic that you know, one to one correspondence, just feel your body and everything kind of relaxes. But it takes practice and it takes a lot of care and attention and compassion and really being present and developing that presence. And with time, it goes faster and faster. But first, some things are so frozen and so caught mentally, emotionally cycle physically, that it actually takes a while for things to thaw and to relax. And so in the meantime, we hold it with loving attention, patient attention, and then and then things start to wake up and relax. Thank you To pass it mic down there.
So thank you and I personally aspire to be in touch with the body and have been practicing mindfulness for a while. I think my big question is how does one practice when, for example, defecation? That would be the I think, for me, the easiest example to use, leads in heightened awareness of mortality and death and oblivion. And actually, in one of my more relaxed states, my few jhana states that actually achieved I felt complete terror. And I'm secular, so I don't have the comfort of thinking but there will be other lives. So what would you recommend around working with terror that comes out, up? And I see,
I think that if in deeper meditation, you talked about jhana like states, and there's deep tears, you've probably talked to meditation teacher about it. It's an phenomena. So first teachers will probably normalize it for you. But first I'd like to hear more details, what is what is going on. And then because there there is a certain kind of deep meditation practice or deep unfolding, that can go through a layer of fear and terror. And, and it's for some people, it's a short layer, there's hardly notice they go through it. And some people, it becomes, you know, the kind of, you know, stays for a while. And, and there's a variety of reasons for that. And so it takes some care and some support and attention and to help normalize it and understand how to work with it and be told that it's part of the process and, and, and so that's what I'd encourage you to do. And to do it that way. And in the meantime, until you've had a chance to talk to someone. A few, a few guidelines. One is that as important it is to go through this kind of terror sometimes It's also very important to have confidence that you can pull away from it. And some people don't haven't learned that as a lesson. So they just think, to hang in there and just, you know, until I pop or something, but it's actually you know, to, to touch into, it's okay, that's enough for today and learn how to pull out and, and it's actually a very, very important part of the process. And the other is to try to cultivate a lot of compassion, a lot of metta and kindness, maybe at other times, so there's a reservoir of that, as you go through it, and that can hold you and support you and give you some confidence.
Today useful think,
great. And, and we will, you know, in a few sessions, talk about as part of this is one of the sessions here is mindfulness of debt. And that's it, that's when you should wear your T shirt.
I'll try to remember if it was
so. So if you're at all inclined, I'd encourage you to spend this week looking at your ordinary activities of standing, walking, sitting, eating, dedicating, feasting, talking all the things you do, and as a as your monastery as your place to really enter into and inhabit, almost like you're becoming activity or being in a deep way and see what happens to your awareness and see how satisfying it is to drop everything else as if you're allowed. This is a radical idea, as if you're allowed to not be busy. Just do this one thing. standing, sitting, eating, urinating may all forms of release bring you happiness.