2020-07-08: Dharma Samadhi (3 of 5) Tranquility
3:34PM Jul 8, 2020
So there are, in my mind two themes for this week. The explicit one, or the main one is this called the five. Dharma samadhis or five qualities of Dharma Samadhi, which is the word Samadhi. Here relates to the fact that this is not just an individual quality of heart and mind that arises. But there really is something that arises and moves through us. Something that we open to and it kind of fills us or becomes a little more of the state of who we are. Because samadhi is a state of being more than it is with a particular in a particular laser focus of the mind. And so these five qualities can become more like the states that we abide in. And these five states or what I'm calling, gladness, joy, tranquility, happiness and concentration. And that in these big into not just these in to kind of have a life, not exactly of their own but not life of their own that they begin to emerge and have their own kind of momentum through us to fill us and be here as meditation deepens. So the first theme of these these fives, this qualities, the second is the way in which these are a natural function, natural quality, and that we have this natural flow or unfolding evolving, that can happen that sometimes associated with the Dharma, it's the Dharma that's moving through us. So much so that some people talk about, I like to talk about, that not only do we practice, meditation and the Dharma, were also being practiced by it. At some point, something kicks in that something's alive within us that begins unfolding and opening and maturing us that is not exactly our doing, but which we enable, which we make room for. And it's phenomenally inspiring and faith producing, to feel this Dharma flow, this Dharma stream or current, beginning to awaken up inside of us.
So it's not to make it too abstract to say, I don't know what supernatural or something. Some of this I really associate with a getting out of our own way. When there's a lot of stress, a lot of tension, a lot of resistance, a lot of agitation that we actually interfere with the natural flow of our, all kinds of things, probably our hormones and our stress hormones, and our muscles and our physiology, and our psychology works a lot better when it's relaxed and at ease. Agitation, resistance and freezing up, all kind of gunks up the system. And part of what meditation does is it begins to let go and relax the agitation, the holding, the resistance, the bracing ourselves and allows us to come into a kind of the natural, you know, I don't know exactly the right word, natural wholeness, the natural fullness, the way that this system of ours can operate really in a healthy way. Which feels phenomenal. Especially because many of us spend a lot of time not there, because we're preoccupied and caught up and afraid and anxious and greedy, planning and fantasy and feeling is never enough and wanting more. So all kinds of things.
And meditation allows us to let go of all these desires and all these fears and all these agitation and stresses that often preoccupy the mind and have this negative influence in our body and allows us to experience kind of what feels much more like a natural state of being, which feels so good in itself, and can bring a sense of gladness and joy.
So to give you kind of, maybe a little bit reductionistic idea of this, but I think it's, it's so it's such a simple thing. It's not like a complicated thing. And that is, for example, if you take and hold something really tight for a really long time, so your your hand clenches around the object and gets really tired and sore from holding it. When you finally release the hand, it certainly feels good to have the release. But some not only to feel good the relief of it, but also there can feel that now there's a wonderful flow of blood, of energy of tingling, and warm, that just feels delightful. It's been freed up and there's something else is moving and it just feels so good and delightful. There's a joy, there's a gladness that's there in the hand. Or if we spent a lot of time maybe going for a long hike in the mountains and really tired, and finally we stopped walking and sit down, the body can have a certain relief from no longer working, the muscles kind of begin to relax. And as the muscles relax, sometimes they just feel so happy and delighted to just be kind of finally not working so much.
So there is a kind of a natural feeling of delight, joy, gladness that come when the chronic tensions we have begin to settle away and quiet down. And it releases just like the hand gets certain energy in the hand gets released when you open up. So there's a kind of release of energy in our whole system, or release of the flow of kind of a unified feeling of being or that begins to flow that just feels so good. And some of this being engaged in this process of deepening and relaxing and opening to this capacity for natural wholeness that we have, can feel so good, can be inspiring. You can feel the Dharma is moving through us. And to know even if you're not there, even to know you're in the neighborhood of it can be so glad to have finally, I'm here in the neighborhood. Here I'm sitting down to meditate. This is where the Dharma is found. This is embody Dharma that is found within us.
So it gladness arises. Joy can arise. And the joy that is develops more and more, also the more we are unagitated.
The pīti, the second part of these Dharma Samadhi is often associated with the mind, pīti manasa. And, and however it's often felt when it's strong very physically in the body, there can be a lot of tingling and energy, and all kinds of wonderful sensations in the body. As we settle more in meditation, as we open more, as we're more present for experience, the physical side of this pīti, of this joy, begins to abate and quiet down. And this is a further deepening of returning, coming into this deeper natural state, where this extra agitation because joy is a little bit of an agitated state, maybe much less than how we live daily life. But it's a little bit energized state. And at some point, as the joy is there, and we're content and happy, feel safe, feel like it's so good to be here, the mind is not so inclined to be thinking about other things, or be concerned about things because it feels so satisfying to be here. That's a condition for the body to begin to relax in a very deep way, deeper than ordinary relaxation. And then they're going to well up a feeling of tranquility. And in this Dharma Samadhi, is specifically named, called the tranquility of the body. And often it feels very physical in different people feel at different places in the body, but there can be a kind of a flow, a warm, a glow or ever so slight, delightful, maybe kind of like presence of pressure or something. They just feel so tranquil, so peaceful. I sometimes feel it coursing down my arms through my elbows and arms a little bit. Sometimes I feel very much in the area, just above my diaphragm, this very strong physical feeling of tranquility and, and there's a very much feeling of being embodied. So words like peace, undisturbed, tranquil, calm, and maybe relaxed. And relaxed is nice because there's also the verb relaxing, tranquil. There's tranquilizing, but that has an unfortunate maybe medical kind of connotation. And settling, being settled.
And when this third step in the Dharma Samadhi arises, it's quite compelling, there's no doubt that now this is tranquility, it can feel so it feels like drinking something really sublime like just, you know really drinking refreshing cool, wonderful, settling water on a hot day, or you know, in the middle of the day after busy hard day kind of laying in bed in a soft bed with and just being so, you know, to the body becomes more relaxed and at ease. Maybe waking up from a nap, there's something that approaches that kind of tranquility.
So, the food, the nourishment for this kind of tranquility, the Buddha said is tranquility itself. So to begin tuning into where we feel calm. It's very easy that maybe we're so concerned with what we're thinking about what we're focusing on what our concerns, we miss parts of what's going on. And perhaps there's more calmness in your body than you avail yourself of. Maybe it's not so difficult to touch into a little bit more place where you're settled or calm or maybe just a little bit more you can calm yourself a teeny bit, relax your shoulders, your belly. Throughout the day. You might want to see if there's a through your day, if you make tranquility, and inner peace or calm, a theme, a theme to keep coming back to over and over again, find it, come back to it. Relax yourself. And take the chance maybe for the next 24 hours to see you know, one day in a lifetime to really make this day, the day that you specialize that you really explore and develop and get to know better and familiarize yourself, become a good friend with your capacity for being calm or tranquil. I think it'll probably be a day well spent. And you have many more days after this, to be agitated if you want, but maybe for one day, to make this your theme and stay close to it, and if you have a friend, maybe who you can share it with, and see what you'll learn. See what you learned about this whole thing.
So, and this will be the preparation for happiness. And there's this way this things flow. Gladness flows to joy. Joy flows to tranquility.Tranquility flows to something called happiness. And happiness flows to concentration.
And I look forward to being with you again tomorrow. Thank you