2021-10-01-Dhamma (5 of 5) Four Liberating Insights into Change
2:58PM Oct 1, 2021
So this is the final talk on the fourth foundation of mindfulness. This is the area of mindfulness practice, that we're studying being being attentive to the ways that we get stuck in the ways that we get unstuck. And, or to say, then more Buddhist language, how we get attached, where we get attached the nature of detachment, and how we get unattached or free liberated. And I presented this as a kind of a process of First, we spend our time moving through the layers of attachment, we have the layers of stuckness, and getting more and more subtle. But at some point, when it's subtle enough, when our preoccupation stuckness, doesn't predominate, then meditation practice opens up to a native and natural feeling of a well being. That's here, and which is a seven factors of awakening, which we're not to be so concerned with exactly all seven. But right now, I just want to say, a sense of well being tranquil, Happy equanimous. A feeling of kind of being at ease the deep, deep way in this world. And that is the foundation for the last Foundation, advanced exercise, which sometimes is called the Four Noble Truths. So it's not called that in this exercise. And it's a little formula that appears repeatedly hundreds of times in the teachings of the Buddha. And that is to, to know suffering, to know the arising of suffering, to know the cessation of suffering, and to know the way to the cessation of suffering. And sometimes this is called the Four Noble Truths as well. But that confuses a little bit, because with the Four Noble Truths have become down through the ages, a wonderful teaching is a little bit more complicated than the simplicity of seeing change. And this fourth, this fifth exercise, is seeing rising and passing a phenomenon rising and ceasing of, of things and really kind of, because we're so at ease, and quantumness and peaceful, then we're at a readiness and ability to kind of flow and go along with the changing nature of the present moment, the river of change that's happening here. And the changing sensations are breathing, body, emotions, thoughts, sounds, they're all changing, except for when we get stuck in the concepts of the ideas and the stories related to it. And that also has layers of subtlety. So if we're the grosser level, we're stuck in the stories, at the most refined level, we might be stuck in very simple concepts, ideas of what things are. And the idea of breathing is not the breathing itself. And you can think about your breathing and have no connection to your breathing. And, but to really feel and sense the breathing, and not not so drum so strongly through the filter of the concept, the idea, and then we're able to see the changing nature of all the little sensations are coming and going arising and passing. And to really start resting or taking in this radical way in which things are flowing, changing all the time, is a kind of a massage on the remaining places in our mind, in our hearts that are stuck, that are frozen, that are tight. And, and so it's a little bit hard to keep that stuck, keep it there. And so there starts to be a willingness and a relaxation into this place of ease and freedom. With that comes with resting and change, resting in how things are always moving and changing. And become more and more sensitive to the subtlety of being stuck. And it can be even the idea that I am aware. Or I'm here and that's the change that I'm watching is a very, very, very subtle, kind of innocent, almost a stuckness that also begins to dissolve when you really kind of rest in the ocean of change and just be with it.
And so at some point, this experience of just seeing arising and ceasing becomes the predominant experience of meditation and mindfulness meditation, and it doesn't really matter anymore what you're experiencing like what it is. It's just the fact that everything is arising and passing and and there No overlay of concepts on top of it. And, and now that there's a you know that even the subtlest kinds of stuckness are no no longer operating, at least for the time being while we're in meditation. And then at some point, the ceasing of their rising and ceasing, the ceasing happens more dramatically. And there's a ceasing, that really feels like something has radically dramatically stopped, something that's been in like the hum of the refrigerator suddenly stops. And it's like, wow, that I didn't realize was humming even. So, in so something that we didn't even realize was there, drops away and falls away, evaporates, collapses into itself, or just to set free in some way. And then to recognize, oh, being able to see change at this level, that's the way to freedom. And, and then this fourth foundation of mindfulness, that's what it means, at the last last, you know, knowing knowing that this is the way to the cessation of suffering, is to stay in the current of change. And the language here is suffering, knowing suffering, knowing the rising of it, knowing the ceasing of it, and knowing the, the, the way to the ceasing of it, because as we get more and more into this field of change, then it's that stuckness, the place where you still suffer, that stands out in the highlight, and, and extends out above the flow. And so then we bring our attention to that to be be present and see that until we start seeing that it too, breaks up and is made up of rising and ceasing of things. And so at some point in, you know, after meditation is quite deep, and there's a lot of, like I said, the seven factors of awakening are established as a lot of well being, that that kind of the name of the game becomes just tuning into the subtlest forms of stress of tension, contraction, all words for the subtlety of suffering, in deeper meditation. So definitely, Buddhism is about addressing suffering, and we do it all along the way. And, and because any place where we're stuck, has to be somehow resolved in order to drop into change. And so at the coarsest level, you know, we're caught up in the hindrances. And that might take years to work through some of the stuckness we have, at a more refined level, we're stuck on self and identity issues that were attached to. And then in a more Steven, subtle level, we're still caught up in comfort and reacting to pleasure and pain and wanting or not wanting and in the world, and the sensations we have. And so we're kind of working through that. Now, it's not an easy process, you know, but boy, is it worthwhile. It's a fantastic thing to practice mindfulness, and, and, and make go through this process and, and end up in a process of radical change. And that change that's freeing, it's liberating. All along the way, throughout the four foundations of mindfulness throughout the whole process of what happens in meditation. The basic practice actually is always the same. It's just to be mindful, attentive, carefully attentively to what's happening now. And in doing so, slowly learn how to free attention from any kind of stuckness, any kind of agendas, any kind of attachment to self, any kind of reactivity to anything at all. And so it's first we start meditating, mindfulness is not so, so clean, but that's okay. It's always the same practice, just do the best we can to be mindful of what's here, and keep going. doing it over and over again, doing it in daily life, doing it meditation, develop the capacity, to be aware, to live in awareness, to live in awareness, more and more and more. And so as we go through our life, we're living in a field of awareness, we're present and aware for what's happening in their minds and our hearts, and all around us.
And as we do that process, the proper practice is always the same being aware of being mindful. And at some point, especially if we do enough meditation, we drop into this world of change, and the change that is liberating, that's freeing So that is the exercise, the fourth foundation and hopefully that was clear enough. There's maybe many other ways of understanding it or interpretations. But this is the one that that I like to like to present. So that's enough. Thank you.