2021-06-29-Clear Recognition (2 of 5) Comprehension of Purpose
8:36PM Jun 30, 2021
Continuing now with this second talk on some pajama, often translated as clear comprehension. But for these first, first aid, first meditation, translation I liked was a clear recognition. In this simple, simplest way of which we do mindfulness practice, we bring together our ability to be present and aware, with our ability to clear the recognize. And sometimes we emphasize one more than the other. And we go back and forth. But as a practice gets deeper and deeper, more and more still quiet peaceful. Sometimes the part that needs to be emphasized and really helps the this mindfulness practice come to maturity, is the recognition that clear recognition of phenomena, and what's happening in the moment that can clear observation that recognizes, and that recognition gets quieter and quieter, itself more more peaceful, almost as if it's just a whisper in the mind or something. So this recognition is an important factor. In other situations, life outside of meditation, some padana is sometimes better translated as clear comprehension or clear understanding. And this speaks to how a Buddhist life maybe Oh, human life, involves more than mindfulness, more than moment to moment, awareness and recognition to what's happening now, but also involves contemplation, reflection, wise thinking about what's going on, that does, in fact, involve understanding things that, that, you know, where things come from, and where things are going. And, and, and the kind of the context for why we do things and, and what motivates us to do things. And this fullness of human life that we're able to kind of navigate or swim in the, all the different aspects of our psychological, emotional, physical, social life, and understand and navigate, and that is part of what makes life rich, and it's important part of life. And so then clear comprehension, in the world of activities, is, is part of part of a wise practice. And so in mindfulness practice, there is this instruction that I read last week about mindfulness in activities, that as we reach out our arm than their arm, there's clear comprehension as we, as we do put on our clothes or as we eat the recipe go to the bathroom, there's clear comprehension of these activities is the list of things that and but every every ordinary, non ordinary human activity we engage in, there can be clear comprehension of the activity. And the ancient commentaries have four different areas that we can reflect on or contemplate, so we can live a wise life. And so the, these are clear comprehension of purpose, clear comprehension of suitability, clear comprehension of the pasture, and clear comprehension of non delusion. And, and to kind of take some time with each of these and, and long enough, so they come a little bit second nature isn't. So we have to kind of bring out a checklist and go through this and live this kind of truncated life of analysis. But rather, these four areas are meant to open us up and free us live a wiser life. So the first is clear comprehension of purpose. And that's to ask ourselves, what's the purpose of what we're about to do? What's the purpose of the thing we're doing? What was the purpose of what we just did? And sometimes the what we think was the purpose might not really have been the purpose or the things shift and change. Or sometimes we're not really aware of the subconscious reasons why why we're doing something that's outside the reflection afterwards is very helpful. But especially before if you're wondering what to do, to really understand what's the purpose for doing this.
So going and standing in front of the refrigerator and ready to open it. If you ask yourself the question, what's the purpose of opening this refrigerator? And really ask yourself that question. Simply the answer, it's in order to open the door. That's a fine answer, in a certain kind of way, and some people make that kind of answer as a kind of, I don't know, spiritual superiority that, you know, look, just, that's all I'm doing the simplicity of just being present for this. But still, the, the opening the fridge ready to door has a purpose, I'm looking for a snack, when I feel my loneliness with something or distract myself, or I'm really hungry. And if I don't have some food Now, the next conversation I have, I won't be at my best. And, or my hunger, my family's hungry, and I'm going to cook for them more, I need to kind of go shopping, I need to see what's in there. And and what's the purpose of so they keep asking, what's the purpose of this? And, but more more importantly than kind those kinds of things like that is? Is the purpose wholesome? Or? And so? Is it in a wholesome purpose? Is it a beneficial purpose? Or is it not? So to ask this question, what is the purpose? It's fascinating to do this with speech. In fact, I've often taught that, if you really want to shortcut to the depths of your inner life, and maybe the royal road to the unconscious, is to keep asking yourself, why do you say, why are you going to say what you say? withdraw it drive, it motivates you to speak, and, and to really kind of, because many people speak somewhat impulsively, subconsciously, or unconsciously or without much reflection. And there's a reservoir wellspring of motivations behind what we say. And to ask ourselves the question, why am I saying this? Why am I going to say this, can begin revealing some of these layers and layers of what drives us what the operating systems we have? And so sitting down to meditate, what's the purpose of meditation, not just not to evoke a lot of reflection. But to be clear about it. I've sat down to meditate, just out of wrote habit, this is what I do. And, and sometimes I've done that, and I haven't really been that involved in a meditation is just like, I'm still kind of moving along in my train of thoughts and a little bit distracted and concerned about things. And I've sat down to meditate and said, What's the purpose of meditation now? And just that question, even though the purpose might be this, you know, same answer, then every day, like, you know, I'm here to be present, I'm here to let go of my, my clinging and attachment to really be here in a clear way, with all kinds of, you know, answers to that question. And so even if it's the same answer every day, to really say to oneself, this is the purpose, that recognition, that acknowledgement, can give us a little bit more kind of stability or emphasis to, okay, let's do it. Let's not just let the habits of the mind continue to have their own way, that's really show up and be present here. And do the practice. So asking ourselves, what is it? What's the purpose we have? And it's a great question. We could ask, if someone asks, you know, a, in the conversation in supporting other people, sometimes it's very helpful to ask them, if they're struggling with a decision, what's the purpose of the decision? What is that? What is the underlying value of what you're trying to do, or intention or direction you're trying to go? So this, this is to ask these kinds of questions, is to live a reflective life, a contemplative life. And one of the things I think is very helpful, this is spend some time with that kind of contemplative thinking. I like to go for walks by myself, and just that's where I contemplate and you know, I'm delighted by the different things that will pop up in my mind, that won't come up into mind if I'm living my full life, doing all the usual things. I need to have a fallow time or some time away from everything to let things percolate and bubble up. Often, for me, exercising does the same thing. It's actually something about exercising where
I give my freedom to my mind and there's a kind of contemplation that begins going on and reflection that kind of happens naturally. So to live a Not just a mindful life, but to live a mindful life that's supported by and guided by a content, contemplative life reflective life. And one of the key forms of contemplation and reflection, is to ask the question, what's the purpose of what you're going to do? And that might be for the particular event, a particular activity for right now. But also, occasionally, it's good to kind of open up that question and ask, you know, what about what's the purpose for my life for what I'm doing for my work? And, and to really kind of explore and is, when the purpose is, whatever purpose comes up for you? Is that really the purpose you want to stand behind that you really want to devote yourself to? What purpose of life do you really want to devote yourself to this nourishing, freeing opening, that really feels that it's nourishing and enlivening and purposeful for you in a good way? And one of those things is to walk the Buddhist path, the path to freedom. So, thank you. And may you reflect today in the next 24 hours on purpose, clear comprehension of purpose, in a relaxed way, maybe supported by the simplicity of recognition, keep things simple and just kind of kind of contemplate and and see what benefits and alive. This comes from a clear understanding of purpose. So thank you all very much.