2023-10-12-Gil-Ten Protectors (9 of 10) Mindfulness
3:07PM Oct 12, 2023
So welcome to this ninth talk on the 10 protectors. And this idea of their practices we can do that protect, protect us and protect others implies that there's something valuable to protect. And, and one of the discoveries, through things like meditation practice and spiritual practices of different kinds, and other ways of being in the world, we discover that there is a place within, of well being, a place of happiness or peace, that place of wisdom, a place that where there can be phenomenally wonderful ease for caring for the world, even in the midst of great tragedy, that we don't have to sacrifice, this valuable place within. And so that sacrifice had by the strong human tendencies for anger, for hostility, for hatred, for greed, for jealousy and envy, for self righteousness for you know, to be caught up in anxiety to be caught up in fear to be caught in ignorance. These are HIPAA common human tendencies we tend to cover over tend to restrict than our obstacles for this deep place where wisdom and compassion can operate in a nourishing way in a healthy way. So in there's a story that's told by the Buddha kind of a fable and he talks about that the ancient world there are two acrobats and the act the master Acrobat and the apprentice. And and turns out the apprentice has the name and a literal meaning of the name, at least the way it appears to us and who know little bit of Pāli is frying pan. And so I don't know, you know, jumping out of the frying pan or something, why the name that that way, but maybe, you know, you know, irrelevant to this certainly irrelevant to the story, perhaps. But the two acrobats and the master Acrobat and so the apprentice is going to climb up and do acrobatic feats balanced on the master Acrobat may be the you know, stand on one hand or strong master Acrobat is going to hold up the with one hand, the the apprentice who will do various acrobatic feats on the one hand of the of the senior, you know, Acrobat, so. So the senior Acrobat says, Watch over me. And I will, and then we will both be safe. And I'll watch over you and that way, we'll both be safe. And the apprentice says, No, that's not how it works. I'll watch over myself. And then we'll both be safe. And you watch over yourself, and then we'll both be safe. So in telling the story, the Buddha said yes, that's the way it is. But he doesn't quite then he goes on to do teaching, which kind of little bit changes even though he says he prefers the, the instructions from the apprentice. But he says yes, and the way that we protect others. By first protecting ourselves is by practicing the four cultivating the four foundations of mindfulness, to cultivate our capacity to be aware, in an embodied way aware of our body, to be aware of our feelings, the feeling tones, that we have to be aware of our mind states through recognize them and know them well. And to be aware of the mental state mental activity of the mind, that either creates tension, the tension of attachment, or releases that attention And that that tension there and, and reveals the beautiful qualities of the mind the seven factors of awakening, the deep insight that leads to liberation. And so the mindfulness that it cultivating those four foundations of mindfulness, that's the way we protect others. And, and I suppose the protection the way we're protecting others, we're protecting them from ourselves. Remember, the analogy of the Acrobat is there, there are two people who are doing these amazing kind of interrelated interactive feats, the exercises. And for the people who are we are in direct contact with in the ancient world of the Buddha, that was primarily where the influence in the effect that people had on each other, was directly with each other, there was no social media at the time of the Buddha. And the communication lines were all through people's oral contact with each other. So it was even, you know, it gets more complicated in our modern world. But in the ancient world, the Buddha reference point was how we're relating to people directly when we have contact. And in that world, we protect others when we protect ourselves. And when we cultivate the four foundations of mindfulness, we're not going to give in to greed, hate and delusion, we're not going to get into the kinds of ways in which we get caught up in a tense and reactive to what's going on. And then people are protected from our reactivity. And so the Buddha said this, so then that would have continued, and this is where he makes it. So first, he agrees, and this is how it's true. And then he goes on to say something a little bit more inclusive. He says, By, we protect others, by protecting ourselves, by cultivating these four foundations of mindfulness. We protect ourselves by protecting others, when we practice, patience, loving kindness, sympathy. And there's one more I forget what it is. And, and so this idea of kindness, idea of patients with people, the idea of having sympathy for them. If we have those attitudes towards others, that's a way of protecting ourselves. So the protection goes, you know, in both directions, that there are certain things we do for ourselves, that protects us from the kind of unhealthy reactivity we might have, and thereby protecting others. And there's certain things we can do for others, which is has to do with healthy supportive, at attitudes of goodwill towards others, that then that in return, protects ourselves. We don't protect ourselves. When we meet people with hate, we don't protect others, when we meet with people with kind of a coldness and indifference, not really understanding where they are. We don't understand others, if we are impatient with them, or intolerant, the word Conte that's usually translated as patients can also mean, tolerant of others or intolerance, being intolerant in English usually is kind of not a very good thing to do way of being. And so too, and that's how we protect ourselves. And so but so now in this ninth protection of the 10 protectors, what's what it is, is mindfulness sati awareness. That and it's, it's significant to me that it's the ninth of these 10 that that the practicing harmless, oh, that's the other one for anyway, heart, protecting harmlessness learning the dharma Well, being devoted to the dharma, being loving it. There's all these things that we've been talking about that lead up to our support and protect one of the greatest protections we have, which is mindfulness. And,
and so, to practice mindfulness, not just for the sake of mindfulness, but because hopefully at some point as we practice, we know there's something valuable inside within us. We have we have act access to a source to a profundity to place a Ay, ay, ay activity of wisdom, of compassion, of love, of kindness, of generosity, of non harming, of insight, of being really grounded in a place of non attachment. This is worth protecting me parents protected by being mindful, because of remindful, we'll see very soon, the greater the mindfulness, the more acutely we'll see the movements towards reactivity, the ways in which attachment operates. When we get involved, we lean into we get caught up in, we just even justify reactivity, and empathy, come back to that deeper place. And to protect that, in doing that, we protect others, and we protect ourselves, we do that. And then we have the opportunity to offer to others the goodwill, the kindness, that is a kind of external protects us externally, from others, it tends to the opposite of these things, intolerance, impatience, harming others ill will, and being unsympathetic to the situation of others, that doesn't contribute to others wanting to care for us. It contributes to the opposite. So So mindfulness is a protector. And the more we're practicing mindfulness, more we stay aware, the more we have the opportunity to really attack something that's really precious within. And from that we begin protecting others and, and have the possibility of living a life where hopefully, we're all protecting each other, we all have a capacity deep inside, for beautiful qualities of being. And if we want to find that in the world and spread that in the world, let us become transmitters of it, let us be the people who demonstrate that this is possible. And if no one demonstrates this possible, this is possible, then how are people going to learn it? So thank you. So we have one more protector for tomorrow. And I very much appreciate this chance to talk about these things. And may you protect yourself. And today, if you can maybe practice mindfulness through the day, perhaps you'll you know, whatever you remember to be mindful, check in and reflect on how you are and what just happened for you what's been going on the last minutes for you. And see, did you lose your mindfulness and in losing the mindfulness? Did you get involved in a reactive way? Did you get involved in something that ideally you would have been protected from some way of being caught in a tense way or, and maybe not seeing that? Maybe you'll say, Oh, yes, mindfulness is a protector. And and it was it's worth it would have been worth had been mindful and been mindful so I didn't get so caught up. And if you didn't have any caught up notice during the day, then end of the day you can celebrate Thank you.