2023-04-03-Gil-Location for Awareness (1 of 5) The Head
3:51AM Apr 7, 2023
So, warm greetings on this Monday morning, as we begin another week of this 7am. Community practicing together. And a new week of teachings, in my mind, and my heart, the teachings for today are going to kind of continue from two weeks ago when I talked about compassion, the different elements of compassion. And I want to have more, and I want to teach about compassion. But there's an interlude for this week, because the medium for compassion, is our awareness or attention to be aware of the suffering of others to where the suffering oneself is the medium is the means by which compassion can arise. And so I want to spend this these five days looking at different ways to be aware. Because if we have a greater repertoire of How to Be aware, then when we're present with suffering, our own suffering, the suffering of others, we have a different options about how to be aware of it, how to connect to it, how to know it, if we only have one option of How to Be aware, and we never thought about those different ways of being aware, then it's very easy to sink into suffering to somehow be entangled with it, or it's easy to be impacted, impacted, impacted by it in ways that are even detrimental not helpful for this kind of sweetness and clarity of compassion itself. So to learn, that there are different ways of using awareness. And that we can shift modes of awareness at different times, is very helpful. So if one mode of being with suffering is not really working for you, you find you're sinking into it or excessively impacted by it. Someone else's suffering becomes your own suffering in a way that actually is quite painful to feel and look overwhelming, then you might want to question the meat and then the way in which you're aware of that suffering, and see if you if you have a repertoire of different ways of being aware, you can switch it to another way. And, and so what I'd like to do for this week is to maybe discuss five different ways of being aware. And a lot of this has to do with locations from which we're aware. And so we know we'll find our way through it this week. And but there's first this principle that I just said, that, when any situation is difficult for us, we're trying to find our way with a situation, one of the variables that we can consider is the way in which you're aware of this challenge. And often that's not questioned, often we the challenges are we absorbed the challenge and absorbed the difficulty. And we're kind of kind of absorbed or kind of entangled or caught in it or concerned with it so strongly, that we don't step back and say, well, is the way that I'm concerned, the way that I'm attending to it is that the best choice is there are other ways of attending to it that might be more useful at this time. Just that question itself, changes the ecosystem. It's like having an ecosystem and you introduce a new element to it, then the whole thing morphs and changes accordingly. So to introduce this question, is there an other way of being aware of this challenge is beginning to be it's the beginning of creating a new ecosystem, and one that's probably much more going to be much more useful and healthy. And for one hat for a for because when you ask the question, is there a different way now to be aware of this? Just that is beginning to loosen the attachments that clinging that grasping that pushing the tightening contraction around the challenge, you know, oh, no, I gotta take care of this. And that gives space then to be able to come see it more clearly and relax a little bit around it. So one of the ways that some, you know, it's and this is very different for different people, how they're aware where they're aware from the first mode of, of how they're present with awareness. So. So as you hear these teachings this week, just be aware that it's not like your way is wrong, but rather, to discover what your way is. And then to have that learn the capacity to fluidly relaxingly change that mode, when it's useful to do so. So, so for today, I just want to talk about being aware from the head, there are some people who live from the neck up, and everything is taken, you know, the center of locus, the center of gravity, the center of everything is in their head. And, and, usually, that means that they spend a lot of time thinking, there's a lot of thoughts and ideas, and that the way that they're aware is, or the place that they're aware from, is the thinking itself. So maybe it doesn't have exactly a location that thoughts or maybe they do, but is so strong that thinking that that's, that's where awareness is kind of, that's where, you know, that's where we think awareness is that's who we think we are, I think, therefore I am. And the identification with thoughts are so strong that for many of us, we are our thoughts. And so to be aware, through the lens of thinking, from the lens of of, of thought, or the place in which thinking happens, is almost like saying, I am that place where thinking is happening, that's the locus, the center, the nexus of who I am. And, and so to be aware of that, oh, mostly my awareness is in my head, and might not be through thinking, for some people, it's through the medium of their eyes. And it were not the eyes literally, but the mind's eye, but somehow, they kind of live close to their physical eyes, the very eye eye focused people, and so not necessarily thinking focused, but I focused. So even with the eyes closed, their physical eyes are engaged, like their look almost like they're looking at the breathing with her eyes. And that looking that the eyes centric kind of way of being attention, that's the place in which we're aware. And, and, and some people where they're aware from is, is maybe related to thinking is the place where the voice is projected, or the speaker system where the speaker is for the voice of the mouth is for the voice. Or were they projector is for the images that we're seeing maybe almost like a screen in front of us, or we're aware through through those images on the screen. That's part and parcel of experiencing, being aware, is having images that kind of come up and somehow inform us what's happening or relate to what's happening or something. And so the awareness is partly rooted in these images in the voice in the seeing. Sometimes there's tension in the head someplace. And, and that tension is the place where we kind of would identify with, that's where I am, that's the locus of me or that's the locus from which I'm aware. It It's not wrong to be aware, from the head, and often in our Buddhist circles, it's like, somehow they're not supposed to do that or something not wrong. It's one mode of being aware one place from which to be aware. And all these places have time and season. There's no one way which is the wrong way. One, but if one way is the only way we have then we're quite limited. So first we want to become aware of you know, how are we aware? And if you're aware, if your center of awareness, the place you're aware from, if is in your head, then
see if you can find ways to soften that place. Like imagine that, feel the place where you're aware from, it might be the place where you're thinking from, or what you're seeing from. And see if you can kind of like settle back into it like it's in a nice, relaxed, easy chair. And then you might get be able to benefit more from that way of being aware, then if you're, you know, tense in that kind of spot. If being aware from the head is not what you do. Try it. Anyway. See if you can. And part of that partly what's been a candy beneficial, being aware from the head is that sometimes it does remove us. From our experience, it kind of pulls us away, like, say there's a emotional pain and sometimes the torso. By being aware in the head, there's a kind of distance from it. And some people will automatically assume distances wrong. But distance actually is one of the modes of being aware, which has its benefits. And I'll talk more about that tomorrow. But for now, I just want to see if you can little bit. Get to know your mode of awareness where you're aware from? And if there is no place, is it in your little toe? Is it in your heel? Is it in your pinky? Oh, you mostly aware and you know, is it turns out if you ask those questions, though, actually begins coming in closer, it's yes, it's in the whole torso? And then is it if the whole torso? Is it? In your back? Is it by your tailbone? Or is it in the back of your neck? Some people when you ask those questions, oh, no, it's mostly in the front of the torso. So people who very quickly will say, I there's no place location for me to be aware, if they start coming from the from the most wide out and start working in the weigh in, they kind of by a process of elimination, find that though I'm mostly aware in the chest in the middle of adjuster I'm mostly aware here, this is at location. And when you find that location or close to it, relax, relax the attention wherever it might be. So so this will be a beginning. And I'm very aware that this might be seem a little esoteric for some of you. So if that's the case, this this week of awareness and the where it's located. I asked your patients with it. And, and and I don't think it'll be harmful. And and hopefully they'll you'll benefit a little bit from it. That when we turn our attention to compassion again, that you'll see the richer options of how to be compassionate. So thank you, and look forward to being here tomorrow.