2022-12-07-Gil-Gladness Pentad (3 of 5) Calmness Organizing the Dis-Organized Mind
7:49AM Dec 15, 2022
So we're now at the third talk of the gladness pen tad. And this is tranquility specifically it's tranquility of the body. And but I like to think of it includes calmness of the mind as well. And hear the language is not that we are calming anything, but rather there's a calming that happens from the momentum of the meditation of the practice. It's like if you sit still and upright, when you're really tense, the body just wants to relax and settle, it just kind of you find yourself settling, without intending to do so. And so the same way for the mind, there's a way in which things are allowed to settle quiet if we get out of the way if we don't perpetuate our busyness or activities. So being still, and it turns out that that deep relaxation of the body is supported by gladness and joy. The first two steps of this gladness, pen tat, it's kind of like with with the gladness and joy, there's a contentment, there's a sense of well being, that it just feels safer to relax and let go. It just feels kind of warm and cozy, to be present so that the body wants to relax more kind of like it's been tight and shivering in the cold. And then it stands in the sun, the warmth of the sun and soaks in the warmth, and something begins to relax. So when in meditation, we can help with a relaxing, calming, and when we allow for it is part of the art of meditation. Meditation is often associated with becoming calm and tranquil. And it's a very useful quality of meditation. But it's very, it's not so often talked about how the calmness, the tranquility that brings that we create that comes along is not for its own sake, many people feel like that's enough for me now we're so stressed out, it's not nice to be calm, that the calmness begins to allow for a reorganizing of the mind and body. Especially think of the mind getting reorganized. Maybe a mind that's disorganized is all too often our experience in life. And you only realize that when we sit down to meditate and see how much the mind is jumping around or fragmented or preoccupied, in a way, you know, so distracted, we don't even know we're distracted, so preoccupied, we don't even know that we're preoccupied until we sit down and see it. And, and so the to begin and to be present and awake and clear and see what's happening in the mind that begins allowing the mind to settle. It's kind of like making breathing room for something to settle. And then we could also participate in that relaxing sometimes, and just kind of kind of being with a breath and relaxing it being with our, our mind and softening the mind. And the more that we're both awake, attentive and relaxing, the more the mind will self organize. It's like the self healing properties of the our body and mind that are not enabled. If we stay scattered and stressed. It's kind of like we're keeping ourselves away, we're interfering with the self healing, self settling self organizing aspects of our body mind. And as we get as the mind gets more organized, more, less fractured, more gathered together. The the purpose, as I said is not just to be calm, but it's so that our intelligence, our creativity, and our focus can operate in support of the meditation. And because the idea is that the calm is not an end of itself, but allows for a deepening of concentration of settling a greater sense of settled concentrated wholeness and not another fragmentation are we lasers focusing on something and put it pushing everything else aside, but rather everything has a lot to set All together, nothing is left out, nothing is held at bay, nothing is repressed or denied. But the self organizing, everything comes together, and then can find a way to work together cooperate to coordinate for the purposes of meditation. I was told recently about a game that uses some kind of technology attached to the head, that can measure I guess the brainwaves, whether a person is agitated or calm. And apparently, it's a game where there's a ball between two people at a table or something. And that's somehow connected wirelessly connected to these headsets people are wearing. And so when we relax, the ball moves away from us towards the other person. And so that's a competition to see who can get the ball into the other person's goal or in the other person's side of the table. And, but what's required is to be relaxed. So you can't strain you can't be competitive in his forceful straining way. The person who wins is the one who is most relaxed, which probably also means the most unconcerned about winning. And, but I imagine that you don't win by falling asleep. You know, you don't win by kind of spacing out, you have to be present, very present, to notice if the mind is you know, if the boat which direction the ball is going, and whether or which direction you know, he's the mind now more stressed, more agitated, or as the mind now is in more places, you can settle and relax, quiet the mind. And so learning this art of being alert, present, tracking what's going on with intelligence. And keeping it relaxed at the same time. Many people only know one or the other, but to do both. And then to use the, our intelligence, our creativity, to gather more fully and focus more fully just here in our meditation. So in this last meditation, I suggested the idea that images are correct created image of you thinking of attention like a brushstroke. And, like you're a painter, painting something, and that every inhale and every exhale is this is a you have to have the very precise and clear, relaxed focus of an artist who's putting the finishing touches on a very refined, detailed painting. That's maybe exquisitely beautiful, but you never want to put the last little thing in it, and not mess up. And so very present, maybe there too, if there's stress or tension in the artists 10 It won't, it won't be quite right. So be very relaxed, but very focused, and so that every exhale is a brushstroke every inhales that brushstroke of this painting. And this metaphor is not partly borrows from the ancient Buddhist language Pāli that in one of these coincidences, accidents of the language, that the word for mind citta is the same as the word for painting citta they have different they come from different roots, so that to me, logically, they're not related. But somehow in the way the languages kind of evolved over time, the accents that pronunciations, they came to the same pronunciation, so on homonyms, so but it's kind of a wonderful coincidence that you know that the word for mind the word for painting is the same. Because maybe there's a way in which how we're present how we engage in attention is a way of painting the mind painting our experience painting our selves into being a whole, organized, gather together, everything working in harmony. And so how do we harmonize mind and body and part of the way is to allow it to harmonize by being calm by being settled. And so some of that we can do ourselves, we can relax the tensions in our muscles, while staying alert in the body. To them, what we don't want to do is relax and become limp limpness is not the tranquility that the Buddha was pointing to it you know, the most slim person would end up you know, like, a cooked piece of spaghetti just kind Have you no. Coffee? No. No,
no tautness holding it up. So we don't not push right now supposed to become limp. We're also not supposed to be tense. And so some kind of tautness, some kind of vitality, energy that keeps us alive keeps us upright and engaged, but also something that allows for a very deep relaxation of the body and the mind. It's phenomenal that can happen in meditation. So I offer all all this, all this to you is, is
as a suggestion, or as ideas to encourage you to lovingly relax idli participate in support, this org is organizing, self organizing, de fracturing movement of meditation, that part of the reason to settle the mind is so that we can become more intelligent and creative and present for experience. For those of you who have mind to jump around a lot, some image might be helpful. So the image for example, that the as you exhale, it's like you're, you have the focus of you know, a painter with a paintbrush just right there with the, every little step of the exhale, you're painting it, you're right there tracking it, or maybe, you know, really present for I don't know the, what's the attention, you need to if you want to some fruit like a mango, or maybe avocado, where you put the knife down, you don't want to cut through the skin, you cut it in half, you don't cut through the skin, but you know, from the half from the inside, you're, you're slicing it down to the skin. So it's that focus right there, for that cut that you need to do. Maybe have other images that you're like that works for this, a maybe an archer, and you know, just really getting the whole body organized, settled connected. There also that Archer can't be tense, but the Archer has to be taught and everything is organized, the body is organized for the purposes of the shot. And then you know, that kind of the mind everything takes its time to really be there to to hit the target. And so to org meditation as a organizing practice that is supported by tranquility. And the more we have gladness the more we have joy, the more that it's just natural for the body to feel cozy content and feel like it can settle and relax and and be participate in this reorganizing from the disorganization of stress stress and, and resistance and you know, agitation. So look for opportunities to be tranquil. You know, sit in a park bench for a little while, sit, look out the window and have tea. Look for opportunities to relax your body standing in a shopping line. Don't read the magazines that are there as you're waiting or don't be, you know, judging what other people in front of you in line have bought us standing there as a chance to soften and relax your body and maybe relax your mind. Look for opportunities today to relax be tranquil, not for its own purpose. But see if you can notice in that tranquility and that calmness, if there's a way in which your body and mind kind of comes together kind of becomes more whole becomes more organized or gathered together or unified. So thank you, and may you have a tranquil day and and not just because you're tranquil but because your whole system starts coming into harmony you'll be better prepared for tomorrow's topic, which is happiness. So thank you very much.
I wanted to mention that yesterday I talked about the day long I'm teaching on Saturday. That could be seen as a continuation of this series this week. It's day long meditation, teaching and meditation on the Four Noble Truths. The information for that is on the What's New section of IMCs website. Also, it's being offered through insight retreat center. So if you go on their website, for the day, launder day alongs online retreats, you can see it it's a zoom retreat. So thank you very much.