Good morning, everyone. And since technology hasn't been cooperating this morning, I'd like to be reassured that you can hear me. Great, thank you. So the YouTube recorder wasn't working this morning. And I spent this last period, trying to understand what might have been wrong and didn't. But so that's why there was no guided meditation as planned. And hopefully you were in good hands with yourself and community sitting this way. And so, because of this, I also have a little change of plans around what to talk about this morning. And I think what I like to do is to continue on that theme of mindfulness factor of awakening.
So to say a few more words about the mindfulness factor of awakening, or the awareness factor of awakening.
repeating a little bit what I said yesterday that there is mindfulness practice. And there is mindfulness. And it's similar to maybe like, if you tell someone that you run, you're not really telling them much of what you're doing. You could be just running after your dog, you could be running from the police, you could be running for the joy of running. But if you tell someone you're training to run, that you're running to train, then immediately I think people understand that you're running in a variety of ways. You might sometimes some days run distance some times do Sprint's sometimes to slow jog. There's all kinds of different things you would do if you're training to be a runner to run. So in training to be in mindfulness, we're doing more than just being mindful. We're using different facilities bring them together to support the growth of awareness, the growth of lucid awareness or clear awareness. And in the teachings of the Buddha, in the discourse of the four foundations of mindfulness, often is considered to be the source for mindfulness teaching. He In fact, provides a variety of different supports for this cultivation of Sati. And one of them is a word Pali word which means to feel or to experience. And it's a it's a somatic reference to somatically physically feel or sense. In some people have the gift of really living in their body, a lot and referencing their experience, in some embodied way, and in their senses, and, and, and to be really centered in your body and in your physical senses. And your inner senses of physicality. provides a lot of wisdom. Because a lot of what goes on in the mind will manifest in the body, especially the tensions of our body, or our minds the way the mind gets stuck on things. And so as we become more physically sensitive, more centered in our body, feeling and sensing, we have access to noticing how we tense up and how we hold it, how we resist, in some ways, and more, sometimes more acutely than we would if we were just noticing in the mind, it's sometimes clear to feel it in the body. And doing that it kind of provides us with a guide for where the path of practice is. The path of practice is not found in being tense. It's not found in in in straining in can be getting being contracted, it's found in the opposite direction. And so one way to be your own teacher is to have this sensitivity to where the stresses are. And, and really feel them well take your time to know them well. And then, and then if there's a choice, choose the choose where it's not stressful, choose where there's more ease to is where they choose where the body doesn't get tight, contracted, hot and sweaty, from tension. And, and it seems like it's a very simple guide, it's a very simple instruction to just track things in that kind of way. But in fact, it's really a profound thing to do, that carries a person all the way to enlightenment just kind of shows you the path. And in fact, the deeper the meditation, that they actually more useful, the simple instruction is to notice where there's a little bit of Duke a little bit of stress a little bit of contraction or or solidification and hardening if something and, and that is to release that is where the movement towards freedom is. So one of the ways to cultivate this awareness is through being embodied, kind of aware of our embodied
experience, kind of from the inside out. And, and as we move in with, as we do that, as a beginner, for example, are beginning even for, you know, new meditation session for so much practice a long time, we notice the mind wanders off a lot into thoughts and ideas and stories and images. And, and so the coming back and having something physical to tap into touch into is a kind of a grounding, it's a kind of a clear anchor, it's kind of there's a kind of clarity, for some people in the body, the body is always in the present moment. And so if you know you're connected to your body, you're in the present. And it then then supports more present moment awareness. And in the more you repeatedly let go of your thoughts and your preoccupations, the weaker those tend to become. And as they get weaker than the natural byproduct of that is there's more present moment awareness. So coming back to the body, feeling the body supports this present moment awareness. That it can be it can linger, it could stay can be more continuous. So this is one of the trainings for developing awareness is this somatic training of feeling our body being connected. The second that the Buddha talks about his any he emphasizes this, this one a lot in this discourse in the four foundations of mindfulness is to recognize the experience as we're having it. Sometimes translators will use the expression, clear comprehension is related to this clear comprehension, or sometimes they translate the related word as knowing when nose and so if one is putting on one's clothes, when nose when he's putting on his clothes, it was walking when nose was when he was walking, when eating when knows when he's eating. And this can also seem kind of simplistic, and you know, why should of course, I know I'm eating while I'm eating Otherwise, I wouldn't get the food in my mouth. But there's something about the simplicity and the fullness of really staying close to that knowing that supports the cultivation of present moment awareness. It isn't a vaguely know you're eating. So you can read the newspaper or look at the news or have a conversation or think about the plans for the day. It's kind of just simplify, simplify, simplify the mind. So it's fully just know just what it knows is it fully knows. Right now there's just eating and there's nothing that obscures that or that detracts from that or dilutes that it becomes more and more clear and full, just just eating. And at first, this might seem incredibly boring. But you have much more sophisticated person and you can do all kinds of wonderful things with your mind and you can even multitask you can have the radio on and read the news and eat and and maybe have a conversation, profound conversation with your partner and But it doesn't really work that way. And even if you even if you are such a multi talented person, you're actually still shortchanging yourself from the capacity to develop the kind of fullness and the clarity of awareness. And that's what we're searching for is awareness, which is full and clear. And really here. And the cost of doing that might initially be, if you're the spending kind of person, you are a level of boredom or resistance, or, like, You gotta be kidding me just to eat that just be with eating. But as you get into it, it becomes a treasure, it feels like so special, it becomes a doorway, it's kind of like open the gates and the waters and the dam. And now something wonderful begins to flow out that you could never have guessed before, and it becomes so enriched life that way. So just to know, and knowing has a lot to do with recognition. So sometimes, as he has talked about using mental notes, mental notes are an emphatic way of or a clear way to recognize something, you don't have to use mental notes. But it's often recommended you do a little bit of it. And the art of it is to make the mental note, just strong enough to help you stay present.
But soft enough, that it's not agitating itself, it's kind of soft, and actually kind of comforting to say the note to say that a nice inner voice you, you kind of just like a little encouragement. So if you are feeling in in breath, you might say in but you say in a nice way. And like you're saying some nice to a friend or a lover or something in and and so you're really kind of isn't there's much more than just kind of the inner vocalization of this word. That can be kind of mechanical, if you kind of just treat it that way. But this kind of caring, a caring, recognition, oh, this is an in breath. This is a step touching a doorknob. There's an itch. There's a thought. Now there's delight. There's boredom. And there's something about the act of recognition when it's clear enough. And that's kind of the key to be really clear something that their recognition is independent of what is being recognized. So if I say to myself, Oh, there's an itch, itch, I could still be lingering in the itch in the discomfort niche and the fear of the itch. But if I it kind of like you step back in the mind, and just really from someplace in the mind, that's not the itch, you say itch, and define that place that with that we can say itch or perceive or recognize itch with a recognition is not the itch itself is amazingly freeing. And not initially, it takes a while to pick it pick this up. But the power of naming a creating some sort of distance or freedom from what we're entangled with, is, can be very, very helpful. And the reason to do it, again, is not because they're supposed to be a world class recognizer, but rather the recognition is, is helping us to continue to develop this present moment awareness, where instead of present moment, awareness becomes stronger and stronger, more continuous. And then the third kind of training and mindfulness the Buddha taught, is to observe. And that's not considered in an ancient tradition, an easy thing to do, because to observe, as the connotations of observe, observing as an uninvolved observer, we're not interfering with what we're observing, we're not judging it, we're not preferring it. We're not pushing it away. We're not for or against it, we're just observing it. And, and so it takes a lot of practice to come to that kind of equanimity and that kind of acceptance, that kind of openness, to just be able to settle back and just observe. But that's the direction these other two trainings are going going towards. To experience and feel your experience well, to recognize the experience well, and then eventually come to a place which is to observe it. Just observe, it's very, very simple. And, and everything comes into this into the purview of observing Something the mind for them and then the awareness has a chance to grow even more. In this Annette we're not engaged in or midday populating or fixing or needing to change anything, it's just their awareness can just be there as own pristine wonderfulness, just Oh, just aware what's happening. And that puts the mind on the edge of being able to let go in a very deep way, the mind that can just observe, without awareness to just observe just as there without trying to do anything, trying to prevent something trying to, you know, is entangled with it or cut up in anything, it's very, very stable, very equanimous, something then has a chance to release in the heart in a very deep way. And so that's kind of the path that the Buddhist teachings on Sati or mindfulness is going, some of you maybe find it you works better this to the feeling part of mindfulness training, the somatic side, just kind of experiencing it and keeping it that simple. Some of you might find your work better to do the recognition. And that's your strong suit, just really seeing and recognizing what's there. Some of you'll do a combination of both.
And some of you find that there's a natural degree in which this idea of observing kind of works really well for helping us be in the present moment. And some of you that this way I described it today just doesn't speak to you at all, and you have your own way. You just know how to be aware of us know how to be present for things and in this quite a bit the way I said, but the Please trust yourself in this process. But the direction we're going is towards learning how to finding a way to rest in the present moment be grounded in the present in some continuous way. So that awareness accompanies us is there as our companion or as our you know, as as we go through our life. So mindfulness a you enjoy it. May you feel the wonder of it. The miracle of attention of mindfulness, and may you, you know, walk and eat and sit and do the things you do today, at the speed of mindfulness, staying close to that wondrous capacity we have. Thank you all very much.