Oh, for those of you who may be new here, this is Dr. Joseph parent. To gain more information on him and his background, you can visit his website that I will list in the chat. While on his website, you can find out about his meditation sessions that he hosts on Fridays at 8am. Pacific Time.
Nope, that's changed. New news. And I'll mention this a little bit later, as changed for this month, at least to Tuesday. And our first session is tomorrow morning at 9am. Pacific. So if you can write that in tomorrow 9am Pacific, and they can get the information you can put that practicing mindfulness awareness section on my website, Elissa if you'd put that in. And so we get to do this evening and then start it right again tomorrow morning.
Perfect. Let's see. Let me go ahead and I'll start this recording and let you take it from there.
recording in progress Hi, everybody. Nice to see you are and we'll have a chance to all talk. Together I see. Familiar faces familiar pictures and names, new faces. I can't help but catch yours John Ferrari love your cars. That's, that's great. And we're gonna wait just a minute or two more and see if we can. Oh, we're over 20 people. That's good. Yeah, so this has put tomorrow morning, and the link you can find the link in this email location. If you open up your chat. Just click on the chat along the bottom of your screen, you'll see what I'm going to be teaching if this evening was meaningful. We'll do more of that tomorrow morning. There was one question so I thought and it applies to our practice. So I thought I would take care of that. But I also I wanted to start with a reading. That's why I wanted to wait till everybody was here. And I think we're all aboard. That's coming aboard. So yesterday was 911 it was I'm sure we all have vivid memories of where we were in that situation. I was on my way to the airport. And before here in Los Angeles and before I could turn down the main highway the radio reports kept changing and then it said all airspace is closed. So I continued on Luckily, my sister was not far from there and I spent the day with her and watch the whole thing on TV. So is, you know, very clearly it's a trauma seared in all of our consciousness is a particularly terrible thing that we all experienced. Now, what I wanted to do is read something written by Trungpa Rinpoche Shea Trungpa Rinpoche is a Tibetan Buddhist teacher. He escaped around the same time that Trumper Rinpoche escaped from the Communist Chinese invasion of Tibet in the late 1950s came to the west and has established his monastery in Nepal actually and and then throughout Nepal and establish monasteries in the West as well. Particularly thriving one that I visited many times is the monastery in Vancouver, British Columbia. And he's an incredibly great teacher regarded as the supreme scholar among all of the Tibetan teachers in the Karma Kagyu school and in fact was asked by the Dalai Lama to be the teacher of the young monk who was to become the head of the Karma Kagyu school called the Karmapa. So extremely wise, and pretty much the kindest person you could ever one could ever meet. So I want to read a song by that he wrote shortly after 911. And I'm going to post I'm going to post a link to this in the chat before I do. Hang on one second. So if you want to, here we go. Oops, that's too Alyssa don't want to go to everybody. Here we go. Okay. Now read it.
We are obliged to cherish and protect this world. The place we humans call our home. So why pointlessly destroy any source of our world's prosperity? May the truth of all Buddha's in the 10 directions help bring an end to all such deluded actions may raising the attitude of love and compassion, help peace and happiness spread throughout the world. The way of all civilized people is to protect one's life and precious human body. How pitiful to cast away and destroyed in the delusion that it may be used as a weapon by the nectar of truth, calm and soothing, completely pacify such violent intent by the attitude of love and compassion blossom in all people throughout the world. The way of noble people is to help others and the universal norm is to protect oneself. May the pit of pitiful wish to destroy both Self and Others, such an unwholesome thought and deed fade forever. May the truthful speech of bodhisattvas and virtuous people and the truthful speech of the pure nature of reality, promote peace and harmony here in our world, so that everyone might enjoy the wealth of happiness and well being. Upon hearing of the destruction of the World Trade Center, this wish for negativity to subside was written with pure intention by Trungpa Rinpoche, we may virtuous goodness increase.
So as Trungpa Rinpoche has taught, the basis for all of our practice, is the wish to benefit others. First to not cause harm, and second, to benefit others. And so we start all of our practice sessions with that intention. May the practice I'm going to do be of benefit to others as well as myself. And while we're sitting and meditating, we are certainly refraining from causing harm. Someone asked me one time you know how quickly we would get the benefits of meditation and I said, Well instantly when you sit down for half an hour to meditate, that's a half an hour that you are taking yourself out of circulation, not causing trouble for yourself and other people. So instant benefit that way but but we do want to set that intention so that the practice we're doing isn't some kind of purely personal goal orientation but rather the intention that we can work with our minds. So that in our mind is what runs our speech and our body so that we can use our body speech and mind in a way in ways that don't cause harm, but are of benefit others. So that's the aspiration that's the ground that we're doing this practice. That's the basis of this practice. Whatever practice whatever practice, we're doing, and especially given the, the need for compassion in our world. What I'd like to do is what I usually do in these sessions, if you've been here before and are familiar with them, and that is to go through basic shamatha or taming the mind dwelling in peace practice, to open that up into awareness practice, to include a little more panoramic awareness, the start of what we would call the passion over clear seeing and on the basis of that expansive awareness, to then work with the practice of compassion and loving kindness which is called tonglen in Tibetan of sending and taking so that we, we use as a as a sort of marker for doing so we use our breath, imagine that as we breathe in. We're taking away the suffering of others. And as we breathe out, we're sending them kindness Good, good kindness and happiness. And the basis of this is what are called the Four immeasurable minds, or four immeasurable attitudes, intentions, aspirations, there's, you know, I'm sure there's a better word in Tibetan or Sanskrit than the English but they basically go you know, may all sentient beings and keep in mind that includes ourselves, may we and all sentient beings enjoy happiness and and the roots or causes of happiness. So that's an expression of loving kindness. Kindness, loving kindness is the desire for ourselves and others to have happiness. And then may we and all beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering. Beyond that, the intention is May we and all sentient beings enjoy a greater happiness, not the conventional temporary happiness but a deeper happiness that goes beyond conventional happiness and suffering.
If you want to think of it, you could think of it as the happiness and suffering or like the waves. And this this kind of happiness or bliss is like the ocean. It's the it's the deep sense of well being, can't even call it happiness. But well being and then beyond that, may we in all beings
experience or attain the equanimity that's free from those waves, particularly waves of afflictive emotions. Those involved with grasping or attachment. Those involved with feet with aversion or aggression, and those involved with closed mindedness or ignorance or prejudice. So those are the four immeasurable minds are measurable thoughts, and they're measurable in their benefit. And they're measurable in the sense that they embody the highest values. You know, Trungpa Rinpoche, song was talking about what we value as human beings. And the highest values are wisdom and selfless love, or compassion. And now, the really good news is that we all have the capacity for that. In fact, it's in our very nature because the nature of mind beyond any content content, the current our contents, our perceptions, or thoughts or emotions, they're all the contents of mind. The container that holds all those contents, all everything that arises in our mind, the mind that is the container of all those has no particular content, it is a pure potentiality purely the capacity and there are two qualities to that capacity to that potentiality the capacity to know and the capacity to feel free and the highest expression of the capacity to know is wisdom and the highest expression of the capacity to feel is to feel compassion or selfless love, loving kindness and compassion. So, but in our very nature, we all have the capacity to do that. So is it something that we then have to add to that fundamental nature? No. In fact, that nature, it is complete on its own. What we need to do is like the sun, if you take the metaphor of the Sun for for that nature, the sun provides light and warmth. That's clarity
and feeling, mind is clear and mind has the capacity for warmth. So like the sun, it's continually extending out and radiating light and warmth. The to the extent that we don't experience it is only because of clouds. So our job isn't to add more sun. It's just to clear the clouds away. We don't have to add anything to our nature of basic goodness. Beyond relative good and bad. All we have to do is clear the clouds of confusion and the clarity and warmth. That is our nature. comes shining through. So that's the good news. Along the same lines when we meditate. We might think oh my mind is all of these thoughts and feelings and emotions. And what I need to do is I need to get some sense of presence. I need to find the present moment. How do I how do I get to being present? Well, again, good news is being present is the default. Stage. That's how we are. So we're in our bodies are always in the present. Unless you have a time machine. Your body's in the present. But your mind is a time machine and it goes zooming from the present. But but basically as we get caught up in our daydreams and do all of that stuff. These one thought after another after another, they are not continuous. They're tiny little gaps and sometimes it's a bigger gap and what happens we wake up out of our daydream. At the instant that we wake up, we have woken up. We don't have to say, oh, I need to find the present moment. That's where we wake up in the present. So when we're practicing, we have the intended object of our attention and our attention wanders. And at some point, there's this gap where we have a moment of recognition. Oh, it wandered. I was someplace else. I'm already back. I don't have to say now come back. You're already back. As soon as you realize you were someplace else. That's where you realize it from from the present. Moment. At that point, what you are remembering what the practice is, is to simply let your mind return to the object of attention and when we expand beyond a particular fixed, particular object of attention, but go to open awareness, then that is what we just rest in. Awareness of whatever is being experienced in that moment. So one of the questions goes to how we're going to do the practice and I'll lead you through these different practices. In meditation view, you can see it in the chat. I've heard instructors say to passively watch the breath and I want to just the issue of watching the breath. It's not exactly what the instruction is, but it seems like that and some people do use that instruction, but that's not what we're working with. It's difficult because when you try to just observe the breath and let it happen naturally, you're self conscious. I'm consciously controlling the breath. And it's hard to let it go and just what this person is saying is watching it but focusing on it. Okay. Are there tips or tricks? Well, the interesting thing is, first, let's change what our intention is. And that is to become one with the breath. In other words, to let our awareness merge with the breathing so it's not me over here, watching the breath go out over there. But let your mind actually go out along with it. Mix your mind
with the breath, become one with the breath, so that as the breath goes out, what happens what happens literally what happens literally, is the breath dissolves into the atmosphere of the room. As that dissolving happens, you let go of holding on it has dissolved there's nothing to hold on to and you let your mind your self consciousness dissolve and just be open to being in the space in the room. Then the next the breath comes in by itself. And of course, as soon as I tell you, the breath, let the breath I didn't even say let the breath comes in words come in by itself. But as you think as soon as you think oh the breath can come in by itself. We have this mechanism. I need to check. Is it is am I breathing in? I promise. I promise unless unless you really can only do things following instructions. Breathe in, breathe out. I forgot to breathe in. You forget to breathe in for very long you pass out and you know what happens when you pass out. Your body starts breathing by itself. So you can't stop it. That's one of the reasons that we work with the breathing. We work with the breathing. We work with the breathing, partly because it's like life. We can control it to some extent, but not totally. And if we're not paying attention to it, it's going to happen anyway. So that's part of why we work that's working with the breathing. Okay, so well what we need to do, if there's a self consciousness about oh, I'm, I'm I'm trying to let the breath happen but I'm controlling it how do I try to not try? That ideally would make you smile. If it makes you frown then you're going to try to not try to not try and then you're going to try to not try to not try and and at some point you're gonna have to laugh and say look at that. Look what happens. Okay, so have a sense of humor about that. And just notice that that's part of what's happening.
let go of trying so hard to get it right. And when you let the moment you let go of trying so hard to get it right. The breath goes out and you relax into the space. Because that's really all that we're talking about. Letting your mind relax into the space and not have to do anything. So if you find you're controlling your breath, to say, Okay, I'm gonna just watch myself controlling my breath
and let that be the object of your attention. It's about not trying so hard to get it right, but simply staying with the process of being present to your experience. And when the mind wanders, as soon as you wake up out of that daydream, you're already back. You step out of your time machine. You're you're already back and and return to what you were doing. And what you were doing was breathing. We use it as an anchor because if we just say just sit there and be the mind is going to just go willy nilly. So we use the breath as an anchor. And it has a quality of connecting with our mind because you'll notice that if you're uptight, your breath gets uptight. And if you relax your breath, relax. So, enough talking, let's do and then see how that goes. And we can discuss it afterwards. So take as good a posture as you can sit upright. I'm not going to go into all the details of the posture. You can read about that in many places. But the idea is, if you're slumping, you'll get drowsy. If you sit with your your chin floating up, you get spaced out. So just remember when you were in school and the teacher said class, sit up and pay attention. So sit up and pay attention. If you want an image you can let use the image of your spine as being like a tent pole on the rest of your body just the canvas before the tent is drawn out. Just hanging from that temple so often I go through a body scan and grounding and relaxing but we'll do an abbreviated version of that. Take a nice full breath in. Let your eyes close for this one. Take a nice full breath in. And as you breathe out, feel that from the top of your head. You just sweeping all the unnecessary 10 You know, out and down and into the ground. If you'd like melting as you breathe out from the top of your head, it all melts and flows down and out of you into the ground, whichever you like better. We'll do a couple more of those breaths. Breathe in feel fully embodied and from the top of your head sweep all the way down.
Down one more
best you can really let your weight sink down. sink down into the seats that you're on. Feel your sit bones pressing down. Let the seat support you.
You can relax.
No one's gonna pull that chair out from under your right now. Not for the rest of this session. If they do we can talk about it later. That's not there's not very kind. But probably you're in a place where no one's going to come in and pull that chair out from under you. So trust it. Sit down and you can even imagine that you're sitting on the earth. Let it be grounded, fully grounded. Almost like you're part of the earth
leaving your eyes closed for a second you don't have to follow your breath. Just know notice what's going on your body. You might even feel your pulse. You can feel the you can feel the breath going in and out of your nostrils cool and dry coming in. warm and moist going out without you having to try to breathe
if you're just noticing the feeling in your nostrils you don't have to follow your breath anywhere. This will get you accustomed to just letting the breath happen. Fill it in feel your chest expand. Feel your belly expand ideally imagine the breath going down the back of your throat down behind your chest like pouring a liquid into the back of a cup and then the cup fills from the bottom up. That's how we want to feel our breath filling our torso from the bottom up
Don't try so hard to feel that way but just if you relax and just be aware of what it feels like. You'll feel that the breath can feel that way.
And the breath and the mind are reflections of each other. So you may feel that the more you're relaxed the softer and quieter your breath gets.
Let your eyes gently open and we're breathing mainly through our nose. Definitely breathe in through your nose. And if it goes out a little bit through your lips, that's okay but that's why I had to pay attention to the nostrils. We do better when we breathe through our nose unless you have terrible allergies then again, however it comes in and goes out and comes in and goes out
soften your gaze so that it's like you're just aware of the space that you're sitting in. Rather than looking at something
there's a keyboard right in front of you. You can turn somewhat to the side. So there's a little more space
as the breath goes out just relax your awareness into that space and then rest there as the breath comes in by itself. goes out, relaxing to the to your awareness into the space.
If your mind wanders off into a daydream, that's where you get sleepy and actually start to dream. There'll be a moment when you wake up at that moment, just smile. Have a sense of humor. Smile. Wait for the next out breath. And then as the breath goes out, relax your awareness into that open space. And rest there.
Out dissolve rest
He relaxed into that open space
you don't need
to do the mental gymnastics of oh I'm going to come back to the end of my to my nostrils and then start out with the breath right from there. It's more gentle than that
you're opening, letting go. Resting.
Next breath it's just more opening into the space letting go and resting
Jen gentle cycle opening which is like going out without movement out open rest
when your mind rests in the space rather than you in your body looking at the space the body breathes itself.
Shades raise your gaze looks straight out. Imagine that your awareness opens up
to a bigger space
and open breathe out and open
imagine that your awareness extends out to the sky. Above and all around you.
360 degree awareness out an open mind
as best you can imagine that your awareness extends out beyond the sky.
Open in all directions
out into space among the stars and the galaxies
out fully open breathe out and imagine
awareness goes out beyond the for the star rest for a moment in that infinite openness.
is neither here nor there self or other
and it's that non dual awareness. That is the nature of our mind that can extend loving kindness and compassion
to all beings.
So imagine you can close your eyes or leave them open whichever you'd like. Imagine in front of you is one or more people that you care deeply about. Family friends, your loved ones. Be aware particularly if there's one that's in pain or suffering, physical
whatever struggles and suffering they're going through
be like a tuning fork. Pick up on their vibration as you breathe in, imagine that you're gathering in and feeling that suffering
breathe in and you're taking that suffering away from them and extend out the cool moonlight of kindness
fills their beings with peace, health and happiness
you can imagine all this happening from your heart center at the center of your being at the heart level.
Your heart of wisdom and compassion isn't separate from other beings. It can contain and transform their suffering into happiness. Breathe in and feel their suffering and let your heart transform it into caring, loving kindness that radiates out and fills their beings with peace health and happiness.
Compassion is feeling with you feel with them.
And you have the intention to free them from their suffering and the causes of their suffering, the emotional distress that causes the suffering
radiate out peace of mind freedom from suffering happiness
if you find it helpful, you can put your hand over your heart
as best you can extend that
aspiration the wish to free others from suffering to more and more beings. Everyone you know or you've ever met. They all have their own suffering and struggle to breathe in and take it away from them to free them to imagine that they're released from the struggle and suffering. Take it on, take it to heart
and then radiate out
the transformed energy of kindness you have an infinite capacity to feel and you have an infinite capacity to send out
the light of kindness the warmth of love
if one particular person comes to mind, work with that
if another person comes to mind, maybe someone you have difficulty with. Take the struggle between you from both of you from yourself and the other person if it's anger towards each other, praising the anger radiate out to yourself and the other person patience and acceptance of each other.
As best you can extend your awareness to the whole world. All beings great and small. And animals go through so much suffering people in the war torn places of the world like Ukraine
Congo, Nigeria the war torn by the violence in America and abroad
as Trungpa Rinpoche said, breathe in. Take away that motivation of violence
radiate out peace and happiness
the attitude of love and compassion blossom in all people throughout the world
let go of what you're visualizing return to your body. Return to your breathing
wherever your experience of the present moment.
conclude our practice
like a sandwich
to match our intention of how we began intention was to do this practice not just for our own benefit but for the benefit of others. And in fact, the benefit for ourselves we want to be of the of the kind of benefit that will enable us to better help others. So if we have that in mind as that's the benefit for ourselves to be better able to help others as well as benefiting others. And you can recite after me or in your own words. May the practice I've just done be of benefit to others as well as myself. If you would like to you can say may be of even more benefit to others
and even to myself. Thank you
so we have a few minutes for discussion. One of the questions. I see somebody liked the image of the mind being a time machine. Oh absolutely. Body not so much unless you've got one in the backyard. So why do you think any being would want to destroy self and others? Well, that's the idea that the hijackers had for 911 that by using their bodies, they would go to the ultimate heaven and they would kill all the infidels. So from Trump garages point of view and I have to agree, that's pretty confused. But it is what they believe. You would have a lot of people who are advocates of Islam who would say that's a mistaken interpretation but it is what they believed so the wishes may they not believe that confused idea that it's of benefit to destroy oneself and others. So that's where that that's what that song that Trungpa Rinpoche that aspiration that he wrote is referring to their idea that it was that it was a good idea to kill themselves and others.
For I don't know if the person is here who asked the question about the self consciousness about the breathing? If you're here and want to discuss it more, you can just unmute yourself are they allowed to unmute themselves a listener? Do they have to raise their hands? I
can make it so they can unmute themselves.
Sure, go ahead. There we go. And anyone else who would like to offer a comment please this is a good time to
do that. Me
Where are you?
You know, I also get confused sometimes about breathing thing. So as soon as I think my breath I do.
That's exactly what that comment was.
So I prefer to focus in my heart. It works.
I'm happy that it works for you.
I mean, I think it does. I don't know. Do I need drama or not? But I do my days away is much, much more pleasing. You know, you focus in the heart and the heart is not going to do well.
So are you aware of your heart beating?
I start by feeling the place like like would they say the heart chakra
that's different than your heart or heart center.
I know I know. The center of the world.
I understand the
place. I fecund is not pleased I don't
want to get away from the right or wrong but understand that the purpose of going out with a breath and out into space is to decentralize and not be so self centered. But open up into environment. Your environment and space. So it's a little different kind of practice. I'm not saying it's wrong. It's a different practice. Yes, it's more pleasurable and you feel more peace, right? But that's part of the turning inward. This is an opening outward. So it's different. It's a different practice. Now, as far as if you want to work with the breathing if you without doing the that's what I was trying to say have a light touch of just being aware of that you let your body be breathing and know that the breath is going out and just be more in the space around you. And if you want to feel like it's you know. You can start with the practice of the heart and say I'm using that to to draw in and feel more present and feel more embodied and in my body and in my being and then I'm going to open my eyes and be
in the space
and be in the world.
It happens to me like that suddenly,
that's nice. That's good.
That's good. To grow.
That's good. Okay, as long as it's not as long as it's a letting go rather than holding on that's the most important thing. Okay. You're welcome.
as pullover machine likes to see likes to sing the song just let go and go where no mind goes. So it's not a conceptual mind grabbing onto anything but just letting mind mix with space. And that's what we call the practice. Letting mind mix with space on the medium of the breath
any other comments questions? I'm going to wait for a little bit.
You know, that's actually my favorite practice, waging meditation. We just sit and wait, I was on a program this morning. And the the leader of the program was saying the same thing she said, said you know usually I tried to fill up the space but I decided just to wait. And it was very nice. So thank you everyone. And I encourage you, whenever you're waiting for something, just do waiting meditation and sit there and see what happens. Okay. Bye bye. Oh, let's unmute. Unmute and say goodbye. Or say hi, whatever you feel like saying.
Thanks. Thank you nice to see you all. Bye, everybody. I like to see
see a neat his background, Laura's background, it's always a moving and Tim I just we always see Tim's name. Tim always has good questions.
Bye. Bye, Anita, thank you for your comments. Okay. Hi everybody. Have a good evening or morning wherever you are in the world.