2021-12-06-Calmness (1 of 5) Undistraction
3:53PM Dec 6, 2021
So good morning, everyone and welcome to this Monday morning talk. And this morning, or this week, I'd like the theme, to be calmness and to discuss five different areas or aspects of calmness. And meditation is often associated with calmness. But not for its own sake, though it can be quite nice for its own sake. But because calmness allows for greater wisdom to operate, it allows us to greater capacity to see what's happening. And also sets up the conditions where it's easier to let go of things which are healthy like to let go of, there's more space in the mind or softness in the mind, where the clinging begins to loosen its grip. So to talk about calmness, and so the, the I, when I think about this topic, I think about it in relationship also to a distracted mind, a mind that is caught up in his thoughts and preoccupations, that the faster the thinking is, the more preoccupied the mind is, the more chances are that the mind and maybe even the body is not tranquil, there's not calm. And, and what happens when we're when there's a, you know, incessant chatter in the Mind Thinking, Fast thinking one thought follows the other thoughts or tailgating each other is that we're our ability to, to perceive to understand, to be creative to be is diminished. Because the the busy thoughts fill the bandwidth, they fill the space. And so other forms of intelligence is we have other forms of ways of, of perceiving and of reflecting, don't have a chance to operate. But when we when thinking when we're not distracted, then we're also not distracted from our deeper wisdom or deeper understanding. We're not distracted from taking the time to really see what's here. The recently I heard someone say that the more urgency he feels, the slower he goes by that was a wonderful principle. Because when things are urgent, it's probably a time when we have to really use all our mental capacities to problem solve, to figure out to understand what's happening, to do things well, to not be impulsive and make mistakes because we're not didn't take time to learn what happened. And so to to, to learn the art of calming ourselves, learning the art of not being swept away in destructive thoughts and, and agitated mind is one of the most useful things that what are the great useful things we can learn from meditation and from mindfulness. But it's easier to learn it. If we begin to appreciate the value of calmness. They and maybe we can begin by understanding that they appreciate the calmness of a calm mind. Or more specifically, calm thinking. It's hard to well, the Buddha talked about the calmness in calming speech. So if you find yourself speaking very fast, and sometimes when we get agitated, we speak faster speech, how we speak and the speed by which we speak. We have some control over. So it's easier to control when we speak at how fast we speak, than it is to control our thoughts and our thinking. Because we have to engage more physically with the act of speaking. To begin experimenting and getting a feel for speaking in ways that are not hurried.
Begins giving you a feeling a sense of what it's like for the thinking mind. To also be unhurried And then to begin slowing the thinking mind down, especially when you're distracted, when you're distracted by your thoughts and your thoughts and concerns. And so to slow down, calm down the thinking mind, like you would calm down, speaking. So the advantage of this is, is not saying, Stop thinking, let go of your thoughts, which might be too tall of an order for anyone to, you know, do effectively in daily life. But, but maybe it's possible to begin slowing down your thoughts to have more space around them or a little more calmness associated with them. And, and so how do we do that? One of the ways is to do it. Relax the body. Chances are, that if you're thinking in a fast, distracted way, that something in your physical system is tense, this tight, this pushing or leaning forward or, or kind of holding on to some, some feeling of holding on. So to relax, relax the belly, relax the shoulders. And that's the advantage of some of this relaxation is they can be done without anybody else knowing you're doing it, you can do it at meetings, you can do it, that is sitting in traffic, you can do it, you know, standing in line at the store, you could take a little bit of time to relax. If you feel like you don't have the time to relax, when you're standing in a line, a cashier line, check, check in line at a store, then you're probably caught up in some kind of distraction, something that is limiting the depth of your wisdom, the depths of your clarity, of really seeing what's happening. So be very careful by the insistent voice in the mind or the sense of authority that distracted thoughts can have. Like, it's really important to think about this, I have to think about it's so important this concern and the kind of fear and sometimes desperation that goes in or the desire or the greed that might even go in to thinking has an insistence in it. When when that happens, and you can't standing at a checkout line, can't stand on your both both feet and relax and just you know, just relax your body for a few minute for a few moments. Then, then there's not much chances are that your innate natural wisdom and clarity of thinking is not going to be available. Because you're caught in that insistence that push to think. So you might take go through as you go through the day. Look for opportunities, maybe secret opportunities, no one needs to know you're relaxing your belly or your shoulders or your face or whatever your hands. But look for opportunities to relax and see in that relaxing or that intention to relax. If there starts to be a tug tug of war, with your thinking mind thinking minds kind of doing somehow, in some form or other saying no, no, we don't have time for this. It's so important to be thinking fast and furiously are so important to be caught up in thinking about this concern. And maybe that's not the case. Maybe if you really have an important concern that something really needs to be thought about. Maybe you think about it more effectively, better. When you're calm when you're relaxed. When you slow down, when the thinking mind becomes slow enough that you can be attuned to what it feels like when you know that you're in your body you feel embodied.
We thinking mind slows down enough space to be aware of your emotions and feelings. It's kind of the deeper emotional connection to what's happening. Not the surface emotions of fear or desire. But slow down enough to kind of those are often symptoms of something deeper. And if you can slow down and calm down enough to fill in the picture with more of how you are who you are, how you are with more space for undistracted thoughts, calm, relaxed thoughts that somehow arise from a deeper place of understanding a deeper place of creativity within us. Often we can we can find our way better with our challenges in our life than if we are having an agitated mind. Mind. So to practice to have an uneducated mind, is the same thing as a calm mind. And, and one of the vehicles for doing that is a calmness of body relaxation of body. And this wonderful interplay and mutuality between mind and body, in terms of helping us be calmer. If some of you don't like the word calm, there's other words, tranquility, serenity, peace, ease, all these words are kind of like in the same family. And if you don't like any of those words, and you think it's too high a bar or somehow not, not appealing, then perhaps an uneducated mind, and uneducated body. Because when you're agitated, we can't be so wise. And we can't be kind, it's harder to be kind. It's hard to be generous from a place of depth. And one of the wonderful things about becoming calm and on agitated our care for others or friendliness to others, or attention to others, they'll feel that it comes from a different place. In US, it's bigger, it's more richer, it's more connected, if we connect to others with a calm place, rather than a distracted place or an agitated place or this fast pace that some people some of us can be in sometimes when there's not really enough space, let alone for ourselves to really deep way, but let none, not enough space for others, as well. So calmness, and maybe this week's theme will be useful for you, especially as we're getting ready for this winter season and holiday season. May you become a student of calmness this week. Thank you