2020-04-20 Satipatthana (59) Effort and Joy Factors of Awakening
3:27PM Apr 20, 2022
So good morning. So, today, I'm going to cover two of the seven factors of awakening. Perfectly big. So we get our seven into these five days. And so the third one is effort. And the fourth one is joy. And the two follow a joy follows efforts because rather than efforts being a drag, rather than efforts being something stern or serious or, or hard or work to do, the effort is delightful, it's just a course this is a good thing to do. It's just feels to be able to do.
So, of course, every moment, we're in a fork in the road. And if the buffering happens again, or if we freeze or even disappear, you're at a fork. And your question, always, the question is, which fork do you take? Do you take some kind of work that's disappointed, upset, angry? Grieving, or some, you know, something where you get tight and constricted to try to make your computer work? Or do you? Do you take a fork that is much more beneficial, that maybe tries to figure out what's going on, but it doesn't feel any tension around, it feels relaxed and open. Okay, so this is happening now. So this is not a should, the effort we're making here at this point, in practice, this is a byproduct of the meditation, developing such a degree of mindfulness developing to such a degree, that there's a heightened sensitivity, a natural sensitivity, and natural awareness to the choices our system makes, maybe we don't, we don't even make the choices. But so we start, you know, thinking about something, maybe we start thinking about breakfast, and, and we starts kind of fantasizing about the most wonderful breakfast we could have. And we start thinking about how can I get it? And how can I get it and make it and, and all kinds of things. And if you're very sensitive, and you watch that process, from the very beginning, you feel that there's a loss, there's a contraction and narrowing, a preoccupation, where the delightful sense of presence of vitality and awareness, the natural awareness that's there has been shut down, has been lost. And if you're right there, you can feel this is not interesting. I'd rather stay present, peaceful, free. Rather than thinking about breakfast one more time, I get preoccupied by breakfast every morning. And I've wasted how many years of my life thinking about food and breakfast. And there's nothing wrong with doing that. But I can feel how it's not skillful. It's not helpful if there's a loss of something that's even better, that I've learned maybe through this practice, I've learned to value the practice. I've learned to value the practice of being present. And so rather than continuing down the track of the mind, reactivity of the mind, because the practice has gotten strong, we feel like we're at the fork and I just come back to awareness. In fact, what seems more interesting is to watch and watch and track what my awareness is doing, how my awareness is present for the next thing that arises, how it receives it, how awareness maybe moves from one object to another. Now it's this now it's that now it's the birds now it's the workers doing the work here. And, and so we're seeing, in a very natural way, this distinction between what is healthy and not healthy, that classic Buddhist language is skillful and unskillful. And, and we're choosing skillful. And this that doesn't have to mean that we're choosing a lot of a lot of new effort to do something new. It means that we're actually choosing to be present with Choosing the practice, we're choosing to be awake to be present for what's going on. As this becomes clear, that this is really for our betterment really a nice thing to do, and it's the best best game in town, then there's a kind of joy that begins to arise, or delight, like gladness, and appreciation of self healing, I'm so lucky to discover this, I'm so lucky to have this ability to stay in this flow of skillfulness, this flow of healthiness, this flow of clarity, where That's where freedom is found. And the so the,
so this joy begins to arise. And that joy has different qualities. One quality is just the the delight and the gladness, the sense of, of gratitude. And that this is a great choice is great place to be, it's great to be tracking and following the healthy choice. And, and, but then as we begin getting more came in the flow of these healthy choices, especially in meditation, choosing stay present the flow of present moment awareness, maybe the flow of staying with the breath, and just kind of surfing on the breath, or letting the breath surf on your awareness just kind of being present more and more kind of surfing in the present moment, the continuity of just this is good, it tends to start giving a rise to joy, that can even be kind of even thrilling, kind of a joy, which is some people call it even rapture, but a joy that just, there's so much pleasure, there's so much delight so much, we could start getting filled the goodness of this path of doing this practice of doing it. And as the more joy there arises. So I'll just continue. And so as we feel more than gladness, the joy, the delight, the the good feeling the goodness of practicing and choosing the healthy fork, then we're choosing a path of pleasure, it's pleasant, and that pleasure tends to grow and grow into a kind of, of ecstasy, a kind of delight, that kind of real joy. And this is cat can be part of meditation practice, not automatic, not just coming to meditation from a busy life and lots of different challenging things going on, but rather a joy that comes from having developed and cultivated the practice over some time, and really beginning to feel the the benefits of it. And so rather than seeing the juncture between skillful and unskillful as another reason to be judgmental to oneself, so Oh, no sound. So can't hear you too much buffering. So let's see, if I'll continue with my last words when I know that you have sound, okay? So, so rather than rather than this, coming to this juncture, and feeling like it's a drag, it's like now's a lot of work and a lot of choice, when the mind is the practice is really clear and settled. That there is
then there is just a delight in doing this, following the path of pleasure, no need to be critical or judgmental towards oneself about how it's going. Because that is that itself is choosing the stressful fork, the unskillful work, always choosing the skillful one. And the minimum of what that means is to come back to awareness, the clarity of awareness that sees and knows. So I don't know if this buffering is going to happen again. I am using the Ethernet cords, which was supposed to make it easy. So maybe the problem is not here with a local Wi Fi, but maybe and tomorrow and maybe don't feel like you have to do a lot, but just really see it and then see what happens. Look and see the forks and see them again and really see that oh, now I'm at this fork and just that kind of clarity. See what happens then what you decide to do. And maybe it'll bring you a sense of joy that you see the fork so clearly and maybe you choose the right thing. So thank you, and I look forward to seeing you back at IMC tomorrow. Thank you