So hello, everyone. And here we are at the third talk and this SEER five part series on meaning. And that the meanings we have for ourselves meanings we have for life. Come to bear on metta meditation, there's a connection with it. And sometimes we that sense of meaning we have, animates and activates our meditation like search for meaning, staying close to it. Sometimes it agitates it. Sometimes it's, you know, we get caught up in these topics of meaning, meaning, the important important meanings we have, can influence how we meditate, and why we meditate. And so to begin looking at the meaning making aspects of the mind, and meaning making aspects of how we live our lives, is important all around. But it's also important to really kind of clarify what we're doing in meditation, what meditation is about for us, both so that we can maybe have a little bit more wholehearted engagement, we know why we're doing something, but also because so that sometimes the meetings we assigned to meditation or connect to it, are not helpful. They actually get in the way of the depth and full potential of meditation. The so the so there's this idea of meaning, sometimes connected to the big questions of life, that people are sometimes very strongly motivated to find or to live by, or, or to establish for themselves. So something as big as what's the meaning of life? Or what's the meaning of my life that I want to have? There's these big questions about death, you know, what, what happens when we die? What happens to us after we die, and, and so people are, you know, trying to understand that, and that affects their relationship to meditation, meditation for some people as a strategy, in order to deal with death. And for some people, it's, it's understood that mindfulness meditation is one of the best preparations for dying. And so wanting to die well, or die freely and not be dying, you know, difficulty. But some people it's meditation is not about dying well, but about being reborn Well, or not, not being reborn in future and, and there's a strong momentum or approach in Buddhism about practicing in order to become free of rebirth. So some people that's really important for what they do, and that's kind of informs, and in animates their whole dedication to meditation. Some people, mistrust, meaning making, and, and don't see a need for it. And for them, meditation is not about, you know, the big questions of life, but have to do with the simplicity of the moment, just living this moment in a nice way. But that also is connected to meaning, somehow, idea that just living fully for this moment, in a simple, clear freeway, that that's meaningful, that's important, that's a valuable way of living, living this precious life that we have that some, and so you know, this idea of white interpretation, what understand we have about what this life is about. So, so, these are things to reflect on, and, and it's partly reflecting on what's most important for us. And, and the value of really fitting time with that and looking at it, then we can ask the question, how does my meditation support what's most important for me? And it's possible that if meditation doesn't support what's most important, maybe you shouldn't meditate, maybe there's better things to do, maybe it's to do things actually support what's most important, but if meditation, in fact, does support what's most important, then maybe then there's a more easier to do it or more motivated to do it or, and we see the connection and, and, you know, to really, you know, encourage us to be more fully involved with it all.
Also, to realize that maybe they're consciously or unconsciously, that we have these large existential questions are large existential answer some of us live by engagements as part of all this, then it's possible to investigate more deeply, to kind of turn the attention around 180 degrees to really look deeply inside. Where do these existential beliefs? Where are these ideas? What is fueling them? Where do they arise out of what's the source of them inside of ourselves? And, and rather than accepting, as a given, not questioning the philosophy or that beliefs that are there necessarily, but rather, questioning maybe, or looking deeply? What is motivating that? what animates them? What is their fuel for thinking this way, or being this way? And what I mean for this gives you some examples, that some people will ask, you know, what's the meaning of life? Some big question like that? And I might ask, what's the emotion that is fueling that question? And some people will say, it's fear, fear of missing out fear of not doing it right fear of, of failing this life or fear of, you know, not really understanding what's the purpose of my life. And, and if fear is motivating it, then the practice of mindfulness is to turn the attention around to really attend to the fear, before we attend to the big questions, and really go deeply into it and be present, until that fear dissolves. And when the fear dissolves, then what has happened to those questions? If those questions are big questions, or the big kind of meanings of life, are not fueled by fear, what fuels them, or if they're not fueled, what happens to them is our relationship does our relationship to them change, the beliefs might still be there. But if they don't have the strength that comes with the power that comes from the fear, what happens to it, then the same thing with that concerns with death might have to do with fear, and to look at the fear deeply. Sometimes what fuels these things is conceit. Somehow, it's about me and myself, and I have to prove myself, I have to do what's right, I have to account for myself, I have to show that I'm a good person, I have to prove something. And, and so these big existential questions are very tightly connected to ideas of identity of conceit of that we attachments to self. All right now I'm using all of these in the context of how they involve attachment. And, and, and so we investigate that we bring our attention to that. And so this idea of turning around out and eight degrees, and really looking deeper and deeper, rather than letting the big questions of life, the big existential conclusions and ideas of life, hover there in our life, and as if they're like, a fixed thing to stay with, and live by mindfulness meditation involves looking deeper and deeper, what what animates it? Where is the source inside, where these kinds of beliefs understandings come from? What what fuels them. And, and so it's a paradigm shift, in a sense, from being concerned with something that's, you know, that we can be aware of, we can think about we can believe about to something that's deeper than what we think about or what we believe about, or that kind of focus, and we turning around, and what is it like to be believing? What is it like to be searching? What's it like to be holding on to these ideas that there has to be this way? Or this you know, if I don't kind of believe this or hold on to this kind of thing, everything will fall apart? And these beliefs keep me safe, maybe.
So these big existential questions in in this mindfulness tradition, are important to see. The big existential conclusions we've come to they're important to see And then, but then I'll look more deeply what's going on under the surface? What is the source for them inside? What is the feelings, the emotions, the fears that could seats the, you know, what's, what's the complex it's all about? And how this all connects to meditation is that? Well, it turns out that these existential questions, these big answers, we have to the big questions of life, more often than not, will interfere with the full potential of meditation, being a full releasing, of all attachment. And when all our attachments have been released, what happens to our relationship to these big existential questions, big, existential big, you know, answers that we might be trying to live by or living in by, they don't necessarily go away, and the answer still might be relevant for us. But it's a kind of a whole different world to live in with them. If that we've been able to take meditation all the way to its potential to full release. So what is your relationship? To the big questions of life to questions of meaning? Questions about life and death? And what is it? Questions of what's most ultimate questions of God and heaven and rebirth and, and purpose? And do you have something that you believe is ultimate? Are you searching for that? And to respect that you whatever it is, you're doing like this respected deeply, but then turn the attention around and look more deeply at what's underneath that what's fueling it? What's the what's what's animating, then, those beliefs, so that involvement, and see if what you see there and, and find and, and see if that might help you to become quieter Stiller more at ease, more centered here and now. And that place where there can be no attachments. So thank you very much, and continue this idea of meaning. Tomorrow