More than just mindfulness

The Modern Mind Meditation

April 26, 2019 Season 2 Episode 31
More than just mindfulness
The Modern Mind Meditation
Chapters
More than just mindfulness
The Modern Mind Meditation
Apr 26, 2019 Season 2 Episode 31
Robert Mitchell
About the modern mind meditation and the modern mind itself
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, Robert deconstructs the modern mind meditation and uses it to explain the nature of the mind.
The modern mind is ‘the content’ and unfortunately out society confuses this content with the mind itself. Because of this confusion, the focus of science and philosophy remains on trying to work with the thoughts themselves and fails to spend time understanding the nature of the mind itself.
This is the reason that meditation is so new in the West, despite being consistently practiced in the East for about three thousand years.
The meditation in this episode is the modern mind meditation.

Speaker 1:
0:16
This week is:
Speaker 2:
0:20
meditating the traditional why.:
Speaker 1:
0:24
Okay.:
Speaker 2:
0:25
Has anybody ever done yoga in the group? Almost all of you. Okay. You're going to learn what yoga is today in the West. The ogres viewed as a practice of exercise primarily and then there's a recognition that it has spiritual elements to it. A lot of the yoga teachers and students that I talked to, they're like a walking encyclopedia of the asset owners, which are the poses and they, there's a lot of association with spiritual concepts, Chakras and energy flow and so on from ancient eastern medical practices. If you're not aware in the east, in China and in India, there are these concepts that there's life energy within us that flows throughout various parts of the body which are known as Meridians. That's as far as it goes for most.:
Speaker 1:
1:32
Yeah.:
Speaker 2:
1:32
Yoga students, some yoga teachers spend the time to learn a couple of books where yoga was described in its early days and when we're talking early days, we're talking 2,500 years ago. One of them's the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, which is quite popular and I have yet to read. There are so many different versions of it. I can't actually figure out which one would be best and don't have the time right now. But I will do it and look at it. And the other one's the bag of Ad Gita and the bag of Ed Gates is a fascinating book. So if you've ever seen the, I need to clarify here. Yeah. Again, I'm an agnostic. All right, so I'm not preaching at you. What I'm doing is describing this historical tapes. It's um, you know, it's a lot of symbolism was used in the past. We had an unfortunate tendency to take everything a little bit too seriously, especially secular people.:
Speaker 2:
2:30
They don't understand how a lot of spirituality is symbolism and it's there to evoke a sense and a feeling and an emotion as well as thoughts about what may or may not have happened. So going, going back to the bag of Ad Gita, it's in a huge historical Indian text called the Mahabharata. And the Mahabharata is the story of a war between two dynasties and they the leaders of the dentist's teas or brothers, and I called the Pan of us in the core of us. Eventually it leads to the battle to end all battles in the ancient war to end all wars in India. And so the, the battle lines are drawn and the two hosts of warriors are ready to attack. And there are two lines of elephants and chariots facing each other just outside of aero range, which is, you know, a few hundred yards stretching as far as the eye can see in each direction.:
Speaker 2:
3:40
And our Juna, who's a prince of the panda family asks the chariot driver who he doesn't know it first, but he soon figures out how it is to drive into the middle of this no man's land. So he can look to see all of the warriors and the elephants and the chariots and say, turns out that the driver of the chariot is Krishna. Krishna is the manifestation on earth of the supreme day that represents the entire universe. It's the same root as Christ is the distilled wisdom of the entire universe. Our Juniors sees this and he sees family and relatives and friends on both sides and knows that there's going to be a huge slaughter and many people will die and he despairs and throws down his arms and says he can't do it, which doesn't actually align with Yoga. The discipline of Yoga, sorry to disappoint you guys.:
Speaker 2:
4:42
The discipline of Yoga is, is actually the ancient tradition of the Indian warriors, and it's their philosophy. There's a very deep sense of duty at the heart of it, almost confusion. And so what happens is Krishna and our June, I have this discourse between them and in order to enable the discourse, Krishna stops time. So all of the warriors and elephants and chariots freeze in time, and that they are in the middle of this no man's land between the two rows of elephants and chariots. Speaking about yoga, it's really interesting to listen to the discourse. I've got my translation of it here. Oh, Juna, who's the disenchanted warrior says to Krishna, so you've taught that the essence of Yoga is equanimity. Equanimity is, is accepting all experiences as part of the flow of life and for the value that we can take from them by learning.:
Speaker 2:
5:52
So it doesn't matter what adversities you encounter, they're part the flow of life as a comic, inevitability to adversity, just like there is two. Everything else, it's all about what you learn from it because the belief system, the underpins yoga is one of reincarnation, which I don't happen to align with. So I've removed any references from the translations are written to reincarnation because it doesn't undermine the wisdom in any way, so it's not necessary. The reincarnation concept is that you become pure through the application of yoga from one life to another and putting that to one side.:
Speaker 2:
6:40
All Juna says that the essence of Yoga is equanimity and then he says to Krishna, but since the mind is so restless, how can this be achieved? The mind is restless, unsteady, turbulent, wild, stubborn. Truly, it seems to me as hard to master as the wind. I've had something like 5,000 students over the course of the last five years attended at some event or another. That's what they all say. Hey, we are 2,500 years later. The mind is restless, unsteady, turbulent, wild and stubborn. Truly, it seems to me as hard to master as the wind. It's all I hear and and Krishna Teachers are Junar in what I call the traditional way, which is the why you the actually, I've spent most of the time and teaching meditation. I teach it like this with body and handheld held straight posture, steady and unmoving. Gazing passed the tip of your nose, not letting your eyes look elsewhere.:
Speaker 2:
7:49
Sit there, calm, fearless from your entire mind, directed, focused, and absorbed in presence. Constantly mastering your mind. The yogi grows peaceful, attains su-preme liberation and vanishes into bless. All right, all sounds fair, fairly flowery. Obviously that's a bit of a marketing exercise there, but bliss is actually attainable for pretty much every meditator should you spend the time to do the practices and it isn't the bliss of wonderful things. It's the bliss of, he also refers to liberation as do the Buddhists. They refer to liberation. Absolute Liberation has, Nirvana is very simple. When we come into this room, if we have anxieties and fears and worries and doubts and shame and guilt and resentment and all the other multitude of afflictions that modern humans from the time of our Junar in a quite sophisticated society back then with all the same problems that we have now.:
Speaker 2:
9:06
So if we, if we have all of that in our mind and it's making our minds restless and unsteady and turbulent on wild, imagine what it would be like to not have that. So we're not talking about, you know, here's this wonderful physical sensation. It does actually translate into that because the body and minds the same thing. But liberation isn't some thing to be got. It's a lot of things to be released. And the thing that, things that we're releasing our by our worries and fears and doubts and shame and guilt. Now let's say you've got a problem and you've done something and so therefore you carry guilt for it. So you need to resolve that guilt. If you look, view it as Karma, it's a real thing. But it's not here. Not In this present moment. This one. It's not in there. It's not in that sound. What liberation is is the recognition that the material world, the reality that we perceive only carries whatever suffering we carry around with us. It's not permanent. It has a way of looking at it. The past has no power over the present moment other than the power that you give it.:
Speaker 1:
10:50
Okay.:
Speaker 2:
10:50
That's the difference between the happy person and the unhappy person.:
Speaker 1:
10:59
Yeah.:
Speaker 2:
11:00
The unhappy person has a, an internal process of thoughts and emotions arising that cannot be resolved and so they continued. It's a negative feedback loop.:
Speaker 1:
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Okay.:
Speaker 2:
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The happy person and let go of that. Not necessarily all the time, but enough for it not to cause us to suffer and we live in an unhappy world. The practices that are best for actually achieving that liberation are two things. One is connection to other people and the other is connection to our environment.:
Speaker 1:
11:45
Okay.:
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If we can do that. If we can really sit in a park or in our garden or somewhere close to nature and perceive that nature as something that we connect to deeply, then that suffering not there. And similarly, when we connect to another human being to the point where our interaction with them becomes fulfilling, our suffering isn't there. And you also notice that if you can connect to somebody else like that, I helped to relieve your suffering even if it's just for a while. So then Krishna says, mature in Yoga, impartial. Everywhere that you look, you see yourself in all beings and all beings in yourself. Those who see the unit, entire universe in everything and everything in the entire universe will not be lost. Norwell presence be lost to them. Those who are rooted in oneness realize that presence is in every being. When you see all beings as equal in suffering or enjoy because they are like you, then you have grown perfect. In Yoga, he's talking about do you see yourself and everybody else and do you see everybody else in yourself?:
Speaker 1:
13:21
Okay?:
Speaker 2:
13:21
His is a little tip. The first place to look is whatever annoys you about other people. That's the source of wisdom because what we're doing there is we're learning something about ourselves and about that other person.:
Speaker 1:
13:40
Okay,:
Speaker 2:
13:41
and that's, that's probably a talk for another time. So this is the traditional way to meditate, to focus on clarity. When Krishna is referring to meditation, he's referring to it, the folk, the desire of meditation is for clarity of experience to discover the difference between the reality as it is, which is a very simple reality because it's, it's, it's the product of your senses and your awareness, your own awareness of your thoughts and emotions. So things happening inside internal and external.:
Speaker 1:
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Okay?:
Speaker 2:
14:24
There's no way of avoiding, if you meditate regularly, no way of avoiding your inner experience. It will leak into your awareness. We can all say this anyway because if we have a worry or a fear or a doubt or some shame or guilt or keeps leaking into our awareness, if you sit quietly, it will quite possibly flood into your awareness.:
Speaker 2:
14:52
It has to be processed through meditation or through yoga. The modern yoga this is. So once you've practiced the ambassadors to the point where you embody them, you don't have to think, you feel the movement. So the traditional why is to focus your mind and it becomes a discipline. And if you don't do your meditation, then you aren't disciplined enough. I am of the belief that if you can find the practice that is positively, emotionally compelling enough for you to find it, find its way into your life, you can build on that. But it's important that at the very least your intentions. So you've sat down and thought it out and decided that you need to have a practice, are enough to then build a small practice that you can then build into your life. But there were always comes some discipline. And one of the other things that comes is faith.:
Speaker 2:
16:08
So yeah, at some point you have to have faith. You have to have faith that you can go in the wisdom from the process. The appears to be the wisdom of other people who have practiced. He, he, he look at experience regular meditators and you feel, actually hang on a second, there's something there. The I can feel in me and I know that I can have it if I adopt to practice. So I think faith is as important as discipline and emotion and thought is what's gonna get us there. But to start off, you need to have an intention. So now I make the initial practices as frictionless as I can. And the way that I do that is by teaching them in the way that I learned from [inaudible] Rinpoche, a great Buddhist Meditation Teacher, which is that I teach what I call the meditation of no meditation. And the meditation of no meditation is a white thing and listening exercise,:
Speaker 1:
17:36
okay,:
Speaker 2:
17:38
there's a way of waiting that's actually frictionless and this is what it is. So first I need to clarify what I mean by waiting. But say you're a bus stop and you're for a particular sort of bus and you see a bus in the distance and that's not the bus. So that the moment that you recognize that's not the bus you're looking for, you dismiss it.:
Speaker 1:
18:03
Okay.:
Speaker 2:
18:04
And there you are. You're waiting again.:
Speaker 1:
18:06
Okay.:
Speaker 2:
18:08
I'm putting into what, putting aside whatever inpatients or frustration or whatever it is you might feel. Notice the process that the mind is operating is waiting for a bus to arrive. And even when there's no bus, you're in this process of waiting. And what does that consist of? You don't have to be staring intently down the road for the first SPEC of red to move around behind the building, but you need to be largely aware of where the bus has come from.:
Speaker 1:
18:42
Yeah.:
Speaker 2:
18:43
And so you're just waiting for policies. So let's say it was your intention to while away a couple of hours and you couldn't think of anything else to do. So your thought, right. I know what I'll do is I'll go and wait for buses. And so there you are at the bus stop doing a couple of hours of bus while you're saying she was sitting quietly at the bus stop after eyes arrives and it, it goes Palestinian. The moment the Abbas has appeared, you'll no longer interested in that past because your job is to wait for buses, not get on them. So you're waiting for the next one. Wait for another bus to come along.:
Speaker 1:
19:24
Okay.:
Speaker 2:
19:24
Oh, the bus comes, the moment it arrives, you're waiting for the next one. You're just waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting. And that's what this practice is. What we're doing is waiting for the next sound. And what that means is even when there is no sound in the same way, that when there is no boss, he'll still waiting for a bus.:
Speaker 1:
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Okay?:
Speaker 2:
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When there is no sound,:
Speaker 1:
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yeah,:
Speaker 2:
19:53
you'll still waiting for the next sound. And the next sound can be anything. It couldn't pay movements in the room. Sound of my voice, movements in the building, sound of traffic, airplanes, the occasional siren, people's voices, sound of your breath, whatever it happens to be. Um, for this practice, all we do is wait for the next sound. Noticing. Let's sound is all around us. It's in every direction:
Speaker 3:
20:51
and there's are a common modern mind intention, which is when a sound arises, we focus on that sound to extract whatever we can from it and we've we chain and everything else out, but the ancient mind is doing this all the time. Anyone in the background unconsciously, Brian is processing all sound. It's just why he's saying just listening. Why not doing anything with the sound? There's no goals or expectations from this reminds busy, your mind's busy. It doesn't matter what I'm interested in the mind. We're only interested in the next sound, whatever that might happen to be.:
Speaker 1:
22:56
Okay. Yeah.:
Speaker 3:
23:15
Just last name. Nothing else. Not doing anything with what we can here. We're not focusing on any sound because we're just waiting for the next one all the time. Well, just being a microphone, taking old sound:
Speaker 2:
23:44
constant until notice the flow I'm want to do is sound the bell if you listen to the barrel.:
Speaker 1:
23:58
Okay,:
Speaker 2:
24:00
what were y'all know tess is the present moment and moving through time by all the sound of the bell that you can hear is in the present moment. Well time moving through the sound of the bell. One of the two.:
Speaker 1:
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Yeah.:
Speaker 2:
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Ignore the sound of the bell instead of lesson for the next sound of the next sound might happen to be on the ballot is only there to help you to notice the present moment moving through sounds arise and subside all around us listening for the next sound and then when you already in your ferry over time, gently return your attention to your surroundings, altos and adjust the sound, right? Yes. For 95% of people that's frictionless. The other 5% the continuous loop of fought because that's what they are and becomes on the satisfactory during that.:
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Okay.:
Speaker 2:
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What I'll do is I'll teach the next session.:
Speaker 1:
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Yeah.:
Speaker 2:
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With focus on the continuous loop of thoughts and the modern mind because that's all the modern mind is, is the content, not the process, just the content. So the words that pop into your head, the thoughts you have is the content, the difference between a news paper and what's written on it. It's the messages. So what's a newspaper? A newspaper is paper and it's quite sophisticated process that goes into producing it. We all roll. Newspapers were all newspapers. The only thing that's different is what's written on them, and that's one of the secrets to equanimity is to recognize what's the same and what's different with other people. And the process is the same, but the contents of the process are different. That's, that's the only thing to understand:
Speaker 1:
27:31
on that:
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last practice connects us to our ancient mind. The modern mind is the content we connect to the ancient mind and the mind becomes calm. As a meditation. I've been teaching for a little while. What I'm going to do is on packets today into its separate constituent parts, it's called the modern mind meditation. It starts off with the meditation of no meditation and then I'll often use the bowel and the help bell helps us to understand the present moment and to understand the present moment. You'd have to listen to the bell. So I listened to the bell present moments in the bell. What else is in the bell? Nothing really. No suffering, no worry, no fear, no doubt, no anger, no shame, no guilt or resentment, not there. So by becoming connected to the sound of the bell:
Speaker 1:
28:54
for a moment, the burden:
Speaker 2:
28:59
is lifted liberation and it's a matter of practicing that. So then what else is there in our experience when we're listening, that is me speaking and I, I'm using words to speak. So I'm in the same way that you can wait for the next sound. You can also have a white:
Speaker 1:
29:32
for the next what?:
Speaker 2:
29:53
And so when you doing that waiting, no, it's what happens. And what happens is you become calm, fearless, your entire mind directed, focused, and absorbed in presence according to the writer of the back of [inaudible]. Then there are your thoughts and for many of us have thoughts or an inner dialogue. There's a voice in our head, it's our voice often or it's a conversation we're having and generally we're witnessing it when note seen it arise in our experience, the thoughts as an a delusion. I think he's probably the best way of putting it in our culture. That thoughts are rational, logical, consistent, structured. And describe our executive agency, our control of our mind. But there's 8 billion people on the planet earth and no one can tell me what they're going to think next. So what's happening is the thoughts are arising from the subconscious. That messages, it's up to us to interpret them. So thoughts arise in the same way that in your hearing, my words arise. So what you do is you hijack your inner voice and you copy with your inner voice. What I'm saying, it's got a copy. What I'm saying with your inner voice and say in your mind, oh, I'm waiting for:
Speaker 1:
32:24
my next:
Speaker 2:
32:36
bold. You can stop copying. Now:
Speaker 3:
32:43
notice the silent notice the calmness. I'm, that's the power of a mantra. His, the Ern, a voice and your intentional voice become one. And then from that you can then listen to the silence between and in that silence, what is there? There is a present moment and what's in that present moment? What's isn't in there is fear and worry and anger and resentment. Guilt and blame and suffering than someone. And so what you can do is you can listen for your next thought. I don't remember. It's waiting, waiting for the next thought or eyes when the thought arises. What we do is label and amines. Note the TC is they're using [inaudible] and the way we do that is he using that same inner voice we say in our mind thinking and then we wait for another thought, waiting for another for another thought will arise away after a moment or two. After a while, it doesn't matter. When we notice that thought, we label it in our mind, we say:
Speaker 1:
35:05
thinking,:
Speaker 3:
35:07
leave a tiny gap. Oh, pops a thought. We label it:
Speaker 1:
35:22
thinking,:
Speaker 3:
35:26
wait for the next thought. Other thought arises:
Speaker 1:
35:33
thinking,:
Speaker 3:
35:37
wait for the next hole on repeat. Practice this for the next few minutes. It's called a labeling the fault and you can still be aware of sound so you can be waiting for sound, so are on it. I'm waiting for thoughts or eyes. I'm also waiting for my words to our eyes.:
Speaker 1:
36:51
Oh,:
Speaker 3:
37:18
now what we'll do is move a little bit closer to the source of thought. What do you mean this? Why are aware of thoughts arising in our experience I did in labeling the faults. That's the only goal of it. The goal is not to silence the mind. It works like that for about 35% of students I mind becomes calm. Everybody else, it stays either the same or gets busier, so the purpose of it is not to silence the mind, although I think it helps you to calm your mind. You can use it for that. The purpose of it is to observe the process. The process is the mind thoughts arising. That's the mind. The content is irrelevant because all thoughts arise the same way and what we want to do is we want to get closer to the source of thought and to do that when we do is a meditation that I've devised called the quality of fault and to label the quality of thought. We use one of these four labels when a thought arises, depending on how we feel, we don't have to get it right, it doesn't matter, but we need to have a label for the thoughts.:
Speaker 3:
39:00
First label is fleeting. These are thoughts that pop up. We've not seen it before so it doesn't repeat. It just pops into our mind. Fleeting thought. If it's a thought that keeps coming back and we say on our mind repeating fleeting or repeating, if it's a thought that studies in our mind, it's got a parking place in our head, it's on a an infinite loop stuck in our awareness. We call it persisting is fleeting, repeating, persisting, and the final sort of thought is compelling. So these are powerful thoughts with a lot of emotional charge. Take control of our awareness and fill our minds. That compelling falls. It's all we do. We're waiting for thoughts or eyes thought arises. We label it fleeting, rotating, persisting or compelling. And then we just wait for our next one. Next thoughts arise, fleeting, repeating, persisting or compelling. And then back to waiting. Where are either waiting or we're labeling the quality of the thought.:
Speaker 1:
41:06
Okay.:
Speaker 3:
41:09
18 repeating, persisting or compelling. Fleeting, repeating to sustain all compelling.:
Speaker 1:
44:24
Okay.:
Speaker 2:
44:30
Bringing your attention to the sensation of the breath.:
Speaker 1:
44:35
The strolls,:
Speaker 2:
44:38
coolness of the inbreath won't for the outbreath. Wherever you can smell and taste. The sensation of being pushed into the ground and in your very, very own time, they, they return your attention to the room. That's a very powerful meditation.:
Speaker 1:
45:17
Yeah.:
Speaker 2:
45:18
When you, when you, when you do it, you might want to also do what's known as Mudras. So all that Mudros are there various different gestures, hand gestures, the thumb and forefinger being in contact is known as the Chin Madura nuts, the most obviously state changing one. And you see a lot of photographs and meditators or groups of meditators where everybody's doing the Chin Madeira and you can notice the, it changes your state and you're in a meditation like this. Nope. The last one that we did labeling the quality of thoughts and your thumb and forefinger in contact, if you then move them away, you'll notice a change of state. Many people do not everybody. And there are a variety of other Mudros as well. And so you can experiment with those. Uh, but bear in mind that they take about, some of them are about 15, so 45 minutes for you to really notice the effect that it has. And you know, that's, that's only a physiological effect, but it ties into the experience of meditation and also the experience of Yoga. So there's an effect, a more subtle level rather than just, you know, affecting your heart. Right. And so on.:
Speaker 2:
47:03
So what we'll do is we'll finish off with a meditation of no meditation for sound, Paul, just waiting for the next sound and notice if the quality of the experience is different. So at the time we did it at the beginning of the session,:
Speaker 1:
47:38
just listening,:
Speaker 2:
47:42
just waiting for the next sound.:
Speaker 1:
48:21
Okay.:
Speaker 2:
48:33
Last her about in the mind. My Info. The next sound.:
Speaker 1:
49:34
Yes. And again,:
Speaker 2:
49:42
it's French. So what, whatever occurs in those practices, you'll go in, in the benefits that are aligned to the purpose of meditation, which is to become familiar with the mind.:
Speaker 1:
50:13
Okay.:
Speaker 2:
50:13
And familiarity with the mind isn't about the content, it's about the patterns. So you don't really care about the content of the mind.:
Speaker 1:
50:27
Yeah,:
Speaker 2:
50:28
it's, it's better to understand the patterns. So those qualities of thought, their patterns of thought in the same way that we get unhelpful thought patterns. So we might have an unfelt helpful thought patterns such as the inner critic, for example, and you can label that. So you'll notice when that's happening, you label it and what you're doing when you label thought is dismissing it, it goes away and then you're waiting for another thought because the waiting for thought is more powerful than the thought itself in a nutshell, because the waiting for Thor is the process and the thought is just the content.:
Speaker 1:
51:24
So that:
Speaker 2:
51:27
meditation of:
Speaker 2:
51:31
labeling the quality of thought is particularly good to help you get to sleep because where there's an action to be had, which is the selection of which category, which pattern of thought or thought happens to be. Is it fleeting? Is it repeating? Is it persisting? Is it compelling? Our awareness of the source of thought becomes deeper and what that means is, is were operating on the surface of the mind. The mind is subconscious. We can't see it or we're now seeing is the outputs of the mind, which is thoughts and emotions and behaviors. Let's see it basically as we live in a world of thoughts, emotions, behaviors, since perceptions. That's all there is when we're noticing this arise in our experience. So we're becoming familiar with the patterns.:
Speaker 1:
52:37
Yeah,:
Speaker 2:
52:37
and the patterns of thought or like currents in an ocean. Best way to muddle the mind is an ocean because it's big and complicated and things like storms can arise and then I can just go away. Or you can have a calm and there's no wind, but generally there are currents in the mind. The currents, there might be a current moving towards despair, for example, but to move from the current that's moving you towards despair over to the current that's moving towards joy or happiness or fulfillment. The movement is tiny, but you only get to know what it is when you become familiar with the mind,:
Speaker 2:
53:29
and of course you've got infinite opportunities for trial and error because if you're feeling rough, unhappy, dissatisfied, and you can find a practice that brings you a little bit of joy, a little bit of happiness, a little bit of gratitude, then you can practice that and you can notice that your mind can move from being despairing to being joyful. Just like when you meet somebody who's joyful. If you're going through it, you make somebody that's joyful. The light bulb goes off in your head and you think, I like this person around all the time because then I wouldn't feel depressed and not doing it. They're not special. What's special is the effect that they're having on the little movement that's happening in your mind when you're moving from one current of the minds to another? Oh yes, that's traditional meditation, but that's also the, the modern mind meditation, which is pretty much everything we've taught today, but just separate it out so that you can observe it separately.:
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