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Emotions are a big part of our life. The fifth week we are going to talk about the mind. The mind being something separate from thinking. The last week will be a lot about practicing in daily life. Taking this whole meditation practice to a whole different level to beyond what the instruction has been to that point. So those are the 6 weeks. It reviews some of the things I say in the class and it also gives you some exercises you can do at home during the week that can enhance this experience here.
Because you are retrospectively thinking about what I just said, in a sense, you got hung up with the experience. So one of the things we are trying to do here, is learn to pay attention to seeing what complicates our attention, where we get caught, what makes it difficult. Because the place we get caught is also the place where we are going to feel stress. The place we get hung up is often a very important window into understanding how we are most likely to suffer, or how we are more likely to cause problems in our life.
So we start paying attention, which we all have the capacity to do. But we get interested in this practice, how is it that our ability to stay calmly connected to the present moment gets somehow disrupted. People who meditate will sometimes think that the disruption is the problem. When we do this meditation practice, we try to not judge anything as being bad or inappropriate.
INTRODUCTION TO MEDITATION
Rather we try to fold everything back into the attention. In other words, to notice this. Notice this, notice this. It was an innocent example, but it could also not be so innocent. Do you understand that principle? It is a really important one. And if you learn to pay attention well, there is freedom to be found in attention. This is one of those things that I hope you get a key taste for — at least an intuitive idea for it in the course of these 6 weeks.
And that gives you a tremendous power to go about your life. If you have the ability not to be pushed around by your inner compulsions or the pressures from the outside.
We learn this by learning how to use the attention in a new way. We begin the mindfulness meditation with paying attention to two things, our posture and our breathing. And sometimes you see it in adults. You can be a meditator and be a couch potato. However, your whole meditation experience is improved if you let your body be a support for your attention. Then we use the breathing, and the breathing has a wonderful quality of being continuous.
There is a rhythm to breathing.
Introduction to Meditation | Kripalu
It flows in and out. It comes and goes.
In order for the eyes to see well, the eyes have to actually move a little bit. They are actually constantly shifting and moving. There is something really wonderful that happens when you follow the breathing that has a nice rhythm to it. You are watching, following the change that goes on with the breath. The breathing is also closely tied to our emotional life and our psychological life and our energetic life, and so much of how we live is affected by and affects our breathing.
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For example, if you get afraid, your breathing can sometimes get constricted and tight. If you are really relaxed and happy, it gets to be more relaxed and fluid. If you relax, you might breath more slowly. There are all these different ways that the breathing shifts. Partly to give you more or less oxygen, depending on what you need. If you are attacked by a lion, you need a lot of oxygen, so the breathing knows what to do. So if you are running a lot, you are hyperventilating a little bit. As a person connects to the breathing with their attention and to follow the breath, one breath after the other, there is a reciprocal relation with our attention and the breath, and it tends to create a calming effect on us.
Most people who follow the breathing and get into it will find that they become much more calm and peaceful than they were before.
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The goal is to pay attention. Let me do mindfulness of agitation.
You lower your guard, and when you lower your guard, this thing bubbles up. Just fold it in. The trick for this mindfulness meditation is how to keep yourself in the present. And you will all find out pretty soon when we meditate, how difficult it is to stay in the present moment. The mind has a mind of its own. It will take you away. We are trying to train the mind to stay in the present so we can offer careful attention to what is going on in the present. And from a Buddhist point of view, all the wisdom, all the insight, all the enlightenment that you need to have in your life, will be found, will only be found, when you are able to stay in the present.
So the breath is a place you train yourself to calm down enough to settle the mind, to concentrate the mind enough, so that the mind can begin to stay present in the present moment. So breath meditation has a lot of functions.
noroi-jusatsu.info/wp-content/2020-10-27/1606-comment-surveiller.php I consider it to be the foundation, and from that foundation, then we expand the attention beyond that, eventually to include all of our life. For sitting meditation there are basically two primary postures that people tend to use. One is sitting on the floor, in a so-called cross-legged position, and the other is in a chair.
You are welcome to sit in either one. The most important thing about posture is to have an alert spine. Sit in a way that your spine is alert, upright. If you stoop over a lot, meditating this way, most people, especially those who have a sedentary life, will find that their back will go out at some point. With your pelvis forward, it helps the knees come down, and it creates a little curve in the lower part of your back. A little sense of strength there in the lower back, and what you want to do is to try ideally to have both knees on the floor, and your butt on the cushion.
If your hips are really tight, then sitting really high helps. You can get two cushions or build up a whole throne, in order to get your knees down.