Erin: “Like that, don’t like that. Want that, not that. You come here, you go away…”. So much of our sensory experience are accompanied by these little judgements, pushing and pulling us every which way. In tonight’s meditation, we’ll tune into those discernments, noticing our endless mental navigations. Does the act of noticing affect the push and pull? Do we need these negotiations with sensory reality, or can we just be with what is?
Pamela: Pratyahara is the fifth limb of Patanjali’s Ashtanga yoga: withdrawal of the senses. Yet your senses comprise the only vehicle you’ll ever drive— let’s see how they work! With a special focus on sound and vibration, we will guide you on a journey inside and out, a coming home to the senses you’ve always known.
Avi: Alchemy is the separation of the chaotic and unconscious psychic matter, into clearly known opposing principles. Then in a further stage, the alchemist works to reconcile these opposites into a new harmoniously integrated whole. This week we’ll explore the alchemical dimensions of mindfulness practice. In the sit we’ll work on analysing the components of sensory experience.
Erin: Zen master Cijiao of Changlu wrote “…at all times use whatever means expedient to preserve the power of concentration, as if you were taking care of a baby.” Babysitting sitting practice tonight! We’ll open wide our lens of concentration, noticing the minutiae of sensory experience arising and passing on the vast canvas of awareness.
Jeff: Many times I’ve heard Shinzen say how we begin with trying to fit meditation into our lives, but over time, a figure ground reversal can happen: our lives become more meditative. In part, that means they become simpler. Amidst the growing complexity of our entanglements, we find ourselves beginning to appreciate simple things. Things well done. Simple pleasures once overlooked in the momentum of our busy days. This Monday, we slow things down and explore how relaxing our awareness and valuing simplicity can change our experience of meditation.