27 Taking the Mind as the Path & How Not to Get Stuck in Wet Cement

 
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Alan begins by addressing the differences between a complex negation and a simple negation. He also makes further comments on the qualities of the space of the mind, inviting us to look into our own experiences to see whether the qualities he proposes for investigation are true or not. The space of the mind is three-dimensional, transparent, devoid of shape. He also comments that we can see what appears in between, i.e. space. The intervening space between subjects and objects, and also between objects is nothing other than the Dharmadhatu. Space doesn’t move, but experientially, does it seem to you that sometimes the space of the mind is very open and spacious like an ocean, while at other times the space of the mind is very small, like a teacup? What is contracting it? Grasping. Alan also elaborates on the Gelugpa’s approach to realising emptiness, the crucial importance of distinguishing between substrate consciousness and rigpa, an arya’s realisation of emptiness and a vidyadhara’s realisation of rigpa. In terms of meditation instructions, Alan suggests the following: within the space of the mind, when it seems there are no perturbations, look closer, keep sharpening the clarity of awareness, don’t be content. Alan also touches on the potential dangers of getting stuck when achieving shamatha, because the three qualities of bliss, luminosity and nonconceptuality can block us as if being stuck in a pool of wet cement. This occurs because we identify and grasp at these three qualities. In order to move beyond the substrate consciousness, we need to cut through the substrate by releasing identification and grasping. Meditation is on taking the mind as the path The meditation starts at 39:46 ___ Course notes, other episodes and resources for this retreat are available here The text for this retreat can be purchased via the SBI Store. Finally, Please contribute to help us afford the audio equipment we rent to make these, and future podcasts freely available.

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