48 Outward and Inward Meditation on the Self and a Historical Look at Matter vs Mind


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Alan begins by referring again to the two methods of Shamatha meditation whereby the attention can focus on an external object or inwardly on the mind. He explains a method used in the Theravada tradition where outward meditation leads to inward meditation and ultimately Shamatha. The same methods can be used in Vipashyana. When cultivating insight into the emptiness of the self one can focus on the tactile sensations that arise within the body and investigate thoroughly their origin. One can then turn the attention to the mind in the same way, seeking what is truly there. This forms the basis for the mediation that follows. Meditation is on Vipashyana. After meditation Alan gives an historical account of how the world around us has been explained by philosophers and scientists. He quotes Hilary Putnam, Protagoras, Socrates, William James, George Berkeley and Feuerbach. Some early philosophers suggest that what we experience has no basis other than our own perception of appearances, but there are differing views on how those appearances arise. Until recently theology held dominance therefore explanations often included a theological element. In the post-Darwinian era materialism became the dominant view and with the advent of modern science is ongoing. Alan points out that a purely materialistic view has an absence of mind and consciousness and is therefore not complete. He suggests that what is needed is a view that includes both. Meditation begins at . ___ 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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