We restart the cycle in our teachings with a return to mindfulness of breathing. This practice has a strong analog with the meditation on loving kindness for oneself from this morning: both help establish a strong, reality-based foundation that is crucial to further practice. With loving kindness for ourselves we develop the basis for extending our aspirations toward others, and with mindfulness of breathing we develop the basis of relaxation required for all forms of meditation practice.
Alan defends his occasional soapbox homilies on the intersection of science and buddhism by placing them in the context of the Noble Eightfold Path, noting that authentic view and intention require questioning values, maintaining an open sense of reality, and directing one’s motivation.
Meditation Begins 23:50
* Tending to our time, ourselves and others during retreat.
* Continuity of imagination in the four immeasurables.
* What is tonglen?
* Advice: be kind to yourself.
* The natural propensities related to shamatha.
* Imagining a dark shadow instead of actual suffering.