for 20 April 2021
Do We Have a Mind?
or Does Mind Hold Us?
It’s been said that mind is like the sky and our experiences are like clouds. On a clear day, the sky is empty. Well, it may appear to be blue, but the color is not the sky itself. The hue is refracted sunlight. The sky contains the air and blue color. But it extends beyond that atmosphere into the endless expanse.
Space contains everything — blue light, clouds, flying birds, the pencil in my hand, the page I write upon. Like empty space, the mind contains all these but is not any of them. It is shunyata — emptiness. Without the empty space of mind, we could know nothing. Without it, we can’t experience anything.
As the mind quiets in meditation, we can see how attention tends to stick to objects — perceptions, people, ideas, feelings, and more. It shrink-wraps around stuff. As the mind relaxes, it becomes less sticky. We begin to notice the empty spaces around our perceptions. Awareness may shift from what we perceive to the awareness itself.
The hand that holds this pencil will disintegrate someday. A hundred years from now there won’t be a trace of it. But the empty space that held it will still be here.
Is awareness like a pencil or hand that comes and goes? Or is it like the sky/mind that goes on forever? Do each of us have our own minds? Or is there one empty mind (shunyata) that we all tap into?
Figuring out answers to these questions is not important. But relaxing into them with clarity and gentle heartfulness may reveal peace and contentment that has been waiting there all along.
An Evening of Inquiry:
The Change Triangle
with Prashant Billore
In preparation for Prashant’s talk, you might want to consider some of these questions: What defenses have you used in the past that helped block your core emotions? How do you work with anxiety, shame or guilt? Have you recently opened up to one of your core emotions? How did it make you feel?
Host: Eli Kramer
Zoom Host: Claudia Carey
Looking at our Meditation Practices
with Doug Kraft April 27
Please bring your responses and thoughts to our small and large group discussions.
The Spectrum of Awareness
with Doug Kraft May 4
Your Response Requested
Tuesday Evening Sangha
meets at 6:30 pm
Pacific time on Zoom.