Seattle Insight Meditation Center | Jan 2019
This year, Tim and Tuere will explore the five hindrances and the seven factors of enlightenment. These two lists can be seen as opposite sides of a spectrum; with the hindrances an expression of our ignorance and the factors of enlightenment our wisdom. Join us as we continue the journey towards awakening together.
Just as we can notice our breath and body sensations with mindfulness, we can also notice desire. This week, become attuned to desire as it arises, during meditation and daily life. Observe desire with curiosity, not judgment. How often are impulses to act, to think, or to feel are driven by desire? Notice the “felt sense” of desire, as sensation and energy in the body and mind. What happens to the object of your desire when you shift to the experience of desire itself?
When desire arises, try these questions of investigation:
What exactly am I wanting? What does that represent? What do I hope it will fulfill in me? What does desire feel like as state of mind? As a body experience? How am I fueling the fire of desire? What is the inner lack that desire is trying to resolve? What is sufficient and complete about this moment?
This month we are exploring the hindrance of aversion or ill will. The Pali word for aversion is 'Patigha' which means 'striking against'. This month we want to begin to see how we 'strike against' reality. We can think of it as an attitude of resistance or rejection; places and situations in our lives where we are pushing away, avoiding or not wanting. We are not practicing to simply accept everything regardless of the potential danger/harm. We are practicing seeing our resistance/rejection; seeing our relationship with the present moment. The more we can see the unfolding present moment, the more capacity we will have to discern the appropriate response without the impulsiveness of reactivity. Practicing with aversion is not easy. Keep your focus on gathering information. Give yourself time to learn the nature of aversion and how it operates in the thinking mind. This week pay attention to your resistance. See if you can get up-close and personal with the nature of not wanting and reflect on what acceptance would truly look like to you.
What is your relationship to anger? Is your immediate response to flee, change the subject to something more appeasing, or deny it is occurring? What about other unpleasant emotions such as irritation, disappointment, sadness, resentment, etc.? How willing are you to investigate the conditions giving rise to these emotions? How willing are you to pay attention to your strategies with conflict, disliking, not wanting or other entrenched forms of resistance? Set the intention to understand your need to resist. Catch the moment in which you decide to react rather than be with what you don't want or like. For the rest of the month, practice holding all your unpleasant emotions in kindness. Practice doing no harm to yourself. Practice intentionally not getting your way. Spend your time getting to know your emotions. What conditions cause them to rise? What conditions cause them to fade away? See if you can understand why some emotions seem like habit and why some emotions are hard to be with. You don't need to do anything. Just observe. Emotions come and go like breath. All that is needed is a willingness to take the time pay attention.
Offered by Tuere Sala at Seattle Insight Meditation Society March 5, 2019
Offered by Tim Geil at Seattle Insight Meditation Society Mar 26, 2019
Offered by Tim Geil at Seattle Insight Meditation Society Apr 2, 2019
Practice meeting doubt with clarity and precision: Write out the answers to these questions:
What do I doubt in the dharma?
What do I doubt in my practice?
What do I doubt in myself?
How can you resolve these doubts?