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Beginning Meditation Class: Week 5

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Teacher: Rodney Smith
Date: 2008-05-19
Venue: Seattle Insight Meditation Center



This is the fifth class in a series of 6 classes meant to introduce the basics of Insight Meditation to beginners.  In each session Rodney Smith provides guided meditation instruction, homework to be done daily for a week, answers questions from students and introduces new concepts and techniques that build from previous sessions.


Reflection: How much of your time is spent thinking? Reflect on the process of thinking itself rather than the content of the thought. What is the derivation of thought? How is your thinking related to the past? Each word points to something. How is the object associated with the thought about it? What is the difference between the thought and the thing itself? Do words limit or enhance the object? What is the communicative value of fixing a word to an abject? What is the limitation of experiencing life through the word?

Exercise: Perform several very simple actions that clearly demonstrate the difference between the word and the experience. For example touch something that is hard or soft, cold or hot. Think how you would describe that experience if you were writing a friend. Now forget the descriptive words and touch the experience behind the words. The difference is unmistakable. Touching rather than speaking immediately connects you with the meditation process. Based upon this exercise how can thought inform but not determine your relationship to the world?


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