Exploring "Inclusive Awareness" this Sunday with Benjamin Hohl; Alex Haley Teaching Elements Retreat at Spirit Rock in August

July 7, 2023

Exploring "Inclusive Awareness" this Sunday with Benjamin Hohl; Alex Haley Teaching Elements Retreat at Spirit Rock in August

Dear Community,

Sunday 10am Community Practice & Discussion

This Sunday Benjamin Hohl will lead an exploration of the topic of "Inclusive Awareness" via a guided meditation, short talk, and group discussion.

This topic is inspired by Ajahn Sumedho's book Intuitive Awareness (available freely in PDF form here). Below is an excerpt from the book from the chapter titled "Trusting in Simplicity" (page 152).

This inclusive awareness is very simple and totally natural. The mind stops and you are just open and receptive. Even if you’re tense and uptight, just open to it by accepting it and allowing it to be as it is. Tension, despair, pain — you just allow your experience to be exactly as it is rather than try to get rid of it. If you conceive of this openness as a happy state, then you create a mental impression of it as a pleasant state, that you might not be feeling and that you would like to feel. Being in a pleasant state of mind is not a prerequisite for inclusive awareness. One can be in the pits of hell and misery and yet still open to the experience of being aware, and thus allow even the most upsetting sates to be just what they are…

When you can begin to trust in this awareness you can relax a bit. If you’re trying to control the mind then you tend to go back to your habits of trying to hold on to some things and get rid of others, rather than just allowing things to be what they are.

With intuitive awareness we are taking our refuge in awakeness, which is expansive, unlimited. Thought and mental conception create boundaries. The body is a boundary; emotional habits are boundaries; language is a boundary; words expressing feelings are also boundaries. Joy, sorrow and neutrality are all conditioned and dependent upon other conditions. What transcends all of this, we begin to recognize through awakening. Even if what I’m saying sounds like rubbish to you, be aware of that. Open to the fact that you don’t like what I’m saying. It’s like this. It’s not that you have to like it: it’s starting from the way it is rather than you having to figure out what I’m trying to say.

We look forward to practicing together this Sunday! Registration and Zoom information available here.

Alex Haley Teaching Spirit Rock Retreat in August

Founding teacher of Minneapolis Insight, Alex Haley, will be co-teaching a retreat August 6 - 12 at Spirit Rock in California on the topic of "The Elements: Cultivating an Embodied Experience of Emptiness and Fullness." Several of our community members will be in attendance. If you have any questions about attending residential retreats, please feel free to reply to this email. Details and registration for the retreat can be found here.

With metta (loving-kindness),
Minneapolis Insight