Sunday 10am Community Practice & Discussion
Last week Benjamin Hohl led a discussion and practice on the topic of “Inclusive Awareness.” Drawing on the teachings of Ajahn Sumedho, we explored the possibility of resting in an expansive, spacious awareness free from the limitations of our conditioned existence.
Drawing on both last week’s teaching, as well as the practice of curiosity that Jane introduced a few weeks ago, we will continue our exploration of an open awareness beyond the boundaries of habitual thought and emotion (or what Pema Chodon calls our “propensities”). In her book How We Live Is How We Die she writes:
“Getting to know open awareness doesn’t usually happen by itself. It’s a process. Many people have spent years learning to relax enough to become intimate with their sky-like mind. If any of us are really curious about the wide-open space behind our habitual thought patterns, if we want to know the sky behind the clouds intimately, then it will take time devoting time to the endeavor.
But before we begin, we should know that this isn’t a project of making our thoughts into an enemy. Clouds come and go without harming the sky. Like that, thoughts come and go without harming our mind. Whether we like it or not, the thoughts keep coming. That’s just how things are. We don’t have to see it as a problem. So instead of demonizing our thoughts, a more gentle and productive approach is simply curiosity. We can simply wonder: What’s behind this whole thing if I’m suddenly not thinking? What will I experience? What are these thoughts, anyway? Are they really solid? Are they really a threat?”
If you’re someone who has “spent years learning to relax enough to become intimate with [your] sky-like mind”, like I have, please join us. And please join us even if you haven’t – if you’re just curious and/or you want to share your own experience of intuitive, open awareness. All are welcome! 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),