"Working with the Chattering Mind" this Sunday with Benjamin Hohl; Full Moon Gathering August 30

August 18, 2023

"Working with the Chattering Mind" this Sunday with Benjamin Hohl; Full Moon Gathering August 30

Dear Community,

Sunday 10am Community Practice & Discussion

This Sunday Benjamin Hohl will lead an exploration on "Working with the Chattering Mind" in meditation, based on Ajahn Amaro's writing in Finding the Missing Peace (freely available here). Below is an excerpt (pages 43-44):

A common misconception about meditation is that one is aiming for absolute stillness: stillness, silence, space. With that idea, one can feel burdened by agitation, noise and constriction – no stillness, no silence, no space – and this can lead one to long for these qualities that are missing. This is a misunderstanding of the goal of meditation…

Working with the chattering mind, which endlessly reviews the past and plans for the future and has opinions about everything else, can feel very burdensome. One wants the chattering mind to shut up, and it is easy to feel bliss when it does stop. However, if not thinking was equivalent to enlightenment, the Buddha would have prescribed an ancient form of Thorazine to wipe out the thinking process, and we’d all be happy. It doesn’t work that way. True happiness is not just a matter of not thinking. Ajahn Chah often said: “Water buffaloes [which are common in Thailand] are the epitome of the extremely quiet mind!” Water buffaloes have an aura of incredible density. They can hang around in rice paddies and chew their cud for hours on end. Similarly, a chicken can sit on its nest for days. So, by just sitting in meditation and not thinking for days and days, one might develop as much wisdom as a chicken, which is probably not a great deal. So, it’s good to acknowledge a sense of relief that one can get from the stillness, the silence, and the peace, but it’s a mistake to overestimate their importance.

Please join us for this exploration! All meditation experience levels and welcome. Registration and Zoom information available here.

Next Full Moon Gathering Wednesday, August 30, at 7pm

Since time immemorial human beings have observed the powerful influence of the moon’s cycles. Early cultures, in response to this, often developed rituals for celebration, reflection and renewal on the full moon. In fact, the Buddha directed his monks to gather together on each full moon to support each other, renewing their vows and offering teachings.

In the spirit of these full moon gatherings of reflection and renewal, we invite you to join us for Minneapolis Insight’s monthly Full Moon Gathering.  Each month, on the full moon, we will come together to practice and offer support for reflection and re-commitment to the values and practices that give our lives meaning and balance.

We will meet via Zoom starting at 7pm CST, wrapping up by 8:30pm CST. Please feel free to join as many of these gatherings as you like (no need to register for them all). Registration and Zoom information available here.

With metta,
Minneapolis Insight