10 Jun
Posted in: Books
By    Comments Off on Tele-Book-Club-ing


The Monday night Dharma Book Club met last night, and they put a laptop on one of the chairs in the circle so I could join them on Skype. It worked great!

We’re discussing Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening by Joseph Goldstein and we spent quite a bit of time on this paragraph at the end of Chapter 5:

“As a meditation exercise, particularly in sitting, it is sometimes helpful to notice what aspect of impermanence is most predominant. Are we seeing new things arise even before the last one has ended? Are we seeing the endings more clearly and not seeing the moment of an object arising? Or do we see both the arising and passing away of objects equally? In the course of our practice, sometimes it is one way, sometimes another. Noticing how we perceive change is simply another way to refine our attention.” 

So next time you’re sitting, check it out. What do you notice more — the sound of the air conditioner when it comes on, or when it stops? How about the gurgle in your stomach? The twinge in your knee? How about the urge to shift your weight? To look at the clock?

Asking yourself this question is helpful, not because there’s anything special about the beginning or ending of any of these things, but because this kind of investigation brings more awareness to what’s actually happening in the moment — as to opposed to what you assume is happening. It’s this more aware attention that we’re trying to develop. Because this is what will allow us to see things more clearly…with less of an “I know this already” attitude…which will allow us to respond to whatever is happening based on what’s actually happening instead of what we think is happening. Or not really knowing what’s happening at all, and just cruising along on autopilot!

Check it out.


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