1 Dec
Posted in: Practice, Talks
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The Workings of the Mind

Every-other Monday night I play a Dharma Seed talk for any of my dharma buddies who want to come over and listen. (So far, only Thomas has taken me up on the offer, but all are invited! Send me an email here, if you’d like to come.)

Anyway, the talk we listened to last night was given by Winnie Narzarko at the Forest Refuge a few weeks ago. It’s titled: What’s Going on in the Teacher Meetings?  I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone give a whole talk on the intention and the dynamics of those one-on-one “teacher interviews,” which are a standard part of all the longer-than-3-or-4-day meditation retreats I’ve ever been on.

It was a terrific talk, especially for anyone getting ready to go on retreat (which is me!). But even for those who aren’t in that particular situation, I’ll offer this quote, which really caught my attention. Winnie was saying that the teacher/student meeting could be summed up as “a two-person joint dharma inquiry” and that the “main purpose of the meeting from the perspective of practice” is an investigation — done as a joint enterprise — of the workings of the mind, which leads to wisdom and insight.

So here’s the quote:

“Having established mindful connection with experience, the mind begins to notice how it creates suffering and how it can release that suffering.”

Exactly! That, right there in a nutshell, is what the practice is all about.

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