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15209Re: [Meditation Society of America] Re: Mindfullness meditation

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  • Daniel Bonekeeper
    Jan 29, 2007
      Hi Sonam !

      Thanks for your thoughtful post, that's exactly what I needed to know. So, in other words, "right mindfulness" is not letting the mind wander while you are doing something, but instead being present and conscious of what you are doing and keeping your focus and thoughts solely on the action that you are doing, for the benefit of having a sharper focus or ability to not wander while on sitting meditation. Right ?

      Thanks for taking the time to answer this !

      On 1/29/07, Marc Moss <jellybean0729@...> wrote:

      Dear Danieal,
      Dear Daniel,
      There are many different options available to suit an array of dispositions. Here are a few options from me, and I hope others will oblige with their own suggestions:
      Simply, be present in each thought as you conduct your activities. As you take a breath in, be aware that you are breathing in; as you breathe out, be aware that you are exhaling. Simply try to keep the mind on the activity you are doing. Try to be aware when the mind wanders off onto other thoughts, and gently bring it back to the activity. If you are shaping gold, be completely absorbed in the activity of shaping the gold. If you are placing a diamond into a mounting, be aware that you are doing this. Each little movement of mind should be devoted to the activity. At least, you will develop better product. Your mind will be devoted single-pointedly to your product and this should render less mistakes.
      Try to keep your breathing even and equal in inhale and exhale. This kind of breathing is precisely the manner in which a healthy individual breathes when they are "in their mode". When we are content, free of anxiety and stress or excitement, we breathe like this. Forcing ourselves to breathe in this manner will assist in calming the mind. "Joy can bring a smile, and smile can bring joy."

      Now, as these activities are movements of mind, we are actually training the mind to reduce and eliminate distractions to benefit our sitting meditation. To have a direct perception of emptiness, you cannot have a movement of mind. You have to develop your mental faculties in such a way that the distractions are completely eliminated, and movement of mind is a distraction. During deepest meditation, one is withdrawn from the senses. If your mind moves to a sound, you are having a movement of mind and that prevents one from samadhi. So, during your everyday work, it is best if you can place your mind again and again on just the activity that you are pursuing, and eliminate any other thoughts that are of no consequence to the task.
      Since emptiness and karma are intimately connected, if you can use your imagination to create good karma during your tasks, this is best. Since you work with diamonds, you are working with something that many sages used as a symbol for emptiness. A diamond is the hardest natural substance on earth. Only a diamond can cut another diamond. Emptiness metaphorically can even cut diamonds...that is the metaphor used in the Diamond Cutter Sutra (mistranslated simply as Diamond Sutra, but Vajrachedika means diamond cutter, an important point in the translation for its valuable analogy), and emptiness even cuts itself. After the direct experience of emptiness in the first level of form realm meditation, one understands this analogy, understands that emptiness surrounds you. If you were surrounded by a wall of pure diamond, clear and colorless, you wouldn't even know it...so it is with emptiness. So, in your activities, since things do not inherently exhist, it is very powerful to imagine that you are doing the deeds that you are doing for the benefit of all other beings.
      As you are shaping the gold, imagine that you are giving precious gifts to all beings. As you place the diamond, imagine that you are teaching about emptiness to students whose minds are ripe. As you polish the gold, you can imagine that you are teaching all beings the Buddha's teachings, the holy Dharma, or that you are giving any material assistance to beings. At the conclusion of your task, dedicate any merit that you have created towards being able to achieve enlightenment for all beings, or towards learning a teaching with which you are struggling. Because things do not inherently exist, it is important to remember that the task you are doing, the objects with which you work and even YOU are void of existing inherently. That means that the data that your mind is organizing from the senses that have collected it (data) is being forced by karma to generate the images that you see and interact with...but better karma would organize that data differently. That is how tantra works - using the karmic mechanism in such a way to render a result faster. So, have no concrete senses of self and action and object...for that is not the way they truly exist. See it as a flow that is forced to render the waves of experience now from the drop into that stream from a past action.
      When you make wedding rings, it can be very beneficial to imagine that your efforts are benefitting the future couple, and you are giving lasting love and compassion to all beings.
      There are many interesting scientific studies on focused thought such as what we are discussing and the benefits even in material forms in our surroundings. Focusing your thoughts of compassion and love into your work is sure to have some benefit to those who will purchase and own them. And it will benefit your mind so much more.
      Dedication is very powerful in preventing normal, ignorant karma from being used up. You simply make a dedication with heartfelt sincerity toward the goal, and it is much more powerful.
      Does that help you in any way Daniel? I hope so.

      As long as space remains, as long as living beings remain, until then - may I too remain to dispel the sufferings of the world. - Master Shantideva

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      "Today, a young man tripping on LSD realized that all matter is merely energy condensed through a slow vibration, we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, life is only a dream, and we are all our own imagination. And now here's Tom with the weather. Tom?"
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