As a monk, I bring a strong commitment, along with the renunciate flavor, to the classic Buddhist teachings. I play with ideas, with humor and a current way of expressing the teachings, but I don't dilute them.
Sitting in a field of fifty to eighty people really starts my mind sparking. Since I don't prepare my talks ahead of time, I find myself listening to what I'm saying along with everyone else. This leaves a lot of room for the Dhamma to come up. Just having eighty people listening to me is enough to engage me, stimulate me, and create a nice flow of energy. The actual process of teaching evokes ideas that even I did not realize were being held somewhere in my mind.
Different teaching situations offer their own unique value. In retreat, you are able to build a cohesive and comprehensive body of the teachings. When people are not on retreat and come for one session, it opens a different window. They are more spontaneous and I'm given the chance to contact them in ways that are closer to their "daily-life mind." This brings up surprises and interesting opportunities for me to learn even more.
I'm continually struck by how important it is to establish a foundation of morality, commitment, and a sense of personal values for the Vipassana teachings to rest upon. Personal values have to be more than ideas. They have to actually work for us, to be genuinely felt in our lives. We can't bluff our way into insight. The investigative path is an intimate experience that empowers our individuality in a way that is not egocentric. Vipassana encourages transpersonal individuality rather than ego enhancement. It allow for a spacious authenticity to replace a defended personality.
Forms and our responses to them are always arising and passing away, including the form called "retreat". The learning that comes from using these forms is independent of these changes. It requires our tenacity.
Questions are précised - 00:15 Q1 What’s the difference between QiGong and standing meditation? 02:34 Q2 Is there a specific QiGong for meditation? 03:00 Q3 What is the proper balance between sitting, standing and walking? 04:49 Q4 Can you speak more about the forms of knowing described in the satipatanna sutta? 20:38 Q5 What’s a helpful sequence of steps to take in a meditation?28:16 Q6 I find a lot of energy goes into the head when I meditate. What do you suggest? 30:20 Q7 Normally I find in my meditation there is a subtle feeling of pushing or trying. If that is acknowledged there is more of a sense of flowing and playfulness. How can I cultivate this more consistently? 33:36 Q8 I had a very nice walking meditation experience with gratitude and opening. Then there were feelings of fragility and vulnerability. What can you advise? 36:01 Q9 I find myself getting very frozen or locked when I go into my job responsibilities. What’s happening here? 39:19 Q10 We talk about safety and feeling secure. I think this attachment is not the same as the attachment we talks about in Buddhism. What do you think?
Questions précised – 00:09 Q1 What is energy? 23:02 Q2 I get involuntary shaking sometimes in meditation. If I focus on the skin it helps to dissolve this. What is this please? 28:31 Q3 Tuning into my body I find tension from unreleased aggression and images that are not always pleasant. What do you suggest? 32:44 Q 4 Sometimes I experience dropping out of identification into an open clear spacious presence. It mostly lasts only half a second and then I get pulled back into self-identification. How can I make it longer or more permanent? 34:58 Q5 Don’t meditation and attentive awareness stimulate and arouse? Don’t they sometimes arouse supportive activation of the heart and spirit? I find sometimes this is a bit of a strain or tiring because I feel in the grip of it. 36:55 Q6 What nourishes the daily practice on your own? Regarding daily offerings, what are some examples of that? 43:07 Q7 Can you speak about the value of renunciation? 44:47 Q8 What should one do with one’s talents? Excelling involves competition for leader ship roles and in that the moral compass gets bent.
Questions précised – 00:06 Q1 What’s the importance of the lotus posture for practice? As a beginner I can’t sit like that but also I don’t feel good using a chair 05:34 Q2 Is awakening possible for a lay practitioner of mindfulness meditation such as I practice, or is this just a lost cause? 19:57 Q3 I have been doing sitting meditation almost daily for almost 30 years. There are good days when my attention is stable and I feel unified. But more frequently my experience becomes stagnant and I don’t know where to turn my attention and I feel bored, inadequate. 27:47 Q4 It’s so limiting to identify with a self. Why, when we have perfection in us is it so difficulty to see the truth? 38:42 Q5 Sometimes I see light around people or objects and sometimes things seem transparent with light. Can you say something about this? 39:38 Q6 I’m concerned about my daughter with obsessive compulsive disorder. What can you recommend? 42:15 Q7 Is it possible to overdue investigation? Sometimes it feels that investigating frozen states seems more like prodding rather than compassion. 43:18 Q8 How can I feel connected to people who don’t share the same values and vision of life? I feel lonely and angry when I’m with them.
Questions précised - 00:16 Q1 Is it possible to start waking up and still have a mind that is clinging or fixating at times? What are the characteristics of awakening? 14:27 Q2 Sometimes there are moments where everything is gone or stops, with no thoughts or awareness f an outside world. Time seems to be gone as well. Can you say something about this?16:21 Q3 It seems the heart needs to be allowed to know itself. When with family and partner there seems to be no possibility for this. This is desperately uncomfortable which doesn’t resolve and is filled with fear. Can you offer some guidance. 22:54 Q4(a) I feel parts of the body frozen in anxiety. Spacious awareness and reclining help. What else would help? Patience? (b) I get feelings of joy, gratitude then contentment. When contentment arises I feel the desire to move on rather than stay with it. What can I do about this? (c) What can I do if the energy flow gets overwhelming say with sickness? 34:46 Q5 What would you say to a teenager who seems to have ill will in the family? 36:44 Q6 No matter how good meditation is in the previous evening, there will come sleep and with it the end of awareness. Next morning we have to start again.