Teaching: Alan reminds us that all the shamatha practices have been attending to the mind in that there is mindfulness placed on an object and introspection to the mind. In settling the mind, the object of mindfulness is the javana of the psyche. In awareness of awareness, the object of mindfulness is the bhavanga. In mindfulness of the mind, we attend to both the javana and the bhavanga with probing and inquiry vis-à-vis the 3 marks of existence. We see first-hand how mental afflictions are unpleasant, how they come and go, and how they have no substantial nature.
Meditation: silent session with practice of your choice.
Q1a. In mindfulness of the mind, are feelings of desire and curiosity mental afflictions? Desire leads to craving and attachment, so would desire to achieve shamatha also be wrong? Curiosity can lead to anxiety. In my practice, both mental states can trigger unpleasant feelings, but can’t they also be positive states leading us to liberation?
Q2. Why aren’t you teaching settling body, speech, and mind with 3 breaths as explained in your book?
Q1b. Following up on the question on desire and curiosity, do they fall on a continuum with other mental afflictions, or are they in a category of their own? How about attachment as something positive as what a baby develops towards his/her mother?
Q3. In awareness of awareness, does the oscillation serve a purpose other than being an antidote to laxity and excitation?
Q4. In awareness of awareness, is it referring to one awareness that is different from all the other awarenesses? In my practice, my awareness jumps to different objects rather than staying on awareness itself. I let go, and it becomes like open awareness.
Meditation starts at 23:00