I often think of you.
I often think of you.
Have been listening to these talks given by the venerable Ajahn Sona today. He is a great teacher, and the one who gave me the dhamma name Asoka, which means sorrowless. Asoka is a succinct teaching for me, as someone who has experienced much sorrow in life and struggled with depression, this name inspires me to become the opposite (-:
These five talks go into detail about how to practise meditation on the four elements: Earth, water, fire, air and also how to practise the four colour kasinas: red, blue, yellow, white.
I took part in this retreat last spring, and it is good to go over it again to refresh the memory. It is interesting how when one listens to a talk again one picks up something that they missed the first time they listened to it. I think it is because the mind takes what it needs at different times. The mind changes, and as one develops on the path, the mind looks out for new pieces of information to help with its current understanding, and perhaps that's why different things stand out on subsequent listenings to dhamma talks.
Anyway, I wanted to post these talks for anyone else out there who might find this topic interesting.
Here is the link to the talks on YouTube:
May this practise be as much a blessing for you, as it has been for me.
Peace and metta
There's a phenomenon where you might hear something on the radio or video, in a song, a podcast, in an article, perhaps in a conversation with someone. Where something that is said, a phrase, a word really sticks out for you, and seems to speak directly to you, as it resonates with what you are going through at that time, and it feels like it is a message for you specifically from the universe. And it is! Your mind is homing in on that because it is something you need to hear. It is one of the ways the deeper mind tries to help us, tries to communicate with us, by bringing something important to our attention that we are ignorant of, we are often so caught up in our heads we are not listening to the deeper mind. So it will sometimes do something like that, to stop us in our tracks, and bring us a eureka moment, an insight.
When I was practising meditating on the colour red, afterwards wherever I went I would notice the colour red pop out everywhere. It felt magical like I had a special connection with the colour red and it was protecting me. And it was protecting me, that was my subjective experience, as its presence helped me feel calmer, more alive and at ease wherever I went, so it was helping me. This also happened when practising the air kasina, I would notice even the slightest whisper of air in a room, and it would make my scalp and spine light up and tingle with excitement, filling me with a feeling of light. This was all my subjective experience, but it was helpful, it helped me feel better emotionally, and inside it felt more real than what was going on objectively. This is how the mind works, this is what magic is.
I went for a walk and sat down and meditated for a short time on a sheltered bench in the Winter gardens here. And I managed to steady the mind enough and reach a point where I felt quite serene, then feeling better from my anxiety and worries I went home. And suddenly ping! The idea came that I should get on with building a website, and I could use WordPress to quickly get a free one up and running, that way it doesn't matter that I don't have any capitol to invest in it just now. Once I got a wordpress site ready I can then use my knowledge of web design to tweak it to how I want it to look and feel, then upload my paintings on there, and try to sell them through that, as well as offer free downloads of my paintings that people can print for free on their own printers at A4 size (which is the original size of the paintings). And if anyone wants to have a bigger or more professionally done print, I will put a link to some sites that will print larger sizes for them and also offer the paintings on other products. And I will earn a small amount of income each time a print is sold there. I think it is roughly 15 - 20% or something like that, maybe less, but if there's enough sales it could add up. Anyway I will try to think of other ways to make money with a free wordpress website. Trying to think of multiple streams of income. I have a (payme) paypal link I could use so that visitors can both buy the paintings or make donations towards the free downloads of the paintings I will offer, but no obligation, just if they can afford to, with no judgement for anyone who can't.
Anyway enough of the boring waffle about my sudden flash of insight into what I could try to improve my financial situation and create a livelihood to support myself. The magic thing about it was as I was sitting there in front of my computer working out the design for the site, I felt this serene feeling and warmth in my heart, I have felt it before when I was doing web design during one of the assignments in a previous module. And got a strong feeling that perhaps this is what I should be doing, that I am better suited to web development. I think the serenity and warm heart was like big mind confirming this to me, that I should give this a go. So I have decided I am going to change my career path to web development instead of software.
I can do a little bit of coding, enough for website design anyway; but the maths and kind of complex coding I am learning to do at the moment is too difficult for me and my mind doesn't feel good about it, I do not enjoy it or understand it very well. It does not give me the happy serene vibe I feel when it comes to website design.
Anyway it seems that meditating and getting nice and serene taps into the deeper mind, the unconscious, or big mind; which gives it the opportunity to talk to small monkey mind and this produces insights, but only if monkey mind is still enough, quiet and steady enough to be able to listen to what big mind is saying (-:
I am someone who has always liked the fantastical, the magical. In the stories of the Buddha and Jesus I love the miracles. Don't get me wrong and judge me for this, because the wisdom is appreciated for sure, and I understand it well enough cognitively, but sometimes it would be nice to get some simple practical steps to enlightenment, instead of just what we're aiming for. I e. It is all very well talking about nibbana, love, serenity and equanimity, but how does one develop these states of mind? I also feel without the fun of magic and miracles, without the devas and the myriad different realms of existence, the wisdom contained in the scriptures would feel a bit boring. I am someone who likes, (no, needs to alter my consciousness,) and go beyond this reality. I find the industrial scientific money-centric consumer world tedious, dry, empty and dissatisfying. It makes me feel dull, unhappy and alone. I long to expand my consciousness and explore other spiritual worlds, other realities, experience the psychedelic, open my mind to other possibilities, meet other beings in different dimensions, see things that go beyond this mundane grey financial existence of the 21st century, with it's bleak concrete, algorithms and neverending traffic.
Aye magic, I feel very drawn to magic, not the spell casting kind, just the boundless feeling that this crap material existence isn't all there is to life or the mind and that one can transcend it.
Sphongle - Divine Moments of Truth (DMT):
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