“This mind of ours is already unmoving and peaceful. Our practice is simply to see the Original Mind.” – Ajahn Chah
Everyday Sublime: Shadow | Light | Unity
The Everyday Sublime podcast explores a full spectrum spirituality. Each week Josh will release a dharma talk, and each month Josh will publish a long-form conversation with a thought-leader from the field. As Stephen Batchelor says, "the mystical does not transcend the world, but saturates it."
“Try to be mindful, and let things take their natural course. Then your mind will become still in any surroundings, like a clear forest pool. All kinds of wonderful, rare animals will come to drink at the pool, and you will clearly see the nature of all things.” – Ajahn Chah
Just as a musician learns musical etudes to develop and refine their capacities for musical expression, a contemplative can learn meditative etudes – exercises that nurture the capacities of the Heart/Mind.
Many thanks to all the listeners and members of the River Bird Sangha. We look forward to reconnecting in September.
“I would say that cognitive empathy is a strength that needs to be built, cognitive empathy being the ability to look at things from the perspective of other people. And one thing the explain-excuse conflation does is undermine cognitive empathy.” – Robert Wright
“When we meet difficulty with a kind and loving heart, compassion naturally arises. Often easy to feel for others, self-directed compassion can get blocked by old belief patterns and cultural conditioning. However, self-compassion can be awakened through a few simple steps that echo the Four Noble Truths.” – Lauri Glenn
“We aren’t looking to get away from our personal lives [in this approach]… but we’re given permission to bring what’s alive in our lives into our meditation practice.” – Linda Modaro
“It would be well if you directed your mind to the deathless element.” – Venerable Sariputta, senior disciple of the Buddha
“The political problems that impede the evolution of international governance are rooted in human psychology – mainly in what is sometimes called “the psychology of tribalism.” This psychology consists largely of cognitive biases, notably including confirmation bias and attribution error.” – Robert Wright
“So much can go bongo tingo in conversations, what with misunderstandings and mixed intentions… and yet, so much can go right to the heart of the matter. Bringing our meditation sittings into a conversation with another person changes the conversation to a relationship – one of developing trust, care, and collaboration. The Dharma is between us.” – Linda Modaro
“… the path is not about seeing something in particular; instead, it’s about seeing clearly. And we have the potential to do that, a potential that has to be realized.” – Ajahn Sucitto
“…seeing clearly is an ongoing balancing between seeing within a framework and seeing beyond a framework, between seeing with knowledge and seeing with wonder.” – Howard Axelrod
“One benefit of a journaling practice is that it enables me to ‘look upon’ my thinking with a little more distance and objectivity. The activity of writing itself (a Yang sort of doing) brings a sense of order to the sometimes chaotic (Yin-like) dimensions of my consciousness.”
According to Joseph Campbell, mythology concerns the cosmological, sociological, pedagogical, and mystical dimensions of life. “If the mystical dimension is not there, you don’t have a mythology, you have an ideology (Campbell, Mythos).” Meditation is a ritualized application of mythical pedagogy to realize for oneself the mystical union with all of life.
“It’s hard to build coherent international governance on a foundation of incoherent nations. An America lacking in cohesion, divided along red-blue lines, won’t have the political will to do ambitious, politically difficult things. Such as: crafting and then participating in new forms of international cooperation designed to prevent things like pandemics, environmental calamities, and arms races in space or in bioweapons or in AI.” – Robert Wright
“When we practice with all conditions, we gain improvisational skills for life; we learn how to creatively adapt to things outside our comfort zone, thereby widening the experience of peace that is independent of conditions.”
“You know, you get a lot of people who are supposed to be hip. And they act like they’re supposed to be hip, which makes a big difference. But being hip isn’t a state of mind, it’s a fact of life.” – Cannonball Adderley
“In meditation, there’s nothing to change other than one’s capacity to witness and flow with the changes of experience.” – Josh Summers
“The more we realize that most of our views of ourselves, of others, and of presumed limits regarding our talents, our health, and our happiness were mindlessly accepted by us at an earlier time in our lives, the more we open up to the realization that these too can change. All we need to begin the process is to be mindful.” – Ellen Langer
“Life is change; and if you don’t like it, it doesn’t think much of you either.” – Josh Summers
“Social psychologists argue that who we are at any one time depends mostly on the context in which we find ourselves. But who creates the context? The more mindful we are, the more we can create the contexts we are in. When we create the context, we are more likely to be authentic. Mindfulness lets us see things in a new light and believe in the possibility of change.” – Dr. Ellen Langer
“To borrow language from music training, meditative training can be seen as a development and refinement of capacities for improvisational flow within and across the changing landscapes of rhythmic (physical), harmonic (energetic and emotional), and melodic (thinking) patterns of being.” – Josh Summers