Just as sounds arise and cease naturally within the field of awareness, when attending to their body, the meditator begins to perceive the same impersonal display of sensations arising and ceasing within the stillness of the mind. – Josh Summers
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."
When we shift into a vipassana lens of practice, there are no distractions. Each experience the meditator encounters becomes the practice, itself – an experience to see clearly and relate to with compassion. – Josh Summers
“Meditation is not a matter of trying to achieve ecstasy, spiritual bliss or tranquility, nor is it attempting to become a better person. It is simply the creation of a space in which we are able to expose and undo our neurotic games, our self-deceptions, and our hidden fears and hopes.” – Chogyam Trungpa
“We do not confront the world; rather, the world confronts itself, temporarily masquerading as each of us.” – David Barash
“This mind of ours is already unmoving and peaceful. Our practice is simply to see the Original Mind.” – Ajahn Chah
“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.”