meditation is awareness, not pain

| Kalaw Retreat Mar 2017 - Day 3 Discussion Group D (17:50-30:27)

The idea that you should sit without moving – never have an idea of what is good and set a target for yourself because we don’t know the conditions along the way. We want to be flexible enough to deal with it wisely.

When we have unrealistic expectations, we can set up the mind for disappointment. Then, yogis may stop wanting to sit. You have to see the conditions on the way in that hour, how things work out. If it’s unbearable, you shift, but you still remain aware.

Meditation is awareness, not pain; so long as awareness continues, it doesn’t matter whether you shift or not.

The purpose is not to make pain disappear, and the purpose is not to endure it. The purpose is to understand the nature of how the mind and body work – how the mind perceives pain when there is reaction, and how the mind perceives pain when there’s no reaction.

So, when there is pain, you’re to watch the aversion, how you feel, and not the pain.

The purpose is to observe things and learn; but the learning can only happen if the mind observes the liking or disliking with a neutral attitude. But we’re not always equanimous when we watch.

So, the learning is not about the object, but how to make the mind equanimous when there’s a reaction. This we do by watching the reaction. When the mind learns about the reaction of the mind, that’s when the mind becomes equanimous.

When the mind is biased in its observation, we’re never going to learn. It’s more important to see the bias in the mind, and when they clear away, when we recognize and understand them, then the mind becomes neutral and is in the right mood to learn.

It’s not about learning how to get rid of pain, how to fix the object; it’s about learning how to observe.

• When the mind has aversion towards the pain, how does the mind feel about pain? 
• And when the mind is not reacting, what is the mind’s perception of the pain? How does the mind now view pain when there’s no aversion?
• When we have a deeper understanding of the nature of pain, when there is wisdom, how does the mind experience pain?