In the last Radiant Mind course that we had in Portland, a participant asked me a really great question. In his long time practice of meditation, he was encountering difficulties in ‘just sitting’ in the easeful way that we do in this course. I explained to him and the group how sometimes meditation itself can become so structured that it becomes a project. In this project, it is possible that the meditator can be looking to either re-call or recreate a past experience of connection with Awareness, to move towards some ultimate goal of enlightenment, or to achieve some smaller goal of taking care of their own health and well being.
In Radiant Mind we don’t emphasize creating a project out of meditation, or even moving towards or away from any-thing. In fact, we invite everything in, without even the need to change or structure our experience. There is no pressure to be doing anything, or not doing anything, to be feeling anything or not feeling anything. Thus the reference points that make up our conditioned reality begin to fall away naturally. This process allows for what I refer to as “Natural Meditation,” or meditation that occurs without any effort at all.
Often, people who come to my workshops or courses are looking for a system that they can adhere to in order to give themselves more fulfillment, serenity, and/or enjoyment in their lives. They really want something that they can take home with them, something that they can come back to. However, in Radiant Mind there is nothing to come back to, because in order to come back to something we would have had to leave something else. This action is simply not possible from here, as there is no thing to move back and forth between.
As human beings we are beings of habit. We have habitual patterns of thought, feeling, behavior, etc. It is natural that we want to be able to recreate and habituate positive experiences and minimize our negative experiences. In Buddhism, however, it is believed that attachment and aversion are the very roots of our suffering. According to this philosophy, it is these two mechanisms that keep us locked into a cyclic mode of being, rather than a fully open and spontaneous one. For most of us, we look to the spiritual path in order to find a way to go beyond our suffering. Perhaps we enter into the spiritual path looking for something that we can hold onto, take with us, or something that we can come back to.
It is my belief that people who pursue spiritual lives yearn for a deep wellspring of continuous aliveness and richness. In Radiant Mind we recognize that this is that wellspring. There are not conditions that we need to meet in order to recognize our spontaneity, because this is already completely open and spontaneous. There is nothing to come back to, because we have never left this in the first place and in fact this is not even possible to leave or take.
Radiant Mind can be turned into “something we can take with us, or something we can come back to,” but it is not meant to be this. Radiant Mind is not a project; and ultimately it has nothing to do with me, my course, my book, Buddhist philosophy, conference calls, coaching calls or any of the parts that make up this course. Rather, what I am referring to with Radiant Mind is the utterly simple unification of all of the conditions that make this conversation possible, and the openness that is completely beyond any condition. Radiant Mind is this.
Thank you, and I hope you enjoy the video.