Showing posts from September, 2015

Samadhi in the here and now

I was recently at a retreat where the retreatants were surprised to learn that samadhi was something you could settle into at any moment - as opposed to some mental state that you had to work yourself into by some feat of mental endurance. So, let's enjoy the knowledge that you can drop into the large welcoming cushions of samadhi whenever you feel the need - just by tuning into the sensations and dropping in. There's an ocean of feathers in our minds whenever we want it.

There's a catch though. We have to know what it is before we can tune into it. We need to know what the mental factors feel like when samadhi is present, otherwise we are groping around for things we cannot see. So, it requires cultivation and practise to open up to the giant sofa of the mind - but this is a question of lifestyle persistence rather than a supreme mental effort. Plump the cushions, open the mind and drop right in.

The mind massage - access concentration

I use the concept of a mind massage quite a lot when I want to get the mind back into a calm, integrated state - something akin to access concentration (a staging post for developing a deeply absorbed jhanic state).  So then, imagine your everyday mind - you're stuck somewhere in the frontal lobes doing things, being yourself, getting things done. This is what we've been trained to do - it's productive, we're functional, making our contribution - let's enjoy that illusion. It pays the bills.

Now, the everyday mind is just one aspect of our being - we have other modes we can drop into. These modes change our perspective of who we are and what it means to be a human, so they are worth a visit. They also increase our mental prowess, heal our fractured souls and generally make us super people. 
So let's use the mind massage as a tool to take us there:
- we are in our stressed state but we want to relax
- we take a comfortable seat somewhere quiet. You can put your …