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Exploring Our Momentum with Mindfulness + Closing Ritual

by Vajradevi (2019)

Talk given in the morning session on Thursday 2nd May 2019.

Vajradevi describes 'uncontrived mindfulness' - how, through practice, we can create a momentum akin to pedalling on a bicycle, so that the mindfulness continues spontaneously without our needing to use effort. She invites and responds to questions from those present, touching on the effects of 'over-efforting', the need to let go into the 'not-known' and returning to her opening image from the retreat, the need for both 'precision' and 'wild abandon' We can't have the 'wild abandon' without the precision of 'presence', ie resting in what's happening right now.

Vajradevi responds to various questions and comments, including working with a nebulous/misty object of awareness, an evocation of experience through the myth of the 'prodigal son', and returning to the question 'necessary or not' as a short-hand for recognising 'what we don't need to do' in meditation. Receptivity is described as the 'method, such as it is' and its results as being 'in the realm of clear seeing'. She gives some pointers about using the five spiritual faculties as a checklist when the mind feels 'OK', to enable us to see if there's something missing and how the samprajana (continuity of purpose) aspect of mindfulness is something we can develop like a muscle that grows a little more every single time we become aware. This session concludes with some reflections on the Ryokan puja practised the previous evening.

Bhadra offers very heartfelt thanks to Vajradevi and others who've made the rains retreat possible and Vajradevi offers her own thanks and rejoicings in the Bristol sangha. The retreat concludes with a simple ritual dissolving the 'mandala' creativing in the opening dedication ceremony.

This talk is part of the series Pathways to the Beautiful Mind: Bristol Rains Retreat 2019.

Total running time: 1:23:29