Repost from Denny K Miu’s Patreon with my (pre-)show notes below:
As you all know, Josh and I have done a few AUA (Ask Us Anything) sessions. This Thursday (1/14/2021) we are doing our first AUA Live, in response to a simple but profound question asked by our friend and a new student of our Saturday morning exercise/meditation practice …
What Happens to your Mind when you Meditate?
The two formats (AUA versus AUA Live) are slightly different in that the regular AUA is pre-scheduled for every last Tuesday of the month with a pre-selected topic, whereas the LIVE version is more like ER where a question was asked and we find it necessary to answer ASAP. The Live format is going to be less formal.
Please accept our invitation to join us this Thursday. If you want to be in front of the camera, please send us an email [at integratingpresence [AT] protonmail [DOT] com or denny k miu [AT] gmail [DOT] com (without spaces)] so we can send you a link. Or you can watch and provide live comments with the following:
http://dennykmiu.com/Facebook (this one works 100%) [UPDATE: 1/14/21 11:23am Central Time from Denny: “For some reason, I am not able to do live streaming on Facebook today and all my previous videos and posts that had to do with live streaming are deleted. We will go back to Zoom and live stream with Youtube.”]
http://dennykmiu.com/Youtube (this one works 10% of the time but we will follow up with an upload)
Thanks and we look forward to seeing you on Thursday (1/14/2021) at 10:00 am PST.
Denny & Josh
(Pre)show notes from Josh:
- I usually feel introducing us — with self-deprecating humor — as “The Dumb and Dumber of Buddhadharma” can only thin the ego down so far getting minimal laughs, but today it seems way more appropriate for two guys attempting to master the human mind in an hour. [Note: I mistakenly say Bodhidharma instead of Buddhadharma in the video]
- As always, we encourage everybody viewing or listening to use what is presented here as points of reference in their own research and check everything in their own (meditative) experience. What you hear today may even lead astray from better innerstanding the mind.
- For better or worse, my lack of a Western Philosophical background which most people in the US addressing this topic are well versed in. My interest actually deals more with fringe topics that we won’t go into today other than to say they have potential to expand, give new perspectives and deeper comprehension with the risk of getting lost in the weeds and being unable to relate any insights to alleviate stress and suffering.
- Define mind and provide distinction between similar terms of brain, attention, mindfulness, awareness, consciousness, thought/thinking, “thoughting” (thoughts happening without knowing why or willing them), and contents of mind/(mental) phenomena
- Some cultures when asked where the mind is point to chest, others point to the head
- Thinking seems to either be primarily in language, or primarily in image
- Thinking exercise: OK, do not think of a pink elephant
- Awareness exercise: OK, I want you to stop being aware, just cut it out.
- [recently, from arrowriver.ca, heard definition of] Saṅkhāra as broadly defined as (compounded) formations/fabrications >> more narrowly can be defined as >> mental formations >> and yet more narrowly can be defined as >> volitional formations
- Insights into Namarupa / Body and Mind
- Some say because mind can’t be detected with senses there’s no such thing as mind.
- Zen saying: “don’t(-)know mind” https://kwanumzen.org/teaching-library/1990/05/20/only-keep-dont-know-mind
- Perspective of all biological, there’s only the brain. Contrasted with cases of near normality with massive brain abnormality https://www.sciencealert.com/a-man-who-lives-without-90-of-his-brain-is-challenging-our-understanding-of-consciousness and significantly missing brain matter https://www.irishtimes.com/news/remarkable-story-of-maths-genius-who-had-almost-no-brain-1.1026845 And addressing some of this material scientifically is https://stevenpinker.com a famous “cognitive psychologist, linguist, and popular science author. He is an advocate of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind. Pinker’s academic specializations are visual cognition and psycholinguistics.”
- https://www.sheldrake.org/research/morphic-resonance/introduction Brief mentioning of Rupert Sheldrake and morphogenetic fields mentioned briefly
- Two other potentially relevant science-based sites:
- heartmath.org — “HMI has developed reliable, scientifically validated tools since 1991 helping people reduce and avoid stress while experiencing increased peace, satisfaction and enjoyment. Research at the HeartMath Institute shows that, adding heart to our daily activities and connections produces measurable benefits to our own and others’ well-being. We are at the dawn of recognizing Love as the new transformational intelligence.”
- noetic.org — Institute of Noetic Sciences: Inspired by Science, Transformed by Experience. The Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) is a research center and direct-experience lab specializing in the intersection of science and profound human experience.
- Relevant dharma quotes:
All experience is preceded by mind,
Led by mind,
Made by mind.
Speak or act with a corrupted mind,
And suffering follows
As the wagon wheel follows the hoof of the ox.
All experience is preceded by mind,
Led by mind, Made by mind.
Speak or act with a peaceful mind,
And happiness follows
Like a never-departing shadow.(Gil Fronsdal) https://newbuddhist.com/discussion/25283/the-first-lines-of-the-dhammapada
Bhikkhus, whatever a bhikkhu frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. If he frequently thinks and ponders upon thoughts of sensual desire, … upon thoughts of ill will, … upon thoughts of cruelty, he has abandoned the thought of non-cruelty to cultivate the thought of cruelty, and then his mind inclines to thoughts of cruelty.Dvedhavitakka Sutta MN19 https://newbuddhist.com/discussion/25577/the-inclination-of-the-mind
The mind’s nature is vivid as a flawless piece of crystal. Intrinsically empty, naturally radiant, ceaselessly responsive.–Shabkar https://commongroundmeditation.org/reflection/sue-cochranes-four-favorite-dharma-quotes
Perhaps another pertinent point: the three types of people in the world likened to a person with a mind like an open sore, a person with a mind like lightning, and a person with a mind like diamond.