This article is a hodgepodge collection of various ideas and approaches to particular challenges in various areas of experience. It collects prior Integrating Presence blog posts along with new material.
Challenges: Family, Ex-partners, difficult folks and their social media
Are you a cyber stalker? Do you check in on what your ex is posting on social media? If so, are you noticing how detrimental this is as well as a type of short-term relief from obsessing about them that may actually make it even worse? What about when encountering enemies and checking in with family? Similar or different? What are the solutions for this?
Each of the Five Daily Reflections applied to each of the Five Clinging Aggregates
Is it wise to apply the Five Clinging Aggregates of body, hedonic tone, perception, mental formations and consciousness to each of the Five Daily Reflections of old age, sickness, death, separation and self-responsibility?
Advanced Information and Multidimensional Cosmic Drama
This is actually kind of the opposite of mundane. A lot of information and experiences of non-everyday, beyond-this-world phenomena and stuff not often mentioned in the mainstream can seem very important. And maybe it is. However, if overwhelm creeps in, could the perception of all this be just another drama albeit however influential, grand, refined, intricate, or advanced?
Deep, Whole-Body Listening and Speaking
How many times have we wished to be met, seen and heard more optimally? What kind of impact — incident by incident and cumulatively — does not really feeling seen or heard have? After realizing the significance of this how can and ought we meet, see and hear each and every encounter? One way seems deeper and more embodied presence, embodied listening and embodied speaking and speaking wisely — without falsehood, non-harshly, non-frivolously, with helpfulness, at the proper time, and promoting concord instead of division
- Insight Dialogue — ‘Insight dialogue is an interpersonal meditation practice that brings together meditative awareness (e.g., mindfulness, concentration), the wisdom teachings of the Buddha, and dialogue to support insight into the nature, causes, and release of human suffering. Six meditation instructions, or guidelines, form the core of the practice.’
- Deep and embodied listening mentioned on various Integrating Presence Ask Us Anything shows with Lydia Grace:
Truth and Inquiry
What is the point of truth‘s opposite? While falsehoods can bring a false sense of power and comfort they are actually distracting, confusing, foolish and unhelpful illusions leading away from wisdom. Truth may not always be pleasant but it’s a requirement for anything worthwhile. Without knowing the truth of something there really is little possibility to course correct.
Questions for Buddha (/Dharma/Sangha)
While tailored more specifically, this section of Questions for Buddha, Dharma, Sangha goes hand-in-hand with Truth and Inquiry:
- IntegratingPresence.com’s Dharma questions category — now up to seven parts on various topics plus other blog posts exploring and expanding on more narrowed topics like Abhidhamma questions put to Beth Upton
- Importance of various historical figures asking questions leading to teachings from the Buddha:
- My podcast and writeup looking at the questions from the demon Alavaka which includes truth as the highest of savors:
- There’s also the questions of King Milinda
- While not really a question, the pleading from Bāhiya of the Bark-cloth to gain a teaching from the Buddha resulting in this profound utterance from the Bāhiya Sutta:
“Then, Bāhiya, you should train yourself thus: In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen. In reference to the heard, only the heard. In reference to the sensed, only the sensed. In reference to the cognized, only the cognized. That is how you should train yourself. When for you there will be only the seen in reference to the seen, only the heard in reference to the heard, only the sensed in reference to the sensed, only the cognized in reference to the cognized, then, Bāhiya, there is no you in connection with that. When there is no you in connection with that, there is no you there. When there is no you there, you are neither here nor yonder nor between the two. This, just this, is the end of stress.”
- The Way to the Beyond — Questions to the Buddha from a brahman teacher’s students to test if truly awakened. Questions on discernment, contentment, being free, greatness, overcoming aging, grief, doubt, craving, sagacity, entanglements, emancipation, birth, Dhamma, consciousness, nothingness, death, etc.
What is Mindfulness and the Deeper Questions About It?
The main thing worth mentioning is in the question itself. There’s now so much written and spoken about mindfulness I don’t feel called to contribute anything significant at this time other than a few questions below and urging meditators to temporarily place aside all they’ve been taught and even come to know on their own about mindfulness to contemplate what actually is mindfulness, how does it work and what are the deeper questions about mindfulness for continuing contemplation leading to further knowledge and vision culminating in realizing awakening and release for the meditator, others and all beings everywhere as well as leading to practical, helpful wisdom in the meantime?
Some other mindfulness questions:
- How did “sati” get translated as “mindfulness”?
- Origins of the word “mindfulness” and “sati”?
- When and how does attention become mindfulness and mindfulness become awareness? Or do they?
- How does that which hinders and unhinders mindfulness happen? What are these processes (like)?
Denny Miu and I did talk a little about mindfulness in the December 2020 “Ask Us Anything” McMindfulness and The Mindfulness Industrial Complex:
Strategies for Empaths and the Energetically Sensitive
Some have a challenging time even trying to tune into the feelings and experiences of others. Then there’s the flip where some seem to have no choice but to feel others and get completely overwhelmed by it. I wrote an extensive article about the latter where I mostly apply various understandings and techniques from dhamma teachings which often do not directly address empathic overwhelm but seen and applied in certain ways surely help
What is True Care?
What is false care? What is true care? What is the importance? Does it differ for men and women? If so how? How does how we view care and enact care differ at different points in our lives? How does it change? How can we care in the most optimal way moment by moment?
Below, some past chats involving care and giving care:
For those without feet, I have love.
I have love for all with two feet.
For those with four feet, I have love.
I have love for all with many feet.
May those without feet do me no harm.
May none with two feet do me harm.
May those with four feet do me no harm.
May none with many feet do me harm.
May all beings, all living things,
All who’ve come to be — one and all —
May they see every blessing!
May no evil at all come to them!
Without limit is Buddha.
Without limit is Dhamma.
Without limit is Sangha.https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/vin/cv/cv.05.06.01x.olen.html
Working with Pain
What is pain? How do we see it, hold it, address it and work with it?
After a few years in the making the five-day Progressive Breath Awareness Booster course (aka Part 2 of Breath: Questions for Contemplation; Perceptions and Practice Ideas) is now available on Insight Timer and free for Plus members (which includes a 1-month free trial). Day one is free for everyone. Each day is no longer than 15 minutes yet jam packed for many, many listens.
The course description:
The Progressive Breath Awareness Booster course primarily addresses the breath through approaches, observations, perceptions, practice ideas, and with inquiries ranging from simple, commonplace, practical and broad overviews to the bizarre, obscure, esoteric, and minutia. This aim of this course is not to overwhelm, for overthinking, for comparison, or judgement; rather, it primarily intends leveraging cutting edge material to increase and enhance the likelihood of maintaining and prolonging bare awareness or breath for and during breath practices as well as in everyday life.
Below is a small sampling of the creative breathwork portion that if not included in the course itself may be included in some form or another in a later bonus track:
If breath had eyes, what would it see? How would it look at things?
Equanimity cultivation breath:
Using the following phrase with the breath in order to cultivate equanimity: “Is that so?” and then, if it is so, using the simple question: “So?”
Transmuting Into Equanimity Breath:
Breathing in whatever is (now) transmuting (its energy, consciously and/or unconsciously) into equanimity
Imagine and practice with what would it be like if breath was as a parasite or leach attaching itself to the body
Core bhramavihara breath:
Establishing appropriate ((levels) of) the Brahmaviharas as breath container and/or breathing in and out of the Brahmaviharas
Dreamworld Delineating Breath:
Either on the in or out breath asking and/or discerning if this is a dream. And/or imagining dreaming on the in or out breath and awakening and/or being awake on the other half breath
Trance Blasting Breath:
Each breath, no matter the intensity level, blasts further into and integrates into whatever trance (canceling) work is already underway
Gurus, world leaders, ideas, thinking, emotions, pleasures, and desires haven’t set you completely (free) the way you want. What if it is time to let the breath take over your life, surrendering all power and authority to breath?
Plate Droppings Mediation
Meditation consisting of addressing whatever drops on your plate and/or what is already there. Do you ever see what’s on the plate as droppings aka animal excrement? Do you ever drop the plate?
In more commonplace meditative language: what sensations, feelings, emotions, thoughts, memories, plans, sights, sounds, movements, and other phenomena are present? What is the rate of change of these phenomena coming and going? How’s your relationship to how you are viewing, being with and responding to them? And after meditation, contemplating: how might there be wiser and more skillful ways to view, respond and be?
Protective Meditation: Buddha Visualizations
Two Buddha visualizations inspired by a September 2022 Centro de Meditación Theravada online event with Sayalay Sutavati in a series exploring the four meditations of protection.
- Sensing and/or visualizing past, present and future Buddhas, going from one to another, tuning into the Buddha, Dharma, Sangha fields associated with each Buddha, expanding these in all directions while also connecting to a common thread running throughout them all and even going beyond into other realms for this.
- Past Buddhas on the left, future Buddhas on right, past lives behind, (any) future lives ahead, higher realms above, lower realms below; start one lifetime at a time noticing the strongest approximating Buddha, Dharma, Sangha fields then holding and/or being in these fields for one level all around then expanding to two, three (lifetimes) and onwards
Dissolvable Energetic Medicinal Constructs (For Liberation)
Can meditations and techniques like How to Invoke the Medicine Buddha be drawn upon to create (other) similar dissolvable energetic medicinal constructs (for liberation)? If so, how, and what are they? Please reach out to share or share in the comments along with anything else from the material here