Okay, so we're going to, in this sitting, continue working with the very expansive awareness, the space of awareness. And really what I want to do is give different flavours or angles, like I've already said, different flavours or angles to lead in the same direction. So it may be that the way we worked yesterday is more helpful than today, or vice versa, or tomorrow. We don't know. But it's all kind of moving in the same direction.
[00:51, guided meditation begins]
Again, finding your way into the posture, really very consciously. Feeling that balance in the posture, the poise in the posture. That poise reflects and inner poise, an inner balance. And then, again, setting the compass, setting your compass, your direction, with kindness, in kindness. Orienting the practice, orienting to the practice, with kindness, through kindness. Connecting with the sense of the body sitting here, feeling grounded, anchored, in the sense of the body sitting.
Today, beginning by listening, with listening, and opening to listening, opening the awareness wide to all the sounds that are there. Seeing if it's possible to listen in a very bare way, the naked sound. Not necessary to identify of distinguish or figure anything out. Just the texture of the bare sounds, actual sounds. And seeing if it's possible for the attention, rather than moving from one sound here to another sound there individually, to open out in a way, receiving the totality of sound, the totality of listening, the global sphere, the space of sound, listening.
So the mind itself has a very open, receptive quality. Open and spacious, receiving sounds. And at the same time, it's very present, very in the present, very alive, very poised. You might even be able to differentiate how those two qualities feel a little bit different. Is it possible to play with relaxing the mind, relaxing back into receiving? And then, at times, to almost increase the intensity of the presence? This may be something that you can play with, maybe.
[9:18] And in that openness, seeing also if you can get a sense how sounds come and go by themselves. No need to reject any sound, or to cling to any sound. Just the openness of receiving and presence.
And within that openness of awareness, of listening, is it also possible to include the body sensations? In a way, listening to sounds, and in a way, listening to the body sensations, appearing and disappearing in awareness. And letting the awareness be vast, open, receptive.
So the space of awareness receives all sounds, lets all sounds go, receives all body sensations, lets them all go. Is it possible to include even thoughts and images that arise and pass in the space of awareness, just as sounds arise and pass? Including everything, listening to everything, clinging to nothing, rejecting nothing. Open and receptive and present. In a way, for the space of awareness, all things are equal -- all sounds, all thoughts, all body sensations.
[19:37] Seeing if you can get a sense right now, if it would be more helpful to relax back into a more receptive mode, into a more open mode, to receive sounds, or to be more bright in the presence. See if you can get a sense.
What might it mean for the heart to be involved in the listening? Listening with fullness, with heartfulness. Listening with the whole being.
Perhaps it's possible in the listening, in the openness of awareness, of hearing, to not just listen to sound but also to be aware of silence, a quality of silence. Sound and silence. It may be between sounds, or around sounds. It may permeate sound. Listening deeply to sound, silence runs through the sound. Silence at the heart of sound. Sounds are not in opposition to that stillness of silence, that openness of silence, the vastness of it. The silence embraces them and permeates all sounds.
[30:19] Perhaps you can get a sense of the stillness of that silence embracing the body, enveloping the body, surrounding everything. The silence just opening out the stillness everywhere, holding everything.
So letting everything belong to the silence. It belongs to the silence. It doesn't belong to me. All sounds, all body sensations, all thoughts and images -- let it all rest in the silence. Let it belong to the silence.
[38:30, guided meditation ends]
Okay. So just as I said at the beginning, different people are going to relate to different approaches to this. For some, yesterday will work better than today. Others, vice versa. Someone else, tomorrow works better, etc. Go with what feels good, what feels helpful, what feels like it's opening, engendering letting go, a sense of lightness, peace. If today felt kind of exactly the same as yesterday, that's fine. That's totally fine. If it felt completely different, that's also fine. Okay? [laughter] Okay. So there's a group meeting now, and for everyone else, a period of walking meditation. If you feel called to stillness -- I've already said this, but just stand in the walking meditation for as long as you want to. If you feel like the body needs to move, then move. If you feel like the body needs to move quickly, move quickly. Okay.