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The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Meditation Guide Integrating Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science [ebook] by Culadasa (epub/mobi). Culadasa (John Yates PhD), Matthew Immergut PhD The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science for Greater Mindfulness epub. The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Meditation Guide Integrating Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science for Greater Mindfulness Click button below.


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Jeongguk steps further into the studio, back flat against the door as he pushes it shut. Namjoon tries not to gulp when he sees him switch the lock into place. He keeps his eyes on the ground as he walks to the couch, hands on his knees when he finally sinks down into the cushion. He lifts his head and stares at Namjoon, startling when he takes in the look of sheer panic in his eye. The elephant in the room is huge , needs so badly to be acknowledged but no one is willing to be the first one to do so.

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Finally, it seems as if he grows impatient and he sighs, bringing his hands down to his lap. He springs up from his chair, nearly sending it flying back into his desk. Jeongguk stares at him with eyes that are lazily narrowed, jaw sharp and set, clenching with each grinding of his teeth.

He finally looks away, down to his fingers, where he idly massages his knuckles with the pad of his thumb. There is no way he will ever be able to forget that talk. My happiness began with you. I—I want it to end with you.

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He suddenly wishes the light in the room was dimmer, wishes it could hide the way he blushes all the way down to his nipples, which are thankfully covered. His hand trembles just as much as his voice.

His hand moves in small circles, trying his best to calm Namjoon, to soothe him. Their faces are mere inches apart. He tastes sweet, like candied fruits in the freshness of spring. You looked so gorgeous, Gguk. Jeongguk is smart. Why else would he have left the door open? Do you want me? God, he would let Jeongguk do whatever he wants. Anything you want. I trust you with everything. He blinks, once and then twice, and Namjoon almost misses the glistening of his eyes beneath the light.

Namjoon laughs at his persistence, tells him to slow down a bit to which he responds with a pout and then he lifts his hips so that Jeongguk can tug off the offending article of clothing. His boxers join his shorts at his ankles and Jeongguk marvels at his size, gripping him tight at the base.

I want this big cock inside of me. Jeongguk pulls back, sits patiently on his heels with a ravaging gaze, watching hungrily as Namjoon pleasures himself, teasing himself on the upstroke. He wants all of it, all of Jeongguk. How fucking lucky is he, to have the prettiest boy on his knees for him, worshipping his cock like this? His existence is a paradox; so sinful yet angelic.

Fucking beautiful. His thumb comes up to wipe away a stray tear before he cups his handsome face. He swallows his cock over and over, hand absolutely filthy with his own drool but he likes it wet, and Namjoon does too. He can feel it — the slow unwinding in his core, the tightness of his scrotum and the rapid rise and fall of his chest. Figure 6. Attention and awareness are two different ways of knowing the world.

Attention singles out some small part of the field of conscious awareness to analyze and interpret it. Peripheral awareness provides the overall context for conscious experience. So here is a quick and basic version of the meditation instructions. Posture a.

Whether you sit in a chair or on a cushion on the floor, make yourself as comfortable as possible with your back straight. Get your back, neck, and head in alignment, front-to-back and side-to-side. I recommend closed eyes to start with, but you can keep them open if you prefer.

Relax a. While maintaining a straight back, release any tension in the body. Relax your mind. Intention and Breath a. Resolve to practice diligently for the entire meditation session no matter how it goes.

Breathe through your nose as naturally as possible without trying to control your breath. Bring your attention to the sensations associated with the breath in and around your nostrils or upper lip. Another option is to center your attention on the sensations associated with breathing in the abdomen. See which of these is the easiest for you to focus on and then stick with that one, at least for the sit at hand.

This is your meditation object. Allow your attention to stay centered on your meditation object while your peripheral awareness remains relaxed and open to anything that arises e. Try to keep your attention centered on the meditation object.

Inevitably, your mind will get distracted and drift away. Therefore, positively reinforce such behavior by doing your best to reward the mind for remembering. Now gently re-center your attention on the meditation object. Stable attention is the ability to direct and sustain the focus of attention, and control the scope of attention.

Stable attention is the ability to intentionally direct and sustain the focus of attention, as well as to control the scope of attention. Controlling the scope of attention means training the mind to adjust how wide or narrow our focus is, and being more selective and intentional about what is included and excluded. Again, as an analogy, consider how vision works.

To see something in all its detail, we must hold our gaze steady for as long as necessary, while focusing neither too narrowly nor too broadly. For many, everyday life is a combination of distraction and hectic multitasking. Having focused, sustained, and selective attention is a much more peaceful and engaging way of experiencing the world. Spontaneous Movements of Attention To develop intentionally directed, stable attention, you must first have a clear understanding of its opposite, spontaneous movements of attention.

Attention moves spontaneously in three different ways: Scanning is when our focus moves from object to object, searching the outer world or the contents of our mind for something of interest. Getting captured happens when an object, like a thought, bodily sensation, or some external stimulus, suddenly captures our attention.

Figure 7. Scanning is when your focus moves from object to object, searching for something of interest. Attention gets captured when an object, like a thought, bodily sensation or some external stimulus, suddenly catches your attention. Instead, there is the illusion of paying attention to two or more things simultaneously. Attention to both seems simultaneous. Another way we might experience alternating attention is when our attention seems to stay focused on one object while certain things stand out from peripheral awareness.

For instance, you might be answering an email, but you also hear the cat meowing to be fed and feel pressure in your bladder. Attention is still shifting rapidly among different objects, but it lingers longer on the main object, answering the email. Essentially, anything that stands out from the background of peripheral awareness does so because it is intermittently becoming an object of attention.

In all these examples, we experience a continuity of attention, but attention is shifting rapidly among different objects. That means a certain amount of distraction is present. During meditation, intentional movements of attention will eventually replace all three types of spontaneous movements of attention.

This process unfolds gradually and systematically through the Stages. Figure 8. The third kind of spontaneous movement is where attention alternates between two or more things.

Intentionally Directing and Sustaining Attention Intentionally directed attention4 means just that: Also, when we get distracted and lose our focus, we have to intentionally bring ourself back to the job.

Intentionally directed and sustained attention means spontaneous movements of attention stop. Beginning in the very first Stages Two and Three , you exercise and strengthen your ability to intentionally direct attention. For this reason, you also have to learn how to sustain attention5. This means you want to stop all spontaneous movements of attention.

Now, sustaining attention is trickier than directing attention. However, the part of the mind that sustains attention for more than a few moments works entirely unconsciously. If an object is important or interesting enough, attention remains stable. If something else is judged more important or interesting, then the balance tips, and attention moves elsewhere.

The complex motor skills you need for dart throwing also involve training an unconscious process using intention and repetition. By holding the intention to hit the target as you throw the darts, you train unconscious and involuntary hand-eye coordination until you can consistently hit the target.

Any information held in consciousness is communicated to the unconscious. Formulating the conscious intention to focus on the meditation object provides a new piece of information for unconscious processes to take into account.

Holding this intention, together with returning our attention to the breath over and over whenever we get distracted, informs the unconscious weighing process that keeping the focus on the breath is important. By Stage Four, you have developed a consistent ability to keep your attention on the meditation object.

Attention feels continuous and stable at Stage Four, but the focus of attention still alternates rapidly between the meditation object and distractions—which we experience as objects that stand out from peripheral awareness.

In order to truly master directed and sustained attention, we have to overcome this tendency for attention to alternate. Exclusive attention7 to one object, also called single-pointedness, is very different from alternating attention.

In Stages One through Five, you greatly improve your overall stability of attention, but you only achieve exclusive attention in Stage Six. Repeating simple tasks with a clear intention can reprogram unconscious mental processes. This can completely transform who you are as a person. Throughout the Stages, you use conscious intention to train the unconscious mind in a variety of ways. The correct use of intention can also transform bad habits, undo incorrect views, and cultivate healthier perspectives.

In short, skillfully applying conscious intention can completely restructure the mind and transform who we are. Scope of Attention Once you can direct and sustain your attention, you will then work on controlling the scope of attention: When threading a needle, or straining to hear somebody talk in a noisy room, we really have to focus in and pay attention to detail.

When watching football, our attention might start on the quarterback, but as soon as he gets the ball, the scope of our attention expands, taking in all the action on the field. Although we do have some control, without training, our scope tends to change automatically due to unconscious influences.

It, too, can be a useful tool for multitasking. This is a skill you cultivate mainly in Stage Six, after your focus of attention has become more stable. You learn to control the scope through a series of exercises where you deliberately shift between a narrow and a broad focus. In both Stages Six and Seven, you give particular emphasis to exclusive focus on the meditation object.

This brings us to the second objective of meditation, mindfulness. When we lack mindfulness in daily life, something similar happens. We become so entangled in our own thoughts and emotions that we forget the bigger picture. Our perspective narrows, and we lose our way.

We do and say regretful things that cause needless suffering to ourselves and others. Mindfulness allows us to recognize our options, choose our responses wisely, and take control over the direction of our lives. It also gives us the power to change our past conditioning and become the person we want to be. Most importantly, mindfulness leads to Insight, and Awakening. Mindfulness allows us to recognize options, choose responses, and take control of our lives. It gives us the power to become the person we want to be.

It also leads to Insight, Wisdom, and Awakening. But what is mindfulness? But with sati, we pay attention to the right things, and in a more skillful way.

As a result, our peripheral awareness is much stronger, and our attention is used with unprecedented precision and objectivity. However, by mindfulness, I specifically mean the optimal interaction between attention and peripheral awareness, which requires increasing the overall conscious power of the mind.

Mindfulness is the optimal interaction between attention and peripheral awareness. Normal Functions of Attention and Peripheral Awareness To really grasp mindfulness, we first have to know what attention and peripheral awareness normally do. Each has a different function, and they provide two distinct kinds of information. But they also work together, and to respond intelligently to our environment, we need both.

With this understanding, you will see how ordinary attention and awareness can become that optimal interaction we call mindfulness. Attention has a very specific job. It picks out one object from the general field of conscious awareness, then analyzes and interprets that object.

Once an object of attention has been identified and analyzed, it can be further examined, reflected on, judged, and responded to. In order for this process to happen quickly and effectively, attention turns all of its objects into concepts or abstract ideas—unless of course the object is already a concept or idea.

Generally, attention translates our raw experience of the world into terms we can more easily understand, which we then organize into a picture of reality.

Peripheral awareness, on the other hand, works very differently. Instead of singling out one object for analysis, it involves a general awareness of everything our senses take in.

Peripheral awareness is only minimally conceptual. It is open and inclusive, as well as holistic. Attention analyzes our experience, and peripheral awareness provides the context.

Any new sensation, thought, or feeling appears first in peripheral awareness. This is why specific objects can seem to pop out of peripheral awareness to become the objects of attention. Attention will also browse the objects in peripheral awareness, searching for something relevant or important, or just more entertaining, to examine.

As attention hones in on something, peripheral awareness is alert and on the lookout for anything new or unusual. When awareness takes in something that might be of interest, it frees attention from its current object and redirects it towards the new object. Peripheral awareness helps us stay alert to our surroundings and to use attention as effectively as possible.

Fortunately, not every experience needs to be analyzed. Otherwise, attention would be quite overwhelmed. Attention can certainly be involved with brushing the fly away, as well as with other small things, like choosing what to eat next on your plate. Using it for all of them would be impossible.

There are also situations that happen too fast for attention to deal with. Another way attention and awareness work together is by helping us see things more objectively. But it also means that objects of attention can be easily distorted by desire, fear, aversion, and other emotions.

We may be peripherally aware, for example, that some annoyance is arising. But when peripheral awareness fades, the way we perceive things becomes self-centered and distorted. Finally, attention and peripheral awareness can be either extrospective or introspective. Extrospective means that attention or awareness is directed towards objects that come from outside your mind, such as sights, smells, or bodily sensations.

Introspective means the objects in consciousness are internal—thoughts, feelings, states, and activities of mind. Also, because attention works by isolating objects, it cannot observe overall states of the mind.

Introspective peripheral awareness means the objects in consciousness are internal—thoughts, feelings, states and activities of mind. Having seen how different yet interdependent attention and peripheral awareness are, the importance of having both is obvious. We are responding to something in almost every waking moment, whether it comes from the environment or from within our own mind.

Those responses include not just our words and actions, but the thoughts and emotions we experience as well. Table 3. Isolates and analyzes. Filters all incoming information.

Selects information from awareness. Acts as a watchful alert system. Hones in on objects.

Less processing, quicker response. More processing, slower response. Less personal and more objective. Can be Introspective and Can be Introspective or Extrospective. Everything we think, feel, say, or do from one moment to the next— who we are, and how we behave—all ultimately depend on the interactions between attention and awareness.

Mindfulness is the optimum interaction between the two, so cultivating mindfulness can change everything we think, feel, say, and do for the better. It can completely transform who we are. Why does mindfulness have to be cultivated?

There are two main reasons. First, most of us have never really learned to use peripheral awareness effectively. Consistently neglecting peripheral awareness in favor of attention eventually stunts the faculty of awareness. However, skill at using attention and awareness is only one part of mindfulness training. Developing raw mental power is the other part that often gets overlooked.

For example, if your partner had a bad day at work and complains about the food you made, it takes mindfulness to maintain an objective awareness that recognizes the real cause of the complaint. But when strong emotions take hold, all your energy pours into hyper-focused attention as you go into fight or flight mode. Your awareness fails, and attention hones in on the criticism as a personal attack. Think of consciousness as a limited power source.

Both attention and awareness draw their energy from this shared source. With only a limited amount of energy available for both, there will always be a trade-off between the two. When attention focuses intensely on an object, the field of conscious awareness begins to contract, and peripheral awareness of the background fades. Intensify that focus enough, and the context and guidance provided by peripheral awareness disappears completely.

This is like wearing blinders or having tunnel vision. This is always a problem in situations where attention drains our conscious capacity, such as during an argument, an urgent problem, or when falling in love.

There are many ways you can lose mindfulness, but they all come down to not enough conscious power for an optimal interaction between attention and awareness. It takes considerable conscious power to attend to many different objects, so we lose awareness. And, of course, dullness also robs us of the conscious power necessary for mindfulness. Relax even more and attention increasingly fades. More often than not, dullness sets in. Because attention and awareness draw from the same limited capacity for consciousness, when one grows brighter the other becomes dimmer, resulting in sub-optimal performance and loss of mindfulness.

Attention and awareness draw from the same limited capacity for consciousness. The goal is to increase the total power of consciousness available for both. Proper training in mindfulness changes this equation, providing more conscious power for optimal interaction, and no more tradeoffs. The goal, therefore, is to increase the total power of consciousness available for both attention and awareness. The result is peripheral awareness that is clearer, and attention that gets used more appropriately: You simply do exercises where you practice sustaining close attention and strong peripheral awareness at the same time.

This is the only way to make consciousness more powerful. The more vivid you can make your attention while still sustaining awareness, the more power you will gain. You will learn a number of different exercises as you move through the Stages. Like strengthening a muscle, developing powerful mindfulness involves enhancing a natural capacity that we all have.

Yates John. The Mind Illuminated

Like strengthening a muscle, developing powerful mindfulness involves enhancing a natural capacity we all have. Just reflect for a moment on how your alertness and clarity of mind change throughout the day. Sometimes, we feel quite sharp, energetic, and lucid. A life-threatening situation is an exceptional example of this.

Time slows down. We become finely attuned to every little detail—every color, shape, sound, and sensation is vivid. Sometimes we may have the feeling of being an outside observer just watching the events unfold. On the other end of the spectrum, there are times during the day when we feel sluggish. A lack of mental energy leads to dullness, and then to drowsiness.

Severe fatigue or alcohol can cause extreme dullness. Deep sleep is the ultimate state of dullness. In this practice, you move steadily away from dullness toward enhanced states of consciousness that support increased mindfulness.

These varying experiences show the range of the conscious capabilities of our minds. Compare your normal level of consciousness with that of an athlete in the zone, or with a person in an emergency.

As you progress through each Stage in this practice, you move steadily away from dullness towards enhanced states of consciousness that support increased mindfulness. This transforms the interaction between them in a number of important ways: Peripheral awareness does a better job of providing context and makes you more sensitive to how objects relate to each other, and to the whole. Peripheral awareness processes information more thoroughly, making it better at selecting appropriate objects for attention to focus on.

Attention is always directed towards the most important objects. Attention becomes clearer, more intense, and can analyze things more effectively. How Mindfulness Progresses through the Ten Stages Throughout the Stages of meditation, you systematically train your attention and peripheral awareness in order to develop mindfulness. This is a matter of both skill development, and increasing the total power of consciousness. As you progress, I will introduce new techniques and guidance in each Stage to help you more fully develop both skill in mindfulness and power of consciousness.

This training starts in Stage Three. You practice focusing more and more closely on the meditation object while sustaining extrospective awareness. In Stages Four through Six, as the clarity and stability of attention improve dramatically, the emphasis will be on developing strong introspective awareness. In Stage Six, you further increase conscious power by dramatically expanding the scope of your attention to include the entire body, while still trying to detect very subtle sensations.

In Stage Seven, you practice narrowing the scope way down, honing in on the constantly changing details of sensations, bringing the power of consciousness to its fullest development by Stage Eight. Attention plays an appropriate role within the context of a broad and powerful awareness. Attention plays a more appropriate role within the greater context of a broad and powerful awareness.

Your powers of attention are used more appropriately and effectively to examine the world. You become more objective and clear-headed, and develop an enhanced awareness of the whole. These are the extraordinary benefits of mindfulness. Developing stable attention Cultivating powerful mindfulness that optimizes the interaction between attention and awareness.

A famous analogy in Zen compares the mind to a pool of water. This is a helpful way to think about the training and goals of meditation. But as the water calms, the debris that made the pool muddy begins to settle, and the water itself becomes clear. A calm pool also reflects the sky and clouds perfectly. The inner workings of the mind remain murky as well, full of mental debris that clutters our thinking.

Developing stable attention is the key to making the water calm, settled, and pure. Mindfulness is like the sunlight that illuminates the surface, as well as the depths. The Stages outlined in this book may bring you to a state of peace and Insight, but they are also an exciting journey of discovery into the nature of the mind. Relish in this beautiful and sometimes challenging journey. Stage One: The meditator begins to chase the running elephant, holding a goad in one hand and a rope in the other.

These represent the vigilant, alert mindfulness rope and strong intention goad that will eventually be used to tame the elephant the mind. The elephant is being led with a leash held by a running monkey scattering of attention. The elephant is all black, meaning the mind is dominated by the Five Hindrances and the Seven Problems.

The monkey is all black, meaning attention scatters because there is little intentional control over its movements. The flame indicates the effort required to move from Stage 1 to Stage 2. Second, and more important, is to establish a consistent daily practice where you meditate to the best of your ability throughout every session.

Mastering this Stage provides you with the strong foundation you need to progress rapidly through the Ten Stages. Direct your attention toward a well-defined meditation object.

Whenever your attentions slips, redirect it back to that object. Repeat this as often as needed. You should prepare for meditation just as you would for other activities, by thinking and planning beforehand. Memorize these Six Points and go through them as soon as you sit down. You can even review them in your head while on the way to your meditation spot. They are: Having a clear sense of purpose will fire up your motivation and help you deal with any feelings of restlessness or resistance.

Ask yourself what you hope to accomplish in this particular session. At first, your goals can be simple, such as not giving up and daydreaming, or remaining patient when your mind wanders or you get drowsy. Simply sitting down to practice is an accomplishment. This is the fruit of your previous practice. There will be plateaus where nothing seems to change for days or weeks. Today, you may have less stability of attention or mindfulness than you did weeks or even months ago.

Make your effort diligent, yet joyful.

So commit not to indulge in these tempting distractions. Remind yourself that, whenever resistance arises, the best way to overcome it is by simply continuing to practice. Resolve to practice diligently for the entire session, regardless of how your meditation goes. Perform a quick inventory of the things in your life that could come up as distractions, such as a problem at work or an argument with a friend.

Check to see if your mind is occupied by any worries about the future, regrets about the past, doubts, or other annoyances. Acknowledge these thoughts and emotions, whatever they are, and resolve to set them aside if they arise. You may not be wholly successful, but just setting the intention will make them easier to handle. Adjust any supports you use to help you sit comfortably. Your head, neck, and back should be aligned, leaning neither forward nor backward, nor to the side.

Your shoulders should be even and your hands level with each other so your muscles are balanced. Your lips should be closed, your teeth slightly apart, and your tongue against the roof of your mouth, with the tip against the back of your upper teeth. Start with your eyes closed and angled slightly downward, as though you were reading a book. This creates the least tension in your forehead and face.

If you prefer, leave your eyes slightly open, with your gaze directed at the floor in front of you. With your lips closed, breathe through your nose in a natural way. Relax and enjoy yourself. Scan your body for any tension and let it go. All the activity of meditation is in the mind, so the body should be like a lump of soft clay—solid and stable, but completely pliant. This helps keep physical distractions to a minimum. Table 4. Preparation for Meditation Motivation Review your purpose for meditation.

Be honest! Be aware and accept them. I want more peace of mind. Goals Decide what you hope to work on in this session.

Set a reasonable goal for where you are in the Stages. Keep it simple. Keep it small. Expectations Bring to mind the dangers of expectations and be gentle with yourself. Find enjoyment in every meditation, no matter what happens. Diligence Resolve to practice diligently for the entire session. Recall that the best way to overcome resistance is by simply continuing to practice, without judging yourself.

Distractions Perform a quick inventory of things in your life that might come up to distract you. Acknowledge these thoughts and emotions and resolve to set them aside if they do arise. You may not be wholly successful, but at least you have planted a seed: Posture Review your posture and get comfortable. Attend to your supports, your head, neck, back, shoulders, lips, eyes, and breath.

All the activity of meditation is in the mind, so the proper state for the body is like a lump of soft clay—solid and stable, but completely pliant.

This will keep physical distractions to a minimum. If your mind wanders, bring it back using the techniques described for breath meditation.

The more often you do it, the faster it goes. By the time you go through the Six Points, your mind will be well settled. The preparation also helps establish a consistent practice, free from resistance and the deliberate wasting of time. If your mind wanders, bring it back using the same techniques we describe in the next section on breath meditation.

After doing the preparation every day for a while, it will go much more quickly.

The Mind Illuminated

The Meditation Object A meditation object is something you intentionally choose to be the focus of your attention during meditation. Although you can choose just about anything, the breath is ideal for cultivating attention and mindfulness.

First, the breath is always with you. Second, it allows you to be a completely passive observer. The breath also changes over time, becoming fainter as concentration deepens. This makes it suitable for developing powerful attention, since the details you focus on become ever more subtle as sensations grow less distinct.

Likewise, the fact that sensations change continuously, moment by moment, is conducive to Insight into the nature of impermanence.

Yet, the breath also constantly repeats itself, over and over in the same pattern, making it suitable as a fixed i. Throughout the Ten Stages, your meditation object will most often be the breath sensations at the nose, but not always. Some suggest using the sensations of rising and falling at the abdomen instead. Beginners often find the large movements of the abdomen easier to follow at first.

I recommend the nose because the nerve endings there are much more sensitive. Although the breath as meditation object has many benefits, the same principles and methods apply to any meditation object, and most other meditation techniques. Even though the breath has many benefits, the methods presented in the Ten Stages can also be used with a visualized object, a mantra, or in loving-kindness practices.

In each of these, you face the same problems of mind-wandering, distraction, and dullness, which the techniques here are designed to address. That said, not every meditation object leads to the final Stages as surely as do the sensations of the breath. A Gradual Four-Step Transition to the Meditation Object In this practice, you transition gently from the free-ranging attention of daily life to focusing on the breath at the nose.

The transition is spread over four Steps. Any object in the space can serve as the focus of your attention at any moment, meaning your focus just moves as it will.

But as you make this transition with attention, remember to always maintain peripheral awareness. Every step in the transition provides a good opportunity to learn to distinguish between attention and awareness. Treat this as a serious practice, not just as a nice way to start a meditation.

Figure The four-step transition to the meditation object. Step One— Establish an open, relaxed awareness and attention, letting in everything, but give priority to sensations over thoughts.

Step 2—Focus on bodily sensations, but continue to be aware of everything else. Step 3—Focus on sensations related to the breath, but continue to be aware of everything else. Step 4—Focus on sensations of the breath at the nose, but continue to be aware of everything else.

As you move through these Four Steps, always remember to relax your body, calm your mind, and deliberately evoke feelings of contentment.

Continually notice any pleasant sensations contributing to a sense of relaxation, well-being, and overall happiness. As you will learn, relaxation and happiness play an important role in the process of training the mind. Take in everything presented to the senses. Open your peripheral awareness fully. Next, allow your attention to tune into and range freely among any of the sounds, bodily sensations, smells, or thoughts you may experience.

Within this holistic panorama, the one limitation you place on movements of attention is to remain in the present, here and now. Staying present is extremely important. While noises and bodily sensations all occur in the here and now, thoughts about them beyond just noticing and recognizing them take you away from the present.

If you find a particular sensation to be pleasant, take a moment to enjoy it. Let that pleasure condition your mind toward a state of happiness in the present. Try to distinguish clearly between the subjective quality of pleasure and the sense object that triggered it, savoring the pleasure, not the sense object. Waning gibbous: More than half of the moon's face appears to be getting sunlight, but the amount is decreasing. Last quarter: The moon has moved another quarter of the way around Earth, to the third quarter position.

The sun's light is now shining on the other half of the visible face of the moon. Waning crescent: Less than half of the moon's face appears to be getting sunlight, and the amount is decreasing. Finally, the moon is back to its new moon starting position. Now, the moon is between Earth and the sun. Usually the moon passes above or below the sun from our vantage point, but occasionally it passes right in front of the sun, and we get a solar eclipse.She felt herself go temporarily blind.

Christ, she felt the hairs on her body stand in attention. The result is a beautiful integration of theory and practice, whose parallel strands lead to experientially, and account for conceptually, the radical shift in consciousness we call awakening.

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