(excerpt from 7-day retreat)
So take a few deep breaths into the belly and feel your body. You’re here now. You don’t need anything right now. You don’t need to be anywhere else. You don’t need to be thinking about anything. You don’t need to know that you’re here. You don’t need to know anything right now.
“When the mind is still, the whole universe surrenders.”
I have a piece of paper stuck on my fridge at home that I’ve been carrying around with me for years and years – a saying by a Chinese master – it says, “When the mind is still, the whole universe surrenders.” I look at it almost every day and it always affects me.
But we’re used to fighting and defending ourselves – eventually you see there is nothing to defend
This can seem like it’s a struggle, like it’s a fight, but really it’s all about surrender – just surrender. But it’s difficult to surrender and it takes a lot of effort when we’re used to fighting and defending ourselves. But eventually you see there is nothing to defend. What are you defending – this person that you have created that causes you so much grief and suffering?
Not fighting the mind – just seeing clearly the workings of the mind; how much control you’ve allowed it to have over you
The mind is not your enemy. What you need to do is put it in its place. So this is about seeing clearly the workings of the mind – not fighting it, not trying to annihilate it, get rid of it – but seeing clearly how much control you’ve allowed it to have over you. You’re the one who has allowed it to take over so you’re the one who needs to put it in its place. And it has a very small place in our natural being – so small it almost disappears.
Use the sensations in your body again and again to break this very deep habit, or addiction, to thinking
So that’s all you need to do: see the workings of the mind, don’t fight against it, and then come back to your body. Use the sensations in your body again and again and again to break this very deep habit, or addiction, to thinking, to not being here.
Thinking – an avoidance of being here – a movement away from now
And that’s all that thinking is: an avoidance of being here, a movement away from now. It creates this belief that time is real, the past is real, the future is real. But the only thing that’s real is something that is always here, that never begins, never ends – and that is now.
Deep fear of being here now because we know that death of the body will happen now/strong>
Nothing ever happened in the past and nothing will ever happen in the future. But there’s this deep fear of being here, now, because deep down you know that the thing that you’re most afraid of, which is death of the body, will happen now. It’s not going to happen in the future.
So you need to realize/accept that I am not this body
So this is about the acceptance of your own mortality, your body’s mortality. To accept this you need to see – you need to realize – that I am not this body – I do not begin and end with this body. That’s what this is all about. And once you get that out of the way – the acceptance of your mortality, the acceptance of the death of your body – then you can get on with being in this body, enjoying being in this body, enjoying being with other bodies – without this fear permeating everything you do.
What you’re really scared of is having no fear – that is how the mind works – so go more deeply into the pure intelligence of your body
So even though enlightenment is your greatest fear, enlightenment is the state of no fear. What you’re really scared of is having no fear. That is how the mind works. So what you need to do is see how clever the mind is, how insidious it is, by going more deeply into the intelligence – the pure intelligence of your body.
Thoughts – just see them, come back to the body – keep persisting
So watch. You don’t need to do anything with your thoughts. You just see them, come back to the body. And keep doing this, keep persisting. And it’s very intense at times, being in the body – much more intense than thinking. But you feel alive. For the first time you feel really alive.