Of Trust, Devotion, or Lack Thereof (+ Awareness of Awareness Practice)
Summary: This morning Alan starts by giving instructions on how to watch the opening game of the World Cup (Mexico-South Africa) on Friday, after being asked for permission to do so. He has a very interesting football-watching technique! On a slightly more profound tone, Alan is asked what to do with the whole topic of devotion when teaching Shamatha in a scientific context. He gives a very good explanation of how Shamatha can be practiced with no religious devition at all, with some devotion, and with immense devotion, and talks about each of these alternatives. He also talks about the relationship between devotion and trust, and relates this to how the Buddha never asked for postrations or any other act of devotion before giving teachings. A sense of trust is something that arises differently for everyone, and the point is to have this flourish from firsthand experience, rather than just believing everything you are told. This is very useful for anyone who might be having these sorts of doubts. We then go into the third method in our cycle Awareness of Awareness, this time spending less time shifting the visual gaze and more time just sustaining a non-conceptual, non-discursive thought of mindfulness of resting Awareness in its own nature of luminosity. This episode is only recommended if you have already done the last three repetitions of this method of practice in the previous weeks, where it had more words and explanation. The familiar photogenic trees and moon by Malcolm.