Roots of Mindfulness: Foundational Attitudes - Talk 4

Talk 4 - October 19, 2017 - Non-Striving and Letting Go  - Prepared Talk by Robin Boudette © 2017

Talk 4 recording


Talk 4 notes 

NON Striving:  Being with, relaxing into, right effort

Explore attitudes, see them know them

We say concentration but to concentrate your mind on something it's not the true purpose of Zen. The true purpose is to see things as they are to observe things as they are and to let everything go by to let everything go as it goes.

Inquiry, process of curiousity, begnininers mind, investigation

What is striving?  How do you know when you are doing it?  What tells you this?

Certain state mind—open or contracted

            Focused or distracted

Sensations in the body?

Bring that habit with us on retreat, how does that striving show up on retreat


            Reading the schedule

            Frustration w slowing down

            Too narrow focus in walking or sitting

Sitting to meditate, get rid of thoughts, become calm, make something happen

‘what next moments”  doing

            leaning into future, anticipation, what next

human beings not human doings

being is so foreign, unfamiliar, system gets confused

stillness in the woods, waiting to be entertained, bird how nice, how long?

How to know striving:  S Roshi:  trace of thinking quote

Background of thinking, going somewhere, doing something

What am I telling myself right now?

Inquiry into striving: on and off

Strive to stop striving

Recognition:  this is striving

How strong is the striving?  0-10, lean in get real curious

How do you know this?

            Labeling:  Sensations your body, thoughts, telling yourself, emotions

How long does it last?

Can I be with it?

What happens as I relax into it?

            What does that feel like,

Process of inquiry, slow down, take a closer look

What’s the opposite:  allowing, being with, accepting, letting go

            Bread rises     

            Garden grows

Organic, don’t have to make it happen

Follow sitting instructions, all you have to do

effortless effort

Ajahn Amaro

There is a putting forth of energy.  There is a commitment.  There is a unity or integrity of purpose.  Yet there is also effortlessness.  Not pushing, not straining not trying to get something, but just allowing the natural energy of the heart to function in a focused and free way.

What conditions support allowing, right amount of effort

Nature beautiful way to explore non-doing

            Natural unfolding

            Everything happens in it’s own time


By Bessie Rayner Parkes

THE steadfast coursing of the stars, 
The waves that ripple to the shore, 
The vigorous trees which year by year 
Spread upwards more and more; 

The jewel forming in the mine, 
The snow that falls so soft and light, 
The rising and the setting sun, 
The growing glooms of night; 

All natural things both live and move 
In natural peace that is their own; 
Only in our disordered life 
Almost is she unknown. 

 In your body

Trees, bend with the wind

Breath with the trees:  leaves release oxygen we breath in

            We exhale carbon dioxide, trees take in together

Natural peace within, natural rhythm, being with what is…

Letting go:  Seeing clinging, explore how it feels

Explore:  What we holding onto not even know holding

            Belief, thought habit, without awareness

Recognition of holding on, resistance

            Feel in body, thoughts, emotions

Craving mind

Recognition:  holding on, craving something

See it, name it to tame it

Shift focus from getting, having, should should not to exploring

Inquiry into

Seeing habit of craving, clinging

  • ·      Getting what we want be happy
  • ·      How strong is it
  • ·      Does give me what I need or want

Explore before, during, after, what do I get from this, am I getting from this

See all the results, long term, short term, physical, emotional

Pay close what am I getting from this

            Not intellectual, body, mind, heart

            Whole experience immediate, short term long term

            Pleasant unpleasant

Comes from paying attention, being present to experience


Disenchantment- spell is broken

What do I get when I let go? 

            Maybe loss, some fear, might be some freedom

            Might be different then way mind says it is

Not from head, more a knowing, embodied wisdom

Inquiry into letting go:  what does clinging, grasping feel like, letting go feel like

            look like in this moment for you

            something now

attitude about this moment, holding onto it, pushing it away

Effortless letting go:

Non forced choice based in embodied awareness

Joy of letting go

We say concentration but to concentrate your mind on something it's not the true purpose of center. The true purpose is to see things as they are to observe things as they are and to let everything go by to let everything go as it goes.

Wanting to grasp the ungraspable, you exhaust yourself in vain. as soon as you open and relax this tight fist of grasping, infinite space is there open, inviting and comfortable.

Make use of this spaciousness, this freedom and natural ease. Don't search any further looking for the great awakened elephant, who is already resting quietly at home in front of your own hearth. Nothing to do or undo, nothing to force, nothing to want, and nothing missing. Everything happens by itself.

--Lama Gendun Rinpoche

There is another way


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