Solitude and how to make use of it. Zoom, 2020
James Low gave a Zoom talk on 11 April 2020.
Transcribed by Martin Lineham.
Prepared by Marijke Acket.
Translated into Spanish by Caroline Van Kilsdonk. Spanish
… If you find you are caught up in stories about what is going on, and you become very curious about lots of things, and your mind is jumping around fascinated by facts and information, then you can observe for yourself how long you have been doing this and if it has ever brought you any real satisfaction? There is no end to learning, there is no end to thinking, there is no end to worrying, there is no end to problem-solving but there is an end to samsara, which is to relax into open awareness which has been unchanging from the very beginning..
… when we are sitting, and experience is arising, just leave it. Don’t do anything with it. Don’t cook it, don’t add spices, chop it up or do anything at all. Leave it raw, naked, as it is. And the more we do this we are using less and less effort. And so the mind becomes relaxed. This is called resting in the original situation, this is how the mind is, just at rest. When the mind is at rest, movement is flowing through it all the time.
…the more you stay with the brightness of the mind, you will be more intelligent, more quick, more intuitive, more responsive… the more you struggle to think and to make sense of things, you will become burdened by the weight of your own thoughts.
…when you get up from the practice and you enter into a situation with someone you receive them and you respond towards them. You are not responding from your repertoire, from your portfolio of your personality. You are responding from the ground towards the situation. And in that way both sitting practice and interactive practice dissolve habitual identification with certain patterns of movement as being who I am. Then we have access to all movement.
…we have all accumulated a lot, a lot of life experiences. These are there like resources all around us. And when we relax we have access to the widest range of our own resources. But when we get worried, when we think we have to plan, when we try to prepare, we tend to focus in on a narrow arena of the resources that we have that we think will be important for this. So we have already closed ourselves down before we have begun…
… we are ignoring the fact that we are enworlded. We are born out of our mother’s body… and the umbilical cord was cut. It was as if you became separated. But you are immediately connected with breathing, because if you don’t breathe, you die. So instead of getting your nourishment through the umbilical cord as you float in the amniotic fluid, which is a state of communication or dialogue or connectivity, in coming out of your mother’s body you are now in communication with the world.