On this episode, Joseph examines the crystalline nature of mind which is intrinsically empty, naturally radiant and ceaselessly responsive.
Cultivating a Kind Heart and a Crystalline Mind (Opening) – Joseph explores the two levels of Bodhicitta practice, the practice of compassion for all beings. We look at how this union of compassion and emptiness results in a mind that, like a crystal, is intrinsically empty, naturally radiant and ceaselessly responsive.
“On the relative level, bodhicitta is compassion – this aspiration to work for the benifit of all. On the ultimate level, bodhicitta is the empty aware nature of the mind itself. It is said that when compassion and the realization of emptiness are both present – enlightenment is unavoidable.”
Intrinsically Empty (5:50) – The word emptiness has a much different meaning in Buddhism than its common use in the English language. Emptiness is a translation of the Sanskrit word śūnyatā which on the simplest level means a lack of self-centeredness. Joseph looks at how mindfulness practice allows us to leave the self-referential orbit and fall into the gravitational field of the Dharma.
“We usually think of self-centeredness as being a personality problem, someone who is always thinking of themselves. But it actually has a deeper and more fundamental meaning. It is when we create or hold a sense of self to be at the very center of our lives. This sense of self then becomes the reference point for everything we do and think – it all refers back to the sense of I. Its the idea or a felt sense that there is someone behind the process to whom it is all happening.”
Discover More: Jack Kornfield describes the beauty of the awakened mind and heart that arises naturally when we empty ourselves of the burden of identity on Episode 34 – Emptiness, Creativity, and Joy of the Heart Wisdom Podcast.
Naturally Radiant (31:40) – We examine the quality of natural luminosity and awareness of the mind. Joseph shows us how we can return to this natural state with mindfulness practice.
“When we cultivate a wise and sustained attention through the growing power of mindfulness and concentration of wisdom – we begin to leave the self-referential orbit and fall into the gravitational field of the Dharma. We get glimpses of the zero-center of emptiness rather than the self-center of ‘I’ or ‘mine.”
Discover More: Dudjom Rinpoche shares the Dzogchen perspective of the natural awareness of the mind in his missive – Nature of the Mind.
Ceaselessly Responsive (42:50) – When there is an unobstructed nature of awareness, empty of self, we experience the third aspect of the nature of the mind – its ceaseless responsiveness. Joseph discusses what our life looks like when we are actively engaged with the suffering in the world.
This podcast is brought to you by the generosity of 1440 Multiversity – California’s newest retreat destination which hosts a faculty of thought leaders in fields including mindfulness, neuroscience, relationships, the creative arts, and more.
Visit 1440.org/BeHereNow to find transformative retreats from Be Here Now Network favorites like Sharon Salzberg (March 16-18, 2018) & Sylvia Boorstein (December 15-17, 2017).