Joseph Goldstein offers a guided meditation and continued reflection on how we can free ourselves from Papanca – the three proliferating tendencies of mind: craving, conceit, and wrong view.
This dharma talk was originally published on Dharma Seed
Guided Meditation // Buddha & Freeing Ourselves
Continuing last episode’s dharma talk from Spirit Rock Meditation Center’s July Insight Meditation Retreat, Joseph Goldstein guides us further through working with Papanca – the three proliferating tendencies of mind: craving, conceit, and wrong view. Setting the tone, he begins with a meditation inviting listeners into a mindful witnessing of body, breath, thought, and sensation within the present moment. Next, he shares a discourse between Buddha and his son outlining how we can free ourselves from the grip of papanca.
“The Buddha is saying we should regard every experience—any of the physical elements, the elements of mind, consciousness itself: ‘This is not mine, This I am not, This is not myself.’ This very clear and straightforward teaching is a corrective to the three ways we create, strengthen, and manifest the sense of self in our lives. We could think of, ‘This is not mine, This I am not, This is not Myself,’ as a mantra of liberation pointing us again and again to the possibility of freedom.” – Joseph Goldstein
For the first part of this talk on Papanca: craving, conceit, & wrong view, tune to Ep. 115 of the Insight Hour
Self, Impermanence, & Craving // What is Being Known? (18:01)
Offering insight around our sense of self and the truth of change, Joseph shares this profound poem: “Castles of sand at the water’s edge.” Investigating impermanence through the lens of natural law, he reflects on how the three proliferating factors reinforce our sense of self. From here, Joseph sheds light on how to overcome papanca’s ego-strengthening power in our daily lives through contemplation of the impermanence-uncovering question: “What is being known?”
“It’s so interesting to just notice how conditioned we are to be leaning forward. It’s that craving for becoming, craving for a new hit of sense pleasure. How it keeps us leaning forward anticipating, wanting, craving—all rooted in that sense of ‘I,’ ‘I am.’ But when we settle back and simply, ‘Oh, different things being known,’ all of that falls away and we come to a place of much great ease and balance in our lives.” – Jospeh Goldstein.
Jack Kornfield shares on impermanence, continuity, & guiding your own practice, on Ep. 138 of Heart Wisdom
Walking Meditation Experiments // Elements & The Cusp (38:01)
Giving listeners various experiments to apply to their walking mediations, Jospeh illuminates how our experience of reality through the framework of the physical elements can help us cut through the power of the proliferating tendencies of mind and begin to sit at ‘the cusp’ of impermanence.
“It was so clear and so immediately obvious that the earth element or the air element, they weren’t mine, they didn’t belong to me, they weren’t self; they were just the basic physical elements, completely non-personal, manifesting their own nature. In those moments: no I, no me, no mine.” – Joseph Goldstein
Dr. Svoboda explores five elements, the five senses, & the dis-ease of craving, on Ep. 5 of Living With Reality
Joseph Storytime // Naropa & Bodh Gaya (52:00)
Bringing the podcast home, Joseph shares applicable personal stories. The first, a hilarious anecdote where he learned a lesson in selflessness while working as a meditation teacher for Ram Dass’ Bhagavad Gita course at the opening summer sessions of Trungpa Rinpoche’s Naropa University in 1974 (what Joseph described as “Buddhist Woodstock”). The second, a lesson in compassion around reconciling the suffering of the stray dogs in Bodh Gaya. He closes by sharing the Buddha’s final advice.