Joseph Goldstein – Insight Hour – Ep. 134 – The Simplicity of Practice

Joseph Goldstein reviews the basic instructions in the service of understanding the simplicity of practice, and then answers questions about death, clinging, and desire.

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This recording was originally published on Dharma Seed
The Simplicity of Practice

Joseph reviews some of the basic instructions for meditation practice, highlighting just how simple the practice is. He talks about how if we sit, know we’re sitting; that we should be grounded in the awareness that “there is a body.” Within that framework, we can start to note the breath or any strong sensations that are calling the attention. 

“This morning I just wanted to review the basic instructions in the service of understanding the simplicity of practice. Sometimes there are a lot of words describing the different aspects of experience that can be known. We may get the idea that we may be looking for certain things or thinking about it all. And yet the practice itself is very simple.” – Joseph Goldstein

Jack Kornfield explores happiness and joy in practice in Heart Wisdom Ep. 151 
Dying Moment Meditation (7:35)

Still rooted in the awareness of the framework, “there is a body,” Joseph talks about noting the different thoughts and emotions that arise during the practice. We can explore the nature of the thoughts and emotions without getting caught in the story of thoose thoughts and emotions. Joseph prompts a brief meditation using the special context of remembering death.

“Notice the quality of your mind in those moments when you remember, ‘dying moment.’ What is the mind like in that moment? No future, there’s no past, there’s no story, there’s just a vivid awareness of what that present moment experience is like.” – Joseph Goldstein

RamDev talks about working with death as a spiritual practice in Healing at the Edge Ep. 61
Goldstein’s Theory of Evolution (18:25)

Joseph answers questions from the audience about the dying moment meditation they just practiced, the difference between clinging and craving, and how clinging to the pleasant and pushing away the unpleasant seem to be evolutionary traits. Joseph talks about the importance of investigating the link between pleasant feelings and cravings.

“Maybe we will be opening up a broader understanding of evolution as more and more people begin to see in doing this we are actually diminishing and coming to the end of suffering. And so as we internalize that experience, that might become its own evolutionary momentum. So this is Goldstein’s theory of evolution. Darwin, move over.” – Joseph Goldstein

Joseph Goldstein explores the end of craving in Insight Hour Ep. 77