Joseph Goldstein – Insight Hour – Ep. 91 – Arising and Passing Away

arising and passing

Joseph illuminates how witnessing the arising and passing away of phenomena can break the spell of enchantment and reorient our minds towards freedom.

The Doorway to Insight & Awakening

What is the importance of mindful awareness? Is it enough to be mindful? Is it enough to be aware? Awareness and mindfulness are great in themselves, but can also be used as helpful platforms for learning something about what we are observing. When we are aware of something, what are we learning? Is there an investigation? This kind of inquiry and learning is the growth of wisdom. Joseph shares the Buddha’s instructions for investigation, pointing to the wisdom that liberates the heart and the mind. The base of this wisdom is to abide contemplating both the arising and passing away of whatever comes up in our experience.

“Not seeing arising and passing away is ignorance, while seeing all phenomena as impermanent is the doorway to all the stages of insight and awakening.” – Ledi Sayadaw

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Breaking the Spell of Enchantment (13:50)

Joseph elucidates wisdom from the Buddhist Suttas; that through seeing arising and passing away, through witnessing impermanence, we become disenchanted, disillusioned, dispassionate, and thereby liberated. Becoming disenchanted means breaking the spell of enchantment and waking up into a fuller and greater reality. This is precisely the happy ending of so many myths and fairytales; people waking up from the spell of enchantment. One way we experience this many times a day is when we wake up from having been lost in a thought or a daydream.

“When we’re lost it’s like being enchanted, and then we wake up. Pay attention to that moment of waking up. What is it like? That moment is very significant because we’re going from delusion to wisdom. We’re going from sleep to wakefulness. What is the wakeful mind like? We have a chance to experience it so directly many, many times a day; so watch the mind, watch the quality of the mind.” – Joseph Goldstein

Join JoAnna Hardy as she explores how we can move from the grogginess of delusion to the bright light of wisdom on Ep. 57 of the BHNN Guest Podcast
Reorienting the Mind (46:00)

Sharing from the Dhammapada, Joseph offers the Buddha’s wisdom that it is better to live a single day seeing the momentary rise and fall of phenomena than to live a hundred years without seeing it. What does this say to what we value in our lives and where we put our energy? This is our practice of mindful awareness in each moment; seeing the arising and passing over and over again, and then noticing the profound transformation of our hearts and minds from that seeing.

“The more clearly, steadily, consistently, and repeatedly we see the changing nature of phenomena of experience, it reorients our minds. It reorients our minds towards care and loving kindness rather than clinging and attachment. It reorients our minds towards letting go rather than grasping. It reorients our minds towards the experience of freedom.” – Joseph Goldstein

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Joseph illuminates how witnessing impermanence through mindful awareness can break the spell of enchantment and reorient our minds towards freedom.


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