Feather Light & Paper Thin, with Shinzen Young
Meditation teacher Shinzen Young and host Michael W. Taft talk about the relationship between mindfulness practice (as it is usually defined) and nondual-type practices (or non-practices, if you like), the way that focusing on the details of experience relates to focusing on awareness itself, micro-sessions & nano-nirvanas, the thinness and lightness of the screen of awareness and much more. Learn more about Shinzen Young at Shinzen.org.
0:25 – Intro
4:12 – How does Advaita/Nonduality relate to Mindfulness?
7:45 – Shinzen defines modern mindfulness and the component parts of contemplative practice (concentration, clarity and equanimity)
9:51 – Michael’s simplified working definitions of mindfulness and advaita
10:37 – Shinzen asserts that mindfulness and advaita converge towards the same thing, under his own understanding of mindfulness
16:08 – How to investigate one’s own awareness through mindfulness; Shinzen’s quadrants of practice 20:50 – Appreciation practice (“note everything”) or “regular mindfulness”
22:54 – The arrow of attention
26:31 – Classical mindfulness in the Burmese tradition: penetrative awareness and working with the arrow of attention
31:48 – Outside time and space: what the arrow of attention reveals
34:06 – Shinzen defines primordial awareness in materialist, reductivist terms: the sound that’s not sound 39:15 – Are nondual experiences externally real, or do they reflect only subjective experience?
45:05 – Shinzen’s conjecture: connectivity vs thingness; cones of association
51:38 – By what criterion is connectivity assumed to be fundamental to reality, not only subjectively experienced?
56:55 – How appreciation and self-inquiry practices converge
1:01:01 – Reconciling the fruits of mindfulness and nonduality: differences in perception and language vs. differences in experience
1:06:25 – Deconstructing the arrow of attention in a nondual setting
1:07:50 – Micro-cessations vs lights-out cessations; the lightness and thinness of the ordinary
1:11:55 – Shinzen’s many-layered experience of cessations; the sphere of experience and the void
1:18:08 – Bigger cessations
1:19:38 – Disambiguations: what does it mean to be feather light and paper thin, and what are the characteristics of micro-cessations?
1:23:56 – The lightness of immediate experience
1:29:30 – Outro
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