Emptiness, Liberation, and Beauty – with Rob Burbea
In this episode host Michael Taft speaks with Rob Burbea about Rob’s book, Seeing That Frees, the power of perception (ways of seeing), his creative methods of working with meditation practice, meditating with a more analytical vs more phenomenological focus, how analytical meditation works, Rob’s “soulmaking dharma,” the emptiness of conceptual frameworks, facing the end of life, and the meaning of emptiness.
Rob Burbea is a meditation teacher, musician, author, who teaches at Gaia House in Devon, England. Rob is the author of the groundbreaking meditation practice book entitled, Seeing That Frees: Meditations on Emptiness and Dependent Arising. Rob and Michael discuss it at length in this episode.
Seeing that Frees on Amazon
0:24 – Introduction
1:49 – Seeing That Frees, the idea of ways of looking that are liberating
4:34 – Example of the classical Buddhist anattā way of looking, unhooking identification, and moving towards less fabrication of perception
14:14 – Rob’s teachers and how his creative meditative exploration unfolded
22:57 – Following the lead of beauty and the sense of liberation into new territory
27:01 – What is emptiness?
35:10 – An example of analytical meditation on time and its effect on the fading of perception
41:38 – Soulmaking, skillful fabrication, and broadening the scope of the purpose of meditation beyond just the release of obvious suffering
44:55 – Working with soulmaking and images that are intrapsychic or in the world of material objects, contextualizing these practices, and parallels with meta-rationality
48:54 – Gauging the progress of insight into emptiness through palpable senses of relief and release and senses of perception opening up in wondrous and beautiful ways
53:12 – On a personal journey of soulmaking through health crises and the possibility of dying
1:01:12 – Outro
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