Saturday, January 31
Mindfulness, Accompanied by Karuna
First metta, then karuna, both via directional pervasion -- first toward myself, to get a flow going, then outward to the four quarters, above, below, and all around. With the karuna especially, there were several minutes of locking in, quiet mind, delightful sensations in the body.
This morning, I began reading the PDF (downloaded long ago) of Ajahn Amaro's "Small Boat, Great Mountain: Theravada Reflections on the Natural Great Perfection," his book of talks about Dzogchen, from a retreat he co-led at Spirit Rock with Ven. Tsoknyi Rinpoche (who is also one of Leigh Brasington's teachers). In the introductory material, mention was made of the issue of the Mahayana & Vajrayana notion that our very essence is an unborn and undying awareness, Buddha-nature, but we are told over and over again in the Sutta Pitaka that awareness (consciousness, vi~n~nana) is impermanent, it arises and passes away. This disparity was referenced in the introduction but not fully addressed or resolved, so I hope it will be dealt with at some point later in the book proper.