How to Meditate: Meditation 101 for Beginners
10 Science-Backed Benefits of Meditation
What is Meditation?
How to Meditate: Meditation 101 for Beginners
10 Science-Backed Benefits of Meditation
What is Meditation?
Benefits of Mindfulness: Mindful Living Can Change Your Life
Mindfulness 101: A Beginner's Guide
In this talk, Cory explores why there are only six aspects of your human experience, and how when you learn to be with each, you learn to be with your life.
In today's episode, I'm going to
talk about how all of your experience
of life is nothing more than six
things and why understanding this
can be incredibly liberating.
More to come on that
cliffhanger in a moment.
But first let's settle in
with the sound of the bells.
I'll ring them, you listen.
Let the sound, bring your attention
to a more refined quality of presence.
So I'm going to start this episode
by sharing a very famous talk given
by a very famous meditation teacher.
I don't know if you've ever heard of him.
His name was Buddha.
And this talk that he gave is often
considered one of the shortest, but
most powerful talks he ever gave.
And the story goes that a bunch
of monks were sitting in a room,
he came in, gave this talk and
then left without saying anything.
And everyone was there sort
of scratching their heads.
So I'm going to read it to you and then
we're going to explore the wisdom in it.
The talk is called The All.
A L L, The All, and it goes like this.
The eyes and sights, the ears and
sounds, the nose and smells, the
tongue and flavors, the body and
sensations, the mind and mental activity.
This is The All.
Now, imagine if I just shared
this with you and then ended the
episode, walked out, and left you
to explore what is this to mean.
Well, I don't think we could fully
understand it without first taking into
consideration the title of it, The All.
The reason this is called The All
is because this is what constitutes
all of your experience of life.
In every moment, there are sights,
there are sounds, there are smells,
there are flavors, there are sensations,
and then there's the minds mental
activity in relationship to all of it.
This is The All.
And the Buddhist claim, and I will stand
behind this based on my own experience
and exploration, is that there is
nothing else to your experience of life.
This is it.
This is all of it, in every single moment.
It can all be reduced to these six main
categories, sights, sounds, smells,
flavors, sensations, and mental activity.
So as you're sitting right now,
see if you can drop into the truth
of this, not something that you're
going to take at face value, but
really explore it for yourself.
What is here?
If you can see, there's
what you're seeing.
Since you're listening to this,
I'm assuming you can hear.
So there's what you can hear.
And if there are any flavors in
the mouth, you might notice that.
Sensations in the body, on
the skin or inside of you.
And any smells that you can perceive.
And then of course there's
what's happening in the mind.
And the thoughts, the images that
might be coming up in relationship
to whatever's happening in your world
or whatever your mind is generating.
But all of it can be reduced to this.
And you can explore either now or
once this is over, if there's anything
else, even what you might consider,
like soul based, enlightenment,
expanding, super connected, like beyond
the human world type experiences.
It's all still going to be
reduced to some sort of sensation.
Maybe some sort of image in the
mind, like colors, maybe what
you can see or hear or smell.
So all of these things that we often
get caught up in, or that we create
a whole big story around or take so
seriously or make so elaborate can really
be reduced to these six experiences.
Now on the surface, if you're
like me, when I first heard this,
it kind of sounds a bit dull or
maybe, we could even say, dismal.
It's like, okay.
My whole life is just basically
sense experience and then
whatever my mind thinks about it?
I don't really know if I want that.
I don't know if I like that.
But when you really
drop into it, you know?
It's, it's not so bad actually.
We spend so much of our lives sort of
running around, taking ourselves very
seriously, so caught up in the story of
who we are and where we have to get and
why life is going so wonderfully for
us right now, or why it's so terrible.
And when you're in it, it just
feels like this really thick,
permanent big thing that can
really feel overwhelming at times.
But the, the liberating power of what
this is pointing to, this truth or what I
would consider a truth, is that yeah, all
this, all this big stuff that just feels
like so complex, so difficult, so tough,
if you really just drop into a single
moment, all it is is just there's what
you can see, there's what you can hear,
there's what you can smell, there's what
you can taste, there's what you can feel,
and there's what's going on in the mind.
And that's not to belittle or
trivialize like how all of that can
sometimes come together to create
a tremendous amount of suffering.
But the Buddha was someone that
was interested in suffering and how
to create freedom from suffering.
And his prescription essentially was
like, when you understand the, that
these are the, fundamental elements
of your experience, when you really
understand the fundamental elements
of your experience, and then you learn
how to be with and relate to those
fundamental experiences in such a way
that doesn't create extra tension.
Well, then you're getting at the
heart of how to cultivate less
suffering and more happiness.
So I often like to come back to The All
in both my meditation practice and in
my life, because it actually gives me
a sense of empowerment in my humanness.
So we break it down, right,
and go, okay, sights.
Every moment, if you could see, assuming
you could see, there are sights.
Can I be with sights?
Yeah, I can.
I could be with sites.
The ear, sounds.
Can I be with sounds that arise?
I can mostly be with sounds.
Some of them are, might be a little
uncomfortable, but I could be with them.
Can I be with smells that arise?
Yeah, maybe a little uncomfortable
at times, but I don't like all the
smells, but I can be with smells.
It can be with that.
Sometimes that gets a little harder,
but I could be with sensations.
And then the mental activity.
Thoughts, images, whatever's going
on in the mind, sometimes that
can be tough, but I train myself
to more or less be with that.
And you see, you see what happens?
I don't know if, I can't tell what
your experience is listening to
this, but at least for me, things
just become a little more simple.
And I, I really encourage you if you
have, if you're not doing it already,
to like drop in in this moment.
And after this podcast is over and start
to explore these fundamental elements
of your experience to see, like in this
snapshot of this moment, just be in
the snapshot of what's here right now.
Well, if we break that snapshot
down, these are the elements:
sights, sounds, smells, flavors,
sensations, mental activity.
And when you train yourself, this is
what meditation is really good for, but
it doesn't have to happen in meditation.
Although I still think is
the best way to explore this.
When you train yourself to be with
each of those dimensions, categories
of your experience, you're training
yourself to be with your life.
Let me say that again.
If you can be with each element of your
experience, you can be with your life.
Now, I'm not saying you have to go through
all of your moments and all of your
interactions with people and go, okay,
this is seeing, this is hearing, this
is tasting, this is touching, this is
smelling, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
You know, that would be
frustrating and might get in
the way of your flow of living.
Unless you're really interested to go into
these elements and I fully support it.
I think it's a helpful
thing to do periodically.
When you're sitting on the couch, maybe
watching TV or when you're in your
meditation practice or when you're
driving and you're totally caught
up in your thoughts and worries,
and the bad conversation you had
earlier and things that could go wrong
and your whole experience of life.
And it's not coming together for me and
what's wrong with me and why can't I get
a ride, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Just drop in.
What's actually going on?
What can I see?
What can I hear?
What can I smell?
What can I taste?
What can I sense in my body?
And what's the mental activity going on?
And when we're not aware of it in this
way, it all kind of coalesces and creates
the experience of you and then the story
and the journey of you and where you're
going, and what's going well, and what's
not going well and who you have to become
and the childhood and all of the stuff,
all of the stuff that just makes it feel
so meaty and heavy and insurmountable.
It's just seeing, just sound, just smells,
flavor, sensations, mental activity.
And maybe there's spirit, soul,
heart, whatever else we want to put
in there, but ask yourself what's
what's the experience of those things.
It's often going to manifest itself
through these six categories.
But with all of this, with all of the
practicing human stuff, anything I
ever say, don't take it at face value.
Explore it for yourself.
I'm just like dropping little
seeds, little things to consider.
I'm offering you my own perspectives,
what I've explored for myself.
And this is something I have found
to be true for myself, but it doesn't
necessarily mean it will be true for you.
The wonderful thing about the Buddha
was that he was more or less saying,
like this has been my exploration.
This is what I've found to be true.
You explore for yourself.
And if you come to the
same truth, wonderful.
If not, then you must
reject what I'm saying.
All that we're doing is
just one big experiment.
We're just in the laboratory playing
around, mixing different things, trying
stuff out and figuring out what, what's
working for us on this journey of life.
So that every day we're
getting a little better.
So this is just some food for thought.
Play around with it.
Relisten to the episode, if you need to.
I know some of the stuff can feel
maybe a little deep, so it might
take a couple of listens and
some practice to really drop in.
Don't let this stay in the cognitive.
You're not going to be able to get it
in just the cognitive thinking through.
It's really something that needs
to be embodied and explored
through primary experience.
That's all for now.
Have a day and take care.
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