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So tonight, I want to talk first, a little bit about essence and how I think about essence. And I want to start off, of course, by framing the work a little bit. Sort of like, present my view on what, what are we doing here? What spiritual development about what’s the big picture thing. And then we’re gonna have a little break, I think in all these three hours is a long time sitting in front of the computer. So we’re going to have like a 10 minutes, 15 minutes break in the middle, something like that. And then in the second session of the evening, I’m going to start on the theme for for this and the three following evenings, which is the widest and so the, the essence connected to confidence to support to patients to perseverance, there are many, many white words you can say. And as some of you also mentioned, the way I like to work is to start off by tuning into the essence, start off to recollect situations where we have felt the essence so that we know what we’re talking about. And then later, we look at all the mental, emotional, behavioral patterns that sort of take our awareness away from Essence. But I really like the approach of just starting straight on with looking into essence, and getting as much of a taste of the essence that we’re going to work with as is possible. One of the advantages of doing that is that when you tune into essence, you might have that feeling of this is super cool. And then your mind starts freaking out a little bit. And of course, the way your mind freaks out is that your issues with the with the essence that we’re working with, so you don’t have to hypothesize what what is how do you what are the patterns that take your awareness away from the essence, it will be noticeable for you. So I like really that way of working. So sounds good. Cool, because I don’t have a second plan. So good. So just to say a little bit to start off by saying a little bit about the nature of the work as I have come to understand that over the years. I think it can be summed up in a way that is very, very simple. So we all have minds, we have the capacity to imagine worlds. And this capacity is incredibly useful. I I’m not completely 100% Sure. But I think some some there is some evidence pointing to that we are probably one of the only species on the planet. Who can do that. Who can imagine things imagine worlds. And it has been a fantastic evolutionary advantage, you can say, It’s really incredible. So if you think about it, if you have a problem that you want to solve, you don’t have to go and try it out in real life. You can imagine a solution. And then you can kind of play out the whole thing in your head, like maybe it’s a conversation with another person, you play it out and you go like, I think this is this would be a good way of addressing this topic with this person. And then you play it out in your head and you go like this, this is going to end in disaster. Let me choose another one. And then you try another one. And at some point you settle on one way you go like well, at least when I run it, the simulation of it. It, it seems that this one is the best simulation and then you go and try it out. Now that’s a fantastic capacity to have. Also, one of the things we can do with the mind is that we can imagine things that we have never seen. If I say a flying elephant or blue pizza or something like that, I assume that none of you have seen either, but it’s pretty easy for you to imagine both of them. This is also this like juxtaposing and combining things in new and innovative ways. is also it’s it’s a fabulous creative force within us that we can do that. So the reason I kind of start by saying how incredible Our minds are, is of course, because like For the rest of the year, we’re going to talk about how problematic it is. And just to be fair to it, I think it’s good to start by saying it’s because sometimes when we do personal development, and we see all the mess our mind gets us in, and how it disconnects us from the juice of life. And all these kinds of things, we can sometimes get this idea like, would have been better to be without it. But really, it’s not the case, I find that spiritual work, sometimes people think of spiritual work as kind of like undoing the mind or dismantling the mind or, you know, sometimes it’s expressed by, you know, killing the ego, or for something like that. I come from a very different point of view, I think, no, the mind is fantastic. And the nd identity connected to the mind, which we call the ego is fabulous. The problem isn’t that we haven’t, that we have developed it. The problem is, we haven’t developed it enough. So what I I see spiritual development is, rather than seeing that as a dismantling of the mind, even though there is an element of that in it, but I see it as a further development of the mind, to a state where it becomes transparent, and where we become more aware of the activities of the mind. So let me explain a little bit more what what what I mean about that. The problem with the mind is that it is its default mode is creative, creating worlds, when you’re doing nothing, right, when you’re doing nothing, you’re probably just creating one fantasy after another, how many can relate to this? Okay, it’s not just me, then that’s good. So you’re just creating one fantasy after another. And when you create a fantasy, you, you create it with, like, a real intensity. And, and it be the fantasies you create are very believable. So you create a fantasy and you think, you know, you, you you imagine, maybe if I say this, this other person is gonna say this other thing. And that actually kind of makes me mad, and now you’re mad. And it’s all your fantasy. Right? The other person didn’t tell you anything. Or you. I don’t know, you think about your work. And then you go like this. My boss looked at me in a funny way. And then you think maybe they’re going to fire me, oh, dear. If I get fired, I have no idea what to do with my financial situation. And now you’re super worried and you’re might even already be online looking for another job. So so the fantasies are so realistic, and they even propel you into action. And we don’t always know that it’s our fantasy. We, we actually have a very difficult time distinct, distinguishing between sense perception and what our minds create. And this is super problematic. And in particular, because when our minds create these very ensnaring are very lifelike fantasies. It’s like, we have a limited as human beings, we have a limited amount of awareness. And when we create these fantasies, all of our awareness can be taken by them. So our entire it’s like watching a really good show on Netflix. And we’re forgetting everything, right? It’s like, only after 15 minutes, we smell something and we go like, Oh, dear, I forgot to take something out of the oven. Right? It’s like we completely forget everything. Because we are just 100% absorbed in something. And it’s like that with a fantasy. Now one of the most problematic things about that is that when we get taken our awareness get fully taken by the production, the creative production of our minds, we forget to be aware of our own existence, the felt sense of our own presence, our own existence. And when we forget it, we think we’ve lost it. And we miss it. And when when we then grab our favorite problem solving tool our mind and say, Can you please solve this problem? There’s something I’ve lost. That felt awesome and I want it back figure out how to do it. Our mind goes into creating all sorts of simulations to try and get it back. But that’s only going to make the matter worse. Because the problem in the first place was our minds, problem solving activities, our minds, fantasy creations, does that make sense this that the mind creates these fantasies, and they take our awareness away from the felt sense of our own existence, then we feel we’ve lost it. But the moment we use the mind to search for it, it only makes it worse, because it was using the mind in the first place that made us lose awareness of it. So this is this is the predicament that we are in, you can say. Now, the solution to this problem has two parts, as I see it. So there are two parts to spiritual development. One part is about noticing when, when an experience is the product of our own mind activity. So raising awareness of how our mind is constantly participating in the production of our experience. That’s one thing and a lot of psychological tools are super useful here, right? Where it’s where you become aware of your own mental, emotional and behavioral patterns that might otherwise be invisible to you, because they’re just so automatic. So for example, we get annoyed at our partner, they say our partner says something and we get annoyed at our partner. And and then it can be useful to take a step back and say, Okay, so our partner said something. And then our mind started ascribing meaning to it, and recollecting things, and building on it. And at some point that included maybe an emotion of animosity, or anger or frustration or something like that. normally would, we would just say, well, our partner was annoying, right? It was out there something happened, our partner was just annoying. And that’s why I feel annoyed. But noticing how you co create your experience all the time. That’s one thing, this is super useful, because when you can see something as something your mind has produced, you’re less likely to get caught up in it. If you imagine a blue pizza, and now you see a blue pizza in front of you. It’s not going to be something you know, then I go on talking and you just forget about the blue pizza, because you know that you created it, you’re not worried about it. You don’t go like I should really look at the expiration date on that pizza. What the something is really wrong here. And why is it in my living room? Right? It’s like, these kinds of thoughts don’t happen, because you know, it was the production of your own mind. So this is one part of the spiritual development is to create what I love, David Bohm has a term for it. He says it’s proprioception of mind. Proprioception is the capacity that enables you to know the position of your hands for example, without looking at them. We have proprioception generally, most people have proprioception of our body, which means if we hit ourselves on the head, we’re not gonna get worried because we know that that was our own hand. But imagine you didn’t have proprioception of body and suddenly, you feel something hitting you on your head, and you don’t know what you doing it, that might be a cause for concern. Now, this is exactly the the situation for with our mind, our mind keeps creating things we don’t know we created them. And we react to them as if we were not the creators of them. So so this is one side. And we’re going to do a lot of that. The other side is to say, well, if what we are searching for is the felt sense of our own existence, the felt sense of our presence, awareness of our presence. We can go directly to that. If within this kaleidoscope or this whole mess of our experience, we can spot and say this part of it is presence. And we can tune our awareness into that. Become aware of it and let our awareness get so absorbed in it. There is a lot in us that relaxes because many times when You feel essence when you notice essence when you let your mind your your awareness rest on essence, the feeling you will get is this is what I have been looking for my entire life and it will have an incredible soothing effect on you. And it will quieten down your mind, because so much of your mind activity is about this search. So when you find it, your mind will just start settling. So
I think maybe that’s not one more thing I want to say about it. And that is, often you will hear it in spiritual teaching, you will hear that when you become aware of reality beyond your your, the creation of your mind, it will feel like emptiness or spaciousness, how many have heard this emptiness of spaciousness? Yes, so this is true. But I find that when you experience that spaciousness, that emptiness from the vantage point of your mind, when you’re still not, when you’re just in it is just spaciousness, wonderful, open emptiness, awesome. But when you come to it from a place where your attention has been very occupied by mind, you don’t first see it as spaciousness, sometimes you do, but not always. Sometimes you see it as peace. Sometimes you see it as lightness, sometimes you see it as vitality, sometimes you see it as tenderness. In other words, what you first see is something that you really, really like, and you give it those kinds of words. And the first experience of the emptiness is what we in this world word called Essence. And this is why it’s so brilliant to instead of, you know, looking for the spaciousness, you can, you can tune into this middle ground, of of essence. So essence is kind of like the spaciousness perceived from the vantage point of your mind. Good. So I know this is this is like the big picture at the end of it, you might not clog everything right now. But we’re going to spend the whole year on it. And I’m going to repeat something in the end of the year. And then you will say, Ah, yeah, of course, this makes a lot of sense, because you will have had a lot of experience with it. But I’m just going to pause a bit here and ask if there are any questions so far.