Already Free—the mind we are searching for is also the mind we already have.
Freeing the Mind is a series of 1-day meditation retreats at the Mt Adams Buddhist Temple, led by dharma teacher August Jensen.
The Buddha teaches us that through a committed practice of turning our attention to our own experience, we learn to see how the mind creates a sense of constant dissatisfaction in our lives. This happens because we are searching for a better life based on conditions: if only I could be a little healthier, or have more money, or have big adventures, or have a better relationship partner, or stop being so emotional, then I could be happy. The problem is, all of these conditions are constantly changing, and are therefore unreliable, but we turn these changing conditions into a never-ending self-improvement project, and then spiral into shame and inadequacy when, once again, we don’t arrive at any sense of completion, or, if we do, this sense of completion itself eventually changes and goes away.
The Bhudda’s teachings show us that it’s not about what we are experiencing that’s important, but how we are relating to our experience. It doesn’t mean we no longer care about difficult conditions like getting sick or losing our job, but we learn to see that how we are relating to these conditions is far more impactful on our happiness than the circumstances themselves.
The practice for learning how to do this is to—again and again, a million times—return our attention to our embodied experiencing of each moment. Over time, we learn to trust that we can stay with our experience throughout the changing circumstances of our lives, without needing things to be different. A mind that is free from attachment to conditions is not empty or blank, but instead is loving, generous and wise.
Please bring your own lunch and snacks.
This will be in Noble Silence for the duration of the day, with room for question and answers at the end.
The day will consist of sitting and walking meditation, Metta (loving-kindness) practice, and a Dharma talk.