Finding the balance between relaxation and effort (+ Breath Awareness practice)
Summary: This morning, Alan started by reading two short verses from the Dhammapada, (freshly translated by him last night) which are a very strong metaphor with the mind training we are doing here. He then talks about the importance of having a base in relaxation and training the mind from the ground up rather than tensing up and forcing it to quiet down. However, pure relaxaton will not simply cause stability to arise on its own, so Alan explains how a delicate balance is needed between effort and relaxation, and gives one of the core, indispensable teachings for Shamatha practice. After a breath awareness session, Alan further shows the relationship between the Dhammapada verses and our own mind training, and it's amazing how spot-on they are considering the fact that they have been around for 2500 years! This photo was taken by Sanjay just around the corner from the mind centre. The plants on the ground are the same pineapple plants from yesterday's photo!