In this rich talk, punctuated with wise quotes, David Lewis examines the nature of the mind and shares that our practice can be much easier than we make it out to be. Often we just need to relax and settle in to what is happening in the moment.
Tilopa, the teacher of Naropa who founded the Vajrayāna tradition, offered these simple practice instructions:
“Don’t recall, imagine, think, examine, or control; just relax.”
David advises that the mind is not one thing, but comprised of two processes: emptiness and cognition. However, the empty nature of the mind won’t be revealed by thinking about it. It is only available through our own direct experience of the present moment. Meditation is about letting go of the cognitive aspects of the mind so that we can access the luminous, spacious qualities of the mind by relaxing into it.
If we trust our thinking mind but not our intuition and awareness, it can put us off meditation and mindfulness altogether. He encourages us to trust our own experience more than books and talks. “Listening only to others can become like perusing a menu without ever tasting the food.”
David Lewis has been following the dharma path for 45 years, has a degree in comparative religious studies, and is a graduate of Spirit Rock Meditation Center’s Dedicated Practitioners Program. He teaches Insight Meditation and enjoys sharing the dharma at several sanghas around the Bay Area. He is a proud long-time member of GBF.