Friday, July 08, 2011

B Alan Wallace - On Practice Space


MINDING CLOSELY:
The Four Applications of Mindfulness
by B. Alan Wallace
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Dharma Quote of the Week

On Practice Space
I encourage you to conduct your own research on the results of practicing in various environments. Tibetan yogis are especially attracted to places with an enormous amount of open space and distant vistas. I have greatly enjoyed meditating in the high desert of the eastern Sierra Nevada range, where the views extend to peaks sixty miles away. The ability to direct the attention to such distant points gives a very expansive feeling to the intervening space.

In such a spacious environment, allow your awareness to come out, with your eyes open and your gaze resting vacantly in the space in front of you. The experience in a vast space is very different from that in a tiny room. Gazing up at a clear night sky studded with stars is a wonderful way to experience the sheer enormity of space.

It is important to distinguish between the contents of a space and the space itself. Colors and shapes constitute the contents of visual space. These are aspects or representations of ordinary phenomena in the visual field. Attending to the space of the mind means attending to that space from which all such contents emerge, in which they are present, and into which they dissolve; it is the space that lingers in between discrete events. (p.220)

--from Minding Closely: The Four Applications of Mindfulness by B. Alan Wallace, published by Snow Lion Publications

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