a playground of infinite ways of looking at experience - Rob Burbea

Why Meditate?

Different motivations can all co-exist at the same time in different proportion

  • None of them is wrong
  • They can become constricting if taken too seriously

Your aspirations create your understanding of the path

  • Medical Perspective

    • Feelings of well-being
  • Escapism

  • For the benefit of all beings

  • Sense of Sacredness or Beauty (Artistic)

    • Seeing the practice as Art and doing it for its own sake
  • Research Approach

    • Practicing to discover things about oneself or consciousness
  • Meditation and system change

  • every path has its dangers

Medical Benefits

Could be seen as reductionism


Main Techniques

meditation is not about having no thoughts

Other Techniques

Practical Tips

From Aro course:

Meditation is relaxing – but an empty mind is not meditation. A drifting mind that slowly slides from thought to indistinct thought is not meditation. States of vagueness may be a pleasant respite from a busy or stressful life – but there is no insight available there. Meditation requires alertness and precision – combined with gentleness and humour.

Meditate whole-heartedly. Throw yourself into it. Do not hold back. Effort generates its own energy. Become passionate. A meditation master once said: ‘Meditate as if your hair is on fire.’

sounds do not hinder meditation


  • The body is the anchor to the present moment. The thoughts are the waves. We can’t stop the waves but we can learn to surf (Observe the thoughts without getting carried away)
    • Expect waves to be there. There will be ups and downs in practice. Don’t get discouraged when there are downs

Holding Different Views

Different Perspectives on Pleasure

  • One View says that pleasure in meditation is a trap
    • Just be aware of it from a detached perspective, choiceless, indifferent
  • Rob Burbea finds nothing wrong with pleasure in meditation
    • The Buddha seems to have said: The pleasure of calmness is a pleasure I’ll allow myself
    • Creating a reservoir of pleasure and well being in practice allows us to let go of material things
    • We need less to be satisfied (food, entertainment, stuff)
    • No need to be comfortable or security
    • We become more available to others

Different Perspectives on Goals

  • We should have no goals at all
    • We should just be with what is, right now
    • Goals are in the future, they get us distracted from the present moment
  • There is room for Goals in Spiritual Practice
    • It’s almost impossible to rid our lives from goals
    • Goals and desire can motivate us and bring passion into our practice
  • Work is still more important than the outcome

Created on: 2020-10-29 Related: 010 Mind MOC | Buddhism #MOC