March 25, 2010 Thursday evening, Venture Fourth #3

This transcript has only been lightly reviewed, filling in any blanks.

Keywords: elements, access concentration, pure awareness practice, luminosity,kayas, Unconditioned, lokuttara/kuttara citta

Barbara: It's Thursday evening. I've been answering questions for 15 minutes without realizing the recorder wasn't on. Somebody asked for a review of what we talked about today.

Balance, balancing energy, balancing the elements. Presence. Being in this present moment because only in this present moment can we see whether there is balance or not. And we're not trying to create balance but come into the natural balance that's always there. Simply, seeing what needs to be invited in or what we may be blocking in terms of holding, maybe holding low energy out of fear or holding an imbalance; too much earth energy, sluggish, out of habit. Just beginning to see what may be participating in that imbalance and inviting balance.

When there's an object – when you're sitting and suddenly your back begins to itch – noting "tension, tension." Aware of the tension. One can watch the arising and shift of the elements within that tension. For me there would be a lot of fire energy, not much air moving through and very little space; consciousness is just caught up in the energy and the experience of the itching and the aversion to the itching. Inviting balance.

Once the energy is balanced the objects begin to arise and pass away more smoothly. Often at the beginning of the sitting we need to work with just finding more balance, more presence, and then we begin to note objects arising and passing away and the space between the objects.

Access concentration may open; it may not. If no access concentration, there's at least a strong presence watching objects arising and passing away and the wisdom, "It's all arising out of conditions and passing away."

If there's not yet access concentration and the wisdom is based more on, "I think it's this way," rather than, "This is what's happening," if it's based more on concept there's probably some body tension. Bring attention to that. Something out of balance in the body; invite balance. Balance helps to support access concentration.

Once there's access concentration then it can be very beneficial to be very aware of the space out of which objects are arising and into which they fade away. Not just the mundane realm objects arising and passing away but the space beyond.

If access concentration is strong for a few sittings, it might be very useful to do a couple of pure awareness sittings, inviting in the experience of strong awareness, luminosity, and space, and then take that back to the vipassana practice, letting access concentration develop again. The space between the objects takes on a different dimension, becomes more a luminous, clear emptiness. We start to see deeply into it. All of which invites us to move through these knowledges and insights that lead to deep realization experience. It's leading us into a deeper experience of the Unconditioned through using the experience of the Unconditioned that we have through resting in awareness, as a doorway.

And then the access concentration; Here the lokuttara citta are open. There's much more possibility to move through the doorway. The doorway is developed, is opened, through the access concentration.

As I said to N, there's the pure awareness and that luminous clarity helps to light the path beyond the access concentration so we don't just lie there in access concentration saying, "Oh, isn't this pleasant. Gee, I love meditating these days, I end up in such a sweet place." But it's not realization, it's not full awakening. Don't settle for it. So yes, develop access concentration and go beyond it.

That's a summary. Are there specific questions about things like the guided meditation Aaron did at the end, or any of the phases that he's talked about through the day, the elements, any of it?

Q: When a person is asked to visualize an image in their third eye or when you close your eyes you have after-images on your eyelids, or I just have a jumble oftentimes of irregular unformed somewhat chaotic images that form around my perception of my breathing. I tend to visualize my breathing. What to do with these images?

Barbara: Just note it as seeing, don't try to figure them out. Don't get caught up in them, just note, "Seeing." What kind of image? Is it pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral? If there's a pleasant image and there's any attachment to it, note attachment. If there's a pleasant image, no attachment, just a pleasant image, and it disappears, then there is probably equanimity if there's no attachment. But if there's not equanimity and there's contracted effort, trying to hold some images or push away other images, note that tension and take that as the primary object.

A different instruction would be if one image comes constantly. If one image does come constantly, simply be with it, seeing, seeing. Again, know if it's pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral. Know if there's any attachment or aversion to it.

If the image stays strong and there's no longer any attachment or aversion to it, it's just a strong image, then just be with it. You can open your eyes. Pure awareness style meditation, just seeing. Merge with the image, be with it. See if there's any wisdom that comes from it or any experience that comes. Ask your guides, what is this image?

I realized I talked about that window (the round window in the door) when I was sitting here doing pure awareness practice. It was a strong image and it was coming into all the chakras. It was like the crystal bath, moving up my body but it was especially penetrating at the third eye. It grew so much beyond that little round window into an enormous sun. A very powerful image.

It was neutral, really, there was no attachment or aversion to it. It was beautiful but I was not trying to hold on to it in any way. It was also a little bit frightening how powerful it was, but it was more neutral than anything else. Just sitting; just noting.

Q: I just happen to be very visual and I find images to be a distraction that won't go away.

Barbara: It's not the images that are distracting you but the aversion to the images. Leave the images alone. Note the contraction around, "Ah, here's another image." There's some energy that's keeping them going as well as some energy that doesn't want them. Just watch that. Bring the attention to tension, wherever the tension is in the body, as the predominant object of the moment. Tension is not the primary object but what is predominant in that moment. And just watch it. Watch the way it changes.

When you just breathe, "Breathing in, I'm aware of the tension, breathing out, I smile to the tension," holding space for the tension, and as the tension eventually opens up, at least a bit, and dissolves, eventually you reach a point where if images come, they come, if they don't come, they don't come. The images are secondary. Okay?

Q: Can we hear one more time why we stopped to do the 5 element practice before we continued with the 5-step, "Vision is Mind" practice?

Barbara: Because one step in the 5-step practice is, emptiness is clear light. Clear light, I'm trying to think of a way to say this. One of the wonderful things about Venture Fourth is it's not only taking all of you out of your comfort areas, it's taking me out of my comfort area of discussing things I'm very familiar with teaching, and asking me to look at things that I've rarely talked about before.

Working with the elements helps us to see where there is any imbalance and to invite the elements into balance. Pure awareness can only really happen when they're in balance because otherwise there's too much of a self.

When we say, "vision is mind, mind is empty," we can get that conceptually. We can see that through the vipassana practice, but there's still a "somebody" trying to control. One of the ways of letting that somebody break apart is bringing the energy and elements into balance. I don't want to say bringing because that sounds like too much doing, but inviting the emergence of balance in the elements and the energy. It's one way of coming back into a place of emptiness and no self wherein the "vision is mind, mind is empty" is not a concept but an experience. It's not just something we know-- "Oh, I've read that, I understand intellectually how that looks." But the direct experience of it. And then the emptiness is clear light. With the element practice, that clear light as an actual experience becomes more accessible to us.

At the place, for me at least, and again, this is not something I've discussed with a lot of people, and it's not a theory that I've read, but it's something I'm very, very certain of in my own practice, when the elements are balanced and objects are seen simply as mind and empty of self, and awareness lets them go and the spaciousness is there, that spaciousness has enormous luminosity to it.

When there's any sense of self or separation, there's less luminosity or no luminosity. So I can't get to that emptiness as clear light with any sense of a self. Balancing the elements is one way, I don't want to phrase it that way-- allowing the balance of the elements to re-express itself, inviting that, is one way of helping to see where there is still some self, allowing it to release, so the luminosity does appear; the clear light does appear.

Now, clear light and luminosity are not synonymous. The luminosity is the radiance of the Unconditioned. The awareness that touches that luminosity begins to know itself as clear light. Does that make sense?

Q: Yes, but I will forget soon.

Barbara: That's okay, keep doing it. After awhile you won't forget it. When you say you'll forget it, you mean you'll forget to do it or you'll forget that it is?

Q: The understanding.

Barbara: We forget and we forget and we forget, but after awhile we know. It's like getting lost in the woods and finding your way and then the next time you walk in the woods you find some of the path but not all of it. By the tenth time through you're pretty sure of yourself, you know where to go.

Q: You talked about balancing with the 5 elements as a way to establish clarity around no self. You mean establishing clarity in that moment, right? Because we have plenty of self to work with.

Barbara: There is only that moment. If you have clarity in that moment and then the next moment comes and you're present in the next moment, then there's clarity in the next moment.

Q: Earlier I was pretty clear but later on in a meditation I ran into a huge part of solid self.

Barbara: Then come back; note it. That's where you might switch tracks for the moment. Instead of trying to force your way through with one practice, when one has been resting in awareness, clear, balanced, and suddenly, maybe a sharp pain in the back or some very unpleasant memory, tension, anger, fear, unbalanced consciousness, separated self, or aversion arise, come back to whatever practice feels like it would be helpful, not to fix it, never to fix it, just to attend to it. Begin to see this whole strong energy, noting it, noting tension, noting the unpleasantness, noting the aversion. What is the texture of the noting? Is there a subtle scolding self underneath saying, "I shouldn't be feeling this"? Is there "somebody" who says, "I won't get enlightened that way, I've got to stop having this kind of experience!"? Is there a subtle voice that's pushing one way or another? Can there just be this huge self and the blockage and heaviness and discomfort? "So, that's how it is right now." Just be present with it, smiling into it, watching it.

When you're with it in that way it starts to break up. Use the stone that we gave you this morning just for that reason as a reminder. Hold the stone. Feel the molecules shifting. Be a microscopic creature that can enter the stone and be there between the molecules. Feel how much space there is between the molecules of the stone.

As the stone breaks up, come back to this heavy object: anger, fear, greed. Feel it starting to break apart a little bit. Kindness. It's got to be done with patience and kindness and the realization, "This is a very hard object for me, a very unpleasant, challenging object. I don't want to be with this object. I want to be anywhere else in the world but with this object."

Breathing, spaciousness. You're not trying to fix the object, you're not trying to change anything, just to observe because in that observation, eventually everything opens up so that you see, "This reaction to this object is also just arisen out of conditions, is impermanent, and not self. Ahh." And the whole thing opens. It may take minutes, it may take days; it may take years. The more you persist, the easier it becomes.

Q: I think this one would take awhile.

Barbara: Work with it gently and patiently. Sometimes when it comes, it's okay literally to put it aside and just, if it's creating pain and tension, just do metta with yourself. Feeling sadness, feeling fear, grief, whatever might be there, and working with metta. As there's a little bit more space, hold the stone as the reminder, "Even in this difficult object there is some space."

Q: The object wasn't difficult to be with, it showed me how much work I needed to do on a part of my personality.

Barbara: Then perhaps what's coming up is judging mind. Strong self-judgment. "I should be perfect." Whatever it is, and you don't have to name it precisely and that's why I like to name it tension; impatience, judging, and tension around them. We keep going with kindness, patience and persistence. It will come.

When I was in Brazil I met a man who had a serious illness which is not medically curable. The Entities had told him, "I can cure you. You need to come here 19 times." This man said to me, "19 times!" I said, "That's wonderful! They can cure you!" He said, "19 times?!" Well which way do you look? If the entities said to me, "Yes, the deafness will be healed., come 19 more times," -- got it! Easy!

How long will it take? Who knows how long it will take. Some experiences can be transformative. We climb a mountain and it feels like we will never get to the top. We climb up a ridge and we think this is it, and there's a plateau and another ridge. You just keep going and you feel like you can't climb any further. And I don't know if any of you have climbed mountains but I've had this experience a number of times. The top is out of sight because there are these step-like ridges. And just when you think, "I'll never get there" and you climb up one more ridge, and there it is. You're at the summit. Who knows?

So when there's this thought that feels, "I'll never get there," well I can't say to you "19 more times" but just keep practicing because the realization that you have this work to do is a very valuable realization. It's pointing out something that can be very helpful and transformative for you.

Q: I have a question about balancing the elements. It seems like we're not supposed to do anything, but they can't just balance themselves.

Barbara: When awareness is strong and sees the imbalance, and when intention toward balance is strong, it's almost as if they shift themselves. When you ride a bike, you don't constantly think about balance. You start with the intention to balance and then let the body demonstrate its natural balance.

Q: We need to have an intention, then.

Barbara: You need to have an intention for balance and it needs always to be an intention for the highest good of all beings and not "Me, I'm going to do this." As soon as there's the "me" it gets in the way. But when the intention is held in the loving heart for the highest good of all beings, then allowing the energy to shift itself to come into balance, we just get out of its way and it balances.

But if something then doesn't balance and we notice that, let me use a concrete example. In a situation where there might be a lot of rage, and I recognize, "The highest good of all beings is my intention; I see this rage is not skillful. My intention is to bring my energy more into balance." Then I notice there's a lot of fire energy, just a conflagration burning in one place, with very little fluidity, very little opening. So it's like the earth itself is burning lava.

So I hold the intention and just rest there, breathing in and aware of tension, of fire. Breathing out and smiling to it. Relaxing and just letting it settle. And watching the stories that want to come up – "He said that! He did this!" Hearing, stories, stories. Just arising out of conditions; let it go. Each time it comes up, smiling to it, nodding, letting it go.

I love "Is that so?" as a practice, at that point. "He shouldn't have; he/she should have," is that so? Relaxing. Making space. And then it begins to balance but you find there's still this hard core of hot lava. At that point you can try, it's a little bit more doing by asking, "What would invite balance here?" and visualizing a cool stream running through. Just a visualization. Inviting it. Feeling the elements come more into balance.

So the intention intuitively knows what to invite but there's still not a strong sense of a self saying, "I want balance. I will do this and then I will do that." It's more an at-ease inviting and opening.

Q: I liked the imagery that Aaron led us through today, that seemed helpful. So I'm glad to hear you say that we can continue that, I like that...

Barbara: Absolutely. I'm not sure exactly what he did until I read the transcript but the guided meditations he did, he did to give you examples of how you can practice. So tomorrow will be a full day of practice. And tonight after we finish here and we stretch, we'll have a sitting, we'll go into silence. We will not break the silence until breakfast time on Saturday. So no talking at all tomorrow, all day and into the evening and through bedtime and to Saturday morning. Doing whatever practices seem appropriate.

I will put up a schedule and we will have some regular sitting and walking periods. At first thought I would lead some guided meditations but have decided not to do that. I don't want to steer you in any direction. Rather, I'll find a place, if it's not raining, maybe outside at the table, where those of you who have some questions can come sit and talk. We'll work it out, we'll see how it goes tomorrow. But we'll come down here for morning meditation after breakfast. We'll sit together. We'll ring a bell. You can do walking meditation. You can go sit down by the lake or outside if you want. We'll do an ongoing meditation program but feel free to do whatever practice feels appropriate to you.

So that's what we're going to do tomorrow. Using all of these practices and just seeing how they go together to support balance, ease, insight, and the open heart.

Q: When resting in luminosity, when being luminosity, that has the feeling of a plateau that you could spend a <year or more..>... I heard you or Aaron today talk about awareness turning on itself and looking at itself. I guess I'm trying to ask, how do we let being luminosity not be a plateau? How do we keep moving?

Barbara: By bringing awareness to the energy of it. When awareness is aware of mind as that radiant clarity, and it's not a plateau, it's infinite, and feels infinite. When it is a plateau it's boundaried. It feels like a safe place to rest. It's like the experience for me of sitting atop a cliff, where I experience the space but want to stay away from the edges as they feel dangerous. When the edges fall away and it feels like a cliff one can fall off, into endless space, radiant space, clarity, then it stops being a plateau and your awareness just spreads out into it. There's no end to it.

Q: Is that where awareness looks at itself?

Barbara: Yes, but also at that point there's no self to look at. It's just awareness looking at luminous clarity. And there's no sense of any self in it, it's everything. And it sees the infinite nature of it. Then it's awake. But if it feels like it's looking at "my mind" then it's closed in and that's where it becomes a hiding place of sorts.

Q: I'm a hands-on type learner and I read the website, did not have full understanding from reading but was not concerned because I knew that Aaron would do guided meditations today. But with just one experience with the guided meditation, that is not enough for me to remember how each of these goes. So I don't know what to do.

Barbara: Are you talking about the 5-step or the elements or all of it?

Q: Yes. All.

Barbara: Aaron says maybe tomorrow morning after the first sitting he will do a guided meditation for those who would like to experience a guided meditation rather than walking, so that people can choose to leave and be in silence and walk or his guided meditation.

Q: I wanted to make a comment to answer J. Correct me if I'm wrong. That awareness practice and access concentration are still on the side of the nirmanakaya. And the awareness turning on itself is on the side of dharmakaya.

Barbara: I love these questions! You are a wonderful group to talk with!

I would put them both in sambhogakaya. Mundane vipassana practice, sitting, noting the breath, hearing, hearing, coming back to the breath, this is nirmanakaya. This is relative reality practice. As we come into access concentration, we're on the bridge. I said that access concentration can become a plateau. The little luminous openings you see on the far side of access concentration that take you out, is like crossing over the bridge. Ah, there's the dharmakaya. I talked about it before as "change of lineage knowledge," offering the technical term. The awakening that I'm looking for, the profound experience of the Unconditioned, the deep realization, is not here in the relative reality world. I need to go through.

So I'm on the bridge. You've got to get on the bridge before you can go on to the other side. So access concentration is the bridge, sambhogakaya. Resting in pure awareness is the same thing. The sense of self has dissolved. The sense of separation between subject and object has dissolved but there's not yet a realization of what lies beyond. You're on the bridge and then that turning of awareness onto itself, awareness seeing itself, is that light that goes beyond, stepping off the bridge onto the dharmakaya side.

At that moment-- I'm trying to talk about this just running through a multitude of experiences in trying to see how to express the relationship between pure awareness and access concentration. Awareness becomes aware of itself and aware of its emptiness and clarity...

I would say tentatively that that also happens as the lokuttara citta open but I will need to investigate that in my own experience before I can say that for certain. Does that make sense?

I'm not sure why you're asking the question so I could answer it better if I understood what's behind your question.

Q: It was a comment on J's question, correct? Q. Yes.

Q: You already addressed what I was going to say, just now. I was going to speak about how it all leads to awareness awakening to itself, which is beyond access concentration where the focus is on objects but not what the objects are arising in. So once the awareness turns on itself and wakes up to itself, then it's possible to rest in <> and ultimately see you ARE that. Actually, ultimately seeing everything is that.

Barbara: Yes, but that can happen without doing pure awareness practice. So the pure awareness practice makes it easier and smoother.

Q: In dzogchen they have what's called "pointing out" instructions. The awareness is pointed out by the teacher. And they start there. They do awareness practice after it's recognized, then they do awareness right there, practice resting in awareness.

Barbara: So you're saying in dzogchen training that you've had, the teacher offers instructions in recognizing awareness, pointing out what that awareness is so you can recognize it when you rest in it. Okay, and at this point is there anybody here who feels uncertain what that experience is and needs it pointed out further? (several reply yes) Okay. So that's a place we need to go more tomorrow also.

I don't want to do that as a guided meditation tonight, I think people are too tired. But we'll find time to do that tomorrow.

Q: Can you say more about the difference between clear light and luminosity. In my own practice, my experience of clear light is mingled with that vast emptiness and space. Is that the Unconditioned? And is luminosity something different?

Barbara: I'm using these terms in specific ways and I don't know if they are traditional ways in which they are used. My experience of luminosity is that when I am resting in awareness, just resting in this space, mind fully present, I begin to see a radiance that's everywhere. It's in objects, it's in thoughts, it's in the breeze; everything is radiant.

Because I've learned about this, I recognized that this is a direct expression of the Unconditioned. It's not the Unconditioned itself; it's just a direct expression, just as nada is. The radiance becomes very strong. It's not radiance like a light, it's not a light shining on something, it's a radiance emanating out of everything, just expressing out. It IS the Unconditioned, that which is expressing out of everything, and the ground out of which it expresses. The sense of any separation falls away. There's nothing there but the Unconditioned expressing through these different objects and forms, through all these nirmanakaya forms. Just expressing out. And the luminosity is its way of expressing its interbeing.

As my practice deepens and awareness becomes very strong, awareness shines back in on itself. Coming back to this "vision is mind" practice, I see that everything is mind. Mind is empty, just these objects arising and passing away in mind.

Then mind simply looks at mind, awareness looks at awareness. The nature of that awareness exhibits itself, shows itself, as simply clear light radiance. This is the nature of mind. Now, it's not that different than saying the nature of everything is this light passing through it but it takes it to a different stage for me when I practice it in this way because it's no longer my mind, but there's the understanding, the profound understand, everything is just this clear mind, clear radiance, clear light; that's all there is, that's all that exists.

So it takes it one step further than just the luminosity. Then resting in that everything-is-clear-light, he says somewhere in here very beautifully, I don't want to look in there, but there are 4 steps we need to go through. One is the recognition of the nature of mind as clear light. Meditation that stabilizes it, which is not different than basic dzogchen practice, seeing the view, meditation that stabilizes the view, then deepening that meditation so it becomes really stable, and then the taking of it out into the world. How do we live our lives from that place where everything is simply the divine expressing out? Clear light, nothing else.

If my mind sees images of negativity and destruction then that's what I start to take into my self as energy and express out into the world. If my mind sees images, sees-- I don't want to use the term images, but understands that the nature of everything is simply this loving uncontracted energy and clarity, then that's what I reflect out. "We are what we think. With our minds we make the world."

Q: Just a related question is that sometimes when I sit in clear awareness practice, the quality of luminescence has substance to it. Sometimes it feels like it is yet another arising of the mind and not the true luminescence.

Barbara: This is the sambhogakaya quality of it. You're not yet into fully into the dharmakaya but the luminosity is genuine and the nirmanakaya expressions are still there. It's both. Don't worry about it.

Q: When I really look at it then the clear light emerges.

Barbara: Good. Okay, then just do that. That sounds fine.

Q: The Unconditioned has many direct expressions and I know that you've been talking a lot about luminescence in terms of a light. When I have my eyes open, I don't see it. When I have my eyes closed, I am aware of a light quality, I don't know if "see" is quite the right word, but there's a lightness, a light quality. I don't know if it was you or Aaron that told me years ago this was an indication of the third eye being open and not necessarily the direct expression of the Unconditioned, unless I misunderstood at the time. Please say more.

Barbara: Are you asking, could this luminosity simply be an experience of the open third eye but not leading to the Unconditioned. It could be but most likely if you experience the luminosity, I'd say it's part of that bridge. I might use that as a metaphor. Once we get on the bridge then we're on the passageway that leads to the direct expression of the Unconditioned, and then to the deeper experience of the Unconditioned. There are many ways to get on the bridge but we spend a lot of time staying off the bridge. So we invite ourselves on the bridge in different ways.

One of the ways you can invite yourself onto the bridge is simply the sila practice you've been doing; presence, the brahma viharas, seva – service practice in the world – these are all practices that help get us out of the ego self and more directly connected to the interconnection of all that is and non-separation, the ego falling away. There are many different kinds of skillful means.

Q: Another part of D's question is, are there other lokuttara manifestations of the clear light besides the luminosity?

Barbara: I would not use that terminology. Luminosity, nada, scent, a very sweet scent, a taste like honey but sweeter, energy – some of you work with body energy like the Reiki practitioners here, you know that feeling of energy – are all expressions of the Unconditioned. When I say the direct expressions of the Unconditioned, they do not need any other mundane condition to exist. They are still conditioned in that they are dependent on the existence of the Unconditioned to exist. So they're direct expressions of the Unconditioned. Any of them can be used as a vehicle. Clear Light is one expression of the Unconditioned, but is not the Unconditioned.

Q: I believe he is saying that today you have mainly talked about the clear light, not about any of the other ways.

Barbara: That's because most of you are so familiar with nada and not many of you have worked with this clear light. And because nada is more of a vehicle with vipassana; clear light is more of a vehicle with pure awareness practice because the clear light manifests so strongly with pure awareness practice and nada is more likely to manifest with vipassana practice.

Q: Yes, and for me pure awareness usually results in the kinesthetic sensation, lesser light, more kinesthetic, which is more like the effulgence that I heard described earlier.

Barbara: I don't want to push light on anybody and have people feel that if they're not seeing luminosity they're failing in some way. I also don't want to limit anybody. When you go into that energy, one of the usual experiences of that energy is light. The light is just so strong, so prevalent, that we come to it. And this is why so many of these masters talk about it in their writings. It's a very accessible experience for many people. But if it's not accessible, don't worry about it. Follow your own path and don't worry about it.

Q: What I would find helpful, though, is how L explained it as being open to all the senses. Then I'm not restricted to just eyes but I'm aware, because then I know it's okay... so if we could just include that and teach it.

Barbara: We can include it all. If you're sitting here and you smell an overwhelmingly sweet and exquisite smell of honeysuckle, there you are, you're on the bridge!

Q: Once when she taught it that way at Emrich and included all the senses, I experienced all 6 at once, so it worked!

Barbara: I remember we used to sit – we'll be at Emrich again this year which will be wonderful – under that catalpa tree which had such a strong scent of flowering blossoms and dropped flowering blossoms on us, just sitting there, eyes open, watching these flowering blossoms fall and the light shining through the trees, sweet scent.

Each sense, hearing-- nada, visual-- luminosity, scent-- this honeysuckle-like scent, taste-- it's like honey, body-- touch, feeling that energy, and mind knowing itself as empty and clear light, each one has a pathway. No one pathway is better than another. Some pathways seem more accessible to many people. Nada is a very accessible pathway for the vipassana practitioner, for the most part, and that's why it's talked about so much. The others are all accessible too.

We're focusing more on light today because of the 5-step practice you are doing and "emptiness is clear light," trying to explain what that means. But you're in no way limited to that. If it helps, use it. If it doesn't help, release it.

(recording ends)