Just returned from at MA prison and presented egolessness to the “Theravadins” (which included a couple of “Tibetan buddhists”. There were 12 people present. We did the Theravadin chants and sat for 15 minutes. I then presented two-fold egolessness in a open format style, allowing lots of discussion along the way. It was a very lively, interesting and stimulating discussion. I spoke about egolessness from a practice viewpoint which included shamatha and vipasshana. Actually, we have to return to vipasshana next week as we ran out of time/space 🙂
I touched on shamatha as a meditation technique that cultivates attention, concentration and peace, and allows us to work with distractions in a much more skillful way. How distractions such as thoughts, physical irritations and emotional irritations become more transparent. How we tend to react less to distractions. One guy brought of the drama triangle concept, that is, how the persecutor, victim and rescuer are forms of ego. We got into how more mindfulness and awareness of habitual patterns of behavior has a liberating effect. How it allows up to make more conscious choices in our life rather than be tossed and turned all the time in a karmic chain of action and reaction. We talked about anxiety and how it’s a indicator of being caught up in ego’s game. We talked about the meaning of “projection” and how we tend to solidify our experience due to lack of mindfulness and awareness and then project that experience onto others and situations. We started to talk about what the meaning of “other” is and the clock struck 11 AM. We stopped, bowed and said our goodbyes.
Everyone was participating in the discussion and the time went by very quickly for all of us. They asked me to prepare talks that we can discuss with a similar format for a few weeks to come.
Gratitude, gratitude and more gratitude! I’m over-joyed with prison dharma and the chance to be with all of these guys!