On the fifth night of Against the Stream's annual Fall retreat, Andrew discusses the role of non-attached appreciation and sympathetic joy on the path of awakening.
Andrew discusses how mindfulness practice lays the groundwork for cultivating insight on the path to awakening. He details 4 applications of mindfulness practice: simple awareness, protective awareness, introspective awareness, and contemplative awareness.
Andrew discusses the role of commitment, faith, and devotion on the path of awakening. He discusses the traditional Buddhist practice of taking refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.
Andrew discusses the human tendency towards self-harshness and self-improvement and how the "negativity bias" of the mind often gets in the way of our ability to open to the joy and gratitude in our lives. He also discusses the Buddhist practice of Mudita--sympathetic joy--and how we can develop an "active delight" in the joy of others, which serves as a tool to overcome jealousy and envy in our relationships.
Do we consider SEX a part of our spiritual practice? Andrew discusses the importance of including sexuality & intimacy as a part of our spiritual path. He discusses motivations for sex both within and without the scope of committed relationships and how to work towards developing more intimacy and less harm around our sexuality.
Andrew discusses the role of samadhi (i.e. concentration or "collectedness of awareness") in mindfulness practice. He discusses how the meditator can better develop insight and overcome stressful obstacles by first "breaking the addiction" to the thinking mind. Once the meditator is grounded in a primary object of meditation (i.e. breathing), they can then start to observe patterns of stress and rumination in the mind.
Andrew discusses the 4th Foundation of Mindfulness, highlighting the contemplation of "The Five Hindrances". He explains how the mind's tendency towards craving, aversion, sloth/torpor, restlessness/worry, and doubt often cloud our clarity of mind and hinder our progress on the path.