— DAY 21 —
Hi, and welcome to day one of part three of the craving prank. Now in part one, we were trying to build up an awareness of our thinking patterns, or habits, all of those things that had led to this craving behaviour in some way. In part two, we were focused more on how do we let go of that? How do we leave that old sort of behaviour behind those old patterns behind and allow both the body and the mind to feel more spacious. In part three, we’re going to focus more on how do we get comfortable, just resting in uncertainty in being more vulnerable and not trying to control everything in not trying to sort of centre our thoughts in any way. And if we’re able to do this, then we no longer have to worry about getting overwhelmed or carried away by craving that excites us. We don’t have to feel fearful about thoughts or craving arising in the mind, we can actually sit and live with a sense of freedom knowing that no matter what thoughts arise, no matter what feelings arise, no matter what sensations arise, we’re able to witness them from that place of clarity and awareness. So the techniques can be a little bit different than it was in part one and part two, as always, I’ll, I’ll lead you through it as we go.
So as you pause that aid and notice how you feel, it’s a very different kind of exercise very different kind of feel to it. And typically, it encourages us to apply a lot less effort. So we might feel as though we’re not really doing a lot. And that’s kind of the point, we don’t really want to be doing a lot. Each time we allow the mind to be free, we’re not indulging anything, we’re not resisting anything. And at the same time, there is a feeling of just being present with things as they are, sometimes the mind will wander, sometimes it will just want to stay where it is. But all the while we sit with a sense of not really knowing what the minds going to do, and being okay with that, we start to sit with that feeling of quiet confidence, which is beyond willpower is beyond the normal kind of everyday confidence. It’s more of a trust and an understanding in that awareness in our own mind. So as we practices each day, we get more and more confident in just being comfortable with the mind as it is no matter how it appears. Try if you can define a few times during the day today when you can practice this exercise. So it only takes sort of 1015 seconds just to allow the mind to be free. But with some degree of awareness, we’ll come back to this tomorrow, I’ll see you then for day two.
— DAY 22 —
Hi, and welcome back. And today to. So as you probably found yesterday, this technique is it’s interesting, some people find it really relaxing, really kind of quite easy, quite simple, straightforward, just allowing the mind to be free, there’s not really anything to do sort of well, or badly. But at the same time, I think it takes a lot of courage. Because if we have been trying to control the mind in some way, if we’ve been trying to control craving in some way, then we’re used to doing something we’re used to trying to sort of channel the mind in a particular way, whether it’s through force or well, and it gives us that illusion of control. But as we know, as we’ve all discovered at times in our lives, that is an illusion. You know, if we could do this through control, then we would have done it a long time ago. So if in any way it feels uncomfortable, if it feels challenging, then that’s probably a good sign, that’s probably a good sign that we’re moving into an area territory where we haven’t really spent a lot of time before. But through practice by training the mind in this way, we get comfortable in that vulnerability, we get comfortable in letting go of control and we begin to experience the mind in its full sort of glory if you like but without needing to buy into it without getting involved in it instead simply being able to be present with the mind as it is.
And as I mentioned yesterday, for a lot of people, this technique takes a bit of getting used to, again, it can feel like there’s not really anything going on. We’re not focusing on anything. So how can anything be happening. But the interesting thing is, when we let the mind go, although we may not be focused on a specific object, somehow we maintain a degree of awareness. And that gives us actually much more freedom in everyday life. We don’t want to go through everyday life, trying to focus on every breath and every out breath that will feel sort of quite painful. But if we can have this mind in which we are resting in awareness, not necessarily focused on one particular thing, but still within awareness, then it allows us to still practice restraint. It’s almost as though we’re letting everything go. But we’re not sort of getting swept away in any indulgence or resistance. We’re simply able to practice being at ease with the mind as it is in this moment. I’ll see you back here tomorrow for day three.
— DAY 23 —
Hi, and welcome back. And today three. So I mentioned yesterday, this idea, this feeling with this technique that maybe not so much is happening because we’re not doing something because we’re not focused on a particular thing because it doesn’t feel like we’re having to try to make something happen or trying to create something. It’s so far removed from our everyday experience. But if you think about that everyday experience, there’s often a lot of sort of push and pull involved, especially around craving. Whether we’re sort of Pushing it and chasing after it or whether we’re trying to pull against it and resist it, there’s always this feeling of, of either having to do something or not do something. And this creates a certain amount of tension in the mind a certain amount of conflict. So it’s interesting that with this particular exercise, when we let the mind go very often, actually, the mind doesn’t want to go anywhere. And that’s the interesting thing, in allowing the mind to be at ease, their mind actually is quite at ease. Whereas not often, when we’re trying to focus on the breath or focus on something else is still feels like there’s a degree of struggle going on, because we’re sort of almost trying to keep everything else at bay while we focus on one thing. So hopefully, as the day’s progress, you’ll start to feel an increasing sense of freedom and ease in the mind, not just during the sessions, if you’re able to practice this throughout the day, and hopefully starting to see those moments arise during the rest of the day, as well.
And then whenever you’re ready, you can just gently open the eyes have a stretch if you need to. And as always just taking the time to acknowledge how it feels. So each time we acknowledge it just strengthening that intention to return to this exercise each day but also to make it part of everyday life to find a moment and it could be that you find just sort of some regular moments throughout the day. Maybe it’s before or after meals. Maybe it’s when you get in and out of the car on off public transport, but just each time, just pausing, focus just on a couple of breaths, and then just allow the mind to be free. And it’s interesting even though we allow the mind to be free, the assumption is that the mind will just wander off, and we’ll get lost in thoughts, and sometimes we will. But actually, what will often happen is that we maintain awareness. So there’s not the usual sense of conflict and censorship in the mind. We’re simply aware of the mind as it is, takes time to get used to this it takes courage as well to get used to so well done for sticking with it. I’ll see you back here tomorrow for day four.
— DAY 24 —
Hi, and welcome back. And today for so in practising this exercise in resting in uncertainty and resting in vulnerability. In letting go of control, we begin to see that we don’t really have to change as a person we’re not just because we experienced craving, no matter what the intensity of it is, we’re not flawed in some way, it’s not a reason to dislike ourselves, we start to see that actually, it’s more about a particular pattern, or behaviour that’s built up over time, there’s gained a bit of momentum, some intensity. But that’s not a reflection of who we are, who you are in that kind of in that moment. That’s just a reflection of a condition pattern of behaviour, nothing more than that. And that’s really important. Because otherwise we add further layers of thinking, we get sort of caught up in a lot of guilt and dislike and shame and all those other kinds of things. So if we’re able to actually see past that to let go of those things, and to recognise that this is just a pattern, and that in allowing the mind to express itself freely as we’re doing in this exercise, we’re letting go of that pattern, we’re letting go of that intensity. And so over time, we start to see these patterns and this behaviour, sort of unfold and unwind.
Notice how that feels giving that mind a little extra space. And again, don’t worry, kind of whatever happens in those periods where you allow the mind to go, there is no right or wrong in this exercise, he may find thoughts coming up. And then another thought coming out saying I shouldn’t be thinking well, even if that happens, that’s okay as well. You are genuinely allowing the mind to do what ever it wants to do. And in that sense, this exercise really encourages I think, certain degree of sort of non judgmental, non judgmental ism Tovar towards oneself. So being kinder to yourself. In others the sense of celebrating, just being aware, not trying to maintain anything, not trying to control anything and not trying to blindly follow old patterns either as a sense of sort of appreciation of being able to sit with quiet confidence, not knowing simply being present with the mind as it is in this moment. I’ll see you back here tomorrow for day five.
— DAY 25 —
Hi, welcome back. And today five. Now hopefully already, this technique is starting to feel a little more comfortable, a little more familiar, the say the more you can do it during the day, the easier it will be the challenge, as I said at the beginning is that it feels as though we’re not really doing anything. And yet, it’s so it’s so subtle. And yet it is such a big difference. It’s so rare to rest the mind, in the quality of awareness. Not trying to do anything, not distracted by anything. Not resisting anything, not chasing after anything. There are lots of different ways of sort of thinking about it. Some people think about it, as you know, like in a storm, very often there’ll be a sort of a place of stillness right in the middle of the storm. So it’s even on those days when there’s loads and loads of things going on lots of thoughts, lots of feeling lots of craving, even in that there is a possibility of just resting in that place in the middle, that place of stillness. And again, this is where sort of real freedom comes from. If we’re only able to manage our cravings. On a good day when the mind is nice and calm and the thoughts are very pleasant and easy and soft. Then we’re always going to be living in a certain amount of sort of fear or hoping that The more difficult more challenging circumstances aren’t going to arise in the mind. But if we can be present no matter what, lots of thoughts, no thoughts, busy day, quiet day, easy emotions challenging emotions, then all of a sudden, we can sort of really embrace that quiet confidence really embrace that sense of letting go and move towards a peace of mind that we may well not have experienced before.
There’s a greater sense of confidence in being at ease with the mind as it is carrying that with you into the day finding those moments throughout the day to practice this exercise, and it’s really important that when we allow the mind to be free, we’re letting the mind do whatever it wants, but we’re watching it. We’re not getting involved in that thinking. So it’s not as though we’re just letting it do what it wants. And then turning away from it getting lost in it, we’re allowing it to do whatever it wants, but still seeing it clearly. And that’s what it means the rest in awareness. And that’s what it means to be able to step back from thought to no longer sort of be at the mercy of thoughts that arise. And this is how this sort of feeling of freedom and ease grows in both the body and the mind. So practising that throughout the day, and I look forward to seeing you back here tomorrow for day six.
— DAY 26 —
Hi, and welcome back and today six. So as we reflect back on these last sort of few days of practising this resting in awareness, sort of getting more confident in being vulnerable and not knowing and not needing to control. A part of that vulnerability is not only sort of embracing that ourselves, but it’s also considering the opportunity of being vulnerable to those around us. Now, the intensity of craving is probably going to define this, to some extent, the craving doesn’t feel particularly intense. If it doesn’t happen that often. And you don’t consider it to be sort of particularly harmful or serious in any way, then this probably isn’t going to apply. But if it is any of those things, then you may well want to be vulnerable to those around you as well. And to be open to the help of others. It’s both humbling and I think liberating, in some ways, just sort of letting down our, our guard and sharing with someone else, the challenges of the human condition, you know, and hopefully, if we have those people close to us, who will be supportive, then that can really kind of help build that feeling of confidence. So as much as possible, making sure you have the conditions the people around you to not only sort of be able to create the conditions internally, but also externally. We’ll look at that a little bit more at the end of today’s session.
Notice how it feels to pause, to allow the mind a greater sense of freedom seeing that actually, nothing terrible happens. That’s often the fear that when we let go, when we allow the mind to do whatever it wants, is something is going to happen. But even if thoughts are craving arise in the mind, we see that actually, they can arise without us buying into them. And it’s really important that if those thoughts arise during one period of allowing the mind to be free, we don’t try and then hold on to that thought to that dialogue into the next bar. Each time we come back to the breath, we just let everything go. We give our full attention to the breath. It’s as though nothing’s happened before, we then allow the mind to be free. And in doing that, each time we strengthen that resolve that intention of letting go. And as I said at the beginning, it’s important to be vulnerable, it’s important to have that support around you doesn’t mean telling everyone or sharing kind of these cravings online. But make sure you do find that person those people close friends family who will be supportive. And that will allow you to approach this in your own way. I’ll see you back here tomorrow for day seven.
— DAY 27 —
Hi, and welcome back. And today seven. And yesterday, we were looking at this idea of sort of vulnerability, and being open to the help of others. But it’s also helpful to consider how our craving can sometimes impact others and how, by focusing our attention on them that can help to strengthen our resolve or intention to sort of let go of these, these patterns. As I mentioned yesterday, it’s it’s so different for everyone. Although craving in essence is the same for us all the intensity vary so much. The way that it manifests in our life differs so often. So this may not necessarily apply. But maybe just consider how the craving does impact those around you. If it impacts those around you. And how by focusing on those individuals each time when you come and sit. And you practice by focusing on those individuals and wanting them to be happy, or wanting them to be happier in some way. Noticing how that changes the dynamic of the exercise the meditation for most people that allows them to sort of sit with a greater degree of confidence, greater degree of of intention, and really strengthens that resolve to come back each day and make this a regular part of their life. So right now even before you begin, just take a moment to think of who those people are around you who might be negatively impacted in some way by that craving. Knowing that you want those people to be happy, to be healthy, to be well. Just having that as your foundation for the exercise today.
And as I said, it can be really helpful just to include other people in your in your meditation not in a physical way but just to consider at the beginning and what why who you’re doing it for the who I think is especially important even though you might benefit from it as well recognising who else might benefit or just strengthen that resolve make it that much more likely that you’ll come back and do it each day. And he can also I think start to just soften the the exercise. So it’s not just a nice idea he genuinely starts to impact the way the meditation unfolds. I’ll see you back here tomorrow for Day eight.
— DAY 28 —
Hi, and welcome back, and today eight. So yesterday we were looking at this idea of how by focusing on others it can not only set us up with a stronger intention, but it can also change the dynamic of the As the exercise of the meditation itself tends to soften it a little bit, we tend to find a greater ease of mind. And, you know, we’ve been focusing a lot on this idea of sitting with quiet confidence. So as we rest in awareness, just allowing the mind, that is quiet confidence. Now that takes courage, that takes a certain confidence to just allow the mind to do whatever he wants to do, especially if we’ve been consistently overwhelmed by feelings or thoughts, or we’ve been fearful of particular feelings or thoughts arising in the mind, that takes confidence. So we’re training in this quiet confidence. But as we sit each day, if we can say not only set ourselves up to begin with, thinking, okay, who’s this going to benefit around us, but just recognising that simply by practising this exercise, not just with craving, beyond the craving this is now simply by sitting in quiet confidence, we begin to benefit those around us, even if it’s unspoken, even if the people around us are not immediately impacted by our craving in any way. By practising this the mind begins to calm down, we start to experience more clarity, we start to experience greater sense of contentment. And as a consequence, we start to experience a little more empathy in our life. So that’s something we need to do, you just happens kind of quite naturally as part of this process. So again, so as you as you sit in that quiet confidence each day just knowing that that’s a positive thing not only for yourself, not only for the people immediately around you, but also sort of in a broader sense as well.
We started with that idea of this benefiting others. Some people even like to take it a stage further and at the end of each exercise, it’s almost as though you sort of dedicate any benefit to the people you care about people you love to people around you, whatever it might be different for everybody. For some, it’s a nice idea doesn’t work so well for others. But if that is something that appeals and again, it can just help to strengthen the intention, the resolve, to rest, in awareness, to rest in uncertainty to sit in that quiet confidence each day. I’ll see you back here tomorrow for day nine.
— DAY 29 —
Hi, and welcome back to day nine. So as we move towards the end of part three in, in this course, and craving much of our you know, we start to see that much of our struggle with craving either comes from feeling overwhelmed by what comes from chasing after it comes from not being fully aware of it, ignoring it to some degree, or it comes from our resistance to it. So all of these different sorts of elements play their part in this internal struggle of craving. But when we see it clearly, and when we accept it fully. That doesn’t mean accepting. It doesn’t mean indulging it. It means to see it so clearly, that we have the choice of whether we react to it, or whether we respond to it. The reaction is normally knee jerk is chasing it or it’s resisting it. But if we really see it clearly, then we have the opportunity to respond. We’re able to see the thought to see the feeling to sit or to be with quiet confidence. And to recognise it’s just a thought. It’s just a feeling it requires courage. And that courage is nothing but vulnerability is being open to everything that arises in the mind. And at the same time, knowing that we don’t have to buy into it. So as I say this technique is it sounds so simple as an idea. And yet I think it’s it can be really transformative, not just around craving, but around all strong human emotions. So something you can apply to lots of different things but particularly around craving, think it allows us to see things and experience the mind in a very different way. So feel free to take a moment just to think of who those people are, who might benefit from you doing this exercise in addition to yourself.
Knowing you can carry this spaciousness into your day, knowing that the more you practice this throughout the day, the more sort of familiarity you’re going to feel, the easier it’s going to become and the more time you’re going to spend in that space. The temptation I think, sometimes is to, we almost do it as a strategy, a way of hoping we’re going to feel a certain way, hoping we’re going to experience a certain thing. But if we apply in that way, then we’re still trying, we’re still trying to make something happen. When we let the mind go, we really let the mind go take some practice. But over time we can in our daily life, we can start to feel actually more confident in seeing clearly rather than controlling, and more confident in not knowing rather than this sort of illusion of control. And ultimately, that just means more peace of mind means a greater sense of freedom. And hopefully, a greater sense of ease around these feelings of craving, more clarity, better understanding. And as a consequence, also, possibly a greater sense of empathy and understanding towards others, as well. I’ll leave you there for now today. And I look forward to seeing you back here tomorrow for Day 10.
— DAY 30 —
Hi, and welcome back and today 10. So, as we approach the final session of these 30 days, hopefully already, you’re starting to see a change in your experience, perception and understanding of craving. So I said at the beginning, this isn’t about sort of changing you it’s not about trying to treat cravings is about changing our experience of craving. And ultimately, although we’re focused on craving in this course, could just as well be about anything really. It’s about how we perceive thoughts, how we perceive feelings, how we’re able to let go of some old patterns and condition behaviour, and how ultimately we can set the mind free so that we experience greater peace of mind. So as you sit today, sitting with the knowledge that you have the tools at your disposal, if cravings do have Arise, no matter how sort of intense they might feel, knowing that you can apply those tools and knowing that you can sit with this sense of freedom, vulnerable, not knowing not trying to control. And yet, being able to accept the mind as it is being able to see thoughts clearly, not necessarily engaging them. But seeing them clearly so that you have choice. And that’s where real freedom is in having choices not in being free from something as in them not being around, it’s in allowing the mind to be as it is, but seeing it so clearly that you have the choice. And over the last few days, of course, we’ve been looking at this idea of just bringing in the people around you into your exercise, helping to strengthen the resolve to come back and sit each day, this isn’t going to happen sort of overnight. And it probably, you know, even after 30 days, we might start to see some changes, but it’s in coming back on a daily basis, or as often as possible, that we start to see longer sustainable change. So let’s begin today’s exercise, just take a moment to think of who those those people are around you who might benefit from you practising, training the mind in this way.
And as you open your eyes as you pause today, noticing how you feel also just congratulating yourself not just for having completed these past 10 days. And having done all three parts of this course. Now over these last 30 days, you’ve learned a number of different techniques and tools, some are more challenging than the others different for everybody. But having those tools at your disposal knowing how to be more aware of what’s going on in the mind knowing that you’re able to note to sort of step back from what’s going on. Having done visualisation, being able to let go of some old patterns and old behaviours, or at least begun that process. And then over the last 10 days, having moved towards a place where you can genuinely sit with a quiet confidence free from the worry that comes with sort of sheer willpower and the the illusion of control. But I think it’s really important to say that typically if craving has been a big part of our life for a long period of time, then these changes, they evolve and our understanding of the techniques and the teaching involves as well. So I’d really encourage you to think about this call centre. It’s often talked about in a sort of a learn practice master kind of way, the first time you go through, we’re really just taking in the information where we’re learning the basics. As we go through it again, we’re starting to practice that to implement that starts to become a bigger part of our everyday life. And then as we go through it again, however many times in the future, we really start to refine that process with thought to see sort of where we need to apply a little more awareness in our life. Either way, I hope you found both these 10 days and the entire 30 days. helpful in some way and I look forward to seeing you back here soon.