An excellent and informative day at the Silent retreat on Saturday. Your course outline certainly has me engaged and hopefully the others too. This is what this and other Thai Temples in the UK seem to be lacking to reach out to a western audience and in time hopefully the Sangha will see the value of this also.
Your approach was very direct and left no room for ambiguity which is much needed. The analogy of Tom & Jerry and our minds really did take me by surprise. When you first mentioned this a few weeks ago, I was very sceptical of using such terminology in this area, however listening to your talk on Saturday has totally changed my view on this and I can now see its effectiveness through its simplicity. Having studied mindfulness for some years now, there are many different approaches all using different terminology and often overcomplicating the practise. Your method really gets to the core of what this is all about and will no doubt enhance the lives of those who can attend the classes and follow up with their own practise.
The simple instruction ‘don’t answer back to Jerry’ is an invaluable one, to anyone practising mindfulness. By not answering back, we simply recognise ‘Jerry there’, we don’t push him away, try to ignore him or engage him.
Those who already have an understanding of mindfulness and the nature of our minds will know what happens if we engage Jerry. As always, simple but not easy without practice. However, I’m sure with your guidance, the students will learn to trust and stay faithful to the instructions/techniques and see the rewards within all areas of their lives.
Take care and speak to you soon
The silent retreat taught by Supawan Green was very useful, it was an immersive course on the subject of consciousness, the first I had been too. I learned a new perceptive of looking at human consciousness that I hadn’t previously understood. Having someone who can deliver and teach the material over this subject to you is very helpful as she can use illustrations and props to explain the trickeries of the mind. I liked the simple different techniques she used to improve our mindfulness for example: sitting, walking, tai chi qigong and even playing hokey-cokey!! The course had a good balance of theory and practice.