We’re reading Minding Closely, a new book by Alan Wallace, at the Tricycle Book Club. In partnership with Snow Lion Publications, all Tricycle Community Members can get Minding Closely at a 20% discount with free shipping in the US*, plus free e-book for instant download. Get the book now.

Do you have any problem points in your mindfulness practice? The discussion is a great place to post questions to Allan Wallace, so that he can help clarify and expand on his teachings from the book. One Community Member asks:

On page 192 you say “examine mental events to see…” and then “Investigate closely”. How does one do this examination and investigation without becoming engaged with the mental events they pertain to? Likewise you refer in other places about using “free association” with the events. Now I’m really confused as to exactly what I’m supposed to be doing in ‘settling the mind in it’s natural state.”

Wallace responds:

When engaging in vipashyana practice, one does engage with mental events, closely examining the manner in which they arise and pass away, investigating whether they are changing or unchanging, and so on. But in the shamatha practice of settling the mind in its natural state, one simply observes their nature, without any such careful scrutiny.

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