Do Explain: "Embodied Awareness"

Dzogchen view, presentation, and experience is the main theme of this epic conversation with Christofer Lövgren for Do Explain. There’s a half hour lead-in to the topic in which Christofer asks me about my meditation and academic history and how they interwove with each other.

One of the most interesting parts of the conversation for me was articulating how people coming to Dzogchen practice from different backgrounds describe their experience using the language of Sutra or Tantra — and how this affects the character and “flavor” of Dzogchen. Here’s a short excerpt from that section:

I also compare and contrast the experience of jhanas with subtle body practices in Vajrayana:

and the complementary differences between therapy and opening awareness meditation:

To see what we talked about at what point, there’s a timeline of our conversation below. Listen to the whole podcast here:

Do Explain Podcast Cover
Do Explain 46: “Embodied Awareness” with Charlie Awbery

Content and timeline

00:00:00 Christofer surprises me with an invitation to give a guided meditation.

00:10:00 He asks me about my meditation history, and how it was different from the typical experience people have when first starting out. I talk about my initial formative, awakening experience and how making sense of that led me to explore Buddhist paths and psychotherapy.

00:28:00 The difference between mind and body awakening, the Tibetan yogic lineages and the Theravadan no-self lineages, similarities and differences between them.

00:35:00 Embodied Awareness. What does “View” mean in Buddhism? The renunciative framework, when is it appropriate, how it is misapplied? View is often non-explicit yet affects how one behaves.

00:45:00 How living in contemporary society affects view. What makes Vajrayana distinct? You are fundamentally okay. Applying methods vs. universalizing view.

00:50:00 Guilt, shame, and Tantric transformation.

00:55:00 Perfectionism, no-self, how equanimity plays out in relationships, hidden shadow selves. Progressive perfectionism vs. messy, contextualized growth.

01:05:00 Different approaches to Dzogchen. How Sutra and Tantra affect the look & feel of Dzogchen and the way it is presented.

01:20:00 Spontaneous awareness in Dzogchen view is in tension with prescribed progressive stages.

01:45:00 Evolving Ground community, in-person gatherings, Evolving Ground foundations and path.

01:50:00 Unplanned speaking with the Ultraspeaking Fundamentals Course.

02:00:00 Confidence.

02:20:00 The differences between therapy and meditation, and how they can be complementary.


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Evolving Ground’s Opening Awareness book has practical instructions on how to establish a meditation practice or transition to opening awareness from other types of meditation.

Evolving Ground Community.

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