Host Michael Taft talks with meditation teacher and author Tina Rasmussen about ways to understand nondual awareness and the progress of nondual meditation, including her own unique comparison between the Formless Realms of early Buddhist meditation and the Boundless Dimensions taught by Hameed Ali (aka Almaas) of the Diamond Approach.
Tina Rasmussen, Ph.D., began meditating at age 13, and has practiced in the Theravada and Tibetan Buddhist traditions for over 30 years. In 2003, she completed a year-long solo retreat, was later ordained as a Buddhist nun and became the first Western woman authorized to teach by renowned meditation master Pa Auk Sayadaw. Tina has been studied by the Yale Neuroscience Lab, and is the co-author of Practicing the Jhanas, as well as several books on human potential.
Tina Rasumussen’s website: luminousmindsangha.com
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00:44 – Intro
03:30 – The core four practices of Buddhism that help us with the current crisis: shamatha, vipassana, heart, and self-transcending practices
06:19 – How Tina teaches shamatha (the Theravada way: anapanasati and brahmaviharas)
09:08 – The difference between anapanasati and pranayama
11:45 – The similarities and differences between the Theravadan and Tibetan practices
16:18 – How Tina teaches a hybrid set of Theravadan and Tibetan practices on retreat
18:44 – Shamatha is needed for stability
20:44 – The different flavors of nonduality (unity/emptiness)
24:37 – The Buddhist map of the realms of existence (form/material realm: physical/brahmaviharas; formless/immaterial realms: 1) boundless space; 2) boundless consciousness; 3) no-thingness/void; 4) neither perception nor non-perception; 5) the Deathless/Absolute/Nameless mystery)
28:53 – How ‘awareness’ is more fundamental than ‘consciousness’
30:55 – Comparison of the formless realms in Buddhism and in the Diamond Approach (Ridhwan); how different spiritual traditions focus on different formless realms
35:35 – Differing views in Theravada and Vajrayana
37:51 – Integrating boundless love and shamatha practices in Tina’s teachings
43:00 – The non-personal practices of the Eastern traditions and the personal practices of the Western traditions
44:08 – The synergy between spiritual and psychological technologies; the ‘inquiry’ practice
46:27 – Tina’s birth trauma and the importance of trauma work
53:10 – The inquiry way of working with aversion
55:46 – Suffering is optional
58:00 – Outro