DHARMA TALKS FROM MONDAY NIGHT MEDITATION GROUPS
THE BENEFITS OF MEDITATION
Mindfulness of a Mug
There are many ways to practice Right Mindfulness throughout our day. These simple practices purify the mind and allow us to rest in a pleasant, happy mind.Keywords: conditioning, hindrances, Non-returner, Right Mindfulness
Who Are We? Can We Dare to be Ourselves
Many of us suffer because we hold onto harmful ideas about ourselves and the world. When we move towards greater, non-verbal awareness, the suffering produced by thinking falls away.Keywords: dependent origination, The Three Poisons
Gifts of Meditation
This practice helps us be more effective and efficient.Keywords: equanimity, four foundations, Majjhima Nikāya, six bases of contact
Automatic Reactions for Harmony & Innovation
Brain research shows that through meditation we can reset our automatic responses and break negative mental habits.Keywords: aversion, Dhamma, loving-kindness
Anger as Important Information
Anger often develops when we don’t get what we want or we get what we don’t want. With resolve, insight, and repeated effort, we can come to experience unpleasant or disappointing moments with acceptance and equanimity.Keywords: Dhammapada, dosa, equanimity, spiritual bypass
Mindfulness to Free the Mind
Mindfulness is our servant; it can free us from the habit of thinking about the moment rather than knowing and experiencing it.Keywords: dependent origination, sankhara
Training to be Happy
We can develop a happiness that is not dependent on circumstances. Through meditation, we can bring attention to our habitual thoughts, reduce their grip on us, and replace them with mental habits based on love, kindness, and wisdom.Keywords: concentration, mental habits
Complete Body Sweep Meditation
Core Concepts and Practices
Labeling as a Strategy to Dismantle Unwholesome States
Labeling as a powerful strategy to dissolve negative and stress-creating mental habits as well as a critical tool in developing happiness-inducing, positive mental habits.
Keywords: anicca (impermanence), clear comprehension, non self, Vipassana
The Buddha’s generosity to one person leads to the man’s freedom from suffering. He teaches if we see clearly, we develop wisdom and become disenchanted with the senses and their objects. In this way, our craving and aversion cool and pass awayKeywords: Exposition of the Elements, jhanas, Majjhima Nikāya, peace, renunciation, the Four Determinations: wisdom, truth
Understanding Not-Self in Ourselves & Others
People are like us- flawed. Understanding this can be a source of compassion for ourselves and others.Keywords: anatta (not-self), anicca (impermanence), dukkha (suffering)
Intention, Speech and Not-Self
When we observe thoughts in meditation, we see firsthand how thoughts are constructed and how the delusion of self drives their ongoing fabrication.Keywords: not-self, Right Action, Right Intention, Right Speech
Limited Self vs. Vast Self and the role of Jhana
One reason we suffer is that we cling to an idea of a self. In Buddhism, the self is understood to be something we construct. Through meditation, we can go into a silence that helps us recognize the small mind as well as train in developing a vast mind. With training, even an infinite mind can be surpassed.Keywords: Dharma, Right Effort
Dharma Talks from RETREATS
An Insight Retreat on No Self or The Less There is of Me, The Greater the Freedom and Peace- October 30, 2015
On an intuitive level, we realize we are not our thoughts or passing emotions or aging bodies. We realize we change from moment to moment, yet there is a distinct lingering impression that there is an enduring “me. “
Becoming fully free of a “me” in the course of three days is not realistic. What we can do, though, is train ourselves to recognize more quickly how the conditioned “self” arises. As a lovely outcome of this training, when we do find ourselves reacting to something in our lives, we’ll be more likely to recall, oh, it’s just a thought. I can put that down. Or, here’s a frisson of apprehension about how the meeting will turn out. It’s not me. I didn’t request this. I can put this down, too. What a relief!
You cannot read your way to enlightenment.
Introduction to Not Self – Part 1
All compounded things break down, go away.
Introduction to Not Self – Part 2
Because our minds are dull, there seems to be more stability…
Aggregates. The Futility of Trying to Fix Suffering
The Five Aggregates of Clinging
Khemaka Sutta – The Lingering Sense of I Am
Vipallasa Sutta -Distortions of the Mind
Exploring the Limitless- July 25, 2014
Over the past year, Susan Pembroke has been talking about the significance of being aware of the kind of mind we inhabit at any given moment. She has also urged making a conscious choice to step out of the limited, binary mind, and jump into the vast, infinite mind. Knowing how and when to move between these two manifestations of mind, between the finite and infinite, are essential to happiness as well as being our legacy and good fortune. During this silent retreat, as we did last year, we will focus on quieting the limited, conceptual mind long enough to sense the immense, vital field which is our true home. Expect longer sits and encouragement to develop a robust and unwavering base of concentration so that the mind can expand and return to its natural state.
Thoughts and Moods
Use this awareness to create a space between what’s coming up and how you are responding.
Exploring the Limitless
Rediscovering the Present Moment- April 18, 2015
Together we will set the world aside, with all of its tumult and frenzied energy, and refresh our overworked minds. This is a day of simplicity, letting go, and resting in whatever surprises life offers. The emphasis will be on sensing and awakening to the present moment. Please bring an attitude of child-like curiosity, wonder, and playfulness.
Rediscovering the Present Moment Part 1
Rediscovering the Present Moment Part 2
Exploring Awareness- May 18, 2013
Awareness does so much more than simply allow us to reject dead-on-arrival habitual responses and discover possibilities that are fresh, rewarding, enlivening. Even though awareness is essential in remembering and acting on our highest aspirations, there is still so much more to this ever-present state, one that we can overlook the way we fail to see the space in a room. Awareness reveals our true identity as well as connecting us with all that is. Awareness takes us home as well as being our home.
Ways to Work With Awareness
Awareness as an Opening
Awareness as a Door to the Non-Dual
“Whatever a person frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of her mind.”
– Majjhima Nikāya 19