Audios and Videos

Audios

These are from the Buddhasasana Podcast, Dhamma talks, audio courses, and readings by Bhikkhu Cintita,

available also in iTunes, Spotify and other platforms. Podcasts bolow are listed starting with the most recent at the top.


Talks on the Buddhist Path

These talks on the Buddhist Path supplement a text available as a pdf at: sitagu.org/shortlinks/lifepath/


Cultivation: concentration. We talk about the final factor on the noble eightfold path: right concentration. (Buddhist Path, talk 11, 10/15/2021)


Cultivation: effort and mindfulness. We talk about the path factors of right effort and right mindfulness. (Buddhist Path, talk 10, 10/8/2021)


Virtue: ending karma, practicing virtue. We talk about a subtle aspect of karma: with full awakening there is activity in the world, but no karma! Then we will say some things about practicing virtue in our lives. (Buddhist Path, talk 9, 10/1/2021)


Virtue: livelihood and karma. We look at the fifth factor on the noble eightfold path, and then look at virtue in therms of karma. (Buddhist Path, talk 8, 9/24/2021)


Virtue: right speech and right action. We look at the third and fourth factors on the noble eightfold path. (Buddhist Path, talk 7, 9/17/2021)


Wisdom: relief from suffering. We see how the human condition is disentabled by dispelling the conditions of suffering. (Buddhist Path, talk 6, 09/10/2021)


Wisdom: the causes of suffering. Suffering comes to characterize the world as we experience it by arising from conditions. ( talk 5, 09/03/2021)


Wisdom: the world as we experience it. Wisdom is what we need to know for practice. Both wisdom and practice concern the world as we experience it. (talk 4, 08/27/2021)


Higher training: the stream enterer. We talk about how one becomes a stream enterer and summarize the path of higher training. (talk 3, 8/20/2021)


Higher training: ethics and beyond. We continue our first-pass overview of the higher training as we consider how the noble eightfold path is primarily a path of ethics, and we will introduce the concept of the stream enterer, the trainee, who possesses the ideal qualities to embark on the noble eightfold path. (talk 2, 8/13/2021)


Higher training: the path in brief. In this series of talks we want to look at the noble eightfold path in detail, the eight bullet points of advanced Buddhist practice. This first talk provides a quick overview. (talk 1, 8/6/2021)


The Buddha’s Method: insubstantial and conditional. Second of two talks) The Buddha’s methodology furthermore involves regarding the world as both insubstantial and conditional. (7/30/2021)



The Buddha’s Method


The Buddha’s Method: practical and subjective. (First of two talks) The Buddha clarifies an explicit methodology which is nonetheless often overlooked by students of the Dharma. Much of this has to do with the practical and experiential orientation of the Dharma. (7/23/2021)


A history of emptiness. The teaching of emptiness is often considered to be an innvation of Nagarjuna or of the Prajnaparamita Sutras. However this important teaching had been expounded by the Buddha many centuries before, but has become obscured. But how? (7/16/2021)



Talks on Dependent Co-Arising

These talks supplement a text available HERE as a pdf.


Ignorance: what to do about it. In this last talk on our long series on Dependent Coarising, we look at how we live without presumptions: without views and without existing objects. (7/9/2021)


Ignorance: the enabler of the chain. Ignorance is the source of presumption, from which the rest of the links flow.  (7/2/2021)


Formations: the workings of karma. The formations are the site of karma (volition) and the dispositions that give rise to our ethical choices. (6/25/2021)


Formations: the building blocks of the world. Formations are dispositionally conditioned conceptual choices that form the basis of all cognition. (6/18/2021)


Cognizance: the magic show. We explore the enormous depth and imagination of cognizance, and how it manages to convince us that this is real.  (6/11/2021)


Cognizance: the whirlpool that constructs the world. Cognizance is the creative aspect of cognition, always in conversation with name and form, our cumulative understanding of the world. (6/4/2021)


Name and appearance: negotiating the world. This talk discusses how the factors of form, feeling, perception, intention, contact and attention determine how the world appears to us. (5/28/2021)


Name and appearance: the objects of the world. Name and form provides an interactive model of cognition for mapping sensual data to cognizance. (5/21/2021)


The sixfold sphere: letting go of the eye. The sixfold sphere is the process of presuming. Once we understand the process, we can presume otherwise. (5/14/2021)


The sixfold sphere: an epistemic account of contact. The sixfold sphere turns the issue of “out there,” into how do we think we know what is going on “out there.”  (5/7/2021)


Contact: questioning substantial things. There is a basis for questioning how accurately what we contact reflects what is really “out there.” (4/30/2021)


Contact: subject and object. Contact is the relation of subject (‘me”) to object (something substantial “out there”). Unquestioned, it leasds to suffering. (4/23/2021)


Feeling: busy mind, serene mind. Feeling easily spins out int mental proliferation. However, neutral feelings are cultivated bring about meditative states. (4/16/2021)


Feeling: stimulus or reward? Feelings are our immediate evaluation of the world, thumbs up or thumbs down. They have a rickety relation to human motivation. (4/9/2021)


Craving: seeking, growth and cessation. We discuss seeking behavior, craving for becoming and how we limit or even eliminate our impulse to crave. ( 4/2/2021)


Craving: the origin of suffering. Craving plays a central role among the twelve links, directly implicated in craving, in how we fashion our experiental world and in human action. (3/26/2021)


Appropriation: letting go. We talk about contemplations that help us release what we have attached to as me and mine, in order to limit and ultimate eliminate appropriation. (3/19/20210)


Appropriation: developing a personal footprint. Appropriating things as me and mine is how we develop a personality within the experiential world. (3/12/2021)


Becoming: growing a world. Last week we looked at developing a personality in the world. Today we look at the mechanics of growing our world of experience and see how our personality shapes a self-centered world. (3/5/2021)


Becoming: being someone. Becoming is a twofold process: (1) growing our phenomenal world, our world of experience, and (2) developing a personality within that world, becoming someone. Today we learn what it means to be someone. (2/26/2021)


Birth: the middle way. Rebirth in Buddhism is a middle way between annihilation at death and eternal life, presuming there is nothing to be reborn. (2/19/2021)


Birth: the imperative of samsara. Birth after birth keeps us spinning around in this mass of suffering. Although rebirth is rather obscure, framing our practice in this way gives urgency and depth to our practice. (2/12/2021)


This mass of suffering: conditionality. Conditionality relates craving to suffering and each of the twelve links of dependent co-arising to its neighbors. It is at the heart of the four noble truths and of dependent co-arising. We also provide a quick description of each of twelve links. (2/05/2021)


This mass of suffering: the human pathology. Dependent co-arising accounts for our pervasive dissatisfaction and sense of lack. We would not come to Buddhism if we lived in perpetual bliss. Here we review the many forms of human suffering and introduce the four noble truths. (1/29/2021)


Dependent co-arising: introduction. The human pathology is that we presume a world that is impossible to live in in any satisfactory way. In the twelve links of dependent co-arising are the Buddha’s most comprehensive teaching, in which he explores from a cognitive perspective: our presumptions, how they arise, how they afflict us, and what happens when we let go of them. This is the first in a long series of talks about which the Buddha said, “Whoever sees dependent co-arising sees the Dhamma.” (1/22/2021)



Talks on Buddhist Life

Information about this series can be found HERE.


Refuge (2/2). We finish looking at what the earliest texts tell us about the the practice of refuge in Buddhism.  (BL12)


Refuge (1/2). We begin looking at what the earliest texts tell us about the the practice of refuge in Buddhism. (BL11)


Harmony (2/2). We finish looking at what the earliest texts tell us about the the practice of harmony in Buddhism.  (BL10)


Harmony (1/2). We begin looking at what the earliest texts tell us about the the practice of harmony in Buddhism. (BL9)


Purity (2/2). We finish looking at what the earliest texts tell us about the development of purity of mind in Buddhism. (BL8)


Purity (1/2). We begin looking at what the earliest texts tell us about the development of purity of mind in Buddhism.  (BL7)


Harmlessness (2/2). We finish looking at what the earliest texts tell us about the practice of precepts (sila) in Buddhism. (BL6)


Harmlessness (1/2). We begin looking at what the earliest texts tell us about the practice of precepts (sila) in Buddhism. (BL5)


Generosity (2/2). We finish looking at what the earliest texts tell us about the practice of generosity (dana) in Buddhism. (BL4)


Generosity (1/2). We look at what the earliest texts tell us about the practice of generosity (dana) in Buddhism. (BL3)


Life of the Buddha (2/2). We look at what the earliest texts tell us about the life of the Buddha from his awakening and through his teaching career. (BL2)


Life of the Buddha (1/2). We look at what the earliest texts tell us about the life of the Buddha through his awakening under the Bodhi tree. (BL1)



Samadhi talks


Samadhi and right view (2/2). How is it possible to develop knowledge and wisdom based on right view from within samadhi? This is the art of balancing vipassana with jhana.


Samadhi and right view (1/2). The attainment of wisdom attributed to samādhi is generally called knowledge and vision. However, the question remains controversial how knowledge and vision are related to right view, i.e., to Dharma, for how can understanding of something cognitively complex be brought into the stillness of samadhi?


Pleasurable abiding in samadhi. Pleasurable abiding in the progressively unfolding factors of delight, tranquility and samaadhi is a karmic fruit that we enjoy when we are engaged in wholesome practice of all kinds. It has the important function of informing our practice of the difference between worldly and suprmundane pleasure.


The context of samadhi. Far from the common characterization of samadhi (concentration) as a difficult and specialized practice of samatha, what we find in the Suttas is that samadhi arises quite spontaneously in a wide variety of practice contexts. It is a rather bread-and-butter factor in Buddhist practice.



Was the Buddha a biologist? “If consciousness were not to descend into the mother’s womb, would name-and-form take shape in the womb?” “No.” The most common traditional interpretation of this famous passage (from DN 15) is that consciousnessis travels into the womb to unify with the fetus of name-and-form at con­ception. I argue that this interpretation is untenable.



Empathy talks


Conflict in society – Empathy (3/3). The same principles by which Buddhism understands interpersonal conflict and how to resolve it, apply also to social issues such as criminal justice, ethnic and racial tensions, our consumption of media and news, and even political views.


Dismembering conflict-  Empathy (2/3). This talk discusses Early Buddhist antidotes to the judgmental mind, and to the anger that often accompanies it.


Anatomy of a conflict – Empathy (1/3).  How conflicts – from tiff to shootout – typically arise, with particular emphasis on the violent nature of judgmental thinking.



Mindfulness, where Dharma meets Practice


MDP 11/11 – Living in the midst (2/2). In this eleventh and final talk in the “Mindfulness, where Dharma meets Practice” series, we look at the virtues of simplicity and devotion and the importance of community in framing a Buddhist life.


MDP 10/11 – Living in the midst (1/2). In this tenth talk in the “Mindfulness, where Dharma meets Practice” series, we look at the challenges to integrating practice into everyday life, the need to practice mindfully throughout the day, and the importance of choosing an appropriate livelihood.


MDP 9/11 – Living in wisdom (3/3). In this ninth talk in the “Mindfulness, where Dharma meets Practice” series, we look at the art of investigation and the role of mindful observation and mental composure in the process that leads to insight into how things are.


MDP 8/11 – Living in wisdom (2/3). In this eighth talk in the “Mindfulness, where Dharma meets Practice” series, we look at the main logic of the wisdom teachings, that have to do with the contingency and unsubstantiality of our experiential world.


MDP 7/11 – Living in wisdom (1/3). In this seventh talk in the “Mindfulness, where Dharma meets Practice” series, we see how wisdom begins with study of the Dharma and how, mindful of the Dharma, we investigate our own experience.


MDP 6/11 – Living in devotion (2/2). In this sixth talk in the “Mindfulness, where Dharma meets Practice” series, we look more carefully at the nature of Dharma as working assumptions that, only by putting aside blind faith, we seek to understand in terms of our own experience.


MDP 5/11 – Living in devotion (1/2). In this fifth talk in the “Mindfulness, where Dharma meets Practice” series, we see how devotion based in the midfulness of the three refuges becomes a powerful motivator for practice. We look at the role of admirable friends and the Sangha.


MDP 4/11 – Living in virtue (2/2). In this fourth talk in the “Mindfulness, where Dharma meets Practice” series, we look at the development of purity, the kind of character that cannot help but be harmless and of benefit, and the role of mindful observing of our intentions in developing such quality.


MDP 3/11 – Living in virtue (1/2). In this third talk in the “Mindfulness, where Dharma meets Practice” series, we look at the mindful practices of precepts and generosity, as means of becoming harmless and of benefit in a Buddhist life.


MDP 2/11 – Living in mindfulness (2/2). In this second talk in the “Mindfulness, where Dharma meets Practice” series, we look at the noble eightfold path, the basic instructions to keep in mind in our practice, and look more deeply at the role of Right Mindfulness and mindful observation (satipatthana).


MDP 1/11 – Living in mindfulness (1/2). In this first talk in the “Mindfulness, where Dharma meets Practice” series (MDP), we consider Buddhism as a skill. Dharma is the instructions, practice is living according to those instructions. Mindfulness is keeping those instructions in mind, remembering them.



How I became a Buddhist. Smart but not wise, I took up Buddhism as a rather step-by-step process of rational exploration. That is, until it swept me up to reveal things rather unanticipated.



What did the Buddha think of women


What did the Buddha think of women? – part two. Last week’s talk demonstrated the exemplary support the Buddha provided to women’s practice. This week we will look at a controversial text, describing with the origin of the nun’s sangha, that at first sight seems to paint a starkly contrasting picture of the Buddha.


What did the Buddha think of women? – part one. Buddhism is not widely known as a religion of gender-equality. But the early the discourses show repeatedly that the Buddha had the deepest kindness and respect for women, as particularly evident in his treatment of the nun’s Sangha.



Understanding the aggregates. The aggregates are a foundational teaching of the Buddha, but they are rarely properly understood. This talk shows how to identify all the aggregates in your own experience and explains their role in contemplative practice.


What is the Buddha-Sasana?  The Buddha-Sasana is Buddhism as a living tradition, something that evolves, spreads to new lands, dies out in old lands, rather than Buddhism as the Dharma, which is much more static. A key question for the Buddha seems to be is how well the Buddha-Sasana would retain the authenticity of the Buddha-Dharma.


The story of my ordination. A narrative account of BC’s 2009 bhikkhu ordination in Burma. This story appears in his 2012 book, Through the Looking Glass, which can be found under “books” on this site.


The beauty queen. This talk examines three simles for mindfulness, two of the Buddha’s and one of my own, and discusses how our meditation needs to venture beyond the breath.


The seven factors of awakening. An oft neglected causal chain of factors described by the Buddha that arise one by one in meditation practice and link mindfulness and concentration.



The ‘trinsic motivation sermons


The wonder of intrinsic motivation. This talk is on the importance of doing things for no particular purpose, in Life and in Buddhist practice. It is largely based on evidence from modern experimental psychology, which closely resonates with traditional Buddhist teachings, and which demonstrates that increased well-being, satisfaction, proficiency, understanding and creativity results when we let go of goals.


The blunder of extrinsic motivation. We show how Buddhism predicts the mental and spiritual downside of extrinsic motivation (striving toward personal advantage) in terms of its ethical quality. The antidote is the development of virtue.


The thunder of intrinsic motivation. This deals with how to encourage intrinsic motivators in our live, how to “follow your bliss,” to make our projects more satisfying and meaningful. Projects include hobbies, career, education marriage and religion. The importance of faith and devotion in all of these is discussed.


Out from under extrinsic motivation. ‘Trinsic motivation sermon 4. Our practice has a social foundation, as taught by the Buddha. Social conditions are the primary way we are oppressed by extrinsic motivatons. This talk discusses how we get out from under these conditions.



Video course: Mindfulness, where Dharma meets practice

This five-hour course is about Dharma, practice, and how they intersect in mindfulness. It is a nutshell introduction to Buddhism based almost exclusively on the earliest Buddhist sources, which are the historical basis for all of the diverse later schools of Buddhism. In spite of its conciseness, it provides a comprehensive overview of the range of Buddhist practice and understanding and contains practical advice on how we can integrate Buddhist practice into busy modern lives. Related materials, including the textbook of the same name, can be found HERE.


0. Introduction.


1. Living in mindfulness.


2. Living in virtue.


3. Living in devotion.


4. Living in wisdom.


5. Living in the midst.




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