Meditation and Discussion

This is a weekly meeting primarily for those new to, or renewing, Buddhist practice. We will meditate for half an hour, then entertain questions or discuss topics related to all aspects of Buddhist practice, IntroBuddhaincluding meditation, precepts, refuges, Buddhist values, and principles of living a Buddhist life. Meditation instruction for newbies will be offered prior to the regular meetings. There is no charge.

Schedule:

Every Saturday morning
8:20 Instruction for beginners
9:00 Silent meditation period
9:40  Q&A and Discussion
10:20 Silent meditation period
11:00 End

Please see Words of the Buddha Meetup for current information.

Venue:

Sitagu Buddha Vihara, 9001 Honeycomb Dr. Austin, TX 78737 USA
In the Dhamma Hall (immediately south of the pagoda)

Further Information:

ashin.cintita@sitagutx.org

Talks from Meditation and Discussion

  • “Meditation requires courage” (8/11/2018). Meditation is an exploration of the inner world, introspection. For many this world is unknown, like entering virgin territory. What you discover is yourself, and you don’t always like what you find there. But that is where we make spiritual progress.
  • “Mindfulness in everyday life” (8/18/2018). Mindfulness is remembering what it is you are doing. It can be practiced throughout the day, but requires some adjustments in your day to ensure that you are doing something. Not multitasking, ritualizing activities, following a clear schedule are helpful. Remember what it is you are doing and put all else aside.
  • “Five hindrances” (8/25/2018) – Lust, ill-will, sloth&torpor, restlessness&remorse, doubt must be laid to rest before settling into meditative composure. These are distractions from following the breath, etc. Mindfulness can be used to do this.
  • “Examination of phenomena” (9/1/2018) — Examination of phenomena generally begins with focus on the breath, but extends to other aspects of the body, feelings, mind and factors of the Dhamma, such as suffering and craving.
  • “The hawk and the quail” (9/15/2018) — This simile of the Buddha demonstrates that dwelling in mindfulness is our natural realm, for wandering beyond our realm subjects us to the will of Mara, much as a quail wandering beyond its realm.
  • “The Buddhist context of meditation” (9/22/2018) — Mindfulness has been abstracted from its Buddhist context in mindfulness-based therapies and also commonly in Vipassana and Zen meditation when these are treated as self-sufficient practices. Nonetheless, the entire Buddhist practice, including virtue, right understanding and refuge, are necessary for awakening.
  • “The beauty queen” (10/13/2018) — A famous simile of the Buddha for mindfulness that conveys the regulatory function of mindfulness and the nature of distraction.
  • “A bundle of branches” (12/1/2018) — The word samādhi means literally collected together or composed. What we collect together is our mind, whose various factors tend to point this way and that like a bundle of branches that we wish to carry through a narrow gate.
  • “Meditation on the aggregates” (2/23/2019) — This is a guided meditation followed by discussion on the topic of the aggregates (khandas), as five integrated levels of experience of ascending conceptual complexity, in this case identified one by one in observing a ceramic model of a castle.
  • “Virtue and delight” (3/9/2019) — How do we prepare ourselves for meditation? Alongside seclusion, including putting aside worldly concerns, is reflecting on our own virtue. This can produce a glow that turns easily to delight (pīti), one of major factors that powers our concentration.
  • “Meditation in daily life” (3/30/2019) — Meditation is something we  should do on the cushion and off. In daily life we perform our tasks with clear understanding of its requirements while putting aside distractions. While washing dishes we just wash dishes. To be able to do so is a primary fruit of meditation on the cushion.
  • “Seven factors of awakening” (4/6/2019) — The Buddha’s elegant teaching on the seven factors of awakening, often neglected by meditation teachers, tie together his various teachings on meditation into a single causal chain.
  • “Remembrance of Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha and Virtue.” (4/20/2019) — The breath is a home base, the mind can range over many meditation objects. Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha and one’s own virtue are examples.

 

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