Suffering is an integral part of life—the First Noble Truth. How is it possible that some people go through suffering and even trauma and, instead of becoming bitter or damaged, use it as a catalyst for deep compassion and awakening? Most people don’t realize they have the choice to work skillfully with regard to the challenges life gives them. This is one of the greatest blessings of practice. Consciously appreciating this blessing brings a deeper connection to practice.
We explore how our practice can come alive in the flow of daily life, focusing on some of the challenges as well as three areas: (1) Various supports for daily life practice, (2) the centrality of mindfulness of the body, and (3) taking difficulties and even suffering as opportunities for practice.
Right view is an approach to life that leads to awakening, to enlightenment. As mindfulness becomes mainstreamed in western culture, serious practitioners should take care that the framework of virtue, the integrated eight-fold path, and the liberating potential of meditation practice are not lost. Both mundane and supramundane right view are examined in this talk. Ultimately, right view implies a direct realization of the four noble truths and of the model of dependent arising.