The first session defines meditation and describes the Buddhist teachings that give a context to the path of practice. We explore the two basic types of meditation--concentration and mindfulness--and then focus on the ground of mindfulness training: bringing mindful attention to the breath and bodily sensations. Guided meditations include setting intention and the sacred pause; learning to "come back" using an anchor of the breath; and "being here" with an embodied presence.
A reflection on the difficulties involved in and the methodology of a secular approach to Buddhism, followed by a reading of and comments on the Kalama Sutta, considered as a primary source text for secular Buddhism.
Wisdom across many traditions is understood as a clear and deep seeing of human experience; a seeing that cuts through conditioning and delusion. We look at the relationship of wisdom to mindfulness and the caring heart, particularly at how we see more clearly suffering, its roots and impermanence.
Further reflections on the meaning of the term "secular"; the Buddha's comparison of his teaching to a snake; an enquiry into what is distinctive and original in the Buddha's teaching: the principle of conditioned arising, the process of the four noble truths, the practice of mindful awareness, the power of self reliance; reflections on citations from the Pali canon concerning the principle of conditioned arising.
As I get older and the time I have left shrinks, I find the opportunity to enter deep time. We have infinite time in the present moment.
It is this passing of time too, that makes creativity possible. Readings on time and memory from my book, This Is Getting Old.