Gregory has been teaching meditation since 1980. He developed the practice of Insight Dialogue, offering retreats worldwide and authoring books including Insight Dialogue: The Interpersonal Path to Freedom and Dharma Contemplation: Meditating Together with Wisdom Texts.
After practicing dhammanupassana in Insight Dialogue, attending to the first four factors of sati (mindfulness), investigation of phenomena, energy and joy, this 40 minutes guided meditation takes us, in silence, through these four and onwards to the three calming factors of tranquility, concentration and equanimity.
The mind is more mysterious than thought can comprehend. So to name the factors of awakening is, in some sense, impossible. And yet, we can know something, it can be helpful, even powerful, to actively cultivate these factors in Insight Dialogue meditation as well as in silent meditation.
In meditation, the truth is the truth of experience. To speak the truth, mindfulness is essential; its the only way experience can be known. This talk tracks the act of speaking from the wordless beginnings, through the tension behind the urge to speak (even innocuous speech), an onto the physical act. When the thread of sati is maintained, there is a natural authenticity, a coherence between experience and its symbolization in words. The deep of Listen Deeply is likewise traced, with mindfulness and concentration making possible a continuity of awareness. When such listening and speaking meet, the mind-to-mind transmission is of a different order from ordinary speech.
The First Noble Truth is not a philosophical statement; it is a guidance for life and for meditation practice. Turn towards, look at, suffering. Inherent in this teaching is the Buddhas guidance that the only way out is through: denial and avoidance will not work. Meditation itself can be a path of avoidance, as can so many worldly distractions and addictions. On this Insight Dialogue retreat we are committed to turning towards Dukkha with the support of silent meditation, wisdom teachings, and each other.
The meditation instruction Relax encompasses releasing muscle tension, accepting and allowing present moment experience, tranquility, concentration, and metta. Since the tension of clinging (upadana) is the condition for the arising of becoming, this meditation instruction on relaxing and accepting is central to the process of knowing and releasing the process of self-making.