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Retreat Dharma Talks

The Zen Retreat

2011-04-16 (7 days) Gaia House

2011-04-17 Coming to Terms with Birth and Death 49:09
Stephen Batchelor
Reflections on the nature of 'religion'; the Buddha's awakening as a resolution of the questions posed by life itself; Zen as a 'direct pointing to the heart, independent of scripture'; the aim of Buddhist practice is the achievement of autonomy; towards the possibility of a 'secular religion'.
2011-04-19 Where the Mind has Nowhere to Rest 65:42
Stephen Batchelor
Hui-neng's definition of sitting meditation; the middle way as the avoiding of the 'deadends' of existence and non-existence; the Greek philosopher Pyrrho as an example of a similar attitude; Hui-ko asks Bodhidharma to 'set his mind at rest'; the infinity of things; emptiness as the unfindability of things; to question 'what is this' is the practice of such emptiness that neither affirms nor denies anything.
2011-04-20 Experiential Wisdom 58:49
Martine Batchelor
What should we rely on when practising? An exploration of the four reliances found in Zen texts. Also looking at the actualisation of experiential wisdom in daily life.
2011-04-21 An Ordinary Person's Life 60:49
Stephen Batchelor
The story of Ch'an Master Teshan; through Ch'an (Zen) the Chinese make Buddhism their own - a similar challenge faces us in the West today; the practice of 'What is this?' is the practice of the First Noble Truth: dukkha; how Zen fits into the context of the Four Truths; the Four Truths and the Four Great Vows; the self who practices the path is neither existent nor non-existent; Layman P'ang: chopping wood and carrying water.
2011-04-22 Ethics and Compassion 67:45
Martine Batchelor
Looking at the three trainings of ethics, meditation and wisdom and their application in daily life with the help of ethics and compassion.
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