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Retreat Dharma Talks

Teachers' retreat at Springbrook, Queensland, Australia

A retreat specially for Australian insight mediation teachers

2010-10-14 (7 days) Australian Insight Meditation Network

2010-10-14 Unlearning Buddhism 64:31
Stephen Batchelor
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.
2010-10-15 How to Hold a Snake 58:22
Stephen Batchelor
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.
2010-10-16 From Place to Ground 59:57
Stephen Batchelor
An analysis of the Buddha's account of his awakening in the Discourse on the Noble Quest (M. 26) as an existential shift from attachment to a 'place' to the seeing of the twofold 'ground' of conditioned arising and nibbana, followed by a psychological interpretation the subsequent passage which describes how, inspired by the god Brahma, he set off to teach his first sermon in Isipatana (Sarnath).
2010-10-17 Embracing Dukkha 60:55
Stephen Batchelor
Reflections on the Buddha's first sermon: how the four noble truths are a translation of the principle of conditioned arising into a way of life; the middle way as avoiding the two dead ends of worldliness and religiosity; the four truths as prescriptions rather than descriptions, as a sequence of tasks to perform rather than a set of doctrines to believe; the first truth as fully knowing dukkha both in depth and breadth.
2010-10-18 Entering the Stream 61:33
Stephen Batchelor
The parable of the ancient city as a template for a secular Buddhism, i.e. how the four truths and conditioned arising provide a framework for a new culture or civilisation; further reflection on "fully knowing dukkha" in terms of its cognitive, affective and aesthetic implications; how stream entry entails autonomy, as well as confirmed confidence in Buddha, dharma and sangha; the humanised Buddha as the appropriate model for one's practice of the dharma not the arahant.
2010-10-19 Nameform / Consciousness 67:43
Stephen Batchelor
Recapitulation on the principle of conditioned arising; the 6, 10, and 12 "links"; an analysis of the passage where the Buddha declares that consciousness is conditioned by nameform [namarupa] and nameform by consciousness; the meaning of term namarupa in Brahmanic thought; a phenomenological account of each of the nama factors (contact, feeling, perception, intention and attention) and their role in consciousness.
2010-10-20 Self and Others 60:51
Stephen Batchelor
Concluding remarks: recap. on namarupa/consciousness, and reiteration that, as a way of embracing dukkha, this account of experience is prescriptive NOT descriptive; example from literature that illustrates the poignancy of this view of life; reflection on Dhammapada v. 80 to illustrate how the self is a project to be realised, a middle way approach that avoids both eternalism and nihilism; reflection on three suttas that provide a foundation for ethics and one's relation with others; how to tend to the Buddha entails tending to those who suffer.
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