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Retreat Dharma Talks

Entering the Dhamma Fields: A Five Day Residential Retreat with Ajahn Sucitto

Location: The Won Dharma Center, 361 State Route 23, Claverack, NY

2018-10-10 (6 days) New York Insight Meditation Center

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2018-10-10 01 Day 1 Opening: An Attitude of Practice Rather than a System 47:16
Ajahn Sucitto
Rather than rely on a system, cultivate an attitude towards practice. Systems have uses, but can eventually curtail what we’re trying to drop into. Part of the theme of this retreat is about recognizing some of the stressful systems that get built into our minds around speed and progress – and awakening out of them. [24:06 Begin Guided Meditation] Establishing Ground and Space through Breathing: We can use the body as a channel to settle the mind. Use the out-breath to ground, use the in-breath to lift. These two together give you a form with a distinct foundation and uprightness to it.
2018-10-11 02 Day 2 Morning Puja: Recollection and Chanting 48:07
Ajahn Sucitto
We can use pūjā and chanting as a means for connecting with the heart in a meaningful way, to recollect values in a slowed down process of mind: What am I rising up to? Inclining towards? What’s important for me? The Buddhist convention is to recollect the Triple Gem – drop below personhood to something more fundamental and universal.
2018-10-11 03 Day 2 Pāli Pronunciation 15:01
Ajahn Sucitto
Ajahn Sucitto provides an overview of Pāli pronunciation to aid with chanting. [5:00 Begin Morning Chanting]
2018-10-11 04 Standing Meditation: Standing to Promote Energy Movement 17:45
Ajahn Sucitto
Use the standing form to establish alignment in an upright posture that allows energy to move through stuck places. [10:27 transition to sitting posture]
2018-10-11 05 Day 2 Morning Instructions: Bear in Mind – You’re a Threesome 61:50
Ajahn Sucitto
The verbal, heart and body fields are mutually affected. Of the three, body doesn’t lie and is the one that can discharge stress. Refer to how experiences of the heart and mind arise in the body with disengaged awareness. Learn to release stress when it arises, and acknowledge the patterns of behavior that generate it. [52:00 Begin Walking Instructions] Notice the Parts that Don’t Seem to Be Doing: The whole body is walking. Some parts are doing, some are receiving – they’re part of the field of awareness and sensitivity. The parts that don’t seem to be doing are helping to discharge stress.
2018-10-11 06 Day 2 Pausing before “the Next” 8:20
Ajahn Sucitto
Transitions points are an opportunity to train one’s reflexes to return to the base – the ground as fundamental orientation. At the moment of reflexive response, pause. The reflex isn’t good or bad, just pause and check it as a habit of training. It can be helpful to rise into a bodily response rather than habit reactive responses. Whatever our intention or purpose can be more measured.
2018-10-11 07 Day 2 Evening Puja: Don’t Follow the Bounce 63:19
Ajahn Sucitto
Cultivating Dhamma involves viveka, a certain kind of disengagement primarily from thought and emotional reactivity. As these reactions are running, check their ‘bounce’ – that tendency to deflect or suppress unpleasant feeling. Emotion by itself cannot discharge, but access the emotional state in the body – the body can discharge the emotion.
2018-10-12 08 Day 3 Morning Puja: Immersion in the Dhamma Field 25:48
Ajahn Sucitto
Being immersed in worldly and personal fields is not a choice, but we can choose to immerse ourselves in the Dhamma field. In it we can meet the problematic painful field of sense contact without collapsing or blocking, but with big heart. Pūjā is an occasion for entering into that field, gaining resources, strength and happiness for the journey.
2018-10-12 09 Day 3 Morning instructions: The Dhamma Field – Our True Home 54:54
Ajahn Sucitto
We take things personally, but the person is the result of the fields that it encounters. We get shaped by the worldly fields of the business model, of material progress, of ‘faster’ and ‘more’. When we take the Dhamma field as our true origin rather than the worldly or personal field, we access the arising of the search for truth and meaning, and of the capacities to bear with and be accepting, to experience gratitude and generosity. This is our home, and in this we are deeply resourced to meet what comes up.
2018-10-12 10 Day 3 Standing Meditation: Turning in Space 33:41
Ajahn Sucitto
After settling and grounding in the standing position, Ajahn Sucitto introduces a slight movement to the posture. Gently turning in space, noticing the effects of the body moving in its energy field, making note of the mental tone – how’s that?
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