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Retreat Dharma Talks

Open Stability

Retreat with Ajahn Sucitto August 6-10. To be stable in oneself and yet be open to others and to change, is an aspiration for any well-intentioned person.

2021-08-06 (5 days) Sunyata Buddhist Centre

2021-08-07 Q&A 47:26
Ajahn Sucitto
Q1- How to deal with strong floods of sankhāra, in dealing with my role and identity as a Mother. Q2 – Are the qualities of the heart conditioned in the same way as intellectual abilities or physical strength. Q3 – I have a 17 year old dying cat. She suffers a lot and rejects the comforting medicine of the vet. Is this cat wisdom? Q4 What would be a sequence for a daily meditation practice? Q5 Are dharma and dhamma the same? Q6 Can we use the 5 indriyas to solve the 5 hindrances? Q7 How to deal with a band of pain around the back. Q8 Healthy attachment is important for example in childhood development. How do we know if it is OK to have an attachment or not.
2021-08-07 Love is not a reward 49:34
Ajahn Sucitto
When we give the citta our attention, there is a possibility for it to offer its four treasures - kindness, compassion, appreciative gladness, equanimity. These treasures are a virtual immune system, protecting one from the hostilities in the world. They free us from seeking adoration from others as well as comparing ourselves to and competing with others. Whereas a narrow form of love is used as a social training and diminishes healthy acceptance and self view, authentic love is a natural and shared medium for mutuality-based life.
2021-08-08 Open into the given 27:58
Ajahn Sucitto
Mindfulness is the heart's awareness. It can help us be embodied,present, and show up for life. The embodied sense is warm, cohesive and is sustained through the rhythmic flow of breathing. The sense of ‘I am’ sits in the center of that embodied sensitivity. This sense is a given and cannot be created; but mostly its ignored because we're too busy ‘doing’ to receive it.
2021-08-08 Little me and the sabotage 48:21
Ajahn Sucitto
We live at the meeting point of perceptions and impressions with their reactions and cannot stop suffering until we see beyond that domain. Stability and the awareness of the ever-changing nature of experience are both essential. From this perspective we see how the pressure to be harmonious with others captures the heart. This is a form of sabotage; it creates inner conflict, and a person – little me – who is never happy. When there is conflict, it’s important to find common ground with others, prior to negotiating the details.
2021-08-08 Balance internal and external 2:56
Ajahn Sucitto
Use the experience of deepening attention in your practice, to really see what’s around you. You can practice mindfulness when you move around off the cushion. Often we live in the cocoon of an assumed environment that is not really what’s there. Take a fresh look. Pay attention.
2021-08-08 Embodied intelligence 25:17
Ajahn Sucitto
We are familiar with conceptual intelligence, but body and heart intelligence need to be trained. These do not interpret or think about phenomena, but experience it directly – feeling, sensing, responding. Exploring things as phenomenal rather than as myself, there’s no need to understand them; instead let them pass with dispassionate, open stability.
2021-08-08 Using embodied intelligence 7:46
Ajahn Sucitto
Practice with sustaining open space for phenomena to arise and move within. Sensitive to what’s going on, but not contracting around it, body remains spacious and open. It’s possible to experience sense contact without intrusion, remaining internally clear, free from congestion.
2021-08-08 Q&A 49:41
Ajahn Sucitto
Q1 – A comment about personal experience of alignment – lateral and vertical and Ajahn’s response; Q2 18:32 Can you provide more guidance on the use of space. Q3 21:15 I am dealing with a very volatile situation with severe conflict and stress. How can I deal with it mid-way between expressing my emotions and suppressing them? Q4 28:24 When I feel my body and heart are stable is that a good moment to bring up a problem of concern for me? Q5 28:59 Someone has been asking for my help, rather too much and too often and I find the pressure difficult. How can I handle this?Q6 31:33 You mentioned meditating with eyes open but not seeing. This is challenging for me. How does that happen? Q7 35:02 I feel a band of tightness at the back of the head and behind the ears. What might I do? Q8 38:12 In my family we have a history of Alzheimer’s. Do you think heart wisdom is noble when dementia is present? How might practice be a support in the face of any decline of cognitive functioning? Q9 40:49 They say one in four women and men in Ireland have experienced some form of childhood sexual abuse. How might people practise with this in their background?
2021-08-08 Standing Meditation – Whole Body Vitality 26:56
Ajahn Sucitto
Begin with a bit of movement and loosening so energy can flow freely. Once movement stops, sense into subtler aspects of bodily experience – where is there stability, space, connection. A lightness, even playfulness, is encouraged in meditation. Enjoy.
2021-08-08 Guided Meditation - Awareness spread over the body-mind field 47:45
Ajahn Sucitto
Many things arise in the field of awareness. It’s all energies moving – some bodily, some emotional, some conceptual. Spread awareness over all of it equally, without grasping or repelling. Every detail is to be included into the whole, like a mosaic. There’s no person separate from this, there’s just this and awareness of it. May it be well.
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