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Retreat Dharma Talks

The Buddha’s Gradual Path: Spiritual Progress in Lay Life

The Buddha frequently taught about the practice of the path as “a gradual training” (anupubbasikkhā), which unfolds in stages from the first step to the final goal of enlightenment. He most often talked about this gradual unfolding in terms of monastic life. However, he also made it clear that the path is open and available to lay followers as well and that many, many of his lay disciples were highly accomplished in the Dhamma, having developed the Path and attained the fruits on the way to awakening.

2023-06-03 (13 days) Cloud Mountain Retreat Center

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2023-06-03 Advice to Rahula 24:59
Ayya Santussika
Using the Buddha's advice to his son, Rahula, on developing different types of meditation, starting with meditating on the earth element internally and externally, and meditating "like the earth."
2023-06-03 Earth Meditation 24:27
Ayya Santussika
Guided meditation on the earth element, internally and externally, and meditating "like the earth."
2023-06-03 The Gradual Path in MN 39 At Assapura 1:10:43
Ayya Santussika
This is an examination of the steps in the Gradual Training as represented in MN 39 The Longer Discourse at Assapura. Here the Buddha includes beautiful similes for the five hindrances and the experience of the four jhanas. Our study has the aim to deepen our own practice and progress on the path.
2023-06-04 Meditation on Water 37:18
Ayya Santussika
Guided meditation on the water element, internally and externally, and meditating "like water" so "arisen agreeable and disagreeable contacts will not invade the mind and remain."
2023-06-04 Highest Blessings 44:18
Ayya Santussika
The Mangala Sutta (Highest Blessings) as another version of the gradual training as it applies to lay life and also reaches the highest goal: realization of Nibbana.
2023-06-04 Welfare and Happiness in this Life and in Lives to Come 21:19
Ayya Santussika
A lay man asks the Buddha how lay people can have welfare and happiness in this life and in lives to come. the Buddha answers with four accomplishments for welfare and happiness in this life and four accomplishments ensuring welfare and happiness in future lives.
2023-06-05 Fire Meditation 40:00
Ayya Santussika
Using the fire element as found internally and externally as a meditation object.
2023-06-06 Changing those Deep Patterns 26:19
Ayya Santussika
We may think that our anger, anxiety, regret, jealousy, longing, sorrow, etc. are just a part of our character, or our karma, or that they assail us and we have no control over them or the power to abandon them. In this talk, we look at how to challenge this perception and stop feeding our mental and emotional patterns.
2023-06-06 Anapanasati Part 1 37:13
Ayya Santussika
A short explanation and guided meditation for the first two tetrads of Mindfulness of In and Out Breathing.
2023-06-06 Making a Wish and With Cunda on Purity 63:42
Ayya Santussika
Description of the two suttas in the Numerical Discourses, AN 11.2 Making a Wish and AN 10.76 With Cunda.
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