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Retreat Dharma Talks

Meditation and Study Retreat

The aim of this retreat is to integrate the practice of meditation with the ideas and doctrines that support and illuminate such practice. As the week unfolds, Stephen’s morning seminars will offer a broad perspective on Buddhist teaching by means of critical interpretation of classical texts. Buddhist ideas will also be contrasted and compared with other religious, philosophical, literary and scientific insights.

2007-10-19 (9 days) Spirit Rock Meditation Center

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2007-10-20 Meditation For Life 47:15
Martine Batchelor
Meditation as a life-long journey, as potential, as training, as cultivation of concentration and inquiry, which helps us develop creative awareness.
2007-10-20 #1 The Groundless Ground 59:27
Stephen Batchelor
What did the Buddha teach that was distinctively his own view? This talk attempts to answer this question. I start to define three cardinal tenets of the Buddhist teachings: the Principle of Conditionality; the Process of the Eightfold Path, and the Practice of Mindfulness. I then examine a passage from the Ariyapariyesana Sutta in which the Buddha describes his awakening as a shift from a Place to a Ground. NOTE: The quality of the recording of this talk may be improved after 11/15
2007-10-21 #2 Going Against The Stream 56:31
Stephen Batchelor
A continuation of the study of the Buddha's account of his awakening in the ARIYAPARIYESANA SUTTA (M.26). Mindfulness as the way to GROUND oneself in the GROUND of Conditional Arising. the subjective pole of this ground is the stopping of greed, hatred, delusion. The Buddha was reluctant to teach because what he had awoken to "WENT AGAINST THE STREAM". The talk concludes with several passages from the UPANISHADS to illustrate this.
2007-10-21 Equanimity And Mindfulness Of Body 50:57
Sharda Rogell
Mindfulness in body as ground will help us to deal with our physical and emotional feelings in a non-reactive way. What does equanimity truly mean in dealing with difficult feelings.
2007-10-22 #3 Turning The Wheel Of Dhamma 59:54
Stephen Batchelor
A reflection on the COUNTER-INTUITIVE nature of the Buddha's teaching - how the Dhamma goes against deeply seated intuition, e.g., that there is something permanent in this impermanent world. This is followed by a reading of and reflection on the first discourse the Buddha gave, which outlines the middle way and the four ennobling truths. To be followed in talk #4 by a detailed reading of the four truths as four injunctions rather than four things to believe.
2007-10-22 Creative Engagement 47:15
Martine Batchelor
Grasping and non-grasping in connection to self, people, things, views - how grasping makes us exaggerate and proliferate and how creative engagement can help our creative potential manifest and develop.
2007-10-23 #4 Fully Knowing Dukkha 60:07
Stephen Batchelor
An examination of the four ENNOBLING truths as a process of re9rienting one's perspective on life in a conditioned world. Fully knowing dukkha - in all its aspects - leads naturally to a falling away of craving, which culminates in moments of STOPPING, in which the path opens up, i.e., one enters the stream.
2007-10-24 #5 The Undeclared & The Declared 58:37
Stephen Batchelor
A reflection on the nature of KAMMA in which the Buddha recognises that numerous conditions are responsible for our experience in this life. This is followed by an analysis of the ten UNDECLARED questions (is the world eternal, etc.) in terms of the Buddhist rejection of metaphysics in favour a pragmatic and therapeutic approach to living life in this world here and now.
2007-10-24 Breaking Free Of Habits 50:16
Martine Batchelor
How can meditation help us break free of our mental, emotional, physical habits?
2007-10-25 Awakening Or Enlightenment: Sudden Or Gradual 44:49
Martine Batchelor
Awakening as a process of degrasping instead of being the production of a state of enlightenment that cannot be eaten in salad. The suggestion that the path consists of sudden awakening followed by gradual practices
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