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Retreat Dharma Talks

Meditation and Study Retreat

2009-11-01 (8 days) Spirit Rock Meditation Center

2009-11-02 The City 61:18
Stephen Batchelor
As the first of a series of 6 talks, Stephen outlines his project to "deconstruct" Buddhism in order to uncover the foundational ideas in which it is erected. He then analyzes the Buddha's metaphor of the "ancient path that leads to an ancient city" to suggest that the core teachings of the Dhamma are to be seen as forming the template for a restored civilization...
2009-11-02 The Three Trainings: Ethics, Concentration and Wisdom 45:31
Martine Batchelor
An exploration of the three trainings and reflection on cultivation and effect.
2009-11-03 The Poisoned Arrow 60:43
Stephen Batchelor
A reflection on the Buddha's parable of the "poisoned arrow" (Malunkyaputta Sutta M63). This key text illustrates how the Dhamma is therapeutic, pragmatic and not concerned with metaphysical questions, which the Buddha regards as irrelevant and refuses to comment upon. What he does comment upon is the Four Noble Truths. The talk concludes with a reflection on the Buddha's account of his awakening as an insight into conditioned arising.
2009-11-04 Awakening to Life 59:33
Stephen Batchelor
A reflection on the metaphor of "awakening" as a process rather than a "state" of "enlightenment", which is followed by a reading of the Buddha's First Sermon (Turning the Wheel of Dhamma) in which he presents this awakening as being concerned with the living process of the Four Noble Truths.
2009-11-04 Four Great Efforts 63:34
Martine Batchelor
Explaining the four great efforts in connection to practice and daily life including tools of awareness and the three characteristics.
2009-11-05 The Middle Way 59:01
Stephen Batchelor
A reflection on the Middle Way, i.e., the whole eightfold path, as avoiding two "dead ends." This is followed by further thoughts on the Four Noble Truths as tasks that culminate in the eightfold path itself.
2009-11-05 Buddha's Teaching on Cultivating the Mind 52:49
Sharda Rogell
A useful talk to help us understand the play of creative and destructive thoughts that explores one discourse the Buddha gave on cultivating our mind. He shows how we can interrupt patterns of mind that lead to pain and encourage wholesome and positive states to arise.
2009-11-06 Experiencing the Unconditioned 59:39
Stephen Batchelor
A reflection on the Buddha's understanding of his awakening as an engagement with the phenomenal world from a radically new perspective rather than the gaining of insight into a higher, absolute truth, no matter whether we call that "God", "Consciousness" or the "Unconditioned".
2009-11-06 Awakening Buddhahood and Compassion 56:37
Martine Batchelor
Explanation of de-grasping wisdom and compassion and meditative experience.
2009-11-07 Entering the Stream 59:49
Stephen Batchelor
A reflection on the meaning of "stream entry" (sotapatti), based upon Pali canonical sources. The "stream" refers to the eightfold path and the "stream entrant" is one who has made that path their own. The talk explores the meaning of the three fetters that are "abandoned" on entering the stream as well as how stream entry is related to the three refuges.
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