Gloria Taraniya Ambrosia has been offering instruction in Theravada Buddhist teachings and practices since 1990. She is a student of the western forest sangha, the disciples of Ajahn Sumedho and Ajahn Chah, and is a Lay Buddhist Minister in association with Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery in California. She served as resident teacher of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts from 1996 through 1999. Taraniya teaches at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies and at Dhamma centers in the United States.
Using a simple example of stress in every day life, this talk examines the Buddha’s teaching on the first noble truth – particularly, “having to associate with things we don’t like, be separated from things we like, and not get what we want.” It considers the insights that accompany opening to this truth.
This talk examines how we attach to the meditation practice in a way that actually obstructs practice. More than anything else … difficulties in practice have to do with an incorrect understanding of practice rather than something we are doing or not doing.
Over the years of practice we work with the precepts in a number of ways—using resolve and restraint, becoming acquainted with our karmic patterns and feeling the consequences of these, and strengthening skillful states by noticing what it feels like to do good, to behave well.
Though its role in the process of waking up is pivotal, intention is very subtle, rarely conscious, and outside the control of self. Purification of intention is made possible through calm awareness of the things we think/do/say, kindness, and non-judging.
We confront many obstacles in practice—our karmic conditioning, cultural conditioning, and resistance to the realities of anicca, dukkha, anatta. In order to surmount these obstacles, anyone who wishes to progress along the path, must act on faith and the factors that support that.