Starts March 10, 2014
The Four Foundations of Mindfulness
April 19, 2014
Mindfulness of Breathing Meditation Course
During this dialogue, Peter began to discuss the second Foundation of Mindfulness, vedanupassana (mindfulness of feelings). He talked of how feelings are not emotions as we might describe them in the West, but rather what in psychological terms is affect, the pull towards pleasant experience or away from unpleasant experience. Feelings are the bridge between physical sensations and the mental creations of meaning and self-organization we experience. He read a translation of the second foundation, and then led a brief guided meditation that illustrates concretely what to notice as a feeling, a perception and the mental formations that create what the Buddha called “the tyranny of I, me and mine”. This was followed by dialogues that further clarified the experiences of the guided meditation.
During this dialogue, Peter read the part of the Satipatthana Sutta called “the charnal ground contemplation”. He then commented on how our culture is shielded from the experience of death and what happens to the body as it disintegrates, which was a common occurrence during the time of the Buddha. The intention of that contemplation was to motivate diligent practice, as in those days, life was typically short and a lot less certain than during this era. How can we be motivated to be diligent in our practice since our culture is much more comfortable and secure than at that time? This question was discussed around the group for the rest of the evening, with each person who shared talking of what makes her or him motivated to practice.
The subtitle of this talk could be “The Four Elements Meditation”. Several years ago, Peter found the title quote in a book by Jack Kornfield. In the book, he talked of visiting Las Vegas in his monastic robes and seeing “You Must Be Present To Win” signage above the door into a casino, presumably announcing rules regarding a lottery. Peter appreciates the irony, so painted a sign with those words that’s posted above the room where our Sangha meets to meditate. During the talk, he described the nature of the four elements, earth, air, fire and water as subjective awarenesses, that is, earth is density or pressure, air is movement, fire is temperature, and water is cohesiveness. These focus points for meditation practice are for developing mindfulness of the body, and are mentioned in the Satipatthana Sutta. Mindfulness of the body is useful as being several ways to interrupt the internal chatter in order to cultivate concentration and tranquility. After this, Peter led a brief guided meditation to familiarize participants regarding the practice. This was followed by discussion about the experience and utility of the practice.
During this dialogue, Peter described the core Buddhist concept of sati-sampajanna, usually translated as mindful, clear comprehension. He quoted from the Satipatthana Sutta the stanzas associated with mindfulness of breathing, mindfulness of posture and mindfulness of movement. He then described the “four clear comprehensions” from the Buddhist commentaries, which comprises what amounts to an ongoing process of setting goals, ways and means to achieve them, keeping in mind impermanence, non-self and the distress that arises as the result of craving and clinging. This was followed by dialogues with various folks in the group, with the intention of using their daily routines as ways to illustrate the value of sati-sampajanna.
This course is an introduction and review of Buddhist mindfulness of breathing meditation, and will provide students with effective training in stress management and spiritual development.
When: Four Monday nights from 7 PM to 9 PM, March 10 – 31, 2014
Where: The Winter Park Women’s Club, 419 S. Interlachen Ave., Winter Park FL 32789 (at the intersection of Interlachen & Lyman)
Fee: $50, payable to the Orlando Insight Meditation Group (Covers room rent & helps to provide retreat scholarships.)
The teacher charges no set fee. At the end of the course, students are free to make a contribution to the teacher out of gratitude for the teaching..
For more information, email Peter Carlson or call 407 339-5444.
After briefly setting the tone for the dialogue, Peter opened the group to discuss what sort of process is involved that makes something or some place sacred. Sangha members were also invited to contemplate how creating sacredness supports deepening one’s spiritual growth. The following discussion was lively and heartfelt.
Bok Tower Gardens provides a peaceful setting for a day of meditation. Participants will enjoy:
Course Taught by Peter Carlson
Peter has practiced meditation for more than thirty years and taught Vipassana (Insight) Meditation for more than twenty years. His training includes three-month courses at the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, MA. Peter is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in private practice in Winter Park, Florida.
When: Saturday, April 19, 2014 | 9AM – 5PM
Where: Bok Tower Gardens, 1151 Tower Boulevard, Lake Wales, Florida 33853
Fee: $25 includes entrance into Bok Tower Gardens
Please bring a vegetarian dish to share with the group
To register, please contact Andy Quinn, 863-683-9600