generous-heart-handsThe Orlando Insight Meditation Group is a non-profit corporation founded in the early 1990s with the intention to provide introductory and advanced meditation training for Central Florida. We have produced one-day, weekend, and one-week retreats since then, and we are diligent in keeping the costs as low as possible and providing partial and full scholarships for whomever committed to the retreat experience. The subsidy for keeping the costs low comes almost entirely from the income from introductory meditation courses, with the fee being $50 per 4 week course (scholarships offered there as well).

Our biggest expense is for one week-retreats. The fee for the retreat barely pays for our expenses at the retreat center for room and board. It costs approximately $500 to go to a retreat, and the OIMG expenses are around $450. The weekend retreats cost approximately $230, and OIMG expenses are around $200. We are committed to providing opportunities to benefit from the life-changing intensive training experienced and subsidies so that people who have limited financial resources can attend.

The teacher charges no fee for the teaching. Participants are given the opportunity to make voluntary contributions at the end of the retreat, as is the Buddhist custom.

If you are fortunate enough financially to be able to provide tax-deductible charitable contributions, this is the time of year to be contemplating that generosity. Should you choose to practice dana, the Buddhist word for generosity, you will be contributing to the well-being of others. Practicing mindfulness and lovingkindness meditation has a ripple effect, that is, those who commit to the Buddhist path of awakening aren’t the only ones benefitting; the social benefits extend the benefits of kindness, compassion, generosity and patience to all they encounter.

We hope you will find a way to contribute to our organization.

You can contribute online using your credit card or PayPal account here.

Checks or money orders should be made out to the Orlando Insight Meditation Group and sent to Tommy Harrison, 245 Stevenage Dr., Longwood, Florida, 32779.

In response to your generosity, you will receive a letter suitable for tax deduction purposes.

We wish you well,

Peter Carlson

Right Understanding And Wisdom December 7 2016

by Peter Carlson on December 8, 2016

This is the last talk that focuses on the mind conditioners called the cetasikas.  The Topic is the last of the cetasikas, Right Understanding, frequently termed Wisdom.  The previous wholesome cetasikas were briefly reviewed to provide a conceptual context for understanding how wisdom matures as the wholesome mind conditioners are diligently practiced.  During the talk, Peter described a commentarial consideration, that the Noble Eightfold Path begins with conceptual understanding, then, through diligent meditation practice and integration into daily life routines, matures into what is termed the Noble Tenfold Path, adding Right Insight and Right Liberation.  This increased ability to cultivate wholesome self-state organizations makes the concepts real, that is, there is direct experiential awareness of the validity of the concepts.  This is the process of Awakening.  The explanation was followed by discussion during which the ways the people in the meeting realized “small “a” awakening, a gradual liberation from dukkha, that is, distress and confusion.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  the-realization-of-the-wisdom-cetasika

Next week’s discussion will explore the process of Awakening, referring to what are called “The contemplations of insight”.  That meeting will be the last of the calendar year, as Peter will begin his annual year-end 2 week self-retreat on December 16.

The Virtuous Cetasikas November 30 2016

by Peter Carlson on December 1, 2016

This talk focused on the mind conditioners associated with virtue, that is, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Compassion and Sympathetic Joy.  The maturing of the wholesome cetasikas presents the virtues of the Noble Eightfold Path as being organized through the shift from being virtuous “because I’m supposed to” towards virtue manifesting “effortlessly” and authentically.  As the wholesome functions of the mind become more effective, the natural expression of compassion and sympathetic joy/generosity emerges, associated with Right Speech, Action and Livelihood.  The explanation was followed by interested participation by those at the meeting in reflecting on how these manifestations are realized through regular, diligent mindfulness meditation practice.

Next week’s talk will finalize the discussion of the cetasikas with a review of Right Understanding.  The approach will be similar in describing the association between increasing the functionality of the wholesome cetasikas to make Right Understanding realized, that is, to be understood experientially as well as conceptually–an important realization on the path towards Awakening.

2016 Thanksgiving and Gratitude

by Peter Carlson on November 26, 2016

It is customary for the Orlando Insight Meditation Group participants to reflect on the benefits of life revealed by practicing the Noble Eightfold Path, as our weekly meetings occur on Thanksgiving Eve.  This discussion has periods of reflective quiet time interspersed with comments about the practice of mindfulness and lovingkindness.

Next week’s talk will explore the benefits of Right Speech, Right Action, Compassion and the manifestation of Right Understanding.

The Seven Factors for Awakening

by Peter Carlson on November 17, 2016

During this talk, Peter described overcoming the five hindrances as “warding off the demons”; cultivating the Seven Factors For Awakening represents “feeding the angels” of liberating awareness.  Each of the seven was described and explained as to their function in the process of awakening, related to the recently discussed Wholesome Cetasikas.  This was a very difficult topic to discuss with the thoroughness warranted to understand and apply these factors; these accompanying notes provide a more thorough exploration of their function and the ways and means to cultivate them:  bojjhanga-7-awakening-factors

Next week’s meeting will provide opportunities to reflect on how Buddhist practice fosters gratitude on the eve of Thanksgiving.

The Dharma and the 2016 Election

The conclusion of the long and arduous 2016 election cycle was surprising, perhaps even alarming for many people.  During the course of spiritual development, it is often the abrupt, unexpected event that can provide the greatest insights beneficial for maturing one’s practice.  Despite any differences regarding political policies, the attitudes and behaviors of the future […]

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The Four Noble Truths and the 2016 Election

I anticipate some significant dukkha will be experienced as an immediate and perhaps enduring consequence of the presidential election yesterday, so discussing “Four Noble Truths” will replace the already prepared “Seven Factors For Awakening” talk tonight.  Dukkha is typically translated as “suffering”; I prefer “distress and confusion” as a more specific translation.  Distress is the […]

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Six Pairs Of Wholesome Mind Conditioners

Continuing the exploration of the Wholesome Mind Conditioners that began with last week’s posting “The Universal Wholesome Mind Conditioners”, the twelve following cetasikas were listed as cooperative pairs–cetasikas, reflected in the mind: Tranquility of cetasikas and mind, Lightness of cetasikas and mind, Pliancy of cetasikas and mind, Wieldiness of cetasikas and mind, Proficiency of cetasikas […]

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