Moving Away Lunch For Cynthia

by Peter Carlson on July 30, 2015

Cynthia Johnson, who has been involved with the Orlando Insight Meditation Group since the beginning in 1993, is moving away.  In honor of her ongoing participation, we will have a potluck luncheon for her after the Sunday morning meditation period on August 9, in the meditation hall.  Space is limited, so those who want to participate should contact Sharon Lambert, 407-928-0018 to register.

Turning Poison Into Medicine July 29 2015

by Peter Carlson on July 30, 2015

During this talk, Peter introduced one of the lojong aphorisms, classically stated  “When evil fills the world and its inhabitants, change adverse conditions into the path of awakening.”  He suggested an alternative: “Be mindful whenever possible so everything provides an opportunity for practice.”   The talk provided an opportunity to review the progression of the training: First, establish a regular meditation practice to cultivate stability of focus and relief from the influence of the five hindrances, then to realize during meditation that all thoughts are transient “fantasies”.  During regular daily routines, cultivate an attitude of perceiving life’s roles as a “game”, rather than as having certainty.  Practice transforming unwholesome self-states into compassionate awareness (the tonglen practice).  The current topic involves integrating the training mentioned above sufficiently so that every difficulty encountered becomes an opportunity for liberation from confusion and distress.

Those present during the evening were provided with a copy of the aphorism and invited to write opportunities that come to mind for turning “poison into medicine” in their lives.  This provided opportunities to relate the progression described at the outset of the discussion to the incidents reported.

Here are the notes prepared for the presentation:   TRANSFORMING ADVERSITY INTO OPPORTUNITY

Next week’s discussion will involve the aphorism “Focus on your responsibility for alleviating suffering; don’t displace it to outside sources.”

Training The Heartmind July 23 2015

by Peter Carlson on July 23, 2015

During the second talk about the Tibetan Buddhist training called Lojong, the first 8 training aphorisms were described.  Peter reported the classical rendering of the aphorism, then his contemporary understanding of the practice.  The core of Lojong training involves the ability to recognize the origination of dissatisfaction and transform the experience into compassionate awareness through the application of Tonglen, another Tibetan word translated as “Sending and Taking”.  The ultimate goal of the practice is to bring compassionate intentions to bear during every experience.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk.  Due to an oversight, the notes reflect 9 training points; number 8, regarding integrating the slogans into daily life routines, has been added:  Training For Realizing Relative Bodhicitta

Next week’s talk will continue exploring the Lojong teachings and will emphasize opportunities to turn obstacles into opportunities for awakening compassion.

Notes To Accompany Lojong Introduction July 15 2015

by Peter Carlson on July 16, 2015

Here are the notes accompanying the just posted .mp3 recording “Lojong Introduction July 15 2015″:    TRAINING THE HEARTMIND

Lojong Introduction

by Peter Carlson on July 16, 2015

This talk introduces a new topic, the Tibetan Buddhist Lojong trainings.  These trainings were developed around the year 1,000 C.E. to support integrating Buddhist principles and practices into daily life routines.  The core of Buddhist teaching is compassion, that is, the path leading to liberation from distress.  This core practice is integrated into Lojong through Tonglen, which is a Tibetan compassion meditation.  The most famous contemporary representative of the benefits of Lojong is Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama.

The talk provides an overview of the training; over the next several weeks, different training points will be explored.  Peter’s approach to this training is an attempt to make the archaic nature of the training aphorisms more understandable for contemporary American meditation students.

The notes prepared for this talk will be posted after this posting.

Notes for Shame Guilt and Forgiveness

Here are the notes prepared by Peter for the just posted .mp3 recording of the dhamma dialogue:  A BUDDHIST VIEW OF SHAME

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Unwarranted Shame, Guilt, and Forgiveness

This talk is a continuation of a series of explorations of the psychological value of healthy relationships, from the perspective of psychotherapy and Buddhist mindfulness and lovingkindness practices.  When a parent’s interactions with a young child are lacking sufficient clarity, consistency and kindness, the child’s personality development is adversely affected, leading to what has been […]

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