Upcoming Retreats & Classes

by admin on September 11, 2014

The Joy Of Awakening

by Peter Carlson on September 25, 2014

During this talk, the awakening factor of joy was described as the consequence of combining the factors of mindfulness, investigation of mental phenomena, energy/effort and concentration.  As these factors operate to set aside the “energy dumps” of the five hindrances, the resultant freed-up flow of energy is, by nature, joyfully engaged in life experience.  Piti, the Pali word for joy, is identified as one of the jhana factors and as one of the four divine abidings associated with lovingkindness.  After the explanation, Peter led a brief guided meditation, during which the participants were invited to practice noting the different sorts of energy present when mindfulness wasn’t totally engaged, compared to the improved quality of experience when mindfulness was fully engaged.

Here are the notes prepared for this evening’s exploration:  The Joy Of Awakening

Next week’s discussion will explore the awakening factor of tranquility.

Opportunity for Service

by admin on September 23, 2014

On Saturday, August 4th, OIMG has an opportunity to work with our friends at the First Unitarian Church of Orlando during their upcoming volunteer day at the Second Harvest Food Bank.

Second Harvest provides tremendous community support. Join us as we work together to sort food for local people in need. Children over 10 are welcomed with adult supervision. Closed toe shoes are mandatory.  Here are the details:

Date: Saturday, August 2, 2014
Time: 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Location: Second Harvest Food Bank
Address: 411 Mercy Drive, Orlando FL 32805 (corner of Mercy Drive & Old Winter Garden Rd)

Second Harvest has a new process for registering volunteers for these events. Please follow these instructions:

  1. Click on this website
  2. Once on the above website, click on the big blue “Volunteer Now” button
  3. If you are not signed up with Second Harvest, follow the instructions to register with their organization
  4. The registration process will require that you have a “Join Code.” The First Unitarian’s join code is A100.
  5. Register for October 4, 2014 , 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
  6. If you need assistance with the online registration process, please email Steph Garber. Steph is the First Unitarian Church of Orlando’s coordinator for this event.
  7. If you don’t have the means to register online or forget, you can sign up in person on the day of the event.

Please email Tommy Harrison, if you’re interested or feel free to call @ (407) 790-0710. You can also email Steph Garber, the coordinator of this event with the First Unitarian Church of Orlando.

Energy Awakening Factor

by Peter Carlson on September 18, 2014

In this talk, the awakening factor of energy/effort is described.  Peter talked of how the universe is essentially energy, and that the sense of separation that humans struggle with is a profound, fundamental error of thinking.  He described that energy is distributed throughout the body in the form of glucose, as fuel for the cells.  In the brain, the activities of the mind can be observed through modern technologies such as the fMRI machine.  This research shows that energy “pools” in areas of heightened neural activity.  The mental dysfunctions called hindrances grow stronger when “fed” glucose.  The same feeding occurs as the hindrances are diminished.  In this way, mental formations can be compared to muscles, which grow stronger when exercised.  Peter suggested that the struggles occurring during meditation practice are mistakenly attributed to mindfulness of breathing; in reality, mindful investigation of mental phenomena reveals that the struggle comes from how the hindrances are “energy dumps”, and that the experience of mindfulness of breathing without the hindrances is a much more “efficient” use of energy.

Here is a copy of the notes prepared for this week’s talk:  ENERGY AWAKENING FACTOR

Next week’s talk will focus on the next awakening factor, Joy.

The Investigation Awakening Factor

by Peter Carlson on September 11, 2014

This is the second in a series of discussions regarding the seven factors of awakening, focused on dhamma vicaya bojjhanga, the investigation of mental phenomena factor of awakening.  This factor is a core element of the practice of vipassana, operating in tandem with mindfulness, Right Effort and concentration.  Peter described the maturing of investigation from the rudimentary mindfulness of breathing practice of vitakka and vicara, that is, aiming attention at the beginning of the in-breath and sustaining that attention for the duration of the in-breath, then repeating that procedure for the out-breath.  This basic practice develops the ability to cultivate concentration and tranquility, setting the stage for the practice of vipassana.  This description was followed by a brief guided meditation focusing on investigating the breath and noting any variations of attention that might occur.  There was some discussion following this meditation to associate the investigation factor with truly understanding the Four Noble Truths.

Here are the notes accompanying this evenings dialogue: The Awakening Factor of Investigation of Mental Phenonemena  Next week’s dialogue will continue exploring the awakening factors with a focus on the awakening factor of energy, that is, Right Effort.

Thank You, Sangha

Dear Sangha…. My family would like to share how grateful we are for the compassion shared with us after our son’s recent passing.  Every intention, glance, handshake, shared tear, hug, call, card, email, and kind thought continues to help dilute the power of sadness.  These actions make a difference.  You make a difference. We cope […]

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Mindfulness As An Awakening Factor

During this dharma dialogue, the awakening factor of mindfulness was described.  Peter referred to a Wikipedia definition of metacognition, a psychological term developed without reference to Buddhist psychology, that seems to be synonymous with mindfulness.  The neurological research describing which parts of the brain activated in the process of mindful awareness was described as well.  […]

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