This dialogue is the first of two explorations of samma samadhi, right concentration. Peter explained the terms samadhi and passadhi, and why he groups them together. Six considerations were illustrated to support the cultivation of samadhi-passadhi. The value of samadhi-passadhi in the practice of vipassana was explored. The explanations were followed by dialogue about the supportive considerations and the value of samadhi-passadhi in daily life. There is a post following this one containing the notes used for the evening’s discussion. the notes include a link to a website where Richard Shankman’s book “The Experience Of Samadhi” can be downloaded free in .pdf format. Next week’s dialogue will explore the practice of jhana.
While Peter’s wife is away for a week, he decided to practice integrating mindfulness more thoroughly into daily life routines. The primary changes included more meditation periods and more reading about Buddhist practices; otherwise, the routines were the same as before. During the talk, he reviewed various ways to increase the application of mindfulness during the day: the cultivation of samadhi/passadhi (concentration and tranquility) as a buffer against impulsive reactivity, using body awareness to interrupt intrusive unnecessary thoughts, and simply reflecting “Is _______ really that important or valuable right now?”, focused on distractions and intrusive thoughts. This was followed by dialogue with sangha members regarding ways to enhance daily practice of mindfulness. Next week’s talk will focus on understanding what sankhara (mental conditioners) are, related to understanding one of the Five Aggregates of Clinging, sankharakkhanda.
During this first of a series of talks exploring the Satipatthana Sutta, Peter talked of the mutually supportive functions of samadhi (concentration) and vipassana (insight). This was followed by a lively discussion regarding how different meditators cultivate these qualities, both during formal meditation and normal daily routines.
During this talk on the second night of the 2014 one week retreat, Peter talked of the contemporary views on karma, relating this to the characteristics of the five hindrances. Ways to use the skills developed during the retreat to set the hindrances aside were described, setting the stage for the cultivation of concentration and tranquility, which would then be applied to the practice of vipassana.
During this talk, the first night of the annual one week retreat, Peter revisited the meaning of “retreat”, “the three refuges” and the concept of the precepts from a contemporary perspective. The importance of silence was emphasized, both external and internal. He then explained the value of persistent, but relaxed investigation of the sensation of breathing, to support increasing tranquility and insight. The meditation students were encouraged to make persistent monitoring of the breath a priority during the course of the ensuing days.