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Renunciation Exercise

by Peter Carlson on June 1, 2017

This evening’s project is to use the worksheet attached below to list various beliefs, values and expectations we experience on a hierarchical scale, in order to practice noticing how craving and clinging occurs as well as how to activate and strengthen nekkhamma, renunciation, to free the mind from attachment to outcomes in daily life experience.

A significant portion of the evening’s discussion involved participants talking through the examples, while Peter commented on how that relates to renunciation.

Here is the worksheet developed for this exercise:  RENUNCIATION WORKSHEET

Peter will be away for a few weeks.  Various guest teachers will present their discussions over the next few meetings.  These talks will not be recorded for posting.  During Peter’s next talk on June 21, the Parami of Wisdom will be explored.

The Benefits Of Renunciation

by Peter Carlson on May 25, 2017

This talk explores the benefits of the Parami of renunciation, which is the ability to disregard any self-state organization that interferes with the process of liberation from distress and confusion.  Peter quoted excerpts from an article that describes different applications of renunciation: from physical phenomena, from mental formations and from craving and clinging.  The practice of noting what has distracted attention from breath awareness, then renouncing the distraction to redirect attention back to the breath was described as the fundamental practice of renunciation.  Renunciation is related to detachment from mental phenomena and dispassion regarding mental phenomena, essential capabilities required for liberation.  Peter then described the neurological processes related to renunciation, that is, an enhanced executive function of the prefrontal cortex, which regulates the reactivity generated by the amygdala and nucleus accumbens.  This explanation was followed by discussion of the concept of renunciation by those in the meeting.

Here are the notes prepared for this discussion:  THE BENEFITS OF RENUNCIATION

Next week’s meeting will involve exercises related to the practice of renunciation.

Notes For The Anapanasati Sutta Fourth Tetrad

by Peter Carlson on April 22, 2015

These notes were written by Peter in preparation for the talks presented over the last several weeks.  The fourth tetrad of the sutta provides training for the practice of vipassana (insight), emphasizing awareness of impermanence, dispassion, liberation and letting go.  Here are the notes: ANAPANASATI SUTTA FOURTH TETRAD

The next recording posted will review all four tetrads as representative of the four foundations of mindfulness.

Awakening With Dispassion

by Peter Carlson on April 9, 2015

This talk was recorded on April 8, 2015, and is the follow-up on the talk entitled “Anapanasati And Anicca April 1 2015.  During this talk, Peter described how mindfulness of the arising and passing away of mental fabrications leads naturally to a sense of decreased “energy” or “thirst” regarding craving and clinging.  Peter also emphasized how important samadhi/passadhi (concentration/tranquility) are to “draining away:” the potency of craving.  This was followed by a lively discussion of how to cultivate dispassion.  During next week’s talk, the topic of cessation will be explored as part of the Fourth Tetrad of the Anapanasati Sutta.

Weekend Meditation Retreat Day 1

by Peter Carlson on December 8, 2014

This recording was made during the first night of the weekend retreat at the Franciscan Center, a delightful retreat facility on the Hillsborough River in Tampa, Florida, from December 5th to the 7th.  This recording is extraordinarily long, almost 95 minutes.  The first part is Peter’s introduction to the practice of anapanasati, mindfulness of breathing.  Included in the talk is a description of the “three refuges”: “I take refuge in the Buddha…I take refuge in the Dhamma…I take refuge in the Sangha.”  Peter described the Buddha as the reality of awakening, not with an emphasis on nirvana, but on the release each person can experience from the burdens of craving and clinging.  The Dhamma was described as the principles and practices described in the Buddhist tradition that foster awakening, from the perspective of what is called “Secular Buddhism”, that is, the Westernized approach that is relatively free from traditional rites and rituals, and draws on scientific research that validates the important insights of mindfulness meditation practices.  The Sangha was presented as the community of “truth seekers” who gather for the practices leading to awakening.

The last 45 minutes of the recording involves a guided mindfulness of breathing meditation session that provides useful periodic comments to foster “noticing distractions, disregarding them and returning to the practice of aiming and sustaining attention to the in- and out-breath”.

This posting is accompanied by a recording from December 6, during which Peter described the different levels of intimate breath awareness that can be acquired with diligent attention to the in- and out-breath.

Sixth Night: Personality Integration, Then Transcendence

During another extensive Dhamma dialogue, Peter explained that the cultivation of concentration (samadhi) creates a platform of non-reactivity around the emergence of self-states that might otherwise cause strong craving and clinging tendencies.  The unintegrated personality lacks cohesiveness, that is, one’s  stated goals are not matched by their actual behaviors.  As the various self-states are less […]

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Third Night: How The Self Is Formed, Deformed And Reformed

During this rather extensive Dhamma talk, Peter reviewed the concept of paticca sammupada, usually translated as dependent origination.  He explained why he prefers to name the process “contingent provisional emergence”.  This concept is key to the Buddhist understanding of karma, the law of cause and effect.  The formation of a momentary self-state, it’s fulfillment as […]

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