The internet has had a revolutionary impact on contemporary culture, including the study and practice of Buddhism. During this talk, Peter described the benefits and deficits of the internet and all that is available through the system: social media, streaming from websites, emails, twitter, etc. We all benefit from the ready access available to new scholarly insights regarding Buddhist history and doctrine and a myriad of .mp3 recordings of Dharma talks. However, the nature of the way media is structured and presented fosters craving and clinging processes similar to addiction. Peter used the structure of the Four Noble Truths to invite investigation of the nature of dukkha prior to and during exposure to what the internet offers, then to further investigate the nature of craving and clinging, the Second Noble Truth that is fostered by deeply applying the Noble Eightfold Path to the experience; this provides opportunities to not feel compelled to engage in the internet beyond reasonability, thereby creating opportunities to realize the mundane aspects of the Third Noble Truth. The participants in the meeting engaged in dialogue following the presentation.
Here are the notes prepared for this talk: MINDFULNESS AND THE MEDIA
Next week’s topic will follow upon the issues raised in this talk, that is, how the Four Noble Truths concepts and practices can bring relief from addiction.