This talk is a final review of the series of discussions begun on January 10 of this year that focuses on the Anapanasati Sutta, the Mindfulness of Breathing Discourse. The discussion used quotes from the Sutta to clarify points regarding the concepts and practices of anapanasati. Peter emphasized the emphasis the Buddha placed on cultivating a wholesome lifestyle with a strong commitment to daily meditation practice, “ardent, alert and mindful”. The review is intended to relate the practice of breath awareness described as involving 16 stages to the development of a more integrated personality (the mundane or worldly goal) and then to the full realization of Awakening (the supramundane or liberation goal). As the 16 stages are brought to maturity, the meditation student realizes the full potential of the Satipatthana, the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, particularly the Seven Awakening Factors.
The review was followed by discussion among those attending regarding the application of anapanasati to their benefit.
Here are the notes prepared for this talk: Anapanasati Final Review and Commentary
Here is a copy of Thanissaro Bhikkhu’s translation of the Anapanasati Sutta, referred to during the talk: Mindfulness of Breathing (full) Thanissaro
Next week’s talk will be conducted by Daniel Logan and focused on this topic:
What’s the story of your spiritual practice? In this week’s dharma discussion we’ll engage in a participatory exercise known as currere. Currere is an autobiographical method of reflecting upon one’s experience through a subjective and narrative framework. Participants will be guided through the process of reflecting upon past, present, and future experiences related to their practice, and they will be encouraged to frame these experiences in a manner that serves to strengthen their practice. This method was pioneered by educational theorist William Pinar and has found broad application in professional, curricular, and spiritual education settings. So come prepared to share your story with a fellow meditator and perhaps with the group at large. (For inspiration, feel free to read these profiles of Sharon Salzberg and Jack Kornfield from Lion’s Roar.)
The following week’s discussion will begin a series of talks exploring how mindfulness and lovingkindness practices can be beneficially applied to coping with the complexity and stress of contemporary life.