Typically, the meeting after Peter’s annual year-end retreat is dedicated to his recounting of the retreat experience, with the hope his review will help him integrate the experience as well as provide others more insights about what can happen on retreat. This retreat was significantly disrupted by the unusually 3-day freeze that occurred over Christmas, as the plants in the yard where the retreat cottage is needed to be covered, and then uncovered after the freeze. This created the opportunity for Peter to contemplate the nature of dukkha, the First Nobel Truth, a fundamental concept within Buddhism. There are three aspects of dukkha that are reviewed during the talk: The dukkha of inhabiting a body, the dukkha of experiencing unexpected changes, and the dukkha of how the mind fabricates a self. The third aspect is the primary focus of mindfulness meditation.
Here are the notes prepared for this talk: Understanding Dukkha
The topic for next week’s talk will focus on reviewing what is called Secular Buddhism.