Retreat Review By Andy Quinn

It is customary for our Sangha meetings to provide an opportunity for someone who has participated in a recent residential retreat to “think out loud” about their experience.  Much of the benefit of a retreat occurs outside of awareness, and an opportunity to talk about what happened during the retreat can bring new insights to them and integrate what has occurred into conscious awareness and therefore become more accessible for future spiritual development.  Listening to a review can also be informative and inspiring for those in the meeting or reviewing this recording.  During this talk, Andy, the founding teacher for the Lakeland Insight Meditation Group, recounts his experience at the Southern Dharma Center in North Carolina at a retreat led by Donald Rothberg, a well-respected author and teacher, whose training has been influenced by Theravaden and Tibetan Buddhist teachings.


Reviewing Tranquility and Concentration

This talk provides a review of two of seven Awakening Factors, Tranquility and Concentration, which are so integrated in their functioning that their manifestation is called samatha (syah-mah-tah) in Pali.  Peter Carlson provides a review of each of the two, including skillful means for cultivating them, both while meditating and in the context of lifestyle choices.  Additional emphasis is provided to clarify the characteristics of concentration, as either the highly concentrated experience of jhana or the more inclusive but very stable kind of concentration important for vipassana practice and the full development of the Seven Awakening Factors.

This talk can be supplemented by the “Guided Tranquility and Concentration Contemplation” that preceded this talk and which is posted in the archives of this site.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  Tranquility and Concentration


Reviewing The Investigation of Mental Phenomena

During this talk, Peter Carlson reviews Dhamma Vicaya Bojjhanga, the Investigation of Mental Phenomena Awakening Factor.  This quality of investigative curiosity, in coordination with the Mindfulness and Energy Awakening Factors, provides a primary support for the development of the other four Awakening Factors.  Peter describes how investigation builds from the simple practice of aiming attention at the sensation of breathing and maintaining this focused attention during the cycles of breathing in an breathing out.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  INVESTIGATING MENTAL PHENOMENA

There is a supplemental “Guided Investigation of Mental Phenomena Meditation” posted in the archives, recorded just prior to this talk.