This talk begins several weeks of discussion regarding how the understanding and application of the Four Noble Truths can be of great benefit as we cope with these stressful times. Peter begins by suggesting significant differences between the relative simplicity of pre-industrial culture and the increasingly complex challenges of contemporary life. At the core of Buddhism is the path towards experiencing the Unconditioned, Nirvana; however, in this day and age, we benefit from first cultivating what we in the West call good mental health as a foundation from which total liberation can be approached.
This was followed by a review of the first three of the Four Noble Truths; next week’s discussion will review the fourth Noble Truth, the Noble Eightfold Path. The topics of the next several weeks’ discussions will be how the Four Noble Truths can be applied to contemporary cultural distresses related to multicultural tensions, consumerism, political conflict, the #meetoo phenomenon, along with various other relevant topics.
The recording is somewhat longer due to the engaged dialogue that developed after the explanatory remarks.
Here are the notes prepared for this talk: MINDFUL ADAPTATION TO STRESSFUL TIMES
As mentioned above, next week’s topic will review the Noble Eightfold Path, which provides the concepts and practices that support the realization of the first three Noble Truths.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:07:52 — 124.3MB)
This week’s talk focused on how Buddhist concepts and practices can be beneficially applied to contemporary distress. Peter cited recent research that reports the frequency of stress-related physical and psychological disorders. Peter’s many years as a psychotherapist as well as a practicing Buddhist provide important insights regarding these issues. Unfortunately, technical problems with the recording process distorted the recording, so it is hard to discern the words. I hope it is beneficial despite the defects.
Here are the notes prepared for this talk: STRESS AND THE DHAMMA
Next week’s talk will focus on how Buddhist principles and practices can help overcome the various clinical anxiety disorders.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 58:05 — 106.3MB)
The phrase we typically use is “mindfulness of the body”; this week’s talk is “mindfulness for the body” to emphasize the importance of taking good care of the body, which is the foundational vehicle for spiritual development. We talked of how important it is to not give in to the inactivity that the creature comforts of our culture promote and the effects that chronic stress has on the body. We then explored the benefits of regular meditation practice to cultivate a more relaxed body, and the value of insight (vipassana) practices to provide the discipline to exercise regularly.