The focus of this talk is how the Four Noble Truths are manifested while applying the lojong mind training aphorisms. Reviewing aphorisms discussed in previous meetings, Peter described how the cultivation of internally stable focus and emotional balance creates the optimal “platform of awareness” for the practice of vipassana. Vipassana, in turn, reveals the physical, emotionally urgent driver of the internal narrative-the “selfing story”-and thi is the first Noble Truth, direct awareness of internal distress and confusion. This practice then reveals the “dreamlike” characteristics of the “selfing” process, distinguishing the difference between the internal narrative and the more fundamental experience of physical sensation, the craving and clinging characteristic of the second Noble Truth. The decrease potency of emotional reactivity provides detachment and relief from the distress and confusion, characteristic of the third Noble Truth, and the fourth Noble Truth, the Eightfold Path, provides the ways and means to accomplish this. This ability to combine clear awareness and benevolent intention fulfills the core teaching of lojong, tonglen, the Tibetan practice of compassion. Here are the notes prepared for the talk: Balancing The Changing Mind
Next week’s discussion will explore the importance of Right Speech in relationships.
During this talk, Peter reviewed the Four Noble Truths, emphasizing the ultimate development of the Noble Eightfold Path, Right Knowledge and Right Release, the transformation of Right Understanding and Right Intention from concept to direct realization. This practice moves from “self state conflict” (the five hindrances) through “self state integration” toward awakening as the seven awakening factors mature through mindfulness practices. He emphasized that awakening is a process, not an identifiable “state” of being. He quoted extensively from an article posted by Gil Fronsdal on the “Tenfold Path” to illustrate the process.
Here are the notes from the evening’s discussion: SELF STATE TRANSCENDENCE
Next week’s discussion will focus on the process of awakening, reviewing various traditional descriptions of awakening, with an emphasis on what are called “the progressions of insight”.
In this talk, the progression from self-state integration is described, beginning with combining the Virtue aggregate and the Mental Training aggregate of the Noble Eightfold Path. As the self-states no longer function with less internal and interpersonal conflict, then the Buddhist “Progressions of Insight” are developed. These concepts were linked with various teaching instructions provided during the retreat, to help the participants understand the Theravada Buddhist notions of how enlightenment can occur.