Interdependence Day, 2013

During this talk, Kitty explored the complexity of relationships that are inherent to reality and to human experience.  Since this talk occurred on the eve of American Independence Day, Kitty commented upon how dependent the colonists in rebellion were to the influence of France, Spain and the Netherlands during the American Revolution.  She pointed out how complex our food chain is, and how interrelated the transportation systems are, including the raw materials, manufacture and distribution of cars, highways and so on.  This complexity was related to the Buddhist concept of dependent origination in terms of how we experience life, and how our notion of isolation is a misperception, because we require human interactions from birth through life.  This was followed by discussion and dialogue.

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Right Relationship in the 21st Century

Continuing the discussion of Right Livelihood as manifesting in a culture much more complex than what the Buddha knew, this dialogue focuses on how relationship dynamics relate to the three characteristics the Buddha emphasized, that is, impermanence, dissatisfaction and interdependence.  Modern research regarding attachment security and how levels of anxious arousal degrade a couple’s ability to negotiate conflict was explored.  We also discussed modern relational psychoanalysis as related to mutual interpersonal influence.

Taking Retreat Practice Home 2011

On this last night of the retreat, Peter provided several suggestions for continuing the practice of awakening after the retreat ends.  The value of daily samadhi practice was emphasized as the foundation from which all insights and spiritual progress derives.  During the discussion, yogis offered different ways of mindfully knowing the intrusive feelings that precipitate the emergence of a hindrance.  Recognizing the reality of the three characteristics, impermanence, the dissatisfaction resulting from craving and clinging and the interdependence of life was also emphasized as a practical way to understand life’s challenges.