During this talk, Peter described Paticca Samupadda, usually translated as the principle of Dependent Origination. This is one of the core concepts of Buddhism, as it explains how the dynamics of self formation and dissolution operate. Emphasis was placed on understanding that being able to directly experience feeling as feeling (the second of the four foundations of mindfulness) interrupts the formation and operation of craving and clinging, and that these functions are core to the problem of suffering. Feeling brings resolution to this problem, and is why so much emphasis is placed on body awareness, particularly on strongly pleasant or unpleasant feelings in a non-reactive way.
Following on last week’s dialogue, the Teacher’s Mentoring Group, which has been meeting weekly for several months, introduced themselves and provided comments about their current studies of Buddhist principles and practices. These individuals’ commitments to their spiritual path warrants the opportunity to share what they’ve gained from the practice. Peter commented on the reality that each generation must revisit and make real in their own lived experience the wisdom that the Buddha’s teachings offered, and that his teaching over the last 20 years or so played a significant role in deepening his practice. These teachers, with Peter’s support, will be offering dhamma dialogues off and on during the summer, and will be delivering the dhamma talks while he’s away on his three month retreat this Fall. Next week, Kitty will lead a dialogue about how essential regular sitting practice has been for her spiritual development, and the week after that Rose will facilitate exploring the value of taking refuge, especially as related to Sangha.