Reviewing Right Livelihood

This talk reviews the third attribute of the Virtue aggregate in the Noble Eightfold Path, Right Livelihood.  in addition to traditional renderings of this topic, contemporary considerations of “Right Lifestyle” are described, including the importance of physical and financial balance in one’s life to support meditative development and integration of the Dharma into daily living routines.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  Reviewing Right Livelihood

The topic for next week’s talk will focus on Right Effort, the first of three attributes in the mental discipline aggregate of the Noble Eightfold Path.


Right Livelihood In Trying Times October 28, 2020

This talk reviews the Wholesome Cetasikas “Right Action” and “Right Livelihood” in their classical rendering and then conjoins them into “Right Lifestyle” to reflect ways to be resilient to current stresses in these trying times.  Contemporary lifestyles are deeply conditioned by indoctrination regarding consumerism and identification with roles and entitlements that are significantly challenged by the pandemic conditions and the ensuing unemployment and social disruption.  The Four Noble Truths conceptual structure is reviewed as an effective resource for coping with the distress and confusion created by the pandemic, storms and fires created by global warming, as well as the current divisiveness in U.S. politics (the 2020 election is next week).  There is an additional review of “The Four Clear Comprehensions”, part of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness commentaries that can be beneficially applied to decision making within the complexity of current life circumstances.  This talk is meant to be accompanied by the “Guided Mindful Intention Meditation” posted on 10/29/20, which is intended to provide support for identifying and successfully adapting to lifestyle choices that are more adaptive to the changes required by current cultural stresses.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  Right Lifestyle In Trying Times

Next week’s talk will focus on the importance of compassion in trying times.


Buddhism And Voluntary Simplicity September 18 2019

During this talk, Peter described how his 1970’s “flower child” interests in environmental health matured through the practice of Buddhist mindfulness meditation.  A central focus of attention for the talk was “Voluntary Simplicity”, a book he read by Duane Elgin in the early ’80’s that was a strong inspiration for his current “low carbon footprint” lifestyle and commitment to bringing Buddhist principles and practices to Central Florida.  Elgin’s work grew from a powerful meditation experience during a Tibetan Buddhist retreat; his work since then has been an expansion of those insights into the intricate interdependence of the universe and the role of Right Livelihood in realizing that interdependence through a lifestyle informed by an intentional simplification of contemporary life in this consumer culture.  The review of voluntary simplicity was followed by a vigorous discussion among those present about how this approach to life is beneficial.

The notes prepared for this discussion have important information related to the talk including a URL of a YouTube interview of Duane Elgin that might be of interest.  Here are the notes:  Buddhism And Voluntary Simplicity

Here is a copy of the article on voluntary simplicity referred to during the talk:  voluntary_simplicity

The focus on various aspects of using mindfulness practices to cope with contemporary societal distress and confusion will continue–the topic for next week’s discussion is not yet determined.


Bodhisattva Vow And The Environment November 7 2018

This talk explores how our approaches to nutrition can have a negative impact on the environment, using the Bodhisattva Vow and the Four Noble Truths as ways to approach environmental responsibility.  Regarding the Four Noble Truths, Dukkha awareness comes from contemplating the environmental and personal suffering that arises as a result of craving and clinging to consumer oriented advertising.  Liberation from World Dukkha is realized through mindful and compassionate approaches to nutrition, supported by the principles and practices of the Noble Eightfold Path.

The explanation was followed by discussion among those attending about their observations of environmental and social Dukkha and what they can do as individuals to affect beneficial changes in their limited sphere of influence.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  Be A Bodhisattva For The World

Next week’s discussion will explore the Tibetan concept of shenpa, designated by Pema Chodron as “the hook“, and ways to heighten awareness of being “hooked” and not identify with the enchantment that is involved.


Living A Life For Awakening

This week’s talk focuses on the value of building a lifestyle around daily meditation practice and integrating the lojong aphorisms into daily life routines.  Peter talked of how his spiritual growth matured over the 33 years as a householder committed to realizing the Noble Eightfold Path.  Peter mentioned the slogans from Alcoholics Anonymous, “One day at a time”, and “Progress, not perfection” as useful in the process of awakening.We live in a culture that does not foster monastic living, and must find a way to make use of the opportunities we have for spiritual development in a materialistic society.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  Dedicate your life to the process of awakening

Next week’s talk will begin to explore the aphorisms of lojong that increase proficiency in the development of clear awareness and benevolent intention.