Opening To Stillness

During this talk, Peter described his intentions for his upcoming annual two-week self-retreat, organized around applying the concept and practices derived from reading (multiple times) “Stepping Out Of Self Deception-The Buddha’s Liberating Teaching Of No-Self” and “Awakening-A Paradigm Shift Of The  Heart”, by Rodney Smith.  The books develop a concept of two relationships to the universe, the horizontal (time-bound, afflicted by craving and clinging) and the vertical (timeless, limitless, unbound by craving and clinging).  The vertical dimension is the eternal Now, the only moment of reality that is not inherently affected by craving and clinging, and can be realized through awareness of “stillness”, a quality of attention undisturbed by narrative, experienced holistically as “suchness”, an awareness described by and manifested by the Buddha.  Peter’s intention is to cultivate samadhi/passadhi (stable attention/tranquility) including full sensational awareness of body sensations, sound, light, etc. and abide in that flow to investigate and understand the experience of stillness.  This was followed by comments from those attending the meeting.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:OPENING TO STILLNESS

Here is the handout provided for those attending, illustrating an excerpt from the Numerical Discourses, Udana 8.1, and an adapted graphic illustrating the horizontal and vertical concepts from the book “Stepping Out Of Self Deception-The Buddha’s Liberating Teaching Of No-Self”:  Opening To Stillness handout

The next posted talk will not be available until early January as a result of Peter’s retreat, during which there will be no dharma talks.  It is hoped that all reading this posting will enjoy a safe and happy holiday season!



Third Noble Truth Part 2

During this second of two talks on the Third Noble Truth, Peter reviewed last week’s dialogue, which was focused on understanding how emotionally potent memories (karma) bias the data input through the sense doors, the result being that we “imagine” our way through life.  Mindful investigation allows these emergent processes to be noted sooner, and Right Effort allows the unintegrated self states to become more coordinated and less conflicted in function.  This process sets the stable platform of samadhi, and allows the integrated personality structure to be investigated, producing a process of spiritual awakening.  Peter then read a long excerpt from Rodney Smith’s book: “Stepping Out Of Self-Deception-The Buddha’s Liberating Teaching of Non-Self”, to illuminate how important letting go of egocentric thoughts are for the awakening process.  For Those who might be interested in looking up the excerpts, they cover several pages in the chapter entitled: “Action From Emptiness”.

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