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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Week 7: 2 Key Ingredients to Your Success

What is important to physicists is also important to meditators. When physicists were asked what is important for them when they approach problems in physics, they cited two factors:

--First, there must be confidence that the problem itself is worthy of their effort and investigation. The problem is VERY important.
--Second, there must be confidence that there is a solution to the problem--that it can be overcome.

These two factors relate directly to our meditation practice. First, we must have confidence that the challenge of daily, committed practice is worthy of our effort and investigation. Once we discover that meditation requires daily practice, it is too easy to say, "Oh, meditation is good, but I do not have the time."

Secondly, we must have the confidence that we can overcome the problems that confront us as we strive to maintain our daily practice. Once we begin to practice and we begin to realize how little we know, we may begin to doubt or rethink our effort and say,"This is too much..this takes too long."

Thanissaro Bikkhua gives an enlightening dharma discussion on this subject. To hear the entire talk, follow this link, The Physicist's Approach, by Thanissaro Bikkhua (07/19/2004).

Monday, July 13, 2009

Week 6: First discussion session ...

We had a wonderful open discussion on this 6th week of IMG. There were ideas and questions which will help our practice. The plan is to take up the topics every 2 weeks, so we can benefit from comprehending them. Eventually, we may only need to have this once a month, and dedicate the rest of the time to the practice.

Questions---
- Does meditation cause you to be lazy
- Does meditation cause you to have more dreams
- Does the practice of meditation make you more intuitive?
- Does the practice of meditation make you more aware of the spirit world?
- What should one focus on because of different teachers techniques
... breath
... counting breath
... abdomen (Mahashi)
... body sensation (Geonka)
- What is the right insight meditation technique to use?
- How does Metta Meditation relate to Insight Meditation?
...How does one send loving-kindness, good will, etc., to others?

Quote of the week:
Sayadaw Shew O Min "The object is not important The mind that is working in the background –working to be aware i.e. the observing mind is more important If the observing (mind) is done with the right attitude the object will be the right object"
~~~~~~... more on "RIGHT ATTITUDE" ...~~~~~~

Thursday, July 9, 2009

First Interview July 12, 2009

Instruction:
1. Call from home at individual’s own signed-up time. Teacher: Venerable Dr. Dhammapiya Sayadaw and phone number is (510)795-0405.
2. When connected, please do identify yourselves that you are from the Jade Buddha Temple in Houston, Texas and would like to have an interview with Sayadaw Dhammapiya. This is because many times, someone else might answer the phone instead of Sayadaw himself.
3. Do keep your interview within ten minutes.
4. Read and get familiar with "How to interview with a teacher?” and “Meditation Instructions – Sayadaw U Pandita” from the web site click here. This will help the interviewees tremendously.
5. Please do call the Sayadaw. He will lead us into “The Four Foundations of Mindfulness”. Experienced meditators and beginners will all benefit from the interviews.

Interview Schedule:
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Sunday Interviews:
Kenan 7:00 PM
Kumala 7:10 PM
Maya 7:20 PM
Raytano 7:30 PM
Gary 7:40 PM
Christine 7:50 PM
Vivian 8:00 PM
Patricia 8:10 PM
Josten 8:20 PM
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Steven Christopher 9:30 PM
Ann 9:40 PM
Jennifer 9:50 PM
Judy 10:00 PM
Oliver 10:10 PM
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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Week 5 Notes: Choices in Life

Delayed Gratification
Means giving up short term desires for a long term happiness. One of the central ideas for the group is to practice meditation in order to gain a deeper understanding of ourselves for long lasting happiness.

In a dharma talk, 'The Three Characteristics', by Thanissaro Bhikkhu, the teacher tells this story to show a clear example of delayed gratification:
"...When a little girl's mother died, her father promised not to take another wife. The little girl was very happy with her father's decision. But when her father brought with him a new wife after his business travels, the little girl was very sad. The new stepmother understood this, and wanted to help the little girl.
So she asked to play a game of chess with the little girl. During the game, the stepmother explained to her, 'In order to get what you want in life, you look for the important thing and give up the other.' The little girl wasn't paying attention to what her new stepmother was saying, but she did notice that her stepmother was losing her game pieces, and thought to herself that her stepmother was not a very good chess player. It wasn't until the little girl was eventually checkmated by her stepmother that she realized that this wise lady was showing her how to win by losing."

(To hear the complete dharma talk, click here: )