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Showing posts from August, 2009

WEEK 13: End of the First Half

IMG Notes for August 30, 2009

The IMG extended five hour session began at 7:00 A.M. with a 20 minute audio dharma talk given by Thanissaro Bhikku. The subject of the talk, Befriending The Breath, was an insightful discussion on the importance of learning to be 'friends' with the breath. We all know the paths that some of our 'old friends' can lead us down--those old friends being the unskilful states of mind. Developing a new friendship with the breath can lead us to new friends, and new, skillful states of mind. These skillful states bring us true peace and happiness, but in order to achieve this, we must spend more time with the breath, and develop a lasting friendship with it. We must learn to ignore the call of our old friends while we are cultivating a relationship with our breath. Choosing and developing a friendship with our breath will yield the best friendship that we can ever have.

Group discussion began about 11:00 A.M., and the main subject of interest center…

WEEK 12: Confidence and Effort (2 of the 5 Controlling Faculties of Success)

IMG Notes from August 23, 2009
We are halfway through our sessions, and questions often come up during our practice.
1. Has the effort been worth it so far?
2. Why are we not enlightened yet?
3. Will we be enlightened by the end of our six months together?
4. If not, will we continue?

The demands of raising children, managing our careers, and interacting with our spouses can indeed place significant strain on our practice time and practice attitude. We must have faith and confidence in the knowledge that our efforts are worth it, even if at times it doesn't seem to be. Sometimes, it is not until we face a major life altering experience that we begin to see the benefits of our practice reveal itself. Josten shared his recent experience with illness, a hospital stay, and his personal revelation regarding the value of his practice. Even though he experienced severe pain and discomfort, he realized that his practice sustained him, and made his ordeal easier to bear.

Are you ready to face…

Week 10: Meditation Q&A by Ven. Hung-I

IMG Notes from Aug. 7, 2009
A. After walking and sitting meditation, Rev. Hung-I joined our group for a half hour discussion. Ken informed the group that Josten is not feeling well. (Get better, Josten!) The Reverend praised the group for its commitment, and he understood the determination that goes into making the decision to continue practice. He was also happy to see us using the temple.
B. For discussion, three questions were offered to the Reverend.

Question 1. What is mindfulness?
The Reverend touched on several points regarding the nature of mindfulness. The key points were that we all have some level of mindfulness, but most of the time we do not use it in the right way. There must be Right Mindfulness. Right Mindfulness leads to Right Concentration; Right Concentration leads to Right Contemplation.
Question 2. What is the value of Walking Meditation?
The main points given on this question were that sitting and walking meditation complement each other. Walking meditation helps us to…

Ken Pao's Dharma Talk 8/16/2009 at 10AM

Dear Dharma friends,
We would like to invite you to join our Dharma talk by Ken Pao on Sunday Aug. 16th.
Ken has been studying Buddhism since 1993. He has deep understanding of Buddha’s teaching from both Mahayana and Theravada traditions and has also practiced “Emptiness Meditation”, “Zen meditation”, and “Insight meditation”. Ken is currently leading the Insight Meditation Group and the “Middle-Way” Discourse Study Group in the temple.
Ken’s Dharma talk will touch upon the following topics:
1. How practical is the Buddha’s teaching for the lay person?
2. According to the Theravada tradition, what is the most important stage in the enlightened
path?
3. Can the precepts, concentration, and wisdom be accomplished in one single practice?

Hope to see you this Sunday!
Meditation, Kwan Yin Hall, 9:00 – 10:00 AMDharma talk, Kwan Yin Hall, 10:15 – 11:15 AM