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Friday, December 31, 2010

18-Day Retreat December 1st to 19th 2010

In December of 2010, Jade Buddha Temple’s English Dharma Group (EDG), and the Insight Meditation Group (IMG), held an unprecedented, self-run, private retreat for 18 days. The intensive, long retreat was sponsored by the American Bodhi Center in Hempstead, Texas.
Resident monk Ven. Katapunna guided the retreat, conducted interviews for the participating yogis, and held Dharma talks every night. A significant part of the Dharma talks consisted of an extended examination and discussion of the Maha-Pari-Nibbana Sutra (DN 16), which is about the Buddha’s last days and great passing. This is the longest sutra in the Nikaya, and it took more than two weeks of Dharma talks to finish the discussion.

Also during this retreat, students had the honor of emailing additional questions to a well-known meditation teacher, Bhante Sujiva, who lives in Europe. With the help and support of Jade Buddha Temple and the American Bodhi Center, the retreat was a great success. As the retreat began, and the somber gathering of serious-minded yogis settled into the challenging regimen that often accompanies a long retreat. It became clear that the major theme and focus for this retreat would center around one of the Buddha’s most important teachings, “...Follow the Dharma to practice Dharma.”

What does this mean? The Sutra states “Paripattia” in Pali, to “... follow the Dharma to practice Dharma.” The former word ‘Dharma‘ refers to the Dharma teaching of Buddha, and the latter word ‘Dharma’ denotes the application of Dharma teaching via the practice of meditation. Put simply, the practice of Insight Meditation must be in accordance with Buddha’s teaching and the Sutra.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Purity of Heart

HAPPY NEW YEAR! May the year of Tiger brings you health and "purity of heart". I was reading "Purity of Heart, Essays on the Buddhist Path" by Thanissaro Bhikkhu (Geoffrey DeGraff) and was touched. Want to share this with you'all in the coming New Year.

The following are the paragraphs from the short article. Enjoy and best with your practices.
-- “You know,” he said, “the whole aim of our practice is purity of heart. Everything else is just games.”,
-- his "... definition of purity of heart was simple ... a happiness that will never harm anyone",
-- " ... Ajaan Fuang was offering to teach me how to develop it. That’s one of the reasons why I stayed with him until he died."

Download the book.
Read the entire article.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Guideline to Maximize the Benefits of Group Meditation

We have our first meditation in the Chinese School Auditorium and it works out really well. Now that we have a good environment, the following are key points to furthur help with our group practice.

- Be on time (7:00AM)
- Bow when you enter the hall (beginning settling the mind)
- Follow the program schedule
- Listen and follow the bell (remember to turn off cell phone)
- At the end, maintain your mindful (no need to rush), mindful of each movement like stretching, massaging, standing, ...
- Remember to close together by chanting 3 times the triple gems (re-affirming the dedication to the training)

Doing this with RIGHT UNDERSTANDING and correctly, the benefit is tremendous. These will help us even further the benefit of the time we are investing in the group meditation.

If you have any comments or thoughts, do let us know.

Ken & Josten
Click here to leave us your comments.

Benefits of Regular Practice: Member's 10-Day Retreat Report

I finished my 10-day meditation retreat at Southwest Vipassana Meditation Center a couple of weeks ago and it was AWESOME. I didn't realize how meditating with TBA-IMG every Sunday boosted my ability to concentrate so quickly at the retreat. I felt at ease, comfortable and accepting of sitting right off the bat. I could not have done that without steady practice with the Sangha. Through my practice I've cultivated discipline for meditating.

Also, I had my first experience with concentration. I would not have known what it was without my interviews with Sayadaw Dhammapiya. (Thank you, Sayadaw!) You (Sayadaw) said to me before, "Don't worry about concentration, you can do that a retreat. Just work on mindfulness." I've never felt the quality of concentration before, like I felt at the retreat recently, and I haven't felt it since. The noble silence and the whole atmosphere is conducive for concentration and meditation. I'm grateful for my gradual awakening to what mindfulness is for me, and now I understand concentration for myself. I can see and owe my progress in meditation the TBA-IMG program: group meditation, interviews, dharma talks. Thank you!

I'm going to continue my twice daily meditation the best I can. The benefits of feeling equanimous with the way things are is invaluable. I feel determined to cultivate my mindfulness in my daily activities. I'm re-reading a book I picked up by Dr. Thynn Thynn at JBT called, "Living Insight, Living Meditation." She is excellent in explaining mindfulness to a beginner like me. When I read her book the first time I had an intellectual understanding and I remember feeling hopeful. Since I've had my own experiences with mindfulness now I feel even more affection for her writing because she's helping me to understand my experiences better and guiding me as I become more aware. I looked on her website recently and saw she's going to teach a 12-week course called "Meditate Without Meditation - The Daily Life Mindfulness Practice: How to be mindful throughout the day; at work, home, and play." I can't attend her course in person; however, she is going to make it available on the Internet via MP3 for students who want to be apart of the class remotely. I have registered for the course and wanted to see if any of you would be interested in registering too. I think it will be a valuable experience--we may learn more if we learn together. Let me know if you decide to take the course. All you have to do is send an email to the address on the flyer.

With appreciation and happiness,

Friday, January 1, 2010

Metta Sutta Chanting & Song

Metta sutta

Pali 黃慧音 - 慈經 (巴利文唱頌版)

Chinese/Pali 黃慧音 - 慈經 (中文唸誦版)


The Buddha's words on cultivating a heart filled with good will (metta) towards all beings.
[Loudspeaker icon] Listen to this sutta read by Thanissaro Bhikkhu (01'56" 1.7 MB)
Recorded by the reader in January 2006 at Metta Forest Monastery, Valley Center, California. Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. From »Handful of Leaves, Volume Four: An Anthology from the Khuddaka Nikaya, Thanissaro Bhikkhu, trans. and ed. Text is copyright © 2005 Thanissaro Bhikkhu.