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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

October Special: Last Meditation of the Year (10/27) and Daily Insight Meditation

End of year 2012 is fast approaching. How have your practice been? This is the last retreat for this year. There will be a 7-Day retreat in November (11/21 to 11/28) and the 14-Day IMG retreat in December (12/1 to 12/14), So mark your calendar for the last 1-Day retreat Saturday, October 27th, 2012. Since this is the last retreat of the year, we will havea dana offerings to our teacher, Ven. K (Venerable Katapunno). If you like to make a dana offering but cannot make it on 10/27, just simply contact TBA IMG and specify the amount of your dana.

In Addition, for the month of October 2012, there is a daily Insight Meditation practice and Dharma talk on the "Anapanasati Sutta" (Breath Meditation) by Ven. U Vimalaramsi, one of the important Insight meditation practice for all serious isngiht meditators. The daily practice has two sittings one at 6:00AM and another 6:00PM. Dharma talk by Ven. Katapunno is at 7:00PM. All are welcome, just come whenever you can.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

2012 14-Day Insight Meditation Retreat (12/1-12/14)

14 Day Insight Meditation (內觀智慧禪十四)
Stilling the restless mind (住於清明與正念之中) 

Teacher (主持法師): Ven. Seelananda
Activity: Insight Meditation  (活動:內觀智慧禪 )
Date: 12/1/2012 ~ 12/14/2012  (日期:十二月一日至十二月十四日 )
Location: American Bodhi Center (地點:美洲菩提中心)
Registration: Jade Buddha Temple (281-498-1616) American Bodhi Center(979-921-6969)
(報名:玉佛寺辦公室 (281-498-1616) 菩提中心辦公室(979-921-6969)

December 1st to December 14th 2012 Ven. Seelananda will conducted a 14-day Insight Meditation Retreat .  He was here last year leading the 15-day retreat.

Bhikkhu T. Seelananda is a meditation teacher living in US for about 10 years. Currently, he is the Vice Abbot and Vice President of Bhavana Society Forest Monastery in West Virginia.   Bhikkhu Seelananda is fluent in English, Pali and Sanskrit, which together with his excellent monastic roots is recognized as a dedicated monk skilled in the teaching of Buddhism and meditation to a wide variety of audiences ranging from novices to experienced practitioners.

Monday, July 2, 2012

6/30- Importance of Walking Meditation & Interview

"Walking meditation develops balance and accuracy of awareness as well as durability of concentration." stated by Sayādaw U Pandita in Chapter 1 of his book "In This Very Life". I felt a good bit of us when we meditate we "sit" seldom do we pay much value to "walking" meditation. In actuality the Buddha taught four forms o meditation: sitting, walking, standing and lay down. Each has its function and benefit.

Sayādaw highlighted four benefits in his book(read more online- They are
1. stamina/physical strength- was important in the Buddha’s time since they do not have cars and it is pertenant to us today since we rely too much on cars and sit in the office all day.
2. to strengthen the capacity for that strong, consistent mental effort all yogis know is crucial to vipassanā practice 3. health- balance between sitting and walking contributes to good health, which in turn speeds progress in practice
4. assists digestion- keeping the bowels clear, minimizing sloth and torpor. It is especially useful after a meal or in the morning
5. walking builds durable concentration, the foundation for the sitting meditation

One of the important factors to help us on our Path to successful meditation according to the Buddha is good companion. One of these is a skillful teacher who has experience on the path and understand how we individually works, each of our strengths and weaknesses. Personal interview during retreat is one of this process that helps to facilitate the understanding between teacher and student. Sayādaw succinctly describe to us how best to accomplish this and help us in our progress.

What Occurred, How You Noted It, What Happened to It- “For all of these objects, indeed with any object of meditation, please report your experience in three phases. One, you identify what occurred. Two, you report how you noted it. And three, you describe what you saw, or felt, or understood, that is, what happened when you noted it.”

He also used the analogy of planting and caring for a garden and example of describing our experiences of describing an apple in his hand (read more-

Watch and listen to Ven. K's lecture on the above subjects (you need your email address and password)
1. video 1 (coming)
2. video 2 (coming)
3. ...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wonderful Three Days

On the last day when we were about to share our retreat experiences, Ray stood up and said "Hey look. A deer outside our window." That kind of summarized the wonderful environment, the American Bodhi Center, where we spent three days of our insight meditation retreat. The retreat was guided by Ven K (3rd on front row) and Ven. Nanda delivered 2 excellent Dharma talk for two nights (2nd on front row).
Picture: Taken on the last day of the retreat. This time were about equal number of male and female meditators.

Ven. Nanda expounded wonderful teachings with is fluent Pali recitation and explanation in English. We came to learn that Ven. Nanda was born in Sri Lanka and ordained as a monk in his early age (on his own insistent). Graduated in a University and studied overseas like Taiwan where he learnt Chinese. He currently established several Buddhists centers and on a busy travel schedule.

On the fist evening, he explained the importance of sadha- faith, trust and confidence in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha and how it can help with the practice of meditation. The key essence is to understand and reflect on the qualities of the Buddha and not simply the historic person that lived 2500 years ago. In contemplating these qualities encourage each yogi to have faith in the truth of Dharma, then build trust through deep understanding. Ultimately with steady insight developed confidence that we one day we will also be able to achieve the awakening that was described.

One of the word of advise that Ven. Nanda gave all of us that should brings home to many that practices meditation is "DO NOT GIVE UP!" here is nether good nor bad meditation, it is the the time we spend practicing that counts. When we are discouraged, his council is that it is time to remind ourselves "not to give up". It is so true for each and every minute, especially when the body experiences pain and the mind suffers distress after long meditation practices.

All of us woke up at 5:00AM and after morning brisk walking exercise, Ven. Katapunno lead us for our first morning meditation and service. We all took eight precepts which include no meals after lunch. I for one enjoys this part, in observing hunger in the evening catch them when it arises and soon they faded away and again it comes back. See also how hunger pain distress the mind and and that was what the Buddha said, shooting ourselves with two arrows. The fisr is the physical hunger pain and the second arrow is the distressing mind. The later is usually the one that is the most damaging.

One more thing, I will be remiss, if I did not mentioned the delicious vegetarian food that was prepared by Ven. Shiou Tao. That is a must for all visitor to the American Bodhi Cneter. In case you plan to go, do contact the center so they are prepared for your arrival.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

May 26-28, 2012 3-Day Retreat

In May, we will have a 3 day retreat during Memorial Holidays. Check-in is on 5/25/2012 from 7:00pm to7:30pm and orientation at 8:00pm. If you cannot make it to the orientation, go to the administration office to check in and volunteers will assist you. For any special requests or questions, please contact the center (Tel:979-921-6969). Registration form and flyer.

Retreat Schedule:
      5:00    Mornign Wake Up
      5:30  - 6:00    Exercise
      6:00  -  7:15    Sitting Meditation,Morning Service
      7:30  -  8:00    Breakfast
      8:00  -   8:30    Mindful Cleaning
      8:45  -  11:45    Walking/Sitting Meditation
Lunch     12:00 - 12:30    Lunch
     12:30  -  1:15    Rest
      1:30 -   5:30    Walking/Sitting Meditation
      5:30 -   6:00    Medicine Meal
      6:00 -   7:00    Self Practice
      7:00 -  9:00    Dharma Talk/ Sitting Meditation
     10:00 ~ ~ ~ ~    Mindfully go to bed

Monday, April 30, 2012

Starting the engine of Mindfulness: April 28th, 2012 IMG Meditation

In the fourth sessions of the TBA IMG meditation, VenK read and discussed the paragraphs on walking meditation as was taught by Sayādaw U Pandita in his book- "In This Very Life: The Liberation Teachings of The Buddha". Most of us feel that meditation is "just sitting" and does not pay heed to the practice of walking meditation. It was quite reviewing with the discussion that the group had in our last lecture. For those who miss this lecture and discussion you can get some of the jest of our lively discussions and explanation from VenK. Hope that you can get as much out of it as we did. As usual, per VenK's request the videos are for limited distribution. If you are interested, please let us know (contact us).

The following are some teachings of the about walking meditation from Sayādaw U Pandita's book:
  • "... One can observe very profound aspects of the Dhamma while walking,and even get enlightened!"
  • "In fact a yogi who does not do walking meditation before sitting is like a car with a rundown battery. He or she will have a difficult time starting the engine of mindfulness when sitting."

Video of the class:
  1. Video 1 of 4
  2. Video 2 of 4
  3. Video 3 of 4 
  4. Video 4 of 4

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Third Meditation March 24th, 2012 & Suprise Birthday Party

We had a wonderful surprise party for Ven. K and our first video recording of the lecture- "In This very Life" (see link below). This is first installment of 4 videos, more to follow. Waiting to get your feedbacks and comments and suggestion in order to complete the other 3 videos. Ven. K also request that we post this video for private viewing. For those who is in hte TAB IMG email list you would have access and gotten an email today. For ohers if you are interested, please feel free to contact us.

1. TBA IMG 032412 Happy Birthday To VenKatapunno.
2. Lecture Video (1 of 4). 
3. Lecture Video (2 of 4)
4. Lecture Video (3 of 4)
5. Lecture Video (4 of 4)
(note: If you are interested to view the video, please contact us.)

Some of you have asked for the link to the beautify Metta Sutta Song by Imee Ooi (黃慧音).
1. Pali w English subtitle
2. Chinese 1
3. Chinese 2
4. Maha Mangala

Friday, February 24, 2012

Notes from second 2012 meditation (02/18/12)

According to the Buddhist cosmology Realms of Existance, the Human realm is most suitable to reach enlightenment. There is a detailed description of how to o enter the Path (stream-entry) which is irreversible. Wish you will aspire to practice with diligence to reach this "in this very life".

Ven. Katapunno (Ven. K) has completed the the discussion on Right View (sammā-diṭṭhi), and we will start to study the book "This Very Life : The Liberation Teachings of the Buddha" by Sayadaw U. Pandita in March 24th, 2012.

1. Meeting Date changed to Fourth Saturday of each month (next one is 3/24)
Hopefully this will be the last date change. Partly is to try and accommodate more people that have schedule conflicts.
2. Video/Audio recoring
We are planning to recording Ven. K's lecture and if you have ideas and can also help let me know or leave a comment.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Notes from first 2012 meditation (01/06/12)

In the guidance of Ven. Katapunno (Ven. K), several IMG members had a wonderful first meditation session of 2012. We had 3 hours of meditation in the morning and another 2 hours in the afternoon amongst the serene surrounding of the Bodhi Center. In one of the sutta, the Buddha stress the importance of associating with true Dharma fellows as being the primrose importance in the Path of enlightenment.

In our first class, Ven K taught Right View or Right Understanding (sammā-diṭṭhi), from the Sutta that was dispensed by Ven. Sariputra with the Buddha's approval. Another one of our highlights, is the chanting of the Metta Sutta. Ven. K taught us the basics of Pali pronunciation and the alphabets, which was most helpful for chanting.

We have made several decisions yesterday, they are that
1. we will meet every third Saturday each month (instead of the first Saturday),
2. Ven. K will teach from the book "This Very Life : The Liberation Teachings of the Buddha" by Sayadaw U. Pandita, and
3. we will learn to chanting Metta Sutta to end each class when we share merit .

Date: every third Saturday of the Month (the next session is in Feb 18th)
Time: 8:45M to 4PM
Cost: free and Donation welcome

9:00-11:45 AM sitting and walking meditation;
noon-1:00PM delicious vegetarian lunch;
1:00-3:00PM sitting and walking meditation; and
3:00-4:00PM Dharma class & Metta sutta (beautiful Metta sutta song on Youtube by Imee Ooi chanting
We encourage car pooling