April 23, 2011
May we dwell in joy and celebrate the joy of others.
May we dwell in equanimity, reason, wisdom and compassion.
This Easter weekend is a time of death and rebirth of which Cheryl spoke eloquently. She continued to tie in the themes of Easter though out the dharma talk. Little of this will be found in this summary as I am relying primarily on my note taking. Errors and omissions are mine.
The Three Causes of Misery:
1. Annica ~ impermanence, change
2. Dukkha ~ suffering, clinging
3. Anatta ~ non-self, no soul, no permanent abiding self
~ Non self is a difficult concept that we may get a glimpse of understanding through reflecting upon the following questions.
a. reflect upon:
When you’re asleep are you still you?
Who were you when you were asleep last night?
b. begin a dream diary, being moderate in our approach, give it 2 minutes.
c. read About/On Consciousness(?) by Dr. Susan Blackmore, www.susanblackmore.co.uk
~ neuroscience offers little reason for consciousness / self awareness, other than it seems to contribute to our abiltity to socialize.
We are like a little monkey on an elephant. The elephant is slowly plodding it’s way towards enlightenment, while the monkey is being it’s freaky self, thinking it’s controlling everything, throwing poo at everyone (e.g., honey, why don’t you wear a different shirt...). Comment from the floor: when we are asleep the monkey is not in control and the elephant continues on.
We are a constellation of the 5 skandas which leads to our strong sense of self. We feel solid and real. This attachment to self leads to great suffering, clinging, and anguish. The greatest thing we cling to is self.
Pride and ego are implicated in our suffering as areas often ‘pricked’, where we find ourselves annoyed or irritated over little things (e.g. our honey wearing the wrong shirt...).
We create stories that are far from reality. E.g. , “Vipassanna Romance” and
“Vipassanna Hatred” that can occur during silent retreats where we create stories about another person at the retreat that we haven’t even spoken to.
Non-self can be likened to a lovely chocolate Easter bunny. It looks so solid, then we bite into it only to find it hollow and crumbles in upon itself, not at all what it seemed.
Enlightenment: full deep wisdom that penetrates into the nature of reality. We are enlightened when we see reality as it is, we no longer live in a dream world. We have Panna (wisdom).
While we can understand these things intellectually, to make progress the work must be done! Life gets easier when we do the work.
April 30 th. 10:00- Dr. Cheryl Fraser Meditation and dharma teachings
April 30 th. 12:15- Short meeting – discuss future Dharma talks with Dr. Cheryl Fraser
May 28th.- Business meeting after regular practice
With Love and devotion to the Dharma Susan ‘Source of Compassionate Action