September 29, 2010

This Sunday - Cultivating the Mind Part 2

Greetings everyone,

Hope that you are all enjoying your Indian Summer. I am subbing for Anthony this Sunday and will be teaching for the next two following Sundays as well. Here is the line-up: This Sunday, Cultivating the Mind Part 2, Next Sunday, the 3rd of October will be Mindfulness and Cultivating Wisdom, and the Sunday after, October 10th will be The Difference Between Ordinary Happiness and True Happiness.

So this Sunday will be both a continuation of my last talk on Cultivating the Mind that I offered to all of you way back on August 1st before I went off on retreat and a logical progression of the Five Aggregates that Rebecca has offered in the last two Sundays of deconstructing the self. I will be offering on the cushion and off the cushion practices on mind training to bring more ease in our daily lives, encouraging being more fully present and engaged especially with those we come in contact with.

I will also be reading and investigating with all of you, short passages from the Dvedhavitakka Sutta or Two Kinds of Thought from the Majjima Nikaya number 19. Those of you who have this book of suttas, can read ahead before we meet on Sunday. It's an inspiring sutta for several reasons. First, the Buddha brilliantly came up with organizing the mind as engaging in two kinds of thoughts: a set of unwholesome thoughts and another corresponding set of wholesome thoughts. With beautiful visual metaphors, he explains the process of working to incline the mind towards more wholesome thoughts. By so doing, we can virtually eliminate the mental activities that tend to habitually cause us distress if not totally, at least to the point that we recognize its arising in the mind and can then decide to incline away from this tendency. The other cool thing is that he did this investigation and practiced with these two kinds of thoughts before he became fully enlightened! So you see there is hope for all of us in this lifetime with a little knowledge of effective techniques and diligent practice! Remember, we can't control our bodies - they will continue to age, sag and become sick but we can definitely control our minds to help decrease our suffering in daily life!

Looking forward to seeing you this Sunday,

Metta and gratitude for your practice and generosity, Pauletta

Alameda Sangha
Every Sunday, 7pm
@ Buena Vista United Methodist Church
2311 Buena Vista Ave., Alameda
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