October 9, 2012

Notes from Sue & Sunday's Talk

Dear Friends,

Below are my (Rebecca's) notes from Sunday's talk on "Living (the) Dharma."  But first, here's a note Sue Baizerman wanted to send you:
Dear Teachers and "Sangha Mates"
As my husband John and I make final preparations for our move to Santa Rosa, I want to say "thank you" to all for the last two years of life changing experiences. The Alameda Sangha is such a fine group of individuals.  Our meetings provided me with a lot to think about and a much needed anchor in my week.  I will miss all of that and think of you often. (I will make every effort to attend the Day Long class in November.)
Sue Baizerman
P.S. My job helping to set up the meetings is vacant!  I hope one or two of you will find it in your generous heart to join Mark in setting up.  All that's necessary is to arrive 10 minutes early to the meeting (and stay a few minutes afterwards).  (This job has given me a better chance to get to know many of you as well as our three dedicated teachers.)
Living Dharma, "Daily Life Practice"

In both meditation and daily life, it's about getting back to mindfulness, then: watch body & thoughts, ID suffering, note causes and conditions of suffering's arising & passing

Daily meditation: 1) get anchored, 2) note what's been stirred by past day, 3) hone skills
  • Better a brief session than none at all
  • On awakening -- 3 breaths in a row
  • Regular time or tied to daily event (metta when driving, Vipassana on public trans)
  • Make it a Habit – part of your way of living – "fit life into prax" (Sharda Rogell)
  • Use triggers for mindfulness: breath, standing up, chime on electronics, post-its, left foot
  • Physical feelings of stress
  • Intense emotions – analyze them ASAP afterwards
  • Ethics: speech, conduct, work: non-harming – watch yourself miss ideals
  • Intention: at 1st seeing it at all, then watching causes and conditions
  • How it feels to stray from ideals
Major Life Issues 
  • Addiction (intoxicants, food, activities) – takes us away from mindfulness
  • Crisis – bereavement, material challenges (job, fire, health, incarceration)
  • Psych. Issues – OCD, bipolar, other diagnoses
More Places to Investigate
  • "Off" periods – look for energy issues (restless or dopey), craving/aversion, and doubt
  • Keep investigating workings of the mind:
  • Non-conscious motives for action
  • Memories/associations/attitudes influencing decisions
  • When you are/not mindful & why; also tranquil, equanamous, focused, joyous
  • When you are aware of being aware of dharma!
BTW: This reprises the Satipatthana Sutta's 4th Foundation of Mindfulness, covering:

Noble Truths, Factors of Awakening, Sense-spheres, Aggregates & Hindrances

… just not organized that way. Most daily work with "dharma": just look directly at our actual, immediate experience from the perspective which is developed over time by our exposure to the teachings

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