Tuesday, September 3: Jan stepped in at short notice to begin the group with Thanissaro Bhikku’s talk, The Breath All the Way, followed by meditation and a lively discussion.
Friday, September 7: Jan led the group again, helping us explore the Five Aggregates. First we listened to Ayya Santacitta’s talk on working with the aggregates, and then Thanisssaro Bhikku’s The Battle of Your Selves. She urged us to listen to Pascal Auclair’s talk on the five aggregates, too.
Tuesday, September 10: Sanghamitta returned and shared with us the fruits of her retreat at Birken: thoughts on the Eightfold Path.
Friday, September 14: On her Birken retreat, Sanghamitta discovered a delightful counterpart to C.S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters: Ajahn Punnadhammo’s Letters from Mara. She read the prologue and the first letter to us – the letter to the host of sense desires.
Tuesday, September 17: Sanghamitta offered her thoughts on dealing with physical and emotional pain
Friday, September 21: We continued listening to Letters from Mara, the epistles to the hosts of Boredom, Hunger and Thirst, Craving, and Sloth and Accidy (torpor). They continued to be both amusing and too true.
Tuesday, September 24: We listened to Ayya Santacitta’s talk, The Five Aggregates of Clinging. We didn’t find it as useful from a practical point of view as Sanghamitta’s explaination: when suffering arises from an aggregate, look at its impermanence and see that it’s not I, not mine.