Friday, January 4: Leslie shared Gil Fronsdal’s dharmette, Resolution to present details.
Tuesday, January 8: We listened to Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu‘s talk on Dependent Origination. Delusions lead to formations – ideas, plans, desires, and all those other things our minds make up for us. All the rest follows.
A related essay appeared in the Lion’s Roar: Karma: The Choice Is Yours by Ajahn Buddhadasa.
Friday, January 11: Jan showed us Bro. Billy Tan’s YouTube video ANATTA: From a Scientific Perspective. He explores scientific explanations of how personalization of the body and its experiences gives rise to clinging and attachment (“upādāna”) that lead to the mental construction of a subjective “self”.
Tuesday, January 15: Sanghamitta shared with us an unpublished talk by Ajahn Brahm about breath meditation. He stressed the importance of establishing mindfulness through body scans, and allowing the breath to become the focus of attention.
Friday, January 18: Bodhipala (Nadine) brought two YouTube talks by Thanissaro Bhikku. In The Four Noble Truths he reminds us that each truth is accompanied by a related task, and in Buddhists Are Not Bored Without Suffering he reassures us that the kind of pleasure experienced through Buddhist practice is worth enjoying forever.
Related suttas are worth reading:
– Sutta Nikaya 56.11: Rolling Forth the Wheel of Dhamma, the first address of the Buddha, in which he sets forth the Four Noble Truths
– Majjhima Nikaya 19: Two Kinds of Thought, how to understand harmful and harmless thoughts, and how to go beyond thought altogether
– Majjhima Nikaya 20: How to Stop Thinking, in which the Buddha describes five different approaches to stopping thoughts.
Tuesday, January 22: Suzanne played a talk by Thanissaro Bhikku about the value of mistakes. It is available only on a CD of his collected talks, but he has several similar YouTube videos; for instance, The Path of Mistakes.
Friday, January 25: We listened to Gil Fronsdal’s talk The Force Behind Preoccupation, and learned from Sanghamitta ways of dealing with recovered memories of trauma.