Thursday, June 17, 2010

First Noble Truth - Review

This week we started our Summer Rerun Series, so the posts will be shorter than usual, as we will be re-reading an older post and then discussing it in class. I will provide links to the original post so you can follow along.

The class requested this review period because they feel that now that they have been meditating for a couple of years, they want to bring their deeper understanding to the Buddha's basic teachings. (Also, we have several new students in class for whom this is not review.)

You can never step in the same river twice. Even if you read the dharma talk before, or studied these concepts elsewhere, you are in a different place now. You will hear the words differently, and you will have different insights. So I encourage you to join us!

I began the series by reading the post on the First Noble Truth. After reading this dharma talk for yourself, you are invited to join the class in noticing during the coming week when you are in pain. See if you can sit with the pain, whether it is physical, mental or emotional. We are practicing awareness, in this case awareness of pain, and noticing how we amplify whatever pain exists by piling on emotionally charged associated memories from the past or fears for the future.

In class we shared current physical and emotional pains to use as examples to work with. This wasn’t a bunch of whining, but an informed exploration of the experience, and the physical sensations that arise around pain of any kind. ‘Where do I feel this in my body?’ is an important question to ask ourselves when we notice ourselves suffering.

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