April 1: This morning Sanghamitta gave a summary of Parts 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 of Ajahn Brahmali's workshop on the Satipatthana Sutta. This concludes the background information on the Sutta....evidence for what the actual teachings were of the Buddha, as much has been added to the Sutta. The Root Satipatthan is believed to be:
First focus of mindfulness: Contemplation of the 31 parts of the body (weaker evidence for Four Element Meditation and for Charnal Ground Meditations).
Second focus of mindfulness: Vedana (basic feelings of pleasant, unpleasant or neutral): current translation is supported.
Third focus of mindfulness: Mind states: current translation is supported
Fourth focus of mindfulness: Hindrances and Seven Factors of Awakening
And in an earlier part of the workshop, Ajahn Brahmali showed the evidence for Satipatthana to mean where we Focus our mindfulness NOT foundation of mindfulness. If it was the foundation it would mean this is a practice to increase mindfulness. Instead the Sutta says one needs mindfulness to do this practice. So mindfulness is established earlier in the Gradual Training, mostly through moral conduct of body, speech and mind. Also, gross forms of the hindrances are subdued prior to practicing Satipatthana. Then this mindfulness is used to focus on the four areas of body, feelings, mind states and Dhamma categories in order to develop samadhi (jhana) by removing the subtle hindrances. And when one emerges from jhana one can see clearly the three characteristics of existence: impermanence, unsatisfactoriness and not-self which will lead to the insights of Awakening, the end of suffering.
Apr 5: Tonight Sanghamitta finished reading the article by Ajahn Brahm on the Travelogue to the Jhanas.
Apr 8: Sanghamitta gave a summary of Parts 9- 14 of the Sattipatthana workshop by Ajahn Brahmali.
Apr 12: Sanghamitta gave a summary of the Gradual Training as we have now completed this topic.
Apr 15: Sanghamitta finished the summary of Parts 14 - 16 of the Satipatthana workshop by Ajahn Brahmali. In the near furture this summary will be published as an article under the Teachings tab, under Articles Elaborating the Teachings.
Apr 19: Tonight we started with a guided meditation on metta by Bhante Ānanda at the HeartDhamma Hermitage in Nelson, BC ( http://www.heartdhamma.love/ ). The Dhamma talk was by Ayya Medhanandi: Nuclear Free
Apr 22: Ayya Brahmavara is with us for two months. For her first Dhamma talk she gave a reflection on the Five Reflections (birth, old age, separation from what is loved, sickness and death). She also talked about equanimity.
Apr 26: Ayya Brahmavara discusses the first two of the Four Noble Truths: suffering and it's cause: desire.
Apr 29: Ayya Brahmavara gave a Dhamma talk on the Fourth Noble Truth.