September 2021 Talks
Sept 3: Sanghamitta is planning to do an extended series on The Gradual Training. Today she read out and recorded the article of that name. Over the next many months she will be playing Dhamma talks by monastics that elaborate the steps in the training. Sept 7: Tonight we listened to some research findings that validate the teachings of the Buddha. Deborah Rozman, the President of HeartMath, a biofeedback program, was interviewed. Although different terminology was being used, concepts of equanimity, metta and focus on putting in the causes rather than striving for the goal were all discussed. One doesn't need to own a biofeedback device to benefit from meditation or from the five simple breathing exercises that are explained in the HeartMath film, a free offering from HeartMath. (You need to register to receive the free film which is presented in either a 90 min. video or 10 short videos of about 10 min each). Sept 10: Facing the Fires: Meeting Things As They Are. Ayya Niyyanika is with the Aloka Vihara Forest Monastery in Placerville, CA. The fires went through their monastery in Sept 2021 and burnt their new kuti but spared the main building. Ayya gave this talk from their evacuation site in Sacramento, CA. She talked about external "fires" and internal "fires" and meeting both with gentleness and kindness, compassion. Sept 14: Tonight we listened to a summary of The Gradual Training. Over the next many months we will look at each step in detail. Sept 17: This morning we started our "deep dive" into the Gradual Training starting with sila, morality. We listened to a Dhamma discussion by Ajahn Brahmali. This was part of a workshop on the Noble Eightfold Path, so the sila part started in workshop 1V part 11 at the 41.20 mark. Sept 21: Tonight we started listening to a series of talks on sila (morality) by Bhante Bodhidaja. Tonight's talk was Part 1: a general introduction to sila. Sept 24: This morning we continued with Ajahn Brahmali discussing ethics. This was workshop 1V part 12. Sept 28: Tonight we contined with the topic of sila, morality. Bhante Bodhidaja discussed the first precept: nonharming. It was Part 2 in the series.