In this talk, Ayya Santacitta gives us the "take home" message or summary from the Seven Factors of Awakening retreat.
Our meditation practice teaches us how to live more in accordance with reality, which allows us to have a more harmonious life. The recipe for this harmonious life is the Seven Factors of Awakening. And these Factors are supported by the Four Foundations of Mindfulness. The most important internal condition for our practice is mindfulness or wise attention combined with clear comprehension and curiosity.
The most important external condition for our practice is good friends. This is why the Sangha is one of the three refuges. Other important conditions are morality, access to the teachings of the Buddha, energy and wisdom.
Wisdom refers to the discerning of arising and passing away, impermanence. The reason we calm our mind with meditation practices is not just to have a pleasant abiding. That is a nice side benefit. The reason is to ready our mind to be able to see impermanence.
Ayya Santacitta ended this retreat on the Seven Factors of Awakening with these two statements:
Buddhism isn't a set of beliefs. It's a toolkit for life.
Simplicity doesn't mean it's easy!
Thank you Ayya for conveying the teachings of the Buddha with such clarity and simplicity.