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-1- What the Buddha Taught

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1 -1- What the Buddha Taught
A series of lecture-discussions sponsored by Oxford Soto Zen Suggested by Les Kaye Led by Jimmyle Listenbee Based on What the Buddha Taught by Walpola Rahula

2 -2- Lecture 10 Chapter 7 ‘Meditation’ or Mental Culture

3 -3- Two Kinds of Illness Physical – some people seem to have no, or few, health problems. Mental Everyone seems to have mental/emotional problems (except Arahants). Buddha’s teaching, particularly ‘meditation’, aims at ‘cure’ – i.e., to produce a continual state of equilibrium and tranquility.

4 -4- Buddhist Meditation Often Misunderstood
IT IS NOT Escape from Daily Activities; Remote & Removed from Society; Trance; Absorption in Mantras or Mystic Thoughts. A Method of Developing Esoteric Spiritual Powers; The Cultivation of “One-Pointed Mind” Toward Higher Mystic States a[read p. 68 ‘All these – nothing more.’]

5 -5- Buddhist Meditation IS:
An Analytical Method Based on: Mindfulness, Awareness, Vigilance, Observation.

6 -6- Forms of Meditation/Mental Culture
Centered in the Body (Zazen, Kinhin & Daily Activity) Centered on Sensations and Emotions Centered on the Mind Centered on Dharma Subjects ALL 4 OF WHICH SUPPORT THE OTHER 3

7 -7- Body-Centered Buddhist Meditation
Zazen: concentration is on breath & stable posture. Kinhin: concentration is on breath & mobile posture. Daily Activity: concentration is on mindfulness, awareness of all one’s Actions, physical & verbal, in each moment of private & public life.

8 -8- Zazen – Sitting Meditation
In all forms of Zazen: the spine is erect [or aligned]; mindfulness is focused on the breath; the mind is alert; eyes are open (Soto), closed (some forms). JUST SIT!!!

9 -9- Erect Spine or Spinal Alignment

10 -10- Concentrating on Breath
Simple Aids for Beginners bREAD: p. 70 ‘You breathe in and out all day…five or ten minutes.’ Developing Concentration Immediate Benefits

11 -11- Practical Zazen: Forms of Sitting
Lotus Posture Half-lotus Burmese Seiza or Hero Chair or Bench Lying on a Roller All Forms Utilize Dhyani Mudra

12 -12- Lotus Half-Lotus Burmese Seiza Chair/Bench Lying
Lotus Half-Lotus Burmese Seiza Chair/Bench Lying

13 -13- Distribution of Weight on Feet
Chair or Bench Standing Walking

14 -14- Kinhin – Natural Walking Meditation
Mindfulness of Self and Others in Motion Focus on Breath and Mobile Posture Shashu mudra Bowing as you pass Buddha Counterclockwise Path More or less equidistant Gassho at end (CW path to Seat)

15 -15- Efficient Alignment in Walking
Standing on 2 Feet Standing on 1 Foot

16 -16- Mindfulness in Daily Activity
Being aware of every word and action cREAD: p. 71 ‘Another very important…where it is relevant’ DISCUSSION JL’s Notes: imaginary worries & problems; desires & speculations; escape from life.

17 -17- Not “I am doing this…”
“As long as you are conscious of yourself, you can never concentrate on anything.” The “Flow” of artistic/creative absorption. DISCUSSION

18 -18- 2. Meditation re Feelings & Sensations
Best practiced in daily life, but if emotion comes up in Zazen, use the same technique: Don’t avoid, deny or repress, but recognize every emotion and sensation. Don’t indulge. Observe its arising, its quality, its cessation – with detachment. Do not look for its cause. Don’t “meta-feel”: e.g., worry about worries, be unhappy about sadness, etc.

19 Meditation re Mind “One should be bold and sincere and look at one’s own mind as one looks at one’s face in a mirror.” - Buddha/Middle Path DISCUSSION: esp. examples pp

20 Fear and Shame Rahula says, “We must admit that very often we are afraid or ashamed to look at our own minds. So we prefer to avoid it. ” - p.73 DISCUSSION

21 -21- 4. Meditation on Ethical, Spiritual & Intellectual Subjects
This is basically meditation on Dharma Should be practiced separately from Zazen, Kinhin, and Daily Mindfulness Meditation. Discussions and examinations of Dharma & dharma are included. 32

22 -22- Rahula’s Selections for Dharma Meditations pp.74-75
The 5 Hindrances The 7 Factors of Enlightenment The 5 Aggregates The 4 Noble Truths The 4 Sublime States 32 Any Dharma text is suitable; a teacher may assign one: Les has assigned me the Metta Sutta, and the Six Paramitas. Cornelia has recommended The Noble Eightfold Path.

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