INSIGHT A newsletter published twice a year with retreat schedules and articles of Dharma

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INSIGHT A newsletter published twice a year with retreat schedules and articles of Dharma interest Fall 1993 Insight Meditation Society Barre Center for Buddhist Studies Pleasant Street Lockwood Road Barre, MA 01005 USA Barre, MA 01005 USA CONTENTS ~~~~~~~~ {1} Community News {2} An Interview with Carol Wilson {3} Sariputta Relic Comes to Barre (Andy Olendzki) {4} Letters from the Young Adults Course {5} Garden: The Precious Interrelatedness of Life (Amalae) {6} Sangha Page Poems {7} Of Teachers and Teachings: Who is a Teacher? What is a Teacher? {8} Buddhist Psychology & the Eightfold Path (Stephen Batchelor) {9} Insight Meditation Society {10} Barre Center for Buddhist Studies ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ {1} COMMUNITY NEWS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ INTENSIVE PROGRAM IN BUDDHIST STUDIES The Barre Center for Buddhist Studies will offer its inaugural intensive studies program from January 10 to January 21, 1994. The program consists of lectures, class discussions and seminars. Courses will be offered in the Origins of Buddhism, The Life and Teachings of the Buddha, Development of Buddhist Thought in India, including the Pali Canon and the Abhidhamma, Rise of Mahayana Buddhism and the philosophy of Madhyamaka and Yogacara, developments in Buddhism outside India, with special attention to Zen Buddhism. Seminars will be offered on Buddhism and Western Psychology, Meditative Experience as Wisdom, and as Compassion. A major focus of the program will be Buddhism in America--community life and the future of Buddhism. Each day's program will be bracketed by morning and evening meditation, and a formal Vipassana retreat will be offered during the weekend in the middle of the course. The faculty will consist of resident and visiting scholars--Joseph Goldstein, Andrew Olendzki, Mu Soeng Sunim, Dr. Diana Eck, Dr. Dorothy Austin, Dr. Jack Engler, Dr. Perrin Cohen, Sarah Doering, Michael Freeman, among others. The intensive studies program is a unique opportunity to pursue the academic study of Buddhism within a contemplative environment and share an experience of community life. College students may be able to get credits for this course through their department. Please contact the Study Center for more details. COMPUTER BULLETIN BOARD FOR DHAMMA INFORMATION The Barre Center for Buddhist Studies now provides a computer "bulletin board" service to facilitate the exchange of Dhamma-related ideas and information. It offers a growing library of on-line texts, including: Pali texts and translations, monographs by teachers and scholars on various Dhamma topics, transcripts of BCBS courses and lectures, and articles appearing in the past issues of this newsletter. Also available are complete listings of courses offered at BCBS, Insight Meditation Society, and Cambridge Insight Meditation Center. You may browse through any of these materials and download them onto your computer for personal use. The bulletin board system also provides a computer mail service whereby users may either exchange private messages with each other, or participate in public discussion on Dhamma-related topics of general interest. The system is now linked to DharmaNet, an international network of Dhamma-oriented computer systems, enabling users to communicate with others in the Sangha around the country and around the world. If you have a computer and a modem, you can connect with us at (508) 433-5847. There is no charge for this service. For a printed copy of instructions on how to get started using the system, send a self-addressed envelope to BCBS. Welcome to the electronic virtual sangha! A NEW TRANSLATION OF MAJJHIMA-NIKAYA The Barre Center for Buddhist Studies is collaborating with Wisdom Publications, Boston and the Buddhist Publication Society of Sri Lanka in publishing a new translation of Majjhima-Nikaya (Middle-Length Sayings of the Buddha). The Middle-Length Sayings consist of 152 suttas and form a major part of the Pali Canon. This edition is based on a draft translation left behind by the English scholar monk Ven. Nanamoli (1905-1960). The original draft has been thoroughly checked and revised by the eminent scholar Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi to ensure an optimal combination of accuracy and readability. This new translation is the first complete English translation in more than thirty years and will be a companion volume to Digha-Nikaya (Thus Have I Heard: The Long Discourses of the Buddha) translated by Maurice Walshe and published by Wisdom Publications in 1987. This new translation is scheduled for publication in the Fall of 1994 and is a major step in transmitting the Dhamma to the West. For more information about this project, please contact Barre Center for Buddhist Studies or Wisdom Publications, Boston. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ {2} AN INTERVIEW WITH CAROL WILSON ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ How did you first get into vipassana practice? After high school I went to college, but after my first year things just stopped making sense for some reason. So I dropped out, worked for about a year, and went to India. At the time I didn't really know why. I know now that I had some kind of spiritual pull, but it was quite vague and I didn't really know what I was doing. As I was traveling around with a friend we heard about a man who was teaching ten-day meditation retreats in Bodh Gaya. That's really all we knew about it. I didn't know it was Buddhism -- I didn't know anything --and for some reason we just said, "Yes, we're going". So we went to Bodh Gaya and did this retreat in January of 1971. It turned out to be a ten-day retreat with Goenka-ji, with about a hundred people packed into this little area in the Burmese Vihara in Bodh Gaya. It was tough. It was really tough. This was your first time meditating? You had never done any meditation before? Yeah, it was absolutely my first time. I'd read a little bit of Zen, but that was it. For most of the people there it was the first retreat. It was a real struggle. I remember it was so hard to get up at four in the morning and go into the hall. Of course we didn't have zafus or anything--we just sat on the concrete. I couldn't sit cross legged or get my knees down. I remember it as being a blur of pain and discomfort. But you got hooked? Yeah I got hooked. I came out really high and I thought "I've got to go home and go back to college and serve the world." I still didn't really understand that it was Buddhism. Somehow that bit of it, the philosophical part, went by me; but it changed my life. I didn't have fantastic experiences--I only remember my knees hurting, falling asleep, and dragging myself up before dawn. I went back home then and started college again. I started meditating every day, and it really changed my life. I didn't want to drink anymore. I liked my friends, but I didn't want to hang out with them because I didn't really enjoy just hanging out or going to bars or wasting time. It really changed something, but I had no intellectual understanding at all. I had a wonderful year. For a whole year I was on a kind of high. Of course, as often happens after retreats, I crashed after a year. You can come out on a high and you think you can cruise on it, and then you crash. I spent years doing that. Do you have any idea now of why the high lasted for a year? I can't really pinpoint it. What I think now is that I was coming home to something I'd always known to be true--that's all I can think. I know the sweeping practice Goenka-ji teaches is quite concentrated--it really involves moving the energy through the body, from head to foot. When you can get concentrated enough to do it, it has a real purification effect. The reality that I'd been living in--going to school and teaching and getting a job and living a normal life--had stopped making any sense. The best I can say is that the retreat introduced me consciously to a deeper level of existence--the level of the formless, the energy beneath the manifestations. What I think it did was open me up to what I would now say is the truth or the dharma. I think it profoundly changed my understanding of life. It made it possible for me to enjoy and play in all the manifestation without taking myself seriously. But you know, one retreat isn't enough. So a couple of years later I went back to India, because I didn't know anyone in this country who was doing meditation. Really? Did you feel isolated? Very. Well...that year I didn't, I was so happy. But then when I started to crash and I still went to school for another half a year...then I was really isolated. I again realized that what I was doing was meaningless. You know how they say in Buddhism that understanding naturally manifests as compassion? Coming out of that first retreat my impulse was, "I have to go back to school so I can help people...But I can't really help people, I'm just nineteen, I don't know anything...I'll learn something in school to help people." And then that impulse and everything got just sidetracked and things went flat again. So I went back to India and did another 20-day retreat with Goenka-ji. It was the same process, but it was a much deeper practice--I really understood more. I got that it was Buddhism and all. And again I came out fired up: "Now I'll go back, I'll go back to school". Oh God, I went through that for years. So I went back, I went back to school in Boston. I finished school in education, but I didn't want to teach kindergarten. I knew I had to do something to help people, but I didn't know what. At that time I did feel very isolated. I made a few friends, but I didn't know anyone who meditated. I'd read about transcendental meditation, and at one point during those years I went to do that, but obviously I had a bias. And after doing vipassana the transcendental just didn't click for me. I tried, but for me it didn't have the depth and the investigative qualities that vipassana did. And I'm a shy person, so where some people may have gone out and investigated and this and that, I was really shy and self-conscious. I was on some mailing list from Goenka-ji, and would occasionally hear about things, but I was just too shy to go down and present myself. I'd think: "I don't know anything. That's just how I am." So for about five years, I'd say until about 1976 when IMS opened, I tried to meditate on my own. I read voraciously from the Buddhist Publication Society, in Sri Lanka. They publish a lot of Buddhist texts, a lot of commentaries, a lot of really interesting books. It's a wonderful thing, and that was really my lifeline through the years. This is just an aside, but I got a chance to meet and talk to Bhikkhu Bodhi just the other day. The Study Center and Wisdom Publications are collaborating with him on publishing a new translation of the Majjhima Nikaya (one of the best and most accessible of the Buddhist texts), so he was around. Anyway I talked to him very briefly. It made me very happy to be able to tell him how that had been my lifeline. I just wanted him to know people appreciate it, people you wouldn't know--some young woman living in North Carolina, working in a sheltered workshop for mentally retarded adults. So that kept you from being completely isolated? Yes. Because otherwise no one understood what I was doing. I didn't think I was crazy, but I certainly didn't know enough to sustain myself. That's where the importance of sangha comes in. I just can't say enough for how supportive sangha is; more than supportive, it is nurturing and encourages growth. It just keeps you alive. I remember I had a little card on my desk in Pali and English containing the Buddha's last words: All conditioned things are of a nature to pass away. Practice with diligence." I would look at it and it would revive me--you know, help me remember that there was a deeper part to life. So in 1976 IMS opened, and I started coming here. I sat with Ruth [Dennison] a couple of times in '76 and '77; I did some self-retreats. Then I did the 3-month course in '77, and was asked to come on staff as a cook. It wasn't a very hard decision. So that's when I walked in here, shy as I was, isolated as I was, and I thought, "Oh my gosh, these people are all doing the same thing. I'm not really crazy--I fit in here." I was on IMS staff and sat a lot over the years since then. In '81 and '82 I went to Thailand for a year and ordained as a nun. That wasn't easy, but when I look back, it was a really wonderful experience. It was very tough in many ways, but it was really transformative in another kind of way. I've also sat in England quite a bit--maybe two years altogether. What were you doing in England? I remember a period, before Christopher [Titmuss] and Christina [Feldman] acquired Gaia house, when they rented some space in Wiltshire near Stonehenge. The building was not too inviting, so I associate that period of practice with long walks in the countryside. It was a more relaxed, spacious style of practice than what I do when at IMS. I would not just sit, walk, sit walk in the Burmese style--which is how I practice at IMS (it is a really important part of practice). I had some back trouble so I could not slow walk very easily. So I would sit for an hour, and then take a walk through the countryside, up the lanes, across the fields, by the river--they had lovely walking paths in Wiltshire. Then I would come back and sit, and then go off on another country walk. It was wonderful. When you were doing this, was it like walking meditation? It was more like open awareness (which of course means sometimes spacing out). It wasn't like "lifting, moving, placing"--I was just really sort of tuned into nature, tuned into the body, tuned into consciousness. I wasn't trying to do walking meditation, if you know what I mean, it was just being--with the walking, with the nature. If I would have compared it at the time with how I practice here (at IMS), I might have said that I'm not really practicing "hard." But I was there for 7 or 8 months, and I think it brought a spaciousness and equanimity to my practice at that time which let me grow more when I came back to IMS and started working more in the Mahasi Sayadaw style. This style involves a very pin-pointed and precise continuity of mindfulness from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep. I found I could do that. I needed the precision by that point, but I could do it with more spaciousness and equanimity than I could have five or six years before and not get so caught in "efforting." I find my whole practice has been a very helpful balance of precision and concentration and being more spacious. If I'm sitting in the Mahasi Sayadaw style, I'll sit in my room and walk in the hall, and sit in my room, and walk in the hall; and I might not go outside for six weeks--not even think about it. And then I'll flip into the next year and I won't want to do that practice and I'll do something different. It just seems to happen naturally. It's not a plan. But I've found for me it's been a very helpful way to keep growing. And how did you wind up doing dharma teaching? I feel like it happened by itself. It chose me. I never sat down and said I want to be a dharma teacher. I never even thought that was appropriate. One time when I was manager here [at IMS], a teacher got sick and could not do a retreat. Sharon [Salzberg] really thought I should fill in, and was really encouraging me to do it. I was just petrified, thinking: "It's not appropriate...I can't do it....sure, I know how to meditate, but that's not good enough." Sharon is not a pushy person, but she didn't just say "If you don't want to do it that's okay". She really pushed me, but also gave me a lot of support. Just about a month before this happened, I had been on self-retreat, and the very strong intention came up for me that my life was about serving the dharma. I had no idea what that meant, or what form that might take. But it came up very profoundly, to the point I felt embarrassed: "Who am I? What right do I have to feel that?" (Of course now I feel that we all have that right--that's who we are.) But at the time I just acknowledged the intention, and didn't forget about it, but put it aside. Then when this retreat came up and Sharon and James [Baraz] were pushing, pushing and I was resisting--at one point I remembered that, and thought: "Serving the dharma doesn't mean doing what I want to do. This is obviously happening. People want me to help. And my reasons for refusing it were basically my own fear. So, what's the fear? That I won't do a good job, which is ego-centered. I'll look like an idiot." And that's what it really was. So, I agreed to do it, and it was really hard, because I was petrified. But it went fine. I surrendered, and let the dharma take over, got my ego out of the way. I felt a great degree of trust, a sense of the power of the dharma, and let it be what it is. It really carried me through. The fear was there and everything, but...that's how I got started. So I never sat down and decided to do this. It was just the truth of dharma, and really freedom. It's my passion--its the love of my life. It's the thing that makes everything else meaningful. Without it, without a connection to it, nothing makes any sense to me. And that I could have the incredible blessing--I just can't believe it. I still don't feel that I know anything. But that's okay, really, because I can just let the dharma come through--to transmit somehow. If I can encourage somebody to sit long enough--a weekend, a week, whatever--to get in touch with themselves, to just recognize the truth for themselves, then I'm so happy. That's all it is. I don't really see myself as a teacher at all. I prefer to be regarded as a kalyanamitta , a spiritual friend. I support people in their own investigation, give them encouragement to trust enough to open to the truth. If my presence can help with that, then it's so fulfilling. Sounds like non-attachment. There are definitely attachments. There are a lot of attachments. But if I can keep examining and seeing those attachments, and seeing that they do not become the guiding motivations for decisions I make, if the attachment comes and I see it--that's okay. I don't have to identify with it, and it doesn't drive my actions. Lately I am not so afraid of attachment. If I see it's there, it's just another arising appearance. I can let it go, and that's okay. If I don't see it, then that might be driving my decision, and that's not okay. A lot of people think you should have no attachments. I mean that's impossible, just being a normal human being. If I get the idea that I should have no attachments, that becomes just another way for me to flog myself. All that does is get in the way. If you see it as an attachment, such as, "Oh, I just want to look good...that's okay," then it just blows it apart. It doesn't have power anymore. What do you think is the basic value of vipassana meditation to modern practitioners? I'm sure I would answer that question differently a year ago or a year from don't take this as a definitive statement. Also, I haven't done a lot of other practices, so I can't say this from a comparative level, only from an experiential level. For me, vipassana practice is the most powerful and direct method to come out of the concepts and daydreams of life, out of the false concepts of living in the past or living in the future, all the stories we make up about everything that's happening. When we bring all our energy and attention to the here and now, to the basic simplicity of sensation and mental experience, without all the story lines--all the worry and fear we generate about everything that's arising, every sensation and sound and sight--vipassana has this amazing power to cut through all that to just be here. It can be a lot of work. The habit of the mind to elaborate on everything is so strong, and our belief in it seems so absolute, before we start looking. Vipassana just gives us a very simple way to look at what is really happening in the here and now, and in the doing of that to actually drop out of or underneath our beliefs in mind and body, the material and mental worlds, that we perceive as being all there is. The technique itself has the power to let us open to whatever you want to call the truth--the Source, the Unconditioned, Emptiness...I don't know how to talk about it. The technique allows us to just be with what is, moment after moment after moment. Coupled with concentration, it allows us to penetrate more deeply--one monolithic sensation becomes many many tiny little sensations arising and passing moment by moment...until the whole thing breaks apart and there is no solidity at all. And then one sees what really is true--not intellectually--but opening to the truth that is always present. We are so caught in making up stories about it that we don't have the time, the trust, to open to what's really true. But also on a daily basis, I find it the most helpful practice for me to have the habit and the skill to develop to know my experience for what it is. It's an amazing tool, and it's accessible every moment...all I have to do is remember. Also important to me is the ability (at moments) to be okay with what's difficult, to stop looking for happiness in samsara. Do you know what I mean? The first noble truth of the Buddha, of dukkha, is that we are going to suffer--physically, but not only physically. The body is going to break down, we're going to have pain, everything that gives us pleasure is going to go away, because everything is impermanent--that's true. It's scary, it's really painful to open to, but it's true. Even the pleasant things in life bring us a sense of unsatisfactoriness. The unsatisfactoriness isn't the unpleasant thing itself, it's that I somehow think it's what's going to make me happy. Knowing that deeply actually brings me so much peace and happiness--when I remember. None of it's going to make me happy, on a really deep and profound level, Samsara is this whole cyclical movement of wanting and becoming, impermanence and death, becoming and death. You can see it over lifetimes. I only see it from moment to moment. I become what I want--someone who came to this meeting, someone who is sad, someone who is happy; in each of those becomings there is an attachment, and that's the suffering. But when I just see it as a cyclical thing, now I'm this, now I'm that and it's all just flowing on and on, then there is this real happiness. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ {3} SARIPUTTA RELIC COMES TO BARRE, by Andy Olendzki ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Insight Meditation Society has been honored recently with a very special gift. We have been given an apparently authentic relic of the Buddha's chief disciple, Sariputta (Sariputra in Sanskrit). We are making plans to erect a modest stupa or reliquary somewhere on the grounds, in order to house the relic in the manner prescribed by tradition. The story behind relics and the role they have played in the Buddhist tradition is an interesting one. Some of us might think that the Buddha taught simply that all lumps of matter were of equal significance, that Gotama's "fathom-long body" was composed of essentially the same five aggregates as anyone else's, and that the veneration of his or his disciples' relics is not part of the direct path to liberation. Nevertheless, the special significance (if not the veneration) of relics has been and continues to be an important part of Buddhism as a religious movement. Even from the earliest times it seems that this tradition had more to do with the inherent religiosity of human nature than with the pith of the dhamma. This is how it all got started: When the Buddha was about to pass away at Kusinara in 483 B.C.E. he was asked by Ananda the question, "Lord, what shall we do with the Tathagata's remains?" to which he answered, "Do not worry yourselves about the funeral arrangements, Ananda. You should strive for the highest goal, devote yourselves to the highest goal, and dwell with your minds tirelessly, zealously devoted to the highest goal." (Mahaparinibbana Sutta 5.10, Maurice Walshe translation, Wisdom 1987). Ananda was apparently unsatisfied by this reply, and asked the question again. At this point the Buddha answered, "They should be dealt with like the remains of a wheel-turning monarch." Now the custom of the ancient Indian kings, like that of so many similar civilizations worldwide, was to cremate the body and build a funeral mound over the ashes or relics. All the texts have the Buddha said further on the matter is "A stupa should be erected at the crossroads for the Tathagata. And whoever lays wreaths or puts sweet perfumes and colors there with a devout heart, will reap benefit and happiness for a long time." It's ironic that the passing away of the Buddha, who spent his whole life teaching compassion, mutual understanding and non-violence, nearly resulted in a war. And yet this is the case. His body was cremated with great solemnity, and reduced to a pile of bones. Immediately thereafter eight different groups laid claim to these relics, ranging from the dominant king in Magadha to the Sakyas of Buddha's clan in Kapilavatthu, to the kingdom in whose territory he happened to pass away. A wise Brahmin, Drona, stepped in and suggested an eight-way division of the relics between the contesting parties, for which service he received the urn that contained them. Another latecoming group had to settle for the embers of the funeral fire. Altogether, the Pali texts say, ten stupas were raised as mounds over the remains of the Buddha. Human nature being what it is, the story does not stop here. Once the tradition was established that the relics had intrinsic value, and that prestige came with the erecting of a stupa, the original ten mounds were exhumed and the relics divided up into much smaller piles. Stupas were raised over these, and before too long there were hundreds of stupas built across South Asia over relics of ever-diminishing size. Similar treatment was given the remains of other prominent Theras, like Sariputta, Moggallana and Ananda, and all of these stupa sites became an important cultic focus of the burgeoning early Buddhist tradition. We are now ready to pick up the story of the IMS Sariputta relic. One of the most important of these early stupa sites, Sanchi, was excavated about a hundred years ago by the British archaeologist Alexander Cunningham. Sanchi is among the earliest and most elaborate of the stupa sights, probably erected within a couple hundred years of the Buddha's passing away by the Mauryan kings of whom the great Buddhist Asoka was heir. Sure enough, Cunningham found at the heart of the Stupa a small copper casket, inscribed with ancient Brahmi letters, containing the relics. Nearby he found relics in two associated mounds, one with the inscription "A," presumably for Ananda, and the other with an inscription "Sa" which he took to mean Sariputta. As was the habit in colonial times, and with no Buddhists left in India to complain, all these relics wound up in the British Museum, where they remained for more than fifty years. With the independence of India from the British empire, however, a number of the museum's holdings were returned. The relics were given into the care of the Mahabodhi Society, who distributed them to a number of Buddhist groups worldwide, including the Vajirarama monastery in Colombo, with whom the great scholar monk Narada Thera was associated. Our benefactor, Charles O'Hara, was a monk in Sri Lanka twenty five years ago, and was given a small portion of these relics by Narada Thera. Mr. O'Hara has started to distribute some of these relics in recent years, as major stupas are built or as important dharma centers become established in this country. Portions of these relics are also enshrined at the Karmapas Monastery in Woodstock N.Y., the Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center in Washington, the Nyingma Monastery in Poolesville Md. and the Odivan Stupa in California. We thank him sincerely for thinking of IMS in this regard, and take it as a sign that the dhamma has found a meaningful long-term resting place here in Barre, Massachusetts. Just as we have a sapling growing on the premises from the great Bodhi tree in Bodhgaya, we are honored to receive these Sariputta relics as a symbol of IMS' deep connection with the ancient Buddhist tradition. We will try to design and build a simple stupa for these relics, so as to carry on the venerable tradition as best we can. Of course we will also continue diligently to "strive for the highest goal, devote ourselves to the highest goal, and dwell with our minds tirelessly, zealously devoted to the highest goal." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ {4} LETTERS FROM THE YOUNG ADULTS COURSE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The third annual young adults retreat held at IMS this summer was a great success. The course was led by U Pandita Sayadaw and Steven Smith, and assisted by U Pannathami and a number of IMS teachers and senior practitioners. At the end of the retreat, the students were invited to write letters to U Pannathami remarking on their experience. Perhaps some of the comments will be of interest to our readers: 1) I came here to IMS because I was looking for a sense of personal happiness. I have always been very shy and I was tired of feeling insecure and pitying myself because I didn't have the courage to go after the things I wanted from life. I thought that I needed to learn to shape my mind. After only a few days of practice, I already feel calmer and more at peace. I believe that I am more prepared to unconditionally love myself and others. When someone insulted me today, I was not as upset by it as I might have been before, and I also didn't have any feeling of anger towards the person who insulted me. Meditation is not an easy practice, but I believe it is the most important thing I can do in order to aid my spiritual growth. I am ready to make meditation a regular part of my life. Thank you for all you have taught us. [A.G., age 16] 2) Thank you so much for such an exhilarating experience. I never thought that my mind was so extraordinary. I could actually feel the openness of everyone and the energy given off in the hall. [L.K., age 16] 3) I feel very relaxed and loved and safe and tired after this experience. I felt the metta between us. My favorite times were at night when the kids didn't sleep--we just shared. But all the meditating and opening up to ourselves led to that. I think I will definitely come again. I also loved the analogies U Pandita made during his talks; they made the precepts more real. [J.M., age 15] 4) I enjoyed my time here at IMS a lot. I feel that it has changed my outlook on life somewhat. It has opened up something inside of me. I also enjoyed meeting all the monks and hearing about their lives, the lives of the teachers, and even the other students. The staff were very supportive. [J.M., age 18] 5) It is rare in our culture to be able to speak with a monk, especially one who speaks English. Your truthfulness and generosity is greatly appreciated. I am glad that I could have a chance to talk with one who is wise and at the same time compassionate. In the past I would only give gifts for something in return. Now I give freely not caring if I get something back. Watching your lifestyle has taught me this. Thank you. I wish you happiness and continued practice. [C.B., age 17] 6) Although I've sat with you and U Pandita once before, I felt that my mind opened to the information presented by you much more than in my previous experiences. I'm sure that this time when I leave the safe walls of the Center and go back into my daily life, I'll be able to apply my awareness and mindfulness to things that arise over the next year. I felt very open and calm during this retreat within myself, and I think it was one of the most interesting retreats I've been on. I wanted to thank you and U Pandita for this experience. [J.R., age 15] 7) My experience was that I learned how to meditate. I learned a new way! I had a great time at IMS. It is a good way to start your life with. I learned to focus and also to concentrate. I would like to come back to IMS next year. I like the place and I like the people here too. That is so cool when the monks speak! [C.P., age 12] 8) I loved the time we spent together and all of the discussions, whether on broad topics or intricate issues. I felt that U Pandita's talks were a little too long and should have involved more actual discussion rather than lecture, yet I feel I benefitted greatly from his wisdom and generosity. I appreciate the interest taken in my practice, and I will continue sitting and walking at home plus attending additional retreats. Learning about my mind and surroundings is the greatest quest that life has. Thank you for your help. [O.K., age 16] ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ {5} GARDEN: THE PRECIOUS INTERRELATEDNESS OF LIFE, by Amalae ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Right livelihood, right actions, metta, health, and maturing. Each of these are reflected in a single leaf or ruby chard which I hold in my hand as I watch the retreatants come to walk or sit in the garden. I sit in the IMS vegetable garden's inner sacred circle on a bench facing a statue of Buddha which is surrounded by the eight spoke wheel of Dharma that the eight types of basil we planted in a community ceremony in the spring create. A hummingbird zooms by as do dragonflies and honey bees, a hawk. How do we walk the bridge between the concept of formal practice (on a cushion or as walking meditation) and its actualization in our actions in everyday life? How do we BE our truth and not just stop in the intellectual realm which so easily breeds division, self-righteousness, apathy. What is the expression of right livelihood? Right Action? "The average bite of food a United States citizen eats travels an average of between 1,200 to 1,300 miles at an incredible expenditure of energy and creation of all sorts of pollution," said the man at a workshop on our present day food system. Right livelihood and right action go hand in hand and flow from a place of insight. They are about non-harming. The closer I come to truth, as I peel away layer upon layer of illusion, the more my actions naturally deepen into non-harming, right action and right livelihood. Coming out of ignorance and making the choice to no longer look away from or act in unskillful ways is part of my practice and that of the people in the community at IMS. It happens as a natural process, as is wanting to share one's joys and insights. A person's practice will flow in many ways. Its ripening into maturity may take any number of forms. For me it is growing food, for another it may be something else. To grow this ruby chard; so simple, so rewarding. To then take this vegetable incredible being and offer it as dana to each human being who comes to IMS to grow into peace and truth is as wondrous and heart filling to me as if I had offered it to the Buddha. "Is the garden necessary?" I've been asked at moments of scrunched time and personnel. I offer that being a handful of fresh picked tomatoes free of pesticides, fungicides, preservatives, wax, irradiation, dyes, depreciated nutrients, wasted energy and other things that harm one and the environment. "Taste it," I say. Taste a tomato. Tell me if you can taste the beauty and simplicity of right livelihood, right action, metta, health and interrelatedness. Is it necessary, the Garden? This is the fruition of my practice. This is living practice. This is the highest Dana I can give to the world right now; to create a place of beauty and health. Is it necessary? I return to the garden to continue to weed out impurities and to nurture health. The answer is yes. It's a step. Metta to all beings. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ {6} SANGHA PAGE POEMS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Sangha/Meditation We are fully alert, composed, aware. We watch. We see it all. Horizontal Integration has been achieved. We have domesticated ourselves And are patient witnesses To the outrages and little pleasures. No itch nor delicate anomaly Can escape our vigil. This is our devotion. We are ankle-deep in our own shallowness, Weak and gentle like grass. In a silent estuary we wait Like little dreaming fish For annihilation and the rising tide, For the vertical shaft of fire That splits the world. [Viviane White] Poems Spider, Thread hung Breeze Swung Soaking with the underwear, Soapy toad. In the cat's dish, Toad Stalking Breakfast [Kali Kaliche] Poem Tenderness melts the bones The puddle is still on the floor Down into the reflection How deep? Where is the edge of the voice on the tongue/ Through the ancient blood, puddling beneath the grief I find you I remember [Jamie Kryszkiewicz] Stigmata I watched for days knowing that a bud my smallest finger size held high in tight pink womb by quiet green fingers would unfurl. A magical slow birth five separate veined petals from a ruby throat emerging and from this trumpet a stigma yellow-spiked under an umbrella of five blood red lollipops You would die soon. I knew this lesson of wanting the enchantment to endure and mesmerize me into perfect fantasy. And so I gazed all day and still you filled the air around you with gossamer rose shimmer Proud and erect you stood at dawn the second day. I felt delight that you would stay until I turned my back and found at noon a gnarled hand arthritic fingers twisted into one another - closed but for the starburst: five red explosions Today I cradle your shrivelled limpness in my warm hand remembering Richard and how he fell his face a stripe of blue across the pain and when they laid his peaceful body out I spoke into the limpid air "Oh, Richard, it's like you're sleeping," and saw the crimson gash upon your cheek and felt at last the sweetness of undying love eluding time and space and change Dazzled by your radiant form I'd wandered far from daily truth and quested vainly for the healing balm contained unknown within my soul I hold a withered flower in my heart and vibrate love. [Myrna Patterson] ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ {7} OF TEACHERS AND TEACHINGS: WHO IS A TEACHER? WHAT IS A TEACHER? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ As Westerners deepen their practice of dhamma, relationship with a teacher can become quite complex. In Asian societies, where dhamma evolved over many centuries, teacher-student relationship was rooted in traditional values and in a monk-layperson leitmotif, not given to interpretation or examination. With the dhamma coming to the West, the issues of egalitarianism and democratic pluralism play on teacher-student relationship as never before in the history of the sangha. For these obvious reasons, the Asian matrix cannot be replicated in the West. The Theravada/Mahayana Conference held at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies in March, 1990 gave the speakers and participants a unique opportunity to look at this crucial issue through their own experience. In a sense, this discussion is a continuation of the theme of taking refuge (reported in the June, 1993 issue of this newsletter.) Here are the excerpts from the discussion on teachers and students: Jack Engler (Moderator): The question before us is: "How does one know the teacher's qualities of mind?" If you take the Buddha as a teacher, as an embodiment of the teaching. or as Joseph (Goldstein) was talking earlier about a personal relationship with the Buddha as a teacher--how do you know? What attracts you in your own path? What has drawn you to your own particular teachers? Martine Batchelor: When I was in Korea, there were many teachers who had different personalities but generally gave the same teaching. You were attracted to some or stayed more with some than others because of their personality. If you stayed more with a teacher, you had more affinity with them. But one thing they all had which I could feel, which I could recognize, was their lightness of being. There was a certain lightness and a certain creativity in response, and a lot of humor. Jack Engler: Could you give an example of what you are talking about? Martine Batchelor: Well, I should also say they had intentional purpose. These teachers that I met had a very one-pointed mind and they knew where they were going. They were going to keep on going, even after any experience of enlightenment. And they were always doing the same with their disciples or any visitor who came by. My teacher told everyone who came by that they must find their own mind and they must question. This is what he said all the time. One time these three old gentlemen came to see him; they were really sweet and wanted to know about the history of the temple. So he talked to them for about two minutes about the temple and its history, and then said, "Do you know your own mind? You must look for your own mind." They said, oh, yes. Then they go back to talking about the temple. After another few minutes, my teacher brought them back to finding their own mind. They said, yeah, and went back to talking about the temple! This went on for about twenty minutes! But it was interesting to see his intention. His point was for them to really see into their own nature, and no matter what they were into, he was going back to that point. Sharon Salzberg: We're a little bit unusual here in that most of us don't have a lifetime relationship with one teacher. And the reason we keep taking refuge in different teachers is like a development model in some ways. The Buddha may be a lifelong inspiration, but the variety of teachers that most of us have encountered at different times are probably a reflection of different needs at different times, and that's quite a change (from the Asian model.) Jack Engler: It would be interesting to talk a little bit more about what Sharon just said, about different needs at different times. There is a tendency to think about all this in a sort of timeless way. Sharon Salzberg: I don't think I've ever consciously chosen a teacher. I have consciously chosen to leave teachers, but in the circumstances of my life when I find a teacher, it usually feels more like a recognition. And I don't recall ever going through a process of thinking whether I can bear this person's faults, or can I really examine their behavior and so on, until somewhere in the process when those questions become very relevant. Martine Batchelor: But would you not think that in order for the teaching to have some impact, you have to have lots of respect for the teacher? Joseph Goldstein: I think there has to be genuine respect but within that there could be an understanding that this person is not finished, that they still have more work to do, that they understand this piece of the dhamma really well, and just to learn from that. Stephen Batchelor: In my own training in the Tibetan tradition, the idea that the practice of guru devotion, of guru yoga, is the root of all development, is something with which I have had quite a difficulty on a personal level. In Tibetan Buddhist practice one enters into a tradition which is very strongly influenced by the Vajrayana. The Dalai Lama has said on occasion that the emphasis on guru devotion at the beginning of the path is to a large extent an indication of the extent to which Buddhism in Tibet has been influenced by the Vajrayana doctrine. And I think this tension is present not only in the Tibetan tradition but throughout the larger tradition. The extent to which one relies on one's own clarity of mind, or to what extent does one relinquish that, at least temporarily, to rely upon the clarity of mind of another person--that's the tension. In my own experience, I have oscillated back and forth between these two. I feel now very much that there are times when one does need to look up to those who have more experience than oneself to seek guidance, to seek advice. But the bottom line is whether that person who gives you advice is leading you to a place where you can have a greater clarity of mind within yourself. And that is central to my understanding of Buddhist tradition: part of the practice is to rely upon others, yes, but not if that requires a denial of one's own autonomy. Joseph Goldstein: This point came up for me very strongly in a very immediate way in doing long retreats and working with a very specific advice given by a teacher, and working with surrendering to what they're asking to do and trying to do it; and at a certain point realizing that it was just not correct; and struggling with whether to keep surrendering because of one's doubts about one's own perception. And what I saw was that I was willing to do that to a certain point. At times it took a long time, but there came a point when I said, "This is not working, this is not the right advice, and I'm going to adjust it myself." I saw that often this actually was the right thing to do. I found there was an interesting balance. Lama Gelek Rinpoche: For me, looking at the teachers as embodiments of enlightenment and surrender are two different issues. I never emphasize the surrender business, but I look at the teachers as embodiment of the Buddha, and as representing the Buddha, and also as linkage to the tradition and the lineage. Bhante Gunaratana: I think we learn certain things from our teachers; as we also learn from our own experience. We also learn by discussing things with other people and friends and so forth. And we also learn from our own practice as we go deeper into it. So we respect and follow the teacher's instructions to a certain extent but we don't have to totally surrender ourselves and accept everything from the teacher. Martine Batchelor: Like Bhante said, Buddhism is a path of transforming ourselves. In a basic sense, nobody else is going to do it for you. When a teacher tells us to do something, even if it hurts, try it and it will become your own experience. Another area which I think is interesting to look at is the method of meditation we are instructed to follow. Do we all understand it in the same way? Do we all apply it in the same way? If you see different people practicing the same method, they often bring their own individuality to it. Not different in the sense of being in conflict, but they bring their own attitude, their own affinity to it. And their exploration goes in different ways. That's what's interesting about practice. What you do on the cushion and what you do with it in your every day life can be quite different from what your teacher has done (with his own life and practice.) Sharon Salzberg: The question really is about idealization and probably it has to do with my own experience of having idealized some teachers and seeing them as probably a kind of necessary folly. I don't think I could have done what I have done without having done that. I had to go through it and come out of it, maybe more than once. Joseph Goldstein: A distinction that's really important for me is the difference in taking refuge in somebody's understanding and taking refuge in them as a personality. And for me it's both me with my teachers, and also students with me. I would feel very comfortable in taking refuge in or surrender to a certain level of understanding. That seems very different than taking refuge in the whole package of personality stuff, which I think would be a big mistake. Martine Batchelor: What I have found most helpful for myself, and in the teachers I studied with in Korea, is the concept of "sonje shik" which means, basically, good knowing advisers. And I would want to be seen in the same way, more as a person with good, knowing advice. I think the danger is in the tendency to think in terms of master/ teacher. That sounds like somebody out there, separated from us. In that situation we can idealize the person and put lots of stuff into them, even if they don't want it. But I think the concept of good, knowing advisers is really very helpful because you can still respect the person but you see them as a friend, as a good dharma friend. Stephen Batchelor: In my experience with teachers, I find that they actually don't, my Tibetan teachers the least. I sense that they felt that I had a very one-pointed interest in what they were teaching, whatever form it took, whether I was confused or not, the life-saving gesture was that of taking a deep interest. With that interest, you have a point from which you can perhaps create an avenue to a deeper understanding. Sharon Salzberg: Well, there's also an element in some teachers, almost an effort to disappear, to truly embody the teachings. And these were the teachers with whom it was most confusing, because you knew there was a person in there somewhere. I feel that's very different from how we are as teachers in our generation. There's just more revealing of one who is a reflection of that necessary inspiration to practice. Jack Engler: I wonder if there isn't a cultural confluence there too? I was wondering about this while listening to people from different cultures. In a sense, it's just another version of the same conundrum that the Buddha set for us. On the one hand, he says, or the tradition says, take refuge in the Buddha or in his teaching. On the other hand, it says be a light unto yourself. We've been talking about how you put these two things together but as the dhamma has come to the West, Westerners tend to pick up the part of being a light unto yourself. Who are you anyway that you should be telling me what to do? And how do you know what you know? It's our cultural mindset to question authority. And the other side tends to get downplayed. The danger then is that the teachings get disembodied from their embodiments. And the only place they exist is in their embodiments. So I am wondering how much of a cultural factor there is on the part of Western students in the difficulty of total surrender, to accept authority in a healthy way instead of immediately suspecting that it may be, you know, "What's his agenda?" Stephen Batchelor: I don't know about that. I'm actually amazed at the extent to which many of the Western students are rather keen to surrender to authority. Jack Engler: Too keen. But that's one way, I think, of dealing with their own ambivalence. That sets them up for the eventual disillusionment. But I am not sure that that really is a healthy acceptance of authority. Stephen Batchelor: No. I quite agree with you. Martine Batchelor: I think what's important to look at too is the notion that we can't separate the teacher from the tradition. And maybe that's where the sangha comes in, because the sangha might represent the tradition and how in the tradition there is a whole teaching, a whole phenomena. It's not just practice alone; there's also study, there's also ethics. There're all these elements which are important to cultivate. In a way, by just focusing on the teacher, we kind of personalize it and forget the whole tradition and the richness of what we can integrate within us. And I think that's the tendency in the West. You have a teacher and you can't quite separate it from the tradition. Jack Engler: That's why we founded the Study Center, to get the focus off the teachers! Mirabai Bush: I have a very small anecdote. I was once with a great Tibetan teacher, and a student asked him, "If all enlightenment is within you, why do you need a guru?" And he said, "You need a guru to tell you that you don't need a guru!" Larry Rosenberg: The whole thing about linking ourselves to this other being is very important, and it can be seen as not simply an idealization or a whitewashing away of things that are less admirable, but more a willingness to allow into our perception everything in the other person as part of accepting their humanness. And at the same time allowing that person be the Buddha, and to align ourselves with the depth of their awakening. We can't just draw a line and only ask this person to be a guide when they're in the classroom, meditation hall and interview room as we do in our culture with teachers and professors, and not ask them to be Buddha in their outside life. A teacher of Dharma doesn't stop being a teacher when they face the challenge of sex, money and power. Of course, now I am referring more to ethical maturity, not simply "personality quirks," or compatibility in terms of "style." Dharma teachers are not here to help us (even unwittingly) become even more fragmented than we already are! Can we drop our idealizations and the inevitable swing towards disenchantment? Can we respect and learn from them as humans? If not, shouldn't we move on? Stephen Batchelor: The teaching is not disseminating a certain kind of information about some subject towards which you have a certain kind of detached objectivity. The Buddha dharma is about living your life in a certain way. So, you cannot make a distinction between the teacher and the teaching. Or, let me say, it's more difficult (to make that distinction.) The person's own behavior, if it does not accord with what he or she is teaching, at that point is undermining their integrity as a teacher, undermining their credibility, and undermining also your trust. Martine Batchelor: They (the teachers) are there to be living examples on the path. Stephen Batchelor: To the best of their cumulative ability. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ {8} BUDDHIST PSYCHOLOGY AND THE EIGHTFOLD PATH, by Stephen Batchelor ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ (Excerpts from the opening talk of a 7-day course on Buddhist Psychology & Meditation October 24, 1992) Although the term Buddhist Psychology is being used frequently these days, there's no equivalent in Pali or Sanskrit, Tibetan or Chinese, and the very notion itself implies a Western attempt to try and get a handle on Buddhism. We know that Buddhism speaks a lot about the mind, we may read books, we may have heard lectures, teachings, that seem to address quite perceptively the nature of consciousness, the dynamics of consciousness and so on, and this quite naturally leads us in our frame of interpretation as Westerners to assume there must be such a thing as Buddhist Psychology, and in fact the term has gained quite some currency. You can buy books on the subject. So I'd like to explore, well, what are we trying to do here, given the fact that we don't find in the traditions themselves a psychology in the sense that we're used to using the word in the West, what in fact do we mean, and what does the Buddhist tradition have to offer in terms of a psychology. I think in many respects the concept Buddhist psychology is a challenge that we in the West are making with regard to the tradition. We are, as it were, seeking to tease out or draw forth a psychology from within this mass of doctrines and teachings and practices and so on. That will then allow us to approach the Dhamma, the Buddhist teachings, through a model that we construct of psychology, of a Buddhist psychology. So first of all, what do we mean when we say that a psychology is Buddhist? We need, I think, to reflect on this. To say that a psychology is Buddhist means that this talking about the mind or understanding the nature of the psyche is contextualized by a framework or by a set of ideas we could call Buddhist. And I think we do need to spend some time, first of all looking at what we mean by Buddhist. Again it's a word we can use and perhaps frequently use, but as one Theravada monk said, the words Buddhist and Buddhism often seem to be labels we use to stick on packages although we are not actually sure what the packages contain, and I feel that is true. I think we use the word Buddhist rather sloppily, or let us say not very critically. We could define Buddhist in a number of ways, I'm going to use a very traditional way of looking at what Buddhism means and that is the model of the Eightfold Noble Path. Now the Eightfold Noble Path again implies two things: it implies the idea of a path, and it implies the idea that this path somehow has eight aspects or stages. What do we mean by path? Again this is a term which has become very common in usage. We talk about our being on a spiritual path. We talk about different spiritual paths. What might we mean by path? Path is a word that we use in our ordinary language. Paths are things we find in the forest around here. Paths are so much part of our life, that perhaps we don't pause very often to reflect on what we mean by path. I remember some couple of years ago I was walking along a path on the South Devon Coast near where I live, and in one of those rare moments where I wasn't being distracted by all the beautiful things around me, I reflected on what it actually meant to be walking on a path. And it seemed to me there are three things about walking on a path that were significant: first of all, when we are actually walking on a path we have the confidence that it's going somewhere, that when we say we're on a path, and I mean in the non-abstract spiritual sense, when we're walking along a path, how does that feel? To walk along a path means that I know that I'm going somewhere. I may not actually know where the path leads, I'm sure you've had this experience in--say--the wilderness, or in a place you're unfamiliar with, the very fact that there is a path, it gives you confidence that one is going somewhere. A path, it also has this quality of being free of obstruction and if you are walking along a path through the woods you notice that the path is the place where there is not the undergrowth and the weeds and the brambles and the poison oak and so on, but its a place that's been cleared, a place that's been opened up, a place in which you are allowed freedom of movement. And when we lose the path, perhaps we become conscious of the value of the path. Sometimes the path becomes very unclear, and then you find yourself stumbling around through bracken and undergrowth and fences and things, and at that point you being to yearn to be on a path. You yearn to have a way forward that is unobstructed. Another aspect of the path, of being on any path, is that you have the assurance the confidence that you are not alone, that the path is something that has been forged by other people, that you are walking in a certain way in a certain direction, but in a way that has been already trodden by others who've gone before you and who have worn down the path. And we are always more confident in a path that is well trodden, one in which no little bits of grass, and other little bits of tree things and so on have come up. If we can see footmarks we are even more confident that this is a meaningful path, that it goes somewhere. And the same is true when we define the concept path as a metaphor for the spiritual journey, again another metaphor. So lets think what it means to be on a spiritual journey, treading a path. When we feel that we are on a path, we likewise feel that our lives have a certain direction, a certain goal a certain purpose, and when we say a spiritual path we mean a goal or purpose or direction that is essentially spiritual in nature, spiritual perhaps in that sense that this path is an inner path. It is something we use to describe the direction and focus of our life. A direction and focus though that is embodying, realizing, practising certain values, the value of mindfulness of concentration or wisdom or ethics or enlightenment. We also feel that when we're on a spiritual path, that we have found as it were a way, a way that is unencumbered and unobstructed. We have a methodology, we have a sense of what we need to do. We talk of being aware as a spiritual path, the practice of being more mindful in each moment, in each activity. And if we stick to that instruction, although it may not be easy, when we find ourselves freely practicing mindfulness we experience an unobstructedness within ourselves. We feel that here is something we are doing that is meaningful and free flowing, and losing the way is perhaps by getting caught up in fantasy or distraction or drowsiness or sleepiness and there again we feel as it were as though we were stumbling through the undergrowth again, so we need to come back to the awareness to the mindfulness, we need to come back to that free flowing openness we call the path. And likewise when we are practicing such a path, say the practice of mindfulness, we are not doing something that is untested, that has not been done before. But we are acknowledging, implicitly perhaps, the existence of the tradition, and I think more significantly, the existence of a community, that a spiritual path is one that is not a purely private, self-centered, isolated affair, but its something we do in communion with others, both those who have already passed in front of us whose footsteps as it were we are following, but also those who are walking with us. And Buddhism lays central emphasis on the value of Sangha, on the value of the practice being embedded within a community of people who are, as it were, committed to the same path, the same values, the same practices as oneself. The Buddha then not only spoke of a path, in these broad terms--it was a word of course he used a great deal--and he talked in fact of having created, or opened up, a middle path, the middle way, way-path is the same word in Sanskrit or Pali. But he also explained his path in a very particular way. He spoke of it as having these eight phases, these eight stages, these eight attributes; and he also called it a noble path, the noble eightfold path. Now to what extent then do we understand this path as being noble? The nobility of the path does not say so much about the actual nature of the path itself. It has to do with the fact that such a path is revealed in the noble vision, the Aryan vision of the Buddha or of anyone who reaches that point of awakening or understanding. So the eightfold path is ennobled by it being part of the noble fourfold truth, the four noble truths: of suffering, the origins of suffering, the cessation of suffering, and the way--or the path--that leads to such cessation. And it was this fourfold truth that the Buddha experienced directly and vividly in his enlightenment, in his awakening. If we look at the very first discourse that the Buddha gave to the five ascetics in the deer park at ? , we find him saying "It was not until my vision was utterly clear and utterly sure of this fourfold truth that I was able to consider myself enlightened and awakened. The point I think that should be made here is that when we think again of enlightenment or awakening, we tend perhaps to imagine that to ourselves in a frame of reference that may be mystical, in which we think of enlightenment as a great big sort of transcendent white light or something, essentially a unitary transcendent experience that floods us, a metaphor that may be more appropriate to say some of the Christian mystics, or the vision of God. But the Buddha's enlightenment was not a vision of God, whatever God is. The Buddha's enlightenment was the experience of the four truths. And the four truths is not a single thing, the four truths represent a complex interconnected vision of the human dilemma, we might even say the sentient being dilemma, and the means whereby that dilemma can be resolved. The dilemma is the first truth of suffering and an understanding of what it is that gives rise that originates that suffering. The resolution of that dilemma is the experience that suffering and its origins can cease, can stop, and the vision and understanding of the way or path that leads to that cessation. And this way or path, the eightfold path that he later explained is part of the vision explicit within enlightenment, or at least in the Buddha's enlightenment. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ {9} INSIGHT MEDITATION SOCIETY ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ INSIGHT MEDITATION SOCIETY 1230 Pleasant Street Barre, Massachusetts, U.S.A. 01005 (508)355-4378 Telephone Hours: Monday, and Wednesday through Saturday: 10 am to 12 noon and 3 pm to 5 pm Answering Machine: Tuesdays, Sundays, and all non-telephone hours INSIGHT MEDITATION (Vipassana) is a simple and direct practice -- the moment-to-moment investigation of the mind/body process through calm and focused awareness. This practice originates in the Theravada tradition of the teachings of the Buddha. Learning to observe experience from a place of stillness enables one to relate to life with less fear and clinging. Seeing life as a constantly Changing process, one begins to accept pleasure and pain, fear and joy, and all aspects of life with increasing equanimity and balance. As insight deepens, wisdom and compassion arise. Insight meditation is a way of seeing clearly the totality of one's being and experience. Growth in clarity brings about penetrating insight into the nature of who we are and increased peace in our daily lives. The Insight Meditation Society was founded in 1975 as a nonprofit organization to provide a place for the intensive practice of insight meditation. IMS operates a retreat center which is set on 80 wooded acres in the quiet country of central Massachusetts. It provides a secluded environment for intensive meditation practice. Complete silence is maintained at all times except during teacher interviews. VIPASSANA RETREATS are designed for both beginning and experienced meditators. Daily instruction in meditation and nightly Dharma talks are given, and individual or group interviews are arranged with the teachers at regular intervals. A typical daily schedule starts at 5 am and ends at 10 pm. The entire day is spent in silent meditation practice with alternate periods of sitting and walking meditation. The combination of this regular schedule, the silence, group support, and daily instruction combine to provide a beneficial environment for developing and deepening meditation practice. Meals are vegetarian, and accommodations are austere, mostly double rooms. Men and women do not share rooms. Camping is not available. Retreats offered in 1993 are listed on the following pages. INDIVIDUAL RETREATS: In addition to teacher-led retreats, the center is open to experienced meditators (except from February 1st to 19th this year) for individual retreats. IMS and its teachers encourage experienced students -- anyone who has practiced in a teacher-led retreat in the styles of vipassana offered at IMS -- to use the center for individual meditation practice as a way of strengthening self-reliance and increasing the value of meditation in one's life. Individual retreats require the prior approval of a teacher. IMS offers several forms for individual retreats: Self-Retreat: A self retreat may consist of any number of days not to exceed the longest period of teacher-led retreat sat by the student. During this time, meditators are expected to practice in silence, observe the five precepts and maintain a continuity of practice throughout the day. There are at least four group sittings daily. Students schedule their practice individually during the remaining hours of the day. Self retreats require the prior consent of a teacher and can be arranged by contacting the IMS office. Long-Term Practice: For those wishing to do long-term meditation practice of 118 days or more, IMS has available a limited number of scholarships in the form of a reduced daily rate after the 88th day. Practice guidelines are similar to those for shorter individual retreats with an additional emphasis on self-reliance. Long-term practice requires the prior consent of two teachers. Those interested should contact the office for an application form and limited available dates. Work Retreats: Work retreats offer an opportunity to integrate five hours of work each day into the normal silent meditation schedule at the center. The center occupies a large complex of buildings which require extensive maintenance and care. We invite skilled, semi-skilled, and enthusiastic old students to offer their energy to the center for cleaning, painting and remodeling; landscaping, gardening and grounds work; and assisting the cooks or administrative staff. All work retreats are free. Work retreats are for experienced students only. Contact the office for an application form. Evening Discourses: When a course is in progress, anyone is welcome to attend evening talks, and meditators with vipassana experience are welcome to attend the group sittings. Some restrictions apply. Please call the IMS office for the daily schedule. DANA (generosity) is intrinsic to the 2,500 year old tradition of Buddha Dharma. Going back to the days of the Buddha, the teachings were considered priceless and thus offered freely. TEACHER SUPPORT: In keeping with the spirit of the tradition of Dana, IMS teachers do not receive any payment for leading retreats. Course registration fees cover only the day-to-day operating costs of the center. Teacher support is provided by voluntary donations given by students at the end of each retreat. FINANCIAL AID: As another expression of Dana, the Insight Meditation Society provides two forms of financial assistance. The Scholarship Fund allows a limited number of individuals who might not otherwise be able to attend a retreat for financial reasons to do so. The Sponsor-A-Yogi Fund is specifically geared to giving financial assistance to people with life-threatening illness who cannot otherwise afford to come and practice. Both funds are dependent on the generosity of the IMS community. If you are interested in supporting these important funds, please send your donations for this purpose to IMS at any time. If you are interested in receiving financial support from either fund, please contact the office. COMMUNITY INFORMATION STAFF: A volunteer staff of 18, as well as the Executive and Associate Directors and Resident Teacher, work in administration, maintenance, housekeeping, and the kitchen, guiding the day-to-day operation of the center. Staff life offers a challenging opportunity to integrate mindfulness with daily activities, and for service to others. The center depends on dedicated volunteer staff people for its continued existence. Due to regular turnover, staff positions are periodically available in all departments. Staff members are asked to make a minimum commitment of one year. Occasionally, shorter or longer term positions are available. Anyone who has sat at least one 9-day vipassana retreat is eligible to apply. If you are interested in a staff position, please contact the IMS office. TAPES FROM IMS RETREATS: Tapes of talks given by IMS teachers may be purchased from the Dharma Seed Tape Library. For a catalogue of available tapes and books, contact Dharma Seed Tape Library, Box 66, Wendell Depot, MA 01380. THE INQUIRING MIND: The Inquiring Mind is an independent journal of the Vipassana community. For subscription information, write: The Inquiring Mind, P.O. Box 9999, North Berkeley Station, Berkeley, CA 94709. MEMBERSHIP IN IMS: IMS continues to serve only through the active participation of many people. If you appreciate what IMS does and would like to help ensure that it continues, we invite you either to renew your membership or to join the Society as one expression of your own participation in its work. Memberships start at $25 a year. If you are interested in renewing your membership or becoming a member, please send your contribution to IMS Appeal. Please include your address and zip code. MAILING LIST UPDATE AND CHANGE OF ADDRESS: IMS retreat schedules, newsletters, and other information are sent periodically to those who have attended retreats here. If you are not currently on our mailing list and wish to be, please contact the IMS office. In addition, because the cost of address correction with the post office is high, we ask that you notify us as soon as possible of any change of address. Please include your old address and zip code. If you no longer wish to be on our mailing list, please let us know. DISABILITY ACCESS: IMS has made several renovations to make its facility more accessible to those who are physically challenged. Although we do not yet have a fully barrier-free environment, we encourage people with disabilities to contact the office about attending retreats. OPPORTUNITIES FOR GIVING The Insight Meditation Society depends greatly on donations and contributions from its community of friends and supporters. If you care about IMS and would like to help support its valuable work, please think about making a donation or gift (tax deductible, of course). There are a number of ways you can help: Membership Fund: A direct contribution to each year's operating costs, memberships help keep the daily rate as low as possible. IMS Dana Fund: A general contribution to the center, IMS dana is allocated each year by the Board wherever it is most needed. Scholarship Fund: This money is given out each year to people who request financial assistance to sit meditation retreats. Sponsor-a-Yogi Fund: These funds support the meditation practice of people in chronic pain or with life-threatening illness. Building Fund: The building fund is used to help with some badly needed repairs and renovations of the buildings and grounds. Annex Fund: Started in 1993, the Annex Fund will be used for a thorough renovation of the yogi rooms in the Annex building. The enclosed envelope may be used for donations to any of these funds. Simply indicate in the space provided which one(s) you wish to support. Also, please contact the executive director if you would consider making a bequest to IMS as part of your estate planning. INSIGHT MEDITATION SOCIETY 1994 RETREAT SCHEDULE Feb 4 - 9 METTA RETREAT (6 days) JS1 $175 Feb 10 - 20 VIPASSANA RETREAT (10 days) JS2 $275 Feb 4 - 20 METTA & VIPASSANA RETREATS Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg, and Sylvia Boorstein (16 days) JS3 $425 This retreat emphasizes the intensive continuity of mindfulness, along with some daily practice of metta (loving kindness) meditation. The teaching is in the basic style of Mahasi Sayadaw, refining the tools of mental noting, slow movement, and precise, open awareness as a way of deepening the wisdom and compassion within us. Preference will be given to those sitting the entire course. Feb 25 - 27 WEEKEND Larry Rosenberg and Narayan Liebenson Grady (2 days) LR1 $90 The emphasis of this retreat is similar to the March 25 retreat. March 4 - 6 DANA WEEKEND Bhante Gunaratana (2 days) DANA Donation This retreat is offered on the part of IMS to affirm the spirit of giving. There is no fixed course fee; participants are encouraged to offer whatever contribution fits their means. Priority will be given to those who, for financial reasons, are unable to attend courses with fixed course rates. Mar 11 - 13 WEEKEND (2 days) AV1 $90 Mar 14 - 20 BEGINNING AGAIN RETREAT Amaravati Sangha--Ajahn Sucitto (9 days) AV2 $250 This will be an opportunity for people to have a taste of the renunciate life and a monastic style of routine, and to see how these--taken up with a spirit of interest and enthusiasm--can be a gateway to deeper understanding and freedom. Reference will be made to the life of the Buddha and his early disciples as sources of inspiration and encouragement for our practice of these timeless teachings. The emphasis will be on the cultivation of mindfulness, kindness and forgiveness of ourselves and others, lightening our lives, so that each moment is experienced as a fresh, new beginning. Participants will have the opportunity to undertake the eight precepts for the duration of the course, but if necessary, these can be adapted to suit individual needs. March 25 - Apr 3 VIPASSANA RETREAT Larry Rosenberg and Narayan Liebenson Grady (9 days) LR2 $250 Anapana-sati--the Buddha's teaching on the full awareness of breathing will be the frame of reference for this retreat. Conscious breathing will be practiced to help develop and nourish both Serenity (samatha) and liberating Insight (vipassana). In addition to formal sitting and walking meditation, we will learn to keep the breath in mind throughout the day enabling us to stay awake in the midst of all ordinary activities. April 9 - 16 WOMEN'S COURSE Christina Feldman and Narayan Liebenson Grady (7 days) WOM $200 In this annual gathering of women at IMS, insight meditation is the vehicle used to develop calmness and clarity, wisdom and compassion, openness and vision. This retreat is an opportunity for women to focus on a spiritual path free of dichotomies as well as spiritual, social and psychological conditioning. There is a full daily schedule of meditation and silence, as well as small group meetings. April 22 - 29 INSIGHT MEDITATION AND INQUIRY Christopher Titmuss, Sharda Rogell and Jose Reissig (7 days) CT2 $200 This retreat consists of sustained silent meditation, deep inquiry into our life experiences, and realization into the nature of things. It provides the opportunity to free the mind from the influence of tensions and negative patterns, and for the heart's awakening to immensity. Christopher and Sharda will be assisted by Jose Reissig, a former university professor, who has been practicing vipassana meditation for 10 years, and teaching since 1990 in Europe and in the U.S. May 6 - 8 WEEKEND (2 days) VK1 $90 May 6 - 15 VIPASSANA RETREAT Vimalo Kulbarz and Erik Knud-Hansen (9 days) VK2 $250 In the silence, stillness and sensitivity of sitting and movement meditation, we awaken comprehensive awareness in all areas of our experience. We will give particular attention to the breathing process and how it reflects and reveals our relationship to life. The essence of the Dharma, of this teaching, is peace; the talks will deal with how to find inner peace and how to apply the Buddha's Eightfold Path in a creative, comprehensive way to all areas of our daily life. May 20 - 29 METTA RETREAT (10 days) SM1 $275 May 30 - Jun 10 VIPASSANA RETREAT (11 days) SM2 $300 May 20 - Jun 10 METTA & VIPASSANA RETREATS Steven Smith, Michele McDonald-Smith, Kamala Masters (21 days) SM3 $550 This retreat emphasizes the intensive continuity of mindfulness, along with some daily practice of metta (loving kindness) meditation. The teaching is in the basic style of Mahasi Sayadaw, refining the tools of mental noting, slow movement, and precise, open awareness as a way of deepening the wisdom and compassion within us. Jun 14 - 19 MEN'S COURSE Steven Smith and Steve Armstrong (5 days) MEN $150 This traditional vipassana retreat will combine silent sitting with careful examination and thoughtful dialogue of significant issues in men's lives. Suitable for new and experienced students. Jun 23 - 27 YOUNG ADULTS COURSE Steven Smith (4 days) YA YA $125 This retreat is specifically for teenagers. It will offer beginning meditation instruction, 1/2 hour sitting and walking periods, discussions, stories, and free time. The aim is to allow young people to discover, develop, and value their natural spirituality with a tremendous amount of support. Extensive supervision will be provided. Jul 1 - 4 4th OF JULY WEEKEND - THE HEART IN VIPASSANA MEDITATION Rodney Smith and Carol Wilson (3 days) 4TH $120 This weekend course will center on the ways of the heart, and how awareness brings us in touch with the joys and sorrows of living with ever-increasing sensitivity, stability, and love. July 8 - 17 VIPASSANA RETREAT (For Experienced Students) Larry Rosenberg and Corrado Pensa (9 days) LR4 $250 Anapana-sati--Buddha's teaching on the full awareness of breathing will be the frame of reference for this retreat. Conscious breathing will be practiced to help develop and nourish both Serenity (samatha) and liberating Insight (vipassana). In addition to formal sitting and walking meditation, we will learn to keep the breath in mind throughout the day enabling us to stay awake in the midst of all ordinary activities. Retreatants are required to have sat at least one 9-day retreat at IMS, or a comparable vipassana retreat situation elsewhere. July 22 - 31 VIPASSANA RETREAT Christina Feldman and Anna Douglas (9 days) CF1 $250 An opportunity to develop calmness, wisdom and compassion in a supportive environment. Emphasis is placed upon developing sensitivity, attention and awareness in sitting and walking meditation to foster our innate gifts of inner listening, balance and understanding. Silence, meditation, instruction and evening talks are integral parts of this retreat. August 4 - 9 FAMILY COURSE Christina Feldman (5 days) FAM $150 This course explores integrating meditation and family life. In a less formal atmosphere, a full program of sittings, discussions, family meditations, and talks is offered. Child care is shared cooperatively through a rotation system with parents and volunteers. Each family unit pays an additional $25 for professional child care coordination. Please specify names, year of birth, and sex of all children on your registration. August 12 - 21 INSIGHT MEDITATION AND INQUIRY Christopher Titmuss, Sharda Rogell and Jose Reissig (9 days) CT2 $250 The emphasis of this retreat is similar to the April 22 retreat. Christopher and Sharda will be assisted by Jose Reissig, a former university professor, who has been practicing Vipassana meditation for 10 years, and teaching since 1990 in Europe and in the U.S. Sept 2 - 5 LABOR DAY WEEKEND (3 days) RD1 $120 Sept 2 - 11 VIPASSANA RETREAT Ruth Denison (9 days) RD2 $255 This retreat fosters awareness and correct understanding of life's process in ourselves and others. The focus of the practice is on opening the heart, discovering oneself, and developing insight into the reality of the mind and body. Retreat activities include sound and body movement meditations, and the development of mindfulness in the day-to-day activities of our lives. This retreat is somewhat different from other IMS retreats, and includes sustained and on-going verbal teacher instruction throughout the day. Sept 21 - Dec 17 THREE MONTH RETREAT (87 days) 3MO $2,200 Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg, Carol Wilson, Steven Smith and Michele McDonald-Smith The three month course is a special time for practice. Because of its extended length and the continuity of guidance, it is a rare opportunity to deepen the powers of concentration, wisdom and compassion. The teaching is in the style of Mahasi Sayadaw, refining the skillful means of mental noting, slow movement and precise, open awareness. Prerequisite is one 9-day retreat with an IMS teacher or special permission. Dec 28 - Jan 6 NEW YEAR'S RETREAT Jack Kornfield and Rodney Smith (9 days) NY $250 The New Year is traditionally a time for listening to the heart and taking stock of our lives from the deepest wisdom within. This retreat offers a systematic training in mindfulness of breath, body, feelings, and mind. Emphasis is placed on incorporating a spirit and training of loving kindness into all aspects of the practice, developing our capacity for clarity and compassion in each moment. Please note the special cancellation deadlines for this retreat. SENIOR DHARMA TEACHERS Ruth Denison studied in Burma in the early 1960s with the meditation master Sayagi U Ba Khin. She has been teaching since 1973 and is founder of Dhamma Dena, a desert retreat center in Joshua Tree, California, and The Center For Buddhism In The West in Germany. Christina Feldman has been studying and training in the Tibetan, Mahayana and Theravada traditions since 1970, and teaching meditation worldwide since 1974. She is co-founder and a guiding teacher of Gaia House in England, author of Woman Awake!, and has co-author Stories of the Spirit, Stories of the Heart. Joseph Goldstein is a co-founder and guiding teacher of IMS. He has been teaching vipassana and metta retreats worldwide since 1974, and in 1989 he helped establish the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. He is the author of The Experience of Insight, and the forthcoming Insight Meditation: The Practice of Freedom. He is also the co-author of Seeking the Heart of Wisdom. Jack Kornfield is a co-founder of IMS and Insight Meditation West/Spirit Rock. He has been teaching vipassana retreats worldwide since 1975. He is the author of A Path with Heart, co-editor of Stories of the Spirit, Stories of the Heart and co-author of Seeking the Heart of Wisdom. Vimalo Kulbarz was a Buddhist monk for 25 years and received his training in vipassana meditation in Burma. Narayan Liebenson Grady teaches full time at the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center. Michele McDonald-Smith has practiced vipassana meditation since 1975 and continues to study with Sayadaw U Pandita. She has been teaching at IMS and worldwide since 1982, weaving her interest in relationship, nature, and poetry into her teaching. Corrado Pensa teaches vipassana retreats in the U.S., England and Italy. He is founder of the Association for Mindfulness Meditation in Rome, a professor of Eastern philosophy at the University of Rome, and a former psychotherapist. Larry Rosenberg practiced Zen in Korea and Japan before coming to vipassana. His approach has been strongly influenced by the forest tradition of Thailand and the teaching of Thich Nhat Hanh. He is the resident teacher at Cambridge Insight Meditation Center. Sharon Salzberg is a co-founder of IMS. She has studied and practiced Buddhist meditation since 1970, and has taught worldwide since 1974. Steven Smith has studied meditation since 1970, training as monk and lay student with Sayadaw U Pandita since 1982. Founder of Vipassana Hawaii, he teaches vipassana and metta retreats worldwide. A deep reverence for nature and the power of myth reflect in his teaching. Christopher Titmuss gives teachings worldwide concerned with spiritual realization and insight meditation. He is the author of Spirit of Change, The Profound and the Profane, and Fire Dance and Other Poems. He is co-founder of Gaia House Trust and lives in Totnes, England. Carol Wilson has been practicing vipassana meditation since 1971, most recently with U Pandita Sayadaw. She has been teaching since 1986 in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. ASSOCIATE DHARMA TEACHERS Steve Armstrong has been practicing vipassana meditation since 1975, both as a layman and as a monk, and leads retreats in the U.S. and Australia. His primary focus is Buddhist psychology. He was on the staff and board of directors at IMS for several years. Sylvia Boorstein has been teaching vipassana meditation since 1985 and is a founding teacher of Spirit Rock Center. She is also a psychotherapist, wife, mother, and grandmother and is particularly interested in seeing daily life as practice. Anna Douglas, in addition to vipassana, has a background in Zen, psychology and the arts. Presently she lives in the Bay Area. Eric Knud-Hansen lives in Hawaii and has been affiliated with IMS since its beginning. He teaches principles of meditative and therapeutic inquiry for the awakening of heartful awareness. Sharda Rogell has been involved with meditation and healing since 1975 and currently teaches retreats in Europe, India and the U.S. Rodney Smith has been practicing vipassana for 18 years and spent 4 years as a Buddhist monk in Asia. He has been teaching meditation for the last 10 years and is currently the director of the Hospice of Seattle. VISITING DHARMA TEACHERS Ajahn Sucitto is a member of the Amaravati sangha in Great Britain. Bhante Gunaratana is a Sri Lankan monk who has conducted retreats on all four continents. Currently he directs the Bhavana Society in the Shenandoah Valley of West Virginia. His latest book is entitled Mindfulness in Plain English. IMS RESIDENT TEACHER Marcia Rose has been studying and practicing Buddhist meditation and related disciplines for many years, and has been the resident teacher at IMS since 1991. REGISTRATION PROCEDURES Registrations for retreats are taken only by mail or in person. We cannot accept registrations by phone or fax. Course costs are listed in the main portion of this brochure. We request that you pre-pay the full retreat cost if possible, as this significantly reduces the time required to process your registration. However, the minimum deposit required with your application is listed in the table below. After the receipt of your deposit, a confirmation letter will be mailed to you with information on travel details and what you need to bring. Deposits are refundable, minus a processing fee, if we receive notification of a change or cancellation before the opening day of the retreat. Transfers made before a retreat's first deadline will incur no fee. Transfers made after the first deadline, and all cancellations, will have processing fees applied.These fees are outlined in the table to the right [NOT INCLUDED IN THIS EDITION]. For most retreats, the first deadline occurs two weeks before the retreat begins, with the final deadline one week before. The Three Month and New Year's retreats have special deadline dates due to their popularity and the time needed to arrange attendance at them. Cancellations or changes made after a 1st deadline incur higher fees. For many years now our retreats have filled and have had waiting lists of those unable to get in. Please cancel as early as possible so that others who may be waiting can have sufficient time to arrange their participation. ALL PROCESSING FEES COLLECTED WILL BE CONTRIBUTED TO THE SCHOLARSHIP FUND. Participants are expected to attend the entire retreat. Any exceptions should be discussed with the office staff and confirmed in writing in advance. Such partial retreats will be charged at the full retreat cost, except for the Three Month retreat (special obligations apply to Three Month partials). Except in cases of emergency, pre-arrangement, or teacher recommendation, refunds will not be available after a retreat starts (exceptions may be made during the first 10 days of the Three Month retreat). In fairness to people who may be waitlisted, registrations are not transferable. We have adopted these policies to allow the greatest number of people to have the opportunity to participate in retreats. We appreciate your cooperation and your understanding. Continued participation in retreats or use of facilities is always at IMS discretion, and IMS reserves the right to end retreats for individuals. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ {10} BARRE CENTER FOR BUDDHIST STUDIES ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ BARRE CENTER FOR BUDDHIST STUDIES Lockwood Road Barre, Mass (508) 355-2347 The Barre Center for Buddhist Studies is dedicated to bringing together teachers, students, scholars and practitioners who are committed to exploring Buddhist thought and practice as a living tradition, faithful to its origins and lineage, yet adaptable and alive in each new time and place. The Center's purpose is to provide a bridge between study and practice, between scholarly understanding and meditative insight; it encourages active engagement with the tradition in a spirit of genuine inquiry and investigation. The Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, or more informally, the Study Center, offers a variety of study and research opportunities, lectures, classes, seminars, workshops, conferences, retreats, independent study, and, in future, scholars-in-residence program. The Study Center plans to offer research and publication facilities for Buddhist scholarship and translation. Its vision calls for dialogue between different schools of Buddhism, discussions with other religious and scientific traditions. The emphasis is always on the interrelationship between study and practice, and on exploring the relevance of classical teachings to contemporary life. Location: The Study Center is located on 90 acres of wooded land in rural, central Massachusetts, one-half mile from Insight Meditation Society. Founded in 1989, the Study Center provides a peaceful and contemplative setting for the study and investigation of the Buddha's teaching. For many years, it had been a dream of teachers at Insight Meditation Society to complement the silent meditation retreats at IMS with study programs. This vision became a reality with donations enabling the purchase of a 200-year old farmhouse and surrounding forest property. After extensive renovations, there are now residential facilities, a library, workshop hall, offices, and a dining room that provide a comfortable setting for students, staff, and teachers. With the completion, at the end of 1993, of a large dormitory and conference hall, there will be space for more resident scholars and conferences. The Library at the Study Center is a major resource to be used by both students and visitors. Our collection consists of the complete Pali Canon in both English and Pali, several hundred volumes on Theravadan, Tibetan and Zen Buddhism and a variety of journals and newsletters. As part of our vision, we plan to expand our current collection into a respectable research library. Courses and Registration: The Study Center courses offer learning to students with a wide range of previous exposure to the material taught. If you have questions about a course, please call. Registrations are accepted only by mail or in person. We cannot accept registrations by phone. Early registration is advise since our capacity is limited. Please send the entire course cost as deposit. Upon receipt of your deposit, a confirmation will be mailed to you with information on travel details and what you need to bring. Deposits are fully refundable until 10 days before the start of the course. After that a small processing fee will be charged. If you need to cancel, please do so before the day of the course, otherwise there be an additional cancellation fee. DANA (generosity) is intrinsic to the 2,500 year old tradition of Buddha Dharma. Going back to the days of the Buddha, the teachings were considered priceless and thus offered freely. Teacher support comes primarily from voluntary contributions from students. The registration fee covers the center's cost of housing the retreat, and a small part of our ongoing expenses. Teachers receive only a token stipend from the Study Center for leading the courses. Donations from students at the end of a course are a major sources of income for many teachers. As another expression of Dana, the Study Center makes scholarships available to those who might not be able to attend a course due to financial need. Please contact us if you need financial assistance. BARRE CENTER FOR BUDDHIST STUDIES 1994 COURSE SCHEDULE January 9-21 INTENSIVE PROGRAM IN BUDDHIST STUDIES (2 Weeks) (Resident and Visiting Faculty) 94INT $750 This inaugural academic program is a new vision of the study of Buddhism in America. It provides an in-depth academic introduction to the doctrinal and historical background within a contemplative environment. The objective of the program is to explore Buddhist thought and practice as a living tradition, to provide a bridge between study and practice, between scholarly understanding and meditative insight. February 5-6 Scientific Inquiry, Buddhist Insight (Weekend) Perrin Cohen 94PC $90 How can one bring mindfulness and Buddhist insight into routine scientific research, scholarship, application and teaching? This workshop is designed for science students and professionals (i.e., research, nursing, medicine, engineering) to explore practical ways of cultivating the purifying forces of mind (paramis) that can connect daily activities in scientific fields to wisdom and compassion. Note: A reading list will be provided for registered participants. February 11-13 PRESCRIPTION FOR HINDRANCES (Weekend) Sylvia Boorstein 94SB $90 The hindrances--desire, anger, torpor, restlessness/worry, and doubt--cloud the mind and interfere with clear understanding and wise action. We can consciously cultivate ways of being that reduce the impact of these hindrances. This course will explore these ways of being through alternate periods of concentration practice (sitting, walking, silent meals) with talks and discussions. February 19-20 APPLICATION OF DEPENDENT ORIGINATION IN EVERYDAY LIFE (Weekend) Dr. Thynn Thynn 94TT $90 The teaching of Dependent Origination (Paticcasamuppada) is the core of Buddha's teaching about the way of being in the world. Through lectures, discussion, practical training in mindfulness, this course will examine ways of understanding and applying knowledge of the cycle of Dependent Origination in everyday life. February 26-27 WINGS TO AWAKENING PART I (Weekend) 94TB1 $90 March 5-6 WINGS TO AWAKENING PART II (Weekend) Thanissaro Bhikkhu 94TB2 $90 The Buddha's own summary of the main points of his teaching was this list of 37 qualities: the four foundations of mindfulness, the four right exertions, the four bases for accomplishment, the five powers, the five dominant factors, the seven factors of Awakening and the eightfold path. This two-weekend course will cover these qualities as they appear in the Pali Canon and the teachings of present-day masters, with special emphasis on their application to meditation and to daily life. March 12 GENJO KOAN: ACTUALIZING THE FUNDAMENTAL POINT (Saturday) Rev. Issho Fujita 94IF $25 Of the many writings of Dogen (1200-1253), the greatest religious thinker in Japanese history and the founder of Soto Zen tradition, the Genjo Koan "is the skin, flesh, bones, and marrow of the Founder. The fundamental teaching of the Founder's lifetime is expounded in this fascicle. The Buddhadharma throughout his lifetime is revealed in this work." This one-day course will use the Genjo Koan as a basic text to explore the teaching of Zen Master Dogen. March 25-27 DEPENDENT ORIGINATION AND MEDITATION (WEEKEND) Ajahn Sucitto from Amaravati Sangha 94AMR $90 This course will examine the arising and ceasing of Dependent Origination both as experience and as the core teaching of Buddhadhamma. Other areas to be examined are conditioned structures and varying relationships of conditionality underlying them. April 9 COMPASSION IN ACTION: DOING THE RIGHT THING (Saturday) Ed Hauben & Mirabai Bush 94EHMB $25 This daylong gathering will explore work--whether in the professions, in business, in government, in family, or in service--as a vehicle for increased awakening, a path toward wisdom and compassion. We will discuss Right Livelihood, the balance of action and reflection, and developing a living relationship with the Precepts through our work. April 10 THE HEADLESS LIFE (Sunday) Douglas Harding 94DH $25 This course will use a range of experiments for the purpose of gaining access to our mind's wide openness. It will be followed by discussion about how we can maintain this openness, its likely effect on our energy, creativity, health and personal relationships. April 30 THE DIAMOND WAY (Saturday) George Bowman 94GB $25 The Diamond Sutra is one of the most important sutras in the Prajnaparamita literature. It has been highly influential in the development of Buddhist practices in East Asia for the last 1500 years. This course will share and practice this timeless teaching on cutting through the delusion of separateness. May 7-8 MONEY AND BUDDHIST SPIRITUALITY (Weekend) Jose Reissig 94JR $90 This course will investigate the split which exists between the world of morality and the world of money. Is the split inevitable? What are its consequences? We will investigate the play of 'money maya' by looking at the 'inner and 'outer' aspects of the split and its construction through meditation, playing, talks and sharing. May 14 TRANSFORMING NEGATIVE EMOTIONS THROUGH BODY AWARENESS AND INSIGHT (Saturday) Joseph Dellagrotte & Ron Leiffer 94JDRL $25 Negative emotions represent the mind states such as fear, anger, envy, pride, guilt, and shame, accompanied by worry, anxiety and depression. The way through and out of these emotions involves awareness of the body and feelings, making it possible to develop mindfulness. Using the first and second foundations of mindfulness from the Satipatthana Sutta, this course is intended to develop body awareness to perceive, sense and feel emotional states at another level. May 15-17 THE WISE USE OF THE MIND (YONISO MANASIKARA) (Three Days) Vimalo Kulbarz 94VK $110 This course will engage in a sustained investigation of how our mind is conditioned, how we cause ourselves suffering through certain ways of thinking, and how we can bring about a change in this pattern of thinking. Changing these patterns of thinking is the key to happiness, inner peace and freedom. The "Wise Use of the Mind" (yoniso manasikara) is a powerful tool for inner transformation and one of the most important aspects of Buddhist mind-training. May 22 METTA (Sunday) Daeja Napier 94DN $25 Metta (Loving Kindness) is the first of the Brahma Viharas (Sublime States of Mind) taught by the Buddha. It is a concentration practice that softens the experience of life, enhancing a loving, compassionate, joyful and balanced relationship with oneself and others. This workshop will explore the teaching and practice of Metta to restore a sense of loving connection with ourselves and the world around us. June 12 BRAHMA VIHARAS (Sunday) Steven Smith and Michele McDonald 94SSMM1 $25 The Buddha taught that cultivation of four attitudes of mind--Loving Kindness, Compassion, Sympathetic Joy, and Equanimity--are the great peacemakers and healers of suffering inherent in our human condition. This course will use traditional contemplative practices to cultivate these four qualities of heart and mind. June 18-22 SUTTA STUDIES (5 days) Bhante Gunaratana 94BG1 $150 This Dhamma study course will explore the Dialogues of the Buddha, with an emphasis on Mahasatipatthana Sutta. This sutta is the basis for both Samatha (concentration) and Vipassana (insight) meditations. Students will have the opportunity to both study and practice the meaning of this very important teaching. June 22-26 VIPASSANA MEDITATION FOR PARENTS OF YOUNG ADULTS (4 days) Bhante Gunaratana 94BG2 $120 This four-day course is designed to give parents of participants in the IMS Young Adults Course a unique opportunity to join the young adults in practicing Insight Meditation. Although the two retreats will be separate, they will occur at the same time and may have joint Dhamma talks. This retreat is open to anyone but priority will be given to parents whose children are participating in the Young Adults Course. June 25 EXPLORING FULLNESS OF LIFE IN THE FACE OF DEATH (Saturday) Rodney Smith & Gavin Harrison 94RSGH $25 Conflict with the truth of our mortality creates enormous suffering in our life. Difficulty with aging, illness, change, insecurity--all are ultimately foundations in our non-acceptance of the inevitability of death. By honestly facing our mortality, we open to the possibility of great freedom, joy and peace in our life. This workshop will engage--through meditation, discourses, and discussions--in the issue of birth and death, so that together we come face to face with the fact of our mortality. July 16 THE TEACHING OF AJAHN MAHA BOOWA (Saturday) Corrado Pensa 94CP $25 Ajahn Maha Boowa is one of the most renowned living meditation masters in the Thai forest tradition. He is a disciple of Ajahn Mun (1870-1949), perhaps the most charismatic monk in Thailand in this century. Ajahn Maha Boowa's teaching, in accordance with the Thai forest tradition, encourages using the power of samadhi to nourish a more and more refined mindfulness and discernment (satipanna) into the fundamental nature of existence. TEACHERS George Bowman is a Zen Master and lineage holder in the tradition of Korean Zen. He is the resident teacher at Cambridge Buddhist Association in Cambridge, Mass. He also has a private psychotherapy practice in Cambridge. Mirabai Bush is Project Director for Seva Foundation's Guatemala project and is a co-author, with Ram Dass, of Compassion in Action: Setting Out on the Path of Service. Perrin Cohen is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University, and co-director of NUCASE (Northeastern University Center for the Advancement of Scientific Education), which is concerned with ethical responsibility in scientific research. He has practiced vipassana meditation since 1977 and is a Board member of BCBS. Joseph Dellagrotte, M.A., Ph.D. is a body-oriented therapist and has been working with pain syndromes of a psychophysical nature for 20 years. He has practiced various Buddhist and Taoist practices for many years. Rev. Issho Fujita is the resident chief priest at Valley Zendo in Charlemont, Mass. He belongs to the Soto Zen lineage of Japan. Douglas Harding was born in England in 1909 and is the author of On Having No Head. He teaches that wisdom can be experienced now, without years of effort, and his methods cut through the ambiguity and remoteness of some spiritual teaching.. He teaches workshops worldwide on transformation of pain and stress, healing, growing, and aging. Gavin Harrison teaches Buddhist Insight Meditation in groups and retreats throughout New England. He is HIV+ and meditation practice is at the core of his efforts to engage the AIDS virus in a life-affirming way. He lives in Amherst, Mass, and is the author of a forthcoming book on meditation practice and living with AIDS. Ed Hauben is Vice-President of Ruby Shoes Studio, a graphic arts studio, in Watertown, Mass. He is on the board of directors of Barre Center for Buddhist Studies and is a past president of the Insight Meditation Society Board. He was a co-founder of Interface Foundation and has been practicing meditation for more than 25 years. Ron Leiffer, M.D., is a psychotherapist in Ithaca, New York and has extensive background in Tibetan Buddhist practices. He is the author of Turning Vinegar Into Honey. Daeja Napier is the founding teacher of Newbury Insight Meditation Center and the Phillips Exeter Academy Insight Meditation Program. She is also on the teaching staff of Interface Foundation. She has been studying and practicing Buddhist meditation for over 20 years and is the mother of five children. Jose Reissig, a former university professor, has taught meditation at Gaia House in England and at IMS. He has taught workshops on money and spirituality in England, France and the United States. Thanissaro Bhikkhu (Geoffrey DeGraff) has been a Theravada monk since 1976. He is presently the Abbot of Wat Metta Forest Monastery--a combined monastic and lay meditation community--in San Diego County. He is author and translator of a number of Thai meditation guides including Keeping the Breath in Mind and Inner Strength. Dr. Thynn Thynn is a medical doctor and Dhamma teacher from Burma. She studied Buddhism for nearly thirty and meditation from Burmese masters for twenty years. She has been teaching the application of Buddhism and meditation in everyday life both in Thailand and United States for a number of years. She has written books on Buddhism in both English and Burmese. [end]


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