The greatest gift is the
gift of the teachings
Retreat Dharma Talks at Barre Center for Buddhist Studies

BCBS The Gradual Path: The Step-by-Step Way to Awakening

2017-03-31 (3 days) Barre Center for Buddhist Studies

2017-03-31 Guided Meditation - Offering Ourselves Dhamma Dāna 13:16
Ajahn Sucitto
As we enter the field of practice, we have the opportunity to clear the desktop and deepen into our receptivity. We offer ourselves Dhamma dāna: the gift of time, space, permission and resources to deepen within this very embodied mind. We acknowledge what arises and lay aside what can be laid aside.
2017-03-31 Retreat Intro: The Gradual Path 19:59
Ajahn Sucitto
The gradual path is the essence of the Buddha’s presentation. It starts with qualities we already know – generosity, morality and renunciation. Rather than starting with meditation while sitting on the cushion, this is the movement that begins to be properly cultivated and groomed in meditation. Then our work is much more internal, to clear the mind of the 5 hindrances.
2017-04-01 Guided Meditation - If You Don’t Generate a World, Somebody Else’s Will Generate You 9:51
Ajahn Sucitto
In meditation we practice bringing up what is pertinent, worthy of development, leading inwards. We bring things to mind that generate a locus of meaning, that generate our world. This is where we reclaim potency, value and meaning. Rather than be overwhelmed by a meaningless world we have the potential to generate a meaning world here now.
2017-04-01 Generating a Meaningful World 63:11
Ajahn Sucitto
Presentation of the multi-layered, holistic, vertical cosmos of the suttas as compared to our flat world that only extends geographically. One can move up and down the cosmos through one’s own actions – giving, ethics, renunciation, clearing the mind of the hindrances and developing deep meditation. One learns to make things sacred; sacred meaning everything is valued, has its place and is treated with respect. A study of the Kutadanta Sutta (D5.29) as an example of how the Buddha taught engagement and movement along this vertical/immaterial domain
2017-04-01 Q&A Part I 48:53
Ajahn Sucitto
Caring for aging parents; celestial realm as metaphor or actuality; those who are spontaneously reborn; sacrifice; when I know I’m not observing precepts perfectly; meditation practice feels flat; advice for caregivers in medical field; breaking through feeling bleak about the world; subjective nature of the sacred
2017-04-01 The Field of Good Kamma and the Relational Field 21:10
Ajahn Sucitto
References to suttas about giving: A5:33-37 Benefits of giving, 5 timely gifts; A8:39 Streams of merit; A5 Good and bad gifts; A6:38 Factors of donors and recipients
2017-04-01 Q&A Pt II 32:46
Ajahn Sucitto
1. How to practice last 3 of 8 precepts; recipient of one’s giving determines one’s merit – please explain; 2. how interpersonal aspect of energy affect/support one’s practice and meditation; 3. giving hand to hand vs. in disembodied ways (credit cards, etc.); 4. self consciousness around my giving’ the art of receiving has been neglected; 5. how to be with others who don’t know their own goodness
2017-04-01 Recollecting and Enacting the Sacred 46:17
Ajahn Sucitto
The cosmos is cosmos and not chaos because of a natural order. There is an internal order too in our embodiment where the energies of ideas, thoughts and psychologies are collected in the body. But we’ve lost our embodiment, and therefore access to the moral intelligence of the body. We can regain access through enacting, remembering and recollecting.
2017-04-02 Requirements for Movement into the Immaterial Domain 1:15:23
Ajahn Sucitto
Movement into the immaterial/vertical domain occurs through restraint, renunciation and withdrawal, but all marked by pleasure. Most supportive is a cooperative social form where other people are doing the same thing. Monasteries model this social form. Refer to D33, considered ‘Vinaya for lay people.’
2017-04-02 Guided Meditation - Becoming a Refuge unto Yourself 48:17
Ajahn Sucitto
We take refuge, but we also become a refuge. The degree to which we can cultivate value, precepts and restraint, we gain an increasing sense of authority to stand against the outward pull of thought and sense desire. This strength or determination can be felt in the body. Tap into the imaginal to sense its depth.
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