OUR NOVEMBER 2008 discussion theme is ‘Right Intention.’ Here’s a definition from the website we’re using as we guide ourselves through regular discussions of the Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path. Have the intention of sharing your thoughts on this topic in the ‘Comments’ above or at Tuesday’s gathering:
RIGHT INTENTION: While Right View refers to the cognitive aspect of wisdom, right intention refers to the volitional aspect, i.e. the kind of mental energy that controls our actions. Right intention can be described best as commitment to ethical and mental self-improvement. Buddha distinguishes three types of right intentions: 1. the intention of renunciation, which means resistance to the pull of desire, 2. the intention of good will, meaning resistance to feelings of anger and aversion, and 3. the intention of harmlessness, meaning not to think or act cruelly, violently, or aggressively, and to develop compassion. ~ from www.thebigview.com/buddhism/eightfoldpath.html
It was enjoyable to sit with such an experienced group of meditators. It would seem to me that one of the contrasts of Buddhism to other religions is its relative lack of community. For Christianity and Islam, their roots in the community are pervasive. Yet there we were as a group sitting together.
Shunryu Suzuki wasn’t a big fan of talking after meditation. I’m still finding my way there. I had been thinking of it as an intellectual exercise but I guess really it might be an opportunity to affirm each other.
Craig, mentioned the experience of joy that comes with meditating. This was a group that has enough experience to ‘amen’ that. Later it ocurred to me that that my experience of joy resulting from meditating comes in three flavors, joy, waves of love, and an experience of expanded awareness. I would suggest that expanded awareness is an emotion that is a feeling of the quantative as one. It is accompanied by joy and love.
It is a very hedonistic experience. Rarely though do I experience it in practice but rather unexpexted moments during the day. It can last a few seconds, a few minutes, and once a whole afternoon. Can we experience it as a constant?
Thanks for the thoughtful comment, Mike. Actually, community is quite stressed in Buddhist practice, the three most important focuses being ‘Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha.’ 1. A focus on the inspirational example of the Buddha; 2. Awakening to the practice of the Dhamma by putting the teachings about enlightenment into practice; 3. And the need for Sangha, a community of fellow practitioners, to bolster one’s effort in the face of everything that draws our attention away from the matter at hand. I have always hoped the Meditation Circle would fulfill the function of a lay sangha, for those in the area interested in deepening their meditation practice. | Douglas