ITB-2015

Week 3

Week Three:

  1. Presentation: (The Four Noble Truths, The Middle Way)
    1. The Middle way.
      1. From last week’s discussion we talked about how the Buddha had decided that a middle way was the most helpful course of action for finding liberation. That extreme asceticism and extreme luxury did not bring about lasting happiness or relieve someone of stress and suffering.
      2. Extreme bodily mortification is still practiced today in India. This practice is thought to “burn off” karmic results (sometimes just called karma) by intentionally experiencing suffering.
      3. The middle way can be seen as a sensible and healthy way to approach most of life’s problems in general, but in terms of the Buddha’s discovery it is the practice of moderation with respect to lifestyle. Neither too much nor too little. In the sense that is can be a method to solve the problems of life, one can find that neither too much food or too little food, too much work or too little, neither too extreme of a reaction to a problem nor apathy for the solution to a problem and so on.
  2. The problem.
    1. There is stress, suffering and dissatisfaction.
  3. The cause.
    1. There is a cause for stress, suffering and dissatisfaction.
  4. The prognosis.
    1. There is a cure for stress, suffering and dissatisfaction.
  5. The prescription.The four noble truths are presented by the Buddha in the form of a Doctor’s prescription. It is has been proposed that this formula was intentionally stated this way and that it is the form used by Indian traditional medicine. That form is used by Ayurvedic practitioners, when treating patients. You have an illness. The illness is caused by X. We have a treatment for that illness. This is the prescription for your treatment. 
    1. There is a prescription which can end stress, suffering and dissatisfaction.
    2. The 8 fold path.
    3. Right view
      1. "And what is right view? Knowledge with regard to stress, knowledge with regard to the origination of stress, knowledge with regard to the cessation of stress, knowledge with regard to the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress: This is called right view." DN 22
    4. Right resolve
      1. "And what is right resolve? Being resolved on renunciation, on freedom from ill-will, on harmlessness: This is called right resolve." SN 45.8
    5. Right speech
      1. "And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech." SN 45.8
    6. Right action
      1. "And what is right action? Abstaining from taking life, abstaining from stealing, abstaining from unchastity. This is called right action." SN 45.8
    7. Right livelihood
      1. "And what is right livelihood? There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones, having abandoned dishonest livelihood, keeps his life going with right livelihood: This is called right livelihood." SN 45.8
    8. Right effort
      1. "And what, monks, is right effort?
      2.  "There is the case where a monk generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful qualities that have not yet arisen.
      3. "He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the abandonment of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen.
      4. "He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the arising of skillful qualities that have not yet arisen.
      5. "He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the maintenance, non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development, & culmination of skillful qualities that have arisen: This, monks, is called right effort."  SN 45.8
    9. Right mindfulness
      1. "And what is right mindfulness? There is the case where a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. He remains focused on feelings in & of themselves... the mind in & of itself... mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. This is called right mindfulness. DN 22
    10. Right concentration
      1. "And what is right concentration? There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful (mental) qualities — enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. With the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters & remains in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance. With the fading of rapture, he remains equanimous, mindful, & alert, and senses pleasure with the body. He enters & remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, 'Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasant abiding.' With the abandoning of pleasure & pain — as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress — he enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. This is called right concentration." SN 45.8
  6. The eight fold path does not require a sequential (step by step) operation. It is in fact more of an over-all and interconnected path. Each step supporting the other steps. Each of these steps is a conversation in and of themselves. We will discuss each of them in more detail next week.
  7. Group Discussion
    1. Question and answer session.
      1. Questions: (students are encouraged to ask any questions especially related to the class topic at this time. Some topics for discussion are also listed below.
        1. In what ways are the four noble truths simple?
        2. In what ways are the four noble truths complex or hard to understand?
        3. Do you agree or disagree with the first noble truth, that existence is suffering or stressful?
        4. Do you think the Buddha’s cure can be achieved?

Weekly Schedule

Sunday

8.00 am - 9.00 am: Public Services in English: Such as chanting, Meditation,  Dharma discussing

10:30 am – 12.30 pm: Public Services in Vietnamese: Such as chanting, Dharma discussing (with English translator), offering to the deceased ones 

Tuesday

- English Dharma Class, open discussion.

@ Dharma Hall, Virginia Beach

1st, 2nd and 3rd Tuesdays, 7pm-8.30pm.

English Dharma Class, open discussion.

@ Pitts Center, Southern Shores, NC

4th Tuesday, 6.30pm - 8.30pm

 

Wednesday

7:00 pm – 8:30 pm: Public service in English: Chanting, meditating, Dharma discussing in English

Thursday

8:00 pm – 9:00 pm: Chanting 21 time Great Compassion Mantra (Vietnamese)

ĐÔNG HƯNG TEMPLE

423 Davis Street

Virginia Beach, VA 23462

Phone: (757) 689 - 3408

Direct: 757 - 406 - 1726 (Mr. Mark P.)

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