Week Nine:

  1. Presentation: (Topics for Daily Practice)
    1. Ignorance.
      1. The definition: "And what is ignorance, what is the origin of ignorance, what is the cessation of ignorance, what is the way leading to the cessation of ignorance? Not knowing about dukkha, not knowing about the origin of dukkha, not knowing about the cessation of dukkha, not knowing about the way leading to the cessation of dukkha — this is called ignorance. With the arising of the taints there is the arising of ignorance; with the cessation of the taints there is the cessation of ignorance. The way leading to the cessation of ignorance is just this Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view... right concentration."
      2. "And what are the taints, what is the origin of the taints, what is the cessation of the taints, what is the way leading to the cessation of the taints? There are three taints: the taint of sensual desire, the taint of being and the taint of ignorance. With the arising of ignorance there is the arising of the taints. With the cessation of ignorance there is the cessation of the taints. The way leading to the cessation of the taints is just this Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view... right concentration."— MN 9 (Ñanamoli/Bodhi, translator.)
      3. Because ignorance is the root cause of dukkha..."From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications. From fabrications... comes consciousness. From consciousness... name-&-form. From name-&-form... the six sense media. From the six sense media... contact. From contact... feeling. From feeling...craving. From craving... clinging/sustenance. From clinging/sustenance... becoming. From becoming... birth. From birth as a requisite condition, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress & suffering.
      4. ...when it ceases, so too must dukkha cease "Now from the remainderless fading & cessation of that very ignorance comes the cessation of fabrications. From the cessation of fabrications comes the cessation of consciousness. From the cessation of consciousness comes the cessation of name-&-form. From the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of the six sense media. From the cessation of the six sense media comes the cessation of contact. From the cessation of contact comes the cessation of feeling. From the cessation of feeling comes the cessation of craving. From the cessation of craving comes the cessation of clinging/sustenance. From the cessation of clinging/sustenance comes the cessation of becoming. From the cessation of becoming comes the cessation of birth. From the cessation of birth, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair all cease. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of stress & suffering."— SN 12.2
  2. The 5 Aggregates.
    1. Definition of Aggregate:  formed by the collection of units or particles into a body, mass, or amount. Miriam Webster On-line Dictionary.
    2. Form: "Whatever form is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: That is called the form aggregate.
    3. Feeling: "Whatever feeling is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: That is called the feeling aggregate.
    4. Perception: "Whatever perception is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: That is called the perception aggregate.
    5. Fabrication: "Whatever (mental) fabrications are past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: Those are called the fabrications aggregate.
    6. Consciousness "Whatever consciousness is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: That is called the consciousness aggregate.
  1. An excerpt from MN 109 PTS: M iii 15 Maha-punnama Sutta: The Great Full-moon Night Discourse translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu © 2001…..Saying, "Very good, lord," the monk... asked him a further question: "Lord, how does self-identity view come about?"
  2. "There is the case, monk, where an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for noble ones, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard for men of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma — assumes form to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as in the self, or the self as in form.
  3. "He assumes feeling to be the self, or the self as possessing feeling, or feeling as in the self, or the self as in feeling. He assumes perception to be the self, or the self as possessing perception, or perception as in the self, or the self as in perception. He assumes fabrications to be the self, or the self as possessing fabrications, or fabrications as in the self, or the self as in fabrications. He assumes consciousness to be the self, or the self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in the self, or the self as in consciousness.
  4. "This, monk, is how self-identity view comes about."
  1. The Four Right Efforts.
    1. Also, four correct exertions or four types of correct effort.
    2. To put an end to existing evil,
    3. To prevent evil from arising,
    4. To bring good into existence, and
    5. To encourage existing good.
    6. In short, they indicate efforts to put an end to evil acts that block the way to enlightenment and to perform good acts that lead to enlightenment. The four right efforts are the second of the seven constituent groups of the thirty-seven aids to the way, or the thirty-seven practices leading to enlightenment.
    7. The Anguttara Nikaya 14 states: There are these four exertions. Which four? The exertion to guard, the exertion to abandon, the exertion to develop, & the exertion to maintain.
    8. And what is the exertion to guard? There is the case where a monk, on seeing a form with the eye, does not grasp at any theme or variations by which — if he were to dwell without restraint over the faculty of the eye — evil, unskillful qualities such as greed or distress might assail him. He practices with restraint. He guards the faculty of the eye. He achieves restraint with regard to the faculty of the eye. [Similarly with the ear, nose, tongue, body, & intellect.] This is called the exertion to guard.
    9. And what is the exertion to abandon? There is the case where a monk does not acquiesce to a thought of sensuality that has arisen (in him). He abandons it, destroys it, dispels it, wipes it out of existence. He does not acquiesce to a thought of ill will... a thought of violence... any evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen (in him). He abandons them, destroys them, dispels them, wipes them out of existence. This is called the exertion to abandon. And what is the exertion to develop? There is the case where a monk develops mindfulness as a factor for Awakening dependent on seclusion... dispassion... cessation, resulting in letting go. He develops investigation of qualities... persistence... rapture... serenity... concentration... equanimity as factor for Awakening dependent on seclusion... dispassion... cessation, resulting in letting go. This is called the exertion to develop.
    10. And what is the exertion to maintain? There is the case where a monk maintains a favorable theme of concentration — the skeleton perception, the worm-eaten perception, the livid perception, the festering perception, the falling-apart perception, the bloated perception. This is called the exertion to maintain.
    11. These are the four exertions. Guarding & abandoning, developing & maintaining: these four exertions, taught by the Kinsman of the Sun [the Buddha].A monk who strives ardently at them reaches the ending of stress.— AN 4.14
  2. Group Discussion Question and answer session. 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. What do you think of these topics?
    2. Is the “Self” just the 5 aggregates?

The 4 right efforts, are they hard to accomplish?

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  and 5thTuesdays, 7pm-8.30pm.

English Dharma Class, open discussion.
@ Pitts Center, Southern Shores, NC
4th Tuesday, 6.30pm - 8.30pm 

Wednesday

5:45 - 6:45 pm: One Hour Meditation. Public is welcome. English language introduction. Silent, seated meditation in the Dharma Hall.

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)

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