We will start with a brief introduction to Insight Meditation, followed by meditation instruction for those who want it. Meditation will be 15 minutes of sitting meditation, 10 minutes of walking meditation, and then 15 minutes of sitting meditation. This will be followed by a discussion about some topic, and our practice in general. We conclude by dedicating the merit.
This week's topic is the First Noble Truth. The fundamental problem that the Buddha wanted to solve was the existence of dukkha in our lives. That’s the word that gets translated as “suffering”, but “suffering” only barely touches on what dukkha actually means. The Buddha used it to mean any form of discomfort, or stress, or distress, or pain, basically anything that falls short of perfect and complete happiness. It covers everything from your urge to check Twitter while waiting in line at a grocery store to the loss of your closest loved one. The Buddha offers us a teaching that could lead us to liberation from dukkha, but to know whether or not it’s a valid one we have to practice it.
The first step is to come to understand what dukkha is and how it manifests in our lives, and what our response to it is. So, for this week, pay attention to how you respond to stressful situations and difficulties. Do you respond with tension? Where does it occur? What does it feel like to be stressed, or unhappy, or to encounter difficulty? How do you respond? With anger? With depression? With resolve to overcome? Is your response healthy, or leading to greater health, or unhealthy? Wise, or unwise? Leading to liberation, or getting you further trapped in yet more difficulties you are creating for yourself in response?
If you have your own meditation cushions or related supplies, you are encouraged to bring them. Otherwise, we have a few zafus and zabutons and some chairs.