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 our topic for the week (see below), and our practice in general. We conclude by dedicating the merit.
The fundamental problem the Buddha seeks to solve is given by the Pāli word "dukkha". This is a word that usually gets translated as "suffering", but really encompasses everything from the tiniest stress to the most tragic events. It refers to a unsatisfactoriness that permeates life, perhaps being staved off at times by various fleeting pleasures, but always returning. The goal of the Buddhist path is liberation from dukkha, and replacement of difficulty with ease. Here "ease" is not to be understood simply as relaxation, which is a release from tension, but as a state of inner peace and harmony that one can have even in the face of stressful situations.
The topic of discussion this week, following Gil Fronsdal's course on the Noble Eightfold Path (the basic formulation of the Buddhist path), will be keeping ease in view. If you can, before the session, take some time to:
* Notice the small moments of ease that appear briefly throughout your day, perhaps even during stressful occasions
* If you know how to bring more ease into your life, do so, to whatever extent possible.
* What do you learn from this focus on ease?
* What does it highlight about your lack of ease?