IN THESE CHALLENGING TIMES……
SFM regrets our inability to hold meditation sessions in a time when it would have been quite beneficial to all of us. Typically, our day-to-day lives have been mostly consumed by “mundane” activities, some of which include “entertaining” our six senses. Rather than dwelling on irritable boredom as a result of extra time on our hands, we can now be more productive by focusing on Buddhist Practice where we can generate good kamma. In times like these, we can better appreciate the Absolute Truth expounded in Buddhist doctrine, Anicca (impermanence), Dukha(unsatisfactoryness/suffering), and Anatta (selflessness). Buddha’s advice on Yoniso Manasikara (Wise Attention) is worth mentioning especially in these uncertain times. In Sabbaasava-sutta, factors on wise reflection include “establishing self-restraint and removing unwholesome thoughts from the mind’. This can be accomplished by continued practice of meditation: Mindfulness (sati) and Concentration (samādhi).
Go to a silent place. Be seated with an upright posture and allow the breath to manifest in your awareness. A beginner yogi experiences the gross breath, which has already risen and formed. With repeated practice, observe the arising breath (origin) and middle of the breath which has risen. With refined mindfulness, a yogi observing the arising breath (origin) can observe its cessation (at the end). With continued practice, one moves from the experience of the gross breath, one end of the spectrum, to a subtle breath, the other end. Progressing to the subtle breath is a development of mindfulness, endurance, and patience. When the breath can be observed in subtle forms without external distractions, bodily experience and thoughts reduce in their force. There is calmness. Thus, the wholesome intentions (cetanā) that lead to good kamma.
(Note: Above summary was developed from the writings by Buddhist meditation masters Dhammajiva Thera and Bhikku Analayo. If you need in-depth information, please contact us at SarasotaForestMonastery@gmail.com)
Tomorrow comes Visak Day. It would be beneficial for all , not just the recipients of this message, but other people , who need reminding , as well if you would chant in the morning and in the evening ( or more) and spread Metta to all living beings . Or spending the whole day doing that.
May all of you ever be enriched with longevity, prosperity , happiness and strength.Bhante Thiep