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Home > Audio Library > Vipassana & Metta Meditation > Bodhi Tree Vipassana Retreat - Patrick Kearney

File01_At_Bodh_Gaya.mp3
File01_At_Bodh_Gaya.mp3At Bodh Gaya955 viewsPatrick Kearney's Vipassana Retreat Talk at Bodhi Tree Forest Monastery (2009)

Tonight we look at the Buddha's activities during the weeks immediately after his awakening. We see him as a powerful shaman, and how he wrestled with the question of whether or not he should attempt to communicate his awakening. It took the intervention of Brahma Sahampati to persuade him to teach. Why was the Buddha so reluctant? And what does his reluctance tell us about the dharma he wanted to teach — and about himself?
File02_(AM)_Introducing_Mahasi_method.mp3
File02_(AM)_Introducing_Mahasi_method.mp3Introducing Mahasi Method1632 viewsPatrick Kearney's Vipassana Retreat Talk at Bodhi Tree Monastery (2009)

Today we introduce the method of meditation we are practising during this retreat. Yesterday morning we just brought a sense of open curiosity to the examination of mind/body experience. This morning we are applying system to this investigation, stimulating what the Buddha calls yoniso manasikara, “appropriate attention.” We do this through the meditation method created by Mahasi Sayadaw of Burma (1904-1982), which is structured by his division of experience into primary and secondary object, along with the fundamental activities of noting, naming and noticing.
File03_The_middle_way.mp3
File03_The_middle_way.mp3The Middle Way786 viewsPatrick Kearney's Vipassana Retreat Talk at Bodhi Tree Monastery (2009)

Tonight we begin our examination of Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta (Turning the dharma wheel), the Buddha's first recorded teaching, delivered to his five ascetic companions. He has found a strategy to communicate the dharma, which he calls the "middle way" (majjhima pa?ipada). What is the middle way, and how does the Buddha communicate it? And what does "turning the wheel" refer to?

We also preview the four truths, how their basic structure reveals the Buddha’s dynamic vision of dependent arising (paticcasamuppada).
File04_(AM)_Contemplating_elements.mp3
File04_(AM)_Contemplating_elements.mp3Contemplating the Elements775 viewsPatrick Kearney's Vipassana Retreat Talk at Bodhi Tree Monastery (2009)

The foundation of satipatthana (establishing mindfulness) is the tracking (anupassana), or contemplation, of our experience of body. As we remain present to physical experience over time, we learn to drop beneath our concepts of body to its direct, sensual impact. What we normally take to be “my body” becomes, as we go deeper, different manifestations of the four elements of earth, air, fire and water.
File05_The_four_truths_pain_pleasure.mp3
File05_The_four_truths_pain_pleasure.mp3The Four Truths659 viewsPatrick Kearney's Vipassana Retreat Talk at Bodhi Tree Monastery (2009)

Continuing with Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta (Turning the dharma wheel), we examine the four truths, and in particular how they show the Buddha's understanding of pleasure and pain. The truths provide the fundamental structure of the teaching. We see dukkha presented as the pain arising from our delusion and drivenness. Then we look at how Siddhartha, before he became Buddha, turned his practice around through a spontaneous memory from his childhood which stimulated the arising of a fundamental question: “Why am I afraid of pleasure?” The practice requires pleasure — but what kind of pleasure?
File06_(AM)_Contemplating_breathing.mp3
File06_(AM)_Contemplating_breathing.mp3Contemplating Breathing703 viewsPatrick Kearney's Vipassana Retreat Talk at Bodhi Tree Monastery (2009)

This morning we experiment with breathing as our meditation object. We learn to experience breathing as air element (vayo dhatu) — the movements within the body associated with inhalation and exhalation — and cultivate a sense of detail and precision in tracking these movements.
File07_On_truth_and_Kondannas_awakening.mp3
File07_On_truth_and_Kondannas_awakening.mp3On Truth and Kondannas Awakening662 viewsPatrick Kearney's Vipassana Retreat Talk at Bodhi Tree Monastery (2009)

We continue with Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta (Turning the dharma wheel), completing our examination of the four truths by looking at the Buddha's conception of truth, found in Canki Sutta (MN 95). When the Buddha speaks about “truth,” what does he mean? A proposition? Something to believe? Or is he speaking of something else?
File08_(AM)_Contemplating_feeling.mp3
File08_(AM)_Contemplating_feeling.mp3Contemplatingt Feeling686 viewsPatrick Kearney's Vipassana Retreat Talk at Bodhi Tree Monastery (2009)

This morning we move onto the third satipatthana, that of vedana, usually translated “feeling.” We explore what we mean by feeling, and try to come to an understanding of what the Buddha means by “vedana.” Vedana can be seen as the affective aspect of experience, the capacity of any given experience to move us in some way — to provoke a response. For the Buddha, feeling and response are inextricably linked. To understand what we do, we must understand what — and how — we feel.
File09_Not-self.mp3
File09_Not-self.mp3Not-Self776 viewsPatrick Kearney's Vipassana Retreat Talk at Bodhi Tree Monastery (2009)

We come to Anattalakkhana Sutta (Characteristics of not-self), where the Buddha presents the five aggregates associated with clinging and reveals their real nature. The five aggregates are one of the two main ways in which the Buddha analyses the nature of the human being. They represent what we cling to to create our sense of who we are and what the world is.

We look at the Buddha’s description of how we construct our identity through the three movements of: craving (tanha), the drive to possess; conceit (mana), our fundamental sense of separation and identity; and view (ditthi), the completed concept we have of ourselves-within-our-world. We consider how the Buddha's understanding of not-self (anatta) plays out in his understanding of life-after-life. If there is, fundamentally, no-one here, then who moves from one life to another?
File10_(AM)_Contemplating_the_thought-stream.mp3
File10_(AM)_Contemplating_the_thought-stream.mp3Contemplating the Thought-stream790 viewsPatrick Kearney's Vipassana Retreat Talk at Bodhi Tree Monastery (2009)

Our addiction to thinking creates a major barrier to settling into Samadhi, “unification” or “concentration.” Often we try to push thought away, or simply endure it as an unpleasant fact of life. But the essence of this practice, according to Mahasi Sayadaw, is to note, or be deliberately aware of, whatever is predominant in any of the six sense fields, now. If thinking is currently predominant, then thinking should be our meditation
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