2015 DHAMMA TALK SERIES
Thursday evenings 6:30-8:15pm
Sept 10th – Oct 29th
A Buddhist breakdown of the
THE EIGHT STEPS OF YOGA
This series of talks is based on the Thai Theravada Buddhist system, as a way of relating to the Eight Limbs of Yoga from the classic Yoga Sutras. This should be a familiar format to anyone that has done yoga. But you don’t need to be familiar with either yoga or Buddhism.
Thursday 10th September
YAMA: A Teaching Built for Long Voyages
The Enlightenment traditions of India have a lot of differences, but the central idea of a ‘moksha’ or enlightenment goal is common to them all. Is it real? Is it attainable? Before you jump into total liberation, the mind needs to be stabilized. Say hello to the Ego, which at this point, needs to be developed.
Thursday 17th September
NIYAMA: Monks have More Fun
In Siamese culture, with a foundation of faith in Buddhism, Thais always start off with ritualistic practises. But for Westerners, they usually want to start with meditation, and only later come to appreciate the ‘restraints’ and basic rituals. Since you have to get beyond yourself, this is a way to key into something that is outside of your own desire system. Both Yoga and Buddhism count this level as essential. But don’t worry – its more fun this way.
Thursday 24th September
Asana: Diet of Worms
You might not know, but the Buddha had a son, called Rahula. His fatherly advice? Watch the body.
Body awareness, in all its phases, is a worthwhile practise for very particular reasons.
Thursday 1st October
Pranayama : Self Meditation
Like body awareness, mindfulness of breathing is considered to be a key practise for those bent on enlightenment. In one sutta, it is said that being aware of the breathing causes you to forget about the world! So my question – is that a good thing?
Thursday 8th October
Pratyahara : The Dark Side of the Mirror
Strangely, awareness of the 6 senses, is just the opposite of itself. Like looking in a mirror makes it appear that there is no back side, while turning the mirror around reveals what is there. The senses, in Buddhist philosophy, are called robbers.
Thursday 15th October
Dharana: Baby, Baby Fish
In this age of attention deficit disorder, there is a different order worth following. That is, looking after the horses, or putting the mind in order. This is a talk about concentration and deep meditation.
Thursday 22nd October
Dhyana: The Glass of Mountains
A person once described meditaiton as ‘doing’ doing nothing. Was he right? You start meditation with tasks, goals, and ‘methods’. But if you pursue it, you stop wanting to do anything at all in meditation. But it is not nothing.
Thursday 29th October
Samadhi: Phra Pandit Regrets he is Unable to Lunch Today
Closing off this year’s dhamma talk series, and two days after exiting the Rains Retreat period, we can wax a little more speculative, on why, how, and what we can learn and change. The Samadhi of the Yoga Sutras refers to total spiritual liberation – but is it even a plausible goal, and what exactly, is the attraction?