Discussion: The 8 Fold Path Part 2: 2011 Friday December 09

The discussion on Friday 2011 December 9th 7pm – 8:50pm, will be facilitated by Jim.

This will be a continuation of a discussion about The Noble Eight Fold Path that Jim started on Friday 2011 June 24. This discussion will be on mindfulness. Another part to the discussion will be continued in 2012 January.

Recommended readings are from one of our agreed upon resources, In the Buddha’s Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon compiled and translated by Bhikku Bodhi.

For newcomers and for those who do not have the book, if you want a copy of the readings, please contact Jim by WED.

Also Jim will bring photocopies for all of some pages from Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Gunatatana ( copies of this book in HTML, PDF and EPUB are freely available by typing the title of this book and the name of the format into an internet search engine ).

Since our diverse group has new and long term practitioners, meditators and non meditators, the discussion will be designed for all. Also it will be as experiential as we can make it.

Please consider reading the following and thinking about these issues:

Pages 239 – 240 (Samyutta Nikaya (The Grouped Discourses) Sutta 45)

  • What are the major topics of steps one through 6 and number 8?
  • Carefully read the paragraph on mindfulness.
  • Does this prescribed effort on mindfulness sound hard, academic and a “should;” or exciting, vibrant and mentally, emotionally and physically rewarding?
  • Mindfulness is only 1/8 of the path; but, does it support any of the other steps? If so, which ones?

Pages 281 – 282 (Majjhima Nikaya (Middle Length Discourses), Sutta 10, A. Body “And how does a monk remain focused on the body in & of itself? [1]

  • Just read the two paragraphs on breathing

For those of you who do not meditate, please try this:

  • at the top of every hour between now and FRI, invest one minute feeling your feet on the ground and your body breathing.
  • Is it hard to stay on task for 60 seconds?
  • Try to identify what is “hindering” you from doing this?

For meditators, please consider making the mindfulness aspect of your meditation the priority.

  • Which of the Five Hindrances are challenging?
  • What are your techniques for countering them?

Among other things, we will discuss these questions:

  • Why is the Noble Eight Fold Path important?
  • Where does the Path lead?
  • Why is developing mindfulness vital?
  • Is it important if you are not a meditator?
  • How does it help in daily life?
  • How to strengthen it?

In addition, think about some consequence from your practice of mindfulness this week.
Look forward to seeing you FRI!
With Metta (Loving Friendliness),
Jim

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