Posts Tagged ‘consciousness’

4/8 Practice Circle: Mindfulness of Mind

I’ve been reading Beth Ann Mulligan’s The Dharma of Modern Mindfulness, which is impressive for the way she uses anecdotes from her secular MBSR course to illustrate basic Buddhist principles. In that spirit, when Practice Circle meets again this Sunday, April 8, at 6 p.m. Pacific, 8 Central and 9 Eastern, we’ll continue our four-part…

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Practice Circle: The Benefactor Body Scan

Recently, SBA Community Director Jennifer Hawkins engaged us with folks from the North American Buddhist Alliance to talk about the body scan, a practice used widely in both Buddhist meditation and mindfulness programs. If you’re not familiar with it, it consists of systematically directing your concentrated awareness to one body part at a time, starting…

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What Is Dependent Arising?

I said that dependent arising is both very simple, and very complex, but always helpful, and worth the effort to understand. Let me start with the very simple. It Really Is Simple Dependent arising says that we come into the world with certain drives that cause us to build a view of the world and…

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Yes, Dependent Origination Can Be Saved

This post is going to get personal. It can’t be helped. I’ve looked for some other way to write it, but there isn’t one in which I can be straightforward and tell the truth. I’m not going to attack anyone. I might — oh, okay, I will — argue against methods and conclusions, though. But…

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Practice Circle: Energy and Information

In his book Mindsight, Dr. Dan Siegel tells the story of when he began trying to understand the mind in a serious way. As he approached experts in various disciplines, he soon encountered a fundamental problem: there was no agreed-upon definition of what the mind is. As Siegel convened an interdepartmental working group at UCLA,…

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Practicing Non-Self, Part 1

This is the first of three articles on applying the principle of anatta, non-self, to our dharma practice.   The articles support the next few sessions of the SBA Practice Circle, which meets via online video conferencing at 8 pm Central on the second and fourth Sundays of each month.  If you’d like to come experience…

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A Secular Understanding of Dependent Arising: Table of Contents

Americans seem to use “dependent origination” as the most common translation of paticca samuppada, but I don’t think we’re talking about “origination” so much as about what is arising, so I prefer “dependent arising”. (For the sake of search engines, I used “dependent origination” in the title of each blogpost, but a rose by any…

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A Secular Understanding of Dependent Origination: #6 Contact

Up to this point what has been covered in the first five steps is an overview of the problematic situation as it’s given to us.The model for what’s going on in these first five steps is a well-known origin myth that gets referred to in various different places in the suttas: the story of the…

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A Secular Understanding of Dependent Origination: #5 Use of the Six Senses

When Sariputta describes step #5 (from MN 9, as translated by Bhikkhus Nanamoli and Bodhi), we are clearly in the field:  There are these six bases: the eye-base, the ear-base, the nose-base, the tongue-base, the body-base, the mind-base…. This tells us nothing about how it relates to the process of dependent origination, it only tells…

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