Payton led our discussion on the concept of Dukkha, or unsatisfactoriness, in the context of the Three Characteristics (aka: Three Marks) of Existence. The Three being Impermanence, Dukkha, and Not-self.
The Trilogy of Anicca, Dukkha and Anatta – By Bhikkhu Bodhi
Ignorance functions in two ways, negative and positive. On the negative side it simply obstructs us from seeing things as they are; it throws up clouds of mental darkness. On the positive side, it creates in the mind illusions called perversions. Due to these perversions, we see things in quite the opposite way from the way they really are.
These perversions are:
(a) Perversion of seeing what is unattractive as attractive.
(b) Perversion of seeing what is Dukkha or unsatisfactory as pleasurable.
(c) Perversion of seeing what is impermanent as permanent.
(d) Perversion of seeing what is really not self as self.
These illusions give rise to craving, conceit, wrong view and all other defilements, and in that way we become entangled in dukkha.
These universal characteristics have to be understood in two stages: first intellectually, by reflection; and thereafter by direct insight or realisation [sic] through insight meditation.
The recorded talk was “The Three Characteristics of Existence: Suffering” by Shin Kwan Park: http://www.audiodharma.org/talks/audio_player/4611.html
Jessica led our reflections today,focusing on the ways we can meet negative emotions which arise habitually. Excerpts from a dharma talk by Tara Brach provided perspective for the discussion. See dharmaseed.org. Tara Brach. March 20, 2013.
This Sunday, Anne B guided our reflections, investigating how our practice ripens as we dedicate ourselves to it over time. Contributing to the discussion were excerpts from Spirit Rock Teacher Anna Douglas, speaking on “What Changes as We Practice?” That talk can be found at
Wendy guided our reflections today, anchoring our focus in excerpts from Pema Chodron’s talks in “No Time to Lose: a Timely Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva,” which is also available in print from Shambhala publications. Pema’s presentation is structured around the provocative epigrammatic observations of Shantideva, the 8th century Indian Buddhist teacher of such enduring influence. His project of dismantling our tendencies toward anger is rooted in helping us to see how extensively and quickly flashes of anger harm us, and can in a moment dismantle long stretches of cultivated virtue.
Jackie traced for us the historical connections of Yoga and Buddhism, beginning from the Vedas and moving forward through the Upanishads, the teachings of Gautama Buddha, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, which contain among the offered methods of contemplation some of those that Prince Siddhartha would have studied and practiced before his enlightenment vigil at the Bodhi Tree. In addition to the historical perspsective, Jackie guided us in some basic pranayama breathing and a restorative yogic pose, the traditional sivasana or corpse asana.
Rebecca guided our reflections this morning, centering them around a recent talk by Jack Kornfield: Who Am I? the Question of Identity, which explores how the practice of loving awareness allows a profound shift of identity from a small limited sense of self to spacious wisdom.