Dhamma Study Group, Teaching MudraOak Park, IL

What guides our meditation & daily practice of Dhamma? Right Understanding guides the path and itself arises from study & reflection. Consequently, Liberation Park encourages wise study of the Buddha's teaching as found in the Pali Suttas.

We meet every month or two, usually on a Sunday when Santikaro can come down from Liberation Park. We begin with a 30 minute meditation, followed by a talk on the topic, a short break and a discussion. Prior reading of the material is required for attendance at the class.

January 11, 2009

We will consider the obstacles and ways people get stuck in their meditation practice, especially seasoned practitioners. We will review the typical obstacles and confusions, discuss how one can become aware when they're acting up, and strategize methods for getting passed them. In preparation, please read these Suttas:

MN 19: On Two Ways of Thinking (MDB pp. 207-210) & Thanissaro translation.

Discussion of this Sutta from January 11th (MP3, 7.7 mb)

MN 20: On the Removal of Distractions (MDB pp. 211-214) & Thanissaro translation.

Discussion of this Sutta from January 11th (MP3, 5.8 mb)

February 15, 2009 (directions)

As a continuation of the January meeting (see below for readings & audio), we will look into the Five Hindrances in depth, both in terms of how they obstruct samadhi and vipassana, and also as one aspect of Dhammanupassana (contemplation of Dhamma), the fourth application of mindfulness. In preparation, please read these Suttas:

MN 39: The Greater Discourse at Assapura (MDB pp. 362-367)

Also, available in Thanissaro translation. The passage on Hindrances is only a few paragraphs.

Consider this section on "Abandoning the Hindrances" from Wings of Awakening.

Audio on the 5 Hindrances can be found here.

The February discussion will be posted here (MP3).

April 26th, 2009

MN 2 Sabbasava Sutta: All the Fermentations, MDB 91 ff. Thanissaro trans.

The Buddha reviews seven startegies for freeing the mind of asava (fermentation, out-flows) the most deeply rooted stratum of defilement (delineated as sensuality, becoming, views, and ignorance). The 'end of the asavas' is synonomous with Awakening. These seven startegies or approaches give a more well-rounded understanding of path than popular meditation teachings.

September 20th, 2009

The Graduated Training (anupubbasikkha)

In a number of important suttas, and with some variation, the Buddha's maps out the path unfolding over time from first developing faith in the Dhamma through various levels of ethical and meditative training finally culminating in realization of the ennobling truths and liberation. Our reading frames this training as following the footsteps of the Tathagata until realizing what he realized.

MN 27: Cula-hatthipadopama Sutta — The Shorter Elephant Footprint Simile {M i 175} Thanissaro translation and MDB pp. 269-77.

Other suttas on the anupubbasikkha:

MN 39: Maha-Assapura Sutta — The Greater Discourse at Assapura {M i 271} Thanissaro translation and MDB pp. 362-71.

MN 51: Kandaraka Sutta — The Discourse to Kandaraka {M i 339} MDB pp. 443-53.

DN 2: Samaññaphala Sutta — The Fruits of the Contemplative Life {D i 47} [Thanissaro] and LDB pp. 91-109.

October 18th, 2009

Views: Why do we study & where are we going?

Right View/Understanding is the dawning of the path. The Buddha gave much importance to cultivating the wise understanding that guides path & practice, as did Ajahn Buddhadasa. Please consider the these suttas concerning ditthi (view) and come prepared to explore where this group will be going in the year ahead. What is the purpose of our study? Where would like this study to go?

MN 9: Samma-Ditthi Sutta (M i 46, MDB 132)

SN 12:15 Kaccayanagotta Sutta (S ii 16; CDB i 544)

SN 12.48: Lokayatika Sutta — The Cosmologist (S ii 77; CDB i 584)

SN 12.65: Nagara Sutta — The City (S ii 104; CDB i 601)

Should you be interested ...

I'm working on a new study program for friends in Lawrence, KS. It will include new and old talks, readings, and references to other web resources. For now, its focus is Practicing with the Four Noble Truths. If interested, you can follow along here.

Suttas & Topics from 2007 | Core Dhamma Study Syllabus (March - September 2006)

Sutta Study Readings: 2004 | 2006