Insight Meditation Houston

How do you define yourself

  • Agenda
    • Brief overview of 4 Noble truths
    • A 12 minute video clip of someone who faced great adversity and describes her struggle. Never heard of Buddhism used this and her own good approaches
  • Will give a high level of 4 noble truths
    • Rorschach – everyone sees in the four noble truths what they want to see or what they are able to see
      • What it was to me at 40 and what it is to me at 68
      • Zen Buddhism – mindfulness / present moment / ritual / reverence
      • Tibetan Buddhism – Nyigma / compassion / Guru worship / mantras / Meditation
      • Tibetan Buddhism – Gelupa – philosophical study of reality – emptiness
    • There are two messages within the 4 noble truths
      • Intellectual Understanding – Psychological understanding of why we suffer
      • Experiential Understanding – meditation – 3 meditation – mindfulness
    • A way to decrease suffering but not the way
      • Yoga, tai chi, Christianity, Cognitive therapy, Analytical psychology
      • Enough of an understanding of what suffering is that you can appreciate why and how all of these other approaches are helpful.
    • Four Noble Truths – Wikipedia
      • The First Noble Truth: Life is full of suffering.  suffering (dukkha)
        • Dukkha is sometimes translated – dis – ease – uncomfortableness.
      • The Second Noble Truth: There is a cause for suffering. The cause of suffering is desire and illusions that are based on ignorance.   Pali: tanha
        • Cause has also been interpreted as attachment, clinging or the inability to accept impermanence
      • The Third Noble Truth: By stopping the cravings, the suffering is stopped.
      • Stan’s interpretation of the first 3 Noble truths
        • Suffering is NOT circumstances. Stopping desire and clinging will not stop us from bad things happening to us.   We will have tragedies befall us, we will make mistakes, we will fail, will see loved ones die, will get sick, be rejected and insulted and humiliated
        • The suffering we can change is the mental agony we do to ourselves. The labeling and Judging, blaming, emotions (hatred, anger, guilt and shame) – The never ending woe as me story that goes on in our minds.
        • A senior monk and junior monk are on a journey. Senior monk carries a woman across the river.    The junior monk spends all day thinking questioning senior monk’s behavior.   When confronted senior monk says, I left the woman down on the other side of the river, you have been carrying her all day.
        • We carry our negative thoughts with us all of the time.
        • Traditional Buddhism – the underlying cause is we see ourselves as separate – and we become ego centric creatures.
        • Stan’s view – Who are we? Are we the:
          • Ideal person we want to be – our persona
          • The worst or the best actions? Our failures or our successes?
          • What other people think we are?
          • What we think we are?
        • Negative circumstances shatter our self-image. When the self-image is shattered we resist – blame – hatred anger guilt shame woe is me.
        • Our self-image is always built upon UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS.
      • The Fourth Noble Truth: There is a way to end suffering. To end suffering we must end our cravings. The way to ending cravings is the Eightfold Path
        • Insight – Wisdom – understanding our cravings
          • Right view – very broad
          • Right intention
          • (Stan’s summary – Our expectations of life are unrealistic due to socialization. We need to accept reality as it is and make the most of what we have.  Socialization can lead to egotism which makes life a battle against others. )
        • Compassion – Loving Kindness – Ethical conduct
          • Right speech
          • Right action
          • Right livelihood
          • (Stan’s summary – Our happiness depends upon our relationship with others. If we can treat them with respect with our words and actions our life will be much better.   Others have a persona and they want to be valued and appreciated.   To the extent we honor them they will respect us)
        • Mental Discipline – Concentration
          • Right effort
          • Right mindfulness
          • Right concentration
          • Stan’s summary –
            • You cannot change your socialization if you are not mindful (conscious) of what you are doing.
            • Prolonged periods of meditation alter body chemistry, hard rate and blood pressure and enables
          • How do you define yourself – http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/How-do-you-define-yourself-Lizz
            • Google “How do you define yourself”
            • – Reframe your situation
            • – Making the best out of what you have
            • – Sense of humor
            • – honest about her situation – – face situation and deal with it.
            • – learn to accept things that you could’t change
            • – Parents unconditional love – – treated her normally
            • – Parents insight – don’t get angry with children who reject you.
            • – Don’t let your problems define who you are.
            • – connection – compassion of friends
            • – Use the negativity of the bullies to energize you to action in a positive way
            • – need something to look forward to
            • – need to work towards accomplishments
            • – balance of acceptance and commitment