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-1- What the Buddha Taught - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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-1- What the Buddha Taught. A series of lecture-discussions sponsored by Oxford Soto Zen Suggested by Les Kaye Led by Jimmyle Listenbee Based on What the Buddha Taught by Walpola Rahula. -2- Lecture 10 Chapter 7 ‘Meditation’ or Mental Culture. -3- Two Kinds of Illness.

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1 what the buddha taught l.jpg

-1-What the Buddha Taught

A series of lecture-discussions sponsored by

Oxford Soto Zen

Suggested by Les Kaye

Led by Jimmyle Listenbee

Based on What the Buddha Taught by Walpola Rahula

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-2-Lecture 10Chapter 7‘Meditation’ or Mental Culture

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-3- Two Kinds of Illness

  • Physical – some people seem to have no, or few, health problems.

  • Mental

    • Everyone seems to have mental/emotional problems (except Arahants).

    • Buddha’s teaching, particularly ‘meditation’, aims at ‘cure’ – i.e., to produce a continual state of equilibrium and tranquility.

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-4-Buddhist Meditation Often Misunderstood


Escape from Daily Activities;

Remote & Removed from Society;


Absorption in Mantras or Mystic Thoughts.

A Method of Developing Esoteric Spiritual Powers;

The Cultivation of “One-Pointed Mind” Toward Higher Mystic States

a[read p. 68 ‘All these – nothing more.’]

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-5- Buddhist Meditation IS:

An Analytical Method

Based on:

  • Mindfulness,

  • Awareness,

  • Vigilance,

  • Observation.

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-6- Forms of Meditation/Mental Culture

  • Centered in the Body (Zazen, Kinhin & Daily Activity)

  • Centered on Sensations and Emotions

  • Centered on the Mind

  • Centered on Dharma Subjects


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-7- Body-Centered Buddhist Meditation

  • Zazen: concentration is on breath & stable posture.

  • Kinhin: concentration is on breath & mobile posture.

  • Daily Activity: concentration is on mindfulness, awareness of all one’s Actions, physical & verbal, in each moment of private & public life.

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-8- Zazen – Sitting Meditation

In all forms of Zazen:

  • the spine is erect [or aligned];

  • mindfulness is focused on the breath;

  • the mind is alert;

  • eyes are open (Soto), closed (some forms).

    JUST SIT!!!

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-9-Erect Spine or Spinal Alignment

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-10-Concentrating on Breath

Simple Aids for Beginners

  • bREAD: p. 70 ‘You breathe in and out all day…five or ten minutes.’

  • Developing Concentration

  • Immediate Benefits

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-11- Practical Zazen: Forms of Sitting

  • Lotus Posture

  • Half-lotus

  • Burmese

  • Seiza or Hero

  • Chair or Bench

  • Lying on a Roller

    All Forms Utilize Dhyani Mudra

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Lotus Half-Lotus Burmese

Seiza Chair/Bench Lying

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-13-Distribution of Weight on Feet

Chair or Bench



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-14-Kinhin – Natural Walking Meditation

  • Mindfulness of Self and Others in Motion

  • Focus on Breath and Mobile Posture

    • Shashu mudra

    • Bowing as you pass Buddha

    • Counterclockwise Path

    • More or less equidistant

    • Gassho at end (CW path to Seat)

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-15-Efficient Alignment in Walking

Standing on 2 Feet

Standing on 1 Foot

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-16-Mindfulness in Daily Activity

Being aware of every word and action

cREAD: p. 71 ‘Another very important…where it is relevant’


JL’s Notes: imaginary worries & problems; desires & speculations; escape from life.

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-17-Not “I am doing this…”


  • “As long as you are conscious of yourself, you can never concentrate on anything.”

  • The “Flow” of artistic/creative absorption.

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-18- 2. Meditation re Feelings & Sensations

Best practiced in daily life, but if emotion comes up in Zazen, use the same technique:

  • Don’t avoid, deny or repress, but recognize every emotion and sensation.

  • Don’t indulge. Observe its arising, its quality, its cessation – with detachment.

  • Do not look for its cause.

  • Don’t “meta-feel”: e.g., worry about worries, be unhappy about sadness, etc.

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-19-3. Meditation re Mind

“One should be bold and sincere and look at one’s own mind as one looks at one’s face in a mirror.” - Buddha/Middle Path

DISCUSSION: esp. examples pp. 73-74

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-20- Fear and Shame

Rahula says, “We must admit that very often we are afraid or ashamed to look at our own minds. So we prefer to avoid it. ” - p.73


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-21-4. Meditation on Ethical, Spiritual & Intellectual Subjects

  • This is basically meditation on Dharma

  • Should be practiced separately from Zazen, Kinhin, and Daily Mindfulness Meditation.

  • Discussions and examinations of Dharma & dharma are included.

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-22- Rahula’s Selections for Dharma Meditations pp.74-75

The 5 Hindrances

The 7 Factors of Enlightenment

The 5 Aggregates

The 4 Noble Truths

The 4 Sublime States

Any Dharma text is suitable; a teacher may assign one: Les has assigned me the Metta Sutta, and the Six Paramitas. Cornelia has recommended The Noble Eightfold Path.