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Audio | view transcript
In this talk, Vidyamala gives a strong account of working with suffering and sorrow in life, and of transforming your experience into one characterized by contentment and a sense of meaning. From her own practice of living with chronic pain comes a sane and unsentimental perspective that affords us all a measure of genuine optimism as we meet the trials of the world: bereavements and losses of all kinds can be met with a kindness and awareness that gently ease the burden, allowing something of peace to enter our lives again.
Please note that there a few introductory phrases missing from the start of this talk. Some small noise artefacts can also be heard occasionally due to a poor original recording.
Talk given at the Western Buddhist Order Women's Convention 2003
|1.||Introduction - spiritual death and finding freedom through letting go; the FWBO system of meditation as a progressive path (9:11)|
|2.||Death and fear; why are we so afraid? Being present with fear in the face of impermanence (5:14)|
|3.||Death as loss or death as gateway to freedom; insubstantiality and impermanence (4:08)|
|4.||Eternalism and nihilism, the past and the future - strategies for avoiding reality; negotiating with samsara - trying to use spiritual life as an insurance policy (9:13)|
|5.||Other reality avoidance strategies, including the dangers of checking the weather forecast! (4:42)|
|6.||Facing the truth of spiritual death (1:13)|
|7.||Group exercise - being present in the moment (3:27)|
|8.||Vidyamala and Osadhi's mindfulness-based pain management work in Manchester (2:59)|
|9.||No turning back the clock; Christopher Reeve - "pain is inevitable, misery is a choice"; the relief of no longer running away from pain; enriching life so that pain can no longer commandeer it; spiritual death as liberation (5:22)|
|10.||Death and love - the connection between spiritual death and letting go of a fixed sense of self (6:28)|
|11.||Spiritual death in the different meditation practices - mindfulness of breathing, metta bhavana, the brahmaviharas, six element practice, visualisation sadhana (9:12)|
|12.||Summing up - the FWBO's system of meditation as a way of approaching spiritual death, related to Vidyamala's own experience; (6:23)|
Total running time: 1:07:32