Week 2: Laying the foundation

Week 2

Last week we listened to Joseph's first talk on the Satipatthana Sutta.

The topic of ardency occupied much of the discussion, with people agreeing that this is not a word in common usage and therefore a bit challenging to evaluate personally. How to be ardent? What helps? There was recognition that ardency fluctuates, and that diligence is a component of ardency but may not have the feeling of passion in it.

Clear knowing (another necessary quality of mind on the path) was addressed with some questions as to what it really means. Acknowledged was the important component of motivation and thus the opportunity for choice in our actions.

Someone spoke of the inspiration that comes from the awareness that oneÕs own path to awakening may include the desire to benefit all beings and that, for him, was strongly motivating.

A clarification was made that the use of the word mind in the eastern/Buddhist terminology really means heart/mind, including the wisdom and compassion elements. For me, this was a particularly helpful reminder, although not new information.

Practices for the week:

(Derived from the material of this talk on Ardency and Clear Knowing):

1. Write 1-2 sentences about ardency in your practice. Use writing for the benefit of paying close attention, being more honest, more aware.

 Do it once or do it every day.

2. Choose a common activity or interaction to try to bring full attention to it, especially including your motivation. See if you notice something that otherwise may have remained unknown. Examples – approaching sitting or debating sitting, an interaction with a partner or friendÉ

We will talk about these briefly at the start of next week.

-Alby Quinlan