Atula, a long-time practicing Buddhist and psychotherapist, offers stimulating words around the role of myth, metaphor and all our ways of cognizing, thinking about and expressing experience in what we call ‘spiritual life’ – and a clear encouragement to see that process as one that is profoundly relational.
Nagapriya encourages us to read Mahayana Sutras, when reading such a text, if we allow ourselves to really enter into it, we find ourselves transported into it. The scripture, through our participation in it, unveils a samadhi, a particular vision-world that a Bodhisattva dwells in.
Parami focuses on the significance of the seven weeks after the Buddha’s enlightenment and draws out the relevance for us today. When we experience the freedom from something that has held us back the energy that is released is extraordinary and requires time for absorption. This talk was given on Buddha Day at North London Buddhist Centre, May 2018.
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Dhivan brings us face to face with the rich and moving legacy of a brilliant and truly compassionate individual, changing the world he took part in, stepping out of history “with the walk of a lion, the walk of a swan.”
In a talk for Buddha day, Ratnaprabha takes us through the realisations that came to the Buddha during his all night meditation under the Bodhi tree, culminating in the vision of the morning star, the Star of Healing. Its light was the first sight of the Awakened One, a light symbolising the illumination of awareness itself.
The full moon in May is celebrated as the anniversary of the Buddha’s Enlightenment and his victory over the demon Mara. Sangharakshita explains what Mara represents and how to overcome that which holds us back.
Maitrisiddhi, in her usual lively, inspiring and practical way, poses the questions: How we can recognise the insidious voice of Mara, embodiment of everything that holds us back from practising the Dharma? How do we relate to inner voices which undermine our confidence and best efforts? Can we, like Lochana, touch the earth with clarity and confidence in our path?
After telling the story of Mara’s assault on the Buddha, Lokeshvara looks at it from a modern perspective and with reference to the System of Meditation. Of particular interest is a section of the prevalence of depression in our society and current research which identifies the need for purpose in our lives. If we have a sense of purpose, that almost always connects to deeper values, if we can just see how.