Recap from Seattle Insight Meditation Society First 2011 Meeting

I went to the first meeting of 2011 held by the Seattle Insight Meditation Society (SIMS) last week. I typically don’t attend any group sit, with the rationale that inevitably, I wouldn’t be able to make it to the specific time and place, and I would start slacking off.

I’ve been working with two main lectures: The Science of Enlightenment by Shinzen Young for over three years, and Abiding in Mindfulness by Joseph Goldstein for a little over half a year. In Abiding in Mindfulness, Joseph focuses on the Sattipattana Sutta, and I just found out that teacher Rodney Smith at SIMS has been lecturing on it during the weekly group sit meetup.

So, curious about who Rodney is, I went to the meeting to hear his dharma talk, and also to take the Refuges and Precepts.

Here are some notes I scribbled down. I did not get a chance to ask for clarifying questions. I may have misheard and written down some incorrect statements. Please take them for what they’re worth.

  • You can’t come to that resolution by listening to me. You have to investigate that for yourself.
  • We create the pain that we feel in us.
  • Violence is created from internal pain.
  • Until and unless we own our sufferings we will continue to rage at the world.
  • Fundamentalists are riddled with doubt.
  • The rage of the world is from our own viciousness.
  • There’s a lot of work a lot of us need to do.

2) Ethical integrity

  • As we become more conscious and accepting of this process life moves from isolation to integration.
  • when you stay in the practice and if there’s an intention to move towards that integration.
  • It’s a recovery of self not a condemnation.
  • Our ethical behavior will be as strong as our intention to explore our pain.
  • You don’t have to try to be good. You only have to be fed up with the pain you’re in.
  • The precepts are not an absolute. They’re to encourage us to undertake the training.
  • The pause is such an underutilized thing, the take a pause from the conditioning.
  • A conscious intention to harm is almost an oxymoron. How can you have therapy without being unconscious?
  • As resistance fades so does the internal talking.
  • This waking into relationship… relevant to urban people because we are always surrounded by relationship.
  • You can’t come to compassion without vulnerability. Because we’re not willing to be vulnerable that we become rude.
  • Ethical conduct under samadhi is self driven. It takes self will and ambition. The morality of that is surrounded by the self.
  • Ethical conduct under wisdom is seeing the nature of self.
  • Sila means bedrock
  • Parami, nature goodness
  • The path of emptiness is the path of sufficiency.