Discussion Group – Class Schedule – Wednesday 2pm – 3:30 pm

All readings from:  “A Lamp in the Darkness” by Jack Kornfield.

  • June 18th Chapters 2 & 3
  • June 25th  Chapters 4 & 5
  • July 2nd – No Class
  • July 16th – Chapters 6 & 7

CHAPTER 2 – The earth is my witness

  • Spring, Summer, Winter, Fall and Spring 
  • Make your mind like the earth which receives all things steadily… The Buddha
  • The path through trouble is always made a step at a time, a breath at a time, a day at a time.
  • A teacher got all of her students to write the best things that they found in their fellow students.   She then gave each student the best things that had been written about them. For many of the students this list was an inspiration.
  • THE METAPHOR OF THE EARTH. The earth is solid and unshakable. No matter what happens the Earth remained solid unmoving. Light has its ups and downs and the challenge is to maintain our own contentment, equanimity, balance and confidence in spite of the forces that act upon us, just like the earth remains unmoved.  This is extremely important because it is often are reactivity to stressful situations that cause us additional harm.
  • Even when we are facing our ultimate fear of death it is helpful for us to see this from a broader perspective.
  • Neither avoid nor over react. Tend what you are given. Stay centered in yourself.

 

CHAPTER 3 – Shared Compassion

  • Hold yourself as a mother holds her beloved child.
  • Story. There is a story of a military man who was going through a checkout line and was very upset about a woman who had a child in the cart and stopped and let the checkout girl play with it while he was forced to wait. He got very angry and wanted to yell at the checkout girl. He later found out that the checkout girl was the child’s mother and this was the only way she could get to see her child.
  • As you face loss, frustration, hurt, and conflict invite a sense of your own dignity. Sit up, stand up tall. Have respect for yourself and patience and compassion. With those you can handle anything.
  • It is necessary to learn that you are worthy of being loved. Buddha put it quite simply: “you can search the whole tenfold universe and not find a single being more worthy of love and compassion than the one seated here-yourself.”
  • You are more than this hurt. Remember who you really are.
  • Even in the ruins, some new life wants to be born. Fix the mast or build a new ship.

 

From Miki Fine

Often we think that we will be happy when external conditions of life are just right — we find the right person to love, we get that promotion at work, etc. — but happiness doesn’t work that way because everything changes. Regardless of how hard we try, these conditions are rarely “just right,” and clinging to the idea that we can control them only causes more suffering for us. Even our greatest moments of happiness come to an end, so we worry about them ending and try to hold onto them, which also creates suffering.

 

Can you surrender your belief that happiness is something you can control?

 

Additional Resources

Any questions email me at stan@beingmindful.com

Copies of the handouts and homework on http://BeingMindful.com