A resource for the talk "Putting the Second Arrow in a Box", given by Doug on July 11, 2017
A few weeks ago Grant gave a series of talks about the five kleshas, the five poisons. They were very practical talks I thought, that offered a description of what happens when we experience something. Whether it’s the smell of bread being baked, or the sight of a friend’s face, there is contact, there is a meeting, an intersection, a contact point between sense object
The impetus for this talk came from a question from one of my students. Monica happened to be reading The Alchemist, and she asked me if Buddhists believed in destiny.
I don’t know how it is for you, but my world feels like it’s filled with words. Out of the radio, out of cars, the mouths of strangers, in text messages and answering machines, from phones and friends, there are words coming at me all the time. And while I am trying to bring attention to these words, the truth is, for every hundred sentences, there’s only one that sticks.
Sometimes, when I get really quiet and I can live inside the breath, it can be hard to tell where the inhale stops and the exhale begins. It feels like part of the inhale is the exhale, it feels like part of the exhale is already the inhale. Can you feel that? The Centre of Gravity as we used to know it is ending, is coming to the end of its exhale, and at the same time there are a few of us meeting here, when we can, on Tuesday nights. Perhaps it’s a beginning of something else, perhaps it’s part of the exhale, and part of the inhale.
In Korea, in the seventh century, a form of Buddhism began to flourish that was based in meditation, as opposed to a more scholarly, text-oriented approach. Because of its emphasis on sitting practice, it was close to the Japanese Zen schools, and it was called Seon. So I wanted to begin with a jag from Stephen Batchelor’s excellent essay “Three Trainings.” Here is Stephen