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SESSION 1 NOTES

GUIDED MEDITATION “SCANNING THE BODY”

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THE READINGS

‱ Preface (pages 7-8)
‱ Motivation for Reading this Book (pages 9-12)
‱ What is Buddhism? (pages 13-20)
‱ Who was the Buddha? (pages 21-30)
‱ What is Dharma? (pages 31-36)
‱ What is Meditation? (pages 73-94)
     â€ą The Purpose of Meditation
     â€ą The Essence of Meditation 
     â€ą How to Meditate
     â€ą Calm Abiding
‱ Understanding the Teachings (pages 111-128)
    â€ą Hinayana, Mahayana, & the Meaning of Yana
    â€ą Turning the Wheel of Dharma
    â€ą The Structure and Qualities of the Lam-Rim and Tantra

THE MEDITATIONS FROM THE READINGS

There are five meditations from the book Buddhism in a Nutshell: Essentials for Practice and Study for this session:

  • The Life of the Buddha (page 29)
  • What is Dharma? (page 36)
  • Meditation on the Breath (page 89)
  • Concentration (page 93)
  • The Lam-Rim (page 127)

After you have calmed your mind and generated an altruistic motivation, do the actual meditation for at least fifteen minutes. Conclude the meditation with a dedication.

THE POINTS FOR REFLECTION

You can contemplate as many of the following points for reflection as you like at any one time, either in the form of an analytical meditation while sitting on your meditation seat or by writing out your thoughts while sitting at a table. It would be good to begin each session of reflection by generating an altruistic motivation, and to conclude the session by dedicating the positive energy you have created.

The points for reflection for this session are:

1. How does your contemporary 21st-century life resemble the life of Prince Siddhartha who lived more than 2,500 years ago?

2. What are the big “meaning of life” questions that are important to you and that you are perhaps hoping to answer by doing this course?

3. If you compare your own life to that of Prince Siddhartha, what things stand out as your main objects of attachment and how have they proved to not bring you lasting satisfaction?

4. What are the four noble truths and how is the medical analogy of an illness applied to them?


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