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Retreat Dharma Talks at Insight Meditation Society - Retreat Center

The Energy Body, Receptacle of Mind and Matter

Body-based meditation is central to Buddhist practice; however, the term for body, “kaya,” can refer to a wide range of bodies, as its meaning conveys the sense of collection, agglomeration, group, or heap. It can refer to the gross aspect of materiality, seen as body parts, or physical body in general, and also to mental bodies down to the subtle microscopic aspects of mind and matter.

The purpose of this retreat is to deepen and refine the knowledge of our own body, and in the same way, develop a similar understanding of our own mind.

With the Buddhist texts as the basis for our approach, we will see how simple concepts related to anatomy came to represent what experienced yogis of many traditions perceived as pure energy. We will explore how “body scan” methods, as in the tradition of Goenka and U Ba Khin, and meditation on the four elements, as in the Mahasi and Pha Auk schools, brought yogis not only to expanded perceptions of what is considered to be reality, but also to full liberation and awakening.

Our practice will help us to reconnect with ourselves, to get more grounded in the body and see the mutual dependence between the body and the mind, including our thoughts and emotions. Our investigation will lead us to wake up to our interconnection with the world around us, taking us beyond the limitations of a self-centered mode.

2023-06-05 (9 days) Insight Meditation Society - Retreat Center

2023-06-07 Hindrances as energies moving through mind–body. 54:35
Nikki Mirghafori
What if we consider the five hindrances not as obstacles, but as veils, coverings, or energies moving through the body?
2023-06-08 Morning instructions: supporting softness, smoothness, and lightness characteristics of the four element meditation 51:44
Nikki Mirghafori
2023-06-09 Modern science and the four elements practice. 59:50
Nikki Mirghafori
At first glance, the four elements meditation practice may appear as an archaic understanding of the world. However, they reveal how we construct and perceive our world from a phenomenological perspective that connects to the Copenhagen interpretation of the quantum theory.
2023-06-10 Morning Instructions: flowing and cohesion characteristics. 55:10
Nikki Mirghafori
The last two characteristics of flowing and cohesion of the water element complete the instructions on the 12 characteristics of the four elements meditation.
2023-06-11 The three marks of existence and the four elements practice. 60:17
Nikki Mirghafori
The three characteristics of anicca (impermanence), dukkha (unsatisfactoriness,) and anatta (not self) are discussed
2023-06-12 Morning Instructions: seeing impermanence, and impersonality in the body 56:30
Nikki Mirghafori
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