Open House: weather and the four noble truths

Monday 16 March 2020 (19:00 -21:00)
Friend's Meeting House, North Adelaide
Coordinator : David Edwards
Weather and the four noble truths

Open House is a gathering that provides a gentle introduction to mindfulness meditation, the Shambhala Buddhist teachings and our community.

It is an opportunity to learn sitting and walking meditation and engage in discussions about the application of teachings to everyday life from fabulous Shambhala teachers including Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Pema Chodron. 

If you are planning to visit Open House for the first time you are invited to arrive 15 minutes early at around 6.45pm to spend time with our meditation guide who will introduce you to meditation practice and Shambhala before the program commences at 7.00pm. 

Join us remotely using Zoom 

We are exploring the use of Zoom software (like Skype) to allow people to join us remotely. Using Zoom is pretty straight forward, you simply click on this link  at around 6:45 pm Adelaide time and Zoom will ask you to install some software which will be your interface with the rest of us meeting at the Quakers Meeting Room. 

A typical Monday evening program includes:

  • Brief welcome followed by sitting meditation (7:00pm)

  • Walking meditation

  • Sitting meditation

  • Reading or video teaching...followed by contemplation, response and discussion

  • Pack-up (8:15pm)

  • Catch-up time including light refreshments and close around 9:00pm

Tonight's reading from Pema Chodron "Comfortable with uncertainty":

Weather and the Four Noble Truths

IN THE BUDDHA’S first teaching—called the four noble truths—he talked about suffering. The first noble truth says that it’s part of being human to feel discomfort. Nothing in its essence is one way or the other. All around us the wind, the fire, the earth, the water, are always taking on different qualities; they’re like magicians. We also change like the weather. We ebb and flow like the tides, we wax and wane like the moon. We fail to see that like the weather, we are fluid, not solid. And so we suffer.

The second noble truth says that resistance is the fundamental operating mechanism of what we call ego, that resisting life causes suffering. Traditionally it’s said that the cause of suffering is clinging to our narrow view, which is to say, we are addicted to ME. We resist that we change and flow like the weather, that we have the same energy as all living things. When we resist, we dig in our heels. We make ourselves really solid. Resisting is what’s called ego.

The third noble truth says that suffering ceases when we let go of trying to maintain the huge ME at any cost. This is what we practice in meditation. When we let go of the thinking and the story line, we’re left just sitting with the quality and the energy of whatever particular “weather” we’ve been trying to resist.

The essence of the fourth noble truth is that we can use everything we do to help us to realize that we’re part of the energy that creates everything. If we learn to sit still like a mountain in a hurricane, unprotected from the truth and vividness and the immediacy of simply being part of life, then we are not this separate being who has to have things turn out our way. When we stop resisting and let the weather simply flow through us, we can live our lives completely. It’s up to us.