All posts filed under: Front

The Rockaway Summer House

We are proud to present the Rockaway Summer House, a retreat center by the beach in New York City easily reachable via subway train. Starting December 2016 we will offer free meditation retreats and a mix of other wholesome activities and wellness programs. Retreats are residential and the Summer House can accommodate up to 20 overnight guests. DECEMBER 2016 We’re starting out strong with a weekend meditation/study retreat led by Bhante Suddhāso, where you can deepen your insight into causality and its relationship to Buddhist practice; then we’ll welcome in the new year with our 8-day New Year’s Retreat, which will incorporate daily Dharma talks, discussion periods, and private mentoring sessions with our resident monk. COMING UP IN 2017 The new year will bring you many treasures, featuring retreats from Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu, Konin Melissa Cardenas, Jayasara Bhikkhu, and many others. All retreats are offered on a donation basis: there is no minimum donation, and everyone is welcome. Registration is mandatory. There’s no shortage of events to participate in, so check out our calendar at www.buddhistinsights.eventbrite.com, or send us an email at RSVP@BUDDHISTINSIGHTS.COM Main photo …

Free Meditation in New York

This summer Buddhist Insights is bringing meditation outdoors with an exciting roster of events to pick from. Whether it’s morning sittings on the beach, group practice at Pioneer Works, street retreats, or contemplating death at Green-Wood Cemetery, we’ve got you covered. To see our calendar of events check out www.buddhistinsights.eventbrite.com Want to be added to our mailing list? Send us an email: RSVP@BUDDHISTINSIGHTS.COM    

Mindfulness Vs Concentration

By BHANTE G  * Art FLATBUSH BROWN *  Concentration and mindfulness are distinctly different functions. They each have their role to play in meditation, and the relationship between them is definite and delicate. Concentration is often called one-pointedness of mind. It consists of forcing the mind to remain on one static point. Please note the word FORCE. Concentration is pretty much a forced type of activity. It can be developed by force, by sheer unremitting willpower. And once developed, it retains some of that forced flavor. Mindfulness, on the other hand, is a delicate function leading to refined sensibilities. These two are partners in the job of meditation. Mindfulness is the sensitive one. He notices things. Concentration provides the power. He keeps the attention pinned down to one item. Ideally, mindfulness is in this relationship. Mindfulness picks the objects of attention, and notices when the attention has gone astray. Concentration does the actual work of holding the attention steady on that chosen object. If either of these partners is weak, your meditation goes astray. Concentration could …

Meditation Instructions

By BHANTE SUDDHĀSO  * Art MARTINA PAUKOVA * At its heart, Buddhism is about transforming the way we think in order to eliminate the sources of discontent, dissatisfaction, and distress in our lives.  This is done not by changing the outside world, but by identifying and eliminating the self-destructive habits and tendencies within our own minds. An intellectual understanding of what mental and emotional habits are harmful is just the beginning; in order to locate and remove those harmful habits, the mind must be focused and imperturbable, with the appropriate attitude.  This is very difficult to achieve with our ordinary, everyday ways of thinking and acting, which tend to be scattered, diffuse, and instinctual. This is where meditation comes in.  By taking the time to tranquilize and focus the mind, we begin to develop the mental habits of awareness, equanimity, and concentration, which make it much easier to diagnose and correct the internal flaws that cause us so much anguish and turmoil.  In this way we can establish our baseline state of being as one of peacefulness, …

Guidelines for Happiness

By BHANTE SUDDHĀSO  * Art JUNGYEON ROH * In Buddhism, everything is optional. Faith is optional. Meditation is optional. Morality is optional. So the question becomes: Why bother with morality? What’s the point? What is morality anyway? Where does it come from? What effect does it have? Why should we care? Many people think of morality as a set of commandments given by a supreme being; a list of orders given by an indisputable divine authority. This is what I was taught by my parents when I was a child: God said not to do certain things, so we shouldn’t do them. End of story. There’s no arguing with God because, well, it’s God. This rationale worked perfectly well for me until I stopped believing in God – at which point I naturally stopped believing in morality as well. I was 13 at the time, and it was a stunning revelation for my young mind to discover that I could do whatever I wanted. So I embarked on a grand quest of unrestrained self-indulgence which lasted several …

Three Kinds of Desire

By AJAHN SUMEDHO * Art JUNGYEON ROH * Desire or tanha in Pali is an important thing to understand. What is desire? Kama tanha is very easy to understand. This kind of desire is wanting sense pleasures through the body or the other senses and always seeking things to excite or please your senses — that is kama tanha. You can really contemplate: what is it like when you have desire for pleasure? For example, when you are eating, if you are hungry and the food tastes delicious, you can be aware of wanting to take another bite. Notice that feeling when you are tasting something pleasant; and notice how you want more of it. Don’t just believe this; try it out. Don’t think you know it because it has been that way in the past. Try it out when you eat. Taste something delicious and see what happens: a desire arises for more. That is kama tanha. We also contemplate the feeling of wanting to become something. But if there is ignorance, then when we are …