Youth and the Dharma


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Buddhist Practice and Community Living - Sravasti Abbey's second Young Adults Program
Conducted by Ven. Thubten Chodron©
Sravasti Abbey, USA
10 June 2007 to 17 June 2007

Venerable Thubten Chodron led a weeklong workshop for young adults.

Talk 1
Introduction to the young adult workshop
Ven. Chodron explains how to practice the Dharma and live together in a community. She talks about being open to the ideas of others. She also gives an introduction to breathing meditation.
[22 minutes] : Download mp3 file

Talk 2
Afflictions and Karma
Ven. Chodron talks about what the Dharma is and explains the Buddhist approach to spiritual practice. She talks about the Buddhist view of body and mind and “I”. She talks about the afflictions and karma and how we create our own experience. Ven. Chodron explains that if we want to be altruistic and benefit others we need to learn about ourselves and develop our virtuous qualities and abilities.
[33 minutes] : Download mp3 file

Talk 2
- In terms of karma, are we responsible for our response to harm but not responsible for the actions that are coming toward us?
- When karma ripens is it our perception that makes it an obstacle?
- Can you explain individual karma and collective karma?
- When someone physically harms you how should you respond to create positive karma?

[17 min] : Download mp3 file

Talk 3
Self-Centered Thought and Self-Grasping Ignorance
Venerable Chodron explains the difference and relationship of the self-centered thought and self-grasping ignorance. She explains how they are the culprits that sabotage our happiness. Ven. Chodron also explains the difference between self-centeredness and having self-confidence.
[44 minutes] : Download mp3 file

Talk 3
- Can you explain how to view the self-centered thought as separate from our self and placing the blame on the self-centered thought?
- When I meditate and I get distracted or sleepy should I stop meditating and switch to analytic meditation on the self-centered thought?

[17 minutes] : Download mp3 file

Talk 4
Ven. Chodron explains how attachment is based on a mind that exaggerates the good qualities of something - sense objects, ideas or people. Ven. Chodron talks about how attachment is based on a mind that does not perceive phenomena accurately. She talks about looking at the mind realistically when it is attached and the disadvantages of clinging attachment. She also talks about how to we can work with the mind to decrease attachment.
[49 minutes] : Download mp3 file
Talk 4
- If you are attached to something is it helpful to think that this gives me joy, if I give it to someone else it will give them joy?
- How do you work with attachment to friends?
- When someone is really attached to me I feel a lot of pressure to fulfill their expectations. What can I do?

[22 minutes] : Download mp3 file
Talk 5
Ven. Chodron explains anger and its cause. She talks about how the mind works when anger arises, how exaggerating the negative qualities of something or somebody causes animosity to arise. She also talks about how we can look at what or who makes us angry and the patterns of thinking when we are angry so that we can catch the anger as it happens.
[63 minutes] : Download mp3 file
Talk 6
Part 1 Interdependence and the Kindness of Others
Ven. Chodron talks about dependence on others and recognizing their kindness. She explains how we will feel more connected to others if we appreciate their kindness and don't take it for granted.
[35 minutes] : Download mp3 file
Talk 6
Part 2 Karma and the 10 non-virtuous actions
Ven. Chodron talks about the 10 virtuous and 10 non-virtuous actions and how we can use these to make wise decisions. She explains 5 of the non-virtues and the virtuous counterparts: killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, and divisive speech.
[28 minutes] : Download mp3 file

Talk 6
- How does refraining from non-virtuous actions work to create positive karma?
- What can I do when a friend continually complains about another person and I don't want to get involved?
- It seems that there is a danger of becoming arrogant or condescending in saying "sentient beings do what sentient beings do".
- I am good at rationalizing my lying and other non-virtues.
- What about not saying something, is that lying?
- Do have to be honest in every situation and tell everything?

[23 minutes] : Download mp3 file
Talk 7
Low Self-Confidence and the Antidotes
Ven. Chodron talks about low self-esteem. She talks about the causes and using antidotes to increase confidence.
[44 minutes] : Download mp3 file
Talk 7
- Why does my self-loathing and self-destructive behavior bring me some kind of satisfaction?
- Feeling comfortable in the familiarity of low-self esteem
- How do you go about purifying negative thoughts about people who are virtuous?
- Anger and competitive sports

[36 minutes] : Download mp3 file



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