Teachings on “Open Heart, Clear Mind”

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A multi-part course based on Open Heart, Clear Mind given at Sravasti Abbey’s monthly Sharing the Dharma Day from April 2007 to December 2008. You can also study the book in-depth through the Sravasti Abbey Friends Education (SAFE) online learning program.

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  • All teachings are given by Venerable Thubten Chodron except where otherwise noted.

    Meditation and the Buddhist approach (April 15, 2007)

    Course description and instruction on breathing meditation

    • Physical posture for meditation
    • Observing the relationship between breath and emotions
    • Mindfulness and introspective awareness
    • Working with distractions

    SDDa 01: Introduction and meditation instruction (download)

    How to investigate and evaluate spiritual teachings before accepting them

    • Ten wrong reasons to believe in something
    • The right way to believe in something through observation, analysis, and checking through personal experience
    • The three types of phenomena to check
    • Checking if a teacher is a valid authority

    SDDb 01: Meditation and the Buddhist approach (download)

    Questions and answers

    • Which school of Buddhism to focus on
    • Comparisons with Hindu concepts

    SDDc 01: Q&A (download)

    Taking the ache out of attachment (May 6, 2007)

    How to bring about real happiness and eliminate suffering

    • The importance of investigating our assumptions and opinions
    • The false assumption that happiness comes from outside
    • Attachment causes suffering
    • Real happiness comes from letting go of attachment

    SDDd 02: Taking the ache out of attachment (download)

    Questions and answers

    • The difference between positive aspiration and attachment
    • Seeing through romantic attachment

    SDDe 02: Discerning love and attachment Q&A (download)

    Guided meditation on attachment

    • What are you attached to?
    • How can you relate to these objects of attachment in a more realistic way?

    SDDf 02 Meditation on attachment (download)

    Anger and other disturbing attitudes (June 3, 2007)

    • Definitions, characteristics, causes and antidotes of afflictive mental states of anger, close-mindedness, pride and jealousy.

    SDDg 03: Teaching by Nancy Nesbitt, now Venerable Thubten Semkye (download)

    Self-centeredness (July 15, 2007)

    • Disadvantages of self-centeredness
    • Antidotes to self-centeredness
    • Self-centeredness is the root of our problems
    • Use mindfulness and introspective awareness to reduce self-centeredness

    SDDh 04: Teaching by Barbara McDaniels, now Venerable Thubten Chonyi (download)

    Rebirth and karma (August 26, 2007)

    Understanding rebirth and its relationship to karma

    • Analysing rebirth using logic, anecdotal evidence, and personal observation
    • Understanding cause and effect and how it relates to rebirth
    • Taking responsibility for our lives

    SDDi 05: Rebirth and karma (download)

    Questions and answers

    • How karmic seeds are connected to mindstream
    • Memory with the brain
    • Group karma
    • Capital punishment
    • Positive thoughts at death

    SDDj 05: Q&A (download)

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