Week 7

START

PRESENTATION —- Video of This

Tunein and Context for the course

‘The Buddha and where he came from’

MEDITATION —– Video of this

Meditation – directed meditation

Tea break

PREAMBLE

– Prodigious Behaviour –

Child Prodigies , Late Bloomers and “Siddhartha Gautama” – “Shakyamuni”

Becoming a Buddha

Let’s look at the Buddha’s life bearing in mind the following perspective.

The Buddhist path of ‘Ethics, Meditation and Wisdom’

Developing ‘being present in the moment’ with ‘a sense of purpose and direction’

From Siddhartha Gautama Shakya to Shakyamuni Buddha

1          Finding Himself  and Going forth

Born into the Shakya clan.  Kept at home away from the realities of  the world. But eventually sees the four sights

  • Old Age
  • Sickness
  • Death
  • The Seeker

The fact that others (the Seeker) is looking for a way to address the conditions and oppressions of human existence inspires Siddhartha to Go Forth .

Discussion Point: How do we relate to Going Forth?

2          More than appropriate effortAppropriate Attitude and Attention

Siddhartha  watching his father Śuddhodana ploughing the field, After following several meditation masters leading to starving and dominating the body Siddhartha realised he was near the point of death, not realisation. Recalling his sitting under an apple tree shaped and calm and watching the pastoral scene of his father’s ritual cutting of the first furrow of spring, Siddhartha was a middle way arising in his mind.

Discussion Point: Have we any experiences like that in our life?

3          Enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree

He ate. And sitting under a Bodhi tree for 45 days and nights ….

At this point, tradition says that Brahmā Sahampati, the senior most of the High Gods, perceiving the Buddha‘s thought, became alarmed and cried out, ―The world is lost!

Fearing that the world might perish through not hearing the Dharma, he entreated the Buddha to teach the Dharma as there are …beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dharma. There will be those who will understand the Dharma.

(From the Vinaya)

Discussion Point: How do we relate to the journey to enlightenment?

4          Teaching

Well something motivated him to spend the next 45 years of teaching the way to enlightenment

5          Shakyamuni’s legacy

The lay disciples and the monastic order. Ethical Code. Meditation Practice. A Path.

Also a progression of lineage with teachers both enlightened and unenlightened down through the ages. The possibility and a path to enlightenment for each individual.

Discussion Point: What is our situation and Legacy? And how do we feel about Shakyamuni’s legacy?. .

BBC on the Buddha’s life.

Hopefully 30 minutes for breakout groups and discussion