Summary of study group meeting on 10th December, 2016
The meeting began with a silent 24-minute meditation and then we all said a few words on what we wanted to bring to the meeting and our hopes for what we might take away from it. Several people spoke of how they feel inspired and nourished by the sangha, while others said that the depth of discussion that arises and the topics covered are always thought provoking, relevant and meaningful. One participant asked a question about the meaning of indivisibility, a term used in Buddhist practice, and this led to an interesting discussion about space, consciousness and oracles (who appear to become possessed in the trance-state), and this in turn led to a fascinating discussion on mental health.
A guided meditation was followed by some discussion of our experience before we stopped to enjoy a Christmas potluck lunch. In the afternoon, the discussion continued on the nature of space. We listened to a podcast of Alan Wallace teaching during the 8 week retreat in Tuscany in 2016 – Rigpa is your warp drive to Enlightenment.
One participant raised the question: is the mind in the body or is the body in the mind, and this led to further discussion about consciousness and awareness and new scientific theories about it. One participant reminded us that at long last some scientists are saying that we can’t understand space without understanding consciousness.
Links and resources arising from the study day
Podcast. No. 83. Rigpa is your Warp Drive to Enlightenment. From an 8 week retreat led by Alan Wallace in Tuscany, 2016. www.media.sbinstitute.com
Guided meditation: No.25. Space of Mind and its Qualities. From an 8 week retreat led by Alan Wallace in Araluen Australia, 2016. www.media.sbinstitute.com
The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot (1996). This is a book recommended by one of the participants.
Pathways through to Space, by Franklin Merrell-Wolff (1983). Available from www.amazon.co.uk new and second hand. This is a book recommended by Alan Wallace and several participants which describes Merrell-Wolff’s experience of awakening, mostly through Vedanta.