01 Aug 2015

Alan begins by quoting Shantideva (Chapter 8 on meditation): “Those whose minds are distracted live within the fangs of mental afflictions.” He further comments that if we are ever to overcome the three mental afflictions of ignorance-delusion, craving-attachment, hatred-hostility, we need persistence during our entire lifetime, and if we have enthusiasm, the better. On the importance of silence, he adds that yogis have known for a long time that unnecessary speaking is detrimental to meditation and throws fire on mental afflictions.

The meditation is on Mindfulness of Breathing.

After meditation, Alan talks about the importance of a conducive lifestyle that supports meditation practice. He introduces the triad of View, Meditation and Way of Life. He comments that there are ways to view reality that are corrosive to the practice of meditation (e.g. holding a materialistic view). He also mentions the 5 prerequisites for achieving shamatha. He encourages us to establish a default mode of being present. The mainstream is going down the toilet, so don’t go with the flow! This is reminiscent of the Buddha’s words: “My teachings go against the grain.” Alan finally mentions the persistence and unwavering enthusiasm of HH the Dalai Lama.

Meditation starts at 10:03

Course notes, other episodes and resources for this retreat are available here

The text for this retreat can be purchased via the SBI Store.

Finally, Please contribute to help us afford the audio equipment we rent to make these, and future podcasts freely available.

Download (MP3 / 37 MB)


This lecture does not have a text transcript. Please contact us if you’d like to volunteer to assist our transcription team.


Ask questions about this lecture on the Buddhism Stack Exchange or the Students of Alan Wallace Facebook Group. Please include this lecture’s URL when you post.