68 Gaining Understanding, Insight, and Confidence

19 May 2011

Alan begins this afternoon’s session with a lengthy dharma talk on cultivating confidence in the practices, now that we have two full weeks of silent retreat remaining. He also sets up today’s meditation on compassion for blatant suffering by speaking about different ways of responding to “hedonic distress” and “genuine distress.”

The unguided meditation on compassion begins at 35:50 in the recording.

Alan then answers these questions from the group, which begin at 1:04:30.

1. When we achieve shamatha, what comes next in the hours, days and weeks ahead? When it is achieved, how easy is it to lose?

2. How far from achieving shamatha to the first jhana? What will someone experience when entering the first jhana?

3. Can you talk about lengthening practice sessions? I don’t know how to increase without being performance driven.

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