Recorded Study Classes: Entering Practice

Three-Week Summer Intensive: Entering the Buddha Way

July 2008

These recordings are from a three-week study intensive offered in 2008 by then-abbot Paul Haller. These talks provide an excellent introduction to basic Buddhism and Zen; each class theme is outlined below.  Click the "Listen to this Class" link and class audio recordings will play in a new browser window.

July 15, 2008Listen to this class (1:14:13)

The two themes of this class are a) the classic formations of dukkha – the core experience of suffering, one's response to it, and the response to the response; and b) the five characteristics of mindfulness or sati.

July 16, 2008 | Listen to this class  (1:11:12)

How can practitioners unwind the solid convictions they have about reality? The poem "Mirages" by Kapka Kassabova is read as an offering of teaching about practice. The two basic attributes of samatha - tranquility/calm and stopping - are discussed.

July 17, 2008 | Listen to this class   (1:15:22)

How do students discover how to take a break from their own suffering and enable healing? How can they turn towards suffering rather than turning away from it? Can they ask themselves: "How is it to practice with this?"

July 18, 2008 | Listen to this class   (59:05)

The intention is to meet the moment directly, actualizing practice and going beyond ideas. An experiential exercise is offered, working with mindfulness of present experience. To complete the first week of the summer intensive a reflective exercise: What stands out emotionally during the week? What does this have to teach about practice? How will that teaching be carried forth from here on?

July 21, 2008 | Listen to this class  (1:11:10)

How do people create and experience the subjective world and how it is to practice with this? An experiential exercise carried out in pairs uses the break on the weekend from the summer intensive schedule as material for reflection and discussion.

July 22, 2008 | Listen to this class  (1:09:07)

How do Zen students bring awareness to their everyday life? How do they bring forth the mind which sees everything as teaching the dharma? How can they use the mind’s natural curiosity and discrimination? An experiential exercise about the healing of suffering is included in this class.

July 23, 2008 | Listent to this class  (1:15:21)

The contemplation of the five hindrances and the five skandhas (aggregates) as specific mental qualities are explored.

July 24, 2008 | Listen to this class  (1:09:39)

The discussion of the five skandhas is continued and an exploration of the six sense doors is commenced.

July 25, 2008 | Listen to this class  (1:14:07)

"What is Buddha?" The last class includes an experiential exercise using the grounding of one of the six sense doors. " Eagle Poem" a poem by Joy Harjo is shared as an exemplar of the poeticism of the Zen school.

July 27, 2008 -- Listen to this sesshin talk  (37:57)

July 28, 2008 -- Listen to this sesshin talk  (40:55)

July 29, 2008 -- Listen to this sesshin talk  (36:16)

July 30, 2008 -- Listen to this sesshin talk  (43:14)

July 31, 2008 -- Listen to this sesshin talk  (42:43)


Analayo. 2003. Satipatthana: The Direct Path to Realization. Birmingham: Windhorse Publications.
Astley, N., & Robertson-Pearce, P., (Ed.). 2007. Soul Food: Nourishing poems for starved minds. Tarset, England: Bloodaxe Books.
Nhat Hanh, T. 1990. Transformation & Healing: Sutra on the Four Establishments of Mindfulness. Berkeley: Parallax Press.
Nhat Hanh, T. 1998. The Heart of Buddha's Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy & Liberation. New York: Broadway Books.