July 13, 2010

Rodney Smith at the Tricycle Community Book Club

Join us Monday, July 26 at the Tricycle Community Book Club for the discussion of Rodney Smith's Stepping Out of Self-Deception: The Buddha's Liberating Teaching of No-Self. Smith dives into the depths of the Buddha's teachings on no-self and impermanence, while remaining accessible and skillfully avoiding the risk of superficiality. It's one of those rare books that will appeal to both newcomers and to those with experience on the spiritual grind.

From the introduction:

The Buddha's Eightfold Path can either build upon or dismantle the sense-of-self, depending upon how we use it. When aligned within its proper orientation, the path appears like a perfectly formed diamond, each link complementing the beauty of the whole. After my meeting with Nisargadatta, the Buddha's teaching became breathtaking in its simplicity and elegance. The entire path was, and had always been, accessible. Prolonged retreats in silence or conversations over dinner had the same reference point. Nothing was ever at odds with its opposite. Every practice and action had its place and appropriate time, but never contradicted nor enhanced what was already here. Everything was perfectly together, and every movement arose from that perfection.

This was the beginning of my understanding of lay Buddhism. A lay Buddhist is one who fully embodies his or her entire life of work, family, and relationships without spiritually prioritizing any activity. From this perspective all moments are equally precious, and whether we are practicing formal meditation on retreat or showing up for ordinary moments of our lay life, freedom is never diminished. The unequivocal resolve not to move away from where we are is essential. Once we abandon the belief that there is a more spiritually useful moment than the one we are in, we have embraced our life and infused it without he energy for awakening.

Rodney Smith is the founding and guiding teacher of the Seattle Insight Meditation Society and a guiding teacher of the Insight Meditation Society, Barre, Massachusetts.

Book Club members can receive a generous 30% discount on the book and free shipping in the US through our friends at Shambhala Publications. Order your book here and type in the sales code: NOSELF. This offer ends August 6.

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