The Orlando Insight Meditation Group will be coordinating community service opportunities in the near future. This will be a fantastic way to be of service to those in need and enjoy fellowship with the Sangha. If you are interested, please contact Ryan Stanland by email  or call 407-388-5098. Please provide your name, email address, phone number and general availability. Together we can select a service opportunity that best fits the group and spread loving kindness to those who most need it most.

Upcoming Events

by Mary Ann on September 24, 2017

Buddhist Meditation Retreats

Buddhist Meditation Classes

The Dharma And The 12 Steps November 15 2017

by Peter Carlson on November 17, 2017

An important factor in developing the process of awareness is to live a balanced and serene life.  During recent posts, Peter emphasized various psychological dysfunctions that hinder this development, and recent posts described how the Dharma can address addictions and relationships.  This week’s talk describes a system originating in Alcoholics Anonymous called the 12 steps, which has been used extensively by other “anonymous” organizations over the years.  A core aspect of the 12 steps is the acknowledgement of a “Higher Power” for recovery, which may or may not involve an acceptance of the traditional God.  Peter disclosed his view of a Higher Power is the Four Noble Truths.  Peter is a Certified Addictions Professional as well as a psychotherapist and has worked with many people struggling with the various manifestations of addiction.  As a result, he has recognized the congruence between the 12 steps and Buddhist principles and practices.  He and another Sangha member, Mitch Sullen, talked about their understanding of each of the 12 steps, compared with Buddhist principles and practices.  Peter suggested that the addiction that brings someone to AA, for example, is the “ticket into cultivating serenity in one’s life”, as the absence of serenity (often due to an unaddressed psychological problem such as depression) is what supports addictive behaviors and the vulnerability to relapse.  An emphasis was placed on the 11th step, which focuses on daily meditation and prayer to develop persistent self awareness and self discipline for a serene life and how the 12th step commitment to service has similarities to the Bodhisattva Vow.  This commentary was followed by discussion among those attending the meeting regarding this topic.

Here are the notes Peter prepared for this talk:  THE DHARMA AND THE 12 STEPS

Next week’s meeting is on Thanksgiving Eve.  Following the established routine, the discussion will focus on the value of gratitude for well-being and spiritual development.

Codependency And The Dharma November 8 2017

by Peter Carlson on November 9, 2017

Two weeks ago, the posting focused on Addictions and the Dharma; last week’s focus was on Relationships and the Dharma.  It seems reasonable to discuss how addictions affect relationships in the form of codependency.  Peter, who is a Certified Addictions Professional, described the history and dynamics of codependency, followed by how Buddhist principles and practices, particularly craving and clinging can help to understand codependent roles, and how mindfulness practices can interrupt the codependent relationship patterns through increased self-awareness and self-discipline.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  Codependency And The Dharma

Next week’s discussion will focus on the congruence of the 12 step concept from Alcoholics Anonymous and other self-help groups and Buddhist principles and practices.

Relationships And The Dharma

by Peter Carlson on November 2, 2017

In the Upaddha Sutta, the Buddha explains to his attendant Ananda the crucial importance of relationship for realizing the Four Noble Truths (the quote is found in the notes attached to this posting).  Modern psychological research validates this belief–we are inherently social animals and co-create each other through our interpersonal exchanges.  the concepts are described during the discussion, connecting the Buddhist principles of virtuous relationship and the discipline of mindfulness of breathing meditation in the process of awakening–this could be called “Right Relationship”.  The explanation was followed by discussion on how different applications of “kalyana mitta” (spiritual friendship) can become part of daily relationship experiences.

Here are the notes prepared for this discussion:  BUDDHISM AND RELATIONSHIP NOTES

Addiction And The Dharma

This talk continues the exploration of how Buddhist principles and practices can benefit mental health, in this case, addiction.  Peter is a Certified Addictions Professional as well as a psychotherapist, therefore he presented a view of the nature of addiction that focuses, not on the clinical diagnostic criteria, but an analysis of how any behavior […]

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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder And The Dharma

This week’s discussion continues to explore the benefits of Buddhist psychology and mental health.  Peter began the talk by reading an article on  PTSD and the aftereffects of the war in Iraq to demonstrate the currency of this problem in our culture. He described the symptoms of PTSD and how the brain is changed in […]

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Mike’s Metta Retreat Report

Mike Maldonado recently completed a one week retreat focused on the Brahma Viharas (Divine Abodes), that is, metta (lovingkindness), karuna, (compassion), mudita, (appreciative joy) and upekkha, (equanimity) at the Southern Dharma Center in North Carolina.  The retreat was led by DaeJa Napier, a very well respected dharma practitioner.  Mike talked about his experience during the […]

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