Friday, 26 August 2011

Freedom - The Third Noble Truth by Gina Sharpe

Gina Sharpe was born in Jamaica and immigrated to New York at the age of 11. She has an A.B. in Philosophy from Barnard College and a J.D. from New York University School of Law. Before practising law, she worked for the New York City government (the Lindsay Administration), in the motion picture industry (as Assistant to the Producer of feature length films Little Big Man, Paper Lion and Alice’s Restaurant), as well as conducting research in public not-for-profits. As a lawyer, she practised as a corporate litigator and then as a corporate lawyer. She also served as an executive in the fields of venture capital and mergers and acquisitions.
After retiring from the practice of law, she co-founded New York Insight Meditation Centre. She currently serves as the Guiding Teacher. Trained as a retreat teacher in a joint Teacher Training Program of Spirit Rock Meditation Center and Insight Meditation Society, she teaches at various venues around the United States including Spirit Rock, Insight Meditation Society, Vallecitos Mountain Refuge, Mid America Dharma, Garrison Institute, Asia Society, Tibet House, the New York Open Center, the Katonah Yoga Center and a maximum security prison for women. She has been teaching the Dharma since 1995. She has served on the boards of directors of several not-for-profit and for-profit organizations.


Friday, 5 August 2011

Unholy Emptiness by Stephen Batchelor

Bodhidharma, the founder of Ch'an (Zen) Buddhism, was invited to visit the Emperor Wu of Liang, who was a great patron of Buddhism. The Emperor had built many monasteries, and he asked Bodhidharma what merit his generosity had earned. "No merit," said Bodhidharma. Startled, the Emperor asked Bodhidharma the supreme truth of the Dharma. "unholy emptiness" replied Bodhidharma. Finally, the Emperor asked, "Who are you?" "I don't know" said Bodhidharma.

Stephen Batchelor examines "Emptiness" in the context of the Buddha's teaching of the "Four Noble Truths".