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The 10 Gates, Lessons from the Book "Nothing to It" with Brother Phap Hai

Posted September 11 2015

Today we are pleased to bring you part two of the transcription from The Ten Gates - Lessons from the book, Nothing to It with Brother Phap Hai.  This is a twelve week course to help lead you on the road to spiritual and mental health.

Each of the teachings that we are exploring through this twelve week course is a tool for us to apply in our daily life. It's a lens through which we can contemplate and understand our own unique situation a little bit more deeply. They are not just concepts. In the beginning when we hear one of the teachings, we receive it on the intellectual level and that's great, that's a good beginning, but we need to always ask ourselves "how do I apply this to my own situation? Can I apply this? Can I use this?"

Each of the gates that we'll be exploring over the next twelve weeks are different frames through which we can view our situation. Some are going to be appropriate for us right now and some maybe later, or maybe not at all. But the important thing for us to ask is "How can I use this? How can I apply this? How can I bring this from the intellectual level of concept only, into experience?"

The Buddha offered so many different opportunities. There are the four establishments of mindfulness. There is a noble eight fold path. There are the four noble truths. And these twelve weeks are twelve different opportunities and twelve different invitations for us to apply these particular gates, these particular frames of reference, to our situation and see which ones help us to go just a little bit more deeply.

Let's take the example of nutriment that we used last week. We begin to use this contemplation in our daily life by beginning to bring awareness to edible food. This is the simplest. Edible food is right in front of us where it is easy to see. It is very concrete. Sense impressions and volition comes later when we develop the capacity to be fully present. We develop the capacity to be with what's there.

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