Seven Factors of Enlightenment
In the morning after breakfast we did a lesson on the Seven Factors of Enlightenment in relation to the opening of Summary of Faith and Practice, especially the phrase "letting go of sophistication and all forms of cleverness". In following the Dharma path we are becoming free from putting on airs. The Seven Factors outline a natural sequence: 1. Mindfulness: one receives teaching and keeps it in mind 2. Investigation: one tries it out and find that it works 3. Energy: one is enthused and wants to go further 4. Joy: this activity is naturally joyful 5. Contentment: one feels confident in what one knows 6. Concentration: one gets on easily and undistractedly 7. Equanimity: if problems arise one is not overwhelmed. This is a path leading to faith and confidence in which each step leads to the next and reinforces its predecessor.
This led into some discussion of how spiritual training works and how we play our part in the manifestation of the Dharma. The questioner and the one who answers are simply enacting their Dharma roles - this is related to our expression that one should "let the robe do it" and not think that the role that one happens to be playing for the time being reflects upon one's person.
Songs & Shopping
I remain sick. We did manage a trip into the local market town for some shopping but I have to keep stopping to get my breath back. I have started on a writing assignment for a journal article as I have several writing projects on the go at the moment. It is a bit frustrating not to have the strength to do the practical things but perhaps I shall be able to get on with the writing by degrees. A pleasant interlude was provided by Satya skyping to ask about hymn tunes and we had a nice time singing to each other over the internet.