Gil Fronsdal gives a dharma talk around encountering truth in a retreat setting, letting go of attachments, and developing skills on the path of cultivation.
Gil explores the wonderful power of spiritual retreats, especially those with a longer duration. He talks about why the retreat setting is the perfect place for encountering truth about yourself, but also how there is great insight born of practice outside of retreats.
“The truth is here, waiting for us, ready to come out. Given half a chance, the truth will come.” – Gil Fronsdal
Joseph Goldstein shares his thoughts on the commitment to truthfulness in Insight Hour Ep. 89
Letting Go (16:30)
Can you let go enough so that just being alive is enough? Gil explores two major categories of Buddhist practice, letting go and picking up. He encourages everyone to reflect on their lives and see where you can let go of attachments. Gil talks about the path of cultivation in Buddhism and how you can pick up new skills to develop for the betterment of the world.
“Letting go is not meant to diminish us, but really to bring us infinite blessings, to really enhance us.” – Gil Fronsdal
Developing Skills (39:00)
When do we act, and when do we surrender? Gil illuminates this dilemma with a story about a tiger and a deer. He talks about the importance of developing a skillful mind, and how skills are more enduring than experiences. In fact, skills can be developing even during challenging situations.
“But if you realize that what’s important is not the experience, but rather the opportunity to develop a skill, you might actually develop more skill in a lousy meditation than in a good one.” – Gil Fronsdal