Margaret Gainer began Buddhist meditation practice in 1995 and teaches at several Bay area meditation groups and churches. Margaret completed Sati Center Buddhist Chaplaincy Training, and since 2005 has taught a weekly meditation class for women inmates at Elmwood Correctional Facility in Milpitas. Margaret is a member of First Congregational Church of San Jose and brings Buddhist teachings and understanding into the life of the church.
In this fifth talk in a lecture series on the Great Disciples, the speaker, Margaret Gainer, describes the life story of Rahula, son of the Buddha. After meeting his father for the first time at the age of seven, Rahula became the first novice monk in the Buddha's Sangha. He is known as foremost in his eagerness in receiving training. The teachings that he received from the Buddha are still relevant to us today, more than 2,600 years later.
The early Buddhist sangha included some accomplished and intriguing disciples--lay and monastic, male and female. By searching the literature of the Pali Canon, contemporary scholars have been able to compile biographical information, infer personality traits, and gain a vivid sense of the human relationships and life-stories that formed the earliest Buddhist community. This speaker series will explore the lives, practice, and teachings of several of the great disciples of the Buddha. The series will illuminate both the ordinary and extraordinary contributions of some of the most interesting personalities whose questions, challenges, and life situations shaped the teachings that we cherish today.
Margaret Gainer gave the sixth talk in a eight-week series titled "Seven Factors of Awakening." She compares and contrasts meditation techniques that lead to insight and concentration, and focuses on applying concentration to develop one-pointedness.
These seven qualities offer an effective framework for cultivating the mind, overcoming the hindrances, and balancing the energetic and calming forces that develop in meditation. When cultivated and balanced, the mind is ripe for awakening. This series will explore each factor to reveal its importance, function, and role in the process of awakening.
This talk was given as a part of the series "Where Rubber Meets the Road: A Series on Mindful Living." When we think of service, we think of people like hospice companions, volunteer hospital chaplains, volunteers in prisons. However, there are compassionate services in a wider sense, including services that are very personal and individualized. No matter what form service takes, wisdom and compassion are its foundations. Indeed, service is the fulfillment of our practice. When we deepen our daily practice of meditation and mindfulness, when we realize the Four Noble Truths in a very personal way, and when our hearts find the rhythm of the living Dharma, service will find us, and we will be willing, energized and ready. The talk also includes inspirational accounts of people who walk with suffering for the sake of others.
This series of talks provides insight and practical advice as to how to take the wonderful and serene mind that we develop during our meditation practice into our daily lives, into our relationships with others. Sometimes, the deepest grooves in our minds are only stimulated in our relationships to others. Defilements and habits of the mind, such as greed, anger and delusion, arise in ways that they don't in other situations. Fortunately, these daily life encounters offer us opportunities to practice, to see ourselves more clearly, and to become more free. This is the liberating power of awareness and mindfulness.