Janet Taylor began practicing vipassana meditation in early 2006 and is inspired by the possibility of complete liberation and by seeing the truth of the Buddha's teachings of impermanence, the suffering caused by attachment, and emptiness in her daily practice. Janet has attended 10 residential retreats, including three seven-day jhana retreats, completed a 35-week course on the practice of the 32 body parts meditation, and serves as a mentor for beginning meditators at IMSB. Janet received her BFA degree in sculpture, and enjoys nature and sea kayaking. She currently works as a technical writer and curriculum developer.
This talk is an overview of the contemplative practices of the first foundation of mindfulness—mindfulness of the body—with particular focus on the 32 body parts contemplation. Contemplating the body parts can break the enchantment with the body and the belief that it is beautiful, and bring about insight into not-self. Seeing the body as a conglomeration of parts and processes reveals its empty nature because a self cannot be found. Contemplating the body processes, which includes the brain, reveals that preferences for certain experiences are no more than physiological reactions based on past and present conditions. By clearly seeing what the body is, we see what it is not: it is not a self.
The first division of the Noble Eightfold Path is wisdom, which consists of right view and right intention. This talk introduces right intention, which is the intention of renunciation, of non-harming, and of non-ill-will, and touches on the connection between intention and a sense of self. Intention determines whether our actions are wholesome or unwholesome and whether they lead toward or away from liberation. Time is also given to discussing what actions in our daily lives support right intention.