Three Myths: Eight Talks

A special series of talks from the 11th-18th September from Jnanavaca and Maitreyabandhu, exploring what it means to gain insight within our tradition. Through talks and ritual investigate Samadhi and Prajna in the context of the three myths of self-development, self-discovery, and self-surrender. The retreat assumes a basic understanding of the Three Myths as expressed by Subhuti in his article in Madhyamavani.

The talks were livestreamed on the Adhisthana YouTube channel (which you can subscribe to here) and are available to watch now.

Each talk is followed by a ritual.

If you have found this resource helpful, please consider donating to allow us to continue producing quality Dharma content.




First Talk

Kicking off with a talk from Jnanavaca, who gives an overview of the Three Myths, and sets the scene for what will follow over the week.

 Video

Start watching from:

Welcome from Maitreyabandhu
Jnanavaca’s Talk
Dedication Ceremony

 

Second Talk

Maitreyabandhu explores the front and back of the myth of self-development or self-transcendence, looking at the advantage of having something to do with our will on the one hand (particularly when relatively new to the spiritual life), and the dangers of infinitely extending samadhi and prajna away from ourselves while we perfect sila.

Video

Start watching from:

Maitreyabandhu’s talk
Introduction to the Puja
Start of the puja

 

Third Talk

Jnanavaca concludes the days on the myth of self-development or self-transcendence with this talk, looking at other ‘back’ sides to the myth, and sharing his concerns for how those may manifest in the movement.

Video

Start watching from:

Jnanavaca’s Talk
Puja

 

Fourth Talk

Maitreyabandhu gives an inspiring talk about the unconditioned reaching into the conditioned, symboliesed by Tara (the quick one) on the shrine. He also looks at how views create the context in which we live out our lives, the front and back of the myth of self-surrender, and the secular and the divine, of which Buddhism is neither. The talk is followed by a seven-fold puja.

Video

Start watching from:

Maitreyabandhu’s Talk
Puja

 

Fifth Talk

Continuing to investigate the ‘front’ and ‘back’ of the myth of surrender, Jnanavaca talks of the myth of his own ordination, of faith and meaning. He talks of the myth of the vajraguru, of making your life an offering, and the fear of betrayal or losing oneself.

Video

Start watching from:

Jnanavaca’s Talk
Introduction to the Puja
Puja

 

Sixth Talk

In this confessional talk, Maitreyabandhu reflects on his meditation history in the light of the myth of self discovery. He looks at the ‘front’ of this myth; its direct and experiential approach that tells us that liberation is possible for us right now, and at the ‘back’, that it can undermine the path (and therefore dispense with the need for sangha and changing the world), lead to claims of attainments, and result in demands of others to suspend their critical faculties in relation to ones experience.

Video

Start watching from:

Talk from Maitreyabandhu
Puja

 

Seventh Talk

Jnanavaca begins this talk on the fourth myth, emergence, by sharing some of his own meditative experiences and gratitude for the people he has been able to talk to about them. Continuing to emphasise the experiential benefit of this myth, he then nevertheless expresses reservations; the dangers of calibrating our experience and therefore fixing it, of non-effort undermining the path and of reifying experience. He then also reflects on how humanism influences our Sangha, and ends by expressing his belief that Order Members have a duty and an obligation to look at how their experiences fit within Bhante’s system of practice.

Video

Start watching from:

Jnanavaca’s Talk
Introduction to the Puja
Puja

 

Eigth Talk

The concluding summary talk for this series of talks, given from the Urgyen House, where Bhante Sangharakshita spent his final years.

Video

Start watching from:

Final Words