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Godwin's Retreat Talks in Hong Kong 1998
(Revised Edition, November 2007)
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The Basics of Buddhist Meditation (4 Talks)
1: Why Meditation is Becoming Popular
2: Anapanasati and its Advantages
3: Metta, Karuna, Mudita, Upekkha (1)
4: Metta, Karuna, Mudita, Upekkha (2)
Skilful Living (One-Day Retreat)
Meditation in Everyday Life
Living with Awareness (Seven-Day Retreat)
1: Awareness and Effort
2: The Advantages of Meditation Practice
3: Anapanasati & Metta Meditation
4-7: Sharing Experiences and Insights
Preface to the Revised Edition
We are very pleased to add a further set of talks on meditation from Godwin's retreats given in Hong Kong in 1998 to those already published under the title The Gentle Way, dating from the previous year. In these new talks Godwin re-iterates many of the teachings given in the earlier set, but adding new insights or seeing things from different angles - which he often cited as being one meaning of the term vipassana. Godwin's teachings were always developing, both due to his own personal explorations; and also as he worked with meditators of so many different cultures and backgrounds, and as they, too, developed in their practice.
We have entitled this series of talks Living Meditation both to stress the relevance of Godwin's meditation teaching to our modern-day lives and issues, and also as a reminder that meditation is a practice to be lived, day in and day out, whatever our changing circumstances or moods, not a practice confined to special times, places or techniques. This is indeed the essence of Godwin's approach to meditation.
In editing the transcripts of these taped talks and discussions I have striven to preserve the vividness and spontaneity of Godwin's teaching style whilst ensuring that the written text remains coherent and free-flowing. This has entailed removing repetitions and irrelevancies, and making necessary grammatical corrections. In general this has entailed only minor alterations to the text; but in the case of the last four days of Godwin's final retreat given at Fa Yim Kok, where Godwin encouraged meditators to share their own experiences and insights, I have restructured the discussions so as to group together sharings and teachings on particular themes. I hope, however, still to have captured some of the free-flowing quality of the interchanges as the discussion developed over the days.
We owe warmest thanks to our friends Yuk Chin, the original compiler of these talks, and the Association of Spiritual Friends of Godwin in Hong Kong for recording, transcribing and making available to us the original text. We trust that through their labours Godwin's teaching can be readily appreciated and absorbed by the reader and then put into practice in daily living.