Book Talk: Touching the Infinite: A New Perspective on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, authored by Rodney Smith
An afternoon SIMS Benefit with Rodney Smith offering a book talk, short sittings, Q & A and signing of his new book, Touching the Infinite: A New Perspective on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness. In the Satipatthana Sutta the Buddha unfolds the central practices of vipassana meditation. Often referred to as the Four Foundations of Mindfulness this Sutta has been interpreted as four ways to establish mindfulness. In his new book and the afternoon talks, Rodney will present his sense of this teaching that the Buddha was not only establishing ways to be mindful but also using the Sutta to encourage a complete shift of perspective, which ultimate points toward the final destination of his teaching. The question that we will engage in this workshop is whether this Sutta is ultimately meant to move us from the solidified shapes and isolating meanings we impart to the world toward the wondrous and formless expression of awareness.
Rodney Smith spent eight years in Buddhist monastic settings, both at the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Massachusetts and several years as a Buddhist monk in Asia. He ordained with Mahasi Sayadaw in Burma then practiced for three years with Ajahn Buddhadassa in Thailand. He disrobed as a monk in 1983 and, after returning to the West, started working in hospice care and teaching vipassana meditation throughout the U.S.
At the end of 2016, Rodney retired from a full-time teaching role after more than 30 years of teaching. He served as a Senior Teacher for IMS and is the founding and guiding teacher for Seattle Insight Meditation. He is author of the books Lessons From the Dying, Stepping Out of Self-Deception: The Buddha’s Liberating Teaching of No-Self, and Awakening: A Paradigm Shift of the Heart.