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Becoming Buddha
Cross River Meditation Center
Becoming Awakened
The Human Buddha's Restored Dhamma
Ending Ignorance of Four Noble Truths
Class Cancelations: January 9 Classs Canceled
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Dhamma Class Schedule and Suttas:
Right View and Five Clinging-Aggregates Review (Current)
Vipassana - Introspective Insight Review Begins January 6 2024
"In What is seen there is only what is seen" Bahiya Sutta, Udana 1:/10

How We Teach & Practice The Buddha's Dhamma

Our Suggested Dhamma Practice

We suggest two Jhana meditation sessions a day using the recordings linked below  to continually reinforce the Four Foundations of Mindfulness as your Jhana practice.

Please keep in mind, two Jhana sessions per day of shorter sessions rather than one long Jhana meditation session, when practiced consistently, will be more effective in deepening your concentration

We offer two opportunities each week to join our Sangha and hear our teachers present the words of the Buddha. Siddartha Gotama, the historical Buddha, a self-awakened, fully mature human being, spent the last forty-five years of his life teaching a simple and direct Dhamma, free of magical thinking. These teachings have been restored by John to their original intent and purpose: to have a profound experiential understanding of Four Noble Truths and to develop a calm and peaceful mind.

CRMC Doors open 1/2 hour prior to class start. Zoom room opens 15 minutes prior to class start. 
Prioritizing your Dhamma practice and to avoid class interruptions, relax and join us for Sangha prior to class start.
Our Sangha Thanks You.

Join us as often as you are able while gently holding in mind the unique opportunity we offer at BBCRMC.

When first encountered, the verbiage and structure of Dhamma practice can seem confusing. All of our teachers are available to you with questions you may have. Please feel free to contact anyone at anytime. We want you to discover a gentle and direct path to awakening and we are all here to help- just ask: BBCRMC Dhamma Teachers

Above all, do not judge yourself or this peaceful and harmless Dhamma. Begin now to understand that every moment of human life is impermanent and so impersonal. When distracted or stressed, keep in mind that what is a source of stress is not part of your identity or a true representation of life: all things arise and pass away.

5 To 45 Minute Guided Jhana Meditations

Guided Jhana Meditation
Jhana Meditation Instruction 111123 PDF
Karaniya Metta Sutta PDF
Jhana Meditation Review / Structured Study →

The first two recordings below should be listened to consistently as they describe  the proper context for developing Jhana within the framework and guidance of the Noble Eightfold Path. The second recording below reinforces the Four Foundations of Mindfulness.

Below the first player are Guided Jhana Mediations With Context that incorporates much of what is presented in the first two recordings.

  • Proper Context For Jhana Practice
  • Jhana and the Four Foundations of Mindfulness
  • 5 Minute Guided Jhana Meditation
  • 10 Minute Guided Jhana Meditation
  • 15 Minute Guided Jhana Meditation
  • 20 Minute Guided Jhana Meditation
  • 30 Minute Guided Jhana Meditation
  • 45 Minute Guided Jhana Meditation

 Guided JHana Meditations W/ Context

  • 5 Minute Guided Jhana Meditation W/ Context
  • 10 Minute Guided Jhana Meditation W/ Context
  • 15 Minute Guided Jhana Meditation W/ Context
  • 20 Minute Guided Jhana Meditation W/ Context
  • 30 Minute Guided Jhana Meditation W/ Context
  • 45 Minute Guided Jhana Meditation W/ Context

BBCRMC Calendar/Schedule | Directions | Live-Stream

CROSS RIVER MEDITATION CENTER

Dhamma Class Schedule
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 Calendar
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We request a $20 donation for our classes. All are always welcome regardless of donation.

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Dhamma Class Schedule
All Times Eastern Us

CRMC Doors open 1/2 hour prior to class start. Zoom room opens 15 minutes prior to class start.
Prioritizing your Dhamma practice is an aspect of Right Effort; and to avoid class interruptions, please join your Sangha, relax and Take Refuge prior to class start.
Your Sangha Thanks You.

Tuesday 7:15 PM In-Person and Live-Streamed

Saturday 8:30 AM In-Person and Live-Streamed

We Live-Stream Our Dhamma Classes as a convenience for those who are unable to join us in-person due.

How To Join Our Sangha Via Zoom

  • Our Live-Stream will begin 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start to allow for time to sign in and join our sangha.
  • A password is required to enter our Live-Stream “room.” The password is bbcrmc WITHOUT CAPS.
  • Our classes can be joined on your computer through the Zoom app here:  https://zoom.us/j/9083919079
  • or through your Android device here: Zoom Android App
  • or through your IOS device here: Zoom IOS App

Please feel free to contact us with any questions.
To be notified of any changes in our schedule please subscribe to our newsletter.

We look forward to sharing the Buddha's restored Dhamma with you. Peace.

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Cross River Meditation Center Calendar

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Cross River Meditation Center
207 Harrison Street, Frenchtown, New Jersey

BBCRMC Dhamma Class Podcast & Audio/Video Archive

CROSS RIVER MEDITATION CENTER
AUDIO / VIDEO RECORDINGS ARCHIVE

↓ 800+ Audio Recordings ↓
↓ 600+ Video Recordings ↓

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Becoming Buddha Cross Rive Meditation Center Video Archive

Siddartha Gotama And His Dhamma: Practical and Effective Right View

Essays and Commentary on the Buddha’s Dhamma, Modern Dharmas, and a World Aflame

Introduction

↓ Skip Introduction if previously read ↓

These are essays and commentary on the timelessness of the Buddha’s Dhamma and the appropriate application of this Dhamma amidst the fabrications, contradictions, and distortions of modern Buddhism, New-Age philosophies, and ever-changing and often chaotic worldly events. 

The necessity of clearly describing and understanding the contradictions between what an awakened human being actually taught and the adaptations, accommodations, and embellishments attached to a Buddha’s pure Dhamma is the central theme for teachers and practitioners of his Dhamma. 

Recognizing and abandoning the compulsion for following fabricated views of self in relation to the people and events of life is the true vipassana or true and useful introspective insight into Three Marks Of Existence. It is the fabricated relationship between wrong views of self and the people and events of ordinary human life that is to be recognized and abandoned as Wise DShamma Practitioners. For most of human history, the establishment of non-physical, non-human realms as the resolution for the confusion and suffering internet in human life has been the primary strategy minds rooted in ignorance of Four Noble Truths cling to maintain ignorance. 

Siddartha Gotama awakened to the profound understanding that it is individual and institutionalized views of self and the people and events of the world are rooted in ignorance of Four Noble Truths. He described the results of human ignorance in the Loka Sutta as ” a world aflame with the fires of passion (for continued self-establishment).”

Awakening or developing full human maturity by recognizing and abandoning all foolish and immature views rooted in this specific ignorance while developing a profound understanding of Four Noble Truths is the sole purpose of a Buddha’s Dhamma. Any religious, spiritual, or philosophical belief that resolves in a speculative, magical, and non-human self-existence is contrary to what the Buddha taught. 

It is through clinging to these fabricated views that continue this specific ignorance. Powerful and subtle strategies are continually fabricated and established as “spiritual practcie.” Now, this “practcie” itself becomes the distortion from understanding these Four Noble Truths. This is practicing ignorance. This practice continues to perfectly entrench one in fabricated wrong views of self.

It should not surprise or distress the well-informed Dhamma practitioner that it is individually held and collectively-supported fabricated views that is at the root of stress and suffering. 

Siddhartha Gotama awakened to the profound understanding that it is ignorance of Four Noble truths that results in all manner of confusion, greed, aversion, and ongoing deluded thinking. This manifestation of ignorance in the world is known as Dukkha, or stress and suffering. Recognizing and abandoning the individual fabricated views resulting in Dukkha is the Dhamma.

Fabricated views used to legitimize religions, Buddhist “lineages,” and spiritual or philosophical concepts are as common and widespread now as they were during the Buddha’s time, perhaps even more so.

Developing the Buddha’s Dhamma as originally presented abandons all magical views and establishes an awakened human being in this present life.

For a complete understanding of what the Buddha actually taught, please read “Foundations Of The Buddha’s Dhamma” further below.

 

Becoming Buddha CRMC Structered Studies

Introduction

↓ Skip To Studies If Previously Read ↓

Linked below are five Structured Studies developing deep and profound understanding of key themes of the Buddha’s Dhamma. Providing a structure to developing the Dhamma avoids the grasping-after all things loosely-labeled “Buddhist” of modern Buddhism-By-Common-Agreement prevalent today

The True Vipassana Dhamma Study is focused on the key theme of the Buddha’s Dhamma and the purpose of true Vipassana – skillful introspective insight into The Marks of Human Existence.

The Buddha taught a simple and straightforward method of understanding the truth of lasting peace and happiness. The path leading to lasting peace and happiness is The Eightfold Path. Jhana meditation is one factor of The Eightfold Path.

The Local Knowledge – Uncommon Dhamma Study includes lesser-known suttas revealing the profound though entirely practical depth of an awakened human being’s Dhamma.

The Dhammapada Structured study includes all 26 charters of the Dhammapada restored to its original intent and clear focus.

The Truth of Happiness Dhamma Study provided a comprehensive foundation for authentic Dhamma practice. 

Becoming Buddha Cross River Meditation Center’s
Structured Dhamma Studies

A Noble Dhamma Practice Structured Study
A skillful introduction and comprehensive explanation of The Noble Practice
with two introductory Suttas and individual Suttas for each of the Four Noble Truths and and the Eightfold Path

Eightfold Path Structured Study

True Vipassana, True Introspective Insight Structured Study

Jhana Meditation – Mind and Body United – The Buddha’s Meditation

Dhammapada Structured Study

Local Knowledge – Uncommon Dhamma Structured Study

Truth Of Happiness Structured Study

Karma, rebirth, and Intentional Becoming Structured Study

Wise Restraint Structured Study – Understanding Dispassion

Right Meditation - Jhana Meditation

These suttas show the importance of developing Right Meditation as taught by the Buddha. Jhana Meditation is the only meditation method taught by the Buddha. he taught Jhan for one reason: To deepen concentration. It is from a well-concentrated mind that supports the refined mindfulness necessary to hold in mind the Eightfold Path as the framework and ongoing guidance for authentic Dhamma practice.

Right Meditation – Jhana Meditation

Upcoming BBCRMC Retreats

  • Anapanasati Sutta - An Example of Skillful and Authentic Dhamma Practice Hybrid Retreat Begins March 29, 2024 - Info and Registration Upcoming (January 2024)
  • Eightfold Path Heartwood of the Dhamma Residential Retreat Begins June 26, 2924 - Info and Registration Upcoming (January 2024) 

John's 2023 New Years Message: Ending The Three Defilements

Greeting friends,

I want to wish you all a Happy, Calm, and Peaceful New Year, free of conflict internally and externally. I have linked relevant suttas for further study and understanding: [x]

As our Sangha begins a new year, an auspicious year, let us reflect on how fortunate we are to have a direct path that anyone can walk that develops a profound understanding of ever-changing worldly events and our individual relationship with ourself and the world we live in and the people we live with. [1]

As a Sangha focused only on what the Buddha taught, free of the distractions from fabrications and embellishments that have corrupted Siddartha Gotama’s gentle and effective path of liberation from all -self-inflicted stress and suffering known here as Dukkha. This truly awakened human being’s Dhamma remains as relevant and effective today in recognizing and abandoning the debilitating effects of ignorance of Four Noble Truths. As we have seen in our own Dhamma practice, the Three Defilements of Greed, Aversion, and continuing Deluded Consciousness are skillfully and directly recognized and abandoned. [2]

We have found that by ending conflict in our minds, we no longer contribute to conflict in our family, friends, and neighbors and so to all human beings.

The skillful disciple of the Dhamma learns it is entanglements with an ever-changing world that is a defining characteristic of a well-informed and well-practiced Buddha’s Dhamma. [3]

The Buddha teaches us that hatred or aversion against anyone, any tribe, or any ideology creates conflict in the thinker of such thoughts that antagonize the thinker and can only antagonize and contribute to the stress and suffering already abundant in the world. [4]

This application, or attaching harsh and hate-filled (aversion) behaviors to other individuals or other tribes, can easily be seen by one who has Integrated Right View and the other seven factors of the Eightfold Path simply as adding to the conflict already present.

As Wise Dhamma Practitioners, our focus is on recognizing and abandoning precisely this internal conflict and free our mind for the development of peace and calm, the Buddha’s description of the quality of an awakened, fully mature mind. [5]

Siddartha Gotama, our Teacher, revealed his awakened view of the world he lived in:

“The world is aflame. Rooted in ignorance, (of Four Noble Truths) the world is afflicted by sensory contact and perceives suffering as ‘self.’ Rooted in ignorance, it misunderstands ‘self’ and becomes anything other than ‘self.’

“Becoming anything other than self, the world clings to becoming, (further ignorant) is afflicted by becoming, and yet delights in that very becoming. Where there is delight there is fear. Where there is fear, there is stress.” [6]

This is conceit or I-making.

Individually and often collectively, the arbitrary tribes we form and join conveniently obscures individual ignorance now validated by hurtful, unskillful, and un-wise associations. Many condition themselves towards fear of the world and fear of the people in this world. Once this antagonistic view has been established and developed (through ignorance) these then delight in conflict and delight in others who agree to continue conflict.

All of this is known by the Wise Dhamma practitioners as both sides of the same coin of Greed and Aversion. We can see how maintaining individual conflict by clinging to wrong views harms the individual and often contributes to the conflicts carried by tribes associated.

We have found that as our individual minds develop persistent quiet and calm; we abandon all behavior, indeed all thoughts that stand in opposition to anyone and any ideology.

We learn that self-righteousness and ensuing antagonistic views is the essence of conceit or I-making, of taking the people and events of our lives personally. This type of harmful thinking and resulting conflict-inducing behavior is always evolving with ever-changing salvific rhetoric. [7]

But the same cause of conflict in the world and the pe3ople of the world persists: Ignorance of Four Noble Truths. Here, the Wise Dhamma Practitioner recognizes the Three Defilements present and directly and mindfully abandons them. [2]

We find that greed, aversion, and delusion are the three common human characteristics (defilements) that contribute to the ills of the world we all live in.

We find that tribal beliefs or societal systems are only the coalescing of individual ideologies now strengthened by tribal clinging. This tribal clinging can often become an echo-chamber where one chooses to only promote one ideology while dismissing and/or denigrating another(s) i.e.: “My/Our collective view must be RIGHT since we all agree that (our ideology) is RIGHT so others must be wrong.“

In the Dhamma, we refer to this type of conflicted consciousness as “The prison of two ideas.” Those of us that have been so self-imprisoned know directly the true liberation from ignorance that develops from the cessation of ALL Greed, Aversion, and Deluded Consciousness.

We learn that no matter how egregious the behavior of others might be, by deciding to introduce antagonism and increasing conflict can only further isolate oneself and those one might desire to change. as we have seen throughout human history, this thinking and resulting behavior brings great division and further conflict. This is true in encounters with individuals and with encounters with societal systems and tribal views.

We learn that ignorance of Four Noble Truths leads to internal AND external conflicts. We learn to become sovereign or independent in our own minds. Neither craving for conflict nor clinging to conflicting thoughts, words, and ideologies, the Wise Dhamma Practitioner maintains a mind of calm, a conflict-free mind neither opposing nor promoting conflict in others. Conflict can only increase fear and increase delight in associations, including associating with ideologies, that obscure ignorance through collective rhetoric.

Almost all human beings desire freedom and peace. It is ignorance of Four Noble Truths that one becomes prone to fear and desire, or aversion and greed. Lacking understanding of the true nature of Dukkha in the people and events of the world, distracting reactions arise, and desire and fear ensues. “Where there is desire there is fear, where there is fear there is desire”

Reacting to fear only encourages desire, while reacting to desire only leads to fear. Franklin Roosevelt toured the Dhamma when he said, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”

The Wise Dhamma Practitioner understands the condition that gives rise to Greed and Aversion, Desire and Fear, and has the courage AND conviction necessary to pursue and develop a conflict-free mind through Jhana Meditation and by integrating the Eightfold Path in all areas of one’s moment-by-moment life.

As Wise Dhamma Practitioners, we learn a simple truth: The most loving and compassionate act any human being can undertake is to develop understanding of Four Noble Truths to end conflict in the mind and so cease contributing to conflict in others. [3]

2023 is another auspicious opportunity to further our understating of Four Noble Truths or to re-engage with a gentle and profound Dhamma that brings profound understandings of what it means to be an individual human being, a sovereign six-propertied human being free of conflict and entanglements with the people and events of the world we live in. [1]

We concluded 2022 with two suttas that are relevant. This past Tuesday Jen presented an excellent class on the Vatthupama Sutta ([5]) that taught the importance of a pure nad conflict-free mind. Yesterday’s class on the Nidan Sutta ([2]) taught the importance of recognizing and abandoning Greed, Aversion, and Deluded Consciousness in order to awaken, to develop full human maturity and a mind resting quietly in calm.

This can be seen clearly as an awakened, fully mature human being would not lose their minds to fear and desire by railing against the arising and passing away of Dukkha. The Wise Dhamma Practitioner has developed a profound understanding of the First Noble Truth: As a consequence of having a human life, there will be Dukla. The wise Dhamma practitioner takes on no Dukkha as their own. The Wise Dhamma Practitioner remains, at all times, a six-propertied person free of conflict in their mind. [8]

We begin the new year as we finished the past year with daily and weekly dhamma practice and participation in our well-informed and weel-focused Sangha. Here you will find an always-welcoming Sangha whose focus is solely on liberation from ignorance of Four Noble Truths. Please join us, or re-join us and develop a truly auspicious year for your self!

A structured study of Right View and The Personal experience of Dukkha, the Five Clinging-Aggregates, begins on January 3, followed by our yearly Structured Study based on my book The Truth Of Happiness, beginning January 28.

WE will have two hybrid retreats based at our center in Frenchtown and live-streamed for those over two hours from our center. Our Spring Retreat begins March 10 and ends on March 12. Our Fall Retreat begins on October 20 and concludes October 22.

Our yearly residential retreat at Won Dharma Center begins Wednesday, July 28 and concludes on Jul 3. I will open reservations in a few weeks for our retreats. If you would like to be notified of our classes and retreats, please subscribe to our newsletter.

These are all listed on our calendar.

Relevant Suttas for further study:

[1] An Auspicious Handful of Leaves

[2] Nidana Sutta – Ending the Defilements

[3] Four Noble Truths (Compilation)

[4] Dukkha Sutta – The Personal Experience of Suffering

[5] Vatthupama Sutta – Of Stained and Pure Cloth

[6] Loka Sutta – A World Aflame

[7] Magga-Vibhanga Sutta – Analysis of The Eightfold Path

[8] Dhatu -Vibhanga Sutta – Nothing (is) Personal, A Buddha’s Analysis of A Six-Propertied Person

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