Donald shares some of the main themes of his experiences from a four-week retreat that finished four days before the talk. The talk focuses on one of the themes from the retreat--how there is an awakening process and yet how there remain habitual tendencies and times of greed, hatred, and delusion. How do we understand the relationship between seeing our "true nature" to be love and wisdom, and the fact that habitual tendencies appear frequently?
We explore this theme in a few ways. We look at some of the understandings and stories in different religious traditions of something like this dynamic: How can there be "evil" when there is an all-powerful and all-good God? What accounts for this dichotomy? How are nirvana and samsara related? What guidelines and suggestions help us to practice so as to hold the aspiration to awaken and keep practicing with the acknowledgement of our habitual tendencies? Seven practice suggestions are given (see the attached file).