Our potential as humans is vast and deep, and can be intentionally developed. There is a way that we can learn to open to all of our experience with kindness and clarity. As we begin to find this stability of heart and mind, wisdom will emerge.This emergence of wisdom, and strengthening of compassion, are the road to our individual and collective happiness and well-being.
We all have had experiences of impermanence, suffering, and not-self, but we haven't been able to generalize these as universal characteristics of conditioned things. Meditation instructions guide us to do so, allowing insight to arise. Examples of naturally arising "insights" which occur on retreat.
Understanding Saddha (faith) the first of the 5 Spiritual Faculties.
How this Buddhist version of faith is different from naive faith, authoritarian faith and consumer faith.
What is called faith when we practice this capacity of mind.
A welcoming talk for retreatants joining an on-going long retreat. Description of the process of forming community, and entering silence. An exploration of the power of motivation as retreatants turn to the Great Task.
Each of us is an open-ended process, matrixed with everything else. The very open-endedness of our nature allows for transformation in the direction of happiness, once we understand the lawfulness of things and act on that understanding. The fact that we are matrixed with other beinigs/things means our individual development has positive effects on others, beyond what we can directly observe/know.
Our minds have many mixed motivations, and they can be at play in meditation practice. This talk discusses some of the common "ulterior motives" which can be present, how to recognize them and how to re-frame them to make them into skillful supports-not distractions.
Our lives are the raw material for liberating insight to arise. Even outside of meditation, the three characteristics of conditioned things -- impermanence, unsatisfactoriness and not-self -- are present in all experience. Understanding this directly and continuously, in the context of the Buddha's core teachings, leads to liberation.
The Buddha took effort to its far point, bringing himself close to death in the pursuit of awakening. Then he had a change of understanding, let go of self-punishment and awoke. We too need to discern when our effort is skillful, and when we are out of balance in striving. How to recognize and let go of unskillful striving.
Human beings seek to control their experiences in order to be happy. But when we approach meditation practice with a fixed agenda, we miss the mark. Freedom and liberation comes from learning to harmonize with reality, not in trying to impose our preferences upon it.
When we attempt to extend metta (loving-kindness) to difficult people, things get interesting. In order to expand our capacity to love, we must strengthen our motivation to do so and work with obstacles which may arise. Through reflecting on the value of metta in our families and communities, we find the courage to undertake this spiritual challenges. Includes guided meditation.