A core part of Dharma practice is bringing to peace our mental construction, the talk discusses this in context of three aspects of the present experience: what is happening, our relationship to what is happening, and the subject who experiences all of this.
Distraction, "swimming" against our habit of distraction, our practice helps us open to the truth of dukkha, let go of its causes, realize its end and cultivate the the path of liberation, a version of the Four Noble Truths.
While the heart of meditation is resting in open awareness, our conditioning to be distracted and reactive can keep us on the wheel of suffering. We awaken from trace by developing skillful ways of paying attention that create the environment for natural presence. This natural awareness, while sometimes hidden, is always here: It is our true home.
After a review of four guidelines for practicing with fear, we explore more deeply the nature of fear, including many of the more unconscious ways that we carry fear, as well as the biological basis of fear. We also examine the relationship of fear to a sense of self, and of opening into fearlessness.
We might think that it was easy for the Buddha on his journey to awakening....not so. The story of his life and how the path unfolded for him can reveal parallels that we might experience in our own practice - this can be both inspiring and reassuring to us
Understanding how karma works gives us clear guidelines to find simple human happiness or the highest happiness of liberation, which is described as the end of karma. The talk also describes how the working of karma depends on the truth of not-self (anatta).