The experience of contentment is the true happiness available through letting go and seeing our experience complete just as it is. Nothing needs to be added or taken away. This talk explores inner contentment, the state of “abundant enoughness”, while distinguishing it from complacency, laziness or just being resigned to the way things are. We can be inspired by a vision of awakening, develop our gifts and make a contribution, while we appreciate things just as they are in the moment.
The Buddha often taught the Dhamma through the use of analogy, which can be a powerful way for the teachings to resonate. This talk explores two famous analogies from the Pali Canon, and how we can understand our practice thorugh the imagery of these analogies.
We cultivate compassion by letting ourselves be touched by the suffering within and around us. Because our conditioning is to avoid vulnerability, the path of compassion requires courage and purposefulness. As we awaken to the truth of our connectedness, our hearts become increasingly tender and our actions serve the healing of our world.
We look further at the mechanisms by which we move away from direct experience. unskillfully, driven by reactivity and papanca (conceptual proliferation). We point to practices of tracking thoughts, emotions, reactivity-that help us ground in more direct experience, leading to greater freedom and responsiveness-personally interpersonally, and collectively.
Patience, one of the paramis, is a quality that we don’t often appreciate, even though it is tremendously important in our practice and our lives. To be patient is to be fully present for what is, to be with difficulty and challenge without resistance. Patience allows mindfulness and wisdom to deepen, as we meet our experience without agendas or expectations.