At the Winter Solstice, we explore how our practice is in pat to be with the "dark" -- the still, the unknown, the difficult, the generative and fertile -- and in part to open to light , as it emerges from the dark, as we deliberately invoke qualities of light.
Through stories and practical instruction,s the talk illuminates the direct experience of fear and other challenging emotions and describes the transformation of fear into love through the practices of naming, mindfulness of the body/nervous system, lovingkindness and letting go.
Our attitude in the face of life's challenges determines our suffering or our freedom. This solstice talk explores the light of compassion that blossoms when we honor our difficult times with a deep, mindful attention. This solstice evening includes chanting, singing and a candlelighting ceremony. (see video - show tracks)
La performs three dharma spoof songs for the 2011 IMCW Solstice Celebration. The first - "Waking Up is Hard to Do" - is about the delusion that suffering is easier than the effort it takes to wake up. The second - "Let it go, Let it go, Let it go" (written by Maureen Brady of the Snowflower Sangha in Madison, WI) - is about the practice of holiday equanimity. And the third - "My Mind's Prison Blues" - is a summary of the dharma and practice in the spirit of Johnny Cash. (Lyrics for 1st and 3rd songs by La Sarmiento).