We examine how mindfulness is distinguished from, yet leads to wisdom. We explore wisdom especially through the life story of the Buddha, moving from comfort and and illusion to deep wisdom and compassion, and through his first teaching of the Four Noble Truths - the most basic expression of wisdom in the tradition.
A reflection on the Middle Way, i.e., the whole eightfold path, as avoiding two "dead ends." This is followed by further thoughts on the Four Noble Truths as tasks that culminate in the eightfold path itself.
Zen mast Dogen taught that "...to study the Buddhist way is to be Intimate with all Things." This talk reviews the often unconscious ways that we habitually block intimacy and two trainings of attention that foster a natural sense of belonging to this living world and to timeless presence.
A reflection on the metaphor of "awakening" as a process rather than a "state" of "enlightenment", which is followed by a reading of the Buddha's First Sermon (Turning the Wheel of Dhamma) in which he presents this awakening as being concerned with the living process of the Four Noble Truths.
Transformation in practice, whether in mindfulness or metta practice, occurs through repetition, patience, understanding and faith, in a sometimes mysterious way. Using poems and stories, we explore the nature of lovingkindness (metta) and the kinds of transformation that occur as we practice.