Aging brings many surprises. We can develop a ‘big picture’ that includes the wisdom of equanimity and relaxation. This wisdom of not clinging or letting go is fundamental to the Buddhist goal of awakening. It also can arise as we age, let go of everything, as we see that we can’t actually hold on to anything. The freedom of letting go is part of the fruit of practice and aging.
Mindfulness of death is both personal and impersonal. Eugene gave a picture of his experience of death and it’s relationship to his personal practice that included his time as a hospice volunteer/trainer, as a son caring for his dying parents, and, his near death experience. He also outlined Buddhist teachings about death in the Theravada and Zen lineages.
This month marks the 100th Anniversary of the birth of Ajahn Chah, one of the most influential Theravadan masters of the 20th Century from the Thai Forest tradition. Ajahn Chah was the primary teacher of Jack Kornfield, Ajahn Sumedho, Ajahn Amaro and other influential teachers. Ajahn Chah's teaching is a major influence on the Dharma as presented at Spirit Rock. This talk offers some reflections his approach to practice at once deep, fierce, down to earth, humorous and wise.