The Buddha spoke of waking up as going "against the stream" in order to see things with fresh eyes. One essential ingredient of the spiritual journey is courage required to grow and be willing to step outside of our comfort zones. Being a spiritual warrior means facing our deepest fears, dealing with loss, opening to the places inside we'd rather not see and trusting that your awareness can meet any moment that arises. We explore this topic in our dharma practice as it manifests on and off the cushion.
Compassion is the medicine we most need as individuals and a species to heal suffering and free our spirits. The essence of compassion for ourselves and others – what I call Radical Compassion – has three key elements: it is an embodied experience (a felt sense of tenderness), it is inclusive all beings, and it naturally moves us to act from a caring heart. This two-part talk explores the alchemy of Radical Compassion and guides us in awakening this intrinsic expression of our evolutionary potential.
Beginning with a story of about Heather's close encounter with a monkey in India, the talk offers theory and practice on the First Foundation of Mindfulness on 'calming the bodily formation' as well as 'settling the nervous system' which are important 'dharmas of modern times'. Practices support us to work with anxiety, fear shame, judgment and other difficult emotions and reactive patterns of body and mind.