I find teaching to be a very deep and powerful "no self" practice. When I connect with others during Dharma talks--in the intimacy of small groups, and while holding meditation practice interviews--I am continually reminded to know, and be, in a place of clarity, spaciousness and immediate presence. Being able to offer students such a place of connection is my greatest pleasure and inspiration, as well as the most appreciated challenge in my teaching practice.
For me, the real fruit of the teaching is seeing the beauty of a gradual, and sometimes sudden, unfolding of a heartmind into its true self; seeing the variety of ways a person's essential, creative energy of being flows into the world.
On one end of the teaching, I am excited and inspired by students who are deeply committed to long-term, intensive practice. On the other end (and of course they're connected), I find that working closely with people at the grass roots level--in a co-creative process of developing and sustaining Dharma practice, study and community opportunitiies on a day-to-day basis--is equally exciting and inspiring.
From the immediacy of presence flows a wisdom that naturally connects us to the way of things. This amazing gift of mindfulness provides us with a spaciousness where we can make appropriate, healthy and creative life choices. Rather than being caught up in our old, conditioned habits, mindfulness provides us with the gift of engagement at its best. This is the Gift of the Dharma that we offer to all beings.
The Buddha offers us the recipe of cultivating a strong and clear concentration, mindfulness and investigation rooted in kindness that allows us to learn to experience the extremes and the subtleties of difficult emotions without getting caught by them. It's as though we learn to see them so clearly that we see through them and see their nature, just like we see through the colors of a rainbow.
This talk points out in a number of ways, that what is asked of us in practice is to simply recognize that everything we think of as 'our self', everything we believe to be 'our self'; everything we think of and believe to be other 'selves' simply just doesn't exist in any independent, permanent, unchanging, solid or substantial way.
Exploring kamma as a very accessible aspect of the Buddha's teaching... kamma as intention or motivation, which includes will, choice and decision... the mental impetus that leads to actions... both creative and destructive actions.
This talk explores ways that Metta practice helps to release the contractions of the heart/mind and the tremendous fullness of energy which is constituted by confidence and strength and a clear straight forwardness that comes from a loving heart.
Learning how to properly apply the 3 active forces of purification - sila (virtue), samadhi (concentration), and panna (wisdom) is essential to our practice. this talk explores the active force of samadhi (concentration)... its basis, the process of its development, and the fruits of concentration.
Review of instructions given in the last three days. In addition, a reflection on recognizing vitaka, vicara, piti, and sukha. When they are being experienced and to what degree with acknowledgment and appreciation.