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.
Can we look into the clear mirror of the dhamma? Can we face the "looking glass" with a willingness and humility and keep looking into this mirror of our 'self' without interpretation or judgement? It is only then that we begin to see and know the impersonality of presently arisen thoughts, censations,feelings and states of mind. Can we keep looking until we begin to experience and know that it's not all about "me" and teach the heart/the mind of freedom.
The Buddha offers us a recipe for cultivating a strong and clear mindful attention that's grounded in kindness and patience that meets the experience of the moment and sees it clearly, just as it is. We can learn to experience afflictive emotions without getting caught up or swept away and overcome by them. It's as though we learn to see them so clearly, that we see through them, just like we see through the colors of a rainbow.
Paying attention...a non-judgemental, non-manipulative, non-grasping, non-rejecting, kind of attention to the body in the body...just the body as such...not one's feeling, ideas, concerns, or interpretations about it. How do we know the body? How are we established in this first domain of mindfulness? Are you looking in the right place and in the right way for the happiness that you are seeking?
What moves you towards spiritual practice? We are stirred and moved and inspired to practice through various experiences that goes on within our own body-mind process and by phoenomena that goes on in the world around us. Listen to stories of people being stirred to a sense of samvega-spiritual urgency from the time of the Buddha, right up to stories from our time-now.
The aim and the fruit of generosity and compassion are two fold. We give to help and to free others; and we give to help and to free ourselves. This is the fullness, the seamless circle of compassionate generosity.
Can we relinquish our preference of picking and choosing? Can we be with phenomena…whatever it is, just as it is? This is our practice. The truth is lying in wait to be seen and known right in this moment.