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.
As long as we are resideing and clinging to the realm of "I","ME","MINE", and other, we are residing somewhere next door to reality & it creates great suffering. We can look into the mirror of the dhamma and see the painful contraction that accompanies"ME"&"MINE"&"THEIR'S" and let go & come to know the truth of interconnectedness & the reality of no separate, no solid, no static "self", and take the great relief & ease in this truth.
Exploring some of the breadth and depth of the great blessings of our precious human existence, in light of our life itself being the most precious and rare opportunity to practice the Dharma of awakening.
Exploring through stories--old and new--the unifying energy of metta, this most subtle and powerful energy. Why and how is the capacity for an unfettered unconditional connection in relationship to ourselves and others essentially necessary for our dharma practice and in the whole of our life?
A question with many obvious answers and some surprising answers that show up as our practice unfolds...a talk telling of exemplary stories.
Compassion - one of the two wings of liberation: It's the heart felt connection to beings, and our way of being in this world that ensues from this. Compassion: Arising out of a clear and deep understanding/knowing of Dukkha (the unsatisfactoriness of all phenomena); the root cause of this suffering and the way of it's end.
Compassion--the heart of tenderness, openness and great strength. As we turn our capacity to unconditionally open to and accept towards suffering, we connect with our courage and strength to genuine care and move towards the alleviation of suffering.
The enlightenment factor of tranquility, the calm serenity that begins to evolve out of the connection, interest and joy in seeing things more directly and clearly, brings a quieting of the disturbances of mind and body. Tranquility prepares the mind for deepening concentration, which is the 6th enlightenment factor. With a strengthening of moment-to-moment concentration, clarity and insight arise quite naturally.