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 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.
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.
Can we relinquish our preference of picking and choosing? Can we be with pheonomena...whatever it is, just as it is? Can we begin to see and realize the true nature of things in 'every kind of birth'? Can we wander into the natural state of the equipoise of an undisturbed mind?
The Buddha's invitation to us is "to come and see" for ourselves what is true. Investigation is the "activity" of mindfulness. It's the activity of discernment. It illuminates the object. When things are brightly lit, what is already present is then clearly seen and known, and confusion is dissipated.
"EHI PASSIKA" "Some and See" investigation is the active aspect of mindfulness. It brings a clear discernment of our body-mind experience. Investigation is what lights up the truth for us.
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.
a gently guided series of simple stretches and movements; exploring, experiencing and abiding in the 1st Foundation of Mindfulness--the body. We 'wake up' through a deepening mindful relationship to the body, growing in acceptance, clarity, spaciousness, and equanimity, with penetrating insight into the truth of ourselves.