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.
Spiritual joy-bliss-rapture makes the mind/the heart bright, light, pliable, and open. It's rooted in our practice along the way of this journey to awakening. This bright and buoyant energy of mind and body helps to inspire and sustain the effort that is needed for practicing.
The bright and buoyant energy of joy, this "lightness of being", and the arising calm and quiet of a tranquil body and mind are essential aspects and fruits of this path along the way to awakening.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.