My focus in teaching is to provide the support that students need to turn their life to the dharma, to truth, and to find ways to come out of their pain and suffering. The retreat experience is an invaluable aid to this exploration; however, what matters more is how one integrates this under- standing into everyday life.
I care that students see through the illusory wall between formal meditation and their daily life. Then, what remains is a meditative attitude to all that occurs.
Vipassana practice helps us to become respectful and caring towards ourselves and others. This generates the conditions of mind and heart that allow us to awaken to the truth of who we are, rather than believing in our limited assumptions. As we see the impersonal nature of our own mind, we then experience a deep engagement with life that allows for a complete transformation of the heart. When we know this deeply, we can no longer unconsciously engage in actions that will lead to suffering and the ongoing destruction of our planet.
As a teacher, I am accessible and able to meet people at an intimate level. I am interested in how the language that we use can show where we are holding on. I look to the concepts about reality that people believe in as the key that unlocks the door to liberating insight. People can easily discount their experiences and forget that they hold the seeds to liberation, that the wisdom is already within them. As people speak what is in their hearts, affirmation brings about the confidence needed to take the next step, which can often seem confusing and daunting as one walks into the unknown territory of the mind.
To live freshly we will need to go beyond all that is known and familiar to us, which we avoid at all costs. Why do we hold on so tightly when what we are longing for is in the relaxation and letting go?
This talk explores two of the Buddha's discourses that teach how to establish equanimity associated with insight. He teaches us what leads to more happiness and what leads to more suffering, and essentially, how we can cultivate more pleasure in our lives.
Our mind becomes obsessed with three views that define who we take ourselves to be, me, mine and myself. Born from confusion about the way things are, we see ourselves and others in a narrow, contracted way and lose contact with our deepest nature. This talk is a clear and candid exploration that encourages practicing with awareness to find out what is true about this person I take myself to be.
Conditions in our life are always changing and out of our control. We search for peace in the conditions rather than realizing peace comes from accepting that they change and ultimately, we cannot control the way things are.