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.
Using the Buddha's teaching on the Four Ways of Undertaking Things, we can examine what the basis is for our choices. Is it ego that imposes an idea of what is right or wrong? Or can we listen more deeply to our inner wisdom?
There is no need to be afraid of our personality....embracing all the condtions of our experience brings us to deeper levels of understanding. By recognizing times of deep contentment in ourselves, we plant a cellular memory of happiness that allows us to more easily find a natural resting place for the mind.
How do we express ourselves authentically, without falling into the extremes of indulgence and repression, where our ego is out of control, where we withdraw, hide behind our Buddhist practice, and lose touch with our vitality and our awakeness?
What is your experience like when you feel safe enough to open your heart? When we pay attention directly and we are not rejecting our experience, we can explore the quality of love in three centres of Being - head, heart and belly.
Mindfulness illuminates our present experience and allows for the qualities of openness, curiousity, interest and trust to arise as we explore what it means to be awake to our experience, whether it is pleasant or unpleasant.