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.
The Buddha said, to take what is impermanent as permanent is wrong view. When we contemplate this truth and know it deeply, we will know the dharma as our true protection and refuge and this truth will set us free.
The mind of a Buddha is at peace because of the absence of reactivity. Can we discover that place of rest in our own minds? Mindfulness of vedana, the feeling tone of experience, exposes the ways we try to control our experiences from our likes and dislikes. What does it mean to open to the way things are?
We live on the edge of uncertainty. But do we have to live with anxiety about this fact? The Dharma shows us we are the dynamic change and becoming. This is our own nature. Can we trust this and let go into it?
The Buddha conquered Mara who personifies the evil or unskillful forces of mind that overwhelm us. He gave the teaching on Four Ways of Undertaking Things, which is elucidated in this talk - a practical and helpful explanation on increasing our happiness and decreasing our pain through making wise choices.