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.
A useful talk to help us understand the play of creative and destructive thoughts that explores one discourse the Buddha gave on cultivating our mind. He shows how we can interrupt patterns of mind that lead to pain and encourage wholesome and positive states to arise.
The Buddha encouraged us to discriminate our thoughts into two sets: Those that led to freedom and those that lead to bondage. What are some skillful; tools to work with our persistent and difficult patterns of thought.
When we come into connection with ourselves and our experience, we come into contact with a living reality. And rather than reacting to and controlling it, we begin to relax into a curiosity and love for the journey of discovery.
As we move through the barrier of judgment and fear, we move from the known to the unknown, and come into a truer relationship with ourselves. Through exploring the meaning of "true safety", we find our only true refuge and protection.