Heather Sundberg began teaching meditation in 1999 primarily to youth and families. She completed teacher training at Spirit Rock and is mentored by Jack Kornfield. Heather has studied with senior teachers in the Insight Meditation and Tibetan (Vajrayana) traditions, and has sat 1-3 months of retreat a year for over a decade. She was teacher and mangager of the Spirit Rock Family Program from 2001-2010. She is a teacher for Mountain Stream Meditation Center in the Sierra Foothills and also teaches classes, daylongs and retreats nationally, especially at Spirit Rock Meditation Center.
An overview of the Brahma Viharas (lovingkindness-compassion-sympathetic joy-euanimity) and the role they play in the path of transforming judgments through sharing stories, images and practical techniques.
With a light hearted tone, the talk outlines five key areas of practice in working with the judgmental mind; Mindfulness, Somatic Practices, Heart Practices, Inquiry into habits and the role of wise friends, Spiritual Community.
"The spiritual path moves through cycles. The key is balance."
The talk journeys from the ground of ethical conduct through developing concentration, working with doubt, developing insight, working with dukkha of many types, to stabilizing in equanimity and opening to and integrating awakening.
A "talk from the heart" blending aspects of wisdom and compassion. Teachings on the five recollections, the three characteristics and how to work with difficulties in cultivating compassion are offered through stories from the life of the Buddha, Dipa Ma, Darlene Cohen, Ruth Denison and His Holiness the Karmapa.
The central theme of this talk is the Body is the Teacher. Based on the Satipatthana Sutta with First Foundation emphasis, the talk outlines Mindfulness of Breathing, of the four postures, and of full awareness in the continuity of all activities. Offers practical instructions, personal stories, and stories from the time of the Buddha.
Exploring on the levels of mind-heart-body, including teachings on patience, equanimity, compassion and forgiveness. The talk reflects on befriending the 'difficult' person in metta practice, with the underlying intention of reminding us that we are all in this together; that befriending difficult people can be both workable and transformational and that there are practical tools available to assist us on our journey.
Through stories and practical instruction,s the talk illuminates the direct experience of fear and other challenging emotions and describes the transformation of fear into love through the practices of naming, mindfulness of the body/nervous system, lovingkindness and letting go.
In this talk Heather discusses the wisdom aspects of compassion, such as the three characteristics of existence (change, stress, impersonality), explores obstacles to experiencing the compassionate heart, and presents daily
life practices of compassion in action. The evening concludes with shares from the sangha on their personal compassion practices.
Through personal stories, practical techniques and humor, the talk outlines five areas for working with judgments:
1. Mindfulness of Body
2. RAIN Practice
3. Heart Practices
4. Learning about patterns
5. Value of wise friends