Annie Nugent has practiced since 1979 and was an IMS Resident Teacher, 1999-2003. Her teaching style aims to reveal how all aspects of our lives can help us come to a clear and direct understanding of the Truth.
The Buddha did not ever, in all the his eons of practice, tell a deliberate lie. The base line for our practice to progress is Truthfulness - it is the very foundation upon which the practice unfolds towards ultimate Truth.
Truthfulness also plays an important role in the world - bringing a sense of trust and respect into our lives, if it is present.
How can we not become reactive in the thick of difficult states of mind, events, relationships and situations that unfold in life? By inclining the mind towards equanimity through the growing understanding that we are not in control… things are constantly changing due to conditions. We learn to sit steady in the saddle in the midst of life's ups and downs.
We can get caught up in speculating on karma which is something the Buddha tells us in not helpful and will make us “mad”. The most helpful way to work with karma is to see it in each moment by noticing the suffering and end of suffering dependent on whether we are grasping or meeting the moment with wisdom.
The four qualities that, when well practiced, place us in the vicinity of nibbana.
These are not new or secret teachings! We are already practicing them when we are being mindful with dedication. This can be inspiring and also bring relief at the same time.
The Buddha said these 5 contemplations were important for everyone to reflect on frequently: ageing, illness, death, losing what is precious to us and the law of karma... Reflecting on them helps to diminish pride and strengthen our ability to let go.