Leela Sarti has been a student of the Buddha's teachings and practices since she was 16 years old. She lives with her family in Sweden and in addition to teaching Insight Meditation retreats internationally works individually with students in her psychotherapy practice in Stockholm. She is a long term student of the Diamond Approach and part of a teacher training program in that tradition.
Who am I beyond concepts and ideas about myself? What does it mean to experience myself as a medium of consciousness? What is it that needs to wake up and what goes through transformation? This evening talk inquires into how embodied presence allows experience to arise in a more complete and whole way. As our capacity to be clear and sensitive evolves we become more malleable in our being, more real in our understanding and capable to respond rather than react to life.
To ask 'who am I?' is not a theoretical or esoteric question, but a practical question to ask in the midst of life. A steadiness of awareness makes it possible to trace the process of identity in relationship to body, mind, our belief, our roles, our situations in life and beyond any sense of self. When we are less identified we become more spacious and easy going. The radiant heart quality of equanimity - upekka - is essential when it comes to loosening fixed identity and living a life that embraces form and emptiness in a natural and authentic way.
This talk explores desire and craving; as a fuel for evolution, as the main cause of human suffering, and as the noble heart's intention and sacred wish to awaken. To fully embrace the second aspect of the eightfold path we need access to true strength and resolve.
This talk explores how the heart can awaken in mindful contact with the fundamental aspects of life - anicca, anatta and dukkha. To embody the awakening heart we need to understand and end the harmful force of shame and self-judgement. When there is an emerging inner climate of kind and attuned presence, the heart awakens itself.
All central issues of our life are located in the heart. Having explored the heart-capacities of compassion and joy in the previous evening's talk, this talk turns to another facet of heart-presence: true strength and life zest - to be turned on to be in life, turned on to the truth. How does distorted strength, expressed as inner hardness and anger, and the flip side of strength, weakness and helplessness, relate to authentic strength? How can we harness and and make alive the lions roar of the heart? One particular area where we need some courage and guts is in the exploration and work with shame, guilt and self-judgement. What do you feel guilty about? What is unforgivable in your life? What does guilt and shame do to you, and what is a wise and skillful approach to deal with this "inner swamp-land"? How can we make our heart and mind a good place to live, free from shame and self-harm?