I am intrigued by how we can live the 'holy life' as lay people. How do we erase the imaginary line between formal sitting practice and the rest of our lives? How can we bring full engagement to formal and informal practice? Is it possible to embody, in our lives, the understanding and insight that comes with intensive training? And can we live our lives in a way that expresses and continues to deepen our realization? These questions fuel my practice and my teaching.
I place a lot of emphasis on the Buddha's teaching about mindfulness of the body. The body is a powerful dharma gate. I encourage people to deeply investigate the body and use it as a place of recollection in daily life.
Our individual and cultural habits, our confusion, all require a sincere and ongoing commitment to spiritual life and practice. In order to mature our 'layastic' practice, we need to develop a palette of practices: mindfulness, loving-kindness, inquiry, reflection, precept practice, service, sutta study, etc.
I believe passionate engagement is the foundation of the spiritual path. Spiritual life blossoms when mindfulness is woven with a heartfelt sense of loving-kindness and compassion. With warm mindfulness as the basis of practice, our attachment to identity, roles and experience begins to loosen. As our experience and understanding matures, faith develops. This nourishes a devotion to practice which further deepens our insights.
It is precious to be born in the human realm and have an opportunity to practice and awaken. May we appreciate our inheritance and bring to life the teachings of the Buddha.
Exploring the paradox of aging and dharma practice. Through dharma practice we discover the possibility of maturing as a human at ages 50 and older. Meditation uncovers what we know and the unknown through our presence, awareness and curiosity. The Two Truths reveal both conventional and ultimate truths of reality as we continue to practice.
Upekkha is the wisdom of the heart. It reveals a balanced, equipoise of heart and mind that is woven with love, compassion and joy. Often confused with detachment equanimity is a heart/mind resting in the wisdom of reality and awareness. It is the balance of heart/mind rooted in insight.
Practice reveals the Spontaneous Heart of Reality inherent in each human being. Becoming intimately aware of each moment of experience reveals the phantasmagorical reality available here and now. Know reveals not knowing. The Universal is revealed through the Personal. As the hardening of Heart relaxes the Dharma displays itself.
Paradox is at the heart of practice. It includes the teachings of suffering and the end of suffering; of self and not-self; and the Buddhist teaching of the two truths - relative and absolute reality being equally true.
Things are not what they seem Nor are they otherwise - Buddha
This talk explored the role and dynamic of paradox in Buddhist teaching and practice. We looked at the paradox inherent in the experience of the three characteristics -- anicca (impermanence), dukkha (suffering) and anatta (self and not self). As we relax with the paradoxical experience the three characteristics become portals to awakening.