Dharma practice invites us to hold an expansive view of our own lives, and of all reality. Like the sign in a Thai monastery reminds me many years ago: “Relax. In 100 years, all new people!” However caught up we may get in the drama and details of our own preoccupations, we will all soon be dust, all the richness of our lives reduced to that little line between our date of birth and date of death.
Despite this vast view though, which allows us to take ourselves less seriously, we also find that each moment counts. Each gesture, each action, each word. How we treat ourselves, and others, and the world around us, defines us moment by moment. “My view is as spacious as the wide open sky”, said Padmasambhava famously, “but my attention to karma is as fine as grains of flour.”
In this daylong retreat at NY Insight, Martin Aylward will explore the apparent paradox of a vast view combined with a fine attention, along with practices to bring both into focus. How do we hold both simultaneously? How can we be responsive, without feeling responsible? How might we bring both a vast view and a fine attention to both our inner practices, and to our outer engagement, whether in our personal lives or in response to the ecological, political and social crises in which we currently find ourselves.