Mark is a spiritual teacher, wonderful poet, and author of many books including best selling The Book of Awakening. In this wide-ranging and rich conversation, Tara and Mark explore shedding our defenses, faith, compassion for ourselves and others, spiritual practice, and facing illness, aging and death.
This meditation awakens a receptive attention to the senses, starting with physical sensations and opening to sound. Then we sense how open awake awareness is receiving the moment to moment arising and passing life. In the final part of the practice, we explore how awake awareness is receiving the experience of our heart and offer blessings to our inner life and all living beings.
We first review last week's theme of traditional understandings of awakening and the path to awakening, focused on the teachings of the Buddha, of the Thai Forest tradition, and of Tibetan Dzogchen and Mahamudra. Then we explore the question whether we have need as well of contemporary maps of paths to awakening, to get at dimensions of contemporary greed, aversion, and delusion that are not identified in traditional maps. We suggest the need for such maps, and for integrating traditional understandings with examination particularly of psychological and social conditioning. If not transformed, such conditioning can lead to many problems for all practitioners, including teachers and those with some significant taste of awakening. Discussion follows.