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.
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.
A "wonderful and marvelous thing" happens when a Buddha begins to teach the dharma... people want to listen and come to understand life and how not to suffer.. By not biting the hook of the hindrances, this transformation from ignorance to wisdom is possible.
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.
The teaching of “no-self” often leads to the mind trying to figure it all out. Using the simile of the chariot this talk helps to turn the investigative mind, rather than the thinking mind, towards dispelling this wrong view of who we think we are. "I am NOT the decider."
When we are not mindful that one of the hindrances is dragging us around by the nose...we suffer... As soon as mindfulness is present, this is our opportunity for freedom from them... We are no longer at their mercy when we understand their nature.. Impermanent "clouds" blowing through the mind - they have no power over us.
This talk fleshes out the meaning of mindfulness using a range of words to capture the flavor of this quality. We touch on the skillful use of the different anchors(body, breath, sound) to support steadiness of mind, and then let them go to include all 6 sense doors.