My teaching practice and my personal practice continually intertwine, each weaving a pattern in the larger tapestry of the Dharma. The theme that threads itself throughout my practice relates to the tremendous pain and suffering, the challenges and difficulties that so many beings face, and the possibility of awakening from this suffering. From this immediate calling I've woven the purpose of my life.
It is a deep honor for me to come together with others who feel a similar calling of connection to the Dharma to learn about the greatest gift of all: a happiness inside of us that is unconditional, and a depth of being that is infinite.
Together, our practice is dedicated to this effort of opening to our hearts' potential. To this I bring the flavor of my lineage--the continuation of the teachings of my root teachers, Ruth Denison and her teacher U Bha Khin; a commitment to learning how to live with each other in kindness; and my life as a lesbian in a long-term relationship.
Even though I have been involved in different traditions over the years, what I love about Buddhism is the simplicity of the practice; the fact that it isn't embodied by a lot of ritual, or special clothes, or the need for different props. I love the moment-to-moment calling of awareness to whatever one is doing. And vitally important, I appreciate the safety inherent in the teacher/student relationship, where the emphasis is on the practice itself and the teacher engages as a peer and spiritual friend.
Faith is not a romanticized protection of a particular experience or person. It is born from the practice of transforming our defended hearts and minds. Faith is one of the great spiritual powers which sustains love and wisdom. Entrusting ourselves to the beautiful qualities of heart, because they only bring goodness.
We are often blind to our own generosity, to the gift of our practice and efforts. The Buddha invites us to contemplate this beautiful quality of our minds, and its wholesome results, as part of the practice of growing and sustaining.
Patience is one of the Paramis and gives us the strength to endure through difficult experiences. We can be inspired to practice it through contemplating leaders such as Mandela or the Dalai Lama who have faced extreme challenges in their lives without retribution or revenge, but with kindness and wisdom.
The commitment to truthfulness is a mirror which highlights our deepest intention to bring harmony and peace through kind and useful words. Also it shows us the sneaky seductions of lying, flattery and unkind speech.
We have a tendency to see the world through success-failure, enemy-friend, good-bad. It is also possible to hold, with love, the ambiguity of life and our own ambivalence. Without splitting, we are able to live within the ethical guidelines given by the Buddha’s teachings.