Kirsten Kratz has practiced Buddhist meditation in Asia and the West since 1993. She started teaching in 2006 and since 2015 she has been ‘teacher in residence’ supporting those on personal retreat at Gaia House. Her love and understanding of Dharma has been strongly influenced by, among others, the teachings of her friend and teacher colleague, Rob Burbea. One of her particular passions is exploring how wisdom teachings can foster appropriate responses to the challenges of our time, and Kirsten sees her involvement in activism as an important expression of her practice. Kirsten is co-initiator of the “Dharma Action Network for Climate Engagement” (DANCE) and supporting teacher of Freely Given Retreats.
As we quieten the noise of aversion and grasping, some stillness and calm can arise in the spacious welcoming of our experience. We can start to feel a freeing of the heart from our often limiting agendas and sense that heart-mind can stay open, connected and engaged, even when we struggle or are not in control.
The teachings on the Middle Way, in their different expression, all point to a dynamic, responsive balance that aims to avoid skewing to any side of a perceived polarity. They do not imply a "being stuck in the middle", nor do they promise that we can eventually find a place to land, settle and discover freedom in taking a side in any duality. The teachings on the Middle Way keep us on our feet, questioning, opening, refining. They reveal and offer the liberating perception of "Neither-Nor".
A guided meditation inviting us to be wth our experience without aversion or clinging, staying open to whatever is arsing in our awareness. Acknowledging that at times we identify and then soldify and even calcify around a position or way of seeing, we explore if it is possible to engage and take a clear ethical stance, without falling into the trap of extreme polarisation. Attending to experience in this way can potentially soften, calm, and mute our habitual reactions.
Paying attention we will recognise how irritation, fear, anger etc lead to contraction that will feed and strengthen the perception of polarities and "either-or". Can we see this is happening, without judgement? Can we open and soften to this with kindness, curiosity, humour and a spacious attitude, thus diminishing the creation of dualities?