My work since 2006 through UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center (uclahealth.org/marc) emphasizes making mindfulness teachings accessible to all, regardless of background, yet without losing depth practice. In recent years I have been teaching on Natural Awareness— the effortless, objectless, and spacious side of awareness practices. Socially engaged Buddhism is a thread woven through many of my talks-- how can we end suffering both internally and externally? Having worked with teens and young adults for many years, some of the talks are geared to young people. Finally as a mom of a tween, I'm deeply inspired by the transformative power of daily life and family practice.
The family retreat 2023 at Spirit Rock focused on the Eightfold Path. This talk was on Samadhi-- or Wise Cultivation through Mindfulness and Meditation and was specifically geared to parents. How can parents practice mindfulness right in the heat of in daily life? Can we practice when we’re getting kids ready for school or putting them to bed, or fighting with our teen or when we're worried about them? Mindfulness can offer incredible tools to support parents in staying present, connected, awake, and in right relationship with our children, partners, and self.
In this meditation, we review other ways of practicing loving kindness to get access to a feeling of kindness and then practice sending kindness out in all directions. We connect with the radiant, vast, boundless aspects of loving kindness.
In this talk we explore the core tools that we can use when we are struggling with difficult emotions, whether on retreat or in daily life. These tools are Mindfulness (of course): we learn how to be present with our emotions, practice RAIN, and meet our difficult thoughts and emotions with a fearless heart. The second tool is Wisdom: how can we "enlist the wisdom mind" to help us when we are lost in a challenging emotion.The third is Love: how we bring self-compassion and kindness to ourselves and our difficulties when we most need it. Lastly, Awareness Itself: Recognize the part of us that is stable, free, and luminous even in the midst of difficult emotions. Includes real-life examples.
In this meditation we explore "Wet" and "Dry" Loving Kindness. Dry loving kindness is primarily thoughts-based, using repetition of phrases to change your inner "soundtrack." Wet loving kindness is an emotion-based practice where we try to evoke the feeling of kindness and explore what gets in the way. In this guided meditation we try both types.
This talk includes the ingredients needed for deepening practice and finding freedom. It explores how our practice can begin with concentration, add insight into the mix, requires a sprinkling of self- love, and when cooked, opens to the nature of awareness itself. Added bonus: A few quotes from Ted Lasso.