I am intrigued by how we can live the 'holy life' as lay people. How do we erase the imaginary line between formal sitting practice and the rest of our lives? How can we bring full engagement to formal and informal practice? Is it possible to embody, in our lives, the understanding and insight that comes with intensive training? And can we live our lives in a way that expresses and continues to deepen our realization? These questions fuel my practice and my teaching.
I place a lot of emphasis on the Buddha's teaching about mindfulness of the body. The body is a powerful dharma gate. I encourage people to deeply investigate the body and use it as a place of recollection in daily life.
Our individual and cultural habits, our confusion, all require a sincere and ongoing commitment to spiritual life and practice. In order to mature our 'layastic' practice, we need to develop a palette of practices: mindfulness, loving-kindness, inquiry, reflection, precept practice, service, sutta study, etc.
I believe passionate engagement is the foundation of the spiritual path. Spiritual life blossoms when mindfulness is woven with a heartfelt sense of loving-kindness and compassion. With warm mindfulness as the basis of practice, our attachment to identity, roles and experience begins to loosen. As our experience and understanding matures, faith develops. This nourishes a devotion to practice which further deepens our insights.
It is precious to be born in the human realm and have an opportunity to practice and awaken. May we appreciate our inheritance and bring to life the teachings of the Buddha.
Satipatthana - Four Foundations of Mindfulness offers us specific meditation practices with the body, breath, in four postures, in all activities, with the elements, with death, vedana, the heart/mind and the dharmas including hindrances and the seven factors of awakenings. Each of these practices includes a through line: One abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world. The not clinging to body, heart, mind or any experience is both the foundation of the Buddha's teaching and the doorway to freedom. It's the experience of coming into alignment with ' he way things are.'
We explored how to practice with an embodied awareness 24/7. Practice using a full awareness that allows us to be mindful through the knowing our body experientially veiled of thoughts, ideas and commentary. This direct knowing is proprioceptive, kinesthetic, often referred to as felt sense knowing.
Gratitude arises as the 5th Brahma Vihara. It is a quality of heart ripened by our coming into harmony with the reality of life and death. As we waken to the truth that this is the only moment there is, we discover the magic, mystery and beauty of simply Being.
What it means to let go as we live and as we die. How can we begin relax with the fact that in actuality we can’t really hold on to anything? This truth helps us to come into alignment with the way things are! Reality is not static, it is ecstatic, always changing.
Exploring Maranasati: Mindfulness of Death/Awakening to Life. This talk highlights the normalcy of Death. We survey how death is related to in various Buddhist traditions as well as discussing personal experience of death as part of contemplative practice.