Gavin Harrison died on October 24, 2018, in Seattle, Washington. He was 68. “The realization of our True Nature is the birthright of all of us, and an ever-present possibility. We awaken to the sacred ground of Love, Awareness and Joy that was always there, perhaps unrecognized, yet abiding and full beyond description. This Truth of our Being reveals itself as Simple Silence, Infinite Wisdom and Boundless Compassion. The teachings and poetry of Awakening are invitations into the Truth of our Being. By neither bypassing nor transcending our humanness, but embracing it fully, the Love we are flowers and extends across the immensity of time and space touching the greatest and smallest of things.”
Gavin studied in South African schools and received his degree from the University of Witwatersrand. Although trained as a CPA, Gavin early on developed a deep connection with Buddhism, traveling widely to study and practice with a variety of spiritual teachers and communities. He became a vital part of the Buddhist community at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA.
Gavin published a memoir of his spiritual journey, "In the Lap of the Buddha" (1994) and a collection of his spiritually-based poetry, "Petals and Blood" (2014). Most recently, Gavin joined a spiritual community in Mt Shasta, CA, meditated in India at the ashram of Ramana Maharshi, and continued to teach in his beloved Hawaii. Gavin nurtured a close bond with the indigenous Zulu community of South Africa and fundraised for Woza Moya, an organization that supports AIDS orphans. Donations in Gavin's memory can be made to Woza Moya at P.O. Box 847, Ixopo 3276, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. www.wozamoya.org.za.
How do we work with the energies that are touched in us by the terrorist attacks and all the upheaval in society and the world since then? This talk is an offering of teachings from the Buddhist tradition intended to support us in addressing the current situation wisely within ourselves.
Being able to connect with an inner silence amidst the outer turmoil will help the mind become clear and find beneficial ways to meet the challenges that face us. Many issues surrounding the crisis are discussed. Encouragement and suggestions are given for putting the teachings to the test of practice at a critical time.
The creation of war begins in the mind. Can we own the shadow in ourselves that wages war with our own experience? Can we see this in the roots of the incredible violence in the world? What would it be to put down the collective and individual struggles that we keep creating?
In an era of terrorism, vengeance and a thirsting for enemies, the practice of insight meditation offers the possibility of a trustworthy and transformative response to the heartbreak of these times. Following the talk is a guided forgiveness meditation.
The Buddha pointed to impermanence-- the changing nature of things-- as one of the basic laws of nature. The events of September 11th have highlighted this truth dramatically for us. This talk encourages the possibility of softening, seeing clearly and being present to the truth so that we can continue to learn through deepening our understanding of this law of impermanence.
Most of us want to know the right answer to complex situations. This post-September 11th talk explores the value of letting go of prematurely trying to figure things out, and replace it with patiently listening inside to our wisest understandings and responses when they are ready to be heard.