A pervasive but often invisible source of suffering in our culture is self-aversion. We are a busy culture, and we move through our life feeling anxious and dissatisfied, but not fully conscious of how we neglect or judge our inner experience. We suffer from a lack of belonging: to our own bodies, to each other and to the earth. When we practice Buddhist meditation, we learn how to listen deeply and hold our life tenderly.
The open space of compassion allows us to realize that our thoughts and emotions are not who we are; they are waves in our ocean. This gives us the freedom to live more wisely and love more fully.
For over thirty-five years, I've been exploring the awakening of awareness with yoga, meditation, a clinical psychology practice and relationships in spiritual community (sangha). Since the untying of emotional knots is an essential part of "waking up," it is natural for me to weave these elements into my Buddhist practice and teaching. With formal practice, and a genuine engagement in sangha, we can cultivate the qualities of heart and awareness that allow for deep emotional healing and spiritual freedom.
Buddhism guides us in slowing down, quieting and paying attention in an honest and caring way. Through our mindfulness and compassion practices, we establish a sense of intimacy and belonging to our life. We discover that there is no Buddha "out there." Rather, we realize that our true refuge is the wakefulness, openness and love of our own natural awareness.
Teja Bell (Fudo Myoo Roshi) is a lineage dharma teacher and Rinzai Zen master, the 85th ancestor of the lineage of Lin-Chi I-Chuan. He teaches dharma and qigong as embodied mindfulness through integrating somatic skills with meditation practices.
Tempel Smith spent a year ordained as a monk in Burma and teaches Buddhist psychology and social activism in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is currently part of the IMS/Spirit Rock Teacher Training Program.
Tere is second generation Mexican, with a Lebanese family background. She was born and lived in Mexico City almost all her life. There she became fascinated by Tibetan Buddhism. She moved to Los Angeles in 2002 with her now late husband and three young daughters. Once in LA, she met Trudy Goodman at InsightLA and decided to leave behind her Business career and interest in Geography to devote herself to her family, her personal growth, and the study and practice of Buddhism to enhance her life and the lives of others around her. In LA, Tere became a passionate painter. Her mindfulness journey has strengthened her creativity as a visual artist. She is currently the president of a large growing and successful multinational company in Mexico City and a firm believer of the enormous benefits of mindfulness everywhere. Her heart calls her to share the Dharma with Spanish Speaking communities. She facilitates mindfulness groups in both Spanish and English.
Thanissara, from London, was a nun for 12 years in the tradition of Ajahn Chah and has taught internationally for over 30 years. She is co-founder of Dharmagiri Sacred Mountain Retreat, South Africa, Sacred Mountain Sangha, California, and Chattanooga Insight, Tennessee. She has an MA in Mindfulness Psychotherapy Practice from the Karuna Institute UK and is co-author of Listening to the Heart, A Contemplative Guide to Engaged Buddhism, author of Time To Stand Up, An Engaged Buddhist Manifesto for Our Earth, and several books of poetry. She is a member of the Teacher Council at Spirit Rock and co-guiding teacher of Sacred Mountain Sangha.
Tina Rasmussen, Ph.D., began meditating at age 13, and has practiced in the Theravada and Tibetan Buddhist traditions for 30+ years. In 2003, she completed a year-long solo retreat, and was later ordained as a Buddhist nun and authorized to teach by Ven. Pa Auk Sayadaw. Tina has been studied by Yale Neuroscience Lab, and is the co-author of Practicing the Jhanas, as well as several books on human potential, and works with students worldwide. For more info visit LuminousMindSangha.com.
Trudy Goodman has practiced in the Zen and Theravada traditions since 1974. She founded InsightLA and Growing Spirit (a family program) in Los Angeles. She is the guiding teacher of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy in Cambridge, MA.