We are conditioned to perceive people as unreal others- two dimensional characters who lack sentience, vulnerability and goodness. This is often most insidious when we filter people through demeaning culturally driven stereotypes. This talk explores the suffering of living in a trance that separates us from others, and how our practices of mindfulness and compassion enable us to experience what Thoreau calls the "miracle" of seeing through another's eyes, if only for a moment.
Our sneaky friend Mara, “The Tempter” needs to be seen in all his guises so that he doesn't fool us. This talk looks at the 10 Armies of Mara that might be operating at any time when we are not being mindful.
The magic of mindfulness is how it weakens unwholesome (akusala) states of suffering and strengthens wholesome (kusala) states of well-being. This talk explains this process of alchemy: how greed, hatred and delusion are trnsformed into generosity, loving-kindness and wisdom.