So much of my inspiration and joy comes from bearing witness to the unfolding of the dharma in myself and others. My teaching is most engaging when I'm involved in an on-going relationship with students and having the opportunity, and honor, to see what's happening in their lives. We may begin our practice on our cushions; and yet, as we learn to bring practice to all corners of our lives, we get a glimmer of the true possibility of liberation.
Simplicity has been most helpful to me, so I stick with basic instructions and try to distill my words to the bare minimum in a simple, clear and precise way.
My interest focuses on how to liberate the mind. I like to explore and find different ways that are most useful to people. I'm aware that various aspects of the practice, and the teaching, resonate with different people at different times. What is that person's experience right now and what will be most helpful to them? Often the answer comes to me by looking at what has happened to me in practice, and using that experience to help someone discover their own intuitive wisdom.
In my teaching, lovingkindness supports the developmental unfolding of wisdom. It doesn't do us much good to practice in ways that perpetuate self-judgment. When we come from a place of caring and lovingkindness, we allow for the possibility of transformation in our lives. Lovingkindness and wisdom allow us to move from a life of reaction to a life of inner resonance with the world around us. They take us out of a place of reaction and into one of responsiveness.
The Buddha in his very first discourse gave practical instructions as to how one could realize the end of suffering. By understanding and reflecting through direct experience of these truths we can find deepening levels of happiness.
Compassion is classically described as the quivering or trembling of the heart in response to suffering. Our habituated responses may be to deny or repress our suffering. As we learn to open to suffering with a balanced mind, we discover the natural responsiveness of the heart which brings us into a relationship of care and concern for the world we live in.
The journey of awakening is the cultivation of the qualities of wisdom and compassion. These two qualities need to be strong and in balance to support their unfolding. We learn how to keep these qualities strong and in balance so they can become the wings to freedom.
Practice helps us to learn to recognize the voice of our deepest aspirations. These aspirations can become a very strong motivating force in our lives if they are given the right nutrients. This talk will help us to learn to cultivate conditions that support our heart's deepest vows.