What I most love in my teaching practice is seeing students become dedicated to their own liberation. As their spiritual practice matures, people light up from within when they begin to understand that personal freedom is possible. This commitment to freedom on the part of the student inspires me to find ways to express my deepest understanding and enthusiasm for liberation.
The mindfulness teachings of the Buddha are among the more direct, practical meditation techiques that we can cultivate. My focus is on sharing these practices in an accessable, down-to-earth way. How can we disengage from our habits of responding to the world through veils of confusion, greed, and hatred?
Mindfulness practice helps us recognize when we are responding to the world from the mental and emotional habits that obscure our true home, our radiant nature, which manifests as compassion and love. The Buddha's teachings show us that we are not isolated individuals who need to live defensive lives. Rather, we can learn to trust and live from our full potential as compassionate members of a connected planet.
Meditation is the work of the mind: as in the famous saying of the Buddha: Avoid evil, do good and purify the mind. The attitude with which we approach our practice can be a continuation of our usual habits of getting and doing, or we can shift the view (the paradigm) to that of trust and confidence in natural awareness.
The Dalai Lama once said that all of our problems stem from mistaken perception. That is why there is so much emphasis on true knowledge.
This talk explores the quality factor of perception, and how when it is colored by unwholesome states of mind we cannot accurately recognize reality, and so respond in ways that only increase our confusion.
This talk describes how the journey of our life and practice is to mingle our hearts and minds fully with the Dharma. The eight-fold path is the descriptive template we can use; this talk focuses particularly on wise view and wise intention, the first two steps.
Seclusion - viveka in Pali - is a theme the Buddha was asked about: "Teach me...release, emancipation, seclusion for beings." This talk explores various aspects of this word viveka: seclusion of body, seclusion of mind, seclusion from suffering - and how these are manifest in the retreat setting and mindfulness practice.
The Buddha said that our path of awakening is like swimming upstream - in relationship to the habits of society and the habits of our own minds. So our deep motivation needs to be supported by accurate information. The 4 Noble Truths is a basic context/description of life, suffering and freedom that serves to support and inform all our various methods of practice.
The Buddha spoke of wise attention as the tool that uproots the underlying tendencies of our minds that cause suffering. This talk discusses various means the Buddha taught for practicing wise attention.