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.
This talk explores the Buddha's teaching on Clear Comprehension also called Full Awareness. The commitment to see our motivation in our mind, moment by moment, without glossing over, leads to happiness and purification.
By clarifying our greater aspiration we create a mindful container to see our habitual thinking arise without acting upon it and the result is living of life of non-harming.
The Dalai Lama has said that compassion develops through a deep insight into and understanding suffering. The difficult times we go through on retreat are a wonderful opportunity to explore the possibility of compassion in relationship to our own experience.
Wisdom arises naturally when there is a steady momentum of "pure" awareness. That is, when the mind is not colored by views based in greed, aversion or bewilderment. Learning to recognize and trust this natural process is a keystone of the practice.
As has been said, the self is a ghost that appears to exist only because it is not investigated. In this talk we explore some of the ways that we perceive experience inaccurately and create a view of lasting self. We also mention the advice of Achaan Buddhadasa to generate a contentment with emptiness.