Doug is founder and guiding teacher of Empty Sky Vipasssa Sangha and a long time practioner of vipassana and zen. His teaching is strongly influenced by Vimala Thakar and J. Krishnamurti as he explores such questions as "After all these years of practice, why are we not free?" and "What happens that we do not immediately live the understanding we work so hard to gain, continuing to cling to the false when seeing clearly what is true?" He brings a strong committment and interest to the integration of formal practice and intimacy in relationship in the context of daily living.
Erin lives in Durango, Colorado and is a member of the Dharma Leader Council of the Durango Dharma Center. She is a graduate of Spirit Rock's Community Dharma Leader Training and is currently a teacher in training as part of the Spirit Rock/IMS teacher training program.
I am intrigued by how we can live the 'holy life' as lay people. How do we erase the imaginary line between formal sitting practice and the rest of our lives? How can we bring full engagement to formal and informal practice? Is it possible to embody, in our lives, the understanding and insight that comes with intensive training? And can we live our lives in a way that expresses and continues to deepen our realization? These questions fuel my practice and my teaching.
I place a lot of emphasis on the Buddha's teaching about mindfulness of the body. The body is a powerful dharma gate. I encourage people to deeply investigate the body and use it as a place of recollection in daily life.
Our individual and cultural habits, our confusion, all require a sincere and ongoing commitment to spiritual life and practice. In order to mature our 'layastic' practice, we need to develop a palette of practices: mindfulness, loving-kindness, inquiry, reflection, precept practice, service, sutta study, etc.
I believe passionate engagement is the foundation of the spiritual path. Spiritual life blossoms when mindfulness is woven with a heartfelt sense of loving-kindness and compassion. With warm mindfulness as the basis of practice, our attachment to identity, roles and experience begins to loosen. As our experience and understanding matures, faith develops. This nourishes a devotion to practice which further deepens our insights.
It is precious to be born in the human realm and have an opportunity to practice and awaken. May we appreciate our inheritance and bring to life the teachings of the Buddha.
Eve is a long time student of the dharma. She began practicing Vipassana in the early 1990s, trained in mindfulness-based social action through the two-year Path of Engagement program at Spirit Rock. and is a certified meditation teacher through the Community Dharma Leader Program. Eve is also a performing artist and co-founded the feminist folk trio Rebecca Riots(1993-2009). They were dubbed “Best Band with a Conscience” by the SF Bay Guardian, toured nationally, and released five CDs. In 2006 Eve released a solo CD, “Commentary on the Perfections of the Heart”, ten original songs based on a Buddhist list of qualities that promote a contented heart. A review of the CD in Tricycle magazine said, “Decker’s melodies, and her luscious, inventive phrasing, give her songs the power of a transmission”. Here's what James Baraz has to say, "Listening to Eve’s songs are often just what I need to remind myself of the truth inside. They’ve been a big part of my daily life practice to inspire and open my heart. I love Eve Decker’s music!"