My engagement in teaching the dharma, to point to a free and liberated life, has remained the same since the first day I started. It is my unwavering commitment to inspire people that such a life is accessible to us all, here and now. This is what sustains me and gives me enthusiasm.
With contemporary language, I endeavor to address the depth of the Dharma, to go into the inner experience by using one of the contributions to the great wheel of the dharma, insight meditation. Insight meditation is a respectful and healthy practice. It gives us meditation techniques which, when practiced, lead to real insight into the whole of existence as well as our life in particular. It speaks to what it means for us to be a part of this world.
I also pay attention to the breadth of the Dharma by attempting to address every possible life endeavor, leaving no stone unturned: materialism, consumer culture, livelihood, environmental resources, love and respect for sentient beings, relationships, all the issues of daily life.
Most important for me is to keep the priority and focus on striving to live the awakened and liberated life and not be sidetracked by any particular feature, no matter how noble its contribution. A liberated and awake life is the center of the Dharma, and I find that I am simply unable to settle for anything else.
Corrado Pensa teaches insight meditation in Italy and the US. Since 1987 he has been the guiding teacher of the Association for Mindfulness Meditation in Rome. He is also a professor of Eastern Philosophy at the University of Rome and a former psychotherapist.
DaRa Williams is a trainer, meditation teacher and wellness coach. She has been a clinician and administrator in the field of Mental Health for over 25 years. DaRa currently maintains a private practice in Manhattan. She is a certified Complex Trauma Focusing Oriented Therapist and a practitioner of Natural Force Healing, a vibrational energetic healing system. DaRa has been a meditator for the past 20 years and is a practitioner of both Vipassana and Ascension meditation. She is a member of the Board of Directors for the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, graduate of the Community Dharma Leaders Program, and in the current IMS/Spirit Rock Teacher Training program with Jack Kornfield.
Deborah Ratner Helzer has practiced with Western and Asian teachers in the Theravada tradition since 1995, including a year as a nun in Burma. She has been teaching in the Washington, DC area and assisting with retreats around the country since 2001.
Debra Chamberlin-Taylor is a teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. She has been meditating since 1973 and has led retreats that combine spiritual and psychological growth since 1978. In addition to practicing Vipassana, she has been influenced by Dzogchen, Diamond Heart, and devotional practices. More recently she has become a certified teacher of Wisdom Healing Qigong, finding Qigong and mindfulness used together to be the most healing and transformative practice in her long spiritual journey. A psychotherapist, she also leads workshops on embodiment of awareness and love in relationships and in our diverse world.
My passions in the dharma are many, and only keep growing! Socially engaged Buddhism is a thread woven through many of my talks-- how can we end suffering both internally and externally? Having worked with teens and young adults for many years, some of the talks are geared to young people. My recent passion is how the dharma can be secularized and made accessible to all, regardless of background, this is my current work at the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA. Finally as a new-ish mom, I'm deeply inspired by the transformative power of daily life and family practice.
1. Choose one meditation practice and stick with it. If you want to progress in meditation stay with one technique.
2. Meditate every day. Practice now. Don't think you will do more later.
3. Any situation is workable. Each of us has enormous power. It can be used to help ourselves and help others.
4. Practice patience. Patience is one of the most important virtues for developing mindfulness and concentration.
5. Free your mind. Your mind is all stories.
6. Cool the fire of emotions. Anger is a fire.
7. Have fun along the way. I am quite happy. If you come to meditate you will also be happy.
8. Simplify. Live simply. A very simple life is good for every thing. Too much luxury is a hindrance to practice.
9. Cultivate the spirit of blessing. If you bless those around you this will inspire you to be attentive in every moment.
10. It's a circular journey. Meditation integrates the whole person