I find teaching to be a very deep and powerful "no self" practice. When I connect with others during Dharma talks--in the intimacy of small groups, and while holding meditation practice interviews--I am continually reminded to know, and be, in a place of clarity, spaciousness and immediate presence. Being able to offer students such a place of connection is my greatest pleasure and inspiration, as well as the most appreciated challenge in my teaching practice.
For me, the real fruit of the teaching is seeing the beauty of a gradual, and sometimes sudden, unfolding of a heartmind into its true self; seeing the variety of ways a person's essential, creative energy of being flows into the world.
On one end of the teaching, I am excited and inspired by students who are deeply committed to long-term, intensive practice. On the other end (and of course they're connected), I find that working closely with people at the grass roots level--in a co-creative process of developing and sustaining Dharma practice, study and community opportunitiies on a day-to-day basis--is equally exciting and inspiring.
From the immediacy of presence flows a wisdom that naturally connects us to the way of things. This amazing gift of mindfulness provides us with a spaciousness where we can make appropriate, healthy and creative life choices. Rather than being caught up in our old, conditioned habits, mindfulness provides us with the gift of engagement at its best. This is the Gift of the Dharma that we offer to all beings.
Exploring the wholesome and beautiful factors of mind that are associated with the development and fruits of concentration, metta practice and with the deepening and fruits of Vipassana practice with an emphasis on the Abhidhamma basket’s clear and refined disclosure of what happens in the mind through meditation practice.
Our heart/mind can make a heaven of hell or a hell of heaven…and so
we cultivate and incline the mind towards the development and blossoming of a pure, wholesome and beautiful heart/mind. This reflection includes a reading of 'The Mind’ from the Dhammapada by the Buddha.
Exploring the release of the contractions of the heart…the past pains, the hurts, the anguish that we’ve taken in and taken on, as ‘mine’, as ‘me’, as ‘“I am”. This is what binds the mind & heart. Our commitment to our practice, our willingness to take the journey, is what affords the transformation. There’s a tremendous fullness of energy which is constituted by confidence, strength & clear straightforwardness that comes from a heart filled with Metta.
Guided Sit: “Allow yourself to enter into and experiment with this approach to developing concentration ...which is a VERY simple, direct & potentially powerful practice…though while it’s simple, it’s not always so easy.”
A one hour, very clear guided sitting meditation, leading one through the initial process of developing concentration via the practice of Anapanasati with learning to clearly and gently focus the attention on the ‘anapana spot’.
Patience is the most important and necessary quality that is of great benefit in relation to the development and blossoming of the practices of Concentration and Mindfulness. Exploring the various manifestations
and fruits of cultivating the mind and heart of Patience in this morning reflection.