A pervasive but often invisible source of suffering in our culture is self-aversion. We are a busy culture, and we move through our life feeling anxious and dissatisfied, but not fully conscious of how we neglect or judge our inner experience. We suffer from a lack of belonging: to our own bodies, to each other and to the earth. When we practice Buddhist meditation, we learn how to listen deeply and hold our life tenderly.
The open space of compassion allows us to realize that our thoughts and emotions are not who we are; they are waves in our ocean. This gives us the freedom to live more wisely and love more fully.
For over thirty-five years, I've been exploring the awakening of awareness with yoga, meditation, a clinical psychology practice and relationships in spiritual community (sangha). Since the untying of emotional knots is an essential part of "waking up," it is natural for me to weave these elements into my Buddhist practice and teaching. With formal practice, and a genuine engagement in sangha, we can cultivate the qualities of heart and awareness that allow for deep emotional healing and spiritual freedom.
Buddhism guides us in slowing down, quieting and paying attention in an honest and caring way. Through our mindfulness and compassion practices, we establish a sense of intimacy and belonging to our life. We discover that there is no Buddha "out there." Rather, we realize that our true refuge is the wakefulness, openness and love of our own natural awareness.
Meditation practice can be profoundly healing in working with deep personal wounds. The art of healing with meditation is possible when we understand the effects of different styles of meditation, recognize what aspects of meditation may be contraindicated and ground the healing process in a nurturing relational context.
we all long to belong and suffer when we live in a sense of isolation or contraction. by opening to the "10,000 joys and 10,000 sorrows", we discover a deep sense belonging to the life within and around us.
our sense of being separate and inadequate is created and maintained through our stories about life. Learning how to recognize these stories with mindfulness and compassion reconnects us with our natural, awakened being.
the Buddha taught that our relationships are an essential and beautiful ground of the spiritual path. Sangha, which means spiritual community, is a refuge that can provide inspiration, support, and profound awakening to the truth of our connectedness.