Category Archives: Beliefs

Sheltering in Love – Part 8: Finding Freedom in the Midst of Failure



Everyone faces personal failure, and it’s an extremely raw and painful feeling. If we have the courage to stay with the feelings, failure can become a portal to the realization of who we are beyond the imperfect separate self. This talk calls on Samuel Beckett’s wonderful quote (referenced by Pema Chödron), “Fail, Fail again, Fail better,” and offers guidance on finding freedom as we move through some of our most difficult moments.


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Spiritual Hope: Trusting Your Awakening Heart



Our beliefs and understandings about reality directly impact our moment to moment experience of living. If we believe we will never change, that blocks the transformation that brings happiness and freedom. If we trust our spiritual unfolding and are open to possibility, that guides our attention and behaviors in ways that evolve us. This talk explores how to nurture mature, spiritual hope—hope that is sourced in trusting our intrinsic goodness, and our capacity for deepening love and wisdom.

I must have been incredibly simple or drunk or insane
to sneak into my own house and steal money,
to climb over the fence and take my own vegetables.
But no more. I’ve gotten free of that ignorant fist
that was pinching and twisting my secret self.

The universe and the light of the stars come through me.
I am the crescent moon put up
over the gate to the festival.

~ Rumi


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Wise Investigation: Dissolving the Trance



If we are suffering, it is because we are believing something that is not true and caught in emotional reactivity. A key tool in meditation is investigation – actively inquiring into what is happening inside us. When we investigate with sincere interest and care, the light of our attention untangles difficult emotions and nourishes intimate relationships. As this light turns toward awareness itself, it reveals the radiance and emptiness of our true nature (a favorite from the archives).

How do we take these minds of ours and investigate our experience in a way that really reveals truth? …

If you are suffering it’s because you are believing untrue thoughts and beliefs and you haven’t investigated in a way that would release them. There is a phrase that history repeats itself which is good because most people don’t really pay attention the first time anyway, you know. … So I think of investigation as a way of deepening presence, that we take the interest in our mind and then we deepen presence that way.

NOTE: video is in 2 parts and both are closed captioned in English.


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Trusting the Gold (retreat talk)



This talk looks at how our upbringing and culture lead us to mistrust who we are and become identified as a separate, deficient self.  We then explore the practices of presence and self-inquiry that turn us toward the openness, tenderness and wakefulness of our Being. Our trust grows as we increasingly glimpse, embody and live from our natural Being.

NOTE: This talk was given at the Spring 2019 IMCW 7-day Silent Retreat.

Adrift

Everything is beautiful and I am so sad.
This is how the heart makes a duet of
wonder and grief. The light spraying
through the lace of the fern is as delicate
as the fibers of memory forming their web
around the knot in my throat. The breeze
makes the birds move from branch to branch
as this ache makes me look for those I’ve lost
in the next room, in the next song, in the laugh
of the next stranger. In the very center, under
it all, what we have that no one can take
away and all that we’ve lost face each other.
It is there that I’m adrift, feeling punctured
by a holiness that exists inside everything.
I am so sad and everything is beautiful.

~ Mark Nepo
From Inside the Miracle: Enduring Suffering, Approaching Wholeness, (Sounds True, 2016)


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Living with Courageous Presence



[CC] ~ The essence of courage is to willingly feel our vulnerability; this is what allows us to respond to life with an undefended, wise heart. This talk explores the ways we resist opening to vulnerability, and three key steps in cultivating a courageous presence.

Ask, “What does it mean to be courageous at this moment?”

Everything is beautiful and I am so sad.
This is how the heart makes a duet of
wonder and grief. The light spraying
through the lace of the fern is as delicate
as the fibers of memory forming their web
around the knot in my throat. The breeze
makes the birds move from branch to branch
as this ache makes me look for those I’ve lost
in the next room, in the next song, in the laugh
of the next stranger. In the very center, under
it all, what we have that no one can take
away and all that we’ve lost face each other.
It is there that I’m adrift, feeling punctured
by a holiness that exists inside everything.
I am so sad and everything is beautiful.

Mark Nepo, “Adrift”


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Meditation: Letting Go… Letting Be (16:57 min.)



This guided meditation invites us to imagine a clenched fist relaxing open, and explores this in releasing contractions in the body as well as the grip of thoughts. When we deeply let go and let be, our energy flows freely. We reconnect with our natural aliveness, love and awareness.

Six Words of Advice:

Let go of what has passed.
Let go of what may come.
Let go of what is happening now.
Don’t try to figure anything out.
Don’t try to make anything happen.
Relax, right now, and rest.

~ Tilopa
translated by Ken McLeod


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Three Attitudes that Nourish a Liberating Practice



CC ~ A key spiritual inquiry is, “In this moment, what most serves awakening?” Rather than a particular style of meditation practice, it is our way of relating to our experience – our attitude – that frees our hearts. This talk explores the attitudes that are an expression of our innately open, wakeful and loving awareness, and that carry us to realization. (a favorite from the archives)

Settle in the here and now.
Reach down into the center
where the world is not spinning
and drink this holy peace.

Feel relief flood into every
cell. Nothing to do. Nothing
to be but what you are already.
Nothing to receive but what
flows effortlessly from the
mystery into form.

Nothing to run from or run
toward. Just this breath,
Awareness knowing itself as
embodiment. Just this breath,
awareness waking up to truth.

Danna Faulds (2006). Awareness Knowing Itself. In From Root to Bloom: Yoga Poems and Other Writings (p. 17). Kearney, NE: Morris Publishing.

photo: pixabay.com


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Part 2: Healing Depression with Meditation



Most people get depressed at times, and many suffer greatly from bouts of major depression. At the heart of the suffering is the experience of severed belonging—of being imprisoned in the pain of separation, unworthiness, unlovability and hopelessness. These two talks explore several meditation practices that reconnect us with our natural aliveness, openheartedness and awareness. They empower us to develop our inner resources, energize us to awaken, free us from rumination and remind us that we are not our depressive thoughts and feelings. The growing realization of the loving awareness that is our home heals the very roots of depression.

THE WELL OF GRIEF

Those who will not slip beneath
the still surface on the well of grief,

turning down through its black water
to the place we cannot breathe,

will never know the source from which we drink,
the secret water, cold and clear,

nor find in the darkness glimmering,
the small round coins,
thrown by those who wished for something else.

The Well of Grief, River Flow, New & Selected Poems
Many Rivers Press © David Whyte

Listen to Part 1: Healing Depression with Meditation


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Part 1: Healing Depression with Meditation



Most people get depressed at times, and many suffer greatly from bouts of major depression. At the heart of the suffering is the experience of severed belonging—of being imprisoned in the pain of separation, unworthiness, unlovability and hopelessness. These two talks explore several meditation practices that reconnect us with our natural aliveness, openheartedness and awareness. They empower us to develop our inner resources, energize us to awaken, free us from rumination and remind us that we are not our depressive thoughts and feelings. The growing realization of the loving awareness that is our home heals the very roots of depression.

Listen to Part 2: Healing Depression with Meditation


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From Human Doing to Human Being – Part 2



Like Sisyphus eternally pushing the boulder up the hill, we can spend many moments busily trying to manage our life. This two-part talk explores how we can awaken from our non-stop doing, including the incessant inner narrative, and discover the mystery, love and freedom that arises in Being.

Listen and watch Part 1: From Human Doing to Human Being.


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