Category Archives: Teaching Talks

Part 2 – The Jewel in the Lotus: Cultivating Compassion



The compassion that arises from mindful awareness can heal our inner wounds, interpersonal conflict and the suffering in our world. These two talks focus on cultivating self-compassion and compassion for others. They look at the blocks to compassion and accessible powerful practices that awaken the full wisdom and tenderness of our hearts.

“What  They Did Yesterday Afternoon”

they set my aunts house on fire
i cried the way women on tv do
folding at the middle
like a five pound note.
i called the boy who use to love me
tried to ‘okay’ my voice
i said hello
he said warsan, what’s wrong, what’s happened?

i’ve been praying,
and these are what my prayers look like;
dear god
i come from two countries
one is thirsty
the other is on fire
both need water.

later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
and whispered
where does it hurt?

it answered
everywhere
everywhere
everywhere.

poem by Warsan Shire

Photo: Jon McRay


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Part 1 – The Jewel in the Lotus: Cultivating Compassion



The compassion that arises from mindful awareness can heal our inner wounds, interpersonal conflict and the suffering in our world. These two talks focus on cultivating self-compassion and compassion for others. They look at the blocks to compassion and accessible powerful practices that awaken the full wisdom and tenderness of our hearts.

Photo: Jon McRay


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RAIN – Cultivating a Mindful Awareness



The acronym RAIN is a powerful tool for interrupting habitual patterns of emotional reactivity and discovering the freedom of an awake, compassionate presence. This talk explores the components of RAIN, how it works, what makes it transformational and typical challenges people encounter. The teachings include a guided RAIN meditation.


More Resources on RAIN: Recognize, Allow, Investigate, Nurture

 


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Stress and Our Evolving Consciousness


The universal experience of stress (in Buddhism, called dukkha) is a message that we are not realizing, trusting and living from our true nature. Our habitual reactions to stress – grasping, aversion, resistance – deepen emotional pain and lock us in a limiting sense of egoic-self. This talk explores how, with conscious intention and deepened attention, the stressful difficulties we encounter can become the very grounds of healing and spiritual awakening.


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Part 2: Embodied Spirit


Our body–this changing field of sensation–is a portal into pure Being. These talks explore the resistance we have to embodied presence, the pathways that enable us to awaken through our bodies, and the blessings of realization that arise as we let go over and over into the aliveness of our senses.
NOTE: Part 2 specifically addresses the challenge of arriving in embodied presence when we are facing traumatic fear, and other intense and difficult emotions.


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Part 1: Embodied Spirit


Our body–this changing field of sensation–is a portal into pure Being. These talks explore the resistance we have to embodied presence, the pathways that enable us to awaken through our bodies, and the blessings of realization that arise as we let go over and over into the aliveness of our senses.


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Cultivating Equanimity (Duck Meditation)



Equanimity, the mindful presence that neither grasps nor resists experience, is the grounds for unconditional love and wise action. This talk explores the conditioning that entraps us in reactivity, and two primary pathways for coming home to this natural state of balance and presence.

Image: Anna Hirch – positivelypolyanna.com


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Committing to Joy


What makes joy rare? How do we awaken this beautiful capacity to embrace life? In this talk we explore the obstacles to joy and the attitude and practices that free us to “love what is.”


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Cultivating Compassion



We each have the potential to live with a compassionate, open heart. In this talk we explore the conditioning that closes us off to authentic caring, and the ways of deepening our attention that help us live to include widening circles of beings in our heart.


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Attend and Befriend: Healing the Fear Body



Our fear management strategies–versions of fight/flight– contract our body and mind, and separate us from others. As we learn to pause and contact the bodily fear with a gentle, mindful awareness, our sense of being enlarges. We rediscover our belonging to presence, love and life.

See also: Resources: Working with Fear and Trauma


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