Starting with scanning through the body and awakening the senses, we then rest in presence, with the breath as a home base. The meditation invites an openness to whatever arises, and a gentle kind attention if we encounter physical or emotional pain. We end with a prayer that includes our own being and all beings (from the 2017 archives).
As individuals and societies, we are pulled by both the insecurity of our evolutionary past, and by our awake heart, our capacity for mindfulness and compassion. This talk explores the ways we can listen to and respond to the call of our awake heart, by training ourselves to open to vulnerability (our own and others) and widen the circles of compassion (a favorite from the 2017 archives).
The world is having a difficult moment. Each day we learn of a different conflict or crisis, which threatens the lives of so may people. It is easy to live with a lot of fear right now and it is even easier to react out of that fear was well. When we react out of fear we tend to create much more harm in the world.
This is a time of darkness and war and fear lies at the heart of much of the violence we are experiencing. How do we befriend our fear and offer it permission to teach us how to move through it into a state of freedom? How do we use our fear to connect to the fear so many other people are experiencing? Ultimately, how do we begin to love what is unlovable, especially our fear?
During their time together, Tara and Lama Rod call on the teachings of Buddhadharma as well as their own intrinsic wisdom to lean into fear with love.
This event was American Sign Language (ASL) interpreted.
Rod’s new book, Love and Anger: The Path of Liberation Through Anger. Love and Rage, is available now.
More about Lama Rod Owens at: http://lamarod.com/
Just as presence is the heart of meditation, so deep listening is at the center of all conscious, loving relationships. This talk explores how our wants and fears block listening, ways we can deepen our capacity for listening, and the healing that unfolds when we truly feel heard by another (a special talk from the archives).
What happens when you’re really listening?
This meditation begins by guiding us through a scan: opening to inner space and aliveness, then to outer space, and then continuous space, filled with the light of awareness. We explore how every experience belongs to this infinite awake space of our Being, and can be held with tenderness and love.
In the moments when we either resist or get possessed by our strong emotions, we are in a trance, and cut off from openhearted awareness. This talk explores the truth that “it’s not what’s happening, it’s how we’re relating.” We look at three key trainings that help us relate to difficult emotions with a wise and compassionate presence.
“Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.”Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
We each have within us the very source of wisdom and love. This meditation calls forward that essence, our awakening heart, so we can seek guidance and nurturing for the parts of us that need a healing attention.
Being at war with ourselves blocks us from evolving our consciousness and living from our hearts. This talk distinguishes between toxic and healthy shame, as well as shame about our individual self and our group identity. We explore how, with self-compassion and courageous honesty, we can respond to negative, painful feelings about ourselves in a way that serves awakening and alignment with our deepest values.
As we relax and awaken through our physical body, we discover the formless dimension of awareness or spirit that permeates all of life. This meditation includes a poem from Mary Oliver.
Poem (the spirit likes to dress up)Mary Oliver, Dream Work
likes to dress up like this:
shoulders, and all the rest
in the black branches,
in the morning
in the blue branches
of the world.
It could float, of course,
but would rather
plumb rough matter.
Airy and shapeless thing,
the metaphor of the body,
lime and appetite,
the oceanic fluids;
it needs the body’s world,
and the dark hug of time,
to be understood,
to be more than pure light
where no one is –
so it enters us –
in the morning
shines from brute comfort
like a stitch of lightning;
and at night
lights up the deep and wondrous
drownings of the body
like a star.
Spiritual hope opens us to possibility and energizes us to manifest our potential for love and wisdom. In contrast to attachment or egoic hope, which is the grasping for what will benefit a separate self, spiritual hope arises from trust in the openhearted awareness (bodhichitta) that is always and already within us. This talk explores how, as individuals and as a society, we can nourish spiritual hope, and create the grounds for healing and radical transformation.
“The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof. What I want is so simple I almost can’t say it: elementary kindness.”Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams