Category Archives: Pandemic

The Power of Deep Listening – Part 1



Listening deeply is the gateway to realizing connection. It’s what allows us to move through life with a wise, loving and healing presence. These two talks explore our blocks to true listening, and offer teachings and practices that can directly cultivate this invaluable capacity.

Photo: Shannon Lavery


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Namaste: Seeing the Truth of Who We Are



A gift of evolving consciousness is the capacity to recognize and honor the sacred awareness that lives through our own and all beings. This capacity is blocked by our identification with our “mask” or ego self, and not seeing past other people’s masks. In this talk we reflect together on some key filters of superior/inferior and good/bad that shape the trance of a narrowed identity, and then explore how mindfulness and kindness free us to inhabit the vastness of our natural awareness. We close with tasting the possibility of bringing the spirit of Namaste to ourselves, others and all beings.

Rumi writes: ““Are you searching for your true self? Then come out of your own prison. Leave the little creek and join the mighty river that flows into the ocean. Like an ox, don’t pull the wheel of this world on your back. Take off the burden. Whirl and circle, and rise above the wheel of the world. There is another view.”


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Meditation: Continuous Space Suffused with Awareness (18:39 min.)



By learning to inhabit the body, we discover the space and aliveness that fills the universe. In this meditation we are guided through the body, filling different domains with presence. We then open into the continuous awake space that is both within and surrounds the body. When we notice the mind drifts, we relax back to be that awake space, aware of the changing flow of sensations, thoughts, feelings and sounds.

We close with a simple prayer:
May we come home to the light, love and aliveness that’s our deep nature. May we live our lives from loving presence.
May that loving presence ripple out in a way that brings peace and healing to our world.
Namaste


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Awakening Our Body’s Awareness – Part 2 – (Working with Pain)



Mindful awareness of our bodies is a portal to full aliveness, wisdom and love. These two classes will explore the trance that takes us away from our body, the pathways home, ways of working with pain, and the gifts of an embodied presence.

See also: Working with Pain – Mindfulness Strategies

Listen to Part 1 – Awakening Our Body’s Awareness


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Meditation: A Welcoming Heartspace (18:21 min.)



Our pathway to peace and happiness is through opening, with tenderness, to our moment-to-moment experience. This meditation guides us first to be awake in our body and senses, and then to include the changing flow of life in a spacious, kind heart. We close with a short verse from poet Dorothy Hunt

Do you think peace requires an end to war?
Or tigers eating only vegetables?
Does peace require an absence from
your boss, your spouse, yourself?…
Do you think peace will come some other place than here?
Some other time than Now?
In some other heart than yours? 

Peace is this moment without judgment.
That is all. This moment in the Heart-space
where everything that is is welcome.
Peace is this moment without thinking
that it should be some other way,
that you should feel some other thing,
that your life should unfold according to your plans. 

Peace is this moment without judgment,
this moment in the heart-space where
everything that is welcome.

Peace Is This Moment Without Judgment by Dorothy Hunt

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The Superpower of Mindful Witnessing



The capacity to witness what is happening inside us with a non-judging attention allows us to respond to life from our full intelligence and heart. This talk looks at the role of witnessing in spiritual practice, and how we can cultivate this superpower in a way that reveals the light or spirit that lives through all beings.

“Still, what I want in my life
is to be willing
to be dazzled—
to cast aside the weight of facts

and maybe even
to float a little
above this difficult world.
I want to believe I am looking

into the white fire of a great mystery.
I want to believe that the imperfections are nothing—
that the light is everything—that it is more than the sum
of each flawed blossom rising and falling. And I do.”

Mary Oliver

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Meditation: Being a Kind Witness (18:47 min.)



Learning to witness what is going on inside us is the gateway to inner freedom and deep realization. This meditation guides us in witnessing our experience with a non-judging and kind awareness.


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Awakening Our Body’s Awareness – Part 1



Mindful awareness of our bodies is a portal to full aliveness, wisdom and love. These two classes will explore the trance that takes us away from our body, the pathways home, ways of working with pain, and the gifts of an embodied presence.

“Inside this clay jug there are canyons and pine mountains,
and the maker of canyons and mountains!
All seven oceans are inside, and hundreds of millions of stars.”

Kabir

Listen to Part 2 – Awakening Our Body’s Awareness


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Meditation: Homecoming with the Breath (23:48 min.)



This meditation focuses on the breath as an anchor for homecoming. We begin with an intentional breath (coherence breathing) and then establish the natural breath as a home base. The instructions are to rest in the breath, offering a relaxed, intimate intention. Other waves of sensation or emotion are included when they ask for attention as we cultivate an open and full mindful presence. Our freedom arises as we recognize the formless awareness that is our home, and the natural and ever-changing waves that live through us.

In French: Méditation: Un retour à l’intérieur avec la respiration

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn,
a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter.
If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things,
this is the best season of your life.

by Wu Men Hui-k’ai
English version by Stephen Mitchell

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Spiritual Hope



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 (a favorite from the archives).


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