Taking in the Goodness: Rumi said, “Whenever some kindness comes to you, turn that way – toward the source of kindness.” This meditation guides us to look for the source of loving and to turn in that direction. It begins with a lovingkindness practice that spreads the image of a smile into the body, then continues with a practice of seeing the goodness of ourselves and others.
Then it was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts, the depths of their hearts where neither sin nor desire nor self-knowledge can reach, the core of their reality, the person that each one is in God’s eyes. If only they could all see themselves as they really are.
Living in a fear-based society fuels the trance of separation and unworthiness. This talk explores how we can bring an engaged compassionate presence to the suffering of this trance—in our inner work, and more broadly, in healing our culture (from the 2020 IMCW 7-day Silent New Year Retreat).
I must have been incredibly simple or drunk or insane to sneak in to 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.
Our capacity to live and love fully is entirely intertwined with how we relate to change and loss. These two talks are an invitation to look honestly, and without judgment, at the ways, we resist facing our fears and grieving our losses. We then explore how to bring mindfulness and compassion to processing what we’ve resisted, and opening to the timeless love that is our true nature. (given at the Fall 2020 IMCW 7-Day Silent Retreat – 2020-10-26).
Everything you see has its roots in the unseen world. The forms may change, yet the essence remains the same.
Every wondrous sight will vanish, every sweet word will fade. But do not be disheartened, The Source they come from is eternal– growing, branching out, giving new life and new joy.
Why do you weep?– That Source is within you, and this whole world is springing up from it.
The Source is full, its waters are ever-flowing; Do not grieve, drink your fill! Don’t think it will ever run dry– This is the endless Ocean!
While meditation begins with purposeful collecting of attention, it leads to non-doing presence, to Being. In this guided practice, we arrive in presence through a body scan and attention to the breath, open the attention to changing experience, and then explore the freedom of not controlling anything, and letting life be just as it is. (given at the Fall 2020 IMCW 7-Day Silent Retreat – 2020-10-26).
There is no controlling life. Try corralling a lightning bolt, containing a tornado. Dam a stream, and it will create a new channel. Resist, and the tide will sweep you off your feet. Allow, and grace will carry you to higher ground. The only safety lies in letting it all in— the wild with the weak; fear, fantasies, failures and success. When loss rips off the doors of the heart, or sadness veils your vision with despair, practice becomes simply bearing the truth. In the choice to let go of your known way of being, the whole world is revealed to your new eyes.
When our awareness is awake and open, we naturally respond to this changing life with warmth, tenderness and love.
This practice helps us discover the spaciousness of awareness by realizing the space and aliveness that is in the body, and then sensing the continuous space that holds all life. We then sense how this continuous space is filled with the light of awareness and pervaded by love. Includes a short talk that contexts the meditation. (from the Spring 2018 IMCW 7-day Silent Retreat)
This heart meditation guides us in how to cultivate a deep quality of friendliness in relating to our inner life and each other. The gift of this practice is a direct sense of belonging – knowing that we can never be alone (retreat meditation).
“My soul tells me, we were all broken from the same nameless heart, and every living thing wakes with a piece of that original heart aching its way into blossom. This is why we know each other below our strangeness, why when we fall, we lift each other, or when in pain, we hold each other, why when sudden with joy, we dance together. Life is the many pieces of that great heart loving itself back together.”
Our self-protective habits of resentment and blame block intimacy and connection with ourself and others. This short talk and meditation are an invitation to deepen our understanding of the suffering of blame, and to release the armoring to loving freely. Includes a meditation using “RAIN on Blame.” (recorded at the IMCW 2019 New Year’s 5-day Silent Retreat)
We all encounter “demons” of fear, anger, hurt, craving and shame. This talk explores our key ways of resisting difficult emotions, and how “when the resistance is gone, the demons are gone.” We look at the power of mindfulness and compassion to undo resistance, and open us to the loving presence that can handle whatever energies arise. This special talk was given at the 2019 IMCW 5-Day New Year’s Silent Retreat.
This guided session includes an overview of the primary components in meditation practices, and then guidance in awakening the senses, collecting the attention, and opening mindfully to changing experience (from the 2019 IMCW New Year’s 5-Day Silent Retreat).
This meditation explores the meaning of forgiveness and its role in healing and transformation. We then are guided in a forgiveness practice that helps us release the armoring of blame, and inhabit an inclusive and open heart (given at the Fall 2019 IMCW 7-Day Silent Retreat).