All of our actions, our entire life experience, arises from the energy of intention. While it’s natural that our intentions are shaped by egoic wants and fears, when we bring this into conscious, compassionate awareness, we can discover the deep aspiration that guides and energizes our awakening hearts and minds. This talk explores the movement from egoic intention to liberating intention…the movement from “my will” to “my heart’s will” (a favorite from the archives).
This talk explores the three archetypal refuges of awareness (Buddha-nature), truth (Dharma) and love (Sangha) through stories, illustrations and reflections. We end with a Refuge ceremony that can be done by anyone who feels drawn. (To participate you will need a 20” red string.)
A verse from Ryokan, an eighteenth-century Zen poet, came to mind: “To find the Buddhist law, drift east and west, come and go, entrusting yourself to the waves.”
“So every day
I was surrounded by the beautiful crying forth
of the ideas of God,
one of which was you.”
― Mary Oliver
Photo Credit: Shell Fischer
Entering a new year is a wonderful opportunity to clarify our purpose. In this guided visualization, we are invited to attune to the state of our heart and our deepest aspiration.
Flute: Jonathan Foust
Photo: Donna Russo
Our healing and freedom unfolds as we bring radical acceptance – a mindful, allowing presence – to our moments. This interview looks at how we wake up out of the stories that keep us in fear and self-doubt and discover a true intimacy with ourselves and our world.
Photo Credit: Shell Fischer
While the holidays can be times of loving celebration, they can also highlight relational conflicts and challenges. This talk explores how, given the stress of the season, we can bring grace and openheartedness to ourselves and others.
Tonight’s class closes with special music: “Love is the Answer” by Len Seligman (with his permission). You can learn more about Len and listen to his latest offerings at https://www.lenseligman.com
Gratitude arises when we are in sacred relationship with life—present, open and receptive. This talk explores how central gratitude is to our physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing, and then looks at the ways we can directly gladden our minds with gratitude. We end with a guided meditation that includes sharings from the group. The audio includes a poem of blessing by John O’Donohue with a brief cut from Robert Gass – Om Namaha Shivaya (from the archives).
Photo Credit: Jonathan Foust
A Blessing for Beauty
May the beauty of your life become more visible to you, that you may glimpse your wild divinity.
May the wonders of the earth call you forth from all your small, secret prisons and set your feet free in the pastures of possibilities.
May the light of dawn anoint your eyes that you may behold what a miracle a day is.
May the liturgy of twilight shelter all your fears and darkness within the circle of ease.
May the angel of memory surprise you in bleak times with new gifts from the harvest of your vanished days.
May you allow no dark hand to quench the candle of hope in your heart.
May you discover a new generosity towards yourself, and encourage yourself to engage your life as a great adventure.
May the outside voices of fear and despair find no echo in you.
May you always trust the urgency and wisdom of your own spirit.
May the shelter and nourishment of all the good you have done, the love you have shown, the suffering you have carried, awaken around you to bless your life a thousand times.
And when love finds the path to your door may you open like the earth to the dawn, and trust your every hidden color towards its nourishment of light.
May you find enough stillness and silence to savor the kiss of God on your soul and delight in the eternity that shaped you, that holds you and calls you.
And may you know that despite confusion, anxiety and emptiness, your name is written in Heaven.
And may you come to see your life as a quiet sacrament of service, which awakens around you a rhythm where doubt gives way to the grace of wonder, where what is awkward and strained can find elegance, and where crippled hope can find wings, and torment enter at last unto the grace of serenity.
May Divine Beauty bless you.John O’Donohue, from Beauty – The Invisible Embrace
A Conversation between Tara and Rev Angel Kyodo Williams – Our happiness and capacity to love fully arise as we face and embrace all domains of our existence. In this conversation we look at the often unexamined societal conditioning that, when unseen, perpetuates caste systems that harm ourselves and all involved. Our inquiry: For the sake of freedom, how do we deepen our attention to see the forces that cut us off from wholeness, from belonging, from living from an awake, compassionate heart?
Only when we face our fears can we discover the freedom to love without holding back. This talk looks at how unprocessed fear contracts our body, heart and mind, and on a societal level is the cause of othering and violence. We then explore how arousing mindfulness, compassion and prayer can enlarge our basic sense of Being. As we deepen attention to the nature of awareness, we discover a refuge that is timeless…a refuge that is our true home.
The blessing of the spiritual path is a homecoming to our essential nature—wakeful, loving awareness. These two talks explore the grounds of that awakening, which is a shift of identity from that of a separate self to realizing the formless luminous presence that, like a boundless ocean, includes all the waves or expressions of our being. This two-part series includes several guided reflections and invites us into the dimensions of the path that lead to true freedom.
Watch: After the RAIN (Part 2) – below: