Talks: Reflections on the Path

Part 1 – Freedom: Seeing Who Is Looking Through the Mask

Part 1 – Freedom: Seeing Who Is Looking Through the Mask

We suffer when we are identified with our egoic conditioning and unable to recognize the spirit – the love and awareness – that animates our own and all beings. In this talk we explore how recognizing our vulnerability and basic goodness helps us to see through the mask and realize who is here.

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Cultivating Equanimity (Duck Meditation)

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.

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Committing to Joy

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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Intimacy with Life – Awakening Love

The Buddha taught about four Divine Abodes–dwelling places of the awakened heart mind: lovingkindness, compassion, joy and equanimity. In this four-part series, we will explore the ways our conditioning blocks us from these expressions of inner freedom, and the understandings and practices that enable us to inhabit our full potential.

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Part 1 – Freedom: Seeing Who Is Looking Through the Mask

Training for Intimacy with Life

“Enlightenment is intimacy with all things” teaches Zen Master Dogen. While we long for this intimacy, we are conditioned to avoid the vulnerability and fear that an intimate presence can arouse. This talk explores how our mindfulness and heart practices cultivate the capacity to be intimate with our sensations of aliveness, our emotions and the beings in our life.

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Part 1 – Freedom: Seeing Who Is Looking Through the Mask

Part 2 – The Lion’s Roar

The Buddha taught that faith--trust in our true nature--is intrinsic to the spiritual path and the expression of wisdom. These two talks investigate the practices of presence that awaken our faith and the freedom that arises when our faith becomes radiant and full

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Part 1 – Freedom: Seeing Who Is Looking Through the Mask

Part 1 – The Lion’s Roar

The Buddha taught that faith--trust in our true nature--is intrinsic to the spiritual path and the expression of wisdom. These two talks investigate the practices of presence that awaken our faith and the freedom that arises when our faith becomes radiant and full.

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Be Who You Are (retreat talk)

Be Who You Are (retreat talk)

By bringing a surrendering presence to mental, emotional and physical domains, we undo the trance of separation and discover our true nature. This talk explores the practices that cultivate the non-resisting space of presence, and the flavors of our essential being that are...

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The World in Our Heart

The World in Our Heart

Some contemporary evolutionary theories track our development from survival of the fittest to group selection whereby we have the capacity for cooperation and empathy. This talk explores how our meditation practice of attending and befriending consciously facilitates the unfolding of our full evolutionary potential. The talk includes a guided meditation that helps us widen the circles of belonging to include all beings.

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Open Heart, Open Mind with Tsoknyi Rinpoche

Open Heart, Open Mind with Tsoknyi Rinpoche

Tsoknyi Rinpoche (in conversation with Tara Brach) – In talking about his new book, Tibetan teacher Tsoknyi Rinpoche describes the layers of self that cover over our “essence love,” and the way that mindfulness reconnects us to our true nature.

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A Mindful Nation with US Congressman Tim Ryan

A Mindful Nation with US Congressman Tim Ryan

One of the great sources of hope is the “quiet revolution” of mindfulness that is appearing in schools, hospitals, prisons, the military, corporate settings and the lives of millions of people around the world. In this talk, US Congressman Tim Ryan points to highlights of this revolution–which are reviewed in his compelling new book, A Mindful Nation. He shares about his own personal experience with mindfulness practice and his commitment to seeing the mindfulness and compassion at the center of our work for a better future.

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Beyond the Prison of Beliefs

Beyond the Prison of Beliefs

Most of us have core fear beliefs that obscure our true nature and bind us in repeating patterns of painful emotions and behavior. This talk looks at the beliefs that limit us and the freedom that is possible when we investigate them with a kind, mindful awareness.

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Attend and Befriend: Healing the Fear Body

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.

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Part 1 – Freedom: Seeing Who Is Looking Through the Mask

Alchemy of Wise Effort in Spiritual Life

The ground of wise effort is our sincere intentionality toward presence, love and freedom. Yet our habit is to go into trance, and latch on to narrowed intentions of self-enhancement or defense. When this goes on for years, we feel disappointment in our lives, a sense of not being true to ourselves. Through guided reflections, we explore how–in spiritual practice and in relationships–we can connect with our deepest intention and live in a way that expresses our awakening heart and awareness.

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Flowering, From Within, of Self-Blessing

Flowering, From Within, of Self-Blessing

This line from poet Galway Kinnell reminds us of the possibility of meeting our inner life with a loving, healing presence. When we do, we loosen the trance of unworthiness and reconnect with our intrinsic goodness. In turn, we can offer our blessings to others–serving as reminders of the awareness and love that can blossom in all beings.

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Part 1 – Freedom: Seeing Who Is Looking Through the Mask

Freedom in the Midst of Difficulty

We suffer when we forget who we are and get caught in a limited sense of self. This talk explores how we become identified with a sliver of what we are, and the pathway to remembering our wholeness. When we know we’re the ocean, we are free to relate to the waves with respect, compassion and love.

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Part 1 – Freedom: Seeing Who Is Looking Through the Mask

Embodied Presence: Gateway to Intimacy and Freedom

We often move through the day in a reactive trance, removed from the aliveness of our bodies and this natural world. This talk explores how coming home to our bodies awakens us to living love, creativity and the deepest realization of who we are.

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Opening the Lotus of Your Heart (retreat talk)

Opening the Lotus of Your Heart (retreat talk)

Our reaction to life’s stress is to contract, and we live many moments with a tight body, clenched heart and narrowed mind. This talk explores how deepening attention can reconnect us with our natural openness and radiance (from the 2012 Women’s Retreat on 2/3/2012).

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