Talks: Reflections on the Path

Listening Presence

Listening Presence

A full and listening presence is the gateway to genuine intimacy with our self and others. This talk explores the challenges to deep listening and the teachings and practices that guide us in developing this healing and liberating capacity.

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Listening Presence

Gateways to Happiness

While we all want to be happy, our habitual ways of pursuing happiness leave us dissatisfied. What prevents us from being happy? What is true happiness? How do we relax and open to the blessings of our life that are always and already here? Though these reflections we explore together our potential to live from a profound place of inner freedom, peace and happiness.

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Listening Presence

The Power of Inquiry

Inquiry, or mindful investigation, is a direct way to deepen our attention and reveal the nature of reality. This talk explores the attitude, types of questions and practice of non-conceptual presence that awakens our deepest wisdom.

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Listening Presence

Touching Enlightenment with the Body

We realize and inhabit the fullness of what we are through the gateway of our senses. This reflection includes how we dissociate from our bodies (hearts, each other, earth) and the pathways of belonging. The evening is dedicated to John O’Donahue, a teacher of the divine longing that carries us to belonging.

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Listening Presence

The Three Refuges

This talk reflects on the three gateways to liberating presence– Buddha nature (our awakened heartmind); Dharma (the living moment, truth, nature of things) and Sangha (spiritual community.) The evening includes a ritual of “taking refuge” that invites our dedication to each domain of awakening and freedom.

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Listening Presence

The True Revolution

In Buddhism, lovingkindness is considered a divine abode, our true home. This talk explores how we can recognize the mask that covers insecurity, inhabit our essential goodness of Being, and let ourselves touch and be touched by love. This awakening into wholeheartedness is the true revolution.

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Listening Presence

The Path of Transformation

This talk investigates three core themes on the path of spiritual awakening: forgiveness, inner fire or aspiration, and the awareness of what we are…awareness itself. These living currents on the path are explored through an ancient Indian teaching story and guided reflections.

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Listening Presence

Gratitude and Generosity

When we feel grateful, there is a sense of homecoming. We are connected with what we cherish, and in that abundance, our natural response is generosity. This talk explores two pathways that directly give rise to gratitude and generosity: full presence, and the intentional remembrance of what we love.

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Listening Presence

Lovingkindness: Living with a Wise Heart

The Buddha taught that our fear is great, but greater yet is the truth of our connectedness. These two talks examine the often unconscious habits that generate the pain of separation, and the practices that allow us to realize and live from an awake heart.

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Listening Presence

Stress, Presence and Freedom

We are designed to respond to stress with flight/fight/freeze and this can proliferate and then harden into our ongoing response to life. The practice of presence, of recognizing and relaxing with what is arising, can cut through this conditioning and gift us with the realization of our true nature and the capacity to love fully.

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Listening Presence

The Three Refuges – 2

In Buddhism there are three, interdependent gateways to freedom. Called refuges, they are the expressions of truth that carry us home to the essence of what we are. These two talks investigate the way we take "false refuge"--habitual ways of trying to control experience--and...

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Listening Presence

The Three Refuges – 1

In Buddhism there are three, interdependent gateways to freedom. Called refuges, they are the expressions of truth that carry us home to the essence of what we are. These two talks investigate the way we take “false refuge”–habitual ways of trying to control experience–and the profound happiness and peace in discovering true refuge.

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The Gift of Silence

The Gift of Silence

Through all spiritual traditions, there is a valuing of silence and stillness. When the mind has quieted, it becomes possible to see into the truth of what we are. Yet quieting can turn into a battle with the process of the thinking mind. This talk explores practices that allow us to settle in a natural way, the presence which is silence itself, and the wisdom and love that flows freely when we live from that silence.

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The Joy of Conscious Relationships

The Joy of Conscious Relationships

We live in a relational field, and as we develop the capacity for presence with others, we discover the truth of our connectedness. This discovery is experienced as love, and gives rise to genuine happiness and inner freedom. This talk explores the teachings and practices that nourish conscious relationships.

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Listening Presence

Pathways to Happiness

The Dalai Lama often begins his talks “Everyone wants to be Happy… Nobody wants to suffer.” It’s true, and yet sadly, our ways of pursuing happiness are often the very cause of suffering. This talk describes the shadow side of seeking happiness, and the practices of presence that lead to spiritual freedom and genuine happiness.

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Listening Presence

Wise Effort – Cultivating and Engaged Presence

A wholehearted commitment to awakening is intrinsic to the spiritual path. Yet often this becomes a striving kind of effort that is generated out of the sense of a “doing self.” This talk reflects on the grounds of wise effort: connecting to our deepest intention, and cultivating a genuinely allowing, engaged, presence.

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Listening Presence

Touching Enlightenment with the Body

Our suffering arises from the unseen, unfelt parts of our experience- our unlived life. This rejected energy is stored in our bodies and prevents us from living wakefully and wholeheartedly. By bringing a courageous, mindful presence to bodily sensations our energies untangle and flow freely. Rather than a frightened resisting “self” we rediscover our full aliveness, connectedness and luminosity of Being.

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Listening Presence

The Soul of the Whole

Our incessant inner dialog contracts us into the sense of a small limited self. The practices of presence – noticing and allowing our experience – awakens us from this limiting identity and allows us to realize the loving awareness that is our essence.

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Listening Presence

Deprogramming the Story of Self

Our life experience is shaped by the stories we tell ourselves and the underlying belief that “something is wrong with me.” Meditation allows us to recognize and release the grip of the stories that confine our sense of wholeness, peace and inner freedom.

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