Moving Beyond Hope and Fear – Audio

Our Saturday meditation talk was inspired by a reading from Pema Chodron’s book Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living (Shambhala Library). The key idea is that our hopes and fears, by focusing on the past and future, actually take us away from the only moment where peace and fullfillment can be found. We take the briefest of snapshots from the past, add fantasies about an unknown future, and become endlessly entangled and impoverished.

The present is rich beyond measure
If we give up what is not real
Then at last we can give
Our living awareness to this moment

Click this link to download the file, or the arrow to listen online

Two Perspectives

Sometimes when we have been stuck in something – perhaps a mood, an addiction, a story – we get this sudden flash and we see through it. It is like a breath of fresh air, opening a window to let light and fresh breezes into a stuffy room. For a moment, even if we have been stuck for weeks or years, we have a flash of the richness and possibility that has been there all along. This is what the teachings sometimes call awakening mind; it is our innate, natural capacity to see this moment with clarity and wisdom no matter what stories have entranced us.

We could use the image of a river. The flow is the endlessly changing kaleidoscope of experiences and events. And the two shores are two vastly different perspectives, both always available. One is the all too familiar perspective of contraction, relating to the whole show as a drama about the personal self and all its stories. The other shore, just as available but less familiar is the flash of awakening and clarity – that none of our stories are solid and this moment is brilliantly fresh and new. From this shore we can let go of our agendas and relate to reality spontaneously and creatively. This vision or perspective is always present because it emerges from our true nature – aware, free, and boundless.

Our practice is to treasure that awakening mind, cultivating and deepening it in every moment

Saturday Meditation Talk (Audio)

Here is the meditation talk from this morning. I took the reading from The Wise Heart: A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology, by Jack Kornfeld. The basic idea is that our mind does not represent accurately any kind of reality, and that our best approach is an open, curious, childlike mind that questions what appears. “Could there be more than what I am seeing?” “Could I release any distorting filters or stories?” 

Click this link to download the file, or the arrow to listen online