The Courage of Simple Presence (Audio)

This is the meditation talk from July 3, 2010.

The traditional teachings say that patience is the antidote to aggression. When we have any strong energy, it wants to complete itself in some kind of action or resolution. In a way it is like a snowball rolling down the side of a mountain, gathering momentum and speed as it goes. The resolution – such as telling someone off – feels good for a moment, but then it leads to further suffering.

We need the courage to just be present and aware, not looking for a resolution to strong feelings but for the underlying openness that underlies feelings. That is how we open the door of compassion, for ourselves and others.

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Our reading for the day came from Practicing Peace in Times of War by Pema Chodron.

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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

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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

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