The most compelling part of my practice right now comes in the form of my writing. For a long time, I've focused my teaching and writing on lovingkindness. Now as I look more deeply into lovingkindness, I find that it actually rests on another foundation, the expression of faith.
Faith is the topic I am exploring most in teaching and writing. Today there is a tremendous upsurge of interest in a new kind of faith, based on a practice where people can experience a direct spirituality, one without rigid dogma or compulsory belief in a specific cosmology. This is a spirituality that rests on personal transformation.
Vipassana allows us to take a method of mind training and craft a way of life that is more compassionate, more ethical and more powerful than our unawakened lives. The Buddha's teachings give us an immediate experience of what we can do to change. Faith in the teachings means we align ourselves with a vision of our greatest possibilities. This is the heart of the practice.
Thanissara, a practitioner since 1975, was a Theravada nun for 12 years in the tradition of Ajahn Chah and has taught internationally the last 20 years. She is co-founder and director of Dharmagiri Hermitage and Outreach in South Africa and spends time between there and the US. She has an MA in Mindfulness Psychotherapy Practice from Karuna Institute and Middx University UK and is currently co-facilitator of the Community Dharma Leader at Spirit Rock
Vinny is a graduate of Spirit Rock Mediation Center’s Community Dharma Leader Program and is in the new SR teacher Training. He is training director of the Mind Body Awareness Project in Oakland, California, and a cast member of MTV’s If You Really Knew Me. He also has extensive experience training probation officers, teachers, and community leaders who work with at-risk youth, how to utilize mindfulness-based practices to deal with their own stress, anxiety, and secondary trauma.
Yanai Postelnik has been engaged in full-time dharma practice and service since 1990. His practice and teaching are inspired by the Thai forest tradition and nourished by time spent in the natural world. He has been teaching retreats around the world for 20 years, and is a guiding teacher of Gaia House, England.