We are bound by our biology, and our health, longevity and death are largely out of our control. This talk explores the way our biology impacts us, including the influences of the sex drive, the survival drive and the social drive. Martin looks at how we can explore and understand our biology in such a way as to inhabit it freely.
In this talk Martin looks at the tendency to conceive in terms of objects rather than process, unpicking the way we maintain and reinforce the ego structure, and offering a vision of a more expansive and inclusive participation in life.
Martin uses this talk to examine the Buddhas description of Dharma practice as Going against the stream of Greed, Hatred and Delusion. He traces these forces in our contemporary lives in their personal, social and global dimensions, inviting us to reflect on how to make an appropriate response to the life in which we find ourselves.
This talk questions our willingness to really be in contact with our experience. Martin explores our tendency to divide ourselves from life, from others and from our own experience, and points the way back to an undivided, undefended existence. The talk also reflects on the natural boundlessness of heart that opens up as a liberated response to different types of experience.
Martin explores different personality styles of resistance and rejection, the ways anger functions and the importance of letting ourselves feel negative emotions as a way of freeing them up and letting go of our personal hard luck story. He also explores the way practice can transform anger into fearlessness as an important force against injustice, oppression and inequality.
On this summer solstice evening out under the trees at Gaia House, Martin reflects on the importance of trees in the Buddhas life, the disingenuousness of the term mindfulness and what it means to be embodied.
Here, Martin looks at the dichotomy we easily make between the retreat situation and the rest of life, and explores the skilful integration of our practice, as well as looking at some of the forces that tend to shape our into our personal, relational and cultural lives.
Using the zen image of first there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is, Martin charts the evolution of relating to form and emptiness, exploring the fundamental duality of conventional experience, and the natural pull towards its dismantling, transcendance and integration.
Rather than the meditator trying to become present, this talk emphasises the way life is always immediate and available, always and only present. And how attuning to that invites us into presence, not as a property of mind, not as a state we create, but as the formless ground into which mind can rest, allowing presence to reveal what arises.