As a monk, I bring a strong commitment, along with the renunciate flavor, to the classic Buddhist teachings. I play with ideas, with humor and a current way of expressing the teachings, but I don't dilute them.
Sitting in a field of fifty to eighty people really starts my mind sparking. Since I don't prepare my talks ahead of time, I find myself listening to what I'm saying along with everyone else. This leaves a lot of room for the Dhamma to come up. Just having eighty people listening to me is enough to engage me, stimulate me, and create a nice flow of energy. The actual process of teaching evokes ideas that even I did not realize were being held somewhere in my mind.
Different teaching situations offer their own unique value. In retreat, you are able to build a cohesive and comprehensive body of the teachings. When people are not on retreat and come for one session, it opens a different window. They are more spontaneous and I'm given the chance to contact them in ways that are closer to their "daily-life mind." This brings up surprises and interesting opportunities for me to learn even more.
I'm continually struck by how important it is to establish a foundation of morality, commitment, and a sense of personal values for the Vipassana teachings to rest upon. Personal values have to be more than ideas. They have to actually work for us, to be genuinely felt in our lives. We can't bluff our way into insight. The investigative path is an intimate experience that empowers our individuality in a way that is not egocentric. Vipassana encourages transpersonal individuality rather than ego enhancement. It allow for a spacious authenticity to replace a defended personality.
Cultivating receptive and responsive heart energies, provides an ongoing exploration. The field of body provides the best venue to experience how these energies move and to understand their characteristics.
00:00 Q1 What clings? 11;13 Q2 Laura, can you speak more about moving back and forth between the path and the world. 16:51 Q3 What is meant when a person says someone is their teacher? 19:43 A poem by Rabindranath Tagore is read. 21:00 Q4 How to skilfully help others in our lives to get them to slow down and be more present? 27:14 Q5 How to let go of regrets and uproot the self? 36:08 Q6 Please distinguish taking ownership of karma and clinging to everything else.
Opening and closing happens everywhere, even with breathing. Discharging creates space for enjoyment, spontaneity and flexibility. Eventually even energy must be relinquished, so we practice recollection of death using the brahma viharas to expand awareness, closure with no regret, the deathless.
Sacred images can brighten the mind and allow helpful energies to arise. We can summon the indriya through this means. With devotional practice, we dislodge the self from its center point, revealing the energy of spiritual desire (chanda).
Discernment is easily biased by the five aggregates, especially mental constructions such as uncertainty and ‘not quite right yet’. Contemplating citta we can understand suffering rather than adopt a notion of solving it.
Self massage helps body awareness arise. With mental intention, alternately directing and releasing activation energy around the body, we increase connectivity and provide a broad basis for mindfulness.