How do we work with the energies that are touched in us by the terrorist attacks and all the upheaval in society and the world since then? This talk is an offering of teachings from the Buddhist tradition intended to support us in addressing the current situation wisely within ourselves.
Being able to connect with an inner silence amidst the outer turmoil will help the mind become clear and find beneficial ways to meet the challenges that face us. Many issues surrounding the crisis are discussed. Encouragement and suggestions are given for putting the teachings to the test of practice at a critical time.
The creation of war begins in the mind. Can we own the shadow in ourselves that wages war with our own experience? Can we see this in the roots of the incredible violence in the world? What would it be to put down the collective and individual struggles that we keep creating?
In an era of terrorism, vengeance and a thirsting for enemies, the practice of insight meditation offers the possibility of a trustworthy and transformative response to the heartbreak of these times. Following the talk is a guided forgiveness meditation.
The Buddha pointed to impermanence-- the changing nature of things-- as one of the basic laws of nature. The events of September 11th have highlighted this truth dramatically for us. This talk encourages the possibility of softening, seeing clearly and being present to the truth so that we can continue to learn through deepening our understanding of this law of impermanence.
Most of us want to know the right answer to complex situations. This post-September 11th talk explores the value of letting go of prematurely trying to figure things out, and replace it with patiently listening inside to our wisest understandings and responses when they are ready to be heard.
Practice helps us to learn to recognize the voice of our deepest aspirations. These aspirations can become a very strong motivating force in our lives if they are given the right nutrients. This talk will help us to learn to cultivate conditions that support our heart's deepest vows.
Awakening from the false through discovering what is true is the path of insight. Some of our personal mythology we have inherited, some is born of our own experience. We can learn to discern what is true in the moment and release sorrow.
This Dharma talk given at the beginning of a metta retreat, notes that this is a practice of intention. It asks, "What are our goals? Where are we going with it?" Sylvia reminds us to be mindful of our intention in practice. Clarity of intention is a motivator of zeal. It can help us see where we are going. It can also fortify and strengthen our practice, helping us see through the painful resistance to loving. Sylvia shares some candid stories of her own beginning practice with some suggestions for enhancing our practice.
The Seven Factors of Enlightenment are mindfulness, investigation, energy, joy, calm, concentration and equanimity. When brought to fruition they lead to the highest happiness we can experience. How can we cultivate these qualities consciously in our meditation practice and in our life?