I try to convey that the wisdom and compassion we are looking for is already inside of us. I see practice as learning how to purify our mind and heart so we can hear the Buddha inside. In doing so, we naturally embody the dharma and help awaken that understanding and love in others we meet.
I try to use the formal teachings as a doorway for people to see the truth in themselves. I feel I'm doing my job when people look into themselves to come to their own deep understandings of the truth, access their own inner wisdom and trust in their "Buddha-knowing," as Ajahn Chah called it, which is different from their intellectual knowing.
The Buddha-knowing is a deeper place, underneath the concepts, which is in touch with the truth, with our seed of awakening. I want practitioners to have more and more confidence in, and familiarity with, that deeper place of knowing. It is accessing this dimension of our being that becomes the guide to cutting through the confusion caused by greed and fear. We have everything we need inside ourselves. We do not need to look to a teacher when we remember who we really are.
How your practice can unfold as you leave retreat includes seeing it as a path of happiness; value of opening to suffering; learning to listen to the truth inside and expressing your caring as compassionate action.
Dharma practice is not only about learning to be with suffering. Cultivating wholesome states and noticing when they're here is an essential part of practice that leads to the highest happiness. This talk includes some teachings of the Buddha on how to develop happiness in our lives.
The magic of mindfulness is how it weakens unwholesome (akusala) states of suffering and strengthens wholesome (kusala) states of well-being. This talk explains this process of alchemy: how greed, hatred and delusion are transformed into generosity, loving-kindness and wisdom.