December, and a perfect day to take the paddleboard down to the river. Stiff gusts and choppy waves, but semi-tropical conditions.
I worked my way upstream and rather than letting the current take me back, had to work hard against a southerly wind. What a treat to get back out there with the Canada geese, the newly arrived coots and our resident swan.
At 50,000 feet you can grasp the enormity of things.
On the runway, you see the details.
This week’s talk explores three elements that align the 50,000 foot view with the details on the ground.
Imagine your thoughts, speech and actions aligned not only with your intention, but with the laws of nature. Imagine knowing your life is aligned in a way that cultivates a greater sense of ease and well-being.
This is the dance of “Wise View,” “Wise Intention” and “Wise Effort,” components of the road map laid out in Buddhist philosophy in the Eightfold Path.
This week’s blurb:
Paying attention to three fundamental elements can make a huge difference in your life.
Wise View aligns you with reality.
Wise Intention aligns your attention with what is deeply and unalterably true and important in your life.
Wise Action aligns your thought, speech and efforts.
So often we forget what is most important and fall into to a life of reactivity, anxiety and fear. Pausing deeply and exploring how these three elements interact can not only support you in feeling more balanced, but can lead you to greater and greater happiness and inner peace, no matter how turbulent your life may be at times.
Think of mindfulness as “non-judging awareness.” Learning how to access mindfulness when we’re experiencing stress, pain, depression and other difficult states can be challenging.
Through a short talk and brief guided meditation experiences we’ll explore some practical strategies, not just for increasing our toleration of unpleasant states, but for actually transforming our relationship with them when they do arise.
DATE: Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013
TIME: 7:00 to 8:00 PM
PLACE: Dolley Madison Library, 1244 Oak Ridge Avenue, McLean
For directions, click here. Light refreshments will be served.
Following the talk I’ll be around to respond to questions. There is no charge for this event, but seating is limited, so we encourage you to pre-register.
I was just uploading my latest talk and noticed over 100,000 guided meditations and talks have been downloaded through iTunes and online streaming.
Wow. Initially I started posting my talks for participants in the weekly classes who were away traveling. As the listenership has broadened, it’s a treat to hear from folks around the planet who’ve found them helpful, including the woman who wrote me and wanted me to know how grateful she was as the talks helped her fall asleep each night.
My good friend Shobhan Richard Faulds described his aspiration so well I co-opted it for myself:
Practice Deeply, Share Freely
I’ve received much generosity in this life and embrace the principle of dana – or generosity – in this tradition.
The teachings and practices are considered priceless, therefore there is no charge. When I offer a weekly class or retreat freely, it’s gratifying to know that no one would be denied access and I’m always touched and gratified by the support I receive to keep doing what I do.
Thanks to all who support me in my aspiration to contribute.
Have you ever met anyone who finds their practice, whether it be yoga, meditation, prayer, etc, to be effortless to sustain?
If so, please send them my way. I’d like to learn their secret.
Any practice that embraces transformation is a challenge to keep going. And most people, as one of my teachers said, stop practicing precisely because it’s working.
Mindfulness is designed to bring into your awareness what is between you and feeling free. Doing it alone is challenging, and that’s why there have been through the ages, monasteries, support groups, retreats for intensive practice.
This week’s talk explores the power of remembering why you practice and what to expect if you can sustain an intentional effort on non-judging awareness.
Mindfulness practice can get dry and rote. When you remember why you are practicing you’ll reconnect with your passion and deepest intention. When you can sustain your practice, you may notice a number of benefits.
Beyond the physiological and emotional boosts you’ll feel, ultimately you’ll notice the arising of two distinct faculties.
Wisdom is your capacity to recognize what is true. Compassion is your capacity to allow and open to truth.