This talk and practice session was given at the Rubin Museum on June 7, 2021 via Zoom. Rebecca spoke on the theme of “Wisdom” before guiding the group through a session of meditation. In this talk, she spoke about how wisdom is revealed every moment we remember to, release the habit of reacting with vexations, facilitated by the meditative practice of cultivating clear awareness.
This talk was given on March 15, 2021 at the invitation of the Buddhist Sangha of Bucks County as the group concluded a period of study focusing on the paramitas.
This talk was given to the Yale Buddhist Sangha on February 14, 2921.
This talk was given to the Yale Buddhist Sangha on March 28, 2021.
Well, as the retreat was starting, I had the feeling that it was coming at the most inopportune time. There were so many things in my life seemingly falling apart, that my mind was like a whirlpool of thoughts and emotions, with no solid object to grasp for stability. Fortunately, the retreat was the event that would help me to tread and swim safely through the storming waters in my mind.
At a certain point in the first sit, I found that I stopped trying to search for answers, or even for calmness. I just simply gave myself over to the method and allowed all of the thoughts, feelings, and emotions to keep their course without me obsessively grasping at them, trying to put them away, or eradicate them. The whirlpool continued in the same way it had before the retreat, but I found that I was able to breathe and I was able to see. I was able to just reside in the whirlpool, watching like a big beautiful ball of energy, without fighting against it, without trying to calm it, without naming and blaming, without trying to escape. No matter what arose, I was able to sit, see, and let it be. Yet, I am not saying it was easy. My body was taut; my head hurt, my blood pressure was higher than normal, my shoulders on fire. But I knew that none of these things were going to injure me or ruin me, at that moment, or during that day. By the midpart of the first half of the day, I just gave myself completely into the rhythm of the retreat. Whatever came before or after, would still be there and there was no reason to bring it up at the moment. These things would certainly come knocking and I would just greet them with, I don’t know, indifference? I’m not sure how to describe it.
Despite the physical solitude and silence, I felt great support from everyone in attendance. As the retreat fades into the past and the days of the week come and go, I still feel that support, as if a seed was germinated and planted inside of me, continuing to be nourished each time I apply the method both on and off of the cushion.
One of the takeaways I have from the retreat is the importance of carrying the method and applying it when moving through the world. While it was always something I had an intellectual awareness of, it has now become something that brings me great joy. I feel clumsy in that description, but I don’t know how else to say it.
Thank you Rebecca for guiding us last Sunday. It was a truly memorable and valuable experience.
I am learning to be friendly to myself, to allow myself to feel tired, frustrated. I can tell myself “Let’s see how you feel, what you want to say”, instead of not allowing any negative emotions and thoughts. There is no need to push them away – they are part of myself. I can deal with them in a positive way.
What a relief to know that it is OK to doze off, to make mistakes, to feel tired, to not feel up to par. I am only human. There is a gentleness in allowing. Not allowing things to be causes agitation and tension; constant fighting and rejection causes fatigue.
Just to accept oneself and all as it is brings relief. Causes and conditions determine the way things will be. I need to give myself a break from constantly trying to improve myself, from trying too hard to change. I am good enough the way I am, regardless of my faults and shortcomings. I need to concentrate on my accomplishments in life and allow, accept and be at peace with how things are. It will save a lot of mental anguish, of wanting things to be different from what they are. It will free me from trying to be what I am not. I am no better or worse than anyone else. I am unique and am not obligated to live up to other’s expectations, and nor should I allow myself to get caught up in the pressures, the struggle and the comparisons.
I have been unfairly judged and have unfairly judged others. It hurts me and it hurts others. I do not continually have to keep trying to be better than I am or to try to live up to other people’s ideals. I can be at peace with myself and relax.
Allow the leg pain, emotions and thoughts
to come, stay and go,
Allow the clouds, rain and the sky to be grey.
Allow all to be just the way it is.
without hoping anything to be different than how it is.
without criticizing, judging and blaming.
Allow and accept all just the way it is…..
All is just the way it supposed to be……. unique and beautiful.
This talk was given to the Yale Buddhist Sangha on November 15, 2020.
This talk was given at DDMBA-NJ in Edison on November 1, 2020.
This talk and practice session was given at the Rubin Museum on August 17, 2020 via Zoom. Rebecca spoke on the theme of “Awakening” before guiding the group through a session of meditation. In this talk, she spoke about what we are awakening to in the midst of our life and how wisdom and compassion is an integral part of our awakening.