Practicing as a Bodhisattva in the Pandemic

On April 27, 2020, Rebecca joined practitioners of Buddhist Sangha of Bucks County as originally scheduled on Zoom for an evening of practice.  In response to practitioners’ interest in learning about “Bodhisattva’s wise response in the face of a pandemic,” Rebecca spoke about how to practice as a Bodhisattva by not turning away from suffering.

Practicing to Suffer Better

This talk was given in the weekly online Dharma practice gathering with Rebecca Li on April 24, 2020.  Rebecca encouraged practitioners to cultivate clear awareness of one’s experience of suffering so that one can use the practice to mitigate the impulse to inflict  additional suffering on oneself and others.  To do so, we practice not being afraid of our fear and suffering.  Practicing this way, we also learn to tread the Bodhisattva Path by not turning away from the suffering of the world.

Open our Heart to our Whole Self

In this talk given to the Weekly Online Dharma Practice Gathering on April 3, 2020, Rebecca talked about habitual tendencies that practitioners may fall into when experiencing tremendous stress.  These habits block us from fully experiencing the present moment.  She explained how the practice of Silent Illumination allows us to face the challenges presented by the pandemic with equanimity.

Allow Joy into our Heart

This talk was given in the Online Dharma Practice Gathering with Rebecca Li held on Zoom on March 27, 2020, a weekly practice group established to support practitioners during the pandemic.  In this talk, Rebecca shared the practice of cultivating clear, total awareness of the present moment in the body and our surrounding to allow joy into our heart as we experience anxiety and stress during the pandemic.  She recommends listening to her talk on gratitude and total awareness here.

Guided Meditation with Rebecca Li (5 min)

AK sky

In this guide meditation, I will take you through the relaxation of your head and face and your body to help you settle down your mind.  If you have time, I encourage you to meditate for a few more minutes to relax your body and mind and to connect with your inner self after the recording ends.  You can set a timer for a 10-15 minute meditation session if you wish.  You can also use this for your 5-minute meditation session.

Guided Meditation with Rebecca Li

Looking out from the interview room at Maenllwyd

In this guided meditation, I will take you through a whole body relaxation followed by instructions to sit in clear awareness.  The recording lasts for 24 minutes.  I encourage you to continue the practice for another 10 minutes or more after the recording ends for a longer period of meditation if time permits.  Be sure to take a couple of minutes to transition from stillness to motion when the meditation session ends.

Rebecca led Day-long Retreat in Newark on Feb. 23, 2020

On February 23, Rebecca led a Daylong Retreat at Newark Center for Meditation Culture with the assistance of Kathryn Davis and Leslie.  It was the first retreat held at NCMC’s new home at 2 Park Place, a lovely space for the growing sangha.  The day’s program included sitting and walking meditation, yoga led by Leslie, and a beautiful qigong sequence led by Kathryn.  Rebecca also explained the practice of eating meditation over lunch and offered private interviews for several participants.  The retreat organizer invited Rebecca to integrate her sociological expertise into the discussion.  She spoke about group dynamics that cause suffering in her Dharma talk “Community-building with Clarity and Compassion”.  With conceptual understanding of these dynamics, she explained how we can cultivate clear awareness of these unhelpful habits by Chan practice so as not to contribute to these dynamics.  She also pointed out ways to build more enduring ties in group life that does not require perpetuating the usual dynamics deployed by groups.  Retreat participants shared their experience and reflected on how they could apply the sociological insight and practice in their life at work and spiritual community.  At the end of the retreat, many participants shared how they planned to bring various aspects of the practice home to be integrated into their daily life.  (Photo by NCMC)

2020 Daylong Retreat group photo