How can we bring our practice into the world with a wise, rather than reactive, response to the conflict, divisiveness and injustice that are intensifying in recent times? We can often feel helpless when watching news of the latest in a rise in hate crimes, the indifference towards refugees, or the recent decision of the US President to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord.
In this special Worldwide Insight Series, we will specifically address these types of issues and the questions that often come up around them:
- What can I do?
- How can I keep my heart open and still engage in this divided world?
- What is an appropriate response that is not fueled by, or feeding, the reactivity that I see around me?
We have invited 4 buddhist teachers from various traditions who teach specifically on bringing the teachings and practices into these edgy and painful places. Zohar Lavie, Lama Rod Owens, Leslie Booker, and Nina LaRosa will each lead a 90 minute webinar session to help support us through these difficult times, beginning Saturday, 24 June.
The Buddhist tradition views teachings of liberation as priceless, and this online series is offered in the spirit of generosity, called Dana. Access to the teachings are freely offered to support your practice, and you will be given an opportunity to support both the platform and the teacher by making a donation.
Exploring how practice can support and nourish us in engaging with challenging times
For many of us these are times of deep questioning: How do we respond to the challenges we are facing in our societies and our planet? What can we do? How to engage in ways that are skilful and non-harming and also honour our inner sense of integrity, urgency and care? Zohar will be offering some reflections and suggestions on how Dharma practice can support us in exploring these issues using her own experience of Dharma activism in Israel/Palestine, environmental education and working with the leprosy affected in India.
Love’s in Need of Love:
The Practice of Love as Social Resistance
The great Black American singer and songwriter Stevie Wonder once sang, “Love’s in need of love today.” His words couldn’t be more true as we face a global community struggling with war, poverty, illness, climate instability, and the rise of political authorities and governments who do not seem to be grounded in compassion or kindness. We speak about love and attempt to practice love but some of us are losing faith in the transformative power of the wish for ourselves and others to be happy. Our practice of love is in need of our renewed faith in love. In this talk, we will be exploring the question of how practicing love can become a strategy that resists and undoes our experiences of fear, apathy, and numbness as we attempt to live and love in a challenging world.
The Self-Preservation of Activism
Yes, the world is on fire. And, how do we respond to the rage, anger, and fear that can engulf us? How do we utilize these emotions as catalysts that can move us into action that doesn’t burn us up and destroy us?
We will investigate the Self-Preservation of Activism by feeling into our body wisdom to ignite social action that is generative and sustainable. Through the lens of the Buddha’s teaching on the Paramis (The 10 Perfections of the Heart) we will begin to know when we have moved away from our center, away from our dignity, and what we can do to come back to our body wisdom.
Dismantling Racism in Our Minds and Hearts
If one lives as a human on this earth one is affected by racism. Power and privilege have been unfairly awarded throughout history to certain groups of people based on race while disempowering others.
These systems function on a systemic and cultural level, but also within each of us individually when we unconsciously internalize messages about each other, ourselves, and about race. Simply growing up in a racist world causes subtle and not so subtle habits of mind and heart to take on racist patterns.
Mindfulness meditation can help one to observe preconceptions as they arise in the mind, providing space for cultivating kindness and care. Mindfulness can illuminate implicit bias, the usually unconscious prejudices that color so much of our mind’s judging nature. Uncovering these habits of mind with a generous heart can cut through the guilt, shame, hatred, and fear that cause so much contraction and suffering in us and in our relationships around race. Observing these habits of mind with wisdom can allow a healthy transcendence of self to arise that does not bypass individual and racial differences, but includes them.
This session is for you, no matter the color of your skin, if you’re interested in investigating more deeply how racism in the world has impacted your mind and heart. We will practice ways to undo racism in our lives and uncover a generous, spacious heart that has room for differences and the universal.