In our culture, we place a high emphasis on intellectual learning. Yet our personal growth seems to depend on how we translate what we read and hear into some deeper, possibly wordless understanding. Even Suzuki Roshi once said about his own (brilliant) lectures, "It is like giving you a recipe. It doesn't work. You cannot eat a recipe."
So how do we grow the teachings in our heart and in our body, and in the whir of New York City no less?
It has never been more difficult to live in the moment. Many of us have lives so full of activities that we can hardly catch our breaths. We work long hours, sometimes on weekends, and have hectic lives at home. When we do get a free minute, our heads are full of thoughts about the email or task we didn’t get to. As great as it is to be productive, our busy lives can leave us disconnected from our feelings and bodily sensations.
Headspacereceived $30 million in funding this week to expand their services. In one press release, they were described as a "leading digital health and wellness media brand", though most of us know Headspace as a mindfulness app, and they were founded by a former Buddhist monk who leads their guided meditations.
How do you love someone who is scared and who scares you?
I was reminded of this question, posed by Tsoknyi Rinpoche in his book "Open Heart, Open Mind," this week as I watched the Internet react to what we might term "difficult people" in our metta practice -- Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, and a Connecticut woman who filmed the bears who followed her on a walk in the woods.
Back in June, at the beginning of the summer, IDP decided to offer a weekly Metta/Lovingkindness Meditation practice, on Fridays from 6-7pm. When planning the offering, I wondered if anyone would attend - sometimes it's quiet during the summer, especially on weekends. Also, new offerings at IDP take time to grow and for people to learn about them, so the first few dates can start off with just a few students. Other times, the scheduling is inconvenient or the topic just doesn't appeal to our community, and the event is cancelled due to lack of interest.