Kittisaro graduated from Princeton as a Rhodes Scholar and went on to Oxford before going to Thailand to ordain with Ajahn Chah in 1976. He was a monk for 15 years. Thanissara started Buddhist practice in 1975, decided to ordain after meeting Ajahn Chah and spent 12 years as a Buddhist nun. They had known each other for years when they fell in love in 1991. They decided to leave the order so they could be together and were married the following year. They have gone on to become co-founders of Dharmagiri Sacred Mountain Retreat in South Africa and co-authors of Listening to the Heart: A Contemplative Guide to Engaged Buddhism. They are Guiding Teachers of Sacred Mountain Sangha, on the Spirit Rock Teacher Council, and are Core Teachers at Insight Meditation Society. In a wide ranging interview, they discuss their practice and how their monastic lives have prepared them for their life in a relationship. Plug Zone Website: http://sacredmountainsangha.org/ Books Listening to the Heart: A Contemplative Journey to Engaged Buddhism: https://www.amazon.com/Listening-Heart-Contemplative-Journey-Buddhism/dp/1583948392 Time to Stand Up: An Engaged Buddhist Manifesto for Our Earth -- The Buddha's Life and Message through Feminine Eyes https://www.amazon.com/Time-Stand-Up-Buddhist-Manifesto/dp/158394916X Have a question for Dan? Leave us a voicemail: 646-883-8326
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Four may be seen as the ten percent happier vodka in her hello, put item of business here we love hearing your questions, visa voice, mail. Remind everybody if you want to call and leave a message. Six hundred and forty six, eight hundred and eighty three eight thousand three hundred and twenty six also got the number posted in the show notes. Six hundred and forty six eight hundred and eighty three eight thousand three hundred and twenty six give us a call. The question or even better will will run by one of the amazing teachers we have on the show, by the way, this week, no voice meals for a good reason, because the This conversation was so fantastic and rich, that I wanted to? Let it run longer than we usually do, so I figured that you're gonna get in deep doorman, technical meditation in here so soon, waste management will be back with voicemail next week, our guests. our Tunis era and kitty sorrow. Those are their buddhist monk
and none names. Although there both western kitty sorrow, was born. I that's the husband they're married, he was born and the Deep South Antennas Euro was born in the UK and they both went off to become too ordain, as in the Under a tie, arab legendary tie teacher who you're gonna hear all about and that's how they met and then they they can. I had this forbidden romance and were, Ross, owing to the have pretty deeply into that story, and so they they left the order of monks and nuns and got married, and now they teach call all over the world there, legendary teachers, I'm fact first heard about them from former guests. Seventy Selassie because she studies with them and so I've been intrigue and when I have been wanting to get them on the show for a long time, really happy that they came on the show and they did not disappoint. I would say there are really
three things other than their biography, which is well worth hearing that we wait I've been to hear one of them is, is what's it like to be a romantic relationship. Given the amount that the sheer volume of meditation practice they both had and have under their belts. What do you know? What do they still rubber further the runway, and how does that go, and we also talk about they make a case for devotional practice that I'd I'd. I'd always been you no problem, unsurprising too many of you love it. Resistant thirty have devotional practicing the Boeing in the, but they make a case for it that actually really got me thinking so ass. She wanted to call this episode the case for devotion, because it applies both to their personal relations. and also to one of the ways in which they practice and and twenty and we also get to the climate crisis and how that plays into their practice. So a lot here
without further ado. Here are tennis era and kitty sorrow to me both of you. You know you're, angry Jonas, presented to this house. We start with you. How did you get interested in meditation and Buddhism. well, when I first anybody know is Buddhism. I was some but eight some, but eighteen are you. Are you tricked into this kind of slowly, I was sir. My boyfriend wanted to do it So I take along with him it's in the UK And God was rich, you sent outside of Oxford. And it was a lot of young people were just beginning to practice meditation and we were practising a form that come out of Burma from a teacher who, back in who was famous ready for a method that became popular I car going to or they could it be possible
so we were doing that method was told by burmese monk and couldn't really speak English and I could speak burmese so any really understand about what was going on and it was very rigorous, my first experience was quite tough, but there was a Tough in it. a short while I felt something I felt some peace, and I knew it was important, and I knew this is important. And even though halfway through the retreat, I try to leave, try to run away and and get ready for her came back. Then I then something called me in it So I carried on and then I realize oh, that was thus put. This is Buddhism, then I'm practicing really was the meditation that attracted me first see, then the Dharuma teachings supported the meditation
what are you waiting was going on in your life that this was so powerful for you will at that time I was living in an alternative community side left. my family home and was just, Questioning very deeply the true that I was supposed to be on in the society. At that time I was studying arts and I said she studying fashion and I began to realize how empty it was for me- and I M so- nice shifted do fine arts and I realized, was less than five fine arts of finer ultra fine. I don't know I've never been good at finally did it
so anyway as much as I love that it fell and began to feel more empty. I think I went through this experience. They call Buddhism, nipping car, which is a sense of emptiness about everything this elevated in the society. You know like a career or marriage or I don't think making money was ESA, elevated in the culture that I came from a deeply working class culture, but it was definitely you find a good job. Stable job Although you get married a new sort of settle down, it was a sort of teacher training, I'd sooner really do want to do all of that. So I dropped. And I was giving a commune basically at that time in the city city of Southampton, and we were very experimental religious, doing versus different workshops site. You read all of these far out different books have been,
don't wands Balkans. You knows something about that. There was really evocative says if we re looking for some auto, active way of being and understanding. And in the midst of that it just became apparent that meditation? I was really the next step and needed to learn. Or to shift conch, snows. And the way to or to open my consciousness. What I understood- in a very sort of simplistic way. I mean there wasn't a lot of sophist education. In my understanding, I sort of somehow got the core message that that the meditation was important So when this opportunity for cheap came and when my boyfriend at the time was very focused on doing that, and my friends were doing it. I just kind of tanked along.
So an ironically, I learned it ought to be the person below and by that committee to do. Retreat. Burgess, who are just take along and learn a little bed. I realise how serious and hard core that retreat was gonna, be up at four in the morning and pray, sing in silence, and you know it was intense but I want to close the person that that landed up to king, it on out of our group the most seriously until about three or four PS, later London deigning taking robes became. I became a non became a Buddhist non for twelve years and I was inspired do that by meeting at in China. Force must have no he's Thailand, and I see my own teacher Argentina agent charge. They opened my last book with a quote from him, which is the untrained mind, stupid and sounds. Like agents are direct and simple,
I think that horrified, my friends by taken it so seriously, but yeah. I ended up doing that. So the negative path with something that's really I've been listening. I've been reading a lot of Christian, a murky, listen. Reading a lot about, indian saints, reading, a lot of wise people that were little a cultural, really find that in my culture. So much at that time, So the threat for me was the small, mystical, meditative approach, that's what was drawing me, and it was a very mysterious thing. I wouldn't say that without some logical way that I was making those steps, he was quite intuitive said this door open still open and I just went through those different doors until I landed up the doorstep of adventure and he was the person I think
that really- and I still think that, to this day, forty three years late or whatever it is that he was the one that I am body if such a profound wisdom in such a dining with such a dynamic teach it that I am direct teacher, that's it. I was greatly impacted impact it enough to really want to take the robes and in practice his style of of practice, through them lifestyle. If memory serves it was through that community that you met gentlemen ceded to your left, the zoologist dummy the back up for a second with you could sorrow my browsing How did you get interested meditation thanking? Thank you. I was a student at Oxford. I rode scholarship.
after having graduated from prints from their engine- and I was planning to unexpectedly- got the scholarship unexpected, but I was planning to go on to medical school afterwards, but term in a way was quite fortuitous too. To be in Oxford because my whole life up to that point had had a lot of ambition and drive in good things. I was working hard, but always aiming for the next tournament. accomplishment by tournament you turning to your wrestling or accomplishment until I was very oriented around success and markers of success, trying to be a good person, but it was while I was at Oxford.
And I am one of the Oxford colleges that I was I was Co. Wished college had beautiful gardens and there I thought. Is this: what you D Artagnan, Who was talking about his weariness in. I was twenty four. I felt a hundred and four. I was this exists I, with always driving to the next vein. and I used to. Enjoy sitting silently in churches when no one was there an accomplice aided in a waiver religious background. My father was new, your doom Jewish, my mother was a southern Baptists as in your reason, Tenancy Tennessee. What was your Harry Randolph Weinberg, so my dad's was Mars Weinberg and so one day while they
on their children to have a spiritual background. Bothy They didn't want to become a baptism armed and want to convert Judaism and. And now but one day mom. So in the paper a little note are you and she said now Do you think this might be for us, and it said I you were unitarian and don't know it, so they brought him to the monitoring church when there was whether they went when there was just ten people. And but it was a very non dogmatic approach to life. The idea there was a mysterious sacred core to this experience, of life, but they one could learn from many different sources. So you know who is ours growing up. We would have heard about Buddha. We were heard about obviously the Christ and more
Susan and Mohammed, and but I went to a school that was had a lot of fundamentalist high school. Without a fundamentalist Christian Viewpoints and yet are being told that we're going to Hell, because my name is Weinberg endeavours, duration, and so I tinted If you'd have told me all those years ago that I was going to end up as a buddhist monk and and dedicating so much life to a quote, unquote religious practice, I would have thought you were crazy, so but all these years later, when I was exhausted without achieving I didn't even know. If I knew how to put those words to it, I would sit quietly in a chapel and just something about pausing the sitting, the residents of the presents a real.
Ass, if something I have been overlooking, I wouldn't have even known how to articulate there, but I realized I need a teacher And I have always been grateful for teachers, grateful that in this world there are those beings who can share what they know and and bless you and encouraged guide you and I realized I I want to like- I had great wrestling- coaches, great teachers at school and university, but I sense there was something with inner, wouldn't have known how to put the words to buy something about it. an inner landscape so While I was at Oxford once the the porter to my college at cards, the gate of the car agencies who comes in and out of the university college,
I was friends with him and he saw this little note in the paper about that. There were some buddhist monks chanting somewhere. Like would you like to go in here? He took me in I heard these these monks chanting and something in the residence was familiar. Something and I ended up going on my first- Meditation retreat and similar to Tunis Railways relative about my mind's buying an all round, but I've some time on day, three somewhere, three form. I I'm moments of of being present and it was even between sessions,
I was outside and it was in morning there was a Bush dewdrops in the felt, the beauty of beauty and just standing there being with e g the beauty and had he piece the of what it was like a moment of beholding the holding this life that was so different for someone who my life always had this trajectory news, not bad.
putting that down, but I never knew what it was like to to be more here and then- and that was enough of a powerful taste and thereby coincidence on this on this. I think I did this next retreat that I was on someone was passing through. They needed a place to stay in Oxford and are in the manager of the Mediterranean countries at all. We have stood in here they introduced him to me and this guy I wanted to do. He lived in Thailand with American but Doktor researcher and was wanting to talk to Oxford philosophers about the origin of thought and Zella. You can stay in our flat, her apartment and in so while talking to him, he told all these stories of he is with tracker here.
tracked across the North pole he had done, and then one of his Hobbes was worrying meditation monasteries in Thailand. And doing as I think was he a psychiatrist yeah. He did all these personality tests to see what over time was the impact of meditation on the personality structures of these different monks, those talking and he's a calf and die. But then he said, there's one special monastery and his demeanor started to change, and then he started about the abbot of this monastery, and he said John Char. This strong conference, no nonsense. Man of the world, the way he was speaking about. I didn't China and you say the word enlightened.
and though reverence never encountered it like that. Do his reverence for this purpose, and then he said, oh there's a few westerners out. And there's another western. If he's not enlightened he's clubs- and he mentioned this monk- America among their margins, tomato and just hearing- it was like a gong going off in my life. I realize I I want to go. I wanna meet this wise person and it's all I remember asking him I said: will you take me to him and an area? So I you know within weeks. I got this leave of absence from me,
Roads trust I told my family, my parents were horrified that were so excited about me being road scholar and then looking on the map and I'm here, their sons going halfway around the world, and this was seventieth. This was after the Vietnam catastrophe. This is the lotion bombings. This was the Rumours of the Cambodia killing fields were coming out in the monastery whereas going to ride on the Near the lotion cambodian border, but but I got this leave of absence in and it's interesting- the warden to the roads trust this was the Sir Agro Williams, the man in charge of the road scholars looking after the american ones. I thought he would give me trouble for wanting to take off, but he
he said. Yes, yes, he said you know I'll, give you a couple years you can go and I just to find it in terms of my thesis and set our learn about more about Buddhism, because I was studying the works of Aldous Huxley ART I am in religion. In the works of Aldous is Huxley in Huxley's life he was bringing they modes being the creative craft, the door. I ain't perception, absolutely bringing it altogether and haste. it has no, you you can heavily vast, but he looked him and he said my name is Randy Randy. You can have a leave of absence, he said, but you're not coming back. So yes, I am. I will come back and finish my thesis. He said none alone you're not coming, he said, but you ve got your degree from Princeton. He said here at the roads were what were interested in the person, not the process, while not word about degrees. He says rain.
I think you found your vocation how why he saw something in me there. I didn't even know it's there He was during world war. Two was intelligent, specialist, helping track Rommel in the deserts and stuff, but he had seen something. and I'm so please before he died after I was a month, I was able to go back and express gratitude. He didn't shame me, but he Amy, like almost a prophecy, so I then you know, went off to Thailand, marriage and John, and I stayed among some, new roads dropout roads drop. I not. never got my degree but Sir Agro Williams. Wasn't it our just Brief digression: I love I've. Never had the opportunity to talk. Dharuma was
they were the southern accents at. That is the pleasure in and of itself. I read an interview you gave in which you talk about your first meeting with the aforementioned a young where he imitated a dog absolute with two tat tells mother. Well, I I was so excited about meeting this master and I had done so read not long before I went wrong, does his account and be here now in, and he used to be a professor at Harvard Richard outward and he became around us that his account I'm not going out for meeting his grooming Karoli Baba and we were attacked him on the forehead and he was a powerful experience. And so you know to me this idea of meeting this great master was exciting and- and so I was, and yet it was hard to get there because I arrive
I've done the worst day in modern tie history. I arrived October six nineteen, seventy six there was a revolution, usually the coups in Thailand or bloodless. This one was her an exile general had snuck into the country orchestrated, orchestrated a coup. Many students ended up being massacred, it was, we were told I had to go back, but person. I was with delicious way, let things calm down and then after a week or so he then took me. The nine our overnight train right up to the northeast and he took me to I didn't Charles Monastery and this guy. I was telling you even closer to combat.
really. This is the tracker yeah yeah yeah yeah Doktor Douglas Burns, but as we were walking he loved animals, but as we were walking into the monastery, he saw some of the postulant tormenting a snake which is hitting out. This is a protected monastery while so when we gotta Jean Charles Low, hut. He wasn't in quite a stayed in Geneva was calling him down. I don't cha offered him a cup of tea and he was so agitated. He knocked over the tea, and so anyway, I'm just there Jean Valjean Char Common down. I see everybody's Boeing. I was in overalls, had my beard Trying to do a bow because I wanted to fit in, and knowledge is watching I didn't we're on the floor and Jean Charles in these little wicker chair the thinnest
point. He turned to me and said something and tie and dug too said I you he wants to know why you're here Came up with something- and I think I threw the word enlightenment in there and I was hoping to get didn't lighten, but you know sometimes, when you talk it's order, Tiny- and you already know what you're talking about inside it sure petered out. He is the thin He said what do you know how to meditate and a meal we offer our firm ground because I told you a ten dollar three and a half. I done enough. I'd done you to me, I wasn't real meditating- we're talking all day long I strike day. This is not just is
I start talking about my meditation and in the end, this is how I know, but they taught a sweeping technical you sweep your attention and or with sensations its size or instead of staying with the breath vade the sort of a body scam body scan. You start first few days breath just the nostrils and then they take very particular attention to very systematically and slowly through. the whole body and never having really train my intention to be doing them ready with dedication over ten day period I had in past experiences, so I'm sharing this with Argentina, but I but I didn't say was though they used to teach you to sweep. I realized tat. I could sweep on both sides a body simultaneously, and so I sort of internally that I think I have a gift from meditation. I think I have some skill here,
and I was hoping are consuming and hoping that he would notice and and notice, my skill and and knowledge my having common cause. I so wanted a teacher and so meme on talking and while I'm talking to him suddenly he gets off his chair and down on the floor. on all fours and starts sniffing over toe like a dog and saying some things and then all the other people there were laughing and it ends is master doing this was funny, so I know I was laughing too but I'll. Let you know with my as I joke with my Pisces: in intuition. I could tell he wasn't impressed with my motivation railways down in an ice, in point I said I dug: will you give me a translation.
And finally, I didn't find me smiling and dug says: well, he said you don't have to sniff all around everywhere, If you understand one thing well any pointed at his nostrils, you understand one thing: well, you can understand everything. If you try to understand everything I end up, not understanding anything thoroughly,
I dont you learn how to be with your breathing and he said why don't you go be some NATO's friend and let him teach you how to be a monk summit over said his western senior western disciple and you ride it. It sounds like humiliating, and indeed this might be hard to explain, but I felt really tough by adventure. He called it stabbing the hard he he made a connection and into this day, when I can easily you know, get overwhelmed, I can easily find you know that the challenges we are facing all the different pieces, but to be able to come back to something simple, this bar Sitting breathing there's an embryo opera
in his one understands that implies changing nature in a moment. In a moment of of touching the reality of this moment with truth and presents, then the objects or the substance of the experience is recognised, but in seeing that changing nature, one also then recognizes the cotton, The ground near the awareness that knowing nested, has happened within and to this to this diarrhea that still you know You understand one thing: while you understand everything in a moment to come back to the simplicity of I'm here, sitting him standing and so it's it started. And I never really seriously worried about going
going back. I mean at one point Arjun Shower Charlie on asked me: what are you gonna do after this, and I thought you didn't Domingo indian Doctor and I just very arrogant thing of how quick I would do it. This american life can be this peaceful in the ten day. Retreat, there's three hundred and ten day periods in a month and do it in a year Well, let's get myself to you and I just realized much bigger job and I countertop. But at one point I didn't say I said what you going to do and I said: well, I'm going to go be a doctor and then he looked at me and he said. Can they sure death as well, where he said. If you become a doctor of the team. That means your heart is, if you become a margin to become a doctor
the heart doctor of the Spirit he says you will learn the cure for birth in there you will discover that which never die. and I always felt very, very grateful that that route to Oxford led me to the forest and very grateful for having met urgent chop does a great story, but there's war of it. Tell the tell show me turn back to you, tennis heard: how did the two of you need in? How did that turn into a kind of Maybe I'm being journalistic Lee sensationalist occur here, but a little bit of a forbidden romance. Well retreated Kitty sorrow talked whether he went on his first. the treaty, has shown the same retreat. So that was alarmed, I'm a girl so
didn't meet him exactly what we heard about this American that's gone off to Thailand, I remember with my friends. We all thought that sounds really brave. You know, Sir realise Data that was Kitty SAR, so that was what, when I first heard of at him and then within a nun. Of years may be four years we were both in the monastery he was in Thailand. I've been to Thailand, but then I can charge suggested. I stay. and with the nuns there I didn't really work, how I came back to the UK, partly because I hadn't told my family that I was thinking of perhaps being a non or my boyfriend, who is wanting to be married so which I realise that wasn't going to happen. so I entered the monastery and that before I did that in the UK, but before I did that I went to sea urchin charm.
And he was again he'd. Come back, he'd been twice to England, one in seven nineteen, seventy seven, once in nineteen, seventy nine and so I went to see the second time use in Oxford in this place will both talking about where we began our meditation retreat experience and keep when I went to pay respect him. He said why? You stay in Thailand and asked to explain in the monk there was sitting next to him. I was kitty sorrow and I felt, slightly paraded version chunks and stay in Thailand, case- are set in a sort of I had no idea where the Saxon came from his eyes. if San This guy, you know, so that's the second time the that's where these are met him, but tell me
you each other in the monastery we were friends there wasn't any romantic which monasteries above this was in the first one issue that started Virgin Charles in West Sussex in the UK to utilise failure, both every that was the first monasteries, there's no other monasteries and in the west that time. So we were part of the first unity that were report were, We renovating this old rundown, victorian house in creating a monastery which became shook her small story. Just did she the first monastic residents of the First, schools, it came from Thailand to the West, announced this many many western countries, so that this was not Eighteen, seventy eight nineteen, seventy nine that we were there is about when of us, and I was one in four women had ordained and so we were not five
is also in that particular monsoon. Kitty, Sir then went become. an hour of a monastery in the South of England. I went the one street started up. The north London to start working on developing but so we knew each other. We were sometimes on same work. Poacher saw, say, meetings had listened Don T Sars talks, but there wasn't ever man thing between us. We were just good friends and you know we had interest we didn't get to speak a lot of monks and nuns. You know he was a separate communities, so I think, after about the monster eleven years in I thought I with had us quite a profound, struggle with the patriarchy of the system that I was in, and the lack of support what's in many ways historically and within the region
in four nonsense for the place of nuns. So I didn't realize that that was part and parcel of what I was moving into when I took the ropes So I was sort of becoming disaffected not with the teaching or with a dharuma or the practice or even my teachers, but there are some aspects of the system and I was becoming disaffected way than quite exhausted. Dealing with in some ways, so you say more, but I like how the patriarchy manifest. how it is in this system. But I learned some systems where any. Any none America senior you are has to be subordinate, even the youngest monk- will thus be space, ITALY written into the tradition, you know from the early inception of e monastic water, the butter and that
this, because this, the school that we were changed in was quite traditional. That's at you as one of the wasn't quite so gross. As you know, you are subordinate to the monk, but the way that it works out means the nuns weren't very empowered in their own community, and why? really were in many ways to intents and purposes, didn't really have much of a footing. In the in their own ground in its very hard thing to explain when you're a dominant culture nor marginal culture. There certain ways power works and some of its very subliminally operates that you can't even call. See. You know who gets the voice who gets decisions? How, decisions get made who You know I'm leads who doesn't and so on and I
and also in your an emotional community aid in a system. the way there's a dominant power. It has an impact on that national communities very hard to be cohesive. It's very hard to draw together it's cool, it has a quite complex dynamic. So what the impact of the nuns history in what is actually quite a deeply patriarchal system, which is what is it but his structure in many ways is that it should have been quite his maiden on stage quite invisible and has been quite suited a so freely one of the most obvious things were that we're talking about agent, China, great teaching, a great master. I couldn't tell you an equivalent in that year of a non, we didn't have a senior neurons, we had no, they weren't any press didn't set of within the female lineage, because the nuns were historically and the ones in Thailand were torn intense imposed
quite invisible and in some ways they saw themselves, is a sort of in a vow of serving the monks community. So the monks, It means you had a lot of high profile, so that was and that didn't bother, you tell the truth. I wasn't me, I didn't even know very naive. I didn't even know the word Jenda. I mean it sounds sorry. I didn't even think in those terms I was just there to practice, but the truth, I said I I was I was indeed into a patriarchal system, and I started to react to what was it you know. I started to feel this isn't fair. This is there's this affects from this that there are very hard to to manage. So then my sponsors to try and really create ground for the nuns community in in in a car, attacks where we were held quite independently or not.
any particular monks did that, but the system itself do that we a lot of teachings and a lot of support from many of the monks That is also a certain way that is hard to understand, like in the same way when we're white people it's hard to understand what it is like to have, the experience of being in a person of color community in a system that preferences you know white power so diesel these sort of awakenings happen. I think, more when you're an emotional spaceman you're, not so struggling against. I think the whole point of view- I was trying to say indeed, who was that I was getting a bit weary of because of that struggle. That seem to be so pervasive experience and at the same time that I was feeling that kitty sorrow, heads
done a year retreat on his own and in some ways away. He talked about that afterwards that he began to feel that his connection the Dama was was deepening. in a way that it wasn't. It wasn't it wasn't so much a connection, I'm so speaking for union correct me with that particular point: stick form, but there was a sort of more independent, and experience of the door. There was emerging turn some ways. If I look back in contacts, I mean we both left over twenty five years ago, is quite a long time since it's true, we fell in love and we left it to be together. That was the spark but I think in our own individual journeys we were sorted out growing form. I'm not saying that to say that the former something that ammunition sound, arrogant right. It mean to sound arrogant because its that's a very profound form. To
Oh this is this brilliant enlightenment path that we felt was site fur where he that we'd outgrown, and I think it's quite heartily I thought we were like a tribe, it's hard to explain how profoundly actively where we were this, we were the ones who started this whole thing. We are the ones that were pulling together to hold this. This Brilliant enlightenment path that we felt was site fur where he and we were very bad bonded together and certain I was in the nuns community because we struggled so hard so it wasn't a small thing to leave. You know me we're both seniors in each of our communities myself in the nonsense kitty sorry Abbott and very highly respected in the monks community. So it was. a small decision and it wasn't like. Oh, you know this doesn't have consequences, So when we first started off,
Citys are came out of this year, long silent, retreat. He been in the forest and two horsemen. stream. The UK and I just come back from a commission, India, nice Dutch realize, I think I didn't really want to accept it. When I start to realize my monastic career was finishing. I mean, I remember, standing watching the sunset on the edge of Ocean in india- and I could see as the sun was setting a myth, was quite metaphorically. I could see my whole time in the monastery was finishing, but I felt this tremendous loyalty that I should try and stay because of the tribe. So what about was his intention of two to the monster I'm gonna really trying to help and support the nuns and help support the higher a nation which was was allowed at. That point was being blocked,
Coyote National Weather, the sort of ordination that the Buddha set up, that historically so cool got lost four thousand years, which was positive coordination, nation gifts, none real legal status in a real sense of. Profound belonging in delineation, so the straw go to reinstate that which has happened, but in that, time that I was in no is almost like. You don't even mention this territory but I was feats I felt like. I should really stay to try and that battle you know to hold that battle. for the non sitting Kitty, sir for his own reasons, felt very loyal to the community, but the truth was where mister to speak about our experiences and what was happening. He was almost like something in all the chemistry changed and very, very quickly. We In our view of falling in love, you know we hadn't really spoken about it and it was quite taboo
we haven't touched each other anything. But then at some point There was this recognition that we were sort of probably going to leave and to be together kitty. Sorrow mention this to our abbots. and he didn't have a very positive response. You said you know I just thinking about this. We just talking about this So we got put indifferent monasteries in equal hysteria, in the community for a while and it was all ferries in a quite turbulent and difficult. But upshot was that that I this road I realise its fit. Whatever happens is sort of fin and then kitty. So I went back to see urgent that time had been sick for many years. Ten years He was unable to speak. He was paralyzed. He had a stroke of some sort quite severe,
so wanted sit with him and really feel, as is the right decision and I'd gone. I saw left the ones do not come by to Ireland, where my father and his family came from or staying there in Dublin and then on I think was New year's eve- can assert its died, decided that he was go into this room. He just robed any flew back from Thailand I met him at Dublin Airport had this big bunch of Thai Rockets and This is a pre nine eleven world, Sir the airport. They went there weren't any people, sort of looking for people's passports or anything like that. You know that the whole of the irish airports is having a party. The kitty so just walked off the plane from Thailand, walk through all that there was The security and then he gave me these this bunch of orchids and then for the first time we touched help each other,
turns and then we went and stayed in Dublin, and then we went to live in the West Coast of Ireland. For while we end do what we were going to do me to know what to do. We didn't. I didn't even know how to open it. I was so naive. I don't have to drive and how to open a bank account I you know I was really in the world. He were completely. I don't know how to do anything actually. and so one of all benefactors uses wonderful untie woman news princess type princess. She was real the upset that we had this robes and she came to see us and she was saying you know how you can talk about all this letting go and all of this non attachment- and here you are going off together like this, your shoes support meant to me and or this the you teaching and look what you ve done I remember sitting there thinking, you know
So, as I said, I am really sorry, you notice was happen and she said well anyway. She said now I've got that off my chest. How can I help you? so she said ISAF and she really did help us. She gave us a place to live in the UK for Wash justice to teach offers retreat together. She did and then we started getting invitations to teach here to teach there, and then we got the invitation to South Africa will be when In ninety ninety, four, just after liberation and we became they was which would help them there, the center we said occurs in situ anywhere else to go. We were noticed all a bit fought in the UK. People were quite reactive around us, so we stay to their removal guiding teachers of their centre for about seven years when we started our own project or non profit, and we got
holding the AIDS crisis without hit not get involved. It was happening all around us in South Africa, Yonder Pandemic yard was huge, so we state, initiated and fund race for various programmes and projects so we were there for many years and still involved and then more recently we sort of you ve done a lot. teaching a lot of different situations and retreats of our own retreats of deep retreat. Mama Mountain Kitty, Sir said inquisition at all, And then we start be invited to come and work in America, Sir. In working here enough now for about ten years, I was invited to help with the community dominated Programme Spirit Rock, which was the first will lie. such programme that they did with a focus very too de on increasing diversity.
So that was a learning curve. You know come into the: U S anyway! That's just stop there. so many stories but yeah. So anyone here we are back in time for a second to when you you'd spent more than a decade, both of you in robes doing deep, meditation, brightness and ain't. You find yourself in the car symbol of romantic relationship and though I married we fight, sometimes Everybody knows married or in it in a serious romantic relationship. There is conflict, it's difficult had that go for you, guys who miss Channing thing I mean, as she was saying, we were in this monastery and I'm work plan
on falling in love and leaving an I had, as I mentioned, in passing earlier. I used to be a wrestling champion Inter, but then early in my monastic life in Thailand, a governor sick and almost died of typhoid, typhoid fever. so then for very Many years I was really ill, but then I had spent like four years lying down cuz. I was just so you know a lot of internal inflammation bleeding credible weakness, but it gave me a lot of opportunity to cultivate the suffer abiding woody the subtle about subtle abiding register, inner inner energetic world into May learning the die is, is quite important when you're one thing
I have been very Wolf also when you use volition will when, when, when you're focusing on something, you can focus on a sensation or focus on a sounder focus on thought or folks on a circumstance. Whatever one focuses on his part of the changing world the world that we know the site, sound smells tastes. and, and so, but when one is our John Shower Saint, you know one thing: well, you understand everything. All the things you can focus on or shifting and changing when we see that changing nature and start to hold it more lightly or another, can put it when we hold it as if it solid, and then we take our health, our success in all those years I was striving for success. I was imagining. I was gonna, get there they somehow you get to. place and one of a ride.
Not realizing that those successful moments when I want a national champions, she'll be a beam hands raised up. Mom takes the picture there. It is much national champions, but it actually that's ephemeral and not to take away from what it what it is that it is a ephemeral and so, as one start to see that changing nature then used our dream of. While that changes happening within a sphere. It's happening within the heart of awareness within a week when you get really sick, one of the blessings of being sick. If one can open to mean the Buddha called sickness, a heavenly messenger Because there's a message in it, we accept If these bodies alone we airless look after it is good as we can, but when you're really week, then it's not hard to soften your whole information, because anything you try to do is eggs Even the hold a conversation is to have the hold it.
when you're lying down a and when working on each, Brad letting go and letting her ground algae, letting the pillow the bad hold you up, and just as the ground holders and you're not having to strain as you soften volition, one can allow the where a nest the whole one. So when I say they suffer in realms, I had a lover opportunity to practise dying so to speak. and ass. They say if you die before you die than when you die, you dont have to die Practice dying you can touch into that part of us that doesn't die. It is that is she's. His home ground is so very comfortable their touching into that an end, but the thing you know part of being. being married is, you know, is like coming back out into this world of interaction and we didn't plan.
but it was like we knew we were supposed to be merry before we even we haven't, as she mentioned, never even touched each other. So how does one egg explain that I may with falling in love? But there is also this sensor destiny. A lot of mice, spiritual practice, has been devotional offering myself into the vis. This ground in and almost feeling like this is what we're supposed to do, and you know- and so here we are acting together- yeah. We would go into a grocery store, as a monkey. Don't choose this now you just get offered your meal. for the day, and we would look up at all these choices and What do you want? What are you all we didn't know, but we? What
they did share. We shared a deep love for contemplation of lie, a deep love of the practices of composure, the practices of virtue, the product too much later. So I was like were forty years, something here. Your photos that yeah One realises that we all have this this, this common footing, this common ground in this way ground of the heart of awareness, and so we we just. You know began and so are ready in a way. We both realise later were fortunate that we didn't get married too much later saw. Think I was like were forty or something I or for years that yeah and so we we knew how to give each other space to recover
and then to share, and we had this principle, in the Duma. Suffering is not just a bad thing. I chow would say when people are suffering and complaining about it. He look at you and say it, so bad, the Buddha wouldn't call it a noble truth and, and he wasn't beings the destiny of the ideas it s. Our suffering can be opened, deepen our capacity it be with the difficulty of life, then, in giving that space in allowing that alchemy. Letting our awareness touch and breathe with envy with struggles. What do I do here? I don't want. It is wire.
that that, by honouring those moment there is the possibility of illumination of understanding of how we perpetuate this distress and how, when we see that grasping in rejecting when we soften that, we can touch into a core. So we we would try to take us in time, but try with each other, but also in those flash flashpoints, as we definitely had our ship of of arguments, and but we knew how to recover, and we knew how to let go and forgive and and and begin again, and so you know I in a way tennis furs really my inclination. My was more hermit like I did to your long, silent, retreat, I'm cool,
furthermore, when I do that my mind. It's big and everyone's inside me, and so the world of contact is much more challenging much more. challenging, and I feel you know to messrs really helped me. You know negotiate the realm of interaction with living beings and start I've been so used to recharging from this spirit, but now, through her help, I'm learning how to appreciate what you call the third refuge in Buddhism called sung or spiritual community learning, how our connection with our good friend, of with people of integrity, how the hell, the connection with our kindred spirits, have had nourishes to nourishes fella too, and so we we each help each other than as there are more interested in the flesh points
partner, just reference just just to take it out of the theoretical for a second and I'm asking for those of us who were of done way less meditation than you guys and army in relationships where there are flashpoint. How can you take your? How do how do you take all this wisdom. You have generated insight. You generated through practice into a dispute over who's gonna. Do the dish I am good question what I, what I feel is important is to think that, for me, what became poor mister realise how we we're conditioned in our families in different ways in dealing with anger or dealing with with these moments of conflict. and I think I didn't really Did he health, me in a moment of conflict,
for example? I can remember incidents where we, had an argument? I don't even know what it was about. It is about something- and I realize in my growing up in new, the household that I was in that too. Express Anger was not a very safe thing to do so. I, I to retreat a quiet and go quiet and feel resentful and Kitty saw his household because there is much more light. Just keep probing questioning and what's going on in, what's going on so his Style of in conflict and where he, how where he would move to resolve it, would actually exacerbate and make my feeling of being frozen even worse, sir, point. I could just see these two conditions thinks he's come I'm a family were how he approaches. Conflict is complete opposite to what to do and in some ways when we hit those moments, we're not
speaking the same language. We wick stuck in a pie, in less than optimum patent finds resolution and to move forward to me it really helped to suit of be able to, in a moment to name say we're court. You know this court is take. A pause has taken at sea I think that was quite a breakthrough moment in our relationship when we could out she start to identifying sea and then pause and start to understand and then talk. You know like what happens for you when you're in this place, where I feel like this- and this is not a story like in around the tipp- yes, yeah. So tell you of her story in the in the patenting. So I think, being able, I can say in a minute, but I think that speed able to see or patterns that we have different patches, indifferent conditioning and differ,
ways we ve been a family, helps to give a little more understanding. I think we need to understand where it coming from because when you go in patents, it's a bit late. You can't see any more you just defending your territory. You know. In the end, they are like you say they are flashpoints about. You know like whose doing the washing up- and you know How do you use? Do you get to name you know, I'm right. She feeling this now in some farmers, you never say, thou see of the other part is completely guessing what sir, I just feel you kind of growing, emotionally cobra conscious time was happening. so you know to be able to talk through What's your name was happening for you or what you need? You know actually right now. I really be health fact have space and so that you're, so that there is some way that you can start to understand where each of you coming from what you needs are in that moment and to also look at what can naturally trigger a flash,
points, and I think also because we're condition known we come in some of our conditional surveillance coach Lee that we come from different places can, in our condition and insists on toys, is like slightly different misunderstandings, coming from the south and coming from and from a sort of background. that was quite resourced, was different from me. When I came in coming from a very deep he working class unresolved background with that had a lot of poverty and urge and struggle in his speech, to whom I follow the side from Dublin that they were, very different feelings in relationships, some money and resources and how you make decisions around things like that. and a freeze on poise, concise, saying about. The men were in South Africa, and I think one of the things that meditation does views you get really see those patents very deeply, not just react, no just living them out, but you get really pause and contemplated
de the mind states and the feedings involved and the depth of those pants and very, very painful feedings, that that are there that connect you, maybe even with trauma which, which a hard feelings tolerate. So my deep patenting in relationship and in contact is when I feel threatened or when I feel like I'm being confronted is it I will go into a freeze mood and just sort of like very I'm cold and frozen and I in any way I'm not deliberately trying to freeze anyone out, but it's like I'm just trying to survive. You know, and I get very dissociated, and I can't even think very clearly so that I haven't, I climb really track through meditation. I can feel the chemistry, the brain change I can see a knock, you feel it. I mean. I need a care in this moment because my pants been activated. So in that the union is in deep relationships at our patents can activate it. You know this is the ground of our work is not just,
as you said in theory or when we sit on our christian weaken, you know we can t, applause, but it's that she and the moment in the heat of the moment, when you're in your pattern here, then you there you there and you you know that you do so. You can't many think straight and then you defend, So those are the moments a really interesting to to contemplate We need really need to see that this is the value of relationship and close relationship, so kitty so stewing by an incident where mirror in South Africa, and I think the work in South Africa where we were in such a deeply traumatized field. Whither said there was a lot of violence and a lot of unresolved people, and the ethics of apartheid was soon profoundly shattering into in the fabric of society that it would really. You know there is really overwhelming to absorb some of that work with some of that and
we should have decided and therefore sometimes triggering may moments are patents. You know that the least optimum ways that we could be to to do that, so we actually some of the stress with sort ricochet off each other. It it's amazing that we either we do have, has a depth of practice tat. She beheld hold ourselves in the in the context we are working with spit anywhere at some point sums As we say, we need a break, reduce Nita fourteen? They student review to foreigners, so many beautiful places to go. One of our favorite places is to go to the ocean. The Indian Ocean, which is magnificent into just walked by the ocean, so he went on this more holiday and I think I was very activated we're a restaurant. and you notice, Somehow we got into sums argument stupid argument over tip in a homo
We were gonna freaking leave for this TED. You know it's like who can What does it matter, but for some reason- and I think this was a quite different economic backgrounds I got really and in you know, when I looked at it off to as it was about herbs feeding in securities, you know four very dishonesty, like I was a favorite stabilized and somehow all came to this tip. I don't want to leave. You know, I think. Also american culture is just not true. The sense of unity is just a bit. This is generosity, not come from his coach way. So you just hold you know, so I just felt I not offended by this TED. You know, and it wasn't my buddhist best side. It was just me and my soul of tribal conditioning. You know, so I could feel this. You known and criticise. I this tendency what's wrong in something's wrong, nothing's wrong. I'm fine is so
here we are. This is the patent. You know I'm withdrawing and he's like that. You know. What's wrong, don't you know? I just want to be left alone, so but I was I was meditating on this and we were sitting There- and I just had this this feeling in the depth of his pattern, was Miseno's ii spool. I just want to it's night and I just want to walk into the ocean and disappear. It was like quiet as soon as suicidal is like. I just want to not be here. because that's the depth, underneath the present king argument ricocheted into this very deep place of like a car, cope, and this is soon I'm just gonna call up and go, and so it's just sitting in end in the weight manifest was a sort of free site is freeze. And for him on the outside of that. If those very personal, it's you know you you, you knows rejecting it's like I've done something wrong for your judging me here. This is how these com,
let's go, and an eye internally. My experiences, I'm drowning here, I'm dry. I can't find my ground so eloquence I can't find the words, because I'm sort of going to a very early place now just sitting there and I'm like No I'm just, and I M also meditating cause I'm a meditative, sunlight wow. This is really painful, say in these third p world in their Corliss. Being no touching the unbearable wound to being sees wounds that we have had a very deep places in our being that we defend again but in relationship sometimes intimate relationship. They get activated cassettes where they got that's where the wound came. Farmers in your deep intimacy in our primary patenting us, We were in developing proverbially and I'm not saying, is necessarily a parental fault. You know this is the wounds that happen even for example, if you're not fed on time.
Now that little baby doesn't know I'll be back in half an hour or is it feels as I'm abandoned no one's here? For me, those learning school very, very deeply in our system. So do you know if you meditate some of these become more conscious to us, for most people have no access; they just get approved. Preston has the effect you feel depressed. You feel angry, you feel irritable, you don't know why. There's a meditation feeling more deeply. Some meditating and I've got a frozen spikes you know it's amazing to be so. I could just sit there and he's a piece of brilliant meditative, so he's just sitting there breathing when I'm kind of feeling, I'm feeling is all happening in the restaurant yeah, where we ain't she walked down immunity sitting by the beach in its dark. You know, I'm! sitting there like at some point kitty. Soldiers is not, as you know, that the experts it doesn't need annex wages, how my hands, which was really good men, move
as you just sit there, and I could feel too slight. You know it's not a moment too have to explain everything. This is the moment just to show. solidarity as moas, though we can do that for each other and not in these relationships. yeah, I'm pissed off you, the this hurt. This feels really person my MAC to vacate I'm used. To cite you just say: this is Duca in ages. It sets the owner. for suffering, yeah. Sorry! This is this is painful, MRS painfully, to sit hold hands in it. Gradually used iced of starts joined. The human round can come out of that for tax status interests. One way of working
bring you in on this. It is our job here. Two things thereby fact check me on this. One is implied in what you said there is that so being a monk or none a very powerful waited practice to serve main line that dharmu mud. Being in a relationship is also it sounds like you're saying a great way to practice and that one of the benefits of bringing meditation into a relationship is that you can see that well at all feels really personal night. We can't help that and it's some really important fundamental level. It's not personal! It's these two hurricanes coming up One of the two forces of nature too deeply ingrained patterns that are as impersonal as a weather system may be coming up against one another and, of course, is gonna, be when cheer
but that doesn't necessarily of amusing. My meteorological terms right, like must not force. I think they already radio actually bump again at one another anyway, and my apologies to my meteorological brethren here and sit in sisters right here at a busy news. You get the point that you that you can start After the initial upset, you can start taking less personally, because you see they were just acting at our patterns. Yeah now need, if we put this right one of the advantages of contemplative background training in meditation is I like to think of it is cultivating primary relationship? You know it's fine would be nice. If we Oh the golden harmony me ass, a lovely song but in the meditative train you're learning how to relate to what I'm calling primary relationship, how to be with sensation, how to be
feeling how to be worthy. The essential elements of experience of being a being here in this mysterious around meant that we call our life is so as your developing skill of relating even in your own space, actually in the in the so called All relations with others around one is those very same principle sure you're learning how to breed bridge in contact with with another person through how you see him, how you feel them how you connect with and bring them into your heart. So this this this training of how to the training of attention, the training of inquiry. The training I reckon
nation, when there's a snag when there's some tension when there's some friction of how to say what's happening here? That is that is really helpful and- and I I think, the fact that we we each knew how nourishing it is when you have space to and permission to, withdraw your attention for moments, four x, four periods from external responsibilities, jobs this and that went when you do when you have permission to just let that go for a while. While I want to come
one so, while one calms down while one centres oneself and net from that refreshment from that grounding in a more true or skilful relationship with reality in one begins again to open up in gathering in revisit ones relationship with the external world. So we were using using that in our relationship with each other, and I was really really health stated more of our conversation. is on the way after this better help offers licensed professional councillors specialised in a week. array of issues like depression, anxiety and grief conduct with their profession,
counselor and a safe private online environment. It's a truly affordable option and listeners can get ten percent off your first month by going to better help dot com, slash happier fill out a questionnaire to help them assess your needs and get matched with the counselor you'll love you teach retreats all over the world now and you mentioned before Qatar that there's a devotional aspect, New York, to the way you run these retreats have a bit of a negative reaction. When I go to retreat and people are bowing to the boy at the front of the room as western secular Billina, my parents are scientists. My life is a scientist as I've, often joke good enough at math to be a scientist. But you know I love that respect for it. So
the research I've been to where there isn't a pronounced devotion, all emphasis that the people do, that bowing to the Buddha Khazars about a new meditate but I think you guys do even more than that really do a lot and sometimes that look like and why she ate their question in it. I think I'm basically a misunderstanding to develop. devotion is dedicated to and devoted to, and we where we were devoted all sorts of things already people say I don't have any faith yet we have a lot of guys. We have faith in our views, faith in our right, these opinions, we bow down and worship my my idea that I'm right you're wrong and the the the. External Boeing is just a symbol. Anybody whose really bowing to the Buddha in imputing all this magical power to the burden and and projecting the sacred out there.
Is is missing the essence of the devotion, as it was totally and Buddhists practice to be devoted to form a contemplative path to be transformative. There has to be a shifting of our r d devotion. From the status quo of our commitment to and blind a obedience to believe in me. The values structures, the views, the opinions the bar I assume we don't even see my buys their just the true What winner? When waste getting devoted to the notion of well well, I I like example when I had all of those sky at books my mother had made of me winning all those five time itself champions in my national champions, road scholarship and on paper, should have been really happy. I knew I was suffering like mad.
and I realize what I've been running. The show My own show the way I wanna do is trying to get his success, have made myself miserable and distressed. So the idea, that that I met a wise teacher there that they said you're generating all this sufferings. who is miss understanding of how this life actually is, and then you can also devote yourself what's call the dawn of the way things are and that there are practices of training, attention and inquiry they can help you swore to realise that we have at our core a spring a source of what's called Buddha, but it means reflective this inner awareness in listening in the extreme
but the image and even the historical Buddha who is an amazing example living with integrity and wisdom and compassion in his teaching, cease continually pointing back to each individual. you discover the timeless Buddha, the real but the real living timeless awareness in your own heart. So so the the Boeing is, I just an external symbolic way of inner in a moment. Finding your body finding you're you're Boeing, finding your thoughts finding your awareness and to take your head and touched the ground is a symbolic way of seeing for a moment. Can I take my opinions and not trash them, but realize that
pinion. If we are honest I am ride, is resonating in the mind and then their silence after it, and yet the awareness remain No, no! This is no joke. My way is right in the way they are doing is. Would dick yours and you hear There are well up in the mine that sound and you that sound in is it subsides, events devoted to truth, can listen into and start to recognise that dimension. Being remains. There is timeless. That is what I call the heart or, as a June chow would save the knowing, now in a bow in practice. You're learning to touch something like your hands together, a thought and touching the ground is symbolic for when you
Let a thought dissolve your letting it fall back. So to speak, it's an analogy into the ground of being into this. Listening this context, this with the Buddha call the matrix of awareness so actually devotional practice. is a powerful practice of train yourself not only to hold focus, but also to soften endless go and begin to notice the route condition, the fundamental I'm just trying with words the point to something that really hard to point to with words. So I don't know if it's it's getting through, but by the the bow in practice. In a sense, is returning to the ground? So
ironically, rather than bowing to a body image, your bowing to your own, deepest nature, every bow and having spent three years lying down and having spent years so attached to vote, asian willpower in and with hard work making it. I love hard work. But if one only knows the forcing the forcing keep You are on the level of the temporal. Conditioning This will also learning to soften. There's one note, All these experiences of pleasure and pain are happening within an unmoving timeless ground of being. The bow in practice also helps us
no, that an initial come up, so your honouring the the stuff of our life. All this circumstance experiences thought, but through devotional practice One also is plunging into in honouring the great mystery of this silent awareness that holding at all, what does it look like the Boeing? Is it simply Bowing from the waste toward the statue of the motor. Is this an different traditions had to indifferent way? Are you do it well, both both because we bring different traditions together, theirs, as you say that in Thailand, South EAST Asia, traditional Buddhist, you kneeling, and then you just back from the waist down- you bring your head to the ground. In China and tired Tibet and Countries South EAST careers? One Then this from the standing inside holding you bet
your hands. Sometimes you point you your hands to the head: easily three com, These are the three energy streams through which we generate action and result. He touched the head the mind, the mouth speech, the heart, the feeding night, and then you bring that to the ground. Sir, I think it's ok, I you know. I can really here that it is very difficult for us in the West, because a lot of ritual religiosity is connected with it. Story key with you know quite frankly, why he's trying to control and oppress, often and think they're, rational scientific movement from the pain. Enlightenment is breaking away from that. His cool shaping of Christiana of through the judeo Christian, culture that wherein where things like Boeing has seen a suspect is seen as some sir,
somehow almost up to hating, the rat, no and the empirical and your own empowerment. So this there's a lot of very badly taught me it has teachings so the secular movement in a ways and neighbour a lot of the core practice dumb two to be accessible to people without them, feeling that there too, some malicious system as very understandable, very fair enough, but I think I would question they limit if the scientific, in terms of when it's not When it does when it's when it takes us when it sees reality, always is an object to itself always looking at how much you can extract. from the objective.
also from nature and doesn't really have a sense of the subjectivity, key sorrows pointing to is of conscious since self. And how everything from a order more indigenous world view how everything is infused with consciousness. So everything is in we're in a life. How how there's a there's a great subjectivity as well in all beings? Not everything is an object that will look at, but there is the subject of a team of of awareness unconsciousness that when we see from that subjectivity, when we really feel into and honour the conscious being this of all things, including the material around then there the sort of sacredness this infused within life, and I think one of the problem, if that were the work that we have in our contemporary well few, where we live in a very extractive extraction,
as a culture where we ve seen nature something to dominate and where this led us to the planet. You cry since that we're in the pantry emergency with that we're in there the science in a way that it can offer technology and solutions, it can't really offer the wisdom of using a world with us with with a kind of it could in some other nature. We would being relationship to all things with deep level of ex respect, basically nature, so For me, that bow is not necessarily about religiosity and it doesn't matter he bowed or not. I mean it's just a form. Who cares? Ultimately, it's like We bow in the hall. Can we humble now ass humans. We realise we ve screwed everything up. You know me. We! did you screw up that we actually does eating. You know we're in the middle of the six extinct turn we're losing ice caps. We, the ocean,
the dying or feed. If something is MRS, come as a result of human action, something we're out harmony somewhere, so The power is a very important gesture and that's the very, very thorough first thing I swear to ensure do when I first richly saw him and the first He did was bow before Buddha. Such I'd, even though it was a good I just saw, is something you know asian artifact, it was look nice. You know about that bad! I just thought: that's a perfect expression of how to be in this world who assist deep sense of reverence. so for me it is thus important, ultimately about the religious forms or whether we do devotional press Chauncey mentors it's more about whether a secular Buddhists or not or we don't quota self Buddhist, we're just doing these practices that mindfulness need based and they reduce stress, is site. How can we incorporate a sense if the site could of river? and bring that interrelationship with nature. Our nature,
bodies our relationships with everything that, where using and doing now, because I feel that sort of very critical for for us, you know from for one of us in our ability to continue living in imitation ship to the very systems that are supporting us if Nina nature herself, I get a little bit on the word sacred because it has metaphysical overtones man, I mean I'm not a big fan of it, for myself of you know in practice, is worth there's where I'm ass to believe in things at that are not provable, and I did so that when I hear sacred, I feel like a we getting into some sort of metaphysical relevant here, So what word when you, when you say if you. You serious many unanimously
That's fine, mysterious YE eyes. The semantics, I think, for me, was what we few likes. You know fuelled by the ocean or your working in a beautiful forest, you look at something really catches your breath. You know oh and touches you in a certain way. What would you call that you know that feeling in the heart, the evokes sense of reverence evokes a sense of or That's right, I'm cuff! If, if you look at the stars at night into the vastness anything, what are we doing here? Yet so that's proof, sake was just a word. I, like all mystery. I was in the Amazon recently and did not like down. There were very low, and at night it really felt like you're on the prow of a spaceship through space with the ate it It felt like you really in amongst these stars, and then you ve, I I felt a very genuine uncontrolled
Infinitely renewable because every time I looked Evan, I felt that again sense of of while I am really small and this this universe is vast extraordinary. Since that that is the feeling and endless or semi society, we have also been in the Amazon and had that experience with in the jungle, and this sounds in it and yet so I think it's the feeling. How can we bring that feeding and not just a tribute to religiosity? yes, this is a deep reclamation that can inform science is nothing wrong with science, but can I'd science and in an era, and I think this is what you were saying before in an era. Well, we ve always been in this area, but in a species where we're stuck out of in our head. Allied, where were on the surface of things, you know where we're
we're seeing the our thoughts, what the Dixon we're stuck in our thoughts in our stories in our emotions very infrequently, unless we ve been taught them meditation practices dropping back to see. That's all playing out in this mysterious backdrop of for lack of a better word consciousness. Awareness that as well We can that's what I'm collar. I mean there is such a thing. I think we can agree were ones relationship with. With this mystery of life is extraordinarily distorted. where the Buddha has an image where you're taking a bubble to be the whole ocean. above all, might be a mood I thought form it did. That's righteously telling wine to go, kill someone else or even righteous despairingly telling one I don't deserve to be here and we kill ourselves and it seems like everything, and yet
There is a possibility of starting to notice when you noticed that far as it changes your stuff just as you do. You realize what you are looking at the third night sky, that there's a whole shift of consciousness and one is, is touching into a different, a more profound relationship to what is for that. You can use the word sacred for that if one wishes, but it is a rather than and what we could call a separatist consciousness where once totally believing in the these separate entities this and that one starts to get a sense of being part of something vast and mysterious and experience or even getting a sense of I was all into flowing. For example, if one is in a forest in you, you realize that you know. So called me doesn't exist unless I can breathe in, and would you
Well, I'm breathing is what the trees are breathing, what I breathed out the trees breathing and when one has these experiences of widening and in realising that were part of something vast and mysterious to me so sacred. Can it doesn't it is? It is unfortunate the connotations, perhaps with that word that you you are experiencing, but he can remind us of of returning to lay a reverence all of freshness with this life that helps this break out of these condition. Responses where we're just perpetuating problems and its in that
in that vein, the Buddha taught that is blind following of right and rituals, and yes, Boeing can be that change can be that in his turn, Israel was saying. Religion has been tat, sometimes in ways that are so oppressive and shaming, and yet we can throw out the home proverbial doll baby with the bath water and using These structures, like ceremony, ancient ceremony, were for a time you're, not just being the separate person you're using recitation, a word phrases and intense you now at ease to honour that there's a vast mishear an end, not only just to believe in something wonders, and no, if you won't even start
in a moment listening to her, sounds keep dissolving in an ever present silence, not a dead silence, but a listening sign a in that listening part of our being that have a wall help. How big is our listening? It it's measureless, then we start to find ourselves like you in the Amazon realizing war. Look this sky, as sometimes spiritual practice, is called. great return, as we start to realize, there's another plunge.
The entire nature that happens when we, when we honour that this body, these sensation in these thoughts harp, if we honour them in listen interim into them, are portals into a wondrous wonders revelation. So that's how we were taught and I'm very grateful that for that of using religious structures as tools rather than his ultimate truths, the jubilee very reductive lay the Boeing sounds like a good again, this is simplistic. Gonna get you out of your head. I can very well put in our remaining time that you touched on this, but I want to go back to it. As I understand it, a big emphasis in your retreat teaching has been climate change
I don't have it all of your retreats, but I know people who went to a retreat recently that you were at, or maybe the when you ve just finished teaching where they caught the climate was a big part of it I'm just what? How does why and how does it look on retreat? in our training. We do to your training. It really is to soar meditation teachers for yes practice Genesis well but it is for them to meet on the multi fund. If crises that win win, win where in the fire, in the midst of now dismembering political systems the devastation of no biosphere through the warming of the of the warming of the planet and the devastation biodiversity. All of those issues, I more, So it is really you know to have some working knowledge and some ability to help guy people at this time is support as poor people,
you some of the deep like we ve just stood a month, long depth, meditation retreat You don't necessarily bring a lot of climate issues into the retreat. We might refer to it all we're looking at helping people resume themselves and build reliance, internal capacity, reliance on their capacity to meet our changing circumstances but we shy away from it either so for food, I'm a sinner in our approach, has been The dormer is about the Damas teachings of awakenings about being realistic. You know you're not here, to just try and spiritual, selves outside of this world and sit on a cloud somewhere. We're here to have the capacity to meet the reality was happening happening and the climate was more than climate change, look what's happening, California, this last few weeks we were living in our house.
As you know, many people's houses. We that we were lucky our houses in the fire path. We got you can't miss because of the enormous extraordinary over the fire fighters to stop at jumping. three way, but so many people's all over the world experiencing the results of climate catastrophe now and it's coming right home to us, and I have been reading even the New York Times Today- is California habitable is the whole way we ve understood this paradise of California here the whole perceptions changes the last three years using devastation fires and winds and droughts, and so on, floods that we experiencing producing color who in America so these these are things that we have to figure out how to bring into our teachings. You know this is an unprecedented catastrophe that we're facing is humanity that calls into question our
let's eat even survive, and we haven't got a lot of time. So I wouldn't it would not do justice to the Dama if we weren't Ashley, if we just pretending that this wasn't On the other hand, to just flood everyone with that, when they ve just trying to take a break there, you know we have sort of face with this. Enormous amount of information, everyday and every piece of it seems to be increasing. The challenging people just want to go in with trees, and then you just would have faced with every emergency that's, not necessarily the most skilful way to approach it so too, two to name what's going on to some degree, which also focus on the building of community the building of resilience, the building of these internal practices that can help us and two to explore. I've been very involved in activism and climb activism as its standing rock and have been involved in declaring climate
merchant seas and bringing writing up guidelines to bring them into Dama communities? How we can do this? How could we do this enhanced? solutions in universities. How can we actually, because once you once we consciously name, this is an emergency. Then we realise that business as usual. Isn't there isn't It is getting more difficult to continue business as usual, for example, just in the in California. Now the turning out of the of the power for days on end, there's no traffic lights, there's! No petrol, there's no pumps going, there's no credit. You know you can't atm anything. You can't go to the shops is no internet. You know this is new over a million people. You know you can't say this is business as usual is excited. You know,
fifth leading economy in the world or something keener. So these are things that are happening. I am increasingly sir. How do we face this? How do we bring these practices? to this, so that we are, we have resilience, we have clarity that we will not be doing ourselves. You know me, you're looking head on into what's coming and then you know, I don't think this is something that we should be facing. Personally, that's my main probably focus point. Is that A lot of these practices, we're looking at how we personally developed these, but this is something that we need to have collective conversations around in these communities. These things we need to talk around these things
to share in abuses? Unprecedented, is an unprecedented multi, faceted crisis aside the whole systems that we ve been in a not equipped to deal with the political systems, the economic systems there not equipped to really deal with this crisis on all the levels that needs to be dealt with through responded to so is it so that's the difficult years, but in the heart of that news I just see there's sue amount of awakening of questioning and re, visionary and red. Looking- and you know, this is an ever energy revolution as well as this would have revolution that we're in so many parts of all beings we're all the old structures that we ve been in sight. This isn't working. We need to re configure me to dump. This is not working and we need to do something radically different, and I do think that some I know at the moment is a lot of struggle
to politically in the U S, but America's known for the innovative spirit. You know this is what a lot of people globally, in spite of some of the difficult histories of happen since nine eleven. You know that has faded America's star somewhat globally, but you know that there's still this sense of this tremendous spirit that that grew america- and is a tremendous shadow is well but this tremendous spirits. So I think that there is no great hope in that that that is a culture that can move quickly. That has innovation is able to guide. This doesn't work. Let's move here, so you know, if you this, I billowy to meet half that Spirit and the dogma, but the Dama can offer into that dialogue. I think his ears it there's a tremor
Dismount you, the resiliency, and the support and the collective community conversations that your hosting here and the internal skills to be able to row that wisdom and that compassion in that clarity, so that when you know the lights go out literally, when the I've come down on us or whatever. It is that, when this not default defaulting to some tribalism m o some nationalism or some sort of fear, some violence that we have some capacity to hold, what's the best in us for our selves and for each other, so that some of the ways that I'm thinking about the all of this in bringing that into our teaching. So it's not just disaster, but also lets consciously prepare ourselves and gross mill, skills and strength, togethers. Well what
what we need, and how can we do that? Mr anything, I should have asked but didn't thank you to MR reflection. I think I would just add that these contemplative practice, these meditation practices are shifting our refugees a place of safety places abiding from over reliance on external I give you a relying on things out there. It is being the same and trustworthy as I join our teacher, Argent Chow would say you look for certainty and that which is uncertain you're bound to suffer and so of wanting things always to be pleasant or wanting the economic structures, the political structures, the service industry structure,
you know. That's where your security is. Only then is that is some of those things shake and tremble and even comply collapse. One is tat. Lee loss when you're learning how to find an abiding that that that's not just airy fairy but there's based on, and learning to know and in connection with how things harm learn to recognise the inbred, the mayor, Brad things going well and things not going well things, in pleasing and neutral and even painful one learns how to him. recognize that in and find a peacefulness and an abiding in being with things the way they are that the huge blessing
and also in our training learning how, rather than only to be excited and look forward to a life, it needs constantly lot of external stuff learning how to touch this war lightly. To rejoice in a breath to rejoice in presence to rejoice in the the experience of being able to share the experience in being able to rejoice, in others, good fortune, the experience of being able to appreciate simplicity. This is also a revolution and a way of living. It's not exploitative that doesn't just two up resources took quite the same two degree in especially we this appropriating consciousness. This consciousness defines only security. What what I have, what our control everything starts to, investigate that and relinquish that hold a bit and start to realise that we are
This missed part, this mysterious vast totality? This is a that there's a soft surrendering in that where one is holding the world more lightly and where there is a possibility of appreciating our deep kinship with each other, with our fellow beings and with mother earth. So so that's also not only a part of a learning to face the coming challenges: more economists Lee, but is also part of the solution of finding our collaborative spirit, funding of being able to live, simply and also finding just just as if we know from you like science, you measure how body, as if someone so driven and so stressed out in their heart rate,
blood pressure and that the system is jumpy is someone who and that's why mindfulness is so big you for years. Meditation was mumbo jumbo by suddenly, when it shows up in me TAT S in the last war would advise interested, because, even though the mind is so colleges, the mine, the body, the harbor right, the calm, the peas in so attitudes of mine, but less and transfers just as your mind has its effect on this physical body, also collectively that you know when wet as we really compose herself and change her attitude that can also blessed mother Earth bless. Our environment bless the world that we live in and it's a mysterious world it's hard to prove so to speak, but it's one that were deeply
devoted to many interested in exploring if people want to learn more about, the review or one of you individually. Are their resources books package, website. I think the best thing is is our where we did write a book called listening to the heart and she wrote together, which gives a suit of overview of many of the points that we ve been touching into today. School DOM subtitled. Engage Buddhism for time, something like that. I wrote a book called time to stand out which is more focused on issues around climate and also our resources, ourselves and looking at the sis. Systemic.
Challenges, specifically within Buddhism, of being able to really meet the times that we're in particular on patriarchy, so that might be protecting many women are very interesting that both ways, What is Sisseton engaged manifesto four times The website is sacred Mountain Sanger Dog, so that's probably. were put in the show notes, but yeah sacred mountain at hand. The eight against our work, yes stuff on that, people can, and then we have an online course that people could Nexus move freely. Which goes over the main principles of Buddhism, arms in three parts: three modules: ten lessons for each parts Answers some gathering calming meditations, incite meditations
Zen meditation, so got quite a range of teaching send resources in that. So that's online can access on our I website. Such a pleasure to people here and I can be very honoured to be invited, felt quite journey. Talking was amazing discussion, big thanks again to tuna shrink desire for common on the show. Two seventy Selassie for waken me up. I was sleeping on these guys, but I'm glad to know that too, how amazing therein, hopefully to stay in touch with them. We go, I want to say two things, and hopefully I don't say it in a perfunctory manner, because I mean both of them. One is if you want to do a salad and talk about us on social media or text, individual episodes to your friends that kind of organic growth is huge for us. So if you, if you feel like it, that would be great, and the other thing is to just thank everybody who puts this people work incredibly hard, putting the
Together- and I really am grateful Ryan Kessler- Samuel Johns, Grace, Livingston, more and hearts octave Naomi hundred Brittany, whose operating the board's today on a Sunday morning is therefore this. Thank you to all. you and thank you for listening, we'll be back next Wednesday with another show. There's not a person in America who hasn't been impact it in some way by the corona I was pandemic, but it every community. There are pockets of people who were soon
Every day this is my last day of the cylinder stretch to drive off about photos from one of our Visa or America's essential workers, the people who are keeping moving. I turn into a home school mom and now in a new programmes. From eighty see news you gonna hear from damage. I she went back to my office and so unkind because he is not here, and I can assure you that our community has found faintly worrying. This is essentially inside the from the emergency room. The police cruiser to the Czech outline Yuki one. This pandemic sounds like the people putting themselves no one's way, there's always a risk. Brain is home to re. Kids are my husband or maybe errands, listen to the essentials inside the curve on Apple podcast, river, pod, costume.