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So far lisa has created 12 blog entries.

An Evening with Thomas Davis

Wednesday, November 4, 7 - 8:30  p.m. CST. Everyone is welcome! Suggested donation is $20 (no one turned away). Click here for zoom link We're excited to host InsightLA's Thomas Davis who will share his dharma wisdom and guide us through a post election evening that combines contemplative exploration and authentic expression. Thomas Davis IV is a Mindfulness and Life Teacher that has devoted over 25 years of study, practice and service within progressive spiritual communities including: Buddhist, Christian and essential community-based institutions in Northern and Southern California. As a result, there is a natural fluidity that Thomas possesses to find

2020-10-25T09:56:55+00:00October 25th, 2020|

November Special Speaker Events

Monday, November 2 with Jeff Samuels 7 - 8:30 p.m. CST. Join us for meditation, dharma talk and discussion. Jeff's talk will focus on The Four Efforts and how we can work to cultivate more wholesome states of mind even amidst uncertainty and division. Suggested donation is $20 Jeff completed his first meditation retreat in Thailand in 1987 under the direction of Ajahn Buddhadasa. Since then Jeff has completed a number of retreats in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Mexico, and the United States, in both the Mahasi Sayadaw and the Thai Forest traditions. Jeff also earned a Ph.D. in Buddhist studies at

2020-10-20T10:50:44+00:00October 20th, 2020|

Connecting Beyond the Device: Interconnectedness in Times of Social Distancing

by Jennifer Wang Coronavirus has turned our daily routines upside down. One of the most impactful disruptions has been in how we connect with other people. Almost overnight, it seems we have been stripped of our normal interactions with co-workers, friends, relatives, religious communities, and social communities. Even for an introvert like me, this change has left a noticeable gap in my life.  The word isolation has now entered the national vernacular and takes the idea of social distancing to a scarier level. That maybe has been driving some media-bingeing behavior, I know it did for me. Until a week ago,

2020-03-19T10:04:09+00:00March 19th, 2020|

How to Hold Your Dharma Seat in Difficult Times

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/773722612" params="color=#ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&show_teaser=true&visual=true" width="100%" height="300" iframe="true" /] With the onset of the Caronavirus, plus the unexpected and highly destructive tornado that cut through middle Tennessee last week, there's much to throw us from our seat. These suggestions and teachings are aimed at helping you to return to, and even hold, your dharma seat in difficult times.

2020-03-13T12:34:33+00:00March 13th, 2020|

The Confluence of Emptiness and Compassion

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/743891842" params="color=#ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&show_teaser=true&visual=true" width="100%" height="300" iframe="true" /] To develop a wise and balanced practice, we need to cultivate both emptiness and compassion. Tipping too far into emptiness, our hearts can close to the suffering of the world; tipping too far into compassion we may become overwhelmed by suffering because we because we can't see emptiness at the core. This talk explores the balance of the two.

2020-04-02T19:54:00+00:00January 17th, 2020|

New Dharma Talk: The Wisdom of the Unfixable Self

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/730782013" params="color=#ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&show_teaser=true&visual=true" width="100%" height="300" iframe="true" /] Buddha taught that the ultimate human suffering arises from creating a fixed idea of self and clinging to "I" and "mine." We often feel this imagined self is flawed and incomplete and must be fixed. Letting go of this identification leads to compassion, interconnection and freedom.

2020-04-02T19:54:04+00:00December 20th, 2019|

Tolerance and Acceptance: What is The Difference?

Tolerance – the willingness to endure, to put up with Acceptance – the action of consenting to receive something offered What is the difference between acceptance and tolerance? Sometimes the line is blurred.  We may think we’re accepting an experience, a feeling, a pattern or cluster of persistent thoughts when we’re actually only tolerating them. Knowing the difference is essential in our practice if we want to reduce our suffering. In his beautiful poem “The Guest House,” Rumi encourages us to welcome and entertain all of the visitors that come our way. The visitors are metaphors for what arises in our

2020-03-31T15:52:41+00:00November 18th, 2019|

Beyond Name and Form: From Zen Koans to Liberation Through Life Inquiry

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/705320947" params="color=#ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&show_teaser=true&visual=true" width="100%" height="300" iframe="true" /] In this talk I describe my intensive practice with zen koans. I also explain how it laid the groundwork for deep inquiry into challenging life questions and how this practice can lead to insight and liberation. The talk includes a guided inquiry meditation.

2020-04-02T19:54:10+00:00October 30th, 2019|

Practice Tip: Three Steps to Releasing Difficult Thoughts in Meditation

When we meditate, at times difficult, unresolved encounters with friends, loved ones or co-workers may dominate our thoughts. If we don’t repress them (and normally we shouldn’t) they may instead begin to take over our meditation session as we swing from replaying the encounter to trying to figure out how to address it.  So what to do? How do we find the wise middle way between over-identification and repression?   As an example, let’s say you and your boss were brainstorming how to solve a problem and your boss failed to listen to an idea you felt was important based on

2020-03-31T15:53:31+00:00October 28th, 2019|

Concentration and The Janahas: A Primer for Deepening Practice

Saturday, November 23, Nashville Friends Meeting 9 a.m. – Noon, Led by Lisa Ernst Right Concentration is the final leg of the Buddha’s eightfold path but it is frequently misunderstood. Concentration and mindfulness differ, although right mindfulness is a support for meditative concentration. Skillful concentration often leads to the jhanas, the eight altered states of consciousness that can deepen joy and improve your insight practice. In this half day retreat we will explore meditation through the lens of concentration and the jhanas as a path to awakening.  The morning will consist of instruction, meditation and discussion. This retreat is suitable for

2020-04-02T19:54:17+00:00October 19th, 2019|
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