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Retreat is when you plant a seed in the fertile ground of mindfulness and attention — with as much tenderness, compassion, patience and open-mindedness as possible — letting go of the compulsion to compare, to analyze, to make conclusions and judgments about yourself and others. It’s amazing how much lighter you become when you let go of all of that. At some point you realize have the option, in every moment, to go on retreat right here, right now.
Recorded 3/11/2017 in Santa Cruz.
The silence is always here, even in the background of the words, the silence is still here. Listen to that silence. Feel into that silence, and allow yourself to be healed. Allow yourself to be opened. Allow yourself to be transformed. Recorded 3/6/2017 in San Francisco.
Whatever’s holding on; whatever’s resisting; whatever’s grasping; be the space of awareness that allows it to go through whatever it’s going through, and to let go when it’s ready. Be the spacious awareness within you and outside of you. Drop out of your thinking mind that wants the answers. Drop into your heart, and your body, and your breath. And if you’re opening into awareness, just allow that to open into openness. Recorded 2/25/2017 in Tiburon.
The Oasis is where you are nourished, but it’s also where you are broken down; and where you are healed; and where you are liberated. Over and over and over, however much it happens, you’re always finding it. You’re always re-arriving here. Recorded 4/10/2017 in San Francisco.
Can you, right now, let go of everything you’ve every learned, everything you’ve ever heard, everything you’ve ever experienced? Can you give yourself permission to be completely available? Now you’re completely outside the realm of knowing, and you’re totally available to discover, every moment, how to follow the light. Recorded 2/20/2017 in San Francisco.
We’re constantly talking to ourselves, constantly thinking — until we’re awake, fully present, and not interfering. Then every moment is new. Every moment is alive, right here.
And that’s really what we’re here for — to discover the ease of being, and to bring that radiant embodiment into our life, into our relationships, into all the things we do. That vibrant, fundamental nature that we are is inspiration itself. Inspired literally means filled with the energy of breath; filled with the light.
Recorded 2/6/2017 in San Francisco.
When everything in your experience arises from awakening, your life has a clarity of direction that arises from alignment with the source of your being. Now you live fully as consciousness itself, with a mind that is so flexible it can understand any position, any perspective, but without believing or being attached to any of them. Freedom of mind leads to freedom of the heart, which leads to freedom of the spirit. Recorded 1/23/2017 in San Francisco.
Whatever might still be holding on, whatever might be resisting, or whatever might be grasping — just be the space of awareness that lets *it* let go. Recorded 1/14/2017 in Santa Cruz.
Awakening is when you’re just here. Nothing coming or going. Everything is new, everything is fresh. When all our filters drop away and there’s just this presence, we can come to a deeper, centered alignment in our being.
And when you feel that presence emerging, that’s what you want to give your attention to. Words can only point to that possibility. It’s your job to find the truth. No one can give that to you, because it is you. It’s your nature.
Recorded 1/2/2017 in San Francisco.
It’s in times of darkness that we most need the light. That’s when we’re really challenged to either run and hide and avoid, or face what’s right here. So thank you for showing up for yourself. As hard as it is right now, to cultivate consciousness is to drop knowing; to drop, at least for a while, the past and the future, and the whole story, so that we can allow the healing of our burdened hearts and bodies and minds, and not get completely dragged away in our fears and aggressions. We’re here for healing — healing and recovery, and some nourishment of peace.
When you’re no longer caught in meaning, or in trying to orchestrate or manage your experience, then you’re just here. You’re just open, vulnerable, available. Now it’s like every taste is delicious. You actually feel who you’re looking at. You’re willing to be touched, and to touch — to give and to receive. When you’re open, you’re no longer blocked in this container called “me.” That’s always the best time you can have — when you’re not in the way. There’s just this natural radiance, pure presence. It’s not even a big deal, really. It’s totally ordinary, and totally available to you right now.
What does it mean to arrive here fully? What *is* freedom? And what does it mean to truly take care of yourself?
Intimacy is the union of being with another without the filter of “me”. It’s a closeness, a heartfulness, an empathetic sensitivity. Even though we may not have conversed, we know each other profoundly. That’s really the depth of relationship that we seek.
“Can you find that moment, even right now, where you’re not seeking, not trying, not resisting? Can you let go, just for a moment? It feels good, doesn’t it?” Recorded 3/7/2016 in San Francisco.
Every moment is the beginning of the journey. When you wake up, there is not endpoint called “enlightenment”. There’s just this closeness, this intimacy of connection. No one to defend.
Opening is a natural, mysterious movement; and what we learn from a human perspective, is how to let it move in the direction it’s moving. How to step out of the way and let go of control — the control of knowing, the control of believing.
Recorded 2/28/2016 in San Francisco.
“The fundamental teaching — the guiding principle, the guiding light — is your own true nature. Whether you’re aware of that or not, it is, always has been, and always will be what you are. Belief has nothing to do with it. Trying to achieve has nothing to do with it. It is already what you are. All you have to do today is be here — right now.” Recorded 2/13/2016 in El Cerrito.
Are you able to surrender? Are you able to just be here? Whatever way works for you in this moment, it will open you, and it will bring you back into a harmonious presence. Maybe just being here, sensing this energy or presence in the room, if you can sense, see or tune into that.
Whatever allows you to, in a sense, be out of the way, is what’s working for you; is your guidance system, your teacher, your path. The fuel for that guidance system is what we call presence, awareness, energy, or awakened consciousness. It’s a vastness of perception.
Recorded 2/22/16 in San Francisco.
Eventually you get tired of trying — tired of wanting to know the answers, or how long it’s going to take — and you just kick back. You just open. You wait without waiting. Your deeper presence begins to emerge, and radiate, and become foreground.
Our fundamental nature is energy. Aliveness. When you stop, when you become generally, comfortably still, you can begin to develop the sensitivity to perceive that energy — that awareness. Everyone perceives it in their own way, but the quality of it is universal.
Recorded 3/12/2016 in Santa Cruz.
“When the veil of the knower drops away, the creative force of discovery guides your way. Each moment is revealed as new. Just as food has flavor, being has resonance, and the resonant being of being here, now, naturally encourages the dropping away of the veil of the knower. So we don’t come here to learn in the normal way we think of learning. We actually come here to unlearn, or to allow a natural getting out of the way to happen. So each and every one of us, in our own unique way, finds out how to be here.” Recorded 1/18/2016 in San Francisco.
“What is the nature of awakened life? What is the nature of freedom? The simplest description is being. When you’re being, you’re more available as a person. You’re more loving, more understanding, more open. You’re creative; alive! And lighter, not too serious. Just enough. Playful. Curious. Awakened life is about becoming fully, completely actualized as a human being.” Recorded 12/12/2015 in Santa Cruz.