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Since Awakening Truth began, it has existed entirely on kindness & generosity. Whatever you receive is because others have contributed time, and financial reosurces to make it possible. You are invited to contribute to this pay it forward system so that others may benefit. 

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Grace Amidst Heart Break


cape town rainbow moon


Inner landscape

These last two months have seen a cascade of change. I write from a pause – a time of calm from my warm room looking out at the treetops. The clouds are low. It is raining today. From this vantage point, I share some of what has been going on.

October Fires

The first week of October, Northern California had many fires. These fires burned 7000 structures in Santa Rosa alone including 5000 homes. Over 40,000 people had to evacuate. Along with the multitudes, Shanti, my special friend and the Awakening Truth Executive Director, Mom, Mom’s dog, Lacey and I evacuated. Mom and I headed to Milpitas, Shanti to Laguna Beach. This sudden dislocation was inconvenient and unsettling. However, each of us was eventually able to return home and the things we owned intact - a privilege that many thousand lost. One newly acquired ‘thing’ was my car that a freind sold me at a fraction of its value.


After getting Mom resituated, I left for the East coast to teach. When I returned, my health didn’t hold up. Air purifiers, masks, herbal remedies helped only a small amount. Trips to the beach were helpful, trips that wouldn’t have been possible without a car. Yet every time I got close to Santa Rosa, burning eyes, mouth, brain fog reappeared. Eventually when I wasn’t able to speak a few clear consecutive sentences, friends stepped in and said it was time to leave. Again.

Second Evacuation

With Shanti’s help, we evacuated. Once again we were on the road with unknown destination, the apartment left asunder – a tell tail sign of leaving in a hurry. I was advised to stay out of Santa Rosa until my symptoms were all gone.

After two weeks, my symptoms were still not gone. Mind was moving from one thing to the next, trying to find a solution that would enable me to respond to the community, support Mom and my own health needs. I had no answer.

Awareness and Love

From the whirlwind, I turned my attention to awareness and love. It was a faint glimmer, a distant memory. Putting my attention there, it grew. I felt it in my body. As I could feel it, I relaxed. As I relaxed more, the tangible expereince of awareness and love got stronger. The more it filled me up and suffused my body, heart and mind, the more I trusted it. Yet, I felt myself pulling back with all the things I had to do, who I was to different people, the expectations I had of myself and my hungers to fulfill them. As my identities, roles and expectations were keeping me bound up and anxious, I let them go. As I let them go, something shifted.

Maybe it is a little akin to what happens when you make butter. Initially you have cream where the fat is suspended in water. But after churning it inverts and water is suspended in fat. In the same way, awareness was no longer suspended in me; I was suspended in awareness. But this is where the metaphor falls apart. I wasn't simply suspended in awareness, I became porous, a thin veil from which awareness and love poured in and out. I was peaceful and clear. All of the conundrums and complexity involved with health, home, Mom, and community, still were just as pressing as they had been yet somehow, everything was different.

Silver Lining in the Cloud

On the road, people were welcoming, offering accommodation and friendship. I had some scheduled teaching enagements. Between those and spontaneous ones, we had many discussions that were delicious and rich. It is a blesing that even when my life circumstances are unsettled and health isn't optimal, the Dharma still pours through unhindered and clear.

Return to Santa Rosa

After 3.5 weeks staying with several friends in their homes in Ojai, San Clemente, Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, it was time to return to Santa Rosa even though I was still not symptom free. There had been several days of really heavy rain while I was away. Friends reported no smell of smoke in the air and were hopeful.

Re-entering the city, my eyes and mouth started to burn immediately. Along with the physical burning, my heart ached. The impending implications for my journey towards health, Mom and our community were all daunting.


I asked if I could sublet the apartment, but the owners did not agree. So I relinquished it. With the new tenent, they raised the rent. While some people see hardship as an opportunty to step up and help, other use it to profit.

Moving was only possible with a lot of community support. 

Susan Hartz, an aquaintance from Julian Cell meditation group, had put her lovely Forestville home up for sale six weeks before the fires hoping to move into Santa Rosa. It didn’t sell. After the fires, price wars caused chaos in the housing market and homes were selling from 150K - 300K above asking prices. Susan would have been able to sell her house quickly but buying one was another story. She took it off the market, resigned but not happy to live another winter alone. She offered me a room, delighted to have a companion. Again without a car this wouldn't have been possible. It is fortunate this worked out as there are many still homeless. Forestville is 25 minutes west of Santa Rosa. Ensconced in trees, the air here is better. 

I oscillated back and forth between gratitude for my new housemate, her offering me a beautiful sunny room and sadness. The apartment where I lived held our community gatherings. Letting it go meant letting go of a place we could regularly meet. Sally Singingtree, Kris Hall and Susan Carney each offered to host one of our meditation gatherings and discussions. Their hospitality allows continuation and new opportunities. 


I was settling. Health was improving and my living situation was going to be a good place stay for a while. All of a sudden Mom started behaving very differently and needed more support. It looks like she has been having mini strokes. Her doctors say she has dementia and keeping her safe at some point may require different housing.

There is nothing like the need to protect love ones to catapult action and activity. Day and night suddenly filled up with doctor visits, research, and discussions with my brother David Fein and Mom’s closest friends. There is a bitter-sweet gladness to this new phase of being a care partner with Mom. I’m deeply grateful I’m here to support. It is such a treasured time. I see myself moving through list of things to do against the emotinal reality of what this means. My activity dissipates anxiety and distracts me from the dull ache of loss. Dementia is devastating even if rampant. I feel my self pulling back, not wanting to commit to writing what I know to be true. As if by not mentioning it, naming it, I can better protect her. 

Ancient Redwoods

One night I went to ancient redwood trees not far from me. Nestled at their roots, I gazed up at the canopy far above. I felt protected and safe, as if I were swaddled in a blanket. I gave my body over for the Earth to hold. In the cool moist air, one breath at a time, compression slowly relaxed. I felt calm. Awareness was present. It was not defined by any of my roles. It didn’t depend on me having answers. It didn’t need Mom to respond in familiar ways. It was embracing, allowed everything to be just as it was.

I came out of the woods, grounded, rested, bright, feeling the full length of my body reaching into the dark sky with my weight sinking into the spongy earth below my feet. As I came out from under the canopy, the moon was nearly full and surrounded by a great rainbow ring. I got in my car, turned on the ignition and the panel lit up. The odometer read 191919. I took it as a sign to pay close attention.

What I have been through and continue to go through has symmetry. These times speak of beginnings and endings, of yin and yang of staying balanced and resourced in the middle of upheaval.

We Are Not Alone

All around me others are also dealing with huge changes and upheavals. The fires have caused secondary and tertiary moves, work and health issues on a massive scale. It has also generated a huge outpouring of support.

Shanti first moved to Laguna Beach to work in her aunt’s gallery. But when Southern California fires began, their clientele weren’t buying fine art. Shanti has now moved to Salt Lake City, Utah. In Shanti’s moving out of Santa Rosa, Awakening Truth has lost a fine community member and excellent Executive Director. I miss my friend.

Laurie Hope was visting in Sonoma County and welcomed me to stay in her home in Ojai, CA., over 400 miles south of Santa Rosa when I evacuated the second time. It was a much needed refuge. Hardly had I returned to Sonoma County, when Southern California fires began. Laurie evacuated. I was in regular contact with her, watching the fire map daily as fire surrounded her neighborhood. Miraculously, a small bubble safely ensconced her home and some homes nearby. She still cannot return because the smoke damage to her home and toxicity of the area. From Northern and Southern California fires, many are still displaced.


Impermanence is a characterisitc of exisitence. We are reminded there is no certainty anywhere; nothing lasting to hold on to. But the magnitidue of what we are facing is hard to grasp, hard to make sense of and process. My ability to do this has been direclty connected to understanding and advocating for succesively complex needs.

During the first evacuation from the fire, Lacey, Mom's dog, couldn't relieve herself for two full days. When what is going on is too big to process, we need the same care and kindness we would naturally give our furried family member who is so stressed that she can't pee or poo. We have to start where we are at. Meeting basic physiological and safetly needs support heart and mind opening to bigger perspectives and timeless truths. 

I look at what is going on for me, Mom and for many of us. I see it as an opportunity to learn about love, learn what not having a fixed identity might mean in a completely new way. Ordinary mind focuses either on the good or bad, either the kindness and generosity or the losses and the devastation. When mind opens to awareness, a third option is revealed. Here it is possible to embrace the tender underbelly of being human, feel the importance and fragility of loved ones, our communities, the grief of personal and collective loss, and stay tuned to the mystery. Herein is the rich intersection of the human timebound journey and what is timeless.

The Call and the Catalyst

These are extraordinary times, seeking the center of a whirlwind in full catastrophe living. This isn’t all nicely tied up where calm abiding makes everything OK. Instead, this is an invitation into the messiness of being human in a world on fire. It is a tribute to the kindness and generosity of both friends and strangers, people who take time to extend a hand, help hold us and problem solve the struggle, give support where it is needed and witness what is. This is an expression of gratitude for smiles and encouragement in our small and large successes; for forgiveness and patience when we fail. This is a call to pay attention in a way that allows wholeness to emerge, love to grow stronger both in the ways we understand and advocate for ours and other's needs and to know what doesn’t burn.

On this day and all the rest; yours in this shared human experience,

With love,


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Amma Thanasanti
This poem from David Whyte touches me: HEARTBREAK is unpreventable; the natural outcome of caring for people and things over whic... Read More
Saturday, 13 January 2018 11:16

Health and Healing Webinar

Click here to register.

Once you register, you will receive the links for the resources listed below.

On November 15 you will get the call in details and invitation to download Fuze- the app that lets you see the presentations and Amma Thanasanti on line. You can use either a smart phone or computer for this visual teleconference.





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From Confrontation to Dialogue


This webinar is an introduction to learn to effectively talk with people who have different values. 


To Register: sign up using this link:

On Friday September 15 you will get an email with more details of how to connect via phone or with video.  

In this webinar you will learn to understand people who have different values. While it is easy to like the people we like and dislike the people we don’t like, it doesn’t help us grow or bridge the divisiveness in our families or communities. 

Particularly during these times of upheaval, we are challenged to find a way forward with people who don't share our values. This webinar combines perspectives on maturity and non-violent communication skills to shift confrontation to engaging in meaningful dialogue.

This webinar will be lead by Amma Thanasanti. 
Amma Ṭhanasanti is the founder of organizations Awakening Truth and Whole Life Path. She is a California born spiritual teacher. She has been committed to awakening since she first encountered the Dharma in 1979. As a former Buddhist nun of 26 years, she combines the training of the Ajahn Chah Forest Tradition with a passion for wholeness. 

She invites you to pause to see what is liberating at the core of your human condition and integrate that into your daily life.

This webinar will be an introduction to the day long retreat October 14. The day-long retreat will buid on the introduciton webinar and combine body awareness practices, perspectives on maturity and non-violent communication skills to remind you of your innate goodness and give you tools, perspectives and practice engaging in meaningful dialogue.

Register for the day long retreat here: 

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Upcoming Events for Awakening Truth

Hello friends,

These are upcoming events we have planned for Fall. There are many offerings here: on line calls, talks at the Awakening Truth Learning Center, Peer lead meditation, day long and non-residential retreats. All intended to be a support for your practice and our community cohesiveness. Stay in touch with your needs and how we are able to meet them. Your feedback is important to us. 

Take care,


 local events


ATS San Francisco Weekly Series 9 11 17



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Waynes picture on FB[


I'm sitting here 30 hours after hearing news of a tragic death in my family.

There is no way that our system can be ready for news like this, can avoid the shock, the body blow of impact. Right outside the edge of my personal expereince, I sense into the impact of my family.  Our web of connection both accentuates and mediates. When I loose ground, I process other people's shock through my own body. When I feel rooted and grounded, connect with what doesn't shake, then my heart opens to the impact without disolving into it. I feel cracked open, tender, attentive to ways I may be able to support.

Here is a chant that Ayya Dhammadhira wrote and we chanted together.  When I listen to it, I feel soothed.


Everything's impermanent
All that arises, will surely pass away,
it will surely pass away.

And in their passing there is peace,
In their passing there is peace.

I offer it now as a support for all of us who are dealing with death and the instability that comes with shocking change and dissolution.






Artist Name - Impermanence.mp3

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In the Eye of the Storm


Small Rock


In the Eye of the Storm



Feel it.

Let it in.

Breathe the reality of dreamer’s dreams taken from them. Living here.

Told they have to leave, return to a place they have never been.


Feel it.

Let it in.

Flood waters, structures and lives torn asunder first with Harvey then Irma.


Feel the heat waves torch

The fires burning up land, and homes

Leaving ash where communities and animals lived.


Feel it.

Let it in.

White Supremacists hate


I quiver and shake.

Mind spins with ideas

Collapses under the weight


Embedded in the horror

An invitation



Breathe into sacrum

Ride the breath with the belly


Time to hand over

Lifting up

Not holding on



Breathe it into the pervasive where it can be transformed

It’s not yours or mine to own


Open to Big Mind

Be Zero

Be everything

Return to torus


Horrors are held


The anchor

The Rock





We’re alone in this together

                                                                  Amma Thanasanti

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The Cauldron of Our Humanity

4 crop forest trees stream


Right after the car rammed into protestors in Charlottesville, Virginia August 12, 2017, I went outside and looked at the trees above the creek. The deep green of the summer leaves was soothing. The impact was a contrast to the lump in my guts and weight in my heart.  Intentional violence is impactful. 

The Cauldron of Our Humanity

When someone in the role of the president makes flagrant racist statements groups like white nationalists that hold extreme views will be emboldened. They have used his example and the current political climate to gain ground and publicity. The media that showed the violence in Charlottesville Saturday didn’t show the whole story.  Hatred wasn’t the only thing percolating in the cauldron of our humanity. 

Aikido Activism

I’m in regular contact with my dear friend Sharon Beckman-Brindley who lives in Charlottesville, Virginia. She is part of a local coalition of clergy who have been meeting for months beginning before the July 8 Klu Klux Klan rally. They intended to meet the Klan members with respect while representing a large groundswell honoring the values of diversity and justice. There were about nineteen to one peaceful protesteors to each Klan member.

Ugliness Catalyzes Goodness

The large ground swell holding open the values of divesity on July 8  was a prelude to the meeting on August 12 when White Nationlists met to “unite the right”.  In response, Beloved Community of Charlottesville was launched - a fund raising campaign for local groups dedicated to supporting those that White Supremacist’s hatred targeted. This was Aikido Activism at work – meeting adversity and using it to generate positive results for the people most at risk. It was the ugliness of this bigotry that catalyzed this innovative compassionate response.

Impact of Ignorance

There isn’t any guarantee that good intentions will stop violence and prevent death. It didn’t Saturday.  I needed to pause to digest the impact. By the trees and without human structures in sights, I was looking for perspective.

"Hatred doesn't end by hatred but by non hatred alone." I could see the significance of the Buddhs'a words and the impact of ignorance any time we hate someone or a group of people. It requires that we see ourselves or our group as fundamentally different from the people we oppose. 

I could see that this kind of ignorance wasn’t limited to the recent events in Charlottesville. The same root is underlying other national and global crisis we are navigating.  My mind went to the climate crisis. I could see the impact of ignorance when corporate greed denies climate science in order to profit. This kind of thinking acts as if oil companies and the people who work for them are separate from the web of life.

Acting as if we are fundamentally separate from each other or the web of life is rooted in a misunderstanding, a state of consciousness that isn’t seeing the whole picture. If misunderstanding is at the root of the problem then alternatives to seeing ourselves as separate and immune from each other and our impact on the greater whole is going to be an important part of the solution.  We don’t need to have all the details worked out. It matters that see that we have an impact on those we interact with and the world around us. It matters when we face our fears, release our stories and views and find a way to hold our hearts open – even when we are facing the enemy - to seeing “them” as human with needs and fears too. Opening to the human doesn’t mean we like them, agree with their views or let them harm others.

Barak Obama's tweet quoting Neslon Mandela sums it up: 

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

The Great Turning

I inferred from my ongoing conversations with Sharon that it was a combination of insight, love, and maturation that was behind the coalition of clergy in Charlottesville meeting and responding to the challenges of their city.  We need coalitions. We need to find creative ways to meet adversity and transform it into opportunity.  When we remember that the only future worth building includes everyone, we are part of a great turning - turning away from greed and ignorance. This leaves me resolute.

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May Teaching events in Colorado, Virginia and New York

 The following has the details of all of May teaching and includes events in Colorado, Virgina and New York as well as contact details for joining in any of the events. Below is the flyer for Vesak: Buddha's birthday celebration in Evergreen Colorado, May 7.


Buddha's Birthday celebration May 7, EverGreen Colorado

AT Spring 2017 Retreats Single Flyer

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Revolution of Love

At a Precipice

We are at a precipice. A lot is changing extremely quickly. When I step back and look from a bigger perspective, take my focus out of the pounding details of everything coming at me, and all around, I see we are at an evolutionary crisis.

I have spoken to many people who are struggling with a way of responding to our current world situation. They hunger for themes of practice that are relevant and meaningful. I will share some of my personal experience and an outline of Integral Theory as way of offering concrete tools and frames of reference that can help orient and give us a clear focus at this time.


The first 20 years of my spiritual path was wholeheartedly dedicated to the traditional Theravada Buddhist path. I love its clear concise instructions, tools to stabilize qualities like compassion and joy, and work with fears and resistance. In addition to providing clear guidelines for a gradual path, this path shows anyone who realizes it what is timeless, pervasive and ever-present. The more we are connected to what is timeless, the better off everyone is. This truth is accentuated with suffering, change and turmoil.

Suffering Not Resolving

After 20 years I became increasingly aware that some of my suffering was not resolving. I sought parallel practices and philosophical views outside of my tradition to help me understand and resolve what was not being transformed by meditation and the 8-Fold Noble Path. Integral Theory helped me personally. It also helped me make sense of the incredible confusing and heartbreaking situation I was in. When I apply Integral Theory to our current geo-political situation, it clarifies many things. When I see the context of the problem, it helps me stay focused on solutions.  

Framework of Integral Theory

Integral Theory has been evolving for a few hundred years. Ken Wilber has contributed most to its modern day iteration. Integral Theory is a developmental map that describes evolution of consciousness. It includes people and cultures. We start at the first level when we are born. In an optimum situation we mature through each stage, include each level’s needs and move past being fixated on them. In a less than ideal progression, attention stays fixated on earlier needs. The stages are as follows:

Level 1 – Is about our safety and managing physiological needs.

Level 2 – Is about satisfaction and managing self-protective needs.

Level 3 – Is about the way our will operates and managing power needs.

Level 4 – Is about connection and belonging and conformist needs.

Level 5 – Is about achievement and self-esteem and cognitive needs

Level 6 – Is about harmony and self-actualization needs

Level 7 – Is about unity and self-transcendence needs

If we look more at Level 6 we see that at this level there are many different but equally valid approaches to reality. At this stage there is a strong belief in egalitarianism and hierarchies are taboo. If there are a number of these values operating, the way to practice with it is to start noticing the tendency to judge someone who judges, or get down on schemes that rank.

The Good and the Bad

I’m part of a group of spiritual activists. In the last few weeks there have been many emails sharing information, reactions, action items as well as good news to balance the bad.  

In sharing good news, a story was told about a Muslim woman who was with her daughter standing in line to order at a fast food restaurant.  A man in line shouted that she had no place there and should leave. Frightened and agitated, clutching her daughter’s hand, she started walking towards the door. A very big burly man with tattoos got up from his table. He said that he was in the military and his job was to protect all American citizens including this woman and her beautiful child.

He offered to escort her through the line and walked up to stand next to her. With his protection she moved back into the line next to him. The woman telling the story referred to the man who shouted as a jerk and the man who stood up as the hero. The hero said to the jerk, “Are you sure you want to have dinner here tonight?” at which point the jerk left.

This woman telling the story said that her faith in humanity was rekindled.


We are being called to understand the way the values of this level contradict itself – how the thing it values most it doesn’t do. The performance contradiction of these values takes us into a post truth world. This is a cultural evolutionary crisis that Trump and his cabinet are a symptom of and not the cause for. Knowing this we can see that the solution out of the crisis is to evolve both individually and collectively through this stage into the next level.  Can we find the place where we value everyone having enough safety to eat dinner in peace without having to leave, even if they have values and act in ways we do not respect?

Opening to Love

Understanding the map and opening our heart to a love that is inclusive even of the things that we deem unacceptable are the two most critical components to evolving. We are being asked to accept into awareness without judgment the judgments we have of others who are judging.

No matter what level we are at we have an opportunity to evolve, to grow personally and to anchor more deeply in facets of awakening that are reliable. As we do this, the more we are able to grow up, wake up and show up for others and our fragile tender world, the more a revolution based on love is possible.

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Directions to Awakening Truth Learning Center

Awakening Truth Learning Center (ATLC) is in Valley View Apartments. The Address is 2727 Tachevah Drive, Apartment #24. Best is to drive until you see the Valley View apartment sign. Park and walk towards Yulupa until you get to the first apartment you see. 



Photo taken from sidewalk right next to Awakening Truth Learning Center. Look for the Valley View Apartment sign. Walk on the  side walk towards Yulupa, (west) Awakening Truth Learning Center is the first apartment you run into.  

Another way to find us to is to look for this 2780 number on the garage . Awakening Truth Learning Center is directly across the street.


This is what the outside of Awakening Truth Learning Center looks like.


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Day long retreat in Sacramento: From Separation to Seamless Reality

Event Flier Amma TB Jan282017

January 28, 10 - 4:30 PM

Sacramento Dharma Center

3111 Wissemann Dr. Sacramento, CA 95826

Buddhist teachings emphasize the link between dukkha, an inner dissatisfaction that keeps us from enjoying life and the delusive view of the self that we are separate from others. During this meditation day, we will explore the story we are telling ourself that keeps alive the sense of self and instead turn towards the fullness, peace and potential that is our ever-present nature. Ending conceptual proliferation reveals a seamless reality at the heart of everything and fundamentally changes our way of being and living. The day will be informed by mindful investigation of our direct experience, and framed within teachings on emptiness, pervasive awareness and love.

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Ongoing Events at Awakening Truth Learning Center


Tuesday Meditation or Inquiry: We will begin with 30 minutes of silent meditation, followed by a talk, then either Inquiry on the 1&3 Tuesday or discussion on the 2&4 Tuesday. 

We are navigating a lot of challenge and change in our world right now. It is really important to return to source- what is ever present, unshakable and reliable. For this reason the next several months are going to be a deep dive into the facets of awakening.  We are going to begin with the classic book The Island; An Anthology of the Buddha's teaching on Nibbana (Unshakable freedom) by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Amaro. PDF, e-book and request for print copy can be found here:  

What is inquiry?
Inquiry takes your ability to be with your own sensations, emotions and thoughts and brings it to the experience of listening and speaking with another. Inquiry enhances non-judgmental witness so your ability to see clearly and to integrate and transcend to greater levels of wholeness increases. It also creates deep and intimate connection as your inquiry partners are a living breathing part of your meditation experience. 

Friday morning meditation will be peer led. This means we will take it in turns to find a short reading that speaks to your expereince and invites discussion. When you lead, makes 10 copies and bring the centerpiece shrine.

Friday meditation Format: We begin with 30 minutes silence (there can be a little music to accompany the first few mintues of meditation but come early and bring your own equiptment as we don't have a sound system), then presenter reads and shares for a 2-3 minutes on what moved them to practice with what was read. They then invite disucssion with all of us. We close at 8:25 AM with a circle of light and love, bringing to mind those who need more support. Optional potluck breakfast can go until 9 AM. After a few months of meeting, the group will decide the name of the meditation group. Anyone is welcome to come late and leave early. Door will be left unlocked.

Directions: Valley View Apartments on Tachevah includes both 2727 and 2735 and is a few blocks from the Bennet Valley shopping center. Revelations Chiropractic is on the corner of Yulupa and Tachevah. To find 2727 Apt #24, look for the Valley View Apartment sign. Apartment #24 is the first apartment you see as you face Yulupa street. At night look for Christmas lights inside the windows, during the day look for Prayer flags in the window facing the Valley View Apartment sign.

Street parking only.

Teachings are given freely and you are invited to support with generosity, making it possible for others to also benefit from  these teaching which liberate.

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions.

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New Year Retreat - seats still available. Sign-up today!

Forgiveness: Letting Go & Awakening a New Year’s Retreat With Amma Thanasanti Bhikkhuni

December 30, 2016 – January 1, 2017



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The Darkness Before the Light

Amma Thanasanti


Our world is in descent.


This summary of steps of a personal journey may help navigate the bigger picture.


Many life-changing events happened. I wasn’t willing. I was cornered – There was no way I could think or maneuver myself out of the situation and I didn’t see other options. With every ounce of fur, fang and resistance I could muster, I battled every inch as I stepped into the trenches to do the work. My resistance softened out of sheer exhaustion. Slowly I turned toward what I feared. I was confused and agitated. I unraveled. Descent into darkness was dismantling, disorienting, and dangerous. I didn’t know who I was, or what to plan more than a few days ahead. What was disallowed, repressed and unacceptable was unleashed. As my mind body processes were held in a frame of moral integrity and observing witness, until what is pervasive emerges. Guides support me in the process, I averted danger. Eventually, light emerges.


What is, is.  It won’t go away.


I feel how unacceptable, shocking, infuriating, terrifying and defeating this is.


At some point, I get worn out. When I get curious about the way that I experience my resistance, it begins to change.

Turning towards fears-

Underneath my resistance are my fears. I turn toward them, see them and name them. As courage builds, I feel them.


When I start to let go, assumptions, frame-works and belief systems fall away. In this place where I can’t locate myself, what opens up?


When I feel a large space without characteristics of identity, and there isn’t anything holding the fall, descent is frightening. I need to regularly soothe my anxiety to keep from meltdown.


In this big space, what happens to “me”? What is asking for acceptance?


There is so much that is at risk, the magnitude is overwhelming. Where do I engage to bring more safety? I prioritize needs and make sure that self-care is on the list. I do what is most compelling. Direct action helps dispel anxiety.

Unleashing what is disallowed-

I look at my contribution. Where am I interested in my own comfort at the expense of others or the Earth? When am I unable to fathom another’s perspective and go into judgment or dismissal? When do I condone racism, misogyny or religious profiling? What support do I need to make different choices? Where have I internalized these things in myself? What supports me releasing these patterns?

Moral Integrity-

Regularly affirming the intention to do no harm, and to support what is beneficial to all beings gives me a rudder when everything familiar is falling apart.

All Pervasive Love and Awareness-

I balance keeping my body healthy with letting go completely. I let go of thoughts, feelings, sensations and relax attention into what is groundless. I let go of trying. I rest.  Body and mind drop away. What remains is vast, luminous and pervasive. The mind extends beyond all reaches, limitations.  Love, awareness, energy pervade everything and everyone. Who and what I am becomes a thin veil,  conecting what is pouring in, to what is pouring out. There is no separation.  


These are my mentors, therapists, friends, rocks, animals, trees, practices and qualities of mind that remind me to stop resisting, to be present and meet what is arising. They hold me as I let go. They help me get up in the morning when I feel bruised to the bone and devestated and do what needs to be done. They support me to access seamless reality and remove obstacles that occlude it.

Emergent Light –

Death has been a gateway, an opportunity for new life. When I meet my own darkness,  dare the world to end in me, I live with less fear. I’m motivated to return to what is vast, timeless, and ever present. In the middle of THAT accumulations release and clarity emerges. There is reciprocity between people, culture, the physical world and “me." Darkness is within the light and light emerges from the descent into darkness. My heart is full. I'm ready to do what is needed include meet my own human fraility in the journey of bringing relative and pervasive kindness and truths into the world.

The devil whispered in my ear, “You will not be able to survive the storm.”

I whispered back, “I am the storm.” 

                                                                                Author Unknown

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Natural Balance: The Art of Transforming Suffering


Natural Balance

Photo curtesy of  Aura Glaser, Ph.D.  

By Amma Thanasanti

With the world events, I have been looking for ways to respond. This morning was our Ovada, a time when Bhikkhuni’s from around the country gather on a conference call to listen to an elder monk’s reflections. Venerable Punnadhammo’s talk was based on Bhikkhu Bodhi’s translation and commentary, Transcendental Dependent Arising: A Translation and Exposition of the Upanisa Sutta. When I listened to his talk and felt coolness and clarity emerge, it gave me ideas of what to share with you.

One of the characteristics of existence is dukkha. Dukkha refers to the unsatisfactory nature of things which are imperfect, change and do not give us lasting happiness. The first response to dukkha is to deny its existence. Eventually, reality starts pearing through the cracks. We feel more pain in our body, get distracted, seek sense pleasures, get preoccupied with work, planning or facebook to keep our focus away from unpleasant reality. When that no longer works, we sink into despair. The problems can seem insurmountable.

Understanding dukkha and the cause of dukkha takes clear thinking – an assessment of where we are at and how we got there. The teachings tells us that suffering is cyclical- the more we suffer, the more we tend to grasp for solutions. I see that my grasping for frameworks and solutions is increasing my anxiety. However, suffering can also catalyze another movement, the longing to move out of suffering. This first step out of suffering is supported by faith, the faith that there is a way out. What, in the world can we have faith in, when is so much is unreliable, when our grasping for solutions is tied up with suffering? There are many different words for this from many different traditions. Buddha used the unborn, unbecome and uncreated to point to what is beyond suffering. I have been calling this pervasive awareness and pervasive love.

The first movement out of suffering requires that we engage with a quality that can not be conceptualized, cannot be supported by reason or the intellect. Reason has to be balanced with faith – something other than reason – to get out of suffering.

When our mind is supported by faith, when we have an inkling that there is something other than the suffering of our conditioned existence, we experience joy. This is why chanting, devotional practices, contact with wise beings or places that support access to pervasive love and awareness can be helpful. Most times when I’m in nature, I experience joy.

With joy as a supporting condition, we experience rapture. The body and mind feel deeply well. The body tingles and feels a lot of pleasure. When we experience rapture, we then can feel the deep well being of happiness.

If we were walking through a desert and we met someone who said that over the ridge was an oasis – that first inkling of relief would be joy. When we get to the oasis, plunge into the cool water, drink our fill and satiate our hunger with fresh fruit, that is the experience of happiness – an abiding sense of contentment that comes from our needs being met.

When we feel happy, our minds become still. We stop looking for happiness, because we are resting in happiness. This supports the mind getting more focused and able to see things as they actually are. Seeing things as they actually are is a critical part of awakening. Weary from suffering, the arahant seeks complete liberation. Seeing clearly uproots greed, anger and confusion that are the sources of suffering. This is a sublime achievement.

The Bodhisattva path, however, feels the pull of suffering in the world and seeks to engage, not out of ignorance but out of compassion. Awareness is pervasive. It permeates everyone and everything, without exception. Who I am is not fundamentally separate from you, your suffering, or the world around me. Pervasive awareness and pervasive love are not two separate things but different aspects of the same thing. From this perspective, it doesn’t make sense to sit quietly in bliss, when the world and people I care about are burning around me. But from the wellspring of pervasive love and awareness, there is great resource from which to respond. It sustains this endless journey, because in its embrace, the weight of problems lighten.

Here is another place balance is needed. My access to pervasive love and awareness is interspersed with feelings of confusion, overwhelm, concern, and anxiety. Human warmth – my connection to relative love and compassion are also needed. Peers, the wisdom that emerges from community also support me finding ways to meet what is arising with care and compassion without contributing further to the overarching problems of grasping, aversion, or ignorance. These also help me respond to what is arising in the present moment without superimposing some idea of how I should be or what I should be experiencing. Sometimes here too, the balance of pervasive love and relative love are not found through withdrawal into silent contemplation but through engagement.

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Neuroplasticity and Overcoming Physical Disabilities

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Adya and love

Self Love

Adya and love

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I Will Not Whisper

I want to talk to you
I will not whisper.
You can live in that silver of darkness forever
and tell yourself lies.
You can blame yourself.
You can blame others.
You can blame God and beyond.
And still that love you are will wait
until you can tell yourself
the lie of denial no more.
And at that very moment
you will see
just how silent Love's embrace can be.
And in that silence
the truth will ring clear.
Love demands everything:
all of your illusions
excuses and fears.
I want to speak to you about Love.
I want to talk to you about
what you will not allow
yourself to be.
I want to talk to you
I will not whisper.

- Adyashanti

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My House

Loved this video!

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Welcome to Awakening Truth!

Welcome! "Awakening Truth" is a 501 c3 non-profit run by volunteers to support a Bhikkhuni training monastery for Buddhist nuns, bringing ancient teachings into the modern world.

Artist Name - GM-Loving-Kindness.mp3
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