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Dana: The Pali Word for Generosity

Awakening Truth has adopted the practice of “Dana” (giving) as both a spiritual practice and a practical way to meet the financial needs of the learning center. Dana is a Pali word for generosity. Throughout Buddhist history, spiritual teachings have been offered to people free of charge. This practice links the community of teachers, students, and centers through the spirit of generosity.

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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.

Cornered-

What is, is.  It won’t go away.

Resistance-

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

Exhaustion-

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.

Confusion-

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?

Agitation-

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.

Unraveling-

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

Danger-

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.  

Guides-

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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Adya and love

Self Love

Adya and love

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Love, Belonging and Existential Emptiness

I live in no man’s land, right next to a piece of road that is unincorporated by the county. Sandwiched between the cities of Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs, it seems to belong to no one.

In England I was part of a large community of monastics in a well-established tradition with excellent support. I left all this behind when I returned to the US. I live without a community of other Buddhist monastics near by, where wearing robes and living as an alms mendicant continue to be foreign to most people I encounter. As a female Buddhist monastic in a secular world, I live in my own no man’s land. I sometimes ask, where do I belong?

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