Reflecting on intentions and your highest aspirations for living supports you to act from a place of kindness and care. Being less reactive and more wisely responsive in any situation, you become a light in the world, contributing to less suffering and more happiness and well being for others and yourself.

Richard Shankman has been a meditator since 1970, and teaches at Dharma centers and groups internationally. He is guiding teacher of the Metta Dharma Foundation, and cofounder of the Sati Center for Buddhist Studies and of Mindful Schools. He practices and teaches meditation that integrates compassion, mindfulness, concentration and insight as one path of practice. Richard is the author of The Art and Skill of Buddhist Meditation and The Experience of Samadhi.

Finding Freedom in Difficult Times

During times of uncertainty and stress, we need to find places of reliable refuge.  By taking time to calm our minds and open our hearts, we deepen attunement with our inner strength and resilience.  We are more able to respond, rather than react, to any situation with clarity and wisdom.  We can meet difficult times of worry and unease with loving presence and equanimity. Even a single person bringing a calm and kind presence can open the way for others to respond more wisely rather than react out of fear.

Through meditation and dharma practice we build the foundational supports of concentration, mindfulness and insight.  As our minds become more collected and centered, we open to deepening states of concentration, peace, clarity and calm abiding.  Take whatever opportunities you can to find ease in your body, cultivate clarity and calm, equanimity and love. You can then bring those qualities forth as you move back into your daily life.

Your noble intentions will be a refuge and guide when you find yourself surrounded by anxiety or confusion.  By connecting with and building upon your inner resources, you can make yourself a light in the world, a force contributing to less suffering and stress, and more well-being and ease, for others and yourself. 

Informing Practice Through Study

Reprinted from the The Sati Journal, Volume 1

Upon embarking on any course we need to understand what we are undertaking and why. This is especially true for endeavors of great consequence, such as Dharma practice, which have the power to reshape our lives in radical ways. Buddhist contemplative practices challenge our fundamental assumptions about ourselves, our experience, and our relationship with the world around us.

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