It’s not enough for us to practice for our benefit alone because, as Bodhisattvas, we aspire to save all beings. Jonathan Prescott turns to 9th century Zen Master Kyogen for inspiration on how to share our one fleeting, precious life with the world.
In this podcast, Jonathan Prescott offers a session of training in Inviting the Bell. This is a wonderful opportunity to either learn a new skill/gift or deepen the Bell Minder practice you already have.
Our adversaries allow us to see more broadly and act more skillfully. Can we find ways to make those adversaries more beautiful? Jonathan Prescott offers tools to help us open our hearts and work with everyone, even those we’ve learned to reject.
Rest is the absence of restlessness. Jonathan Prescott describes some of the forces that push us towards restless lives, then offers a guided meditation on coming home to ourselves. We are miracles and are already enough.
Jonathan Prescott offers insights into doing non-doing: Using the 'doing' of Zen practice forms to realize the 'non-doing' of deep rest.
In this final talk of the 8 Realizations Practice Period and Retreat, Jonathan Prescott tells the story of sailing your Dharmakaya Boat to the shore of Nirvana.
Michael Melancon points toward the deep realization possible when we transcend ideas of birth and death. This talk covers the 8th Realization of the Great Beings.
Exploring the balance between too little and too much, Michael Melancon takes up the 6th Realization (Poverty) while Jonathan Prescott offers insights about the 7th Realization (Sensual Desire.)
Ignorance is the disease. Mindfulness is the medicine.
Ignorance is the contraction of awareness. It is the foundation of our suffering. Jonathan Prescott describes how ignorance traps us and how the miracle of mindfulness offers a way back to the freedom of the present moment.
Jonathan Prescott describes how indolence is failing to act on what we know. We can be indolent by doing too little, but also by doing too much. This is the 5th talk in the 8 Realizations of Great Beings practice period.
Michael Melancon offers a beautiful explanation of how the human mind is always searching outside itself and never feels fulfilled. This is the 4th talk in our 8 Realizations of the Great Beings practice period.
Jonathan Prescott explores the second Great Realization - that more desire brings more suffering - and offers a practice for transforming our own desire.
Gail Kirgis offers us a beautiful Guided Meditation that brings us into intimate contact with Impermanence.
Michael Melancon explores the first of the 8 Realizations of the Great Beings - Impermanence.
In this conversation between old friends, Jonathan Prescott and Michael Melancon discuss joy - what it is, what it is not, and how to foster it in your life. They look to their 20+ year friendship as a training ground for finding joy in practice forms, generosity, relationships, and the accomplishments of others. Although they use different language to describe joy, both agree that joy is what surfaces when we let go.
Fear stalks us all. It lurks in the shadows and avoids our conscious awareness. But fear is not something to fear. It is something to turn towards, embrace and transform.
Fear is an energy that both protects us and distorts us. Helpful fear keeps us out of danger, but sometimes hardens into unhelpful fears that color our perceptions and separate us from reality. Our practice is a healing balm that can liberate us from unhelpful fear by creating space in which we can see our fearful mental formations, experience their distortions, and transform them with patience and kindness. Liberation isn't easy and it isn't quick, but having a Sangha and a teacher helps.
Listen to the talk for more detail and inspiration.
Jonathan Prescott tells stories of kindness so we can feel kindness come alive in our bodies. But kindness is more than a feeling; it's an action, so we explore what kindness is and how we can cultivate kind actions that benefit everyone.
This week, we bathed ourselves in kindness. We enjoyed stories told by both the givers and receivers of kindness and felt the experiences in our own bodies.
We might not be sure whether a Buddha gets angry, but we're certain that anger stalks us. In this talk, Jonathan explores how to practice with our anger by walking that knife's edge between denial and indulgence.
Silence is the foundation of a contemplative life. Jonathan Prescott explores outer silence, inner silence, and their roles in deepening our engagement with the world.
May you open the gift of solitude
In order to receive your soul;
Enter the generosity of silence
To hear your hidden heart;
Know the serenity of stillness
To be enfolded anew
By the miracle of your being.
-- John O'Donohue
John O'Donohue invites us to enter the generosity of silence so we can hear our hidden hearts. Silence is not an end, he suggests; it is a means. Even though silence is a foundation of contemplative life, if it's used as an end it can trap us into believing that we can only be happy when the world is silent.
Why do we cultivate silence? Here are three reasons you might consider:
Silence quiets our own shouting so we can hear the world’s whispers.
Silence quiets our passions so we can awake to the suffering of others.
Silence quiets our individualism so we can find our right place among all.
We cultivate silence by calming ourselves. We calm ourselves by living and behaving simply so that we don't complicate or disturb our environment. As we do this, inner silence arises and strengthens until we see that inner silence isn't dependent upon outer silence.
Listen to the entire Dharma Talk on our Podcast.
In this second Unapoletically Ourselves Retreat talk, Michael Melancon leads us towards finding equanimity and balance so that we can be ourselves in this challenging world.
In this first talk of the Unapologetically Ourselves Retreat, Jonathan Prescott shows how vulnerability and difficulty can open the door to our True Self.
Zen invites us not to simply answer the questions, but to question the answers. Jonathan Prescott explores how to use the open mind of Great Doubt to foster awe, wonder, humility, and connection.
Join Jonathan Prescott for an exploration into our ancestors. Our ancestors were humans, just like us. They made mistakes, just like us. Can we find a way to forgive their shortcomings right now, in our own lives? And can we learn to be better ancestors ourselves?