New Dharma Talk: How to Hold Your Dharma Seat

This talk offers guidance on how to train the heart and mind to become steady and balanced even in the face of the most challenging circumstances.

New Podcast, Soul Story

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Blue Heron at Radnor Lake

I recently had a delightful time with Adam Hill, who interviewed me at Radnor Lake for his podcast, Soul Story. This is part one of two episodes.

“Lisa discusses her connection to nature, personal loss, and her initial encounter with meditation.  Following a beginning scare with an unguided kundalini practice, after many years Lisa built up the courage to follow her intuition and join a zen meditation practice.  We discuss that time in this segment, as we walk with Lisa through her first steps on the road to becoming the meditation teacher which she is today.”

Two Special Events with David Loy, October 14 & 15

Please join us for one or both of these events

Why Buddhism and the Modern World Need Each Other
Public Lecture by David Loy
Sponsored by One Dharma Nashville
Friday, October 14, 7:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Healing Well Yoga, 3808 Park Place, Nashville

The mercy of the West has been social revolution. The mercy of the East has been individual insight into the basic self/void. We need both.

– Gary Snyder

The highest ideal of the Western tradition has been to restructure our societies so that they are more socially just. The most important goal for Buddhism is to awaken and put an end to dukkha “suffering” due to the delusion of a separate self. Today it has become obvious that we need both: not just because individual transformation and social transformation complement each other, but because each needs the other.

Suggested donation: $15. No one turned away for lack of funds. To pay in advance, you can use Paypal here.

David Loy is an internationally renowned Buddhist teacher, keynote speaker, lecturer and author. He is a professor of Buddhist and comparative philosophy and his many published books include his most recent, A New Buddhist Path: Enlightenment, Evolution and Ethics in the Modern World. He lives in Boulder Colorado.

Transforming Self, Transforming World

Workshop with David Loy
Saturday, October 15, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Nashville Friends Meeting, 530 26th Avenue North
Sponsored by One Dharma Nashville

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What is the connection between personal and social transformation?

According to Buddhism, our usual sense of self is haunted by a sense of lack: “something is wrong with me.” Why do we never have enough money, fame, sensory pleasure? Because we try to fill up our sense of lack with them — but it doesn’t work.

Those obsessions also reveal where our society is stuck. The Buddha’s “three poisons” have become institutionalized and taken on a life of their own: our economic system institutionalizes greed, racism and militarism institutionalize ill will, and the corporate media institutionalize delusion. And our collective sense of separation from the rest of the biosphere lies at the heart of the ecological crisis.

Any personal awakening we may experience remains incomplete without a “social awakening” to these institutionalized causes of suffering. Through meditation, interactive inquiry and group discussion we will explore how to connect personal and social awakening and transformation.

Cost is $50 – $75 sliding scale, plus dana (donation) to the teacher. Please pay at the highest level you can afford on the sliding scale so we can accommodate those who need to pay less. You can pay at the Paypal here and enter the amount you will pay. Instructions for paying by check are at this link. Please include your email address. Scholarships are available if you need a reduced rate. Inquire to onedharmaretreat@gmail.com

Pali Language as a Gateway to Understanding Buddha’s Teachings

Taught by Jeffrey Samuels, Ph.D.
Thursdays, September 1 – November 17
7 – 8:30 p.m.

Ever wonder what the Buddha really taught? Ever want to read and understand the Buddha’s sermons in their original Pali language? In September we will begin a Pali course that is designed for students of Buddhism interested in reading Pali Buddhist texts. The course text that we will use for learning Pali grammar and vocabulary is focused on a wide range of Buddhist literature including sermons, verses from the Dhammapada, passages from the disciplinary texts, the Questions of King Milinda, and so on. This challenging 12 week course concludes with translating the Buddha’s first sermon (the Turning of the Wheel of the Dharma discourse).

Course fee is $150 – $200 sliding scale, plus $10 for the book, which Jeff will supply. Please pay at the highest level you can afford so we can accommodate those who need to pay less. A $50 deposit reserves your spot with the balance due by August 25. A scholarship spot is available in the case of financial need.

Jeffrey Samuels started practicing meditation in 1987 under the Thai forest monk Ajahn Buddhadasa. He has completed several long meditation retreats in Thailand under Mahasi Sayaadaw teachers as well as retreats in the US at the Zen Center in San Francisco and under the Thai teacher Sobin S. Namto. More recently, he has been practicing with One Dharma Nashville and Lisa Ernst.

Jeffrey Samuels is Professor of religious studies at Western Kentucky University. He received a Ph.D. in Buddhist studies from the University of Virginia in 2002. He has been teaching courses on Buddhism and Pali at WKU since 2001.

To register, go to paypal here and enter the amount you will pay. To pay by check, instructions are here. For specific questions about the course, email jeffrey.samuels@wku.edu. For inquires about a scholarship rate, email onedharmaretreat@gmail.com

Practice Tip: Creating a Story Room

So often during meditation our minds can wander into planning, stories and other thought patterns that lead us away from our present moment experience. When our minds are identified with thought, we miss our breath, sensations and feelings in our body, and the inner and outer sounds arising and passing away. But anyone who has meditated for a while knows quite well that we can’t simply turn off our thoughts.

Sometimes during meditation, when I’m particularly busy and have a lot on my plate, I slip into planning and stories about what I need to do, how I will do it and when. As my mental formations get stronger, I find it challenging to turn my attention back to my immediate experience. But as soon as I notice anxiety in my body related to planning, I begin to relax and dis-identify from the thoughts. Another simple tool I have found useful is a “story room.” Here is where I store planning, stories and other thoughts about upcoming activities. I close the door to this room, reminding myself I can re-enter after meditation. My mind releases and I return to the moment. Any lingering anxiety about “getting it all done” begins to dissipate and I relax into my present moment experience. Inside and outside dissolve into the simplicity of the breath, sensations, sounds, the suchness of this moment. After mediation, I can reenter my story room with a refreshed mind and open heart. My planning is much more effective.

Daylong Meditation Retreat: Resting in Openhearted Awareness

Saturday, August 27, 9:30 – 3:30
Nashville Friends Meeting
Led by Lisa Ernst

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“There is a voice that doesn’t use words. Listen.” – Rumi

In this silent retreat we will stabilize attention and deepen concentration through the breath and body, then gradually open our awareness to the boundless space of mind and heart. These practices will help us relax into freedom from our habitual thoughts and patterns and find equanimity in our present moment experience.

Led by meditation teacher Lisa Ernst, this retreat is suitable for newer as well as more experienced meditators. The retreat will include periods of sitting and walking meditation, instructions and dharma talk

Cost: $50, plus dana (generosity donation) to the teacher. A reduced fee spot is available in the case of financial need. The retreat fee can be paid by Paypal here.  Directions and additional information will be emailed prior to the retreat.

Please contact onedharmaretreat@gmail.com with any questions.

Our New Meditation Space

Here are some photos of One Dharma’s new Nashville meditation space. Its spacious, serene and quiet. We also love the raised ceiling and skylight. If you live in or near Nashville and haven’t come by yet, please come see the space in person and join us for meditation. We meet Mondays, 7 – 8:30 p.m. Directions and additional info here.

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Low light for meditation.

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Dharma Talk: The Dancer in The Desert

This dharma talk was inspired by a woman named Marta Beckett who was a professionally trained ballet dancer in New York City. When her car broke down in Death Valley she saw an abandoned old theater and listened to the call of her heart and renovated it. She danced there many years with little to no audience until she was discovered. In the talk I explore how we can devote ourselves fully to our path with love and commitment, rather than seeking results, even when the terrain seems barren. In this way, we open to greater possibilities as unexpected and wonderful surprises often appear along the way.