Hi, I’ve finally completed my new website, dedicated to my dharma teaching and meditation. Please drop by and let me know what you think. If you’d like to subscribe to my new email newsletter, just scroll down to the bottom of the front page and you’ll see the sign up form on the right.
For guided meditations and dharma talks, click here.
Every morning we put on clothes that allow us to function within our daily activities and obligations. For early exercisers, workout attire is the first clothing of the day. Others begin the morning with work clothes or simply day wear. We all wear clothing that gives us a functional identity in the world, whether a standard uniform, jeans and t-shirt or more a more formal work outfit.
In the same way, we take on functional identities in our lives to fulfill needs, aspirations and obligations. We may be a parent, a friend, a spouse, a programmer and an artist, all in one day. We may also be a meditator and yoga practitioner. Take a look at what you do each day and see how fluid your identity is based on your activates and interactions. I call this functional identity because it serves a purpose but is not fixed; it is subject to change over hours, days, weeks, years and decades. If you cling to identity as concrete and unmoving, you will suffer through the inevitability of change and impermanence.
Most of us don’t cling to our clothes, at least not for long. We change them as needed and realize they aren’t who we are. We recognize the impermanence of any particular set of clothes. If only we could view our perception of self in the same way, our suffering would decrease significantly.
When you realize experientially that the identity you cling to is not fixed and is subject to change and impermanence, you will taste liberation. Your functional identity serves a purpose and doesn’t need to be denied or eliminated, but it is ultimately a kaleidoscope of change over the course of a lifetime. It’s no more permanent than your clothes.
What is your true nature, what is your mind? When you let go, you will find joy and equanimity in this very moment. You will begin to wake up from the illusion of a fixed self and know freedom within the endless flux of experience, of activity, of living and dying.
“I came to realize clearly that mind is no other than mountains and rivers and the great wide Earth, the sun and the moon and the stars.”
~~ Eihei Dogen
Full information is here.
This program will help you deepen your own practice and learn the vital tenants of Buddhist mindfulness meditation in a format for skillfully sharing it with others. You will also learn how to lead effective guided meditations, give meaningful talks about mindfulness and meditation and answer questions skillfully. You will benefit from an engaged learning environment with peer and teacher support.
This course provides:
24 hours of teacher led class time, 30+ hours of course study, practice and peer engagement, guidance for daily study, teacher support and review. Our study guide for this class will be Mindfulness by Joseph Goldstein.
A minimum of two years consistent meditation practice, meditation retreat experience, participation in a sangha or other such community.
This program is not a lineage empowerment to teach the Buddhadharma, which requires years of study, teacher mentoring, deep commitment to daily practice and numerous meditation retreats. But for those interested in this path, the program can serve as a step along the way. For others the training will provide a foundation for deepening your own practice while learning how to effectively share it with others.
On successful completion of the course you will receive a certificate from One Dharma and Lisa Ernst verifying that you have been trained and approved to facilitate and instruct others in essential mindfulness and meditation practices. Opportunities through One Dharma and the greater community will be available.
If you are interested, please email Ernst.email@example.com for full course description, fee, class dates and application. The class will begin on June 21, 2018.
Sometimes, in trying to hold ourselves up and avoid drowning, we may feel the rope burning and slipping through our hands. But we can find unimaginable freedom by letting go of the rope and learning to swim in the drowning pool.
The monkey is reaching
For the moon in the water.
Until death overtakes him
He’ll never give up.
If he’d let go the branch and
Disappear in the deep pool,
The whole world would shine
With dazzling pureness.
Saturday, March 10, 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Nashville Friends Meeting
During these challenging and chaotic times, how do we best utilize meditation and mindfulness to prepare for and meet these challenges skillfully? Can practice help us to stay engaged with a compassionate heart while also offering a respite from the nearly daily challenges to our principles, values, and sense of fairness that we encounter?
The dharma offers a wellspring of wisdom and tools that can refresh and renew us. In this workshop we will identify practices that support our mental stability, help us step out of our reactive patterns and reset our hearts to continue our journey with loving attentiveness and wise action. We will also identify practical approaches and insights for staying engaged in our communities and beyond.
Led by Lisa Ernst, this workshop is suitable for new and experienced meditators. It will include meditation, group discussion, dharma talk and specific practices to address our inner and outer challenges. Cost is sliding scale, $75 – $100. Please pay at the highest level you can afford so we can support others who need to pay less. A reduced fee scholarship is available. For questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Starting February 3, One Dharma’s Introduction to Meditation and Saturday Sit is moving to weekly (rather than bi-weekly). It is open to all newcomers, to anyone interested in learning meditation, and to anyone interested in deepening their practice.
From 10:30 to 11:30 will be informal instruction and short meditations, followed by a 30 minute sit from 11:30 to 12:00. You’re welcome to join us for either or both sessions.
It will take place at the Osher Center in Movement Room C. We would love to see you, and please bring a friend! Cushions, mats, and chairs are provided. There is no charge for the group, but donations are appreciated and go toward paying group expenses. (Avg. donation is $5-10.)
The Osher Center is at 3401 West End Avenue, Suite 380. Parking is free, in the rear of the building, off of Orleans. Enter the building through the garage entrance, and turn left at the desk, pass the first Osher Center entrance, and enter the second Osher Center door. Our room (Movement Room C) is the second one you will encounter, on the right.
I led a Buddhist pilgrimage to India in November 2017. It was an amazing trip with many wonderful and challenging moments. Through it all, many dharma lessons arose. Here I share some of my journey and the lessons learned. I enjoyed it so much thatI’ll be leading another tour in November of this year. This tour includes the places we weren’t able to visit last year. For the itinerary and other info, go here.
Yes, I’m leading another tour this year and I’m very excited about our destinations and itinerary. Here’s more info and a link to the full tour information:
Encounters with the Buddha:
A Pilgrim’s Footsteps through India and Nepal, with Lisa Ernst
November 3 – 17, 2018
This year’s tour with Lisa Ernst will be covering some new ground, traveling through the Himalayan foothills of India and Nepal. We will be spending some time with the exiled Tibetan community in Dharamsala, visiting the Buddha’s birthplace at Lumbini, having a short retreat in a mountain monastery, and exploring the ancient shrines of Kathmandu.Along the way Lisa will be guiding meditation in various locations, and we will also be learning from local Buddhist practitioners as we visit monasteries, shrines and other points of interest.
This tour is open to anyone with an interest in Buddhism and meditation, from newcomers to dedicated practitioners.
For the full itinerary, cost and registration information, click here.