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Align - Love - Thrive

Our heart team proudly curates a set of teachings, practices and information each month and season to help you live a life of balance, alignment and connection: Yoga! Click through regularly to explore, learn and grow on the path. 

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Sangha, dear ones,

 

Yesterday Adam and I wrapped up our retreat season. Leading up to the weekend I had completed my refuge vows and continued to feel a very distinctive desire to deepen my commitments to this path. I knew that the retreat and time with community, would be a tremendous opportunity to do just that. I don't have adequate language to describe my inexhaustible love and devotion to awaken so that others may do the same. It is a longing, it is awe, it is inspiration, it is direct, it cuts right through and the potency only grows and grows. I am genuinely humbled and astounded to know bliss and to take my seat as a shastri / teacher in the world, at this time, so that others may know the same.

 

The first book I had read, by my teacher Acharya Pema Chodron, was entitled, The Places that Scare You. One of my dear younger cousins was experiencing a very painful end to a journey with cancer. It was horrifying for my whole family. This book came as a gift from a friend. I had no idea how the culmination of those events and the introduction to these teachings would shape the trajectory of my life.

 

Pema, very liberally, was using the word bodhichitta. So much so that I had to put the book down and conduct a little bit of research: bo-dhi-chit-ta (bo’di-chi’ta) n., Sanskrit. 1. awake heart/mind. 2. noble heart; genuine heart; wounded heart; open heart. 3. soft spot; tenderness for life; natural warmth; compassion. 4. the longing to awaken so that we can help others do the same. Pema says, “if we were to ask the Buddha, ‘What is bodhichitta?’ he might tell us that this word is easier to understand than to translate. He might encourage us to seek out ways to find its meaning in our own lives. He might tantalize us by adding that it is only bodhichitta that heals, that bodhichitta is capable of transforming the hardest of hearts and the most prejudiced and fearful of minds. Chitta means ‘mind’ and also ‘heart’ or ‘attitude.’ Bodhi means ‘awake,’ ‘enlightened,’ or ‘completely open.’ Sometimes the completely open heart and mind of bodhichitta is called the soft spot, a place as vulnerable and tender as an open wound. It is equated, in part, with our ability to love. Even the cruelest people have this soft spot.” - The Places That Scare You.

 

I have come to understand that rousing bodhichitta, keeping our hearts open and soft, no matter the difficulty around us, is the work. I have come to understand that the difficulty is the fuel, the stuff, the energy that we may use to alchemize goodness and to maintain softness. This is the path of the bodhisattva- a commitment, an intention, a wish, to awaken, to know happiness, to know joy and relief firsthand so that others may do the same. We are deeply interconnected and in this knowing we see our profound gift of humanness as a means to not only grow but also share the limitless qualities of loving-kindness, compassion, empathic joy and equanimity. Altruism does not work if we do not include ourselves. It is literally impossible to be a steward of love and joy if you yourself do not know love and joy. Let that sink in.

 

This month we embark on a deeper study of this incredible work, and the means of forging the path of the bodhisattva. May we deepen our commitment to the altruistic intention as we come to know and experience more deeply the wisdom of the three jewels (Buddha, Dharma, Sangha), the four noble truths, the 8-fold path and the four limitless virtues of heart.

 

With supreme joy and love,

 

Shastri Meg Lucks / Konchok Dzeden Zangmo

Past Newsies:

May 2022: The Altruistic Intention

April 2022: Being Mudra

March 2022: Receptive Listening

February 2022: There is No Enlightenment Outside of Daily Life

January 2022: The Source of a True Smile is an Awakened Mind

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December 2021: The Practice of Touching the Earth

November 2021: Rejuvenation: Nourish Your Entire Being

October 2021: Contemplative Interbeing

September 2021: The Nobility of Silence

August 2021: Dissolve Your Fixation with Self

July 2021: Let's Linger

June 2021: I am in the Flow of the Universe

May 2021: Lighten Up

April 2021: We Travel the Path in Good Company

March 2021: Om Mani Padme HumM

February 2021: Embodied Dharma

January 2021: "Everything can be a 'that'; everything can be a 'this' " 

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December 2020: I Am a Sanctuary

November 2020: In the One is The All

October 2020: Ready, Set, Rest

September 2020: Attract Beauty Today, Create Tomorrow 

August 2020: Refuge in One and blogging by the sangha

July 2020: Awaken Your Voice 

June 2020: The Spirit of Sangha 

May 2020: Just as You Are 

April 2020: The Next Buddha is Sangha

March 2020: You and I Are Essentially Infinite and blogging bits by Heather Kolvenbach

February 2020: Mudita: Taking Delight in the Happiness of Others and blogging bits by Amy Griebenow

January 2020: I am 

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December 2019: Give the Gift of Presence 

November 2019: We are All Royalty by Roy Grant

October 2019: Rekindle the Heart 

September 2019: Where Your Intention Goes, Energy Flows 

August 2019: Come Home & Be Anywhere 

July 2019: Paradise is Now 

June 2019: Let Peace Be Your Superpower 

May 2019: Play is our Pathway to Possibility 

April 2019: Give Yourself Room to Bloom 

March 2019: Living Your Highest Truth 

February 2019: Out of Love, Our Path Can Lead us to Serve

January 2019: True Belonging is the Spiritual Practice of believing in and belonging to yourself...