Deep, Deeper, Deeper Still

The Buddha said,

Through countless births in the cycle of existence
I have run, not finding
although seeking the builder of this house;
and again and again I faced the suffering of new birth.
Oh house builder! Now you are seen.

You shall not build a house again for me.
All your beams are broken,
the ridgepole is shattered.
The mind has become freed from conditioning:
the end of craving has been reached.”

In my mind that’s where we want to end up as practitioners! And, it’s important to remember that it’s a journey.

In the short video below you’ll hear me layout my reflections on the journey of practice, what I’ve been calling, “Deep Buddhism.” It’s a way to look at how to engage with your practice both on and off the cushion. How to hold a vision of the future without attachment, how to effect liberatory change inside and out, and how to move deeper past the (necessary and important) ability to calm down, into states that dismantle conditioning and allow us to wake up fully to our lives..

Some of you will recognize in the video the language of Audre Lorde and her famous quote,

The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House.

The parallels between the famous quote of the Buddha and that of Audre Lorde are stunning.

I hope you enjoy the video.

Best In Love,
Larry


WHAT’S COMING UP IN OCTOBER WITH THE LOTUS INSTITUTE?

Oct 14 - 18 (Larry’s talk is on the 18th) FREE online Being and Doing Summit . Larry’s talk is called, “Calming The Mind Is Not Enough.” You can register to hear the talk using the link above, and you can also watch a free preview video of the talk here!

Oct 18-20 La Jolla, CA, Indra’s Net, The Wisdom of All Relations Retreat

Oct 25-27 Philadelphia, PA, Ancestry in Progress, a retreat open to all, centering Black, Indigenous and other People of Color, gender expansive/fluid folx, LGBTQIA+, youth practitioners 18 and over, and community organizers.



A NOTE ABOUT PATREON

Since the launch of our Patreon page in August 2018 we’ve gained 69 patrons who make it possible for us to do all sorts of things, including providing scholarships to retreats like the ones mentioned in this email and launching online classes to take your practice deeper. Our next goal of 75 patrons will help us secure funding for the tech/organizational support to continue the work we’ve started. Even $1 /month helps! If you want to read our goals in more detail and/or become a part of our Patreon community that makes this work sustainable, become a patron here. AND THANK YOU to all of the existing patrons who make our work possible!

Indra's Net: The Wisdom of All Relations

Dear Friends, for centuries and across many cultures the insight of Indra’s net has symbolized deeper levels of connectivity to all our relations.

Thich Nhat Hanh says,

“This is a net made of jewels, and in each jewel you see reflected all the other jewels. Looking into the one you see the all. Suppose you build a hall made of mirrors, and then you enter holding a candle. Looking into a mirror you see you and the candle, and when you turn around you see that each mirror reflects you and the candle in the mirror too. You just need to look into one mirror to see all the reflections of you and the candle. Countless yous and countless candles are reflected in just one mirror.” From A Dharma Talk on The Power of Visualization, June 2004

In September and October there is a lot happening at The Lotus Institute. Each activity is a reflection of our practice of going deep, deeper and deeper still into both individual and collective healing, transformation and liberation. From this profound recognition of interconnectedness we see that we live in intersectionality with all people and earthlings; without one the other is not possible. Here are some opportunities to join us in practice on the journey of awakening.

Southern California- Indra’s Net

Indra’s Net:

The Wisdom of All Relations

Explore your connectivity to all relations. We will explore our relationship to the world through the prism of race. We will explore our relationship to ourselves as precious individuals and explore our relationships with close connections in our lives. We will endeavor to touch and be touched by the ground of well-being. We will nourish our capacities to go deeper in our healing, transformation and liberation.


Philadelphia, PA- Ancestry in Progress

Friday October 25th - Sunday October 27th, 2019

Friday October 25th - Sunday October 27th, 2019

Our first retreat in a very long time in Philadelphia, nestled in the woods of the largest urban park system in the country! In addition to the fall theme of connecting to our ancestors and continuing their lineage, this retreat will focus on centering Black, Indigenous and other People of Color, gender expansive/fluid folx, LGBTQIA, youth practitioners 18 and over, community organizers and others who are typically marginalized in wellness/spiritual circles. Because of this we are holding the majority of spaces for folx in these intersections.


The Black Wisdom Online Summit- Free dharma talk on Contemplating Apocalypse

The Black Wisdom Online Summit

Larry is giving a talk called, Contemplating Apocalypse, at The Black Wisdom Online Summit.

This talk describes the classic energies of deconstruction present in our moment of history. It raises the question of how to acknowledge their presence in ourselves and our societies, and offers an invitation to practice with powerful understanding and fierce love in both the deconstruction and reconstruction energies within the sacred intersections between self and society.

Note: This summit is one of a handful that Larry and Peggy have participated in this year. The online summit model is actually a little different than The Lotus Institute model. For online summits typically they are free to listen to live (and within 24-48hrs of the launch of the talk) and then after you can pay a package fee to the summit for lifetime access to all of the talks. This, and all summits we mention in our newsletter, are not put on by Lotus, rather they are events we’ve agreed to participate in.


With Gratitude, Respect, Hope and Action,

Larry, Peggy and The Lotus Institute Team


A NOTE ABOUT PATREON

Since the launch of our Patreon page in August 2018 we’ve gained 68 patrons who make it possible for us to do all sorts of things, including providing scholarships to retreats like the ones mentioned in this email. Our next goal of 75 patrons will help us secure funding for the tech/organizational support to continue the work we’ve started. Even $1 /month helps! If you want to read our goals in more detail and/or become a part of our Patreon community that makes this work sustainable, become a patron here. AND THANK YOU to all of the existing patrons who make our work possible!

Tidy Up! Clean up your practice with Larry

Greetings from New Mexico!

Summer is in full swing! How is your heart? We wish you well and hope you are taking good care in the midst of the chaos, sadness, beauty and potential of the world. We have a lot to share with you this month. Sorry for the long absence! Without further ado….

We are excited to announce the launch of The Virtual Academy, Lotus Institute’s home for online courses, and our first course, The Four Reliances; Tidy Up with Dr. Larry Ward. This course is for anyone who wants to go deeper into their practice beyond getting caught in linguistics or surface meaning. As many of you know, the Virtual Academy has been a long time coming, and we are happy to offer this first course as a free course. It’s 4 weeks featuring a short (3-5 min) dharma talk each week and suggested practice homework.

The theme of Tidy Up was inspired by Larry’s study and practice of early teachings of Zen Master Bodhi Dharma.

In the end of July we recorded Larry’s series of talks on America’s Racial Karma in Taos, NM. Thank you to those of you who came from 8 states around the US to be with us. Here are the recordings, free to all, thanks to our patrons. The topic of race is an existential crisis, and always has been since the founding of America. If one looks deeply at the historic patterns around this social construct over the last 500 years, you will find a window into our immense planetary suffering that is beyond the construct of race. It reaches into every aspect of life because it is one of the most successful binary creations in our history. Therefore, it gives permission to all other binaries to stay binary.

Talking about race is not enough, we must practice to release ourselves from habitual states of dualism and its individual and collective impact on ourselves, each other and the earth.

Soon we are off to Japan! There are still spaces in the Kyoto Retreat if you are able to join. In the meantime, we are working on the Virtual Academy’s next course, The Earth Gate, and preparing for a whirlwind fall tour in Thailand, Japan, California, Philadelphia, Minnesota, and Oklahoma. Check the website for details- we’d love to practice in person with you. Remember, thanks to patrons we have some scholarships available for every retreat, and we hope this makes it accessible for more of you to join in person.

Wherever we are, as we practice we are meeting one another.

Listen deeply.

Lastly, we wanted to say a word about The Lotus Institute’s commitment to justice and liberatory practice. We are on a path of love in action; in the coming months we’ll be working intensively with local retreat planning teams to refine our in-person offerings to embody our vision of creating beloved community. As our dear board member, Samantha Rise, offers:

Our lineage of peace is also a lineage of action

Best In Love,

Larry and Peggy


A NOTE ABOUT PATREON

Since the launch of our Patreon page in August 2018 we’ve gained 61 patrons who make it possible for us to bring you things like the audio files in this email, a new website, an online home to make retreat recordings accessible (free and downloadable) for participants, a home for online courses, and more secure and stable technology to keep in communication. Our next goal of 75 patrons will help us secure funding for the tech/organizational support to continue the work we’ve started, launching our next online class (Deep studies into the intersection of mindfulness and neuroplasticity as it relates to trauma and resiliency). If you want to read our goals in more detail and/or become a part of our Patreon community that makes this work sustainable, become a patron here. AND THANK YOU to all of the existing patrons who make our work possible!