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


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!

What Kind of Ancestor Are You Willing To Be?

What Kind of Ancestor Are You Willing To Be?

We’ve been in Japan the past month and wanted to share some of the fruits of our practice with you. We also wanted to share one of the dharma talks from the most recent U.S. retreat in Colorado.

See below for a letter from each of us, and the video dharma talk entitled, “What Kind Of Ancestor Are You Willing To Be?”

Best in Love!

Peggy and Larry

Cultivating Liberation and Awareness of the Mind

Cultivating Liberation and Awareness of the Mind

A Dharma talk by Larry Ward from Saturday, April 29, 2017

"Knowing how to be happy, imaginative, compassionate, wise and relevant as a human being is not easy. I find much of my frustration is coming to terms with that fact. And we search for answers outside ourselves in many ways, books, training, etc, but the point in mindfulness practice is to learn through direct experience. This is what knowledge means in Buddhism: the experiential encounter with your own insight. And down the centuries, insights have been written down in sutras, rituals, books, and temples get built... But you have to remember that human insight preceded all of those manifestations, and that insight comes from our own heart, and our own mind. Approx 1hr 30 min

Developing Powers of Unobstructed Reflection (Larry Ward, PhD)

Developing Powers of Unobstructed Reflection (Larry Ward, PhD)

“Meditators from thousands of years ago chose topics to look deeply into (while meditating)… Train yourself: train your mind to recognize the rising of a hindrance. And train your mind to recognize the fading away of a hindrance… this is the Heart Sutra by the way: phenomena rises, and disappears. So even if you just sit for ten minutes every morning, pay attention to the rising and fading away of your breath, in order to train yourself to become comfortable with the rising and falling of everything.

As you do, you will get more at ease: I don’t mean comfort from a furniture point of view, I mean deep ease, stability, solidity, with the experience of the rising and falling of all things.” -Larry Ward

Approx 1hr 15min