Dharma Talks

Sacred Revolution

Sacred Revolution- Our emerging holiness

This month we are happy to share with you a recent talk given in Philadelphia at the Ancestry in Progress Retreat. The talk, by Larry, was about the kinds of revolutions which are going on around the world, how they are shaping the future of people/the earth, how they call forth the energy of the Bodhisattva, and how our work, our holiness, and our embodiment is the living ground of our ancestor’s wildest dreams. It also discusses related topics like how to talk to your children about being brown in this world, living through systemic collapse, trauma and resiliency, neuroplasticity, deepening your practice, and the vast importance of staying embodied. Larry adds,

Our identities live within life's web of intersectionality.

We are the presence of living ancestry.

Because our ancestry is alive within us and among us there is no escape from its influences.

We live at an urgent moment for the earth's next revolution.

Our great work lies in recognizing, healing and transforming the ancestral patterns and potentials within ourselves and society.

We practice in order to embody wellness, justice and profound meaning as the living ground of beloved community.

Stand up in the house of belonging

Take your seat in the field of transformation and healing

Ride the wind of the dharma through time and space.

Here’s the talk:

  • Stream above or click here

  • Download as an mp3 by clicking here, clicking on the 3 dots (•••) below the player and selecting ‘download’

We are so grateful for your practice of love, your presence in the world and your support.

Best in Love,

Larry, Peggy and Kim

WHAT’S COMING UP WITH THE LOTUS INSTITUTE?

In November and December we have some events in Minneapolis and Oklahoma that are pretty full (Oklahoma is sold out). In January and March there are events with lots of space in CA and Mexico (just outside Mexico City). Check the calendar for more info or to join us!

A NOTE ABOUT PATREON

Our Patreon page makes it possible for us to share the dharma with as many people as possible, providing things like scholarships to classes and retreats, free recordings of talks to retreat participants, and free audio and video dharma talks (like the one in this blog post) for the general public. If you want to read our goals in more detail and/or become a part of our Patreon community that makes the work sustainable, become a patron here. Even $1/month is a huge help. AND THANK YOU a gazillion times to all of the existing patrons who make our work possible!

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!

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

Learning from the Bodhisattvas, Healing, and Embodying the Way

Dear Friends on the Path,

We send you warm greetings from Mexico City!

We have enjoyed living here for almost two months. We are in the La Condesa neighborhood where there are many many beautiful parks and more dogs than we have ever seen. We have enjoyed weekly sangha and different meals, gatherings and times with wonderful practitioners. The Wisdom School was amazing, 53 people joined us from many parts of Mexico as well as from New Mexico, Montana, California, Oregon, and Pennsylvania. This weekend we have our goodbye party that will include karaoke!

This year continues to unfold very important teachings on the Bodhisattva Path. The Wisdom School that just completed was a deep dive into the Medicine Buddha's Bodhisattva aspirations and practices. Upcoming in the end of March in Columbus is a focus on the Diamond Sutra's training on right view for Bodhisattvas as they engage with the world and all beings. Early April in Colorado the retreat calls all of us to deep presence in ourselves in serving individual wellness and social justice while overcoming grasping, clinging and/or attachment to outcomes. Our work continues to go deeper still as we integrate and develop a new curriculum to heal and transform our nervous system capacity so embodied liberation becomes possible in self and society.

As we move forward, Lotus will continue to offer Wisdom Schools  and trainings focused on the Bodhisattva path as well as deep dives into key Buddhist studies including the sutras. We are hard at work at some online offerings (trainings) too!

Below is a more detailed description Larry wrote on the background, history, and intention of The Bodhisattva Wisdom Schools, for those of you who want to go deep, deeper, deeper still...

We also included a recording of the first dharma talk from the recent Wisdom School in Mexico, about the path and practices of The Medicine Buddha. 

Enjoy!

Best in Love,
Larry and Peggy

Mexico City Monday night sangha enjoying an amazing Yukutan dinner with us

Mexico City Monday night sangha enjoying an amazing Yukutan dinner with us


Background on the Bodhisattva Wisdom School


We stand now at a new human tipping point. We are in a new evolutionary epoch.  Here, the intersections between earth’s climate transitions, social crisis worldwide and deeply stressed human nervous systems leaves us all in a moment of great opportunity.

Throughout human history many wise and compassionate persons call forth humanity’s best in daily life, in Buddhism these persons are called Bodhisattvas. But more is needed to highlight and deepen these inherent qualities in non-monastic language, scientific grounding and creative practices for 21st century persons. Thich Nhat Hanh’s book, Opening the Heart of the Cosmos, beautifully describes the importance, urgency and power of these qualities when embodied.

The Lotus Bodhisattva Wisdom School is a unique Dharma experience. Our approach is grounded in the Buddhist sutras and Buddhist psychology. We weave together depth understandings of individual wellness, social justice, cross cultural ancestral wisdom, and evolutionary consciousness. We are here for individuals who wish to go deeper in their lived experience of recreating the spiritual-social self.

Our methods are experiential and multi-disciplinary. Each session is committed to exploring a particular Bodhisattva’s aspirations, qualities and practices. Our design integrates knowledge, creative expression and practices of individual and community resilience. We explore only for the purposes of opening new doors in both self-transformation and transformation in society.

In the past, such Schools existed all over the globe where groups of people gathered together to engage their awakening in community with each other, the Earth and cosmos. These ancient Wisdom Schools offered a gathering of spiritually-inspired individuals who desired to help midwife deep healing and transformation in their societies. They gathered to nourish the best in themselves on behalf of all. They gathered to remember who they were. They gathered to release their creativity, intelligently and compassionately born of love and wisdom.
With enduring consistency, the ongoing purpose of such schools has remained threefold in character:

First Aims
(1) To acknowledge and nourish persistent love of humanity so that knowledge of things spiritual may penetrate the heart and animate it into action, so that life on our precious earth may become a benediction, meaning to speak well of peace instead of tragedy of and conflict;

(2) To provide cultivation grounds for educating practitioners. In the Bodhisattva Path, we join through lived experience, study and practice to deeply learn, travel and embody the beauty of the Bodhisattva stages with easy, dignity and power.

(3) To reimagine, re-experience and discover fresh ways to a deeper human nobility and promise. Awakening qualities of humanness capable of shaping and holding the emerging Anima Mundi (World Soul). Re-empowering us with solidity and freshness needed to remake our world.

(4) To cultivate inherent Bodhisattva qualities and explore their expressions as skillful means needed in our time of great transition. To experience an environment of artistic playfulness with story making, poetry, visual arts, music, theatre and conversation.

Second Aims
To continue restoring to humanity (deeper) inner sight, to free people "from every danger of being enslaved whether by a man or an idea" (Blavatsky Collected Writings 14:251; see also Mahatma Letters, pp. 40-1). The above aims are very consistent with the Bodhisattva teachings.

Is there any history of such schools in Buddhism?
Yes, the most formal of these is Nalanda, a Buddhist center of higher learning from 427 to 1197 CE. located in the state of Bihar, India. The subjects taught at Nalanda covered every field of learning, and attracted pupils and scholars from Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Persia and Turkey.

Its curriculum courses were drawn from every field of learning, Buddhist and Hindu, sacred and secular, foreign and native. Students studied science, astronomy, medicine, and logic as diligently as they applied themselves to metaphysics, philosophy, Samkhya, Yoga-Shastra, the Veda, and the scriptures of Buddhism. They studied foreign philosophy likewise.