Kate Munding is co-guiding teacher of IMCB. She has been practicing since 2002 and has done numerous 1-2 month intensive practice periods. Kate is currently in Spirit Rock's Teacher Training program. Kate has also trained approximately 2,000 educators, therapists, and parents in mindful awareness techniques and philosophy in the U.S. and abroad.
She is founder of The Heart-Mind Education Project, a consulting business focused on mindfulness in education.
I hope coming to the monastery, sitting together, and listening to the Dharma provides you with a sense of refuge in these times of unsettled political climate, social divide, and global uncertainty. I've been thinking about how the practice can provide a "place" to come back to when we need clarity and balance. Unfortunately, that "place" is not always easily accessed when one is stressed or overwhelmed even though it's in those times we need it the most. I want to address this in the meditation instructions and Dharma talk by emphasizing ways to become more grounded in the present moment and understanding of how to familiarize ourselves with the unwholesome mind states that can spin us into more fear and unrest. When we strengthen our capacity in this way, we find we have more agency to meet personal and global realities that are difficult to face while still cultivating deep happiness, equanimity, and joy in life.
Patience in the Buddhist tradition is seen as a quality that becomes polished as we awaken our minds and hearts. The cultivation of patience becomes an art form; fluidly brought into the moment, imbued with flexibility, mindfulness, and Metta (loving-kindness). We need this quality to help us meet our selves, our neighbors, and the world with openness. Patience can help us be more grounded and present when we face that which makes us angry, fearful, or confused.
These sunny days, green hills, and the smell of spring are inspiring this week's talk on opening to the abundance of the moment. I'd like to explore with you how easy it is to get stuck in a rut of "not-enoughness". This could be a feeling of lack within your self or in your relationships with others. It might be how you view your life or society as a whole. How can we open our hearts and minds to see the fullness of life that is available and right in front of us? How can we use the practices of awareness and gratitude to come into a fuller acceptance of how things really are and find peace.