Eve is a long time student of the dharma. She began practicing Vipassana in the early 1990s, trained in mindfulness-based social action through the two-year Path of Engagement program at Spirit Rock. and is a certified meditation teacher through the Community Dharma Leader Program. Eve is also a performing artist and co-founded the feminist folk trio Rebecca Riots(1993-2009). They were dubbed “Best Band with a Conscience” by the SF Bay Guardian, toured nationally, and released five CDs. In 2006 Eve released a solo CD, “Commentary on the Perfections of the Heart”, ten original songs based on a Buddhist list of qualities that promote a contented heart. A review of the CD in Tricycle magazine said, “Decker’s melodies, and her luscious, inventive phrasing, give her songs the power of a transmission”. Here's what James Baraz has to say, "Listening to Eve’s songs are often just what I need to remind myself of the truth inside. They’ve been a big part of my daily life practice to inspire and open my heart. I love Eve Decker’s music!"
What inspires your kindness? How can your practice support you? As the mid-term election approaches, if you are feeling distressed with so much at stake we reflect on this moment and beyond. Amid the noise and overwhelm, we will gather to touch some quietness, connect, and re-imagine the moment.
Peace can be available when we learn not to take our own thoughts personally. The Buddha taught "non-attachment to views"; which can include momentary views about ourselves, others and life that upset us. A look at some concrete ways to practice non-identification from non-helpful thoughts.
The Brahma Viharas ("Divine Abodes") are practices we can use to wisely meet the moment. In the context of negative judgments, each of these practices (lovingkindness, compassion, appreciation and equanimity) has a particular gift to give. This talk explores these beautiful qualities and how we can practice them when negative judgments arise.
The Buddha said – "...and how does one abide with one's heart imbued with loving kindness? Just as one would feel friendliness on encountering a dearly beloved friend, so does one extend loving kindness to oneself and all creatures." Do you feel friendliness toward yourself in a consistent way? If not, why not? And what are some effective practices to deepen self-friendliness and the positive effect that has on all areas of life, including happiness, health, and relationships?
Things are constantly changing. Using mindfulness to bring attention to this reality is a reliable way to teach the mind to bring endurance and compassion to difficult times, and to savor and be nourished by pleasant moments. When the mind can see for itself that everything is changing all the time, it can become less reactive, more responsive, and better at letting go.
There is great value in memorizing wisdom teachings. It gives the mind access to support when a teacher, spiritual friend, or book isn't readily available. One easy and fun way to log wise teachings into long term memory is through songs and poems with messages of mindfulness, lovingkindness, compassion and more. Eve shares several that came up supportively on her recent two week retreat; and you are warmly welcome to bring a practice-supporting poem or song as well.
An exploration and practice of the Brahma Viharas. Loosely inspired by Mother's Day, this topic points to how these heart practices allow us to hold ourselves, our experience, and others with wisdom and care.
Compassion is a central Buddhist teaching and practice. It is meant to be applied to all aspects of life, including our inner life. Many of us learned to motivate ourselves with critical inner language and tone. This creates an inner atmosphere where difficult emotions arise more easily. We can utilize compassion instead - and lift the well-being our whole inner life, while still motivating ourselves. The talk explores the difference between criticism and compassion in self-motivation, and how to use compassion as our guide rather than criticism.