Posted in videos

I’m Trying to Be Openhearted. Don’t Bother Me. (video)

This teaching was recorded on 10/23/17 in my home in Kansas City Missouri. It’s about my experience volunteering with the Rime Center group and some visiting college students at Harvesters. But, really it’s about those experiences in life when we are closed off from the people around us for no reason. Let’s be open instead.

I’m Trying To Be Openhearted. Don’t Bother Me.

Posted in heartland pagan festival

Teachings from the Gaea Retreat. Part Two.

The following talk was given at the Gaea Retreat Center on May 23rd, 2015.

Welcome to Meditation Group.

My name is Daniel.

The Buddha sat under a tree in the woods, kind of like this. He sat with the intention of attaining Enlightenment and eventually he did.

Let’s talk about what meditation is. Meditation is a general term for several religious practices, some different from others. These methods have the same mystical goal. To bring the awareness of the practitioner to a state in which they can come to an experience of ‘awakening’ or ‘enlightenment’.

THE CULTIVATION OF MINDFULNESS

When people start meditating, they often have a less lofty goal than Enlightenment. They are usually thinking about bringing more mindfulness into their lives. This should be encouraged. Some people think the mystical journey is not for them and that is fine.

Mindfulness is moment to moment awareness. This means being completely aware of what’s going on around us rather than being distracted all the time. So often our distractions take us out of our lives. We spend a majority of time lost in discursive thinking, thinking about what we’re doing later, or what we’ve already done. One of the benefits of meditation is that even when we aren’t meditating, we have strengthened our ability to be mindful. So, in our regular daily lives we are more aware of the world around us and our relationship to it. When we are more present, we can respond more effectively to the things that come up in our lives.

We can have mindful reactions to frustrating events, rather than the knee jerk reactions that our minds often try to carry us to.

Posted in heartland pagan festival

Teachings from the Gaea Retreat. Part One

The following talk was given at the Gaea Retreat Center on May 22nd, 2015.

Welcome to Meditation Group. My name is Daniel.

The Buddha sat under a tree in the woods, kind of like this. He sat with the intention of attaining Enlightenment and eventually he did.

Let’s talk about what meditation is. Meditation is a general term for several religious practices, some different from others. These methods have the same mystical goal. To bring the awareness of the practitioner to a state in which they can come to an experience of ‘awakening’ or ‘enlightenment’. This means a state that’s beyond discursive thinking. That is, we have what’s called a ‘monkey mind’, this habit of always jumping from one thing to another. Our mind is often a crazy person. It takes us down whatever roads it wants to go, regardless of our opinions on the subject. If you’ve ever tried to sleep and been unable to because you were thinking too much, then you can understand what I’m talking about.

So, we are meditating to get a handle on this, so our minds become our servants rather than our masters. I started meditating because I had anxiety problems. I would worry and stress out about things that haven’t even happened. That was really bad for me. I tried medication for that first and it made me really crazy. Then I tried meditation and I’ve been a real lover of the practice ever since.

This practice we are going to do is going to help us concentrate and focus, calming and clarifying our thoughts.

Diligent practice will lead to great results.