I will not be teaching during January and February so I will not be posting dharma talks during that time. And I will probably take even longer than usual to remember to check and publish any comments.
During this hiatus I invite you to explore the 85 dharma talks posted on this blog, or revisit them. If you have been meditating, attending classes, reading this blog and other sources on the subject, you are in a very different place than you were when you first heard or read these talks. You will find something that feels new, or something familiar that now makes more sense to you.
I also encourage you to attend classes, day longs or retreats at Spirit Rock. If you are not sure what teachers might resonate with you, you can listen to dharma talks by most of the teachers there on dharmaseed.org. You can download the talks for free and donate to the organization out of appreciation for what is freely given. The beauty of dana!
I am happy to say that the Tuesday class will continue in my absence. This is the nature of sangha. A class at first is about the concepts and finding the teacher most suited to share them with us at any given time. But eventually the sangha, the community of meditation practitioners becomes strong enough to want to keep meeting, with or without the teacher. This happened in our Friday class at Spirit Rock, when our original teacher Anna Douglas moved away. She assumed the class would cease, but we insisted on continuing and we found another teacher. Anna has been helpful over the years since she left in helping us to find the right teachers for our class, but the sangha has sustained itself throughout.
The past 80+ weeks of sharing the dharma with this dear group of meditators has been a true growth opportunity for me as a teacher, and also as a practitioner. I had not taught in many years when I began this class, and I have felt supported and encouraged at every turn by this sangha’s enthusiasm for the subject, dedication to attending class, wisdom, generosity and sense of caring for me.
I am also grateful to those blog followers who have shared their appreciation of the posts, both verbally and through dana.
Upon my return to teaching, besides the Tuesday class, to which all of you have an open initiation, I plan to do another 6 week series for beginners. Let me know if you are interested in either of those. Students and non-students alike are always invited to request one on one coaching in meditation to help fine-tune the practice or clear up any misunderstandings.
When I look back at the first post in this series, the one that explains the name of this blog and set my intention, I feel such gratitude that I have undertaken this way of exploring the dharma. When I teach, I learn in an in-depth way that is very satisfying to me. I was tentative at first, but I see clearly now that teaching is my path, and that the dharma is what I feel most compelled to share with others. May it be for the benefit of all beings.
But everyone needs a little time out, and so these next two months I will let the whirring wheels of my teaching mind rest and renew, while I learn the lyrics to my favorite mariachi tunes and savor the moments in my adopted town of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and the friends we have made there.
I will still be available by email, so please feel free to contact me.
Many blessings, Stephanie