At Dharma Zephyr our practice has 3 aspects:
- Meditation and Mindfulness
- Wisdom as taught by the Buddha
- Ethical Behavior
Just like a 3-legged stool is very steady, cultivating these 3 aspects helps us to find balance.
About Insight Meditation
Insight or Vipassana meditation is a form of Buddhist meditation that calms and steadies the mind, helping us to see into our habits and conditioning and allowing us to be more present to any given moment in our lives. We begin by focusing attention on the breath; then we may shift our attention to other aspects of our mind, body, and experience as our practice develops.
For more information about Insight Meditation, click here.
For resources about meditation, click here.
Mindfulness is the practice of showing up to each moment of our lives with non-judgmental awareness.
For resources about mindfulness, click here.
We practice Insight Meditation in the context of the Four Noble Truths that were taught by the
Buddha 2,500 years ago. These are:
- The truth of suffering: Our experience of life is inherently unsatisfactory. We lose what we love, or we don’t get what we want; then in the end, we and all that we love age, sicken and die.
- The truth of the origin of suffering: We want to keep what we have and stay with what we love.
- We cling to those things, thinking that if we keep them forever we will be forever happy. We also ignore the true conditions of our lives. This clinging and ignorance lead to more suffering.
- The truth of the end of suffering: it is possible to be completely free from this suffering and clinging.
- The truth of the path leading to the end of suffering: The way leading to the end of suffering is the Noble Eightfold Path, which consists of
- Wise View
- Wise Intention
- Wise Speech
- Wise Action
- Wise Livelihood
- Wise Effort
- Wise Mindfulness
- Wise Concentration
About Loving Kindness (metta)
Metta is a force of the universe which finds expression through the human heart and mind.
Through metta we find kindness and acceptance for ourselves, other beings and the world
The word metta is from the Pali language, the language spoken in northern India during
the Buddha’s lifetime. While difficult to translate into English, loving kindness or loving
friendliness are two close approximations. The Buddha’s teachings on loving kindness
are encapsulated in the Metta Sutta. In this section we offer a number of metta practices
which help us connect with our heart of gladness, adding joy, calm and kindness to our
For resources about loving kindness, click here.
About Generosity (dana)
One of the foundations of Buddhism is generosity, known as dana, a Pali and Sanskrit word for giving and offering. Traditionally, Buddhist teachings are offered freely and with great generosity since they are considered priceless. In return, we offer dana at a sitting group, class, retreat, and/or online to support the teachers and community so that we may continue to offer the Dharma. This is the practice of cultivating generosity, expressing gratitude, and of letting go.
Read more about generosity, click here.
About Ethical behavior (precepts)
In order to have a quieter mind and heart, we practice ethical behavior, the foundation of which is to do no harm. The Buddha gave five specific precepts for lay people to work with: to refrain from killing (protect life), to refrain from taking what is not given (practice generosity), to refrain from sexual misconduct (create healthy relationships), to refrain from lies or harsh speech (speak the truth), and to refrain from clouding the mind with intoxicants (practice clarity).
Read more about ethical behavior, click here.