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Invitation to Simply Trust: Talk 1 from January’s Introductory Retreat, Valerie Forstman

When you sit, the whole world is sitting… We really don’t have to do anything, just show up.

The invitation of Zen practice is to sit with the world, just as it is – keenly critical now, during challenging and distressing world events. At the same time, this practice is larger than any circumstances. Valerie encourages us to entrust ourself to this practice and to the silence which has the capacity to be thoroughly transformative. She encourages us to throw all we are into the practice, into the silence.

Watch the talk here…

This practice is not about self improvement, it’s about letting self go… sometimes called the great relief. Valerie summarizes suffering and the release of suffering (the pali term dukha often translated as suffering more accurately could be called misalignment). She briefly describes the Buddha’s realization that the four noble truths and eight fold path are the way out of dukha.

Concentration practice is the great solvent that over time melts away the crust around our hearts, our many assumptions, and the gaps that we concoct about our sense of separation. Our many beliefs don’t hold up because they are not real.

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Image: Girl by Tumisu, CC0 Public Domain, Pixabay.com
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