RIM Voices Journeys

The Dharma at Work

Offered by Lauri Flick-Harty

Since my earliest days at RIM, I have experienced the RIM community as wonderfully stimulating and supportive of the Dharma's teachings and all who practice it together.

The teachings we study, discuss, and practice are all expressions of the 4th Noble Truth: There is a path to end suffering. We walk the path together to reduce suffering and live more wisely and compassionately. We explore the Dharma together and allow space for whatever arises, not as experts but with the open receptiveness of the Beginner's Mind.

In a recent sit at RIM, I experienced myself as a meteorologist, exploring the weather patterns of my mind. During another RIM meditation, I experienced myself as a travel guide—where shall we go? The land of planning or fantasy, maybe home with my breath or spacious awareness of all that exists. Every sit is new and different, as I approach each one with the curiosity of a Beginner's Mind.

As a practicing psychotherapist, listening, reflecting, and talking are central elements of my work. Every person I encounter and every story deserves the shared openness of a Beginner's Mind. How and what we pay attention to matters, and we cultivate healthy qualities and habits using mindfulness as a launching point and home for practice.

The teaching of The Two Arrows is particularly relevant to my work and life. Inevitably, there will be suffering—some stressor, challenge, or loss—a first arrow. What we think and feel about our suffering becomes the second arrow and the one that can be most challenging. For many who come to psychotherapy, suffering exists not only because of any particular stressor or event but also because of the relationship one has with suffering itself.

Often, the only way to really "see" the second arrow and recognize the harm it causes is to be willing to intentionally look at our experience in novel ways. Like beginners, we let go of our preconceived story and explore the true nature of our suffering with fresh eyes. Things often look different, opening the door to new insights and options for wise action.

Our openness allows us to discover new ways of relating to challenging people and events. The Dharma teachings on Wise Speech encourage us to question our habitual ways of speaking. We look anew at our speech - recognizing what arises from the conditioned nature of our disposition, our intentions for harmony and goodwill, the value of truth, and the kindness of time-appropriate response. With an open, curious mind, we examine the harm of gossip and angry words. We pause and contemplate how we can "begin again" next time.

See Lauri's Flick-Harty's Bio Here

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