RIM Voices Journeys Spring 2024

The Dharma at Work

Offered by Lauri Flick-Harty

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

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

In a sit at RIM last week, I experienced myself as a meteorologist, exploring the weather patterns of my mind. During a RIM sit this week, I experienced myself as a travel guide – where shall we go? Planning land? Fantasy? Breath? Spacious awareness? 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.

The teaching of The Two Arrows is a lesson that is particularly relevant in 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 we are most challenged by. 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 know the harm it causes is by the willingness to look at our experience in novel ways. Like beginners, we let go of our story and explore the true nature of our suffering with fresh eyes. Things look different, opening the door to new insights and options for wise action.

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

See Lauri's Flick-Harty's Bio Here

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