From the Teachers

Look into the gap between thoughts. Die at the end of each thought to fresh wakefulness.
~ Lama John Makransky

Our Mission

To empower people with profound, accessible spiritual practices that support their individual and collective work to become better people and to make a better world. ...more

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BOB MORRISON
WRITER & MEDITATION TEACHER
CAMBRIDGE, MA

The practice of Innate Wisdom and Compassion has been a heart practice of mine for years now, something I do formally every day, and something that informs everything in my life.  I am currently active as a meditation teacher in three different sanghas –- FAC, Natural Dharma Fellowship and a nonsectarian Open Awareness sitting group –- and it affects all my teaching.
 
In some of these settings, I explicitly lead Innate Wisdom and Compassion practices, so I can directly see their impact on people’s lives.  Some are new to meditation and find it a very inviting and quickly deepening dharma gate.  Others are longtime meditators who find it very enriching.  Again and again I am struck by how much and how fast people can grow in deep insight and connection to others through these practices.

This becomes apparent to all at our FAC sittings since we always have a discussion period afterwards, which often lasts as long as the actual practice.  Not only do people share their breakthroughs in coming to deeper self-acceptance and relating more harmoniously and empathetically with others in family, work and service life, but they also often express profound understandings and creative rephrasings of the wisdom element of the practice.  In this way, our awakening is truly communal. I also give great credit to these practices for helping me in these settings to be more receptive and attentive to the inherent wisdom in each participant –- to see them as benefactors and listen to them as innate Buddhas.  Even if their comments or questions may need to be unpacked or clarified or responded to, I don’t see them as being the “problem” which needs a “solution” as much as seamless parts of a shared illumination.  Likewise, as a teacher, the practices help me to be more patient and welcoming to all, even those who might seem like “difficult” students.

This is also true in other, non-FAC meditation sittings and retreats.  Again the practice invites me to welcome all as potential benefactors (and to more consciously be a benefactor to all) and also to recognize the wisdom, both spoken and silently already present in every encounter and every moment.
 
In every meditation I lead, I always find myself silently turning to my deepest benefactors before beginning, which I feel is the most empowering way to lead or teach.  I wouldn’t really know to do so otherwise.  Being held is the best way to hold others.  That is a great gift of the FAC practices for which I am so grateful.

I’ve also been struck by how receptive people of other Buddhist and non-Buddhist traditions are to the power of these practices, what a unique and valuable offering they can become to them.  For example, at a recent Eco-Dharma conference attended by dharma-inclined environmental activists and spiritual teachers, I adapted the practice to include benefactors inspired by nature, to help people to find a more inexhaustible source and expression of love and wholeness even as they engage in work to handle dire situations, where the world can seem endangered or broken or perhaps beyond saving, and their own efforts can seem endless and without assured success. 

No activity or endeavor, in life or in service, is too large or too small to benefit from such practice.