Kate Munding is co-guiding teacher of IMCB. She has been practicing since 2002 and has done numerous 1-2 month intensive practice periods. Kate is currently in Spirit Rock's Teacher Training program. Kate has also trained approximately 2,000 educators, therapists, and parents in mindful awareness techniques and philosophy in the U.S. and abroad.
She is founder of The Heart-Mind Education Project, a consulting business focused on mindfulness in education.
The talk is centered around how to bring wisdom to the truth of impermanence. Anicca (impermanence) is a cornerstone truth of existence and one that we all encounter over and over. How we relate to this truth can make the difference between experiencing this natural law with confusion and aversion or living a life with a heart and mind that is at peace. We'll explore how this truth influences our emotional, physical, and relational lives. We'll also take a look at how miss-understanding this truth can be used as a spiritual bypass and hinder our spiritual development.
In preparation for this weekend, the climate emergency, our response to it as Buddhists and as human beings has been on my mind. I will give the talk related to these themes as well as on how we can change our relationship with nature through our practice to better connect with the reality we and our planet are facing. I know James just gave a talk last week on climate change, but I'm guessing this will offer a different approach and voice to this ongoing exploration.
I hope coming to the monastery, sitting together, and listening to the Dharma provides you with a sense of refuge in these times of unsettled political climate, social divide, and global uncertainty. I've been thinking about how the practice can provide a "place" to come back to when we need clarity and balance. Unfortunately, that "place" is not always easily accessed when one is stressed or overwhelmed even though it's in those times we need it the most. I want to address this in the meditation instructions and Dharma talk by emphasizing ways to become more grounded in the present moment and understanding of how to familiarize ourselves with the unwholesome mind states that can spin us into more fear and unrest. When we strengthen our capacity in this way, we find we have more agency to meet personal and global realities that are difficult to face while still cultivating deep happiness, equanimity, and joy in life.
Patience in the Buddhist tradition is seen as a quality that becomes polished as we awaken our minds and hearts. The cultivation of patience becomes an art form; fluidly brought into the moment, imbued with flexibility, mindfulness, and Metta (loving-kindness). We need this quality to help us meet our selves, our neighbors, and the world with openness. Patience can help us be more grounded and present when we face that which makes us angry, fearful, or confused.